Tuesday, November 29, 2005

9 mos. after Valentine's Day

November Babies Abound! It’s time to recognize all these special people and congratulate them on getting one year older:

Lana “Boofer” Groves celebrated the 4th anniversary of her 21st birthday on Nov. 24th (man- wouldn’t it suck to be that old? I’m so glad I’m a spry 21 year old, and in college).

Imaginary boyfriend Mitchell Gene Tarkington Adair turned 23 on Nov. 28th (I know his entire name after he called me out for Not knowing it the last time I saw him up in Lexington) (I mean, who could forget 2 middle names like Gene and Tarkington, honestly? Yeah. Cause That just rolls off the tongue)

Fellow Gatlinburg-er Lisa T. was showered with love and affection from her friends yesterday as she commemorated her 24th birthday. We partied it up with a joint birthday celebration endeavor at Cozy Mel’s with Lana, Lisa, and friends (that sounds like a sitcom), and then several of us went back to the Sorority House- I mean, Liser and Scottie’s apartment- to hang out late on a (GASP!) school night! (Trust me, the effects of staying up too late on a Tuesday night were felt by the Geezers of the group this morning!)

Also turning 25 yesterday on Nov. 29th was Miss Heather B aka Weezer aka My best friend Heather from home. Heather and I are going on 12 years of being friends, and one of our first times to hang out, coincidentally enough, was at my 7th grade Halloween birthday party. I was dressed up like Juliet; Heather was a baby, and our friend Jason dressed up like a hooker named Candy, and nobody recognized him. Go figure.

turkey for me, turkey for you

Turkey day came and went. Slowly but surely I am incorporating more of the traditional dishes into my dinner- I actually ate turkey and stuffing both this year, tried the cranberries and pumpkin pie, and lived to tell the tale! (Up until a few years ago, Thanksgiving dinner for me consisted of ham, macaroni and cheese, and rolls!) We went up to Cannelton on Wednesday and stayed till Friday, making several appearances at the Pumper, and of course, stopping at the Tasty Freeze on the way out of town for hamburgers and ice cream.

The top left picture is of Ryan, Laura, George, and myself- waiting on my uncle Jerry to get back with the scraps for the dogs ("You mean we have to wait for the dogs to eat before WE can eat???" Laura asked incredulously)

The top right picture is of the Back Porch, where all of our large meals take place. This is all of the guys.


Bottom left pic is of our Thanksgiving bartenders Ryan and Laura. Folks, she was a natural opening the brewskis and making change in her head. (This is why I could never bartend. I am such a product of my generation and depend on the cash register or my cell phone calculator to figure out simple math)

Bottom right pic is of all of the girls. and when I say all, keep in mind that I do not literally mean all. Counting up all the family that was in and out for lunch, we had 21 people and 2 dogs there at any given moment. Unfortunately, we didn't get a big group picture, so I made do with what I had, picture-wise.

Let it be known that I was feeling benevolent (different from Joel's made-up word, manevolent) and did not post the incriminating kareoke pictures from Wednesday night's Pumper experience. A highlight of the weekend though, which unfortunately no one got pictures of, was someone signing my entire family up to sing Hank Jr.'s Family Tradition. We begrudgingly oblidged, and half the bar came up to the microphones to belt out this bar room favorite. :o)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Let the Good Times Roll

Alright- the natives are restless- but I agree- this blog has been a long time coming (and took a long time to compose, so no skimming- read every word, darn it!)

Admittedly, ever since we booked the "Good Times" cabin, I had this blog title picked out for the weekend recap! The whole weekend was blogworthy though, so where to begin?

The 2 cars departed Nashville on Friday afternoon- MA driving the Cubmobile with Lana, Scottie, and Liser in tow, and Emmy Sue drove her faithful Altima with me and Rhonda Lu. MA and co. arrived first, checking into the cabin and going to the grocery store for our weekend supplies. The 3 Amigas were sent to buy some drinks on our way into town. "Something festive," they said on the other end of the phone. And I made sure to ask, did you all pass any liquor stores on your way in? "Yes," they said- "we passed several," were their exact words I believe. Several stop lights later in Pigeon Forge there were no specialty stores to be found, and the 3 of us found ourselves in the Food City to buy alcohol. (What a way to start our redneck weekend!) We stole sideways glances at the Food City employee Delta (identified by her name tag) who sported a two-toned mullet and laughed at ourselves for having no shame in walking out with 2 cases of Smirnoff drinks and a couple bottles of Boone's Farm.

Friday evening was spent enjoying a delicious spaghetti dinner followed by fondue (pause for a Lana quote. Upon seeing our eyes bulge at the 3-servings-worth of spaghetti she had on her plate, Lana quickly responded with, "What? This is how we do it in my house!"). We watched The Way We Were which none of us had ever seen. The movie started off slowly and comments of, "what is this movie even about," and "when does it get good" rang out before our jaws dropped and audible gasps were heard at the first sight of Robert Redford in his white uniform ("Hubba, Hubble!"). A few episodes of Sex & the City followed, as well as squeezing 7 girls into a hot tub that ideally holds 4. (About a 1/3 of the water was displaced after we forced our way into the thing!)

Saturday morning, a few hours and one emergency run to the grocery store later, we were back in front of the TV watching Sex & the City, enjoying our home cooked breakfast. I'm partial to my hashbrown casserole, but Em's chocolate chip pancakes are a perennial favorite as well. After breakfast we caravanned to Laurel Falls where we hiked to the top and back down again while spontaneously busting out Kanye West's Golddigger, taking lots of pictures, and enjoying the warm sunshine. Then it was back in the cars to drive the rest of the distance to Cade's Cove.

This took the bulk our day, and the drive around the loop once we got there was a bit disappointing. Sure, we saw some deer and a fox, which was pretty darn cool, I have to admit, but we also followed a Caddy that drove painfully slow and threw on his break lights every 10 feet so the drive took for.ev.ver. And call me a spoilsport, but I prefer the breaktaking view of an impressive city skyline over the blue-skied paltry mountains in the distance (I know. My fellow girls are booing and hissing, but this, my friends, is the reason I'm choosing to move to a ginormous city). We saw a bear from the road on our drive back, which in the pictures just looks like a black blob behind some trees, but I promise, we saw it, but by the time we got back to Gatlinburg it was dark, and we were starved! (So much for those peanut butter sandwiches we made for lunch and then left in the fridge!) We enjoyed a mediocre dinner with mediocre service at the first restaurant we came to, but got back to the cabin early enough to enjoy a night "at home." First a dance party in the kitchen broke out (that Florida mix cd sure has gotten some use!), and then Em, me, and MA shriveled in the hot tub for several hours while we talked about everything under the sun. (The girls inside piled on the couch and watched 2 movies in the time span that we were outside!) Later on we dried off by the fire and watched (what else?) Sex & the City.

Sunday morning we all piled onto the couch and into the chairs in our pjs for a little church service of our own, then listened to praise & worship music on Emily's ipod dock while we got ready (i think ipods are a wonderful invention... i don't see how we functioned this long without them... i wonder how many sentences we can begin using "i") (that was for you, em!). A few minutes before 10 am, the mandatory check-out time, we said goodbye to the Good Times cabin, and drove down the road to the Apple Barn for a filling breakfast- but not before annoying/entertaining everyone else who was waiting for their table with our boisterous conversation and continuous picture-taking antics. Finally we rounded out the trip with a little outlet mall shopping. To quote/
paraphrase/
steal Emily's idea on her blog, you didn't really think that 7 girls could take a trip together and not do any shopping did you?

It rounded out a perfect weekend, and we hope to make it a yearly tradition. In retrospect, we ate a lot, laughed a lot, and took a lot of pictures. Been there. Done that. Wrote the Blog.

"Thath it. Thath all."

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Vacation & a Raptors victory cannot come soon enough!

Do you ever have those days where you thought you turned the coffee off, only to discover it's been left on all day after you get home? Or you think you turned the defrost on in your car, but instead just turned on the heat, so when you get ready to leave for work, there's still ice encrusted on your windshield? These are signs I think, that someone needs a vacation, and that someone is me.

Enter: 7 girls, 2 altimas, and one "Good Times" cabin in the mountains. I'm leaving at 2pm today from work and the hours just won't pass by quickly enough.


If you're in town tonight, and by in town, of course I am meaning the Brent Hood, and if you aren't going to see Harry Potter (which you all should be doing- no excuses), then I have another suggestion. Pay 7$ for a ticket to see the Battle of the Wood. For those of you Not following TN Region 5-A highschool football (I know- can you believe there are people out there who don't??)- this is code for the highschool football playoff game between Brentwood and Ravenwood High, both Brentwood high schools (although the TSSAA playoff program lists Ravenwood in Franklin- ask Momma B if That didn't tick her off!). While I am a Brentwood High alum, I am actually pulling for Ravenwood (hey- you would be too if you lived under the same roof as my mother who is Insane-in-the-membrane for Ravenwood football- and when Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!). Ravenwood has actually already won the region, beat Brentwood in the regular season, and has home-field advantage and is picked to win. It still should be a good game, so Go Raptors!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Country Goes Urban

See the Tennessean recap- Couldn’t have said it better myself- that Brad About You- he’s so funny!

Country Music took New York by storm last night with the CMAS, while a storm in Nashville kept me from watching the CMAS. I was feeling crummy with this cold that some thoughtful person gave me, and all I wanted to do was put on my pjs and watch the CMAS. But no. Instead the severe weather landed me in my basement (this is different than the Sevier weather we gals will be experiencing this weekend in our Cabin in the woods). So me and Mom and the 2 dogs headed downstairs while the storms moved through. Twice the power went out and came right back on, but it was enough to scare Oscar into jumping into our laps and shaking like a leaf. It’s pathetic really- so much for having guard dogs!

Finally, no sooner than the coast was clear, we headed back upstairs and figured out how to do a picture-in-picture on the tv to keep an eye on the weather, that the cable went out, so I couldn’t watch the awards show after all. (Is it cruel irony that the majority of people in the nation that would care about watching the CMAS could not?) I ended up watching The Upside of Anger instead where Kevin Costner plays a (surprise!) ex-baseball player. It was not at all about baseball, and the movie was a disappointment- though maybe not as much of a disappointment that Brad Paisley didn’t win a single award last night.

Friday, November 11, 2005

11:11- make a wish!!!

I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller, I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her- I was I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat and 6-4 impala.

I wish that Elizabethtown had 2 different co-stars other than the unlikable Kirsten Dunst and the faked American accent of Orlando Bloom. (Bradley & Bradley give it one thumb up)

I wish it were lunchtime- mmmmm- Cozy Mel’s here I come!!

I wish it were still 80 degrees today.

I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner.

I wish it were 5 o’clock so I could be through with my work week.

what do you wish?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

random musings from the afternoon

*You know you’ve been sucked into the corporate mentality when… your boss’ bosses are coming into the office for the afternoon- as in, the big wigs of the entire corporation- I fondly refer to them as “The Bobs”- and you actually are nervous about the visit.

*Pet peeve # 5,280 (yes, I have pet peeves a mile long): when someone opens a new roll of toilet paper, or uses the last of one, and leaves the trash in the bathroom stall for someone else to throw away (Reeeaaallly, Clark?)


*I “helped” Beth with her faxes this afternoon- really it was just an excuse to stand there and talk for a few minutes. She commented on the fax machine actually working now, since someone replaced the card inside it. “Don’t judge our fax machine by its cover,” she declared. “Don’t judge a fax machine by its cover sheet,” I countered.

Ever since Sarah Scottie-Too-Hottie sent out an email with the closing, Happy Hump Day, I have that stupid Black Eyed Peas song stuck in my head:
My hump.
My hump. My hump. My hump.
My hump. My hump. My hump.
My lovely lady lumps. Check it out.


ha ha. Now you're singing it too...

my new toy



Well, I suppose I have joined Winn in becoming an isellout, but thanks to mom and dad I have joined the masses of ipod owners with my new ipod nano. The funny thing is that I've had my new toy for a week now, but haven't been able to do much else with it, other than open up all the packaging and admire its sleek design. Now I'm in the market for a laptop of some sort to use my ipod with, and to take with me to the big apple and heck, why not take an Apple to the big apple? Mac users who've swtiched from pc's swear by them, although they will admit that it takes some getting used to. I've been researching the adorable little ibooks and am itching to drive out to Green Hills and go to the apple store so I can spend more time exploring the software and see more of the ipod accessories in person. (It's so hard to decide which pink ipod case to buy online) If any of you computer gurus want to put in your two cents about ipods or ibooks, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

i heart dave barnes

Was there really life before Dave Barnes? I suppose there was, but it wasn’t very good. Okay. That is an exaggeration. A slight one.

Determined to get a good seat at the show this time, we became the ultimate groupies Saturday night, and stood in line over an hour before the show at 3rd and Lindsley to snag an up-front table (We, being myself, Emily, Lana, and her friend Courtney) (and let me also clarify, we did not stand in line for an entire hour; we just got there in plenty of time to be one of the first ones in). Ari and Bart met us later, and a few other friends and acquaintances spotted us and pulled up chairs nearby, so we had ourselves quite the group. Dave took the stage all by his lonesome, although he kept pantomiming conversations with the imaginary band and back-up singers that kept me in stitches all night. A few quotable DB lines from the night:

· Have you ever been dating someone who wasn’t dating you?
· Upon being caught by his friend’s mom doing muscle poses in his window reflection: And so you make that face where you’re smiling, like everything’s ok, but then from here up, you can tell that everything is definitely Not ok.
· So I have a question: one day when Sting fizzles out and isn’t as popular anymore, will he change his name to Stung?

The stories DB tells are worth every penny to go and see him live, and as always, the songs are able to speak for themselves. Plus I always enjoy the audience participation times. Why does this guy not have an amazing record deal and is not selling out arenas yet? Just you wait- I have a feeling his time is coming soon. In the meantime, I finally caved in and bought the hot pink t-shirt that says in white letters “I heart dave barnes.” And that, my friends, says it all.

Harry Paw-ter



come on, now that's just funny.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Boys


Here's a picture of my boys- Stockwell and Oscar. This is them on Halloween of course, and although they didn't mind the costumes so much, they went crazy with all the people at the door. Oscar is a bit too much of a guard dog, and even barks at me when I come home at night! He's definitely not the sharpest cookie in the box.

Stockwell, or Precious, is my little heater, and has taken to crawling in bed with me in the mornings. He lays right on my legs and keeps them warm, making it difficult to get out of bed. And by difficult I mean both hard to leave the nice warm covers and canine, and nearly impossible to pry my limbs out from under the 4-legged-heater.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

they say it's your birthday

and you know how THEY are by saying things like that. Well for once it happens to be true. Yes, dear readers, I am celebrating the 4th anniversary of my 21st birthday today. It is a gorgeous day here in middle Tennessee- 70 degrees and the sun is shining. I of course, am decked out in pink for the occasion, and am having a fantastic day. Thanks to all of the well-wishers and those who are able to celebrate with me here. I love you all, friends and family- you are what makes having birthdays special. :o)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween, DIVA style

The weekend flew by, but it was a great one!

Friday night was the 80's party at Maury's. I was forced into watching a scary movie called "Don't Talk to Strangers" and proceeded to spill red punch on the couch in Little Guadalupe because Rob came up behind me and scared me! The group was small but we laughed at Maury's prom video (circa 1988), joined in on some 80's trivia, and danced to a great 80's mix of music.

Saturday was spent doing the Great Day of Service. This was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday, and I only wish that more people from the church had participated. Instead of patting the church on the back and saying, good job, we had 600 people participate in our church of over 5,000 members, I wish someone would say, shame on you for not joining together for one day as a church and reaching out to your community. (But then again, mercy is not one of my spiritual gifts.) At any rate, our group had an awesome experience at the Campus for Human Development and will hopefully continue this partnership.

Saturday night was the big night for us- "Macho, Macho Woman! I wanna be a macho woman!" Tex, Mitch, Tigerlilly, Ron, Jarhead, & MA got together for a rollicking good time as the Village People and made quite the grand entrances and exits at the parties we attended. Sarah impressed us with her skills at driving with her sunglasses on, because, you know, she wears her sun-glasses at night, so she can, so she can...
Dressing up in group costumes is definitely the way to go- it makes Halloween so much more fun!

Sunday afternoon marked the First Ever Ultimate Harvest Party. A bunch of people came over and showed us their mad pumpkin-carving skills. I admit I was a little off my game that day- the distraction of hosting the party detracted from my ability to carve a good jack-o-lantern ("and I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my abilty to do good hair") (You can never have too many random Steele Magnolias quotes thrown in for good measure!). Mary Anna's Chicago Cubs pumpkin was crowned our Grand Champion after making the finals and winning the most votes. The weather was perfect, the cider was warm, and the munchies were delicious (thanks to Momma B and Laura Loo for heading up the kitchen duties).



The Finished Products









"What Can Brown Do For You??"














"The Happy Family"