Monday, April 30, 2007

From the perspective of the spectator

Saturday was my first-ever marathon. The alarm went off at 5:20 am, so after getting a few piddly hours of sleep, I was up and layering on the clothes. The high for Saturday was only 71, and there was a chance of rain. Natalie and I prepared our morning beverages of choice, and we left el apartmento at ten till 6. We made a quick stop at Harris Teeter to get some fruit before meeting the rest of our friends at Katie's office building. The sun was just starting to come up by now, and we started seeing the people walking towards the park with their race numbers pinned to their shirts. Piling into one car, the 5 of us- Natalie, Katie, Mary Anna, Siebe, and myself drove over to West end, and waited for the start of the race. True, I was not running in the race, but the anticipation and anxiousness was still there. I prayed for my friends who would be running the 13.2 miles, and walked down to the starting line where my coworker Jody was slated to start in the first coral, among the fastest people. Even though they divide everyone up into the corals and space out the starting times by a few minutes, there are still so many people in each group that it made it impossible for us to find any of our friends at the start of the race. I couldn't find Jody, Mandy slid by us into a coral further up than the one she was supposed to be in, so we missed her, and even hollering Emily's name when it was her coral's turn, we still couldn't find her.

The race was on. We 5 turned and started to run the few blocks back to our car, going the opposite direction of all the runners, which prompted some strange looks from people. We joked that we were running the anti-marathon! We headed over to music row to try and catch the runners as they went up 17th and then walked a block over to catch them again as they came down 16th. Due to the space in between corals we missed Mandy on 17th, but were able to see her and the rest of them again on 16th. After parking we grabbed a prime sidewalk space and held up our posters and yelled and clapped for all the runners as they went by. The poster that got the most attention by far was one that read, "Emily, CHOCOLATE is just around the corner!" The women running by were particularly amused by this, and as they passed by they would hoop and holler. It was so much more fun than I'd imagined, encouraging strangers as they passed us. You saw so many interesting outfits- guys dressed like Superman, girls in tutus, even a Blue man drinking cans of beer while he ran! We took pictures stretching on the sidewalk with our posters, meant to be a tableau of "fans getting ready for the race."

The sun was shining by now and it had started to warm up- it was the perfect day for the race. It was only 10am, but we all felt like it was late afternoon because we'd been up and going for so long! After seeing our friends on Music Row, we hopped back in the car and booked it over to the stadium to catch the end of the race. Unfortunately, due to road closings, and lack of parking places, we circled around downtown a bit and ended up missing all of them crossing the finish line. A little disappointing and anti-climactic, but oh well. We celebrated with a delicious lunch at Macallister's and even got free desert out of the deal! By the time lunch was over, I felt like I had run a marathon, I was so tired! So I rewarded myself with a power nap when I got home.

Congrats Em and Mandy!!!- we are so proud of you, and look forward to running with you next year- either that, or Siebe and I decided we would be holding up posters that read: "We heart single, males runners ages 25-32" because I have never seen so many attractive, athletic men in one place!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spring Concert Series: 12th & Porter

Despite the fact that it's a Friday morning and I am tired and dragging, I am also very pumped! Why, you ask? (Besides the obvious reasons of course that the weekend is within my grasp) Because instead of performing in a show last night for the first time in many weeks, I got to GO to a show! I headed over to 12th & Porter last night for an evening of music with Aron Wright, Matthew Perryman Jones, and Jeremy Lister.

Aron opened the set. (yes, that's how he spells his name.) He caused me to wonder why in a town with so much talent was he sharing the stage with these 2 other guys. Aron channeled Damien Rice- very moody, whiney songs performed to effects-driven guitar and keyboard. Think Ross from Friends with "his sound" and that's what Aron reminded me of. Plus, if I wanted to hear a guy sing high like a girl, I'd see Justin Timberlake, and he'd at least be attractive & dancing. For Aron's last song, he accompanied himself on the ukulele and I fought back laughs. Were we really supposed to take him seriously?

MPJ was next and it has been a while since I've seen him play. He had a full band backing him last night and they sounded great. He also played a new song, I think it's called "Save you" that was really good. Matthew Perryman Jones is one of those artists for me where every song he plays is one of my favorites. His voice is steady and clear, and the lyrics are honest. He's playing in Nashville again soon, so I'd encourage any fellow music lovers to accompany me. I'd describe his music as mellow pop/rock.

Finally headlining the show last night was Jeremy Lister. He's an artist I've heard a lot about, but never seen play, even though he's in Nashville all the time. When he stepped onto the stage my jaw dropped. And not for the reason that you might think. I was left gaping at a man who, had I passed him on a street, I would have sworn was a woman. Everything about this person screamed femininity, even though he's a married man; from the v neck t shirt, the fitted jacket and skinny jeans, his rosy cheeks, long flipped out hair, and even the way he batted his eyelashes when he sang! The voice just did not match the body. Mason and I decided we could better picture Jeremy Lister in a Cher get-up singing "If I could turn back time!" That said, his music was awesome. He has very catchy pop-rock tunes, and has been touted as being the next Matt Kearney, so he'll still be an indie type artist, but hover on being mainstream. Who knows though- he could certainly break into the market- his stuff is very commercial. My favorite song of his was "Half of Me" co-written and performed with another Nashville regular, Katie Herzig. The melody is haunting and the harmonies are great. I would definitely like to see Jeremy Lister again, and maybe going into the show a second time I won't have such a hard time looking at him and can just enjoy the music instead! (ps, yes, it's a terrible pic taken from my cell phone, but you get the idea!!)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

a yummy way to start the day

Sorry fellas, this one's for the ladies! On this oh-so-dreary Thursday morning I figured we could all use a little pick me up! My aunt sent this pic in an email to me today so I thought I'd share it with the rest of you'uns. That's how we say it in the south here- you'uns. Well, some people do- not me normally. They are probably the same kind of people who use the phrase "a couple, three." Now that I just don't get. But back to Brad and George. Some of the sexiest men alive, according to People magazine. And I may be the only person on the planet who liked Ocean's 12, but I'm giddy about Ocean's 13 this summer. Actually- keeping in the trend of the 3rd movie in a trilogy making an appearance this summer, we've also got Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Spiderman 3, both which should be fantastic. And with all the dull movies out in the theaters lately, all I can say is it's about dadgum time!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

an ear-spliting performance

After almost 4 months of my life dedicated to HMS Pinafore, I am glad to have my time back! I thought I would be more sad as it ended, but nope- nothing but relief. As people would come through the line to greet the cast each night, I often times would get asked about the high notes I had to sing. Well, I never did make glass break with my high "C" but I did make a kid cry!!!

During the last Friday night performance, when many of my friends were there to see the show, there was a child of maybe 8 or 9 years old sitting in the front row, sitting directly in front of them. They noticed he was holding his ears for most of the show. Apparently younger ears are more sensitive to high pitches- (which makes sense in lieu of the recent story about kids having the mosquito ring tone that adults can't hear, so they can use their cell phones in class). By the end this kid was wiping tears from his eyes, and even took off his glasses to wipe his entire face. Finally, the climax of "Farewell, my own" was just too much for the little tike. It's the part where Ralph is about to be dragged off to the dungeon and Josephine pleads for him to be spared. I hit an extremely high note at the end, and at that point, the boy began crying hysterically, and couldn't pull himself together. So much so, that he ran out of the theater as soon at the next song began!

I was ignorant to the situation during the performance and saw the boy run out and figured he must have had to use the bathroom and couldn't wait. It wasn't until after the show in the "receiving line" that my friends explained to me what really happened. My first reaction was laughter before it turned to pitty. I guess that's bad. Oh well.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ugly Neti

So. Many of you who read this blog are Tennesseeans, and thus probably suffer from seasonal allergies to one degree or another. I don't usually put product reviews on here, but I have found sinus relief that I cannot live without, and want to shout about it from the rooftops (or at least write about on a personal website). Many of you have heard me talk about it already- it's called a neti pot, or by its formal name at the drugstore, SinuCleanse. The neti (pronounced NET-ee) pot clears out your sinuses, provides instant results, and is strangely satisfactory because you can actually see the results (ie, the congestion leaving your nose, and into the sink.) I heard about the fabled contraption long ago from a singer friend, but I wasn't desperate to pour water up my nose at that point. Now, a few years later, I purchased one to help me stay healthy during the run of my play. (I bought the SinuCleanse brand at Walgreens and can vouch for it, but I know there are other brands who make their own versions as well.)

How it works:
Basically, one mixes a saline powder packet that comes with your plastic genie-lamp-like pot with lukewarm water, lean over sink, tilt head upwards, breathe through mouth while slowly pouring the solution into one nostril. Blow nose, and repeat on other side.

Gross? You bet. But satisfying? You betcha!

This can be done as a roommate bonding experience, such as when Natalie & I walked through it together for the first time, or perperhaps as father-daughter quality time like after I bought one for my dad for his birthday and stood back & watched as he spewed water onto the mirror, or as a great conversation piece to use on the phone with your customers, such as John Roberts talking telling a lady in Mt. Juliet today about it after taking care of her biling question.

Another fun addition after purchasing one is to use the verb "to neti" in sentences or better yet, "neti potting;"
ie, hang on, I'm almost ready to leave the apartment- I just need to finish neti potting first!

I learned on Wikipedia while researching for this article that the neti pot originated as part of the daily cleansing rituals of yoga practice, so now you can feel oh-so-zen after irrigating the sinuses!

Monday, April 16, 2007

va tech

Forgive the rambling. I am stunned. Just got word of the VA tech school shooting. Details are still sketchy, but most news sites say 22 are dead. Other reports 32. Either way, it's the worst school shooting in history. Immediately I called Heather (Jacob did his grad work at Virginia Tech, and they still have many friends in Blacksburg). So far, none of their close friends were injured, and the building the gunman went into wasn't the lab where Jacob had worked, praise God. But it was someone else's friends and family. While some people are relieved to know their loved ones are okay, there are others who are mourning right now. One of the girls that used to be in Heather's small group through Campus Crusade had one of her best friends killed in the massacre. All I can do is pray. I cannot understand what would make a person do such a thing. There is so much evil in the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with those at the university, and with the victims' friends and families. Somehow, someway, I pray that God will bring healing and peace.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jesus take the wheel

I echo MA's sentiments that my blog has lacked some depth and transparency lately. Perhaps it's because I've been lacking depth myself and merely surviving the hectic schedule of performances that have consumed my life this year. The play is halfway over, and I breathed a big sigh of relief last week when I had that break. We all go through those phases in life when we get so busy that we stop planning and calculating every move and just attempt to keep up, but when things finally settle down, we can look around and say, what am I doing?!

That's how I feel now; spiritually more than anything (although other things like careers and working out have taken a back seat too). I haven't been in/leading a Life group since August and I'm really missing that accountability and scheduled time of Bible study. It's also no coincidence that my friendships have suffered since most of my very good friends were in my small group, so I took for granted that I would always see them all at least once a week. Now weeks go by before I see some of them. I feel like we are growing up and going in different directions, and no matter how hard I am hitting the break peddle, the cars keep zooming down the interstate of life! I'm not such an idealist to think that the pace of life will ever slow down, but I'd be more okay with it if I were in the HOV lane with several friends in the same car, rather than driving by myself and catching them on their cell phones during commutes.

I don't have any answers for this problem of time and scheduling- at least not until the play ends in another week (wow, is it really that soon?!), but God has really been pursuing me to dig deeper in spiritual life. To be perfectly honest (there's that transparency we were lacking on here!) I have been convicted lately about gossiping, so I started looking up verses about gossip & speech. I noticed that most of the verses that deal with this topic are in Proverbs. So I've committed to reading through the whole book this month, one chapter a day, and that's going well so far. God is drawing me near with all kinds of questions for Him, and I've had some great conversations with believers and non-believers about my faith, so I know He's working all things for good. So for now, I am tapping the breaks, and reminding myself that in this journey we call life ("wow. what a journey") that I am not the one in the driver's seat.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why Dixie's More Delightful

I have a theory. It's about- and I'm generalizing here- why northerners are so rude. I call people all day long for my job (correction. I'm supposed to call people all day long for my job. Some days I blog and check Myspace more than I should. Rainy days like today are prime examples of me doing more of the latter... but I digress) Most of my customers are Tennesseans, which I love. A small section of them however are located in the Northeast. And I'm simplifying, but overall I hate calling them! They are rude, anxious to get off the phone, and too self-important to want to talk about music for their church choirs.

It's a well-known cliche that Southerners are more polite than their northern counterparts. My theory is why this is true. I don't think that I'm the first person to postulate it, but I'll share my guess with you all: People up north are miserable because they're cold 90 percent of the time.

Lord knows I get cranky when I have to wear a hooded sweatshirt and fuzzy socks over my pjs to sleep comfortably. And I'd bet my swimming pool that there's a statistic out there that rates the happiest state populations, and my guess is that people who inhabit warmer states are generally happier than those residing in the frozen tundra of the north. We southerners get more sunshine, and warmer weather, and hence are nicer to people. What say ye on this topic?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An EGGstremely long stream of snippets from Easter weekend

So much to blog about, so little time. All you're gonna get are snippets.

*I left work 10 minutes early on Thursday afternoon in order to get home and get everyone loaded into Warren the G-6 Catmobile and head up to Indiana. I forget what family car trips are like. Exactly one hour later, at 6:10pm, after dad has taken the lock on the front door off and put it back on again, we are ready to roll. Oh well I think, at least we will miss the worst of the traffic north of Nashville. ha ha, fat chance.

*Once in the car, although I am the one behind the wheel, there are others who have their own voiced opinions about how one should operate said vehicle. Fun times.

*We arrive in Cannelton around 8:30pm Thursday evening. The name of the game with my Papa is to pile into the Den and sit and watch tv with him while he flips channels. You'll just be getting into a tv show or movie, and suddenly without warning, he'll start flipping channels again. This is why I didn't get my hopes up when he landed on Legally Blonde. I think I literally was holding my breath when he landed on TBS, thinking perhaps if I were quiet he wouldn't change the channel. It must have worked! To my great surprise, we ended up watching the entire movie!!

*Friday I went for a quick run through the streets of the small town where my parents grew up. It was really cold up there- I didn't realize just how cold it was until it began to snow shortly after I returned, and kept on snowing most of the afternoon! It's a good thing I had no idea what the temperature was when I left the house because if I had, I never would have gone out!

*Michael, Missy, Braedon, & Garrick arrived that afternoon. They brought with them their dog Ginger, who had a good time playing with Laura's dog Julius. I have pictures of them playing together, but as usual, my Mac is being tempermental, so I can't get the pics online right now.

*For dinner Laura & Mom fixed a Mexican fiesta- quesadillas, mexican rice, black beans, chips & salsa, and buffalo enchiladas. The Harris crew came down, so we had 17 people and 3 dogs in the house for dinner. (I think there may have even been a partridge in a pear tree around there somewhere.) We sat around laughing and telling stories- my uncle Jerry is famous for his story telling ability. The women discussed if they were a "McSteamy" or a "McDreamy" girl.

*this joke was told- Wanna know why there's no CSI: Louisville? Cause all the DNA's the same, and there's no dental records!

*Julius jumped up onto the table from Robin's lap, and while Laura was scooping him up, she knocked over a glass of red wine, which subsequently spilled onto Ryan's lap. I don't have to tell you the jokes that were made at his expense.

*Papa matter-of-factly says to Laura, tell your dog not to s#%t in my room.

*Lisa & Jerry's dog Oreo came into the living room as soon as they got there and pooped right in front of where Papa was sitting

*Yes, we made the cursory trip to the Pumper, but Laura & I made it an early night.

*Habeas Coacham, or, we have a coach! Kentucky hired Billy Gillispie on Friday. Instead of getting Billy D, we get Billy G. I have been reading good things about him, so I am excited at what this season will bring. I am also thinking we might need to make a trip up for Big Blue Madness this year.

*Our family spent all of Saturday afternoon going through boxes and boxes of old toys, stuffed animals, breakables, clothes, you name it, in preparation for the move. All that clutter in my bedroom was almost more than my OCD-ness could handle, but it was strangely satisfying to repack boxes, label them, and stack the finished boxes in the corner. It warmed my heart to see all those neatly stacked packages with labels on them, and the process of cleaning and purging our old junk was very cathartic for me, although I don't think mom & dad felt the same way. They are more attatched to baby shoes and clothes than I am. I still assert that we do not need an entire Box of Baby Shoes, but I may be losing that battle.

*We had the worlds smallest hamburgers for dinner that night- something about Laura not pounding them flat enough and then turning up the heat on the grill to cook them faster, which ended up scorching them.

*Laura, George & I dyed Easter eggs. I have some great pictures of this, but see above comment about my finicky Mac. Dad won the Egg fight this year.

*We watched the Pursuit of Happyness Saturday night. I had heard mixed reviews on it, and I agree with those who said it's very difficult to watch. It was so depressing and I was so tired, that I almost went upstairs and didn't finish the movie, that's how little I cared to see the end of this film.

*5:15 when the alarm went off came very early on Easter morning! 5 hours at church and singing in 3 services got me pumped up though- The Lord is risen- he is risen indeed!

*When I got home from singing in the 3rd service (Alan jackson is rumored to have come to BBC's second service on Easter!), mom & Laura had lunch ready.

*The Easter Bunny came and brought me some new pink kitchen utensils- the Easter Bunny must think I need to spend more time in the kitchen cooking!

*Momma B turned 21 (plus 33 years) yesterday! Happy belated Birthday!!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

a dog day afternoon

Yes, I know, it's not really hot at all today (Hansel. So not hot right now. Hansel) but today's Cliche a Day calendar provided some fantastic insight to the English language as usual.

dog days
the hottest days of summer
(why the calendar chose to include this phrase in the month of March, as opposed to, oh, I don't know, August when it is usually sweltering, is beyond my grasp)
The ancient Romans ascribed the apex of summer heat to the ascendancy of the dog star, or Sirius. The brightest star in the sky, it is located in the constellation Canis Major, meaning the "big dog."

It figures that this phrase would pop up on my desk calendar on the day that I lament the change in weather. For weeks now the weather has been gloriously, unusually warm for this time of year. And now that Easter approaches and everyone is pulling out their spring clothes, we have another cold snap and are expecting freezing temperatures for the rest of the week. Go figure. Why do you mock me so, Cliche a Day calendar?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Smoothsday Tuesday

(sigh) another year of college basketball is over and done. I went over to Ari's to watch the game with her last night, and it was funny to be cheering for a different team from her. She had picked OSU to win in her brackets, and I was cheering for Florida to stay true to my SEC. In case you missed the big game, here are a few snippets you might find entertaining:

  • Jim Nantz kept referring to Florida's coach as "Dunnivan"
  • Greg Oden shaved at halftime, but you couldn't tell ---->
  • I made Ari watch all the ending ceremonies to see if Joakim Noah would dance again, but after watching for several minutes with no moves being busted, we turned it off.
  • Greg Gumbel participated in MTV's new reality tv show, pimp my suit (I have searched all over to find a photo of his ghetto-fabulous number he was sporting last night and have come up empty-handed thus far)
  • <---I only cheer for Noah because I like his skinny side-burns.

Billy Donovan, you've just won the 2nd straight NCAA men's basketball title, what are you gonna do now? "I'm going to Disne-Kentucky!" (we hope.... and are still waiting patiently to find out...) (or perhaps waiting not so patiently...)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Get a whiff of this!

Here it is, your diva weekend in review- shows Fri, Sat & Sunday. Saturday I slept in after staying up till 2am the night before reading Memoirs of a Geisha- (man, I could Not put that book down!), and then I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a little run up and down Edmondson Pike, then joined Natalie at the pool for some sun. It was the most relaxing day! I stayed out by the pool for a few hours, reading and trying to finish my book before I left for the show later. Sunday I met Mom & Dad at CB after church for a yummy lunch and then headed off to the thee-ater for my show (PS, we have a sort of receiving line after the show where patrons come up to us to tell us how much they enjoyed the show. The comment often heard is, "yew were gray-ate") . I went home after the matinee and actually was able to cook a proper dinner for myself and tidy up the kitchen before meeting Tadders at the movies to see Blades of Glory.

I admit I was going more for the company than a desire to see the movie. It did have its funny parts, but honestly, it's more of a rental. (I was able to use the $5.50 movie passes if that persuades you to take a chance on it) Really, it's like a less-funny Zoolander on Ice- 2 male primadonna ice-skating rivals overcome their differences to achieve a common goal- or Gold. One humorous thing that was not part of the film was that I made the comment to Tadd right after we sat down that it smelled like feet in the theater. Moments later he caught the pungent scent as well, and we traded laughs during the entire movie every time the odor would waft our way. After the movie ended and the credits began to roll, Tadd turned towards the aisle in an attempt to catch the stinky culprit. I looked as well. The people in front of us, and next to me were all wearing socks and shoes, so it wasn't them. Finally Tadd pointed out two unsuspecting girls that had been sitting in the row directly behind us. Both of them were darling and petite, but both were wearing flip flops! One of these was the owner of the odor. Tadd remarked that still, it wasn't a constant stench, but came in waves.

"yes," I replied, "probably every time she uncrossed and recrossed her legs, the scent was stirred!" I think this olfactory delight probably affected my ability to truly enjoy the film, but at any rate, it was great to see Tadd. We went and grabbed Sonic Oreo blasts afterwards (Coldstone was closed, the nerve!) and caught up on life while singing harmonies with John Mayer in the Catmobile. Oh, and Ari- I taught Tadd the Stink Pink game- he loved it!!!

Can you believe it's already April? You know you're getting old when... it's the 4th month of the year and you Still have to mentally remind yourself what year it is when you're dating things! Anywho- the play is halfway over, and I am looking forward to having this week off for Easter. A trip to Cannelton is in store for the weekend. Happy Fecunday Monday, everyone!!!