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 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.