Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I’ve got my own pet peeves, just like anyone else. For example, leaving time on the microwave after food has been taken out instead of clearing it to display the clock again. Also it’s no secret the stretch of interstate on I-65 South between Concord Rd and Old Hickory Blvd. is the bane of my existence on many days for the simple reason that Tennessee drivers have an apparent memory lapse on this stretch of road and cannot remember that the speed limit is 70- mph, not 60, not 55, and definitely not 50, which, yes, I have been stuck behind some of these drivers while preparing to exit.


One of the biggies though, is Winter Without Snow. What's the point of cold weather if there's no winter wonderland to sweeten the deal? If there's none of the white stuff, I say give me my 80 degree summer days, please. I'm tired of freezing through the first half of my commute every morning waiting for my heat to kick-in, and fed-up with scraping frost off Thomas' windshield!

Now I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch, but it would seem that there may be cause for excitement here in the Nashville Metro area:




Today's forecast according to weather.com: "cloudy with scattered snow showers and flurries becoming a steady accumulating snow later. Low around 30F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 90%. About one inch of snow expected."

And again, tomorrow's forecast: "chance of precip 90%. 1 to 2 inches of snow expected."

Now you northerners may be scoffing at the mere giddiness of one inch of snow which will in all likelihood, melt by lunchtime, but we Southerners are just itching to have one good snow. As bad as it would be to get stranded in my apartment at the top of a big hill with my Netflix movies tomorrow morning, I think I could manage.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

In the Pink

Probably one of the best days of my life was my 18th birthday. It was just a perfect day. But coming in a close second was the day that Sephora opened its doors in Nashville, TN. Seriously, I would say that I was like a kid in a candy store, but having never been a big candy eater, I'll say I was like me as an 8-year-old in a store full of Barbie Dolls.
Some of the newness of Nashville's Sephora store has worn off, but I still have a twinge of unhappiness if I am for some reason in the Green Hills area, but can't swing over to Sephora for a visit. In fact, I have a Sephora gift card that I got for Christmas that has just been burning a hole in my pocket, but I'm holding off as long as I can before I spend it.

To tempt and tantalize me, I get weekly emails from Sephora with new product reviews, and this week's email featured a few rose-colored hued makeup palettes I thought I'd share with you all!
The first is a delicious combo of colors from Too-Faced. I am a sucker for all-in-one pallettes because I am anal retentive when it comes to co-ordinating my eye, lips, and cheek color. These pinkish-hued neutrals go well with the majority of my wardrobe, and okay, I'm also slightly drawn to this product because of its pink packaging. So sue me. For just under 30 smackeroos, you get 2 concealers, blush, 2 powder eyeliners, a brow duo, 3 eyeshadows, and 2 lipglosses. Best of all, you save time when packing for the gym by tossing this baby in with your foundation and you're good to go! (Is anyone else as sick as I am of those annoying Taco Bell commercials??)
The other item that popped out to me was Benefit's Hopelessly devoted to pink. Quite simply, it's a pallette of pretty pink shades for the eyes and lips, and again, goes well with the bulk of my wardrobe.
Disclaimer (and I don't even know 'er): Wearing pink eye shadow can be a tricky feat, as you don't want to look
a) like you're suffering from uber-contagious conjunctivitis, or
b) like you're posing as an albino rabbit.
The trick is to keep the pink on the eyelids light, and play up the pink lips and cheeks to achieve an eye-catching monochomatic look that's fresh and fun without being scary.
Happy Beautifying! (and PS, MA- look who finally got the hang of linking pictures to their respective websites? wahooo!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oscar Noms are out

In building up to the main event, The Academy Awards, which will take place Sunday, February 25, 2007,

I'd love to hear some of your predictions for the winners. There are quite a few movies I wanted to see in the theater that I never got around to seeing, and I will try and remedy this before the awards take place, but here are my current predictions for some of the biggies. All noms for these categories are listed, the ones in bold are my pics:

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond”
Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson”
Peter O’Toole in “Venus”
Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness”
Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine”
Jackie Earle Haley in “Little Children”
Djimon Hounsou in “Blood Diamond”
Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls”
Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Penélope Cruz in “Volver”
Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal”
Helen Mirren in “The Queen”
Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada”
Kate Winslet in “Little Children”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Adriana Barraza in “Babel”
Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal”
Abigail Breslin in “Little Miss Sunshine”
Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls”
Rinko Kikuchi in “Babel”

Achievement in directing

“Babel” Alejandro González Iñárritu
“The Departed” Martin Scorsese
“Letters from Iwo Jima” Clint Eastwood
“The Queen” Stephen Frears
“United 93” Paul Greengrass

Best motion picture of the year

“Babel”
“The Departed”
“Letters from Iwo Jima”
“Little Miss Sunshine”
“The Queen”

Tom Brady. So Hot Right Now.


If any man ever wondered why women Really watch football, let me let you in on a little secret: it's all about the men in uniform! I go gaga for the guys in tight, shiny pants, and the strong, athletic bodies, and it's nice to see men who know what their job is, and they aggressively get it done on the field. Yes, it's a primeval way of looking at the game, but guys, don't fool yourselves into thinking that you enjoy the sport for any more noble a reason- the competition, the physical battle of wit and strength, and the added bonus, the scantily-clad cheerleaders on the sidelines (read: dancers who shake their assets in short, spandex half-outfits).

I spent my Sunday evening with the guys- Miller, Brad, and Jason, watching the Colts-Patriots game. They got a taste into the female psyche as I drooled over Tom Brady, and they enlightened me with their theory of every man feeling a strong kinship to a specific animal. (Miller is a wolf, Brad is a polar bear)

Poor Tom looks so dejected here after losing to the Colts... perhaps I should make a special trip up to New England to console him?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tied to our jobs

So I know most of us don't exactly LOVE our jobs... and probably many times we feel like we are chained to our desks for 40 hours a week. But what if you were literally chained to your desk? As in, physically restrained so that you were not able to leave your desk? This is no hypothetical question. The story you are about to read is both sad and true. The names have not been changed because the author enjoys making fun of herself and the antics of her day to day life in hopes that by reading her anecdotes the reader would get a smile on his or her face.

It was a normal Wednesday morning. I woke up late. I showered and sprayed some scrunchy stuff in my hair to avoid having to blow dry it. I arrived to work frazzled and started to go through voice mails and emails. Eventually I started to make some phone calls and noticed that it was rather chilly in my office on this particular morning, so as the phone rang and rang and rang I reached under my desk to turn on my space heater like I had done so many times before.

It was a simple maneuver I had mastered, the squat and reach, my headset on, ready to say "hello" in a flash should the person on the other end of the line answer, and in one deft move turning on the bringer of warmth to oscillate and make my cube nice and cozy. But this morning was not like every other morning. On this morning the scrunchiness of my hair made it highly susceptible to snags. Snags on metal thingies that I had no idea were underneath my desk. Snags that would prevent me from being able to return to a normal sitting position. Snags that would impair my ability to even reach the phone base to hang up. So there I was, my head bowed and parallel to the desk, headset on, phone ringing, the answering machine finally picking up, and I was unable to free myself from whatever I had tangled my hair on. This was quite the predicament.

I started to panic when I realized I couldn't reach buttons on the phone to hang up, and panicked further when I couldn't free myself from the uncomfortable position. I don't know all the details of what happened next- everything is just a blur, but I know I asked timidly for help from Jody, the girl who sits next to me. Surely as a fellow female she would understand the trials and tribulations of hair entanglement and be able to free me safely. But after I called her name with no response I realized in horror that she was on the phone with a customer and unable to hear my pathetic pleas. I turned my head as much as I could to try and get the attention of Todd who sits behind me, but I was unable to contort my body so much without yanking out handfuls of hair.

Suddenly, my friend John came valiantly to my rescue, noticing that I was in pain and hearing my whiney statement of "I'm stuck" to anyone who was listening. I was literally chained to my desk! John quickly pulled the headset from my head and discovered the source of my snag- a metal thingie on the bottom of my desk. His capable hands worked quickly to free my hair without resulting to cutting it out with scissors and I breathed a sigh of relief as I sat upright once again. I thanked him profusely as he pointed out to me the source of my angst so that I could avoid it in the future.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Because now I was free to sit at my desk once again, safely removed from harm's way, but now I was also expected to get back to work.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Punked

Back in the day when Heather and I spent our summers working at Lifeway together, one of our favorite pastimes was calling coworkers at the store while we were off or on break, and ask for items that didn’t exist. The one we used for each other was to call and ask for The Living Bible, a translation that was no longer in print. Sometimes we would call and ask other unsuspecting employees for the book, “How to beat your child into submission” by Dr. James Dobson. This was an especially fun trick to play when the sales associate actually went to look for the book!

Once I got to Brentwood Benson, the joke was to call a new sales rep and place a mock order for 300 or so hymnals, in which case the rep would get really excited that they had made such a big order, and then the rep on the other end of the phone would laugh and tell them they were only kidding, and that the order wasn’t for real. If the seasoned rep was particularly tricky, they wouldn't tell the newbie until well after the conversation had ended, and the rep had plenty of time to share with everyone else on the sales floor what had taken place before they went and broke the news to the new employee.

Today however, the joke was on me. I had just gotten back from a very productive lunch break in which I had run several errands and picked up a sandwich to bring back to work. I had just cleared my email inbox, and was going through my voicemails when I got a particularly annoying/curious voicemail. A 615 area code phone call, however the woman said she was calling from Connecticut... interesting because I have Just taken over CT and hardly anyone from that state knows to call my extension... I continue to listen. She tells me her name, Katherine McDoogal, and proceeds to say she is looking for the sheet music to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and that she is doing this as a solo and her children's choir is backing her up. (You would think I would have caught on that this wasn't for real, but you'd be surprised what people will ask for.) So below is the actual verbatim message I typed out while I listened to this strange request: (phone numbers scrambled to protect the not-so-innocent)

615-648-2067 katherine mcdoogal in CT place order twinkle little star 615-265-6196 ext 120

As this woman droned on in her message I found it odd that she was in CT, had a nasally, northern accent, but had a local phone number... I know, Amanda, how dumb can you be? But it had been a crazy day, the phone ringing nonstop, so I proceeded to call Miss McDoogal back, only to be greeted with the direct line to one Miss Mary Anna Brown. I was so flustered that I had fallen hook, line, and sinker, that I could barely put two and two together at what had just transpired. Mary Anna was obviously elated that her little trick had worked.

And I had been beaten at my own game!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lunching with Loved Ones

Tis been the week of lunch dates- that glorious hour in the middle of my work day, where I am able to escape for exactly 60 minutes, lest a few precious minutes of my vacation time be snatched up in order to compensate for my tardiness, and catch up on life with a dear friend. Monday was January 1st, and we were still off on holiday, so back to work on the 2nd it was. That evening was spent where I won a date with Tadd Himelrick. We dined at Chili's and then watched the first 5 episodes of season one of Arrested Development. This is a show that several good friends of mine have sworn up and down that I would love, so I finally succumbed to the pressure and watched it. It did take a few episodes to get me interested, but I am hereby publicly admitting that my smart friends were right, I love the show, and will be booking some time with the Taddster as soon as our schedules permit to finish the first season on DVD.

Wednesday, January 3rd was lunch with Momma B and Laura Lee at Logan's. Thursday was TGI Friday's with Thomas (no more Oreo maddness- what's that all about?!). Friday was McCallister's with Beth, and finally, today yielded a trip up and back to Louisville to have a long lunch with Colleen and Holt. It was worth the drive since I hadn't seen either of them since July.

I love dining with friends, but for the sake of my pocketbook, I must insist upon several Lean Cuisines, and lunches in the 2nd floor cafe this week. And let me just tell you how excited I am about that!

Drum Roll Please...

And here we are, well into the new year, and it’s my first blog of 2007. I know. I continue to disappoint and abandon You the reader. Guess what my new year’s resolution is? To Blog More! Ha ha that would be a good one, wouldn’t it? I am only kidding of course. In lieu of last year’s much talked about list, I have made a new resolution this year, and that is not to have any resolutions! (Which, I suppose IS a resolution in itself, but whatever) That way I don’t have to feel guilty about breaking them! I did write in my journal (with pen and paper… how positively prosaic) several “goals” for the new year. Most of them are going well thus far, but one at the top of the list- “do not hit the snooze button” I broke the morning of January 2nd- the morning I started back to work after having a week off! I literally rolled over and chanted the mantra to myself.. “new year’s goal- do not hit snooze” and then I rebelliously hit the large button and rolled back over for 10 more minutes of blissful zz’s.