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


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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You don't know Jack

I have always prided myself on being a native Tennessean. After turning 21 and trying out all the various drink combinations, I naturally gravitated towards enjoying a whiskey sour as my drink of choice, and at a wedding last summer, upon ordering said drink at the bar, I was met with a question: Do you want Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam?

"Jack," I replied instantaneously. "I'm from Tennessee."

So fast-forward to this past Saturday, when I made my first visit to the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, TN. It's one of those things that you take for granted being from around here that I had never done. But Brian was in town visiting, and it was a beautiful day for a drive, so off we went. It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon. It took about an hour to get there, and of course Saturdays are the most crowded days, so my biggest complaint was that the tour groups they divide you into were fairly large, making it sometimes hard to get close enough to hear the tourguide.

Brian and I wandered around the visitor's center while we waited for our tour to start, reading about the history of the Jack Daniel's distillery. Some facts I learned:

  • The man's name was Jack Daniel- not Jack Daniels.
  • He was 5'2" in stature- same as me!
  • Jack learned the art of making whiskey from a minister, who later sold his distillery to focus more on his ministry to Jack at the ripe old age of 13
  • The distillery is located in Moore county- a dry county by choice even before Prohibition
  • Jack Daniel never married, although he was notoriously quite the ladies' man
Paul our tour guide was a character! Dressed in wranglers and camo, he told more jokes than he did inform us about the art of making whiskey, and even as a southerner I had trouble understanding his mumbling drawl! (I felt sorry for the people from Germany and Brazil in our tour group!) One of the first things we did on the tour was to take a group picture. We were informed it would be posted on the Jack Daniel's website in 7 days, and so if we were with someone we ought not to be with, then we best step aside when the picture was being taken, Paul informed us! Walking around outside the distillery it smelled heavenly of yeast but once inside one of the rooms, we got a whif of 140 proof whiskey-in-the-making that almost knocked me over! In another building we were able to see where the bottles were filled, sealed, and packaged. The last place we toured was the barrell room where the finished whiskey is aged in oak barrels, and I thought I would gag when we entered the barn, the alcohol smell was so pungent. Probably the best advice I was given by my sister before we went was, don't go to the distillery if you have a hangover! And at that moment I could see why. At the end of the tour we ended up back at the visitor's center where you could purchase special collector's bottles of Jack Daniel's finest- the loop hole around the distillery being in a dry county- only special collector's bottles may be sold.

Touring the Jack Daniel's Distillery was a great way to spend an afternoon. It was very educational and a great tribute to one of the unique landmarks in Tennessee. Best of all, the tours are free!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Selling for Schrutes

Do any of you ever feel like you are living your life trapped in "Office Space" or an episode of NBC's "The Office?" We kicked off our month yesterday morning with a meeting presenting our new sales contest- Brentwood Benson Bingo. Every time we earn a Bingo on our card, we get a ticket, which are redeemable for prizes at the end of every work week.
Suddenly I blink and I am looking at Dwight Schrute asking me to work extra hard to earn useless Schrute Bucks. Worth one one-hundreth of a cent. I snap back into reality and I almost laughed out loud in our meeting but instead saved the snide comments for an email to fellow "Office" watchers after we returned to our desks. So now here I sit, filling up my days earning Bingo tickets and feeling completely ridiculous doing so.
Sidenote: Brad promised me one thousand Schrute Bucks this past Sunday if I got a hit at my last at bat. I did, and now I'm waiting for him to pay-up! It certainly had me laughing at the plate, even if I never get my money.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Everything He Does Is Apparently NOT Magic

Apparently Billy Donovan is pulling a John Kerry and flip-flopping on some very important issues. Namely, whether or not to fulfill the contract to become uber-rich and make the move to the NBA to coach the Orlando Magic, or else go running back to Florida and resting on his laurels.

I admit Donovan's a great coach and of course is the protegee of former UK coach, Rick Pitino, so that makes him awesome, but I was looking forward to Florida sucking it up big time next year with their shining star of a recruit (Jai Lucas) who opted Not to come to Kentucky, and minus their NBA-bound starters and coach. The entire situation is laughable and must be quite the embarrassing faux pas for the coach-currently-without-a-team.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday

The 3rd birthday of my blog went by without much fanfare (we turned 3 on May 25th!!!). Hey, I was at the beach, celebrating the divadomain- where did you expect me to be? In front of a computer?! I suppose if I were the planner like MA, I would have pre-composed a blog for the occasion and had it automatically post on the 25th but I'm not that organized. So here I sit, a week later, blogging belatedly.

3 years is a long time to have one's life recorded in cyberspace. I will never forget the day I discovered blogging. It was May 25th, 2004. I was working at the Bone & Joint Clinic- And by "working" I mean I played on the internet for most of my work day- And on this particular afternoon I was internet-stalking a guy via Google, and stumbled across the dude's name in a blog written by my music minister's son. At the very top of his page, there was an enticing little orange blogger button I'm sure you've all seen before that said "Create Blog."

What else to have to do? I thought, so I clicked on the button, and my life as a twenty-something was forever changed. I set up the divadomain using the only pink template available and began by writing my first blog- The List- it detailed my most-favorite and most-abhorred words. My hobby/creative outlet/new means of communication began.

I've done a lot of thinking lately. 3 years of blogging. So what's different about the 3rd year from the 2nd? I liken it to being out of the terrible twos, and coming into my own personality and being more comfortable in my own skin. I did some research about Typical Behavior Milestones for children, but I find that they apply in my current life stages as well.

The two year old:
  • Wants exactly what she wants when she wants it.
  • Will not usually give in.
  • Everything has to be done just so. (Hello, OCD tendencies that popped up out of nowhere!)
  • Likes to give orders.
  • Has trouble making decisions
  • Wants to continue doing whatever she is doing no matter what.
  • Wants things to always be just the way they have always been; may accept new things but wants to keep the old things too.
  • May begin to bite. (OK, maybe not so much this one!!)
The three year old:
  • Enjoys having things the same way all the time; ie: peanut butter for lunch every single day
  • Isn’t as demanding as a two year old.
  • Likes talking and word games.
  • Tends to be clumsy; spills and falls are very common.
  • Will sometimes revert back to being a baby and clinging to Mommy.
  • Does not share well. ("Amanda doesn't share food!")
  • Loves pretending. ("I'm 21 and in college, dangit!")

Thanks to all my friends, family, stalkers, and strangers who continue to read this blog. I would probably still blog even if no one else read it, but it makes it so much more fun when you do (and post comments)! I love being able to go back at random and see what I was up to on any given day, and love that many of your lives are documented in here too. Here's to many more happy years of blogging to come, Lord willing!