Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The 12 Days of a Cannelton Christmas

The Bradley clan did something different for Christmas this year. After attending the 9am Christmas Eve service, we piled into 2 cars with our 3 dogs and all our presents and headed up to Cannelton for a fun old-fashioned family Christmas (minus Chevy Chase). Things are always chaotic when all the families get together (chaotic in a good way) but I thought the best way to break it down would be in a creative (& accurate for the most part) list to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas. So without further ado...

On the Twelfth day of a Cannelton Christmas my family gave to me

12. glasses of punch dad drank on Christmas Eve
11. times Braedon & Nicole listened to the Wiggles songs on repeat while singing and dancing
10. number of adults that fit around the Big Table on the back porch for dinner
9. Grandkids at the house
8. the combined number of stores to which Mom & Dad got gifts card this year
7. pieces of our traditional homemade coffee cake the four Bradleys collectively ate on Christmas morning
6. the number of cameras we had snapping pictures of the various family groups around Papa & the Christmas tree
5. different dogs at the house (Stockwell, Oscar, Ginger, Oreo, & Julius)
4. siblings present (Mom, Lisa, Kristina, and Michael)
3. the number of times I walked around the entire Tell City, IN Walmart to buy some last
minute forgotten things on Christmas Eve for my mother
2. Great-Grandkids at the house (Natalee & Nicole)
1. Great-Grandfather/Grandfather/dad to bring us all together in one Mr. Harry Lee Huber

I sincerely hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Getting a Handel on things

Thanks to MA, we have pics from Tuesday night's dress rehearsal. I thought I'd share a few of these with you guys since I'm on a blogging roll today:

Here's me smiling for the camera (You can always count on MA to take lots of good pictures!)

And here is yours truly, finally appearing as though she has a "Handel" on her music!

A View of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and Symphony in the new Schermerhorn Symphony Hall

A lady on the front row who Mom & MA (what a dangerous combo, sitting those 2 together) had a good laugh over, watching her mouth open to the size of a softball!

We perform tonight and tomorrow night to sold-out audiences. I have been listening to Messiah here at work the past few days and am beyond excited to finally be performing this major work! Hallelujah!

The road to the Gym is paved with good intentions

I got up this morning with the intent to go to my Thursday morning spin class at the Y, keeping in line with my 3-for-3 workouts this week so far. With "dad gum it's Christmas" still going full swing at work, I've got to stay in the gym in order to allow myself to eat all the tasty treats baked lovingly by my coworkers! Well, the alarm went off, I sang along to Beyonce on my clock radio while I got dressed, and like a pack mule, grabbed everything I would need for the rest of the day. Or so I thought. On my way out the door, I hung my clothes on the back of one of our dining room chairs and put on my coat. Then I picked up my pink gym bag, and out the door I went. Still dark, I pulled up to the Y and began to gather my things to head inside.

purse: check.
gym back: check.
Work clothes on hanger: ... I scan the back seat...
Work clothes on hanger... I scan the front seat... and begin to get frustrated...

You can see where this is going. It's going to me driving all the way back to the apartment (still in the dark, and mourning the loss of sleep), and getting ready sans workout. You can imagine my frustration when I came in and hung my coat on the same chair that my work clothes were mistakingly hung.

So what did I do to make up for the missed spinning class this morning? I got ready early, made myself some coffee, and enjoyed it in my pink Christmas travel mug along with a 7 layer cookie on my way to work!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Heroin, romantic comedies- same thing

Amidst this crazier-than-ever December, we three roommates (of Nashville are) took some time out of our busy schedules to meet up for a movie on Monday night. We planned on seeing The Holiday- hailed by some as the Best Romantic Comedy EVER, so of course we had to see it!

I don't know if I would say it is the best ever (my fav is still You've Got Mail, and how can we neglect When Harry Met Sally? In fact, throw in Sleepless in Seattle and, are we sensing the Meg Ryan trend here, you've got yourself some classic romantic comedies. Seriously Meg, embrace your niche instead of (literally) fighting your way into a horrible movie like In The Cut. Go back to what you know. Heck, even Kate & Leopold wasn't that bad of a movie because of you.

So the Holiday was everything we expected. We laughed. We cried (thanks FR for the much needed tissues- "I'm a bit of a weeper!") It was better than Cats. But maybe not so much better as the classic Romantic Comedies I listed above. But it was very good- perhaps even "totally brill" which is maybe my new favorite British phrase. The movie inspired me to swap flats with some fabulous young British singleton over Christmas and meet a Jude Law look-alike to fall madly in love with in one week's time. (Hey, it could happen!)

It also inspired us to tap our arms several times during the course of the film implying that we needed another "heroin fix. See Em's infamous post Just Like Heroin for the full story, but basically her point is that women watch romantic comedies that make our emotions soar and then the movie ends and we come crashing back down to reality. So we watch more movies to bring us up again, we crash, and the addiction continues. Similar to the highs and lows of being on heroin. Or so I've heard.
All that to say, I give the Holiday 2 thumbs up. It's a fun chick flick to go see over Christmas with your gal-pals or girlfriend (guys).

Friday, December 15, 2006

To wear or not to wear?

Lately my friends and I have had numerous discussions on the Taboo act of wearing that infamous piece of festive clothing- the Christmas Sweater. It's perfectly acceptable, and particularly adorable to dress children in red velvet dresses with fur trim, and fine to dress them in red from top to bottom with a matching bow during the Christmas season. Additionally, we sort of laugh and accept the fact that many of our mothers are of the mature age now where they are donning Christmas sweaters (daily if it's my Mother, with red pants to match!). And while we agree that our moms are cute in their snowmen vests, and reindeer mock turtlenecks, we swear to each other that we will Never be caught dead in something so hideous.

But what is so bad about the Christmas sweater? What makes it a universally-unaccepted article of clothing once you hit the teens and is locked in that category until you hit 50 where it becomes acceptable once again? I mean personally, I don't see what is so tacky about a bulky sweater covered with ginormous poinsettias. Office Max has even gone to great lengths to make fun of the often-laughed-at Christmas sweater (I think maybe the only thing poked fun at more during the holidays would be the Fruitcake) that they have a website where you can create a virtual tacky Christmas sweater and email your creation to a friend.

While I agree that most holiday apparel is indeed unflattering for the trendy dresser, I myself am wearing a fashionable Christmas shirt that I got from the Gap last year. It's fitted and green and has a tiny reindeer made of rhinestones on it. Christmas socks are also festive and fun, mainly because you can wear them proudly without causing too much of a distraction to the rest of your ensemble, because how often are one's socks really displayed? And then there was that incident in college with the Christmas bra.... disaster.... but all I can say is that there are ways to wear your holiday spirit proudly, even if it's not as obvious as a snowman covering the entire length of your torso.

Post Script: Momma B took this picture with the intent of including it on her comment after this post, but technical difficulties prevented her from doing so. I am displaying here now for you all to admire. :o)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Roadtrippin It part 1

Backing up one more weekend, in the wee hours of the morning (the alarm went off at 4:30 am) following the Dixie Chicks show, Steph and I piled into her gracefully aging Saturn and headed up to Lexington. We rolled into LexVegas at 10:04 for the 10 am wedding shower I was trying to make. Steph and I parted ways, and I entered into wedding shower world for the next half-a-day. Ariana's maid & matron of honor threw her a Holiday-themed shower (hence some of the less than ideal gifts, ie. not one but Two dancing Santas, and a to-die-for cookie plate with a cat on it. And by to die for, I mean, I nearly died watching Ari gush over gifts which she obviously had no use for!). It was a blast though getting to know some of her family and close friends better (I think after 7 years I just might have Beth & Katie, the twins, straight!) After a highly competitive clothes-pin game where you couldn't cross your legs, I lost (sorely, I might add) to Ari's aunt Carol. Carol and I ended up being friends though, so there were no hard feelings.

What else went on this weekend you might wonder? Or you might not. But here it is:
*Ari's secret hot cousin
*Watching (& laughing at) drunk girls playing darts
*Ang & Ari not having heat in the guest bedroom the first night
*Puccini's Smiling Teeth- the quaint little Italian restaurant in Chevy Chase for Sat night dinner
*Massive peanut butter desert (compliments of the aforementioned secret hot cousin)
*Drunk christmas caroling (ok, we didn't do this, but Liz wanted to)
*The pink bathroom at Marika's
*Being locked out of the house at 3am.
*Rekindling friendships with old (intoxicated) college friends.
*Eyeball trees.
*I really couldn't find my toothbrush this time!

Is there ever a dull weekend in Lexington? All I will say is that there was no Cider consumed on this trip, and that all parties involved are another year older, wiser, and more mature than last year's infamous tales of woe. This was all around a fun girls weekend, and the wedding countdown (6 months to go!) begins. Now if only we had some Bridesmaids dresses...

Roadtrippin It part 2

This past Sunday I was reminded again about how precious my years of Singledom really are. Me, Bryce, Bethany, and Jessica met up at the Cool Springs Starbucks on Sunday morning and took a road trip down to Montgomery, AL to hear our fellow coworker Erin, perform. She was the featured solist in their holiday pops concert, and so it was a really big deal! It was great to be able to take off for a day and not have anything to hold us back from the 8 hour round trip! The four of us sang along to Michael Buble', NSYNC (Bryce's cds!) and Jess and I had a dance party in the back seat to my Florida 2005 mix (what a great cd mix Em!), prior to singing every Christmas carol we could think of, and switching off singing lead and harmony. We took turns playing the peg game on the table at Cracker Barrel and ate our weight in food (I enjoyed my potatoes and green beans, even though there's apparently a study which says that those foods are now considered bad for you). Bryce tried to convince us he could run 60 miles per hour, and then proceeded to "demonstrate" in the parking lot of the Montgomery Starbucks.

Erin had no idea we were coming, and her face was priceless when she spotted us after the show. That for me, made the entire trip worth it to me! Her family welcomed us into their home for a visit before we had to get back on the road, and they were all so funny and amiable that it was very hard to leave! After the concert Erin's grandmamma hit on Bryce so we were in stitches about that, and Bethany called Erin's brother-in-law Scott when his name was Chris, but he thought it was hilarious, along with the rest of us. MA- Erin's fam has a big Blue Russian cat that looks almost exactly like Jack, but he hissed at me, so I don't think we share the same special relationship that Jack and I do!

I love that I work in a place where I can spend a day laughing with coworkers, and where we support each other in parts of our lives that have nothing to do with the 8-5 day. Some days the work we do can get monotonous, but it's the people I work with, and the people who benefit from the work that I do that keeps me here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

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

Another year almost over, another St. Nicholas Day, and yes, today also marks the beginning December-long celebration at work called Dad Gum It's Christmas!!

I'm heading home after work tonight to have dinner with the family and open our stockings to see what St. Nick brought us. For a detailed explanation, see December 2004's post on the holiday!

I have been listening to Christmas music at work, and I have my cube decorated with lights, a tree, a pink fiber-optic angel, my Kentucky Blue Santa hat, and a stocking hung by the cubicle with care, in hopes that coworkers will bring me presents and treats! (You think that's a bit over-board?) So far I've received several offers for lumps of coal, and 40 cents in my stocking!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Chickens from the South

As we near the end of 2006 it is time to squeeze in one (maybe last) concert review for the year. Friday night several thousand fans put politics aside and showed up to the GEC to hear a trio of women play and sing their hearts out. (Because the only reason anyone listened to what lead singer Natalie Maines had to say a few years back about the president was because of the innovative music that shot the Dixie Chicks to the top of the charts, making them a household name.) And like it or not, the girls are still at the top of their game despite many radio markets refusing to play their records, and many conservative fans boycotting their concerts. Before introducing one of their new songs that came from the Shut Up & Sing movie soundtrack, Natalie quipped, "here's a new one that you haven't heard yet- well of course you haven't heard it on the radio!"

I am admit I am guilty for falling prey to the media influence, and the DC became out of sight out of mind for me the past few years. Friday night rekindled my devotion to the DC, and brought back many happy memories from college as former roommate Stephanie and I sang our hearts out from the audience (The hand motions to Travellin Soldier made up while tailgating for a UK football game would be one of the better memories)! It is refreshing to hear clean, pure harmonies (hey, what a novel idea- singers who can sing!) and even more impressive, to see artists who can actually play several different instruments.

The Tennessean gave them a glowing review, and so do I.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Where in the world is Amanda SanDiego?

She's been enjoying the 70 degree late November weather...
Nothing helps me get in the Christmas spirit better than to drive down the road listening to Christmas music with the windows down! Me and the Roommates are decorating our place for Christmas tonight, putting up the tree, cooking dinner and watching The Office & Gray's Anatomy together. It should be a fun night, and is (correct me if I'm wrong) our first planned event together at the apartment since we moved in 3 months ago (Daaannng Gina, we are busy girls!)

She has been working like a mad woman...
New job responsibilities and a shifting tide in the office environment have forced me to limit the blogging and emailing and focus on (shocker) work. Plus due to the nature of my hectic schedule and the still obstintate laptop & internet, it's been difficult to manage my Domain at nighttime too.

She has enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, full of Family, Food, Football, & Shopping (sory, I couldn't find an F synonym that pleased me!)...
It was a whirlwind weekend- Laura & I drove up to Cannelton last Wednesday night and met mom & dad and The Boys who were already there with my Papa. That night we did kareoke at the Pumper- where else? (Pumper? I don't even KNOW 'er) I sang "When You Say Nothing At All" and "Rocky Top," which both turned out to be real crowd pleasers! Ryan & Matt sang their rendition of "the Wheels on the Short Bus go round and round, all through Bucktown!" And I have plenty of pictures of Jerry dancing to "Go Jerry (Johnny) Go." Eric, I am mentioning you because last time you got mad at me for not posting anything about you!

Thanksgiving we ate so early that I wasn't even hungry yet, so I did what every American did that day- I shoveled the food in anyways! In keeping with last year's TAR tradition, the Publix pilgrim salt & pepper shakers were put in various compromising positions, and every time mom would catch them in the act, she would sit them upright again, only to discover another lewd pose just moments later. My uncle Michael called us in the middle of dinner to announce the big news that they are expecting baby Number 3 (I think Missy is hoping for a little DZ legacy since her other 2 are boys)! This also makes 16 first cousins on that side of the family now!

Friday we got home early and mom, dad, and I boarded one of 5 fan busses to Memphis for the Ravenwood-White Station playoff game. Ravenwood won and will thus be playing for the state title for the second year in a row. "We believe."

Saturday was a disapoining loss by UK to an unimpressive UT football team. We are still waiting to see where Kentucky will play for their bowl game, and hopefully it will be played here in Nashvegas. I got a good start on my Christmas shopping and spent a relaxing evening at home watching a movie and unwinding from the weekend.

She finally got to see the Lion King, thanks to a nice birthday surprise...
I won't bore you with the details of the show- you can read MA and Emo's reviews since they were both enamoured of this play. I will say this- love, love, Loved the costumes, really enjoyed the new music for the score, and hated adult Symba. He wasn't loud enough, he over-enunciated, and came off very effiminate, despite his bulging muscles. He didn't come across at all as a powerful jungle king, but perhaps instead Queen of the Jungle Lounge. I was overall impressed with the magnitude of the show, and the costumes are what make it amazing, with people doubling as animals and dressing up to be part of the set. Ok, I said I wasn't going to bore you with details. I lied.

She has got her Christmas cheer now, and plans on blogging more frequently...
Seriously! Like finishing up LONG overdue blogs about DC, etc, and wishing Happy Birthdays to gal pals Heather, Lisa, & Lana, all who have had birthdays in the past week!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A weekend at the Pidge

"There are 9 of us... that's almost 10!"
"Well, with our big personalities, it's like having an extra person."

Thus the Girls' Second Annual Cabin weekend comes to a close. Me, Mandy, Sarah, Em, Natalie, Rhonda, Mary Anna, Amy, and Lana took off on Friday afternoon/evening (depending on which car you were in) east on I-40 and headed up to the Smoky Mountains for a weekend getaway. Already slightly crowded in the car with 5 of us, and all our stuff, we stopped for groceries and piled them on our laps in the back seat before finally making our way to the quaint "Deer Crossing" cabin.

We handily prepared a simple dinner of spaghetti, salad, and bread, watched MA's friend win a lot of money on Deal Or No Deal, and "chillaxed" in the hot tub before car number 2 rolled in a few hours later. The 9 of us played a fun game of Celebrity Charades, and somewhere around 2am we all finally crashed in our respective sleeping spots. Besides MA & Lana keeping everyone up with their talking and Lady Bug infestation crisis, I think we all slept pretty well. The next morning we cooked breakfast, drove out to Clingman's Dome, and hiked to the highest elevation spot in Tennessee. We were all amazed at the snow covering the shady parts of the mountain side, and Sarah christened her own little spot of yellow snow in the woods before beginning the trek up the mountain! Walking back down the trail, Lana and I decided it would be appropriate to sing "Climb Every Mountain" ... in fact, we pretty much found it appropriate to sing wherever we were- on the porch of restaurants, in the middle of playing board games, in rocking chairs in front of the Applebarn... there was no venue to large, no spot too public for an impromptu sing-along. Luckily Sarah was always there to chime in with her BGV's and sometimes interpretive dance moves.

After hiking, car numero uno- the ones who wanted to head back to the cabin for lunch, hottubbing, and football (yours truly, of course) got about a half mile from the cabin before we came to the stark realization that none of us knew the code to get into our cabin. We frantically dialed the cell phone numbers of the other 4 who were hiking, but to no avail. They obviously would not have their phones with them on a hiking trail! After exploring many options (a broken window split 9 ways would not be that much money), MA called the leasing office as soon as we pulled up the cabin, and luckily they believed us and gave us the code with almost no questions asked. I guess it's a good thing we weren't robbers.

Meanwhile on the trail... the other girls realized mid-hike that we wouldn't be able to get into the cabin so they high-tailed it back tot he car and cut the excursion short as a result. All's well that ends well however. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, and headed into Pigeon Forge that night for dinner at The Old Mill Stream restaurant. The first thing our super-awesome server said to us after we were seated was, "I've had dreams like this!" We giggled appreciatively (not Chortled, mind you.) (PS, we have found a word that Sarah doesn't like that I DO... there are others we discovered as well, but 'twould be wrong to put them here. Perhaps on another site- ThaT AIN'T right for example). Seriously though, we 9 gals can be a lot for one man to handle, and during dinner we wanted for nothing. The food came out quickly, our glasses remained full the entire time, and even splitting the checks was no hassle whatsoever. Server-Boy came up one time as we were discussing the outcome of the Ohio State-Michigan game and as he overheard part of our conversation he exclaimed incredulously, "you watch football too??!!" Apparently guys in Nashville take it for granted that while we are girly girls too, many of us follow sports passionately. Maybe in other places that is not the norm for the female population, but here in the south it seems to be a requisite to watch football, and we're all proud of our heritage.

After dinner was game night back at Deer Crossing, and this morning we created our own worship service in the living room. I joked that this morning we were all going to the "early service" since we had to be up, packed, and ready to start by 8am. On our way out of town we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at where else, the Applebarn, and shopped for a few hours at the outlet mall before finally making our way back to middle Tennessee. Sarah played DJ for us on the way home and led us down a walk down Memory Lane by serving up a smattering of early 90's hits from Mandy's cds, and we amazed ourselves by remembering all the words to TLC, Boys II Men, "Snoopy Dogg Dogg" and many more, singing at the top of our lungs in between laughing at ourselves.

It was every bit the relaxing weekend I had hoped for. Now all I have to do is unpack!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A poet, and I don't know it

A few days ago I received the strangest email:

Dear Amanda

I find your poetry so apt to our everyday life and am a huge fan. Your words express the emotions that we are sometimes so afraid of saying outaloud. I love your work.

Take Care :)

Written from someone who, at first glance, I assumed read my blog, but then I realized he had said "poetry." Well, I thought, I mean I know I'm articulate and witty (and humble!), but I don't know if I would consider my blogs Poetry per say.

THAT'S when it hit me. This stranger had not intended to write an email to Amanda Bradley, the DIVA, Amanda the blogger, or Amanda, the sassy twenty-something. He meant to contact Amanda Bradley, the greeting card writer! We are in fact 2 different Amanda Bradleys who, while both sharing a penchant for writing, live what I guarantee are drastically different lives.

I'm sure the other Amanda Bradley gets emails from my adoring divadomain fans all the time too.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fall is for Football

This weekend was a good weekend for football on many different levels- high school, collegiate, and NFL. Lucy, Let me splain.

Ravenwood High School won their playoff game and are in the process of making a run for their second straight 5A state championship. Mom lives and breathes RHS football so she's pretty pumped. This weekend while I'm off gallivanting in the mountains, Ravenwood will travel to Hunter's Lane to take on the big, bad metro school. Go Raptors (and I don't even know 'er)!!!

On the collegiate level, pigs are flying somewhere because Kentucky is now ranked #2 in the SEC east, ahead of Tennessee. No, you did not misread that. Thanks in part to Kentucky whooping up on Vanderbilt, and UT losing to Arkansas, the unthinkable has happened. Pause for a moment while I grumble about the fact that even though Vanderbilt is a local team, no TV station or local drinking establishment even, was showing the game on TV, so dad and I were relegated to listening to the 2nd half of the game on streaming audio in front of the computer. Fun times. Kentucky is now bowl eligible following this Vandy win, and we have what should be an easy non-conference game this weekend, and then finish out the season with a trip to Knoxvegas in what could be a great game for UK.

Finally, MA & I spent a chilly afternoon cheering the Titans to a one point loss against Steve McNair's Baltimore Ravens. It was a tough defeat since we led the entire game when we were predicted to lose, but all it took was one bad call for our home team to lose momentum, and a blocked field goal was all she wrote. MA and I did enjoy befriending the cutie-patooties near us (it's amazing how a UK hat can spark many a good conversation), and I did have a blast even though we did end up losing the game. A few hours later, I thawed out and my body temperature climbed above 90 degrees.

I would have to say that football is one of Fall's better attributes, though I could do without the brisk air for which Fall is synonymous. (Football in 75 degree weather is ideal for me!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When your world looks kind of weird...

I know, I know... I have let you down. And what's worse, I have let myself down. I'm so ashamed. And it's not been because life has been so completely boring that there's been nothing blogworthy about which to write. Quite the opposite rather- there have been blog ideas- many topics to cover- the DC trip (I promise once blogger co-operates with the uploading of pictures it will happen), the white trash bash, the fall colors, the election, Britney Spears' marriage being done-zo, Faith Hill's so-NOT-kidding expression caught on camera at the CMA's, a birthday (happy 21 to me), and SO much more, all for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling.

Mostly it boils down to me working out in the mornings and thus being dog-tired at night, so the desire to stay up writing is lacking. And at work, it's been busy, and my own Mac continues to be the bane of my existence, and thus, is still not cooperating, making it difficult to use the internet at the Deuce (did we decide on this name for the apartment?) (Am I even There enough to warrant naming it?).

Anywho.... the straw that broke the camel's back today so to speak- the topic that prompted this blog was the most random of them all. I was talking with a co-worker, a Muppet babies reference came up, and suddenly I remembered (and sang) the entire Muppet Babies Theme song! Cody was impressed, as was I! Where did it come from? Isn't it weird to suddenly remember something you'd forgotten? Kind of like those people you run into from high school that you haven't thought about in years, who you forgot even existed or played a part in your life story- and then suddenly you see them and you're taken back to 5th period Algebra II where you admired Brian Hartshorne from afar and how his chiseled jaw line moved expertly up and down whenever he chewed gum, which was often, and you couldn't have agreed more when he was voted Best Looking Senior. Hypothetically speaking of course. I'm JUST sayin...

Don't be disapointed... the rest is coming!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo Humbug!

Despite the negative tone of this title, I am in a fantastic mood this morning. I really think we should do daylight savings once a month or something to ensure that the sun is shining every morning when our alarms go off. I cannot describe the joy in my heart when my clock radio went off at 5:20 this morning and the faintest of sunrays were already beginning to permeate my room! Spinning was amazing this morning- 3 John Mayer songs, and just a good class in general, I'm having a great hair day (Sarah can attest to this), and it's the last day of the month for sales and I am kicking October's behind.

However, my celebration for the magical holiday of Halloween has been somewhat lackluster this year. For the first time in my life since I can remember I didn't carve a pumpkin. I went to Tadd's Halloween party sans costume last night (well, I pretended I was dressed up as a 20-something-singleton, but I don't think anyone bought it), and I didn't have the desire to dress up to work today like some of my zany co-workers. Halloween has seemed to come up short in my book this year, and so as one of my co-workers was agreeing to his shared apathy of the holiday, I said "bah humbug" to him.
"I think that's Christmas," he said.
"Okay," I countered. "Boo humbug."
"That's more like it."

So Boo Humbug to all, and to all a great Halloween. Annoy all your friends today by sending those email fwds that have the 50 pictures of pets dressed up in costumes.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Strange But True

These are all true stories- I can't make this stuff up, people.

Apparently after many laborious hours of research (for some reason I'm wanting to say that phrase with a British accent) some brainiac Scientist has proved that- get this- Vampires are a Mathematical Impossibility! Oh good, now I can rest easy. Cause I've been so worried about that lately, what with all of Vampire movies on tv with Halloween right around the corner! Although I will say that if any of the leading men from Interview With the Vampire wanted to come and bite me, the lady might not protest too much! (Grrrr, baby!) What I really want to know is, who is the wacko that funds this type of "scientific research" and where can I find him or her? I feel I could put his or her money to much better use- not only for my own personal gain (a new car would be fantastic) but also to researching a much more worthy cause like oh, say, a cure for cancer, or better treatment for AIDS- call me Crazy!

Interesting tid-bit number 2 from the real news today (I sort of enjoy the word tidbit- especially like in pineapple tidbits- although you have to get the pineapple in the juice, and not the syrup that they try and trick you with). If you ever watched Veggie Tales as a young adult you might remember the Silly Song Barbara Manatee. This song has become a staple sing-a-long at the Bradley Household- so anything involving manatees is always of interest. It would seem that one of Barbara's relatives has made her way into Memphis via the Mississippi River Poor thing! It's just funny to think that manatees are roaming around Tennessee though.

Finally, while Man Bites Dog always makes for an interesting story, it's equally amusing when dog bites man, if it's the UT mascot Smokey, and his victim is an Alabama football player! Apparently spurring on the long-time rivalry, Smokey snapped at an Alabama player who "unintentionally" stepped on the dog, drawing blood, during the pre-game warm-up! The Vols were of course triumphant.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Thursday. I promise the DC wrap-up is coming. Patience my people- I'm never home long enough to borrow my roommates computer to blog and a post that long would be impossible to compose at work. It's coming though, I promise!

Monday, October 23, 2006

my little GOP

So my sister calls me up yesterday and tells me about a guy she waited on at Bonefish Grill. He is a congressional candidate for California. He's cute she says, AND he doesn't have a wedding ring on. Why he was in Murfreesboro, TN I have no idea, but Laura seemed to think I would be interested in him. Of course my first question was, "is he a republican or a democrat?"

I talked to Laura again today and so while on the phone with her I looked up the candidate online since she knew his name. This is what I saw. He's OLD I said! (38 to be exact!) "What ever made you think I would be interested in him?" (this is of course diregarding the fact that the guy lives in California and I have zero chance of ever bumping into him ever)

Funny enough, the GOP nominee also has a site here on blogger.

10 minutes elapse, and Laura calls me back. After browsing Mr. Hankwitz's site she has found a picture captioned of him and "his partner." "I think he might be gay," Laura said. No wonder he didn't have a wedding ring! Sure enough, I hopped back over to the site and noticed a picture of him and another guy at a "Pride Rally." Nothing against Mr. Hankwitz, and I wish him luck in his congressional race, but isn't it typical that once again I am attempting to date men who only like other men? (I say let's focus on the straight clientel who live in Tennessee the next time they frequent your eating establishment Laura. "Yeaaahhhh... that'd be greaaaaat")

Monday, October 09, 2006

Who will open? Sheryl Mayer and/or John Crow

Okay- time to do your best Louie Armstrong impression: "Whata Wonduhfuhl weekend!"

Friday night me, Rhonda, and Mandy went out to celebrate Mandy's recent promotion (don't I feel like SUCH the grown-up?!) and ate at a yummy mexican restaraunt and then went down to Broadway to the Second Fiddle and then next door to Robert's. The whole downtown area was overrun with U of L fans because they played MTSU that night. I got great pleasure out of doing the C-A-T-S cheer and asking loudly to no one in particular, "How bout those Wildcats?!" It sparked many a conversation!

Saturday- MOVING DAY!!! I have the greatest friends & co-workers in the world. Many of them pitched in without me having to beg too much, some volunteering their time without me ever having asked them to. Getting everything hauled from Chateau Bradley to the new apartment took hardly any time (PS- we need a Name That Apartment contest as we still don't have an official nickname. I like the Penthouse II aka The Deuce. Feel free to post comments with your own ideas.) So now I am officially "moved" even though the place is a wreck and I am seriously in need of some organization bins and baskets to make everything fit in my mousehole-of-a- bedroom.

Saturday night was a wedding for a girl I went to high school with. Held outdoors on the grounds of the Belle Meade Plantation, it was the perfect afternoon for a wedding, and I got to see a lot of old high school friends. The bride's gown was Vera Wang (I'll post pics soon of the whole weekend) and the bridesmaid were in chocolate brown dresses of their own choosing. After the sit down dinner and kareoke-driven reception, oh, and after savoring the best wedding & groom's cake I have ever eaten, all the BHS crew and their respective boyfriends/husbands (along with your truly, flyin' solo) hit up Tootsie's in our wedding garb. For old times sake we also make a 2am visit to the Brentwood Waff!

Sunday night was the highly anticipated John Mayer/Sheryl Crow concert. I have never laughed so hard in all my life for an extended amount of time, and it's a good thing Tadd was with us to keep me chuckling b/c it helped to keep me warm in the chilly October night air. JM opened and it was by far the worst performance of his I've seen. His energy was down, and as a result, so was the crowd's. His vocals were flat, and there weren't many memorable moments from his abbreviated set with the exception of annoucing to the audience that he was playing us a "blues prayer." Wow John. Deep. Sheryl Crow had a ton more energy and even though a third of the crowd left after JM's set, she gave a great performance. Some funny quotes from the evening include:

*I’m all about that
*You still munchin on that?
*Cataract, the feline capital of the Middle East
*Sheryl Crow eats gravel
*Flip that house, cat, etc.
*Prairie doggin'
*Emo Emu
*Lesbian mullets
*I’d like to tap that

I hope to get pictures on here soon, but I couldn't wait any longer to get the weekend review posted.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Playing ketchup

Call me Slacker McSlackerson, but I have really fallen behind on blogging. I guess I've been too busy with my new-found appreciation for Fall to bother with my customary music, movie, and weekend reviews. 90 degree weather in October is my favorite kind of Fall, and I will be enjoying my lunch out-of-doors today I do believe. (ps, not naming names, but I had a friend in college who once quit a job in order "to enjoy the fall.")

There's no way I can keep up with MA's lineup of concerts, but I too was in the big group of friends & acquaintances who went to see Nickel Creek at the Ryman Auditorium back on September 23rd (happy belated b-day FR). I didn't didn't rush to blog about this show because being the ever-harsh critic, I was disappointed with the show and was not transformed into the maniacal fan that I was hoping to become by the end of the evening. Overall Nickel Creek was far more mellow than I had expected them to be. I was hoping for a rollicking evening of foot-stomping bluegrass, but that was just not in the cards. The bright moments of the evening included their opening song (no idea the name of it) that featured tight 3-part harmonies standing around a single microphone, a fantastic rendition of Britney Spears' Toxic, and a movement from a Bach concerto performed as a solo encore on the Amanda Lynn by front man Chris Thile.

Back up several weeks to another show that I failed to document in cyberspace. I was privileged to see Angie Aparo play at 12th & Porter on September 8th. This was a show I have been waiting almost a year to see, since I wasn't able to make his last Nashville show all the way back in May. (Looking back at the way that May night turned out, I would have been better off going to see Angie that night instead of Logan's & Roberts!!) Maury introduced me to Angie's music and I have been a fan ever since. Angie has had most of his industry success as a writer (Faith Hill's Cry, Big & Rich's Big Time, and Cowboy Troy's I Play Chicken with the train to name a few) but it's a shame because he has one of the most intense and unique voices I've ever heard. Short in stature, Angie makes up for it with his big personality and biting sarcasm on stage, keeping the audience laughing in between songs, and possesses the most controlled singing voice I've ever heard. As a singer I stood there in awe of his ability to carry out extremely long phrases and go from loud to soft volumes effortlessly. The other thing I love about Angie's music is that he has something to say in his music. They're not frivolous poppy songs, they're political statements, love epics, and many times controversial. Photo courtesy of Maury's camera phone. The stage was set up like an MTV unplugged stage, and it was a one-man-show that did not fail to disappoint. The man and his guitar know how to rock!

Finally, in the world of movies, I watched the single most bizaare movie I've ever sat through this past week. It's called the Science of Sleep. The only real reason I wanted to see it was because my favorite Mexican actor (doesn't everyone have one of those?) Gael Garcia Bernal was starring in it, so I went into the theater not knowing much more about it. (Good thing too, or else I might not have gone!) The protagonist has trouble discerning dreams from reality, and so as a result, you as the audience do too! Think of it as an Indie "Eternal Sunshine." If I had rented this movie I doubt i would have finished the whole thing, but I'm still strangely glad I saw this film. If you like foreign art films, this bud's for you.

Coming next in the concert review series: John Mayer & Sheryl Crowe this Sunday night at Starwood Ampitheater

Coming next in the weekend reviews: the joys of moving

Friday, September 29, 2006

somethings to smile about

What a difference a day makes! Call it the end of summer blues, or the quarter-life crisis, but those who come in contact with me on a regular basis know I have been pretty “blah” lately. Well I have news (Finn has plans, I have news). This morning I have newly blonde shimmering hair, I took my first ever yoga class, it is a sunny, and-dare I say it- beautiful Fall day (hey, you gotta work with what you’re given… it’s not summer, but a sunny fall day isn’t such a bad thing really) and I am listening to country music at work and wearing my pink cowboy boots... and for the first time in a long time I am happy.

My mood started to shift last night once Derrick took the foils out of my hair and began to dry it. Laura and I went together. She cut off 11 inches to donate to Locks of Love and has a super-cute and sophisticated hairstyle. She looks much more grown up than her big sis, but I’m sorry- I refuse to part with my longish hair right now. With my newly discovered forhead wrinkles, I need all the youthful illusion I can muster!

Need another reason to be giddy? Here's one: raise your hand if you about jumped out of your chair during Grey's Anatomy last night when McSteamy came out of the bathroom?! I cannot TELL you how excited I am that he is back on the show for a stint... really, just how many hot men can you put on one show? Let's continue this experiment- I like this game. I did think the tree going through the kid was a tad far-fetched, and kind of overdone... I mean, wasn't the trainwreck episode more dramatic where the two people were wedged together with a pole running through them? As if the paramedics wouldn't have cut off a branch with protruding limbs and leaves before loading a patient into an ambulence. Dumb, dumb, dumb. But I guess I was too distracted by all of the pretty people to care too much about the weak writing on this particular episode.

It's Friday, I have a great weekend ahead of me and I am one happy camper! Goodbye September!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

say it with me: SKER-mer-horn

Recently I have just undertaken an important new commitment in my life (settle down boys, she's still single). At least, I hope I will look back at this new beginning a long time from now and wonder why I didn't make this part of my post-college life in Nashville sooner.

Monday night was my first official rehearsal with the Nashville Symphony Chorus. It's a group of about 150 singers who come from all over Nashville with all different backgrounds, and come together to perform choral works in support of the Nashville Symphony. As you may or may not know, Nashville finally has joined the ranks of major cities across the world and built their very own Symphony Hall. (Named after famed conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn, who passed away just months before the Schermerhorn Symphony Center was complete.)

I got to see the hall for the first time on Sunday and it is absolutely magnificent. It's something you must see for yourself- the articles and pictures that have been all over the media here recently don't do it justice. I was able to step inside the empty concert hall, and then a few of us walked around the outside of the building, and in the warm sunshine of the picturesque afternoon, my heart swelled with pride at being a Nashvillian in the era that this stately building has been firmly planted in the heart of downtown Nashville.

As a new member of the Nashville Symphony Chorus my first performance will be Handel's Messiah this December. It's standard choral rep for any singer, but not a piece I have ever had the priveledge of singing before. So I get to rehearsal on Monday night in a room full of incredible singers, in front of an amazing conductor, and I feel like a fish out of water! It will take time and practice (hmm, apparently rehearsal is NOT the time to come in and learn your music- that should have been done ahead of time!) but I know I will land on my feet eventually and be just fine. A rehearsal environment like that breathes life into my weary soul. I have so missed that kind of intense musicianship and performance level. Through this ensemble I hope to get my voice back into shape, meet some new friends (hey, there were some pretty cute guys in there!), and broaden my mission field- more on that later.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

r.i.p to my favorite season

Don your black sweaters today as we officially mourn the loss of a dear, dear friend. Early this morning at 12 am, Summer 2006 officially passed on. Summer was a wonderful season who brought out bronzer and suntans in the best of us. Summer beckoned us with her warm rays of sunshine and invited us into sparkling pools. She was complimented best with fireworks, bathing suits, iced tea, fresh homegrown tomatoes, ice cream, and watermelon, and celebrated many holidays with us such as Labor Day and Independence Day. Summer is survived by its cooler family member, Autumn. Rest in peace summer. We shall miss you.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the start of another Greyt Season

They say there's always a right and wrong choice to make. Things are always Black or White. But what about those in-between times? What about the Greys? I myself prefer the Greys and the anatomy of them. That's right people. Grey's Anatomy Season 3 kicks off on abc tonight. Please ignore my awful jokes in lieu of being excited about this tv show tonight. Don't watch it? You should! What could be better than hot doctors and love triangles? Seriously- every person on this show is beautiful. Even the janitors are pretty. And that's what life is all about right? Being pretty and having romantic relationships. Oh- and let's not forget a disposable income, hence the medical professions.

Very little real medical science is applied or even has much to do with any real plot lines on this show. We watch for the juicy gossip and maybe even a small percentage to hear the up-and-coming music they will cross-market and include in the episodes. (I mean seriously- who can't hear the Fray's How to Save a Life or Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars without associating them with Grey's Anatomy?!)

Tune in to your televisions tonight. I'll be tivo-ing it to watch later on. Sorry I have to miss the big Premier (jewelry) party, Laney- we'll talk tomorrow.

Now you have homework. After watching the show tonight I want to hear the opinions of you the reader- which hot MD should Meredith choose? McDreamy or McVet? (Personally I'm ready for them to bring back McSteamy for an episode or two, but he's not one of the choices here)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Shiver me timbers!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Of all the useless holidays, methinks this may be the most fun one in all the land and seas. Be ye a wee young lass or a lad who’s been ‘round the seven seas on more than one occasion, this holiday is treasure-chest loads of fun for all!

First things first: click HERE to generate your Pirate Name. Just call me Rough-Sailin Hillary for the rest of the day.

Next: Perfect your Pirate vocabulary by throwing in an "Ahoy" or "Avast" wherever appropriate, and for extra measure, a good "ARRRR" every now and then will seal the deal. An eye patch and a parrot never hurt either. Go to This Website for a list of Piratical phrases and even, oh yes, the Top 10 pirate pick-up lines.
Arr, Mateys. Methinks I might be humming "I am a Pirate King for the rest of the day!"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

a bit of randomness for the afternoon

He's baaaa-ack!! According to the weather man this morning, El Nino is back to wreack havoc on our weather patterns. Which as you all know, is Spanish for "The Nino." (Anyone know how to do the tilda on blogger?) Guess this little annoying weather pattern is responsible for this yucky fall-like day here in Middle Tennessee. Many of you know my feelings are less-than-fond for the fall, so I'm siting at my desk here today lamenting the end of summer. I am excited, however, at my impending transition from a caterpillar to a butterfly with Derelicte tonight! It has been far too long- just call me Kunta-Kinte, cause I've got Roots!

On a totally unrelated strand (pun intended) I purchased the new John Mayer album Continuum last night and I cannot stop raving about it. (Well, I could, but why would I want to?) If you're a fan of his, you'll love it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Still Ridin Dirty

Why can we not escape this song? Correct if I am wrong (and I almost never am) but I do believe that Ridin Dirty just may be the most blogged about song in all of history among our friends here. Allow me to share just one more story about Chamillionaire’s great Hip-Hop anthem.

A friend of mine had a little run in with the Spring Hill cops- nothing major, but I did get his permission to share this story with y’all. As my friend is standing around chatting with the 2 Spring Hill cops, trying to make small talk, my friend says to cop #1, so, how do you like the hours of your job, or something random like that.

Just then, cop # 2’s cell phone rings. And you’ll never guess what his ring tone was? Oh, you all are too smart- of course you have guessed by now that cop #2’s ring tone was Ridin Dirty. (note: According to Wikipedia, this song is the highest selling ring tone of all-time)

My friend said he couldn’t help but laugh at loud at the irony of a cop using this particular song as a ring tone. (Perhaps policemen everywhere are using this song as their ring tones, hence the high number of downloads for this particular tune?) Cop #1 reprimanded the other cop for having his phone on while they were on a call (pun not intended). Apparently my friend has put the two men of service at ease because then cop #1 shares that he wanted to use the Bad Boys song as his ring tone but that he couldn’t find it to download. Ahh, only in Spring Hill my friends.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

I can't believe that it's been five years since 9-11. This event changed the world as we know it, and continues to affect us as our country continues to fight in the middle east, new security measures are constantly being put in place for our protection, and rebuilding has begun on the World Trade Center.

I can remember the events of that morning so clearly. It was my junior year in college, and I was living in the sorority house at the time. I was drying my hair in the bathroom that Tuesday morning when Sarah Hopkins came in and told me and one other girl that she'd just heard that a plane hit the World Trade Center. We laughed it off, not knowing how serious it was, and thinking, how do you not see the WTC? By the time I reached my 9:30 am Psychology class rumors had begun to spread and we discussed the events before our lecture began. Someone raised their hand and said that terrorism was suspected. We settled down, still not comprehending everything and class went on as usual.

By the time I got to my 11 oclock COM 252 class everyone was in shock. Rumors had spread across campus and we were able to pull up a few websites and see some images of the towers on fire and falling, and other students who knew what was going on shared with the rest of us what they knew. We talked as a class and pretty soon, we couldn't get any websites to pull up the internet was so clogged with others doing the same thing that we were doing.

Class let out early so I walked back to the DZ house, calling both of my parents on my cell phone. It was such a beatiful and warm sunny day that it felt surreal for such a terrible thing to have happened. No one quite knew what to do with themselves, so we all crowded into one of the larger bedrooms in the house and watched the news together.

9-11 was a unique part of my college experience. Over the next several days we tried to overcome feelings of helplessness by tying yellow ribbons on campus trees, attending candlelight prayer vigils, and doing what sorority girls do best- making banners to hang from our balconies. I also got to sing with the Chorale on that Friday morning National Day of Prayer service held on campus, thankful that I was able to DO something useful and sing to comfort others.

So where were you 5 years ago today? Feel free to post comments and share your stories, or just take some time to reflect on how much has changed since then.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"I wanna quit the gym!!!"

Day 4 of the Darcy Plan, and Lana, Sarah, and I are going strong. I couldn't help but giggle this morning as I remembered a Friends episode where Chandler wants to cancel his gym membership. His catch phrase is a panicked, "I wanna quit the gym!" Here ya go, for your recollection enjoyment:

Monica: (Picking up a card from Chandler`s wallet.) My God! Is this a gym card?

Chandler: Oh yeah, gym member. I try to go four times a week, but I`ve missed the last 1200 times.

Ross: So why don`t you quit?

Chandler: You don`t think I`ve tried? You think I like having 50 dollars taken out of my bank account every month? No, they make you go all the way down there! Then they use all of these phrases and peppiness to try and confuse you! Then they bring out Maria.

Ross: Who is Maria?

Chandler: Oh Maria. You can`t say no to her, she`s like this lycra spandex covered gym treat.

Ross: You need me to go down there with you and hold your hand?

Chandler: No!

Ross: So you`re strong enough to face her on your own?

Chandler: Oh no, you`ll have to come.

[Scene: Chandler`s gym, He and Ross are there to cancel his membership.]

Ross: Whoa-whoa-whoa, hey! Now remember what we talked about, you gotta be strong.

Chandler: Yes. (In a stronger voice) Yes!

Ross: One more time, "Hey, don`t you want a washboard stomach and rock hard pecs?"

Chandler: No! I want a flabby gut and saggy man breasts!

Ross: Good! That`s good!

Chandler: Okay. (They go inside) (To the guy at the desk) I wanna quit the gym.

Gym Employee: You wanna quit?

Chandler: I wanna quit the gym.

Gym Employee: You do realize that you won`t have access to our new full service Swedish spa.

Chandler: (He turns to Ross and Ross makes a "Be strong" sound.) I wanna quit the gym.

Gym Employee: Okay, Dave in the membership office, handles quitters.

Remembering this episode this morning and recounting the story to Lana while we walked to the locker room with hot coffee in our hands was apparently too much to ask. We both spilled scalding coffee on ourselves in the process of laughing. Hmm. Must remember to handle one thing at a time. Spinning? Check. Coffee? Check. Walking and talking? Not so much. Oh well- guess I have my trusty gym membership to assist in my eye and hand coordination technique.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the anti-laborious weekend

This weekend was a long one- and by long I mean both in reference to the extra day off we had for Labor Day but also long in that not much happened and it was relaxed and lazy. I spent most of the weekend in bed reading or sleeping thanks to my seasonal allergies (or was it the air quality, MA?), so thank you, Tennessee for that. You know me, I had plans out the wazoo but canceled many of them in order to rest up and listen to my body for a change instead of needlessly running myself ragged.

Some highlights of the weekend included:

*Going to the Ravenwood-Franklin football game Friday night- my first football game of the season, and I met a really sweet lady who sat next to me. She goes to Brentwood Baptist, and when she remarked that she didn’t know the song the marching band was playing at halftime, I told her it was Brad Paisley’s newest song since she goes to BBC and she had told me she’d never heard of Brad Paisley before he sang at church the Sunday before. Ravenwood lost. Boo.

*Finally watching The Graduate to see what all the fuss was about

*Laying out at the Aspen Grove (aka @ss grabber’s) pool with the gals

*UT winning their first game

*Kentucky losing their first game

*The wine & cheese party/ movie night at Lana’s. What could be better than some 2 buck Chuck, really “gouda” cheese, and swooning over Mr. Darcy?

*Speaking of Darcy, FR Natalie has invited us to be a part of her and Emily’s new workout and eating regiment- The Darcy Plan. This started yesterday for Sarah, Lana, and me.

*Joining the Y- pretty soon I’ll be fit as a fiddle. I don’t really know what this expression means, but I’m sure anyone with some free time on their hands and a hankering for useless knowledge could google this and share with the rest of us.

Happy Tuesday, Kids!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Free Derek Webb

Hey Hey all you Cool Kids. Today is the day you can download Derek Webb's album Mockingbird for free. Don't know who Derek Webb is? Download his album risk-free and give him a try! Just click the bright pink link above and you'll be a fan in no time.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

celebrity sighting

We all know I'm about as observant as a fishmonger- hmm- that reference doesn't quite work here does it? Well, okay- I'm not observant At ALL. While at UK I used to moan and gripe about how I'd never spot basketball players on campus. Other people would see them all the time and somehow I never would. Then one day while walking through the student center with a friend of mine she exclaimed, "hey, there went Jules Camara!" "Where?!" I hollared. "He just walked by us." The friend said. So I quickly spun around. How I managed to miss a 6'7" black guy in Blue UK warm-ups I'll never know!

All that to say, I think I am the only one who hasn't spotted Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban out and about in Nashville. It could very well be because I am oblivious and have missed a chance siting, however, last night the celebrity came to me. Are you ready for this? Eric Heatherly hit on me at Tootsie's. Not impressed? Yeah. Neither was I.

Here I was minding my own business, sitting next to Ari on a bar stool while Bart and his Devil Dogs laughed and reminisced, and Eric and his entourage of guys crowd up next to me at the bar. They are being obnoxious, and so when one of his friends yells to me, don't you know who that is? "That's Eric Heatherly- he had a number one hit!" My reply was, "yeah, I know who he is, and his one number one song was a remake of somebody else's song." Really, I'm not a total "Bench," but when a group of guys come over and invade my space and then expect me to be impressed with some B-list celebrity I'm not going to fall all over him! My favorite exchange with Eric was after he asked me where I was from. Nashville, I replied. "Well why are you sitting here like a tourist then?" Eyeing his long wavy hair, soul patch, necklace, and open collared print shirt, I replied without missing a beat, "well why do you look like you're on That 70's Show?" Soon thereafter I moved over to one of Bart's friends to get away from our wallflower while he pleaded with his eyes for me to rescue him from a creepy guy who looked suspciciously like a blond version of that guy in Happy Gilmore that wore the shirt Guns Don't Kill People. I Kill People. The kicker: Eric was drinking a Smirnoff Ice! What respectable guy drinks that?? (Ari had to point out to me what he was drinking- I never would have noticed a detail like this!)

Monday, August 28, 2006

I can see clearly now the frames are on

We're reading a book in my small group called Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. I highly recommend it for any women out there seeking to find contentment in life from a Biblical standpoint. This week's chapter was entitled "A Faulty Focus." The author uses the example of her poor eyesight and how after having eye surgery she was able to focus and see more clearly; she was given a new vision. The chapter is about identifying your life purpose- what are living for, how do you ideally want to be living, and how are you going to get there?

Well the eyesight analogy really hit home for me. Most of you all know that I wear glasses. I've tried wearing contacts several times in my life, and for whatever reason, they don't work for me, so I'm supposed to wear my glasses all the time. However, I spend much of my day pulling them on and off my face because I hate to wear them. I hate how I look in them, I hate how I think I appear to others, and I hate being able to "see" their outline in my line of vision. So for most of my day I choose not to wear them, and as a result there are a lot of things I miss out on because I have chosen not to see them clearly with my glasses on.

All that is to say that the first thing in knowing what we want our focus to be (Christ), is that we have to want to change our curent focus (the world). We have to recognize that we're seeing things out of focus and take active steps to change that. Sometimes we know what that focus needs to be, and we even know how we need to get there, but we just choose to continue to see things blurry.

For me, that means that I know that it's dumb to not wear my glasses- I know that my reasons for not wanting to wear them should not outweigh my desire to be able to see things clearly around me. For some of us that means knowing what we were created to do, but not doing it. It can mean knowing how we are to live our lives as Believers but choosing to live under the blurry guidelines that the world has set in front of us instead.

Aside from challenging me to get over my disdain for my own spectacles, this chapter really challenged me to refocus my own life. What was I created to do, and how am I achieving that? Where do I see myself in 10 years at age 35, and where do I see myself at 80, and what do I need to change in my life now in order to get there? It was a good exercise for me to sit down and put these aspirations on paper and share them with my small group to hold me accountable.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Family Tradition

Another weekend well spent in Bucktown, aka Cannelton, IN- the town where my mom’s family still resides. We went up there to help celebrate my aunt Lisa and Uncle jerry’s 30th wedding anniversary. After a frustrating slow Friday at work, Laura and I took off up I-65 with Caramel Light frappucnos in hand and a random mix of cds and songs on our ipods for our listening enjoyment. Mom and dad didn’t come up until the next morning because they had to stay in Brentwood and cheer on the 2005 State Football champ Ravenwood Raptors on to a 36-35 loss to BA on Friday night for the school’s home opener. It was the first time in my 25 years that I have been at my grandparent’s house without either of my parents there with me.

After visiting with Papa for a while and watching baseball on TV with him, Laura and I drove up to one of the plethora of watering holes located in this tiny town and met Lisa & Jerry, and cousin Ryan and his girlfriend Robin. Let’s just say that people don’t go to this particular bar for their drinks. I sipped on a whiskey sour for most of the night that if I didn’t know better would swear was made with straight sour mix and no whiskey, and it took Laura 4 times before she got a drink she could manage to stomach (the first she sent back because it had a gnat floating in it, the next she sipped, but ordered a third drink before she was done with that one because it was made with sour mix instead of tonic water, the third drink was made with flat tonic water, and finally, on her 4th attempt at ordering a beverage, she got a vodka and 7-up that was pretty much impossible to screw up, but by this time we were all ready to go home.)

Saturday was the big party day, so Laura, Robin, and I spent the first part of our day decorating the American Legion building down by the river in Cannelton for that night’s town shindig. It really was a town affair as well over a hundred people showed up to celebrate with Lisa & Jerry, eat mass amounts of fried chicken, sing karaoke, and drink 4 kegs of beer (that were floated before 11pm) plus several more cases of iced down canned beer, As Lisa so aptly put it, in the middle of a classic family karaoke rendition of Hank Williams Jr.’s Family Tradition, “The family that drinks together stays together.” If that is true, then our family will be staying together for a Long time!

Humorous Anecdotes of the evening include, but are not limited to:

*an old high school friend of one of my uncles confessed to him that he is in the Louisville mafia, and that he should “let him know if he ever needed anything taken care of”

*A 20-year-old kid proposing to my sister because he found out that she could cook And clean. After telling her that he would work, she said, “yes, but will you work Hard?”

*”She’s not MY Vina, she’s not YOUR Vina, she’s ARvina!”

*Robin, Laura, & I singing Baby Got Back without the words on the screen due to a faulty karaoke cd

*Watching mom and uncle Michael do the chicken dance

*Mom & Aunt Missy’s rendition of Goodbye Earl, but changing the name to Goodbye Mike, since they’re both married to Mikes

*My cousin Chris jumping out from behind a tree in an attempt to scare his brother, but finding out quickly that it was his next-door neighbor that he had never before met… so Chris made pleasantries and ended up giving the neighbor the entire bag of leftover fried chicken.

(A quick shout-out to all the family members who fit into the Silent Lurker category of reading the blog but are never brave enough to post comments!)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Not Fair

Where have all the rednecks gone? Guess they don't go the Wilson County Fair on a Thursday night- it must be too far to drive from out in the country on a week night. Not too far for us though! The 8 of us- Emily, Natalie, Mary Anna, Sarah, Lisa, Mandy, Lana, and me met up after work tonight and drove out to the legendary Wilson County Fair. After posing for the perfect photo op in front of a display with several bales of hay (hey, that's what gaggles of girls do!) we entered into the fairgrounds.
First stop was checking out several of the animals on display. We saw mini-mules, cows, Buddy the ice cream churning horse, Llamas, and Alpacas. After snapping several pictures and saying "Tina, eat your FOOD" about a million times, we proceeded on our quest to find the pig races before it got dark. After hiking all the way across the fairgrounds, our mouths watering at the aroma of fried food at every turn, we found the races in time to see goats, pigs, ducks, and the grand finale- the Vietnamese pot belly pigs race. Natalie was crowned "Pig Queen" of the last race because pig #6, the pig she was selected out of the crowd to root for, won the race. She got a blue ribbon and everything! (Way to go, FR!) That'll do Pig Queen, that'll do.

Next stop: dinner. We fared well; we saw the Taco in a Bag stand again this year, but decided on other delectable delights for dinner. Some got corndogs, others got hamburgers. I opted for the regular hotdog and a big glass of sweet tea. I did manage to refrain from getting the french fries since I knew I would want something sweet later on in the evening. We scarfed down our fair food and it was off to the rides. I will skip to the next important part of the evening- snack time. Sure, the rides were fun- some were disappointing (Hello, can we say Tilt-a-whirl? Sucky music and no spinning!) but we all know that the whole reason people go to fairs are to eat fair food!

I was on a mission to find the one booth with the fried Oreos that we had passed earlier on in the night, which sounded like maybe one of the best food creations ever invented. I could have just gotten a funnel cake, but seeing the Oreos, I was intrigued, and no other food could satisfy this craving. I found the booth and stood in line, getting all the way up to the front, when I saw a sign that said Fried Oreos: 6 for $5. Well I didn't want 6 Oreos, and I certainly didn't want to pay $5 for them either, so I made the girl at the counter an offer.
"Do you have to get 6?" I asked her. "I only want 2. Can I just pay you 2 or 3 dollars for them?"
You'd have thought I just asked the girl what the square root of 47 was as she gave me this blank stare and then panicked. I had interrupted their perfect system apparently. So she turned to ask another lady in the booth with her-
"this girl only wants 2 fried oreos. Can we do that?"
The other lady looks in my direction, and says
"no, you have to get 6."
So I stared back at her and stood my ground.
"But I don't want 6 cookies I told her. I only want 2. Either you can make $3 or you can make nothing."
She, being a very bad business woman, and a champion for the growing obesity problem in America, also stood her ground, and she made nothing from me this night. I was both aggravated and pleased at this result- aggravated because I marched away empty-handed and still craving those dadgum fried Oreos, but pleased because I had made my point and stood up for what I believed. (Seriously though- who in their right mind needs to eat 6 fried Oreo cookies anyways?)

Nothing else was going to satiate my craving for a fried Oreo, so I bought the first sweet thing I came to as I stomped away- a caramel and peanut coated candy apple. It was only fairly satisfying. So then I bought a cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade to wash down the caramel, all the while thinking about that Oreo. (Man... even now as miserably full as I am, that fried desert still sounds wonderful!) We started to make our way towards the exit of the fair when our curiosity is piqued by a booth selling cheesecake, some dipped in chocolate. A lady tells us this woman's cheesecake has won the prize 3 years in a row now, as we marvel over the sweets, and a man standing in line to purchase his own slice of heaven gushes over the desert he has yet to buy and says it's the best cheesecake you'll ever have, and that he comes back every year to the fair to get some. My sweet tooth is still unsatisfied after not getting that Oreo, and I am an easy sell at this point, so I buy a slice of turtle cheesecake. The man and woman are right- it is pretty amazing. But it is so rich that I cannot even finish one slice even with Lisa helping me eat it. I regret ever buying it as I tossed almost half of it away in a trash can just as we are about to walk out of the fair, and am still fairly annoyed at the unfair fried oreo lady.

Oh well. You know what they say. Life's not a fair.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Looks & Lulls

Disclaimer: names have been left out to protect the innocent

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine recently. She was asked out on a date by a guy she was not particuarly "into," Or okay- not at ALL into. But the asking out came so out of the blue that this girl did not have time to think things through before she blurted out a "sure, that would be fun," or something along those lines, and regret immediately set in. This friend knew that she was not attracted to the asker-outer, and had about as much in common with the guy as I would with a fishmonger.

The friend is expressing grief to our mutual friend Lana over the situation, as she knows for sure that this guy is not at all her type. "There were all these lulls in the conversation too," she says, "where he just kept standing there, so I kept rambling because I didn't know what else to do!"
"There you go," says Lana matter-of-factly. "Looks and Lulls- those are 2 good reasons to not go out with him."

I thought this was too funny- and too true. One of these hindrances by itself is something one can overcome when initially deciding whether or not to date someone, but the two together are too much. Guess our fishmonger has 2 strikes against him!

Round Here, we don't play our hits

This summer has been quite the season of concert-going for yours truly. Life is dull right now otherwise- I have to have Something to write about I suppose, so I continue to make the sacrifice of time and financial resources in order to have interesting blogging material. Are you appreciating this?

Monday night's latest musical venture was the Goo Goo Dolls/ Counting Crows show at Starwood. This was one of the shows that I was able to get $10 lawn seats for, so even though I would probably not go see either of these bands if they played by themselves or with a lesser-known opening act, together, they were quite the bargain billing. MA, Mason, Maury, and I got cozy on Clifford the Big Red Blanket and enjoyed the warm August evening while we waited for the show to begin. Rhonda and Joe came walking up to where we were and plopped down and announced that they had gotten bumped from their 5th row seat tickets that Joe had scored from a friend in "the biz" (PS- everyone in Nashville is either in The Biz, pretends to be in The Biz, or knows someone who is in the Biz). We start to make fun of them and are pleased at the thought of having 2 more friends to join us on our spot on the blanket. Not so fast. They then inform us that they have actually been upgraded to the 2nd row. Then after our good natured whining about how unfair that is, Joe makes a quick phone call and suddenly he is in posession once again of the 2 5th row seats and lo and behold, MA and I find ourselves standing face to face with the 2 bands for the rest of the evening! We felt bad about leaving the 2 guys in the lawn to fend for themselves, but come on, when presented with front row seats (we worked our way to a spot in the very front), what's a gal to do?

MA and I rocked out right next to the stage with Rhonda and Joe who also made their way up there and we even made it onto the Jumbo Tron several times, each time, receiving text messages from various friends in the crowd with phrases like "u were on the big screen" and "I just saw you." Yeah, we pretty much felt like rockstars ourselves and were the envy of all our friends and aquaintences who saw us up there.

The Goo Goo Dolls opened and I can't say it was an earth-shattering performance. They played all of their hits and did a pretty good job of keeping the crowd involved. My biggest complaint would be letting their creepy dread-locked bassist singing 2 songs. He sang one that said something about "your mom called" in the chorus, to which I shouted above the music to MA, "yeah, your mom called. She said to stop singing." Unfortunately, creepy bassist could not hear me over the awful screeching he was doing. The sound wasn't great for the band, but it was a descent set.

My whole reason for wanting to go though was for the Counting Crows. They have really grown on me the past year or two since I got their greatest hits cd, Films About Ghosts. Unfortunately for the casual fan like me, they didn't play a lot of their well-known hits. For the fanatic fan, they got to hear some unusual musical offerings, but for the rest of us, we left unsatisfied and a little bored at times. There's only so many times Adam Duritz can jump onto the monitors and I get excited. The whole mood onstage for them was mellow, and while Adam's vocals were clear as ever, the short set and the previously mentioned absense of crowd favorite renditions left me leaving Starwood a bit disapointed.

Bummer that I'm going to have to miss the (i Heart) Dave Barnes & Andy Davis show this Saturday in Nashvegas, but I'll be kareoking it up in Bucktown this weekend, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to share.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Real World: BBC Singles Retreat '06

This is a true story ("truuuuueeee storrryyyy") of seven girls picked to stay in a room and share one bathroom for the weekend and have their lives invaded, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. The Real World: BBC Singles Retreat '06.

Friday afternoon Mandy, Rhonda, Joe, Mary Anna, and me piled into a car and headed up to Camp Jonathan Creek near Lake Barkley in Kentucky. Traffic was light and we made good time, arriving after dark prior to stopping for a satisfying dinner at a local neighborhood Sonic somewhere between Nashville and our destination. We ladies hauled our bags from the car and into the girls dorm and checked the schedule of events posted on the doors, and of course, the all-important rooming list. I was shocked and appalled to discover that we were arranged in rooms of 7, with one bathroom per 7 people. This was unacceptable, and I lamented this to my fellow passengers who were also quick to discover the bunking situation we had on our hands. There were extra rooms not being used by our group, so the nice people of the facility had conveniently locked those doors for us so that we couldn't get in there to use the extra bathrooms. This was only a slight deterrent, as we simply attempted to pick the locks on the doors with bobby pins and credit cards. I say attempt because our endeavors were not successfull. After getting Aaron, our singles minister, to ask the people there at the facility if it would be possible to unlock the extra rooms, and essentially being told that no, we could not use the extra rooms, we made do with the less than ideal circumstances. Anyone can rough it for 2 days I suppose.

The retreat was a great way to meet a ton of people, and Aaron's talks were very relevant to life right now- well, his second and third talks were- I slept through the first session- I was just so tired that my body needed sleep more than it needed to learn a new spiritual truth I suppose. The team building activities we did split up in groups of 3 were really good, although I am still sore from balancing on that ropes course for 30 minutes! One exercise we were partnered up and took turns being blindfolded and led through the woods on a path while our partner told us which way to go without touching or talking. I was partnered with Chris Choate- a guy I lovingly call my little brother even though he is actually older than I am. Needless to say, I did not exactly trust Chris to lead me with a blindfold on, and I was relieved when the tables were turned and I got to lead him. It was fun walking backwards in front of him and snapping my fingers so that he could hear which direction to go- so much fun in fact that I decided to lead him around in circles in a nearby field while everyone else watched and laughed from a distance!

That afternoon we soaked up the sun while playing volleyball in the shallow pool, and had a cookout that night with the classic cafeteria-style soy hamburgers under the pavillion. There were several of the girls in my small group that went on the retreat so we enlisted Photo Joe to take pictures for us. As it turned out, we were wearing rainbow colored shirts so the pics came out great- I'll post those here whenever MA sends them b/c they were taken on her camera.

After another powerful session of praise & worship and a lesson on discipleship by Aaron, we engaged in a massive catch phrase tournament, and afterwards had a not-so-silent war about the volume level of the TV between those of us playing 90s Trivial Pursuit and those attempting to watch a movie. Can't we all just get along you might ask? No. No we cannot. Not when there are 65 people crammed into a small space and there's nowhere else to go. It was nothing dramatic, but I was definitely ready to be home sleeping in my own bed!

All in all, it was a great weekend away- great fellowship, lots of laugher, and it made me appreciate good food, good mattresses, and my own private bathroom!

Friday, August 18, 2006

dmb, circa 2006

This year I swore it would be my last Dave Matthews concert. I’m going on 10 years of listening to their music, I’ve lost count of how many of his shows I’ve been to, and my interest in them is waning- or so I thought. Not so. While DMB may not be all over the radio anymore (when were they ever?), and are no longer the trendy “it” band that everyone is into (Coldplay has that honor now, I believe) It turns out that Dave Matthews just might be the Kiss, Greatful Dead, or Phish of my generation. We just can’t get enough DMB. He’s so much better live than his cds do him justice, and I know people who have seen way more of his shows than I have, and they continue to travel in droves to see him play the famous venues across America.

Lisa, Lana, Keeli, and myself hopped into Thomas the Avenger on Wednesday night and made our way out to Shady-och and the Starwood Ampitheater in just enough time to miss all of the opener (Pat Green- not mourning the loss on this one) but find a group of Lisa’s college friends in the top center of the hill, and claim our spot before the lights went down, and Dave entertained us for a few hours. Who knows what he said in his typical mumbling in between songs- we were too far back on the lawn to ascertain clearly. We were however, in a great spot to get a contact high from all of the weed being smoked in any direction you turned! There’s something great about the concert culture that allows people from all walks of life to become collective friends for a night as we share a passion for our band of choice. It helps too when there’s that UK connection that makes the bond even stronger! Example- we met a starwood parking attendant in the lot who was from Paducha, KY and a UK fan, one of Lisa’s friends was a UK fan from Mayfield, KY, and a guy from Lousiville that had been a Delt at UK offered us Doritos from his bag while we waited in a long line of traffic to get out of the concert venue!

Dave did not disappoint, doing an even blend of new, unreleased songs, old stuff, and songs from his latest album.

The Setlist:
Don't Drink the Water
Hunger for the Great Light
When the World Ends
The Idea Of You
You Might Die Trying
So Much To Say
Anyone Seen the Bridge?
Too Much
Where Are You Going
Dancing Nancies
Can't Stop
Louisiana Bayou
Ants Marching

And what outing would be complete without a Lana-ism? While attempting to do the sarah Scott W-O-W with her mouth and fingers, Lana accidentally spelled out V-O-V instead. Just a few fingers short. Wow... we only laughed at her a little.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Curse upon you, Comcast!

I bet many of you are getting agitated at looking at last Wednesday's blog- I know- a whole week has gone by, and no new blog from yours truly. Like any good person that always has an excuse for everything, I'm going to point the finger of blame at someone other than myself.

Sure, it's been busy at work, and sure, there have been plenty of little snippets of life that could very well be turned into hilarious diatribes, but it's all Comcast Cable's fault that I can't document these moments for your reading enjoyment. See, here's the deal: I sit at a computer all day at work. 8 hours of staring at a tiny monitor and doing permanent eye damage to myself all to make a buck or two. So then I come at the end of the work day and the last thing I want to do is stare at a computer screen. ha ha of course we all know that is not true, because the Last thing I want to do usually is to go running, but I've been making myself go- or at least being guilt-tripped into going from my friend's husband a few hundred miles away over the phone. Seriously- that happened yesterday. The other thing that qualifies as the last thing I would want to do is going to the grocery store. Saying that the last thing I would want to do when I come home from work is to be on the computer would be like saying that I also would not be up for talking on the phone any more after spending my work day talking to people all day long, and we all know that couldn't be farther from the truth!

Back to the Evil Comcast Empire. They suck. I am tired of fighting with them, but my laptop that I keep up in my room hasn't been connected to the internet lately. There are glimmers of hope when it will work for a mere 5 minutes before losing connection again, but that's not going to cut it. Our desktop which is in the basement IS connected to the internet, no problem, so I know if I call our dear friends at the Monopoly of Cable Headquarters, they will tell me that's not their problem that the wireless router isn't working anymore. I know better though. Because the last time those Comcast Cronies were at the house they let me in on a little secret in the internet empire: as they add more and more customers in the area, the cable signal gets weaker and weaker. They wouldn't promise me that day that the signal would be strong enough for the wireless router to send the internet signal up 2 stories. But I didn't argue with them that day because I checked it and it worked. I was happily online. But now the tides have turned and I have a feeling I know who's to blame for it. George W. Bush. No, of course I am kidding, he is only to blame for the war (Ted Kennedy, anyone?). The real enemy here is the Comcast Cable Corporation. Their weakened signal has prevented me from blogging, researching used cars to buy, and horror of all horrors- checking MySpace!

Let's all take a moment to lament the loss that affects us all. No blogging and no MySpace- what is the world coming to? I'm thinking of reverting to DSL and joining the Slowskys in their internet endeavor. Also, just to make sure you are reading, I intentionally used the word "farther" up above instead of the grammatically correct "further." Just keeping you on your toes. Sorry for the lack of blogging. I miss it as much as you do. We're all in this together!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

If you can't laugh at yourself

... then laugh at someone else!

It has come to my attention as of late that my life is in this boring funk, and I don't have any humorous anecdotes of which to turn into funny blogs. Is it that my life has become one dull humdrum routine? Quite the contrary- life never seems to slow down, and my friends and I are constantly planning unique outings that make me glad to be in my 20s- drive in movies, after work happy hours, and concerts galore. But somehow these events come and go without me finding much to drag out into a verbose story of hilarity. So it's high time we laugh again here at the Divadomain, and if we can't laugh at my stupidity and circumstances, then we'll laugh at someone else's!

Anecdote #1... my aunt is hard of hearing, so lately she has gotten into the habit of watching movies with the closed captioning on, and just reading the subtitles instead of trying to strain to hear the dialogue. Last week my cousin had had all she could take, and she walked into the room where her mom (my aunt) was watching the movie. "Mom," she said, "why are you listening to that movie in Spanish?!" Apparently in turning on the english subtitles, my aunt had also accidentally set the dialogue to play in Espanol, and because she wasn't paying attention to the sound, she was hearing the movie in one language, and reading it in another!

Anecdote #2...I received an email from a good friend of mine this morning that was sent to her by a mutual good friend (the names of the guilty are being left out to protect their stupidity) "I just wanted to give you the word of the day," our friend wrote. "The word of the day is 'schmuck.' A 'schmuck' is someone who thinks that one of their best friend's birthdays is on August 22 instead of August 2."

Apparently, I got blamed for this friend missing the birthday because I didn't call to remind her. What's even funnier is that on the 2nd, I said to my friend, Has so-and-so called you today, because I forgot to call and remind her that it was your birthday. Apparently so-and-so did Not remember, and now we are all having a good chuckle at her expense. Not so much a guffaw or a ha ha, but a good chuckle nonetheless (hey, you take what you can get when you've got the summer blahs and nothing else is blogworthy enough to document!)

Who's story will wind up here next? No one is safe...