Thursday, December 22, 2005

I geisha knew this was coming...

Taddly and I kept our annual Christmas tradition of eating at TGI Friday's and attempted to add another borrowed (read: stolen) ornament to our Christmas trees. Unfortunately, the restaurant no longer has a tree- maybe because they had no more ornaments for it? So we just swapped our previously-taken TGI Friday's ornaments this year. (I laugh every year I take the green or white (depending on whose year it is to have which color) ball out of my box of ornaments!)

After a conversation full of laughter, Tadd and I met up with his family at the movie theater, MA joined us as well, and we all went to see a sneak preview of Memoirs of a Geisha. I have not yet read the book, but I thought the film was beautifully shot, had a great story to tell, and kept me engaged the entire time. It just geisha right here. But then I geisha knew that was coming! Tadd kept me laughing the entire time with all his sake jokes. The worst of them was after one character stole something important from the main character, and Tadd leaned over to me and said, "what did she take? Her memoirs?"

Afterwards I found a great TAR moment (see the blog) and actually had my camera there to catch the moment for all to enjoy. When you Win a Date with Tadd Himelrick, the fun never ends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Favorite Least-Favorite Christmas Songs

I finally heard my favorite least-favorite Christmas song today- Paul McCartney's Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime. Normally I would say the Brit could do no wrong (although Ebony & Ivory is questionable as well) but the cheesy synthesizer is enough for me to simply declare this the worst Christmas song. A close second would be the vocally-grating Wilson Phillips' Hey Santa. You can hear this one on the overhead music at the mall or at a Brentwood Chic-Fil-A if your name is Tadd.

The one favorite-favorite I haven't heard this year is (jiggity jig- hee haw hee haw it's) Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey. Is 98 still playing this one this year? Due to my current living situation and hence shortened commute to work in the morning, I have missed this catchy little tune on the radio.

One that I can't decide if it is favorite-favorite or favorite least-favorite is I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. It's cute but gets stuck in your head.

Any opinions on these or other beloved or be-hated Christmas songs?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Recapping the 2nd Annual Penthouse Holiday Extravaganza

The tradition continues at the Penthouse apartment! We are such busy women that we could find neither an afternoon nor an evening
during the Christmas season to have our Christmas get-together, so we opted instead for the practical yet classy brunch.

So Saturday morning we set our alarms (Ari: I didn't know 9am existed on Saturdays), got all domestic and baked, and ventured out into the sunshine for some grub & gab time. If I am counting correctly, there were 16 fantastic ladies crammed into the 3-bedroom bachelorette pad, and we had way more food than we could ever dream of consuming. (We tried anyways though!)

There was a small caffeine crisis, when one girl (who shall remain nameless to protect her identity) brought a wonderfully-smelling bag of coffee beans for all the java-loving guests, of which she was not. Yes, you read that correctly. She brought beans, that were not yet ground into coffee! How was she to know though, a non-coffee drinker herself? So I proceeded to grab the bag and ran into a nearby Kroger with a desperate look on my face as I asked the first employee I could find, "where's your coffee grinder??" holding up the bag of beans as proof of my crisis.

All I could think was, we need to get this coffee brewing- and FAST. Time was ticking away, and the caffeine headaches would be plaguing people by now. You don't want to be in a small confined space with several coffee drinkers who haven't had their sweet morning nectar. Plus we hadn't eaten yet, despite the scents of baking breakfast foods wafting through the apartment. Yes, I decided. The natives were definitely restless. We needed that coffee ASAP.

Minutes later, crisis averted, the coffee was brewed, and food and conversations were abounding. We managed to squeeze everyone together for a group photo, got one pic of the girls in my small group Bible study, and finally a festive shot of the "Ladies in Red." It was a wonderful time of food and fellowship, and as always, we managed to come out with yet another Lana-ism ("I don't send Christmas cards, I just receive them") and have ideas in the works for what is sure to be a New York Times Best-Seller, Life According to Lana.

Merry Christmas from the girls and the friends of the girls in #720!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Will the Real UT please stand up?

As a native Tennessean, and for anyone east of the Mississippi (pronounced: Mis-sippi) River, UT means the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Now I've heard tall tales that there are those persons living out west of the Mighty Mississip' who refer to UT as the University of Texas. Those Texans are an odd bunch aren't they? I work with several of them, and at one point, was surrounded on all sides by native Texans. Those were some long months. It took a lot of tolerance on my part... and... was such a huge sacrifice on my part to put up with their lonestar-mania...

But look who's laughing now? In lieu of having a horrible football season, UT (that's Tennessee, by the way) has a new b-ball coach and is putting the smack down to the poser UT and their gross burnt-orange jerseys. hmmph.

Monday Morning Musings

Oh Joy, oh Rapture! Grey's Anatomy came on after all last night! Granted, it wasn't a new episode, but it was one I hadn't seen. Nothing gets me pumped up for the work week like Patrick Dempsey et all. in scrubs!

I've been pretty quiet on here about my beloved Cats so far this season. Up until now there weren't many good things to say about them, and if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all! Well, the Wildcats showed up to play on Saturday and kicked Louisville's tail all the way back to the almost-Indiana border. (How do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky anyways? Is it Loo-UH-ville or Loo-EE-ville?) With Morris back in time for SEC play, and Rondo starting to lead the team on the court, the season may just start to get entertaining.

And finally, this just made my Monday morning! Christmas will be here soon- Hugs to everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ye Olde Christmas Traditions

Keeping in the spirit of Emily's top 5 for the day, I thought I'd share a few more of our Bradley Christmas traditions!

*taking a family Christmas picture in the den after attending service on Christmas Eve

*fighting with Laura over who's day it is to put the piece up on the Christmas countdown calendar (yes, we still fight over who got to "do" Christmas last year)

*dad hiding the pickle ornament on the Christmas tree- whoever finds it gets a special present

*Joe Diffie's Mr. Christmas album, BHS Christmas choir cd, and Celine Dion's Christmas cd

*two words: Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation

***feel free to share your own family traditons!!***

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Amazing Amanda

Putting aside all narcisistic beliefs about myself, this toy is selling out like vegetables at a vegetarian convention!! Aside from her name, notice that she has blonde hair, blue eyes, and is dressed in the color pink to boot! (Looks we may have a doll-designer-stalker on our hand, folks) Thought I'd lighten the mood a little on your favorite pink page and let you sneak a peak at a doll created to be as amazing as the real thing. But if you want it, here it is, come and get it- but you better hurry cause she's goin' fast!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Merry Politically Correct Holiday

In case you haven't noticed this Christmas season, retailers everywhere are doing their darndest to keep everything PC by not using the word Christmas in any of their sale ads or commercials.

Em and I were discussing Ari's Best Buy gift card debacle the other day, and Emily pointed out that for some reason, putting a star of David and menorah on a Chanukah card isn't considered offensive, but we would never expect to see a cross or a nativity scene on a Christmas store gift card- instead there are pictures of presents and Christmas trees (or should I say holiday trees?).

Even some local churches have canceled their morning worship services because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. (This Really makes me mad, and I could write essays on the topic.)Heaven forbid Christ's birth should get in the way of us enjoying a lazy morning in our pajamas opening gifts we don't need or sometimes want.

It's no wonder we all get sucked into the buy-crap-we-don't-need mentality, and rush around in a hurry to get everything done, wondering why the holidays are such hectic, stressful times. I charge that it's time to put the Christ back in Christmas. And I know we all say we need to do that, but this year, really do it.

Keep it mind when you're fighting someone for a parking place atthe mall, or waiting for the slow person in front of you to check out, or sighing when you look at your list of things to do between now and the 25th. I believe God loves for his people to celebrate the birth of His son, and he enjoys the fact that we commune as families to do this. It is good that we remember the gift He gave by giving gifts to others, but let it all be a time of joy rather than a mad-dash all over town to shop for the person who is impossible to shop for.

Even if the world only recognizes it as a holiday, you can still treat it like it's Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Time to party!!

Call me cliche' but Christmas is my favorite holiday. While I love it for the spiritual reason behind it- the amazing gift of God sending his son to take on human form and live the exemplary perfect life, I love it for many other reasons too. One, all the breaktaking Christmas lights. Two, all the yummy food you get to eat without feeling guilty ("It's the holidays," I say to myself. "You should enjoy yourself now and worry about those extra cookies and eggnog in January!") And the third reason I love Christmas- the Christmas parties (which again, incorportaes the eating of the good food).

Saturday was our Sunday school class party, which on one hand, gets more fun every year, because you know more people, but on the other hand, you secretly ask yourself, I wonder how many more years of Single Focus Christmas parties I'm going to have to go to? (Hey, I'm just being honest here- I know you all think the same thing!). Really though, it had all the makings of a good party: good food (are we sensing a trend here?), fun people, and a house full of Beetlejuice decorum! Lana and MA took the liberty of taking all sorts of fun pictures around the house to document the evening for posterity.

Today is our Christmas party here at work. They're taking us to see The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe at the Franklin cinema, and then feeding us lunch back at the office. There was rumor that they might let us go early after that, but I'm not getting my hopes up. And of course Dad Gum it's Christmas is still going strong! This morning we have homemade biscuits and breakfast casserole- it's enough to make anyone have a small foodgasm.

Thursday night's big shindig is taking place at Winn's (Who? What?). His holiday parties are legendary and always boast his special seasonal eggnog. This should be a reunion of old BHS alumns and meeting and mingling with various Nashvillians, and of course- the consuming of holiday tasty treats!

Finally, rounding out the week of parties, Saturday morning marks our Second Annual Penthouse Holiday Extravaganza. We're doing a brunch this year because all of my friends' schedules are so crazy that we couldn't find a lunch or dinner date anywhere during the Christmas season that we could all attend. So far we have 13 or 14 gals rsvp'ed to partake in the all-girls get-together.

Enjoy your own week of holiday festivities! Eat whatever you want, and then let's all meet up in January to work off those extra treats. :o)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Happy Chrismakuh?!

So Ari's boss is a bit of a tool. He treats her like his personal secretary (read: Slave) which is not at all what she signed on for when she took the job. One of Ari's special duties in this position is to take care of purchasing holiday gift cards to put in the Christmas cards that her company hands out. To make a long story short, her experience last year dealing with Best Buy to get these aforementioned gift cards was such a nightmare (in that she made 3 trips to the store and made several more phone calls during the entire process) and still came out empty handed, that they ended up getting gift cards from Wal-mart instead.

This year, as in, 3 days ago, before today when the gift cards were to be handed out, her boss sends her to Best Buy once again to purchase them. "Even after what happened last year?" she asked incredulously. The boss man and his wife decided that Best Buy was essentially a classier place than Walmart, and was dead set on this decision. Well, I don't believe in karma, but this is pretty funny...

Ari specified on the phone with the Best Buy manager that these cards were for Christmas presents. Her company is a Christian company, with Christ-loving employees and sales reps- but 10 of them are getting gift cards with the star of David and a menorah on them!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dad Gum, it's St. Nick's Day!!!

So here at work for this week and next, we have what Mark Box fondly calls an "eateromma." That's right Brentwood Benson employees, Dad Gum, It's Christmas!!

People sign up to bring food everyday and we snack on homemade goodies throughout the work day. (Really, it's just an excuse for Mark to say the words "dad gum" even more than he normally would.) And miraculously, the words "dad gum" have slipped into my vocabulary too- it's a great expression- it can function as a modifier- It was dad gum freezing this morning- or it can function as an exasperated exclamation, as in, Dad Gum! I can't believe Kentucky lost to UNC in Rupp arena.

And today my friends, is a double whammy. Not only are we in the height of Dad Gum It's Christmas, but today also happens to be St. Nick's Day. Any roommate I've ever lived with has had the privilege of celebrating this quirky holiday honoring St. Nicholas- a real-life Santa Clause way back in the middle ages where every catholic male could easily aspire to sainthood. We fill each other's stockings every December 6th, and then again on Christmas morning. (You have stockings hanging there- you might as well use them twice a season at least.) Even the dogs join in on the fun. They learn to sniff the red socks periodically to see if any treats may befall, and then other times, they sniff around in my closet and find their St. Nick's treats early and eat them in my bedroom, leaving plastic wrappers in pieces strewn about the room. I'm just saying. Hypothetically something like this could happen.

Laura Lu, we missed you this morning- it was weird doing stockings without you.

Happy Dad Gum St. Nick's Day!!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

State Champs!!!

4 years after the school opened its doors and in just 3 years of varsity football, the Ravenwood Raptors have captured the most coveted award in all high school sports- the Region 5-A State Football Championship trophey. For anyone who didn't know who Ravenwood was before this season, they do now. Congrats to the guys and to the coaches and staff- particuarly the RHS athletic secretary that worked so hard to make this thing happen!