Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas come and gone

Another Christmas come and gone, and once again, no snow! In the magical land of Narnia it is their curse that it's always winter but never Christmas. Well in Tennessee it's always Christmas but never winter. We were greeted with sunny skies and near-60-degree weather yesterday upon returning home from Indiana. Oh well, so much for the white Christmas I was dreaming of!

The holidays were bittersweet this year because my Papa is in such bad health and we all know it was his last Christmas with us. I'm so glad that we were able to let him come home to his house and stay a few days before taking him back to the nursing home. Papa wasn't all that interested in all the Christmas goings-on, but as always I enjoyed having the house full of family. By Christmas morning it was just Mom, Dad, Laura, George, Julius, and Papa, so we let Papa sleep while we opened presents. George and Laura accused each other of not liking each other's presents, Dad loved his Shrek Donkey slippers and had fun shooting his catapult across the room. And Mom was excited to finally open the box from me and Laura- a red irobot Roomba vacuum cleaner!

We tried out the Roomba today, sitting it in the center of the living room floor and watched gleefully as it spun and made its way around the room. Oscar hated it and barked and followed the Roomba around, while the other 2 dogs could not have cared less! Laura came downstairs to see Mom and I watching the Roomba do its thing, when she remarked, I thought the whole point of that thing was to do other stuff while it vacuumed! Okay, so point taken. It was still fun to watch. The jury's still out on whether or not it's an effective cleaner, but we'll let you know.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Anticipating Christmas

Glory hallelujah, it's the last day of work before Christmas break! This DIVA will be off work through New Year's, returning to work reluctantly on January the 2nd. And speaking of DIVAS, I am so excited that DIVA convention 2007 is about to commence! Ari & I pick up Conley from the airport tonight and are celebrating our Christmas tomorrow with a swanky brunch at J. Christopher's. (Isn't it just so grown-up to say you're having brunch with your friends?) I absolutely cannot wait to see Conley- it's been since June since we've seen her.

BUT, to get me through the work day, and the rest of you out there, workin hard for the money, take a few minutes of your day and go HERE to listen to my favorite Christmas song that I had not gotten to hear until this morning, so now I share it with all of you!

And if the inevitable boredom or otherwise work apathy that plagues many of us before a holiday weekend sets in, click HERE to learn new vocabulary and fight world hunger! It's totally addictive and for a great cause.

Finally, even though today may feel like the longest work day ever, today is actually is the second shortest day of the year, with tomorrow being the Winter Solstice and the official start of Winter!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dad Gum It's Christmas

Everyone's favorite work eat-o-rama is going strong this week. Co-workers are bringing food in the a.m and p.m for all of us to enjoy so we can rationalize not making phone calls by eating the latest tasty treats put out on the table instead. I brought a hashbrown casserole last week and it was very well received, however, nothing could prepare me for the praise and accolades I got today for the famous Oreo Truffles! Here's what some of my co-workers have said:

"Those are outstanding"

"Let me just say that the Oreo truffles WIN!!! That is the best thang that has been on the table. Don't everybody get your feelins hurt but let me put it this way...my insides shivered when I ate that truffle. sheeeeewwwwieeee!! That is DadGum GOOOOD!!"

"As Adam so perfectly said, the Oreo truffles are causing teams Adam and Steve to have spiritual experiences on this side of the room. Praise Ye the Lord, Halleluiah!"

"Does anyone know a sure fire crash diet that I could try so that I can eat on Christmas Day without busting out of my fat jeans?"

Needless to say, my co-workers were appreciative, but now I feel like Monica on Friends where she makes the Christmas candy for her neighbors and they are all clammoring for more from the "Candy Lady."

Monday, December 17, 2007

the Friday review in real life

Friday night Tadd and I spent a delightful evening full of laughter and new inside jokes (such as, "what's new?" "monia." and defining HIPPA crits). We stuffed ourselves at PF Chang's for dinner, saw the Steve Carrell movie Dan in Real Life, got ice cream at Cold Stone (I just tried their Germanchocolatecake and it was to die for), and rounded out the evening by doing some Christmas shopping at Target! There is no one out there who makes fighting the crowds at the Cool Springs Target more fun, I'd wager.

Tadd & I both enjoyed Dan in Real Life- it was more of a romantic comedy than what I was expecting, but I like that Steve Carrell can play an everyman/serious role unlike Will Ferrell who needs to quit doing things like Stranger Than Fiction and just stick with Anchorman-esque roles. Dan (in the movie, not in real life) is a widower with 3 daughters whose day job is an advice columnist, but meanwhile, his personal life is all a mess. He tries to be a great dad while finding love again unexpectedly. With all the great holiday moves that are getting ready to release, I wouldn't put Dan in Real Life up there as a must-see in the theater, but it would be a great rental choice. I give it a hearty 2 thumbs up.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ"

It's been a while for a concert review on here (I blame Starwood's demise that put a drudge on the usual hopping summer concert fare in Nashville). But last night I made my way to the famous Ryman auditorium (notice there's no 'h' in Ryman, Amy!) with some gal pals to experience Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb concert. This is a show he's done the past 10 years, and titled after the album with the same name, that's quite simply, the Christmas story told in music.

Christian music artist Andrew Peterson gathers his best industry pals, singer-songwriters, and talented musicians, and puts them all on one stage together to perform the entire album of Behold the Lamb continuously without stopping between songs. The musicians and singers transitioned seamlessly from instrument to instrument between songs with a performing ensemble as few as 3 or as many as 19. I felt so sorry for the live sound engineers as I could not imagine the work it must take for such a large and diverse group of instruments and singers to produce a cohesive sound, but somehow it worked- even with 4 percussionists (who ever heard of such a thing?!), 5 string players, guitars, mandolin, keyboards, and singers abounding.

Peterson's story in song starts with the old testament and the Israelites, and moves through the birth, life, and Resurrection of Christ to show how the whole Bible is about Jesus, not just the new testament. The humorous little ditty Matthew's Begats takes you through the genealogy most of us skip through at the beginning of Matthew's gospel. And Labor of Love, a song about the actual birth of Christ, performed by husband and wife duo Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn painted a realistic picture of the birth of Jesus in a beautiful way that only a husband and wife can do. With the entire cast on stage for the reprise and finale, they concluded the concert with an a capella O Come All ye Faithful, had the audience join in, and then casually left the stage, leaving the crowd to finish the carol in perfect harmony, like only a Nashville audience can do! It was a breathtaking way to end the evening.

My only disappointment was that this part of the concert flew by way too fast! I would have preferred an abbreviated "writers-in-the-round" first half, and additional songs inserted into the second half. I have several friends who attend this show every year, and now I know why! If this tour stops by your neck of the woods, make it a priority to attend. It's an interesting spin on hearing the Christmas story, and you'll be introduced to an all-star cast of Christian musicians.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I was born in the afternoon,

... just not yesterday afternoon!

A coworker emailed me just now needing some classic Motown song titles. So I shot off a few, and then stared at the word "Motown," thinking to myself, I wonder how they came upon that name to classify the music originating in Detroit. Then it occurred to me. Detroit is the Motor City, or Motor Town, MoTown for short! Don't laugh- maybe some of you out there have never put two and two together before either. I just figured I'd enlighten the rest of you. Or else give you a cheap laugh at my expense. Whichever category you fall under, may you have a pleasant Hump Day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas in Dixie

Ask me just how much I love walking out to my car on this sunny day in mid-December with short sleeves on??!! With this crazy warm front going on, we have the potential in Nashville today to break a record high with the predicted high of 75 degrees. As Carrie Bradshaw would say, me likey!

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Ham Shame

Raise your hand if you can tell me why this is funny: An upscale food store in Greenwich Village this week got caught in a food snafu when they advertised hams for sale with a sign that declared them "Delicious for Hanukkah"

2 Blogs about ham in a month... what are the odds of that??

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pink is the new red


Like the Charlie Brown kids sing, Christmastime is here. I celebrated by getting all festive in my cubicle yesterday, much to the delight to all my coworkers. The gauntlet has been thrown. I dare them to find cuter Christmas decorations and be more festive than me (of course you will understand that this is the office alternative to the traditional trying-to-
outdo- the- Jones' with ones neighborhood Christmas lights).

I am loving that pink Christmas decorations are in abundance now- a few years ago when I was on the hunt for such things as a pink stocking, they were nowhere to be found, so Momma B sewed this little creation for me, c omplete with my name in sparkles like I requested! Now you can go to Target and buy a fushia stocking already assembled. Oh well- once again, I was ahead of my time in the fashion world.


Finally, here's my favorite pink decoration- my very own sparkley pink Christmas tree! Don't be jealous.

















Monday, December 03, 2007

Corigliano is for the birds

My stint with American composer John Corigliano's Dylan Thomas Trilogy is finally over. And not a moment too soon. I am now free as a bird from atonal, "quasi 5/4" time signatures (and I quote from the piece), and random hissing and bird calls, and have never been so excited to move onto some straightforward Handel as I am now! We birds of a feather flocked together as members of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, committing to 9 nights in a row of rehearsing, performing, then recording Corigliano's work, and in between singing we would all discuss how much we hated the music. Recall back to the Phillip Glass piece we premiered last year... that music was a stretch, yet by the end of the final concert I was sad to see it go. Not so with Corigliano. I have at most grown to appreciate the work, but if I never sing it again it will be too soon. According to the Tennessean, At least one person liked it.

We finished recording early last night, and as they say, the early bird gets the worm, and she also gets to go home and decorate her pink Christmas tree!

Bowl Bound

Yes, well, it's about time I bring up the elephant in the room... no, not that one... the other one. The fact that my beloved Kentucky Wildcats could not finish strong after having a terrific start to their season. (The one time we were top ten ranked, I wasn't even in the country to gloat and enjoy it while it lasted!) Well, we ended our season with a disappointing loss to UT... all 5 hours and 4 overtimes of it, and got rewarded with the same bowl game we went to last year.

Granted, I'm happy Kentucky gets to represent the SEC in the Music City Bowl, but I wish we had been awarded a more prestigious bowl. Tickets sold out for the game last night so I suppose I'll be watching the Cats whoop up on Florida State (that's right Rhonda & George!) on tv instead of the nose bleed section of LP field.

In the very least, UK has now proven that they are no longer one of the ugly stepsisters in the football powerhouse SEC conference. We are now able to compete within our conference, and yes, we even beat LSU who is now going on to play for the BCS national title, much to Missouri's chagrin. So there's always next year. Now it's onto a lackluster start to a Kentucky basketball season! let the games, um, continue!!!

the miracle balloon

My birthday balloon at my desk has finally begun to deflate. Unless you and I work together, you would have no idea, but I have had a balloon looming over my desk for the past month. I have never seen such a thing- but the Happy Birthday mylar balloon that was left at my desk over a month ago on November 2nd remained floating, the ribbon remained taut, for a solid month! The irony of course, is that I typically don't look forward to birthdays, and then I was given the birthday balloon that would not die, as a daily reminder! But miraculously, a month to the day later, the birthday balloon is finally dropping, and will soon go to the happy place where all balloons go to die. How did the balloon know that it is now December, and no longer warranting a birthday celebration? I'm baffled.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Come out with your hams up!

Pre-Thanksgiving post number two:

I just went and picked up the ham from the Honey Baked Ham Store in Cool Springs for my mom. It was my first experience in doing so- and let me recommend that if you must make this trip, go at 2 o'clock in the afternoon like I did, because I was able to walk in and walk right back out. I was prepared for much worse, and the velvet ropes that guide you through the store suggest lines might be worse at a later point in the day as well.

Anyways, they have picking up hams down to a science, and as I was led through the small store, following the path marked out by the ropes, I glanced around while I waited for my turn at the next available register, and was shocked by what I saw. There by the door, sitting unobtrusively was a security guard! A security guard in the Honey Baked Ham Store! I made small talk with the cashier and inquired about the need for the added security, and he laughed and made the comment that he thought it was more for the employees' protection than the customers. I can just see it now. Some cheapskate comes in and tries to steal a Thanksgiving ham. Or worse... some wenchy Brentwood soccer mom pitches a fit because she waited til the last minute and expected to waltz in and buy a ham on the spot and gets irate when there is no pork to be had.

I'll see your 5000, and raise you 500

I was on the phone with one of my customers earlier and she asked me if I had seen the Today Show this morning. When I answered no, she told me they had a special report on Thanksgiving and said the Average American consumes a whopping 5,000 calories throughout the day!! And that's just the average! Yikes!

That statistic made me think twice, but I'll probably just do what I normally do in times like these- put whatever I want on my plate and try to keep the portions small. I have a habit of finishing whatever is on my plate so even if I'm full I press on and consume it all, and then of course have desert to fill the notorious "desert pocket" that always needs to be filled. So if I can do damage control up front and not let my eyes get bigger than my stomach I don't have to feel guilty on indulging in whatever I want. For those who'd like to see the Today Show article on how to pare down the hidden calories, and a listing of typical calories in Turkey Day dishes, be my guest. They give you helpful hints like trimming 100 calories off your dish by cutting off the pie crust. I say, why ruin a perfectly good piece of pie by cutting off the best part (and then skipping the whipped cream... Riiiight)! So read at your own risk of feeling guilty, and wanting to tell them to take their reduced calorie Thanksgiving tips and shove them up their turkey

Monday, November 19, 2007

Manly Men

So a group of us had this conversation yesterday and I'd like to open up the floor for discussion. It started off with me recounting to Ariana a recently-viewed FRIENDS episode where Monica is dating Tom Sellick. Bart chimes in that Tom Sellick is such a manly man- a guy's guy. To this Ari & I heartily agreed. So then we proceeded to come up with a short list of other "manly men."
  • Brett Favre
  • Bruce Willis
  • Will Smith
  • Wesley Snipes
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Al Pacino
  • Babe Ruth

Up for debate: Robert Redford, Richard Simmons (just kidding), George Clooney

So I'd like to hear from the peanut gallery. Who do you think qualifies as a manly man? (by definition, a man whom women adore, and guys admire) Do you agree with our choices?

Friday, November 16, 2007

An Opera Opportunity not to be missed

Ugh... Friday afternoons are the worst! The weekend is so close, yet so far away. I should be making calls, but I'd rather blog and tell you what I'm doing this weekend. You the reader will glean more from my blogging than my calling out anyways, so I think the choice is a no-brainer!

Tonight I'm treating myself to an evening of culture. The Nashville Opera is premiering a brand-new opera, never done by another company before, called Elmer Gantry. Based on the novel by the same title, it's an American opera (sung in English) about an early 20th century evangelist named (you guessed it) Elmer Gantry and his rise to fame in rural America. The opera promises to mix classical styles with gospel and hymns for a distinct American flavor. I'm excited too, because Tadders has a small solo role as a member of a gospel quartet. Another interesting thing about this opera is that the male and female leads are a baritone and a mezzo-soprano, instead of your typical wimpy tenor and shrieking soprano. If you're a Nashvillian and you choose to go, click here or here for more info!

Tomorrow's schedule proves to be a busy one: yoga, followed by a breakfast with 2 of my favorite gals, MA & Emmy Sue. The UK game comes on at 11:30, and then tomorrow night we're celebrating Lana & Siebe's birthdays at the ever-trendy Cabana. Mix in some boxing and packing and moving, and you've got yourself and action-packed weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Change: You can bank on it.

I'm a self-proclaimed Change hater. Moving is never fun for me. I'm still figuring out how to stay caught up on Grey's Anatomy when it comes on at the same time as The Office on Thursday nights (why did you switch from Sundays to Thursdays ABC?! A curse upon you!) And a few months ago when Regions Bank took over AmSouth I put off activating my new Green card as long as possible in a feeble attempt to hang onto my trusty royal blue Amsouth card as long as I could. Change is inevitable in life, and it's happening all around me. I just was made aware of it this morning as I finally heaved a sigh of reluctant acceptance, and decided to bite the bullet and update my bookmarks on my yahoo homepage.

I have all of my important and highly used web pages bookmarked on my yahoo home page so that they're all easily accessible. So I resolved to update them all this morning.
"Amsouth" became "Regions Bank."
"Cingular" became "AT&T."
"MBNA" became "Bank of America."
And as I stared at my now unrecognizable list of bookmarked pages I felt as though I had stepped into an alternate universe! What is going on in our society of conglomerates and corporate buy-outs? What happened to stability and a company name you can trust? I don't adjust easily to this. Mentally I still think "cingular bill" for my cell phone, and if I'd wanted an account with Bank of America instead of MBNA I would have signed up for one with them in the first place! Don't settle too much, because a bigger and better company will come along and buy out your trusted business before you know it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Rascal Just Flat Can't Sing

I have been scouring the Internet in the days that followed Wednesday night's CMA award show to find articles critiquing the show's musical performances, and there are none to be found! Please send them my way, or include links to them in your comments if you find them (Mark Kelly Hall, I'm talking to you) because I am baffled no one else has taken this opportunity to laugh at the atrocity that ended the CMA's.

Here's my beef: I admit, I missed most of the televised broadcast, but managed to see Kellie Pickler sing (great dress, bad, bad helmet hair- she channeled Lori Morgan!). Everyone has seemingly overlooked her mediocre vocals for the dramatic, choked-up performance, where she finished the autobiographical song about her mom in tears. I also got to see Brad Paisley win male vocalist of the year and couldn't have been more thrilled. Kenny won entertainer of the year (again) in a category dominated (again) by males. But here was my favorite part- so bad, it was good: the collaboration between Rascal Flats and Jaime Foxx.

Apparently ABC prepped you for this bit of entertainment all night, using every commercial break to announce the upcoming performance. And it lived up to the hype alright, if entertainment is what you were going for. The lead singer of this pop- I mean country- band tried to demonstrate vocal acrobatics usually reserved for the likes of Beyonce (or Jaime Foxx!), and apparently, his voice was shot, and this just did not bode well for him. I am not kidding you when I say something was Not Right, as the duo singing were not even in the same key, and I was laughing too much to be able to listen well! I have no problem with artists of different genres collaborating, but poor Jaime just embarrassed himself in the r&b world by showing his face on stage with those clowns. I am guilty of listening to Rascal Flatts and yes, owning an album or two, but it always amuses me to hear artists live and then realize how much work and production goes into an album to dupe the general public and make us think they can really sing when they can't. Apparently Rascal Flat's first performance of the night (yes, they got two!) was just as bad, but for political reasons, the TV producers decided they warranted 2 songs, when poor Tracy Lawrence lost his performance spot altogether!

My theory as to why there have been no negative articles regarding the CMA performances is that Rascal Flats is a big time act in Nashville and no one wants to piss them off. Well I have no qualms making my opinions known here, and if the county muzik mafia wants to censor my blog and come and get me for saying anything negative towards the golden boys and their gelled hair, I invite the challenge! And remember, send me those articles that discuss the awards show because I am eager to re-live the vocal monstrosity all over again by reading it in print!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Blindsighted with this song... and lint

Today was a very sad day for me. I had to bust out the wool winter coat for the first time this year. It also was the first day for my winter staple wardrobe to emerge: the jeans and turtleneck combo. Today's choice: Black- slimming, and sheik. It's also a recipe for a lint disaster with black clothes and long blonde hairs that show up on everything. My personal favorite quote of the day occurred during an impromptu Panera lunch with fellow DIVA Ari regarding said lint:

"Me and my lint brush are going to spend some quality time together when I get back to the office."

In other bits of random news surrounding the blogging-neglectful-DIVA, the 80's song Blinded By the Light has been following me everywhere. I heard it 3 times on my way down to Florida this weekend, and it popped up again last night in a movie I was watching. What's so funny about this, is that for the life of me I could not understand the words to the chorus of the song. Here's what I thought they were saying:

Blinded by the light. Wrapped up like a duschon in the rumor of the night. (I know, right? What's a duschon? Well, it's kind of like an Ex-pecks-a-pounder.)

I texted Ari on Saturday morning when the song came on the radio for the second time, knowing she'd be awake, and knowing that she'd have the answer. Turns out, the lyrics are actually:

Blinded by the light. Revved up like a duce, another runner in the night. Yeah... cause that makes SO much more sense! But really, the important question is, who's excited about the return of the random afternoon blogging?

Friday, November 02, 2007

happy birthday to me!

Yes, it's true... I can no longer in good conscience claim to be in my "mid-twenties." So I am embracing my late twenties, for what it's worth! Though about 40 degrees too cool in my book (a chilly 38 degrees on my way to work this morning!), I was greeted to my frost-covered car by the beaming sunshine, and a nice suprise of already-scraped-car-windows (thanks to one of my kind & considerate roommates)! And this was after the traditional birthday chocolate chip pancake breakfast prepared by chefs Natalie, Emily, and Mary Anna.

The pancakes were yummy, but it caused me to run slightly late for work- about 17 minutes late approximately! I got an unexpected hug from my dad in the Brentwood Benson parking lot, as he was waiting on me to say happy birthday on his way to work. Once I got up to my cubicle, completely flustered about being late, I was greeted with a balloon and some chocolate covered strawberries left by my dad! He had been upstairs waiting on me, but finally gave up on me and was leaving, when I saw him in the parking lot! It was really sweet, and all my coworkers got to hang out with my dad this morning. Apparently he showed up at 10 till 8 and my friend Mark asked my dad, do you Know your daughter?! Implying of course that I am Never here that early! ha

I feel showered with love from my family and friends, as is evident from the grand gestures, and all the emails, e-cards, phone calls, and Myspace/Facebook comments. It's so funny how the "friends" you never talk to for the rest of the year will take the time to post birthday comments! Thanks to you all, both genuine and fake e-friends, for your birthday well-wishes.

The rest of the day's plans to celebrate my 27th year include lunch with coworkers at Moe's, and a low-key family dinner at Bonefish Grill, where Laura promised to cut the skin off my trout so that I'm not face to face with any "fish scales." I know... I'm so weird!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Howl-oween costumes

Click HERE to see some chosen CNN viewers' pets dressed up in their Halloween costumes. And of course, as our favorite man about town used to always say, there's always a Nashville connection (Brad About You, we miss you in the Tennesseean! Please come back- Heather Byrd doesn't know what she's talking about) - anyways, Number 6 is Archer J, the dog-nephew of my BF Heather. I must admit though, Number 2 dressed up like Don King is my favorite. I feel sorry for the animals, but boy are they cute!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

a diva halloween

I enjoyed the lovely fall weather today (yes, that's right, I said it ... it was a gorgeous fall day in TN) by carving pumpkins over at the Franklin branch of Chateau Bradley with Laura.

I had planned carefully what I wanted to carve this year- a sassy diva pumpkin with full lips, and eyes sculpted with arched brows and big lashes- a pumpkin worthy of her picture to be posted on this blog. (Hey, if a girl can't spend all year planning what she wants to be for Halloween anymore, at least she can map out the details of her prospective jack-o-lantern in advance!)











Laura haphazardly created and carved, and came up with a delightfully silly creation, complete with protruding nose! Here we are with our finished products, that will likely get smashed by the mischievous children of Franklin on all Hallow's Eve.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

meal mix-up

After my shopping stint last night I headed over to Basil, an Asian bistro where I was meeting Natalie, Em, and some of their visiting college friends for dinner. I am hardly ever on time anywhere, and almost never early, but at 6:55 I decided to head on inside to meet my friends for our 7 o'clock dinner. It's not a big restaurant, but I did glance around the bistro before approaching the hostess, just to make sure the others hadn't arrived yet. "I'm meeting a group of people," I said, and the hostess acknowledged that we already had a table, and asked would I like to go ahead and sit down? "Sure," I replied, as she led me to an open 8-person table in the corner of the restaurant. I engrossed myself in the menu, reading all about the different kinds of sake. A few minutes later, the other 5 girls showed up.

As we were settling in, talking about our days, Emily announced that a few other people who were 'maybes' for dinner weren't coming after all, so we had 2 extra seats at our table. Then one of the girls thanked me for getting us a table so we didn't have to wait. I had a sinking feeling as I responded, I didn't get us a table, I thought you did, looking at Natalie. I had assumed, incorrectly, that someone from our group had called ahead, and the Basil hostess had been more than accommodating to make me think that as well.

We started to laugh as we realized our mistake, and as I was the first one to arrive, I felt responsible for the mix-up. We couldn't in good conscience just waltz in and take someone else's table, so I headed back up to the hostess stand to straighten things out. As she confirmed the last name of the table's party, and it didn't match with any one of ours, she gawked helplessly at me as I explained the misunderstanding. What ensued made me speechless though. Not only were we expected to give up our table, for a party of 8 that hadn't even arrived (and it was well after 7 o'clock at this time), I was told there were no other tables and the wait would be "a long time." That's all she would tell me. Miss Basil hostess wasn't accommodating to us at all! I couldn't believe she would rather a party of 6 walk out of the restaurant after doing the honest thing and confessing our mistake, rather than finding a solution to an embarrassing situation. So be it. We 6 gals humbly gathered up our belongings and proceeded down the road for a lovely dinner at Jasmine, a nearby Thai restaurant.

the price Gap

I had some time to kill last night before dinner, and I had a Gap $20 gift certificate to use that expires at the end of this month, so I drove Warren over to the Galleria and meandered through the Gap with money to burn. To me Gap has never the place to go to buy trendy clothes- that would be Express, or H&M (if Nashville were blessed to have one) but I'm okay with that. I rely on Gap for old standards- jeans, fitted t-shirts, basic sweaters, and such. But somewhere along the way they've fallen out of the basics and hopped onto the trendy train, bringing their skyrocketing prices with them. A pair of jeans looked like a reasonable purchase enough yesterday, but at the $60 price tag, I'd rather spend a little extra and buy another pair of the Lucky Jeans that I Love. A classic dress to wear to work and church is no longer a smart buy at $80 a pop, and my favorite, the stretchy gold ballet flats that were probably made for under $2 in a sweatshop, were marked up to a ridiculous $40.

I settled on 4 basic long sleeved fitted ts, my old fall and winter layering standby, and paid $43 dollars for the lot, and was still disgusted. Gap, I have loved you for a long time, but when did it become shameful to sell basic (but not necessarily boring) clothes at prices the average American can afford?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Slightly deflated but never deterred

It's taken me a few days to gather my pride and get over last week's loss after all the hype. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd rather beat Florida than Tennessee. The rivalry has grown to something huge in football and basketball among Kentucky & Florida, and it stinks that even though we were ranked higher and had home field advantage, we were still predicted to lose, and what's worse, the predictions were right.

Never fear, Wildcat fans. Our QB is still in Heisman contention, and we have the possibility of winning out the rest of the season (and that shining chance to finish the year beating the Vols!)

Tune in this Saturday to see the Kentucky Wildcats dominate Miss. St.

Friday, October 19, 2007

ESPN College Game Day


Verbatim from my alumni email: ESPN’s College GameDay will be on Kentucky’s campus this weekend for the matchup between seventh-ranked Kentucky and 15th-ranked Florida. It is the first time the network has sent its signature college football show to Lexington. ESPN has chosen the northwest side of the William T. Young Library (facing Rose Street) for its College GameDay set location. ESPN will go live from Lexington Friday for a short segment around 5 p.m. College GameDay is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon.
Kentucky and Florida square off Saturday at 3:30 p.m., in a nationally-televised contest on CBS. It is Kentucky’s second-straight week on CBS, following the Cats’ 43-37, triple-overtime win over then-No. 1 LSU last Saturday.
Fans with Commonwealth Stadium parking permits are encouraged to walk to the library from the stadium. Fans without stadium parking permits may park in Parking Structure #2, which is accessed from Hilltop Avenue.ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is hosted by Chris Fowler with analysis from Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. This year will mark the 21st season of college football coverage by College GameDay with 14 of those years being on the campus of college football's top game of the week.

Studio for Sale

Please sir, won't you come and buy my (dad's) studio? There is room for all; ample space to record. Please sir, for just tuppins you can buy a little piece of history in Nashville's recording business. Why would you continue to record your albums in home studios when you can have the real deal? Come now and buy, and enjoy the professional atmosphere so many before you have enjoyed. Do not continue to starve yourself on low-quality, low-budget music. We will wait. There is room for you. In fact, there are 2 rooms for you, studios A & B. Extra, extra, read all about it in the city paper.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Do a little dance

Okay, I know I said I was going to use the other blog to record stories here, but this one's just too funny not to blog about. I was brought up Southern Baptist, but this morning I got in touch with my pentecostal roots.
South African voltage runs on a 220 voltage system, versus the American 120. The plug shapes are different as well, so in order to use your curling irons and other hair appliances, one must use an adapter. Things were going fine and good this morning, my hair was dried, my curling iron was plugged in. I quickly turned the ends of my hair under and got ready to unplug my iron in order for the next person to be able to use the adapter, and low and behold I got the shock of a lifetime! I felt the jolt of electricity (or the Holy Sprirt perhaps) run through my body and I quickly dropped the offensive curling iron. "yall didn't know you were gonna get to see me dance this morning, did you?" I asked. We all had a good laugh and joked about my apparent Pentecostal roots. Trust me, I'm fine, but my left hand does still feel funny.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The eagle has landed

Hey kids, this is your resident diva, blogging all the way from the southern hempisphere! We are just now settling in at the Team House (check out the site, we are SO suffering for Jesus!) and I wanted to write a quick note to let my faithful readers know that I will be blogging from a sister site while I'm in Cape Town- our team's blog, www.bbcsouthafrica.blogspot.com
I wish I could say I'm exhausted from all the travel- I am in a way, but I slept so much on the flights that I am wide awake now! oopsy I didn't even watch a single movie on the flights over- I read (I finally read that No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book, and it was wonderful!) and started Tom Sawyer and continued reading Raggamuffin Gospel. I think I am too delerious to write anything of substance- I haven't taken any pictures yet worth posting, but I promise I'll get right on that!
Love you all, thanks for your continued prayers!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Not just a basketball school

The Big Blue Nation is ecstatic today- the polls came out and Kentucky Football is ranked! Yes, you read that correctly- UK, a perpetual bottom-dweller in the powerhouse SEC conference, is listed as 21 in the AP top 25 and 23rd in the US Today poll.

I was giddy as a school girl on Saturday that I was able to watch the UK- U of L game. Afterwards for the rest of the night, and even the next day I would randomly exclaim to Brian, "We beat Louisville!!" allowing the reality to sink in happily.

Some things to note about the outcome of this game:
  • This was the first time in 30 years that UK beat a top-10-ranked opponent
  • This is the first time Kentucky has scored 40-or-more points in three consecutive games since 1950.
  • This is the Cats first appearance in either poll since 1985.
  • UK's first win over Louisville since 2002
  • Crowd of 70,857 was the fourth-largest in Commonwealth Stadium history.
  • Woodson became the SEC's all-time leader in consecutive passes (257) without an interception.
  • UK awaits an announcement from the SEC office, but expects to be fined $25,000 as a result of the students rushing the field after the game.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bored beyond belief

I think I'd be more entertained watching paint dry today. Nothing about my job today is engaging me, and all I can do is count the hours down till I can hit the road, jack. We're just under 2 hours! Woo hoo!

Anyways- we all have those days where we would rather do anything BUT work, so I thought I'd share my favorite ways to waste time, and make this an interactive game by asking you readers, and perhaps even you silent lurkers, to join in the fun and list your own favorite ways to waste time during the work day! You might know of some things I hadn't thought of, and could desperately use on a day like today!

Ok, I'll go first:

1. check myspace/facebook
2. check my email
3. get up and talk to co-workers and distract them from working
4. rinse out my dirty dishes from breakfast and refill my water bottle
5. check my email again
6. read the headlines on my yahoo homepage
7. check my other friends' blogs
8. my guilty pleasures- pinkisthenewblog and thebeautyaddict
9. take a bathroom break
10. check my email... again

Now your turn! What are your best vices to cure boredom?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

six years later

One of the defining moments in my college years came 6 years ago today. It's a day that haunts every American, though I feel my generation had a unique experience to be away at school during the September 11th tragedy that struck our nation in 2001. It is eerie to me that today is a Tuesday, just like it was 6 years ago. Then we were so dumbfounded that we didn't know how to respond. We held candlelight vigils. We tied yellow ribbons around trees supporting our troops. The sororities painted patriotic banners and hung them from our houses. Our UK Chorale sang at the memorial service that Friday that followed. Many gave blood.

But 6 years later are we any safer? We still don't have Al-quaida under control, we still don't know where Osama Bin Laden is, and what am I doing to cope with this in present times? Absolutely nothing. I blindly trust my government that surely nothing like September 11th can happen again.... just like I blindly trusted them before when we all thought an attack on American soil wasn't ever a possibility.

They say time heals all wounds, but instead of our country healing I fear we have forgotten. We have forgotten the urgency of seeking a solution to the problem, we have forgotten the necessity of neighbors helping neighbors, and even strangers helping strangers, and that Great Awakening surge of people who flocked to the churches for answers, may we who follow Christ not forget that we are still being looked to for answers, and may we also not forget the urgency of turning to Christ ourselves and sharing that urgent truth with those who don't know.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day weekend 07

It was back to reality today, but this past weekend Roommate Natalie and I drove down to Florida to visit our respective Air Force boyfriends (stationed conveniently at the same base for next 11 months!). Natalie picked me up from work on Friday afternoon in her car Gertie, and we headed for the beach. It gave us a good chance to catch up on life, since even though we live together, we rarely see each other. We sang at the top of our lungs to our favorite cds- a particularly raucous moment occurred during Marc Broussard's Home- you know the part I mean if you know this song! We also decided to memorize the lyrics to Jeffrey Steele's song Chrome, and we practiced on the way down and back in the car until we were satisfied with our memorization skills.

Natalie dropped me off at Brian's place around 12:30 am, and I was greeted with beautiful flowers, wine, and a sleepy boyfriend! Saturday we hung out with Brian's mom, her boyfriend Jim, and his son Jesse. The 5 of us went to Olive Garden for lunch and I had my first embarrassing moment of the weekend. I was nervous of course, meeting Brian's mom, and was trying to be natural and make conversation. At one point she let Brian have a taste of her wine, and after trying it, his mom looked at the lip gloss mark on the glass, a different shade from hers, and asked Brian where it came from! We couldn't very well deny that we had kissed in the car before entering the restaurant, so all we could do was laugh it off! After lunch we waited the rain out by watching football at B-dubs (we were there for the end of the Michigan- Appalachian State game!) and then when the sun came back out, went to ride go-karts and play miniature golf. Brian and I each got a hole in one on the same hole, one right after the other, which was pretty neat.

After our golf game (I have no idea who even won!) we said goodbye to Jim, Jesse, and Ann, and Brian and I made our requisite stop for pizza on our way home before getting ready to go out with his friends that night to the Howl at the Moon piano bar. We had a slight moment of tension when Brian informed me that we would be leaving at 8pm instead of 8:30 pm, and mind you, this was after I had just gotten out of the shower and was in the early stages of getting ready. I sort of flipped out on him a little bit, explaining passionately that it would not be physically possible for me to be ready by 8 o'clock and that it would take me at least that long just to get my hair dried and fixed, and did he realize how long it would take me to put on my makeup and you said 8:30 why did it change, and I'm just trying to look nice for when I meet your friends! Needless to say, Brian picked up his jaw from the floor and handled the situation basically with a yes dear, and we were out the door at 8:23pm, a whole 7 minutes ahead of schedule I reminded him. Howl at the Moon was a blast, and we sang and danced the night away.

Being out too late Saturday night, we overslept and missed church, but we made it into Destin in time for lunch at Cracker Barrel with his grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins. More family to meet, but we relaxed and had a nice meal together. Meeting the family hasn't scared me off yet, but Brian's uncle (who married into the family) warned me that I hadn't met everyone yet, and not to speak too soon!

From Cracker Barrel we said goodbye to the rest of the family and picked up some wine, grapes and a cooler, and headed over to Juana's where Brian had arranged to take a sailboat out to a private area of the beach and watch the sun set. It was very romantic and his way of celebrating our 3 month anniversary. I told Brian to watch out because he was spoiling me too much, and I might get used to it! It was about a 30 minute sail from point A to point B, and just as we were nearing the shore, the wind completely died on us. Brian had to paddle us in while I steered, and all I could think of was the tune, "Michael row your boat ashore Alleluia!" The clouds overhead pointed to a storm heading in our direction, and the wind picked up just as we came to the beach. All I could think of was, we're stranded over here, and we don't even have our shoes (we left them at the hut at Juana's), how are we going to get back, and how are we going to get the boat back? The sky was cloudy and gray, the wind was whipping around us, but fortunately a nice man came down and helped Brian take the sail off the boat and secure the vessel on the beach. I stood there and watched like a helpless girl. The man even pointed out his (pink!) beach house and told us we could wait out the storm at his place if we needed to. Luckily, the wind died down a few minutes later, and it never did rain where we were, so we spread out the towels and enjoyed our wine, and what part of the sunset we could see.

As the sun sank further into the clouds, and Brian apologized over and over for not being able to control the weather and have a better sunset, he put the sail back up and we pushed the boat back into the water heading back to Juana's. As the sky got darker and darker as we sailed through the calm waters I came to a stark realization: I was not going to make it back to shore without going to the bathroom somewhere, and in front of Brian no less! He suggested I hop into the water and go but somehow jumping into the murky sound after the sun had set was not the most appealing choice to me. Instead I opted to scooch my rear over the back of the boat and go off the side. It was both horrifying and hilarious at the same time.

We hung out at Juana's that night, and the next day, Monday, had breakfast with Brian's friend Kirsten, then went to the ocean for a few minutes before the rain started. This was also after Brian decided to take me out on a jet-ski and scare the living daylights out of me. I thought I was pretty clear when I said, go slow, and please don't go fast, but apparently he thought I was kidding and having a blast as I squeezed my arms around him tightly, screamed and fought back tears through my shut-tight eyes! mmm, not so much.

Nat picked me up that afternoon, and we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Firehouse subs- I am obsessed with this place- why there isn't a franchise here in Nashville I just don't understand- and then we sat through 8 1/2 hours of solid trafic back to Nashville- an extra 2 hours and a 30 minute stop at the gas station due to the influx of cars. It was pure craziness. But luckily Natalie and I got to talk about our weekends, and text our boyfriends back and forth the entire trip, while singing at the tops of our lungs (hey, we got Chrome down pat) to distract ourselves from the terrible traffic.


It was a wonderful long weekend, and I can't wait to return- hopefully to sunnier weather, and slower jet-skis.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

donut laugh... or do

Here is an amusing anecdote about work and breakfast pastries, and the witty comments that accompany them:

This morning there was a test of my willpower, and I passed the test. I was a good girl and refused the Dunkin Donuts that were placed before me, even though they are my favorite. My coworker Todd however, reached for a cream filled donut but grimaced when he took the first bite.
What is it? I asked him.
It's lemon, he said.
Do you not like lemon? I asked.
No, he said.

I looked at another co-worker, laughed and said, he picked a lemon- literally!

Hey- if I can't eat the donuts, at least I can laugh at those who do!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Wear that White!

Today marks the one week countdown to the official end of that special fashion season where one is permitted to wear white. In an effort to squeeze them into my wardrobe rotation one more time this season, I have on my white strappy heels and white pleated skirt today. I know there are the naysayers out there (This is for you Ari & Tadd: Nay. I say it. I say Nay. I'm a naysayer) who scoff and say that the old no-white-after-Labor-Day is positively prosaic and not a rule to be upheld any longer, but I'm a staunch traditionalist and thus will dutifully be packing up the aforementioned clothes after next Monday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Stardust is born

I had a date with Fashionista Mama B last night- we enjoyed a nice dinner and went to see the movie Stardust. With an all-star cast including Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiiffer, and Robert De Niro, I have no idea why this film hasn't gotten more hype. The only theater in Nashville that I know of that is showing the movie is Green Hills Regal Cinemas, but it's worth the drive (maybe not worth the drive if you're out of state though, so find it someplace local)!

Stardust was a surprise hit with me. I liken it to a Pirates of the Carribean or a Princess Bride- a great cast, and wonderful feel-good fairy tale type movie. I went in not knowing much about the movie, but I would recommend it to anyone... which I guess is why I'm blogging about it- so go see this movie and let me know what you think! Bradley & Bradley give it two thumbs up!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Weather you like it or not

Whether or not you are a Weather nerd like I am, you might find this Hurricane blog fascinating. I stumbled upon it through weather.com after reading some reports on Hurricane Dean- the 3rd strongest storm ever to make landfall, I might add. The senior meteorologist's blog discusses the storms' paths and progress in detail, and spells it out for you in layman's terms, even providing pictures labeled with important things to note. I may have just stumbled upon my new favorite website!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mad about Plaid



I'm here to give mad fashion props out to Mama B, who recently purchased an inexpensive, trendy pair of shoes from none other than my favorite store in the world, and the center of my other blog today, Target! Mom is obsessive about wearing her Ravenwood Red & Black religiously the way I am devoted to the color pink. She scours the shelves and shoe racks and has quite the collection of red kicks. Mama B was particularly smug about this new plaid pair, featured here on the left in this week's Target ad:

She strutted down the halls of Ravenwood High School today and just waited for someone to stop and compliment her on her School-spirited shoes. And she walked, and she waited, and the compliments never came. So here's your public affirmation, Mom. The shoes are adorable and very YOU. Even though no one at school seemed to notice, I think you're adorable!

Blogging Blahs

One hour and $143 later, I am back at work. For my lunch break today I treated myself to some much needed Retail Therapy, aka Target, and I have 2 measely bags to show for it. How the heck does that stuff add up so quickly?!

I also allowed myself to run for the Border for a quick bite (the shopping wore me out) since Miss Borders mentioned Taco Bell yesterday. I felt guilty mid-burrito but finished it all anyways, and now I am back for what is hopefulyl to be a stress-free afternoon.

Recently work has got me stressed. The Man has got me down. But I came to the stark realization this morning that stress is not a necessity or a bi-product of my job or life- stress is brought on by how I react to my environment, and it is a choice I can make. I am not a victim of stress, and for crying out loud, I'm 26 years old and my life is pretty darn good right now. I have no room for complaining, and no room for stress. So I came up with a new mantra for work this morning. Say it with me:

It's not life or death, it's just choral music.

Whenever I start to get overwhelmed I am reminding myself that all I can do is to do my job to the best of my ability. I can't control what comes out of my customers mouths. I can't control UPS's shipping errors. I will not worry that my voicemail light has been on for an hour without me checking. the Soprano rehearsal track cd can wait. It's not life or death, it's just choral music.

Does the Man have you down? Are you feeling overwhelmed with life? Do yourself a favor and remember that all you can do, is all you can do (thanks Jeffrey Steele for that great song!). Stress is a choice, and you can refuse not to partake. It's freeing.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Remember the Titans?

Ahh, Football season is here again! I was fortunate enough to get to attend last night's home opener (albeit a preseason game) of the Tennessee Titans versus the Washington Redskins. Dad and I had great seats on the 50-yard line, club level, which makes for a great view of the game. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to see last night.

NFL rookie of the year and Titans starting QB Vince Young was suspended for breaking an unspecified team rule so he didn't play. What a great way to start the season- your best player and team leader has disciplinary problems. Let's hope Jeff Fisher & the rest of the coaching staff can nip this in the bud before we have another PacMan Jones on our hands. Although... we could just continue the trend of misbhavin' players and form our own Titans wrestling team... hmmm...

Former American Idol contestant Elliot Yamin sang the national anthem- to tell you how much cosmetic work the singer has had done post-AI, I didn't recognize him until the end of the song, and then had to wait for the announcer to verify for me that he was indeed who I thought he was. Also the poor kid messed up the opening line of the national anthem- whoops!

With Young out, our offense was lackluster, although I will say it seemed to be more the fault of the O-line than the quarterbacks. We scored no touchdowns, and settled for a measly 2 field goals.

The loudest LP field got was when the Wave was started in the 3rd quarter- pretty sad for the fans who used to be notorious for making so much noise during games.

The one high point in the game for me personally was seeing an old UK player in the game for the Titans. Glen Pakulak is a punter who broke all kinds of records at Kentucky, and was our Mr. UK one year for Delta Zeta's Mr. UK pageant, and yours truly has a pic with the Kentucky cutie. He's bounced around from a few teams since being drafted initially in 2002, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Titans will keep him on their roster.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Big Brother is Watching

I've been at work an hour and 23 minutes this morning, and the phones have been down, and are still down. For a company who makes its livelihood taking and making calls this gives us very little to do. We were sent an email this morning to handle whatever work-related stuff we could find to do that didn't require use of the phone till the issue was resolved. I think I can find plenty to keep me busy, I thought to myself.

Things at work have been off-kilter recently. My boss was asked politely to leave, the Big Boss (the one I am scared of, ever since that dreaded Solitaire episode a few years ago) has stepped in and decided to implement some changes and try and whip us into shape, and all during our busiest part of the year. Yesterday the bomb they dropped on us was to hand us work sheets to fill out daily with information detailing exactly how we spent our work day, what products we sold, and how much. Besides being micro-managed, which I hate, the information they are requesting I fill out manually is duplicated on our electronic log sheet we fill out after every call. These sheets were passed out to us without any explanation as to why they are necessary, and how they are beneficial. To a person like me, who knows they are good at what they do, and doesn't appreciate feeling like someone is watching my every move over my shoulder, it angered me to no end. So I emailed the powers that be, and in no uncertain terms, politely asked that there be explanation given before I would be filling out a single sheet.

Sure she may look sweet and innocent, and Compliant, but that could not be further from the truth. Nothing gets me fired up like unjust action from an authority figure, and so I make it my personal cause for me and everyone around me to stand up for our rights. I could get in trouble for this ordeal. I could even lose my job over this worksheet business, judging by how many people have been fired in the past year, but I can't sit idly by and be a company yes woman.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cliche a Day: August 2nd

Ok, I know, I know- it's not the Chicago recap! Nor is it the obligatory family blog recap detailing Michael & Missy's visit to the new and improved Chateau Bradley, seeing Garrick and Braedon, and my first encounter with baby cousin Addison Grace... but this post should be quick and painless to post at work, and thought it would be worth sharing for the restless readers tired of looking at my Chicago Hopes and wondering if they panned out. (Some did, some didn't.)

So here it is. Today's Cliche A Day calendar enlightenment. Enjoy.

Smart Aleck
someone who us very or "too" clever

In the 1840's, New York City fraudster Aleck Hoag and his wife, posing as a prostitute, robbed her would-be customers. Hoag bribed the police to escape prosecution, but ultimately paid the price for being too clever when he tried to cut the police out of the deal, leading to the pair's arrest. In describing Hoag, the police were supposedly the first to use the expression "smart aleck."

In a semi-unrelated note, The Cliche A Day calendar was a Christmas present from fellow DIVA Ariana, who just happens to be having a birthday today. So Happy Birthday Ari! I hope you have a fabulous day, and a wonderful birthday weekend with yo' hurrrsband. (I'm still not used to that!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Hysteria

I finished the last Harry Potter book last Tuesday night. It was all I could do to not carry the thick volume with me to the Cubs game when it arrived at Jeff & Ali's condo on that Saturday in an owl-stamped book-shaped box that read: Attention Muggles, do not ship till Saturday July 21st. Almost as a taunt, a girl was reading her book at a nearby table at the neighborhood restaurant where we were enjoying our breakfast just minutes later.

Alas, the Chicago trip activities prevented me from starting the book until I was waiting to board the plane last Monday morning to head back to Nashville. In a fit and fury of reading though, I managed not to discover the details of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before I could finish it for myself, save one teensy little status quote from a facebook Friend that alluded to the kind of ending I might expect. The final saga of the Harry Potter epic however, did not fail to disappoint.

Though I had plenty to keep me busy in Chitown, I managed to talk about Harry Potter all weekend long and even befriended the turban-wearing Cabbie talking to him about the 7th HP book. It became a joke among Jeff, Ali, and Mary Anna how obsessed I had become with J.K. Rowling's fantasy literature. All I'm sayin is, don't knock it till you've tried it. I know nare a person who has picked up book one, and been able to put it down without devouring it and the now other 7 books.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chicago Hopes

In an effort to maintain what little self-dignity I have left after MA's recent blog, I will just post on here that I am going to be out of the office on Friday, and leave the boring out of office email reply for everyone else. But in case you'd like to know where I'm going, and I suppose you do because you're reading this, I am taking a weekend jaunt to Chicago with Mary Anna.

I've never been to Chicago, and as a proclaimed lover of all things metropolitan, this city has been on my must-see list. I imagine I'll eat my share of hot dogs and pizza this weekend, and do plenty of Harry Caray/Will Ferrell impersonations to entertain those around me for a lifetime. I guesstimate that I will shop till I drop, and stare in disbelief at viewing Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte in person. I propose that I will walk many many miles and curse myself for wearing heels in a vain effort to look cute in a city where I know virtually no one. I suspect that I will get very little sleep and that Mary Anna and I will take many dumb pictures and laugh a lot. I predict that the Cubbies will win and we will celebrate with the city. I trust that Jeff and Ali will not be too glad to be rid of us come Monday morning, and I am certain that I will drag myself unwillingly to work after having such a wonderful weekend.

These are my Chicago hopes. Let's see if they turn out to be true.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just dial it

Pick up your phone right now and dial 1-800-5HOCKEY. You won't be disapointed.*

*Ok, maybe you will, but it's still amusing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Acting on Acts

I started reading through the book of Acts last night with Brian. We each read chapter one on our own and then talked about what we had learned last night on the phone. It spawned a great conversation where I shared with him my discontent with the modern church, and how I do not understand how we got from Acts chapter one, the first century church, to the Mega churches of today. Brian also brought up the phenomenon of reading a passage of scripture that you've read a million times before, but discovering something new every time. Today I experienced that very thing.

I read Acts chapter 2 on my lunch break with what I feel are fresh eyes, and an open heart. I read about God pouring out his Holy Spirit on us, and how God's timing was perfect, saving Pentecost for a time when many foreigners were already in Jerusalem for a feast, so that they were able to witness God working and take the gospel back to their countries. I read the final verses of Chapter 2, and cherished them, about how the first century believers lived together, ate together, prayed together, gave everything they had to one another, and "the Lord added to their numbers daily." Where was that model in today's churches?

With those words fresh in my mind, I then began my book club book called Irresistible Revolution, about a guy who became disillusioned with the modern church and set off to form his own grassroots ministry, sharing Jesus with people on the streets of Philadelphia, and living out his faith practically. From the few pages I've read in the author's introduction it sounds like he is taking seriously the command to share the gospel and does it in a way reminiscent in the book of Acts. I am so anxious to go home from work today and dive further in this book because I think it's just what God has meant me to read right now!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Here's how I remembered that it was Friday the 13th this morning. After finally climbing out of bed and washing my face, I turned on my tv and recoiled in horror. ESPN was blank. The screen was black. There was no Sportscenter to be had. Panicked, I flipped the channel to CNN, 2 channels over, and it worked. So it wasn't my tv, and it wasn't my cable. I flipped back to ESPN, and still the black screen of death stared back at me. Oh no. It's Friday the 13th, I thought to myself. Of all the unlucky days for ESPN to be out! I made one more last ditch effort switching channels and then back to ESPN to no avail. I was stuck watching CNN this morning instead. What a terrible way to start the day! Hopefully your Friday the 13th goes a little better!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thirsty Thursday

Bradley. Brown. Baseball. Beer. Boys. Beef franks. Buns. Balls. Bats. Bases. Brews. Burgers, Bud Light. Bunts. Baserunners. Batters. Baseline. Ballgame.

T & A Day

Today was the day for me and Tadd and hang out (what did you think T&A stood for, you dirty mind!)

We old high school friends enjoyed lunch at "our place" aka Blue Coast Burrito. My week just isn't complete without a trip to BCB. And I love being able to enjoy my favorite salsa at a picnic table outside in the sunshine!

After work Tadd & I met up with Ari, Ang, & Robin for some dinner at Calypso Cafe. Tadd asked what kind of soup they had, and when the server explained that soup is a seasonal item, Tadd ordered something else that came with 2 sides. To be funny he asked for a cup of soup as one them. The waitress was not amused! Finally we all went to the 6:30 showing of the new Harry Potter movie.

I won't spoil the movie for any of you casual fans out there who might not have seen the movie yet (because you're obviously not a fanatic like we are, otherwise you would have already seen the film!), but let's just say Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix is my 2nd favorite of the HP movies, next to the original one of course. I also won't go into the antics of the people in the movie theater surrounding us (ie, the obese children panting after they climbed the theater steps after making multiple candy runs during the film, the kid who farted loudly during a quiet part of the movie, or the older women behind Ariana who carried on a conversation disregarding the fact that everyone and their mother could hear them, plus the child who was with them that kicked Ari's seat repeatedly.). But no, we won't mention them at all. Oh, or we won't mention the pretty boy taking our tickets at the movie theater who, while wearing makeup, told Tadd he was good in the Pajama Game.

We still all had a blast, and it was fun for Tadd and I to be able to spend some time together after our crazy schedules made it impossible to hang out. I look forward to many more Harry Potter movies (or okay, just 2 more) and T & A days to come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

7-11

I was amused as I looked at the date on the calendar today, and immediately a song lyric came to mind. From seven to seven he's got me open like Seven Eleven
So there's your 90's Throwback song for the day: Whatta Man by Salt N Pepa. Go forth and sing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

They call her Skipper, Skipper

My obsession with pink is well-known among my friends and co-workers. This story was posted on Fox News last week and 2 different people sent me a link to it! I have decided that this rare pink bottlenose dolphin should be dubbed Skipper- kind of like the famous tv dolphin Flipper, but more in line with her Barbie Doll shade of pink!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Juana Sail?

This past weekend I made the drive down to Florida to visit the new Beau. I won't gag you with all the ridiculously cute details about what all we did except one.

Knowing the Scaredy-Cat that I am, Brian managed to coax me out onto the sound waters and go for a sail. He reassured me with, "I'll try not to let us flip over." Let me tell you, I was not exactly comforted by that assertion! We had life jackets on the boat of course, but weren't wearing them (Sorry Mom!), but I did make Brian go through the crash procedures should we happen to capsize before I would step foot on the 14-foot floating vessel.

We shoved off from shore and stepped onto either side of the smallish ship. All that powered the sailboat was the manual rudder and a rope attached to the actual sail. Depending on the combination of pull on these 2 facets determined what direction you sailed, and how fast you got there.

(*Thanks to the pics on the Juana's website, you can see a lovely picture of what the sailboats look like*)
There is nothing to hold onto, and you're sitting on the Styrofoam sides of the sailboat. I did my best to relax and trust Brian as he steered us out into the water. I eventually calmed down and was very much enjoying myself when all a sudden he hands me the rope and tells me to grab a hold of the rudder. Nervously I follow his instructions and I realize with delight that I am unexpectedly sailing! I exclaim with childish glee, "I'm sailing!" to which I then begin to giggle and remind us both aloud about a line from the classic Bill Murray movie, What About Bob? "I'm saaaaaiiiling!! Dr. Leo Marvin!! I'm saaaaiiiillliiiing!"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Aftermath of the Fourth

Yesterday was pretty much the perfect day- I was out at the pool re-reading Harry Potter Book 5 by 9:30 am. I transferred myself over to MA & Lana's pool around 11am, and including me, there were 11 of us gals taking up residency at the Aspen Bungalow pool. We amused ourselves by watching the water aerobics class in the pool and filled our tummies with the potluck lunch stuff that everyone brought. After taking in as much sun as possible I showered and met up with Katie Greer, Katie Signaigo, Emily, & Jen at Panera to grab some dinner to go and headed downtown to River Front for the fireworks.

Arriving at 6:30, we found a spot on a concrete wall right on the river with 100,000 of our closest friends and settled in for the 3 hour wait before the fireworks began. Apparently due to some rain on the east coast, Nashville had the nation's largest crowd for a fireworks display, so that was exciting to know that Music City beat out several cities with larger populations to come out and celebrate America's birthday. I still maintain that it's worth the time, traffic, and throngs of people to be able to not only see the fireworks, but hear the music as well. This year's show did not disappoint- although I will say it seemed a bit shorter this year- perhaps due to the live televise cast? The fireworks that came out of the water were original, and though I missed it, Katie S. says she did spot the new firework shaped like a musical note.

Today however, I am paying the price for my negligence in sleep. We had an 8am meeting this morning, the morning after a holiday, where they crammed me into a room at a table for an hour and a half, and bored me with a ton of technological details, and expected me to be alert and awake. I thought I was doing pretty well, paying attention or at least acting like I was. I would feel my eyelids get heavy and so I would force them open wide, at the same time wondering if anyone else could tell that my eyes were open wider than normal. I didn't have to wait long to get my answer.

Directly after the meeting Adam approached me laughing and said he caught me nodding off several times during the meeting. I was horrified! I didn't even realize that I had even fallen asleep. Adam laughed and said that he would sit his coffee cup down on the table abruptly to wake me up, and that I would open my eyes really wide to compensate for the fact that they had just been closed. Oopsie. He had a good laugh at my expense; I can only hope that no one else spotted my sleepiness!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Goin' to the chapel

We here at the DIVA domain have been pre-occupied the past week, working hard on getting our fellow Diva Ariana hitched, so I apologize for my delinquency in blogging! However, I am proud to say that although her initials haven't changed, I am now friends with one Celia Ariana Bartolomea ("I'd like to buy a vowel, please")!

After hearing about Bart's family and friends for so long, it was great to finally put faces with names. All of Bart's groomsmen, save one brother, were in the military, so they were all decked out in their uniforms which made for a beautiful ceremony. At the rehearsal when we practiced walking down the aisle, my groomsman introduced himself to me as "Mike." I gave him a puzzled look. "But that's not what Ari calls you is it?" "No, it's Porkchop," he clarified. All of the guys have these crazy call signs. So I walked down the aisle with Mr. Porkchop. I just think that's hysterical. Conley got Scottie Too Hottie aka Beef. But I wasn't jealous or anything.

Barring a few names being mispronounced, and me skipping the second verse of You Raise Me Up (aka Jews Raise Me Up) the actual wedding was wonderful. When Bart's brother Bill handed him the ring and whispered "My precious" it was all we could do to stifle our laughter and try and remain solemn. The rain held off for the evening, and a good time was had by all at the reception. And after the party (the reception) was the After Party (in the Bridal Suite) and after the party it was the hotel lobby (the Sheraton bar) ... so the rap songs don't lie!

Congrats Bart & Ari! And now a run down of the events in pictorial form:


Wednesday evening, the Bachelorette party




We started off at Ari's apartment and opened the "wicked" themed gifts, then proceeded to enjoy some apps and wine at the Grape in Bellvue. Following the Grape we headed down the road to a fantastic dinner at Maggiano's and ended the evening at Nashville's favorite piano bar (or mine) Big Bang.


All I'm gonna say is notice the wine charms.












Thursday evening, the rehearsal dinner at Sole Mio's (yes, of course I sang the aria!). Bridesmaids with their gifts- bottles of wine called "Little Black Dress"- Ari is so clever! On the left are Beth & Katie (please don't ask me which is which!) and on the right are Angela and Conley


A slightly stressed Bride gets laced up into her wedding dress! Isn't she beautiful though?






The gorgeous wedding cake garnished with gold filigree to match Ari's dress and fresh berries







And yes, the obligatory shot of me & Brian at the wedding reception. A very cute couple, don't you think?





Monday, June 25, 2007

The Big Bang Theory

If you have not yet tried out Nashville's newest hot spot, you must run, not walk, to Big Bang. Located on south Broadway directly across from the Stage, Big Bang is Nashville's dueling pianos watering hole, and makes for a great night out of enjoying a choice beverage if you so choose and singing along to the classics.
I have a hypothesis- a supposition- an idea- nay, a theory, about why Big Bang is such a popular hangout.
One, it's brand new- only open a few weeks, so all the seen-and-be-seen people are out in droves to pay a visit to the newest edition to the So-Bro bars.
Two, if you ever made a trip to Chitown when it was still on Demunbreun years ago, you will remember that it was always packed. That's why I was baffled when they closed their doors to become yet another honky-tonk with crude fowl-mouthed guitar playing idiots, and I promptly emailed the management and told them just that. However, what Chitown lacked in space and layout, Big Bang has overcome superbly. There is a stage with ample room for both grand pianos, plus when the mood strikes, one of the pianists switches over to playing the drums that are positioned behind the pianos, and a guitar player comes running onstage to round out the band for a particularly raucous number.
There is a large open space on the floor in front of the stage, making it a perfect dancefloor, or just room for spectators to stand. across from the stage there is a raised area with tables, bars at either end of the room, and even a front covered outdoor patio with tables that overlooks South Broadway.
So what is it that makes Big Bang such a popular hangout, and why do I think that this new it-bar will stick around for a while? Because this is Nashville; Everyone's a singer! Who doesn't want to go out with a group of friends and sing along to all your favorite songs? At one point on Saturday evening, the 2 guys started playing Garth Brooks' Friends in Low Places, and then they stopped and let the crowd sing a capella. We made it all the way through the first verse, the chorus, the second verse, and went into the 2nd chorus before the pianists jumped back in, and miraculously we we still in the right key and everything! (I love Nashville)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thirsty Thursday

Last night our family of four partook in the Thirsty Thursdays festivities at Nashville's Greer stadium. Everyone questioned me when I suggested we go right after work and get there when the gates opened at 5:30. Later on they were thanking me!

It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon, so Laura and I snagged one of the picnic tables up close to where the band was getting ready to start playing and got settled in with our brews. (Per Sarah Scott, the best deal dollar-per-ounce is to get 2 of the $2 medium-sized beers they offer, if you make a trip to a Thirty Thursday event) (I also might be easily persuaded to go back to another Thursday night game) We spotted a TAR- some poor guy had tucked his shirt into his underware and it was showing over the waistband over his shorts! For pre-game entertainment we enjoyed the sunshine and the music of Hillbilly Casino. They are a local rockabilly band and were actually very entertaining. They channeled the 50s in their look and even the style of instruments they played. The lead singer didn't play an instrument so instead he combed his greasy hair and danced all over the stage in his vintage shoes, and made witty quips in between songs. Unfortunately every song sounded pretty much the same, but they did do some Johnny Cash covers which got the onlookers into the music. Dad liked them so much that we got him his very own Hillbilly Casino cd and are planning on catching the band at one of their regular Nashville shows.

The Sounds game didn't start until 7pm, so we stayed out at the picnic tables with our drinks until after the first inning started. Mom was quietly drinking her water and getting antsy for her hot dog and coke and was ready to go into the stadium, so Laura remarked, Debbie over there needs to calm down. I gave her a questioning look and so she clarified, Debbie Downer! Well the name stuck! We referred to mom the rest of the night as Debbie or Deb and the more it annoyed her, the funnier it got!

It was a perfect night for a game, the Sounds won 7-4, and we got to have some fun family bonding time.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

All in a dad's day

It was a typical father's day... we went to church (Travis Cottrell led worship- it was a phenomenal experience), we went to lunch (Bonefish Grill.. a slightly traumatic event for me having to do with unintentionally-eaten fish scales), and went back to the house where we gave dad his father's day presents, and Laura climbed through the doggie door! Yes, this is a typical Sunday afternoon in the Bradley household!Just a swingin': Dad and his daughters



Laura asseses the situation while Oscar looks on curiously
















In she goes.... can she make it? YES!

Friday, June 15, 2007

WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!!!!!!

Ahhhh, don't we love it when everything connects? Yes, yes we do. As I've been a little, ahem, pre-occupied lately, it's become increasingly more difficult to find blog inspirations. I've also been swamped with rehearsals almost every night this week for the Nashville Symphony Chorus' production of Carmina Burana, in conjunction with the Nashville Symphony. Performances are tonight and tomorrow night.


So I figured it was time to educate the masses about this important work of the 20th century. Generally speaking, I have a distaste for most 20th century music. That's a broad, if unfair statement, but I do. However, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is one of those classic and important choral works that every lover of choral music wants to perform. Based on 13th century Latin poems covering a wide spectrum of secular topics such as love, drinking, gambling, and the fickleness of fortune and wealth, I am finally getting my chance to sing about it all tonight!

So why the wheel of fortune reference in the title? Well, as it would happen, yesterday's Clinche-A-Day from the infamous calendar was



the wheel of fortune
the agent of change in human affairs

The term refers to the goddess Fortune, traditionally represented with a wheel in her hand, which symbolizes inconsistancy.


You'll notice the image of the musical score for Carmina Burana just happens to have, oh yes, a wheel of fortune, and right smack in the middle there is the goddess Fortune. The most famous movement of Carmina Burana, the one that starts and ends the work, the one that everyone knows, just happens to be O Fortuna! Literally, oh Fortune!


Much of the compositional structure of Carmina Burana is based on the idea of the turning fortuna wheel. Within each scene, and sometimes within a single movement, the wheel of fortune turns, joy turning to bitterness, and hope turning to grief. O Fortuna, the first and last poem in the work, completes the cycle, forming a compositional frame for Orff's masterpiece.


And the symetry gods are smiling down on us now, even though the Starbucks gods were not this morning when I broke down and got iced latte all over my white shirt.