Friday, March 30, 2007

a trip down aria lane

HMS Pinafore is well under way, and so far so good. Last night was our first night back after a break, and I could tell my own energy was lacking. A lot of little factors contributed to a not-so-stellar performance on my part. I didn't get a chance to really warm up my voice. I also didn't eat dinner, so I ate an apple backstage before my first entrance which is a little ways into the first act. At one point during my first song, I felt something fly out of my mouth and onto my lip- I quickly pressed my lips together to remove the foreign particle and realized in horror that a piece of apple had just shot out of my mouth. Hopefully, none of the auidence members caught this.

Seconds later, as I turned to go up stage and onto the platform, still while I am singing mind you, I was still so flustered at the apple incident that I didn't pull my dress up enough as I climbed the step, and I stepped on my dress, tripping myself! The chain reaction continued as I was so distracted at the fact that I had just stumbled, I took the first ending twice, changing the end of my aria completely. Then, as if that weren't enough, I tripped again on my dress a few minutes later as I was leaving the stage after my scene with the Captain! Grrr!

True, it could have been a much worse performance, because nothing disastrous happened, but I was disapointed in myself. Hopefully tonight will go more smoothly!

Cliche a Day: March 30th

It's been a while since we've had one of these posted on here for your education/entertainment. Today's phrase is one I find myself using frequently in my writing, due to my obsessive compulsive nature to employ rhyming phrases. And also due to my nature to use cliches, which is perhaps why Ariana felt the need to give me this calendar. hmm...

in like Flynn
to be accepted by the group without question; to have a sure thing

Errol Flynn, a successful movie star/sex symbol of the 30's and 40's, was involved in a sensational trial in which he was accused of having sex with two underage girls on a boat. When Flynn was found not guilty, the phrase "in like Flynn" became part of the popular vocabulary, the phrase suggesting that his acquittal was based on his popularity and celebrity.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

a spontaneous, star-studded show

Yesterday afternoon I got a phone call from an inside source that said Kenny Chesney was going to be playing a free concert at the Tin Roof. By the end of the day, KC had announced the show to his fan club, word spread around Nashville, and upon arriving at the "top secret" show at the Roof, there were 2 radio stations broadcasting live from outside the place, and the bar was full to capacity!
These are the fun things you get to experience when living in Music City, USA. Kenny Chesney threw himself a birthday party at the Tin Roof, and invited celebs and fans alike to come party with him. Mandy, Rhonda, and I got there late- around 9pm, and caught the last hour of the show, pushing our way through the crowd and ending up center stage about 5 rows back. Kenny was already 3 sheets to the wind by then, but it was a blast. He really is a very short guy- especially without the aid of the heighening cowboy hat! We got to see KC and the Moonshine Band share the stage with songwriter Brett James, and Kix Brooks, and earlier in the night, Kenny invited up songwriter Craig Wiseman, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, & Montgomery Gentry among others, and Tim & Faith were there for the shindig although they supposedly remained out of the limelight. Mandy was hoisted onto the shoulders of a guy she didn't know so she got a birds eye view of the stage, and got some great pictures with Rhonda's camera (the pic currently posted came from a phone, so I apologize for the quality of the photo).

Kenny closed his show with She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy, and off he went to the VIP area out back where all the celebs and other important people were mingling. We three were not considered VIPS, so we hung out in the bar with everybody else. The place started to clear out, and as I happened to look over by the bar, there stood one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Angie Aparo. Now we all know that I am notoriously unaware of my surroundings and am usually the last person to spot a famous person out in public, but how do you miss a 5'4" bald man?! I approached him and told him what a fan of his I was, and talked to him for a minute and came away glowing! Then I went back and found him a few minutes later and got Rhonda to take our picture together. Her camera battery died, so we had to settle for the cell phone pic again, which isn't the best quality, but dadgummit, I got to meet Angie Aparo! I'm still beaming!

Mandy, Rhonda Lu & I headed up the street to Dan McGuiness to round out the spontaneous girls' night out on the town.

Friday, March 23, 2007

"It is the day of the show, y'all"

To quote one of my favorite films, Waiting for Guffman, tonight marks the opening of her majesty's ship, the HMS Pinafore. It seems weird that after 2 months of rehearsing it's finally time to perform. And wouldn't you know it, I am fighting with my vocal chords this morning. They're angry at me for singing so much and not resting enough. So I'll be speaking as little as possible today (fat chance since I'm on the phones all day) and drinking as much hot tea as I can stomach.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Tubb has been drained

Holy Mother of Basketball! The unthinkable has happened- Tubby Smith is leaving the University of Kentucky. The story hit the press only held about an hour ago, so details are still sketcky, but it appears that Tubby left on his own volition (if for none other reason than if he didn't resign, he might have been canned). He announced that he is taking the head coaching position at the University of Minnesota. Go Gophers, Go.

I have mixed feelings- I was brought up in the Tubby era. Most of Kentucky's glory days in basketball I wasn't around to see, or too young to remember. Tubby Smith basketball is practically all I know! But I also know that our program has dwindled from the premiere basketball program in the country to a mediocre program lacking in good recruits, and failing to win championships year after year. I wish Tubby well in his new venture.

Here's all I can find on the topic right now: , foxsports, and a good one from espn

Monday, March 19, 2007

Yes, Virginia, there is a Tennessee

Ahh, March madness. Seriously, one of my favorite times of the year. I layed in bed reading a book on Saturday afternoon (the Kiterunner- fabulous) while watching ncaa basketball on tv and thought I'd died and gone to heaven!

I know it has to do with how I've grown up, but basketball in my house has been in the forefront since as long as I can remember. Laura and I used to swap every year siding with mom or dad when Kentucky & Indiana would play, and we have each filled out tournament brackets and hung them in the kitchen for years and years now. Dad picks Kentucky to win the thing every year. Laura and I would fight over who got to highlight the winners. I know I'm the oddball girl who actually gives a rip about sports, but I can't help but wonder what's wrong with all these men who know nothing about them! Isn't this supposed to be right up their masculine alley- The competition and tradition, and loyalty to one's team? Yet I know so many men who barely know what a basketball is, let alone care enough to fill out a bracket, or center their weekend around watching a game.

I'm currently in first place among the pool at work, but my sister is in First Place among every MTSU student who has filled out a ncaa tourney bracket on facebook. First among thousands! I bow down to her in amazement.

The title of my blog I stole from my witty father, in response to the outcome of yesterday's UVA-UT matchup. 3 out of the 4 SEC teams who made it into the tournament this year are going to the Sweet 16. Guess which team didn't make it. Yep. My beloved Wildcats ended their season with a hard-fought loss to Kansas. I wasn't shocked at this, and await the start of next season with a new coach perhaps? We'll see.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ides say: Beware!

Beware the ides of March.
That's today. I don't know why I have always carried that quote from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar with me, but every year, on March 15th, I remember that it's the Ides of March. We studied Julius Caesar in my sophomore English class, and I always remember that line is spoken by the Soothsayer (this is for you Tadd: Sooth. I say it. I say sooth. I'm a soothsayer.) also known as a fortune teller or prophet. And he tells Caesar to watch out on March 15th, because something bad is about to happen. For example, he winds up being betrayed and murdered. I'd say our boy Julius should have listened more in English class and paid attention when March 15th rolled around. Otherwise the story might have turned out much differently.

Out of curiously ('cause I'm curious like a cat- "that's why my friends call me Whiskers")- I checked wikipedia for further info on the history if this forboding day.

A day in the Roman calendar, that marked the approximate middle of the month, i.e., the fifteenth day in the months of March, May, July, and October, and the thirteenth day in the other eight months. The word ides comes from Latin, meaning "half division" (of a month).

So now you know. Beware.

beating the system

the third blog in a triology of car blogs:

This is a little something I call beating the system. The registration for Thomas expired in March of 2006. I never got around to renewing it. So for a year now I have been driving illegally, laying low and playing it cool whenever a cop was spotted, but more amused than anything else that I never did get pulled over for it, and saved a chunk of money this year.

Now that Thomas has died and I have my new car, I have to get new tags. One would think I might just transfer the old car registration to this new one, but conveniently enough, Thomas was never technically in my name. So as far as any registration person knows, I have never owned a car nor been respoinsible for purchasing vehicle registration. I think I am off scott free and can buy my new registration, skipping the fees for 2007 completely.

This is what I proudly call beating the system.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

2 cars in 2 days

When last we left our heroine, she was losing sleep over the fact that she technically owned 2 cars. Enter Tuesday morning, when Amanda drives to work in her first new car, awaiting the afternoon when she can drop it off and pick up her second new car!

I am a little more focused at work today, although there is one tiny thing she is worried about- her expired registration. Part of the money that was taken off the price of the new G6 is hingent upon them getting a copy of my old registration. What if they don't accept it because it's from 2006? But I can't worry about that right now.

First things first- calling the girl at Driver's Way who sold me the white car. Yes, it was cool that I purchased my car from a girl, but I could hear her deflate over the phone when I called her that day. Hey, it's Amanda Bradley, I said to her. Heyy, how are you? Good I said, but I don't have good news for you. I explained to her that it was a great car, but just not the car from me, and that I had bought something else already. I felt awful for having to do that, but there was nothing to be done at this point. All I could do was cross my fingers that returning this vehicle and aquiring the other would go smoothly, and that I wouldn't somehow be without any car again!

That afternoon I cleaned everything out of the white car, and brought in all the paperwork into Driver's Way. Conveniently, the girl was at lunch, so another guy who had obviously been prepped on the situation handled all the paperwork for me. I sat and waited nervously inside while he made sure everything checked out. It did. Now all I had to do was drive to the other dealership and get my new car! Since all the paperwork had been done the afternoon before, I was given the keys immediately, and I knew I had made the right decision as a smile spread across my face and I showed off "my" new car to my mom who had driven me over. Trey showed me all the nifty features on my car and helped me get everything settled before I drove off in my real, new car, the one that I was certain I loved and couldn't wait to show off.

I still haven't taken any pictures yet, but will try and get that taken care of soon. Now it's time to play name that car. Thomas was such an original, and I feel pangs of guilt when I drive by my club house and see him sitting there, knowing he will never be driven again!

Monday, March 12, 2007

R.I.P Thomas (b. Nov 2, 1996- d. March 10, 2007)

Saturday I went car hunting with my good friend and car-fanatic, Andrew. I test drove several cars and he helped me narrow down my search, made sure I was asking the right questions and offered helpful advice. As a former car salesmen himself, he knew the general manager at the Pontiac dealership in Franklin, so he made a quick call, and the manager himself walked me out to the lot once we got there along with a really great salesman named Trey.

I leave overwhelmed, I drive several more cars, I get a splitting head ache and we stop so I can get some ibuprofen. I almost walk into a liquor store instead of the gas station store that was next door. Oopsy. Minutes later as I'm driving one of the cars, the most beautiful rainbow appears. God is definitely giving me a sign! Andrew and I drive back to my apartment, and I am just as confused as ever and still have a headache.

On Edmondson pike, right before we get to my street, Thomas starts to violently shake, the lights are flashing on the dashboard, and I don't know what is going on. I don't know if the car is abut the explode and we need to jump ship or What. Andrew assures me it's going to be okay, and to keep driving. I manage to steer the car almost up the apartment complex gate, but the car dies. Andrew begins to push the car barefoot (flip flops don't provide much traction) and a random guy hops out of his car and helps Andrew push. Mr. Stranger, wherever you are, thank you very much! He runs off once I get Thomas steered into a parking spot in front of the clubhouse. A guy who's in my Sunday school class happens to be dropping off a friend who lives in my same complex, and so he comes back and looks at my car with Andrew. I recognized him, and he introduced himself as Nick. Nick and Andrew determine the cause of the death of my vehicle, and perform a basic car autopsy. I threw a rod in my engine. Apparently that's really bad. They use a flashlight and show me shards of shiny metal inside my engine, which apparently you aren;t supposed to be able to see. I am slightly freaking out, but holding it together as i call my dad since I have 2 guys there with me, so I'm trying not to cry!

Pause here in between laughing at the irony that yes, I had been out looking at new cars minutes before my old car died, and recalling the conversation between my dad and me earlier that day when he asks me if I have Thomas all cleaned out, and I emphatically tell him that I'm not going out to buy a car that day, but only to look and get a better idea of what I want, and finally realizing the horrible prophesy that has come true when I joked with friends that I am needing to get a new car before my old one does on me and I'm forced to buy a car out of necessity. Yes, all these are terribly ironic. I swear, I don't make this stuff up.

Nick gives Andrew and I a ride up the hill to my place, and dad meets us at the apartment to start going over our options. I go home with dad and consume several glasses of red wine (for health reasons of course) and start to crunch numbers and figure out exactly what I can afford (thank you Lisa Thompson for that financial worksheet you set up for me months ago!!).

Sunday dad and i go look at a few cars after church. After being pressured by Driver's Way to get the 2006 Pontiac G6 I looked at earlier that day, I go back to their lot and sign the papers to purchase the car. It's one that I liked, but not necessarily the ideal car for me, nor the ideal situation and timing, but I try to convince myself it's a good deal, and a car I can be happy with.

Not so much.

I cry on my way home in my new car. I think the pressure of the past 2 days had finally caught up with me. But I wasn't happy at all with my decision. I felt physically ill, and that carried over to work Monday morning. I left at 11am to go home and work on insurance quotes (another nightmare in itself) and tried to decide if I'm having anxiety over my car dying without being able to give him aproper burial, if it's the new car I'm not satisied with, or if it's just that it's my first big-girl purchase and a lot to handle all at once. I joked with my dad on Sunday that I felt like the Slowsky's because "I felt- rushed."
After making several calls to car dealerships, my dad, and insurance people, I head back down to the Pontiac dealer in Franklin and wheel and deal my way into the car that I've decided I really want. A Kentucky-blue 2007 Pontiac G6. That was an experience I've never been in before, negotiating my way into the car I wanted, but at one point Trey was trying to get me to agree to paying $1.95 more per month.

He said, "come on, it's a dollar more a month."
"No it's not I said," proud of my mad math skills, "it's 2 dollars more a month, and 24 more dollars a year."

He left me for a minute to think about it. Somehow my mind wandered to this summer at the Wilson County Fair when I got mad at the vendors for not selling me 2 fried oreos instead of the prescribed 5 cookie serving size. I tried to make a deal with them and they wouldn't go for it.
"You can make $3 or you can make nothing,"
I told the girl- and I meant it- and as a result I walked away from those Oreos that I really wanted. Surely, I thought to myself on Monday afternoon, that if I can bargain on oreos and walk away when I don't get the deal that I want than I can surely walk away from something as major as a car payment I'm not comfortable with! It's the principle of the thing! So I was firm, and I ended up getting what I wanted!

So as of Monday night, I am now the proud owner of TWO new cars!!! 2 pontiac G6s- one Blue, one white!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

as Lil' Jon says, ATL... don't disrespect it

Spring is here!!! Over the weekend I looked out the car window, amazed at all the bundles of daphodils blooming in people's yards, and yesterday upon leaving work, I noticed for the first time this year that the trees lining Cool Springs Blvd. have pink buds all over them. Today the high in Fabulous Nashvegas is a pleasant 70 degrees, so in honor of the warm weather, I busted out my new dress. A coworker was complimenting me on the garment this morning and asked where I got it.
The A-T-L.
I replied without missing a beat. She gave me a quizzical look.
Not Atlanta, I added, Anne Taylor Loft... that's how I roll.
I responded as several people nearby laughed. I am quite pleased with the retro-looking dress, and am looking forward to eating my lunch outdoors today!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Fifty Nifty

Today is the NEA's (National Education Association) Read Across America Day. It's the 10th anniversary of this, and also happens to be the 50th birthday of Dr. Seuss' the Cat in the Hat.

To celebrate this, the NEA is sponsoring Project 236. Did you know that Dr. Seuss used only 236 different words to write The Cat in the Hat? To recognize the 50th birthday of The Cat in the Hat, students, educators, and families nationwide will all read the groundbreaking book at 2:36 p.m. ET.
(Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, where Momma B works, is one of the many schools participating in this cool event!)

"In the mid 1950s, many Americans were asking themselves: Why can’t Johnny read? In a Life magazine article, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Hersey maintained that American children couldn’t read because their classroom primers were boring and “antiseptic” and could not compete with cartoons, comics, and other more fun and interesting stimuli, so he challenged Theodor Geisel, a.k.a Dr. Seuss, to write a story “first graders wouldn’t be able to put down.” And that’s just what Dr. Seuss did, using a vocabulary of only 236 words. In 1957, Random House published The Cat in the Hat and those 236 words revolutionized the way children learn to read."

3/2/2007 a Cat in the Hat Birthday Party
Ravenwood High School Media Center1724 Wilson Pike Brentwood, TN 37027
Cake, read-aloud, activities, prizes, Cat in the Hat movie screening, contest to raise money for literacy. Event is not open to the public

To raise money for this event at Ravenwood, I believe Mom said the kids were putting in money in jars with different teachers' names on them, and the teacher with the most money in his or her jar has to dress up like the Cat in the Hat!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Getting out of my comfort zone

I have no shame. I am here for your entertainment, and so I don’t mind telling this on myself. In the middle of my spin class this morning I came to a horrible realization. I was pretty certain I had forgotten to pack a very important female undergarment. I was 99.9% sure that I didn’t remember throwing said female undergarment into my gym bag last night when I was packing. After class I get into the locker room, and sure enough, I hadn’t packed one. Well crap. Okay. Not to panic. I am not exactly a DD, so maybe with the 2 shirts and cropped sweater jacket over it I could get away with being-oh what the heck- braless- today. I called my sister on the way to work and she laughed at me and quipped, you’re pulling a “Sue Ellen Mishke.” I didn’t know what she was talking about, so she had to explain it to me, but all you Seinfeld fans out there will get a kick out of that.

I went to work, but I spent the entire morning being self-conscious of how cold I was, and sat in our morning meeting hunched down under the table as much as I could be, keeping my arms crossed. By 10:30 I couldn’t take it anymore, so I clocked out and went to the mall to make an emergency purchase. I headed straight to Vickie’s because I had a coupon for $10 off their new bra style, and you also got a free panty (that word in singular form always makes me cringe) regardless of whether you bought anything or not. So I figured I’d kill 2 birds with one stone.
I shared my dilemma with a sympathetic salesperson, and she sent me in the right direction. Several minutes later, after I had decided on a bra I liked (Not the new kind, by the way) I pushed the call button, and asked the saleslady who came over if she could take the gray sensor off the garment and hand me the sales tag so I could wear my new purchase out of the dressing room, but of course, take the tag up to the counter to pay for it.

I’m sorry. You can’t do that, the voice on the other side of the door said to me.
You’ll have to come out and pay for it and then change.
Here’s where I lost my temper a little.
Look, I said flustered. I forgot my bra today, I’m already in here, and if I have to go out there and pay for it and come back in here again, then I don’t want it. I’m trying to get back to work!
Well, she said, I’ll have to go see if I can do that.
I heard her asking another salesperson, and finally the salesperson handed me the bra over the door, sans gray-theft-sensor.
Thank you, I replied.

Minutes later when I opened the door, ready to book it up to the cash register, the saleslady who met me at the door was a girl I happen to know! I was embarrassed that I had gotten so huffy with her as she handed me the sales tag for my purchase, and so I apologetically explained my predicament to her. I’m not sure if that helped or not, because I then had to explain to the ladies at the counter all over again the situation when I handed her a tag to scan and no bra attached to it. Come on, I can’t be the only person who has gone to the gym and forgotten an undergarment! They made me feel like an idiot, so needless to say, it’s been a very, ahem, uncomfortable, day so far! Why do these crazy things always happen to me??!!