Sunday, July 30, 2006

in desperate need of a midnight snack

If you are what you eat, then I'm bound to become a Mexican citizen before too long! Counting backwards, I have eaten Mexican food the past 4 out of 5 days. Normally I could never get sick of the stuff, but I think I need a break for a few days. Or at least until Tadd gets back into town and he wants to meet for lunch at "our" place! I still haven't figured out how to spend time with people without spending money, however, here are my new budgeting skills hard at work- a real life example:

On Saturday night at the Sounds game I sacrificed dinner or other ballpark junk food for the double scoop of purity ice cream in a waffle cone. I was the envy of every person around me with my choc chip and moosetracks treat! MMmm- just thinking about ice cream is making me hungry and want some- I am on a huge ice cream kick right now. Must be the heat, and the fact that today ends in a y, so it makes it a perfect day and time for ice cream. Last week I was treated to a spontaneous Coldstone trip, and that's had me obsessing about the tasty treat ever since.

No Amanda, You cannot go downstairs and eat a small bowl of ice cream right now. It is 11:30, past your bedtime, and way too late to be consuming mass quantities of calories. It would be so easy though to throw caution to the wind by throwing down my laptop and tiptoeing to the kitchen. Or heck, with the wireless internet I could even carry my laptop with me and type while I walk.

must... have... willpower.

dang it! Ice cream: One Amanda: Zero.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

direct spending proportions: money & friends

Why does being social always have to include eating? I’ve developed this very bad habit of multi-tasking with my visits. I also don’t think I’m alone in this. Somehow along the way, we’ve come to rely on lunches and dinners as combined efforts to get our daily intake of calories while catching up with friends. It’s gotten to the point now that rarely do I hang out with a friend and we Don’t eat! I guess I’m paying attention to it now b/c I’ve started to write down everything I spend, and I’m finding that a good chunk of my income goes to eating out. I then try to rationalize it & say that this meal was an exception, because I hadn’t seen Ari since she switched jobs. And then This meal was a rare occasion b/c it was with my sister, who I rarely get to see one-on-one. And then this other lunch doesn’t really count b/c it’s with my friend Ann who leaves for Ohio next week, so when else would I get to see her?! Every week is starting to look like this though- and while I still maintain that a girl’s gotta eat, there must be some way to do it less expensively, and still spend quality time with the people we love! Does every single one of our social outings now involve food though? Can people not just get together and take a walk, or sit somewhere and talk without spending any money? Before I never paid any attention, and this was all well and good before I started working on my budget, but now that I’m conscious of where my money is going I feel trapped in a societal norm that says you have to spend money to spend time with friends!

drivin dirty

Many of you may have read Mary Anna's post about her and her crazy friends (of which I am one) who like to sing rap songs operatically. Our song choice for the moment is Chamillionaire's "Ridin Dirty," and I called MA this morning and sang to her when the song came on the radio during my morning commute.

After laughing at my antics, the conversation wandered and eventually turned to a discussion held last night, and made mention of several people lashing out me about my driving skills. I was accused of driving too fast, while I maintain that I don't drive much faster than the average person, I simply accelerate fast. Call me crazy, but I feel that the sole purpose for an interstate entrance ramp is so that by the time you merge onto the highway, you are driving the speed of the traffic already on aforementioned highway.

An instance was brought up last night of a time when 2 car loads of us were driving downtown. After having met up at our usual spot, the Brentwood Waff, we took off. I was the lead car, and then the other car was following me. Last night I was chastised for driving so fast that the other vehicle couldn't catch up to me for miles.

I said to Mary Anna this morning, jumping back to our previous conversation, they were just tryin to catch me Drivin Dirty!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Life imitating Art

"What did you do this weekend?" Many will ask (because I am well known in societal circles, and people care what's going on in my life). Yes, they will ask, and will I answer with the humdrum answer of going to a movie, or (heaven forbid) staying in and doing nothing really? Gasp. Not at all. "I went to an exhibit and a lecture at the Frist Center," I'll say casually. Because that's just how I am; Casual and nonchalant, as if I frequent the museum every weekend. But really this is not true at all (see, here I am blowing my cover to you, my inner circle. Don't tell the other social elitists though). In fact I have only been to one other exhibit at the Frist. So this was quite the ordeal, getting a huge group together on a Friday after work to go see the Pulizter Prize winning photo exhibit.

I recommend this exhibit as a must-see. It is not only educational, it is extremely moving. I never dreamed that looking at pictures would stir up so many emotions, but I found myself having to walk away from certain photographs lest the tears I was holding back should start to pour down my face, and then I'd be the crazy emotional girl at the museum- you know the type- the one that everybody else stares at and says, "what's wrong with That girl?" Others photographs were peaceful pictures transporting me to another time and place. Cheesy, I know, but it's different looking at photos of real people and events verses paintings hanging on a wall.

There were 15 of us there altogether, and after making our way through the exhibit we headed to SATCo for a late dinner. Amanda was slightly ravenous at this point, seeing as how it was after 9pm, and she normally dines around 5:30pm, and we all know what a little bear Amanda can turn into when she doesn't eat! Luckily for my companions, I am a fantastic actress and was able to put on a happy face and fake it before I devoured my tacos and cheese queso (that was for you, Ari!). After SATCo several members of our group partook of the ice-cream in the Ben & Jerry's variety, and so we clogged the sidewalk and enjoyed the warm air, some nibbling their frozen treats, most of us laughing, and everyone having a good time.

Sometimes, we decided, being a grown-up is fun because you get to do cool things like go to art exhibits. Other times it means setting budgets and paying taxes. Those are the adult responsibilities I'd rather not discuss. I'd rather just eat ice cream.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stockwell’s long-lost cousin

It’s been a fairly boring day here at work. I got very near to pulling a George Costanza and taking a nap under my desk! However, my mid-afternoon lull came to a screeching halt after this last customer I just talked to. This sweet guy from Pulaski, TN called in to order hymnals for his church. After placing a pretty big order (which was enough to cause me to perk up), we then were discussing various shipping options for him.

Mr. Pulaski Man remarked that either UPS or FedEx would be fine, as they know to leave it there, even though he has a dog in the yard. Starved for friendly human interaction, and being the consummate dog-lover that I am, I said,
“oh really? What kind of dog do you have?”
“Well,” said Mr. Pulaski, “he’s Labrador and Wiener dog.”
“Well that’s funny,” I said, “I have a Labrador and Basset Hound mix.”
“That’s what he is- Lab and Basset!” he exclaimed.
(I start to get really excited at this point)
"You have a Bassador?!" I inquired in disbelief.
“Is that what they’re called," he asked?
“Well, that’s just what we’ve always called ours for the past 6 or 7 years,” I said as I laughed.
“The only part of him that’s basset is his short legs,” Mr. Pulaski commented.
“Same with mine,” I said! “And he’s got bigger ears than a lab,” I continued.
“You’re exactly right,” he said.
At this point I am cracking up! Mr. Pulaski is amused too, because neither of us has ever met anyone who had this strange breed of dog before. His dog’s name is Duke. I tell him that my dog’s name is Stockwell. We have a good laugh and I get off the phone wondering why I ever even asked him about his dog in the first place, and feeling very pleased and amused that I did.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Just Married

This past weekend I had the priviledge of being Maid of Honor for my best friend from high school, Jenni Stockwell. (Yes, she's the one who we named Stockwell the bassadore after- and I made sure to mention him during my toast at the reception!) I was honestly pretty stressed about this wedding since it was out of town (Columbus, OH) and felt like I wouldn't know what to do as maid of honor, and wouldn't know what was going on since I was coming into everything after not having been part of the planning process.

But you know what? I had one of the most fun weekends of my life! I made a ton of new friends, many whom I will probably

L to R: Best Man Jason, the bride Jenni, the groom Andy, and the MOH, me

never see again, and was actually sad to leave them today. All of Jenni and Andy's friends got a kick out of my accent, nicknaming me "Nashville" all weekend and laughed and repeated the word "y'all" every time I said it, which is apparently more often that I would have guessed. Oh, and it was doubley funny when an "all y'all" would slip out! I argued with the guys about the SEC over the Big 10 conference and taught some of them the "presh" finger! I made the best man Jason promise me that he would take Presh back to LA wih him!

I don't think we made it to bed the past few nights before 3 am, hanging out in the hotel lobby Fri and Sat nights with everyone! The bright blue bridesmaid dresses were complimented well with the bright Gerber daisies we each carried in different colors- mine was fushia! Most catastophes were avoided and despite the situation during the ceremony where Jenni & Andy couldn't get the unity candle to light, everything went off without a hitch. So now Jenni and Andy are hitched!

To Birmingham & Back

So Lana and I were spontaneous for a change! She called me last Monday around 3 o'clock that afternoon and said that she had 2 free tickets to go see Michael Buble' in Birmingham, an invite to a cocktail party beforehand, and the chance to meet Michael Buble'. A friend of hers had tix but couldn't go at the last minute. Now we all know how far in advance I book myself- I just made lunch plans for Thursday, plans on Saturday day and night, and posb Tuesday night plans (Can we go see Pirates then, Ari?) and that's just this week- so it was a big deal for me to plan the day before to drive to Birmingham on a whim. I think this counts as real spontaneity and not planned spontaneity, but you decide.

Tuesday came and Lana picked me up from work at 2:30 and we were on our way to B'ham. She and I just kept laughing because we were so giddy about a) being off work early b) being spontaneous and c) seeing Michael Buble'. The funny thing is, I wouldn't have considered myself a fan of his before going to this show. He came to Nashville a few months ago and I didn't care enough about him to go see him then, so it baffled some that I would take off randomly to Alabama to see him. But it was the thrill of the trip that got me pumped. It's very exhilarating to be spontaneous- I think I should try it more often!

Lana had the whole trip mapped out on Mapquest AND Rand McNally and even had it highlighted in pink! I was totally impressed. Now the funny part came when I got to looking at her handwritten directions from her friend who gave us the tix. Amidst phrases like "pricing" and "Renaissance person" (don't ask!) was the word "happy" written down. I immediately burst into laughter at Lana's spacey notes to herself, and I'm sure she had just communicated in writing her emotion at the time she was on the phone making notes to herself!

Some other funny moments:

*a tour through Ardmore, AL to get a snack at Sonic

*taking 30 minutes to primp and get ready in a nasty gas station bathroom

*Lana thinking that a man I was talking to at the cocktail party was trying to sell us vacuum cleaners, when really, he was just from Hoover

*being shushed by a 65 year old grandma in front of us during the uber-boring opening act- seriously- every song was slow and Canadian-folky, and at one point an entire row in front of us stood up to let some late comers in, and I whispered to Lana, that's probably the most people that have ever stood up for them at a concert, and then after the song was finished the singer quipped that at first she thought they were getting a standing ovation, and then she chastised the couple for coming in late!

*Michael Buble' doing Blue Steele!!!

*Singing along with Dave Matthews doing our best Dave impersonations

This guy was a great entertainer. He's very sexy, and he moves well on stage, plus he's hilarious! He made several jokes to all the guys in the audience who got drug there by their girlfriends. "I just pump air into the tires," he said. "You get to ride the bicycle home."

We had a blast laughing and enjoying the trip. I'm sure I'm leaving out some blogworthy, funny moments, but it's been a week since we went, and I've been too busy till now to blog about it! We didn't get to meet Michael unfortunately, but Lana did get an autographed picture, so it was a nice keepsake from the roadtrip!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The 11th annual 4th of July Bash

Who knew that back in 1996 we would still be hosting our legendary annual 4th of July parties at the Bradley Beach & Resort 10 years later? This truly was the last one at Devens Dr. since the house is currently on the market, but we lived it up and enjoyed ourselves anyways. The Locusts, as we fondly refer to our family because we always come in swarms, arrived Friday night. The house is perfect for parties such as these. We pull up chairs in a circle on the patio and sit around talking, drinking, and laughing late into the night. 21 of us in all slept in all corners of the house. Papa stayed inside watching TV, coming outside long enough to smoke his cigars.

cousins Braden & Nicole- the next generation of cousin friends. 2nd cousins or 1st cousins once-removed? We're not really sure. My uncle said that in Kentucky if you can't count that high then they must be legal!

This is most of us sitting around the pool enjoying the Tennessee sunshine.

I wish I could think of some funny stories to tell on here. Let's see- I didn't go to the Kenny Chesney concert. I was having too much fun hanging out with everyone at the house, so it looks like I'll have to catch him the next time he's close by. In fact, I crashed early on Friday night dragging myself to bed by 11:30, leaving everyone else up, and then on Saturday after being out in the sun all day and eating dinner, I went inside to take what ended up being a 4 hour nap! Mom woke me up at 11:30 to go to bed and instead I got back up and hung out with Ryan, Robin, Eric, and Mark till 2am. Of course there are always the stories to be told and re-told every year- Kelly falling into the pool, Grandma consuming too much salt and swelling up like a beachball, my cousin Mark who was the reason we started having these annual parties to begin with. Most of them are hysterical tales and never lose impact after hearing them for years on end. Most of them also involve my Grandma, whom we all miss, so it is good to laugh and remember her. I know this may have been the last 4th of July party at Chateau Bradley, but I hope we can continue to get together in the years to come wherever we may land.

Friday, July 07, 2006

a day of independence

The most oft quoted phrase of the day: Paulette in Legally Blonde 2: "You look like the 4th of July... makes me want a hot dog real bad." And hot dogs we did have- along with hamburgers, baked beans, ramen noodle salad, potatoes, and a fruit pizza for desert!

We gals lounged by the pool, had a cookout at Chateau Bradley, and then went downtown for some spectacular fireworks.

My idea of a perfect day's activity

Lana demonstrates the proper way to eat a cheesy pouf

Always entertaining us with her antics, I give you the one, the only, Scottie Too Hottie

Rhonda Lu & MA make a wave pool

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Procrastinator's Mantra

As I was cleaning out an expandable file folder recently I came across an article I had saved about procrastinating. I don't remember how long I've had it, or who gave it to me. I couldn't even remember if I had read it before. So I did what any good procrastinator would do. I pulled it out of the old filing folder and put it in a new folder, saving it to read another day.