Thursday, December 31, 2009

Things I've Learned in 2009

As we get to the new decade, I'm forced to reflect on the things I've learned from the last year. Here goes:
  1. Good or bad eventually things catch up to you. whether it's Tiger Woods's exploits or the opportunities that I've been given this year, I think that whether it's for better or worse things can catch up to you. Not that I'm perfect--far from it-- I'm just glad for this year it was on the good end for me.
  2. Sometimes instinct is instinct and not self-fulfilling prophecy. I had some instinctive reactions to people that kept them at an arm's length or brought them in close this year. So far, my instincts were right on for them. That make me feel better about my gut and skeptical as I meet new people. Maybe I'm just a cynical person.
  3. No matter how much you avoid the hard conversations they have a way of forcing themselves upon you. That conversation you wanted to avoid because it was awkward, dirty or just plain tough to deal with? Well, it will find you and not when you're ready to have it but when you're at your most vulnerable and don't want to deal with it.
  4. Even after the tough conversations, you'll live. I might not have wanted to have some of the talks that I did this year, but in the end they needed to happen. Plus it helps to have Chef saying "How much do you think 'so and so' has cried about your conversation?" to keep things in perspective.
  5. Cats are good people. The last is common sense for half of the population. Until last September (2008) I was not one of those people. However, now fully entrenched in catdom, I can say that these little lions are the best pets I could've asked for.
So there aren't many lesson for 2009 but the ones I learned were learned the hard way and in a big way. I'm sure I'm forgetting more, but I can say that I'm ready to learn the lessons of 2010.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Doing As Little As Possible For As Long As Possible

For the last couple of days, I've managed to do very little. Cat maintenance, basic personal hygiene and a lot of cooking. However, I have not once opened my computer up and since last Wednesday, have had very little thoughts about work.

I'm suddenly conflicted. Am I just not thinking about work because we're closed or am I so willing to let it go because I'm driven to be driven? Without a constant challenge and stroking of the fires, do I easily give up and go back to my normal slovenly ways?

Whatever it is, I know that things will only get rougher as we approach heart month (February for all you normal people out there), so I'm going to be as slovenly as possible with the majority of my exertion spent on preparing food. Because I love food and eating. . . taquitos are up for lunch!

But until the alarm beckons me to wake for a purpose other than cooking or hitting the stores before they get too crowded, I will be lazy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tradition Isn't Everything

There are some lucky people who get to celebrate Christmas the same way every year. For a long time, I was one of them. As a kid, I knew that Christmas Eve was spent at my Grandma Wrye's house with my aunts, uncles and cousins and the annual visit from Santa (who in reality was the town's podiatrist). Christmas was spent waking with my brother in the middle of the night, grabbing our flashlights and then scampering to the living room to see what Santa brought us (our Santa didn't wrap--Smart Santa). We would then crawl back into bed for a few hours before waking at the crack of dawn to actually play with our loot. Later we would pack up and head to my Grandma and Grandpa Clark's house to play with more aunts, uncles and cousins.

That was the constant schedule until my parent's divorced. The schedule stayed about the same except that we unwrapped gifts at Dad's house on Christmas Eve before going to my Grandma Wrye's and with my mom on Christmas before hitting that side of the family. Not too shabby a deal as our Christmas expanded by one.

And then Mom died. That pretty much threw a wrench into any type of Christmas plans that I would ever have again. My brother and other family members tried to keep it the same, but it almost seemed like a weird attempt to recapture a time that was clearly past us. Since then, my Christmas celebrations have varied almost every year. Naturally there was the addition of Chef into the mix, and of course the niece and nephew. Christmas morphed into a three day orgy of presents and shuttling between Indiana, Illinois and all lands in between.

This year and last, Christmas has been more low key in that I have toned down my expectations, travel time and grasp of tradition. I have tried to free myself from doing the things I thought I had to to capture the spirit. But in letting go, I have enjoyed myself more. Five years ago I drove through 23 inches of snow and ice, leaving Chef in our first holiday season together, to be with my family at Christmas. I don't love my family any less, but as I was driving home today from Indiana I realized that if the snow were to hit again, I would probably forgo the treacherous drive. I would probably not leave Chef at home willingly. I have learned that change isn't all that bad in the face of tradition. It can actually be quite freeing. And this holiday was definitely a relaxing one that I will never forget.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

sitting at the bar on "vacation"

it's 8 o'clock and i'm at the patterson house waiting for my friend greg to get here. I am officially on "vacation" but it's the kind of vacation where the office is still open and there are two people there, but two people who aren't used to being there alone. i'm sure my fitful sleep will include worries about the alarm being sprung inadvertently in the morning.

so I sit and wait and sip my moscow mule (vodka, lime and homemade ginger syrup- good but a little heavy on the ginger). I hope my friend gets here in one piece with stories to tell. I hope I have time to get my ambien prescription filled tomorrow so I can get a good night's sleep for once (although I will probably worry about driving or eating in my sleep as others have warned).

really I just want my brain to turn off.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Must've Been a Good Girl This Year

It's a Monday. I'm at work and I've already enjoyed about 66% of my Christmas. Which is to say that I've celebrated with 2 of 3 families so far. And apparently I was better this last year than I thought because I've had a heck of Christmas so far. I can easily say that I'm a spoiled girl. Not only have I gotten to spend some time and see almost all of my family, but my dad and Robin got me a Kindle.

Don't see me as ungrateful as I received some other fantastic presents (which I would list, but fear of sounding like too much of a brat prevents me from doing so). However, I was really stoked to open my kindle. It's now fully charged and linked to my debit card, so I'm sure I'll be broke from all the books I want to buy. I can't tell you the times that I've stood in front of one of my bookcases and picked up one to re-read because I hadn't the time to grab a new book. And there are PLENTY of new books that want to read. And plenty of old ones too. Now it's so easy that I accidentally bought a book.

I was looking to see if the book that has my story in it (Women.Period.) was available for the Kindle (sadly it is not). I apparently was a little rushed in my clicking and while in the results mode accidentally bought a book I will never read: Weaving the Past: A History of Latin America's Indigenous Women from the Prehispanic Period to the Present .

Oh well. Lesson learned. My next Kindle book will be a good one! That I'll buy on purpose.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Shopping with a Strategy

It seems as if my work life and the thoughts that go behind it are slowly seeping into my personal life (or what's left of my personal life). The two have been on a collision course for a while and it's predominantly my fault. But I digress.

I went shopping on Tuesday night because my schedule and the revolution of the earth around the sun dictating the hours in a day allowed me to have one night free for shopping and one night free for wrapping. And by night, I mean 2 hours or so of free time before my head hits the pillow before waking again a few hours later, but that's another story.

Two hours. One night. 16 people to buy gifts for.

It was at that point or realization that I knew instead of my lacksidasical meandering to find things that I got a good vibe from wasn't going to work. It was going to take a battle plan. I scoured the circulars for ideas for certain people. Then I listed out all the stores that carried the items I had in mind. Seeing that, I brainstormed places with good deals on those items to consolidate the 7 stores into 3. I selected which store to go to first based on any contingency plans of second choice gift items. After doing all this, I was ready to shop.

Except for one thing. I had to execute my battle plan without my war paint. Because I was at the gym working out and I didn't want to eat into precious time, I went from the gym to the mall. And not just any mall, but the mall in the ritzy side of town. No make up, hair back in a messy pony tail, t-shirt and capri workout pants (both oversized for comfort).

I should've been embarrassed. I don't like being seen in public (other than maybe Ghetto Kroger or a Harris Teeter trip for 5 items or less) in my workout clothes. I should've cared that I could potentially be smelled by the other patrons (a quick dash through the perfume section took care of that). But instead I was mostly irritated by the fact that it took longer to get someone to ring me up. I get it. I didn't look like a big spender. However, I had the item I needed in my hand and was waiting at a register. It's a done deal. Just sidle on over here and ring me out.

Needless to say, I had less of a problem when my second store was a Target. God bless you, Target. I will love you and your ability to welcome me with the unexplicable smell of popcorn when I enter (which is there whether you sell popcorn at the snack bar or not. Isn't that weird? Do you pipe that in?) and your welcoming beeps because I know that my workout clothes are only slightly worse than the red top and khakis mandated attire of your staff.

And with that, I'll say my strategy paid off. One night. 16 gifts. One hour and 45 minutes including travel time. Not too bad if I say so myself. Hope you had just as good as luck as I did...with a little strategy to boot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Turn to Wax Poetic About Cats

I was going to write about a different type of cat (a Tiger), but I looked at the calendar (which I SWORE was my nephew's birthday when in actuality it was yesterday--good thing the present was there on time) and realized today was a different kind of cat's day. Actually, it was two cats' day. One year ago today Chef and I adopted Mila and Attila.

It was kind of a fluke. I was on craigslist posting volunteer opportunities when I decided to check out the pet section. We had gotten Genghis a few months before and noticed his kitten tendencies were getting a little out of hand. "He's got only-kitten disease," we decided and were on the lookout for another kitten. The catch was that we had bought Genghis because we wanted a specific breed (the pixie bob). We didn't want to just get any old cat, but another pixie bob. And we didn't want to pay for another kitten that close to Christmas.

Well low and behold, I typed in "pixie bob" in the search area and came up with a hit. Someone in Columbia was giving away two pixie bobs to a good home because of allergies. It's a long story, but we ended up with them both. And soon Oliver and Olivia became Attila and Mila. I have typed in "pixie bob" randomly ever since and have yet to ever get a hit.

They were both so scared that they spent the first few days hiding behind the toilet. Mila then hid behind the headboard for a few more days. It took a good 3 months for them to warm up to us, but now it's all over. Attila flips on his back at the sight of us coming near in preparation for the belly rub he longs to get. And Mila just waits for one of us to lay on the couch so that she can hop on our chest and knead us with her little paws.

So far it has easily been my second best and luckiest find on the internet. The first, of course, being Chef.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

What Happens When You Have 50 Extroverts In a Room

I found out last week while I was on blog hiatus. I was in Dallas for the non-profit version of sales training. You stick a bunch of extroverts in a room and try to have them sit still, not talk too much, and keep to the confines of what they actually know. It's too much for anyone.

It also made me realize that no matter how much I align my external thoughts and ambition to the goals and strategies of the American Heart Association, there's still a part of me that will remain cynical and sarcastic. It's when that part of me quiets that I know I'll be in trouble. I might not wear a backpack and purple Puma suedes to work any more, but I can still see the irony in having to fill out a form and paperwork for a seminar about whether or not we have too many forms and paperwork to fill out.

So it was a few days in a room in Dallas and the content was pretty engaging, the presenters knowledgeable and my peers. . . mostly annoying. I've realized over the year that I'm not good at small talk unless I see the value in developing a relationship with someone. It's probably why I had so many bad first (and only) dates before I met Chef. It's hard for me to fake enthusiasm.

But in the end, I left Dallas with some new ideas and a few trophies from my shopping hunt. So it was a good time.

Friday, December 04, 2009

All I want for Christmas. . .

Is for my shopping to already be done, my Christmas cards already sent and my baking to be complete. I looked up today and realized we're three weeks out from the big day. I also realized that I don't know which relatives we really going to see yet (at least not all of them), so I don't know if I have to ship a little or a LOT of gifts.

Oh and there's the actual going out to get the gifts part. I hate crowds. Like to a degree that I'm beginning to feel the Social Anxiety Disorder that I once legitimately had (I was grieving. It was justifiable.) coming back over me. I see people in line to check out or lines to park and mentally I'm done before I've even begun. I mean, I go to the grocery store on FRIDAY NIGHTS to avoid that crowd. That should say something.

But aside from all of that, I'm heading to Dallas next week for a business trip, which means that my shopping and prep time has been cut by virtually a week. Not only am I gone for four days, but I will undoubtedly have work that has piled up that will knock me off my normal schedule for another three.

Before I sound too much like Scrooge, I will defend myself in saying that I still have some of my mother's holiday spirit in me. This woman would wake us up--even as teens--early on Christmas morning with the smell of baking cinnamon rolls. Once we had the milk down, but with the moustaches still on our faces, she would shove me and my brother to the tree for the orgy of unwrapping and exclamations to begin. And it's that moment. The one where we're all together destroying what took weeks of planning and pain to create and moments to execute. That's my favorite part of the holidays.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Isn't it enough to have to worry about the flu?

Just when I thought the biggest contagious threat of the season was going to be H1N1, a new report comes out that makes me fear something else. . .loneliness.

Apparently, people's feelings of isolation and despair when shared with others can be more than just shared but made literal.

This takes me back to a job I had when I was 16 years old. I was looking for something that I could work in the summer with flexible hours because I played softball an ungodly amount. The only thing I could find was working as a telemarketer. It was horrible.

Our bosses could listen in to us making our sales pitches to get appointments with people to have them try an air filtration system. We were given a headset, a script and a phone book. My boss listened in to one of my calls and then asked me "Why do you think you're not having luck booking appointments?". What I wanted to say was "Because no one wants to hear from a 16 year old telemarketer about air filtration unless they're super attractive and in your living room." What I did say was "Because a lot of people are working and aren't home."

The overzealous guy in the cubicle to my left overheard my conversation and went nuts. "If you start thinking that people won't book appointments because they're not home, then I'll start thinking that people won't book appointments because they're not home and she (girl in cubicle to his left) will start thinking the same thing and then no one will book appointments. Stop thinking like that it. It's contagious."

Now nearly 15 years later, maybe the little weirdo was right. Either way, I only lasted one day.

Monday, November 30, 2009

If it looks like a Tiger, Walks like a Tiger, It's probably hiding something.

I'm not one for jumping on the rumor mill bandwagon, but I have to say that Tiger Woods and his wife Elin are acting a little funny. The whole car accident is a little fishy in the first place. Here are a bunch of random questions that I'd like to ask the pair. Of course, they aren't taking questions now. They were going to answer police questions the day after the crash. Then it was Sunday. Then it was "this is a private matter." My questions are abundant no matter when or if they get answered:

Like, what were you doing that you were in such a hurry that you got into an accident at the end of the driveway? And one that left you with facial lacerations?

And why were you in such a hurry at 2:30 a.m.? I firmly believe that nothing good happens outside the home after midnight. It's just the law of averages.

Let's just say that you had to have your wife bust out the back window of you SUV to drag you out. How did you get the lacerations on your face if the car wasn't going fast enough to deploy airbags?

All of these things add up to a lot of speculation. None of the speculation is any good. In fact, Tiger and Elin made a statement about it. But what it comes down to is that in the end, despite legendary talent, Tiger will end up disappointing us because he's just a man. And we prefer our legends to be more than that.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Frodo or Peter Parker? Who would you choose?

Chef and I were watching a preview for that new movie Brothers when I said "That's a pretty easy choice. If it's between Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal, there's no contest. Jake Gyllenhaal." It was at that moment when Chef asked a question that spawned a different debate.

"What if it were between Tobey Maguire and Elijah Wood?," he asked.

Wow. That's a hard question. On the one hand both are short, decidedly feminine and frail looking guys. On the other hand, both are relatively good actors. And lastly, one played a hobbit and the other played Spiderman. Of course then Chef through out "Well, Spiderman is really Peter Parker. He's not so great."

All of which were good points. Elijah played a really creepy cannibal in Sin City. Tobey played a lying wimp who shot a dog in Wonder Boys.

At this point, I'm going back to my original statement. I choose Jake Gyllenhaal.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Can you Gain 85 pounds back in one week?

No? You can't gain it all back in one week? Maybe it just feels like it. I've chowed down with the best of them. Not just because of Thanksgiving, but I've had the whole week off which has not only given me more time to eat and cook, but also go out too.

Few people know that I cook, to be honest. I'm not what one would typically describe as a domestic type of girl. I'm not much on interior design (other than watching "Clean House"). I don't really sew except to put back on the occasional button or mend a rip (although in my head I give the contestants of "Project Runway" a run for their money). But cooking is something that I can do.

It mostly started for two reasons: 1) Chef refused to cook for me every day as he needed some days off. In the beginning I was scared to cook for someone so skilled, but I have since gotten over it. and 2) When I was concentrating hardcore on losing weight, I was manic about controlling what was going into my mouth. Makes it a lot easier when you cook what goes into your mouth.

This year I ended up cooking more for Thanksgiving than I had anticipated. I started off baking a coffee cake on Wednesday and from there, it just snowballed. By the end of Wednesday, I'd cooked macaroni and cheese, corn casserole, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. By Thursday, I left the cooking to Chef. He made a delicious fillet, wine reduction, roasted potatoes, salad and rolls. They were all frickin' delicious. And of course, we've been eating off the leftover stuff for days. I'm determined to have it all gone (eaten or thrown away) by Monday. Monday's when I start back on the watching and documenting what I eat. Again. Before I really do gain all the weight back.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Fillet Day?

It has a different kind of ring to it, but this year for Thanksgiving Chef and I have decided to forgo turkey and opt instead for steak. The two of us have some variation of turkey 3 to 5 times a week so having a big juicy turkey on Thursday, doesn't seem as appetizing as cutting into a perfectly cooked steak.

We're still planning on having some of the traditional Thanksgiving sides, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and the like, but just subbing out the main dish. Last year I spend all day cooking homemade versions of our favorites to varying degrees of success. This year I'm only spending time on the potatoes. They're my favorite anyway.

Before we get to the big fillet day, I've got some work to do. I've got to finish moving my office, hitting boot camp and a little grocery shopping the next few days. However, our office is closed this week, so my concentration will be split between all of the above and relaxing. It's a good place to be.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bacon Sounded Better In Theory

I'm a big fan of bacon. There are few food items that are non-carb that I love more. Perhaps avocado. If a sandwich has bacon and avocado on it, watch out. Much like the creators of BaconSalt, I see few flaws in slabs of pork fat. I'll even dig into the turkey version.

However, last night after my first cocktail at The Patterson House, I dug into a Bacon Old fashioned. It was a ballsy move to order a bacon-infused whiskey with some maple and pecan flavored bitters, but I went for it. It was better in theory and kitsch than in actual practice. The initial gulp was pure smoky bacon--which is better chewed than swallowed. The aftertaste was sweeter than the first pull, so it was actually better the more time after the swallow you allowed.

I post these as a warning to my other bacon loving friends, including Wendee who is like me so much so that I know it she wasn't preggers right now she'd have ordered a bacon cocktail too. I will say, though, that if you're in Nashville, The Patterson House is a pretty cool place. Exclusively a cocktail bar, they serve freshly mixed drinks with homemade syrups, bitter and other concoctions. My first drink, the Dark & Stormy, was super delicious and potent with fresh made ginger syrup. I plan on going back with Chef and then Greg again and then taking some of my cocktail loving friends and family when they come in town.

Okay, enough midday procrastination. It's back to moving my office again. . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Point of No Sleep Returns

Hello, my name is Ashley and I'm addicted to football. It didn't used to be this bad, but with the access to technology and living in SEC country, my addiction has only increased. I can't go a Saturday or Sunday without checking scores or how my fantasy football team is doing. I know more about the injuries to Colts players than their own doctors. It really is an illness that only provides me with anticipation, angst, elation, mood swings, bitterness, happiness, skepticism, joy and utter despair.

And now it's costing me sleep. Something that I value more than nearly anything else. Last night I stayed up to watch the Colts game, which in of itself would put me to sleep that much later than any other night. However, when the Colts make it an exciting game, which nearly every one against the Patriots is, it makes it difficult to wind down. Getting your hands to stop shaking when you've been rocking back and forth like a heroin addict as to not yell or clap or scream to wake your boyfriend is not an easy task. You can't just summon the heady spike of adrenaline and then expect it to leave quickly. It's like Beetlejuice or an in-law's visit.

So because I'm an addict and I watch it, I end up getting so excited that I can't sleep, even when I want to. I knew that going in. And then Chef worked early this morning so I ended up stirring to his morning routine at about 4 a.m. And tossed and turned all night. And now I should be laying my pretty little head against a pillow, but I'm still out here, typing on the computer and watching Monday Night Football. And it's Cleveland vs. Baltimore, so that has to give you some scope of my addiction.

I guess the good news is that there's no football on until Thursday night. And basketball season has started.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Awkward Public Moments

Last night I went to a Predators game with my dad. It was a great night with dinner and conversation and just fun hanging out with my dad. We went to the Preds game and before we could get in, there was a group of people and a camera crew. Seeing as it's Nashville, it's not that unusual to see. In fact, most people were nonplussed, we just were trying to figure out who the crew was for.

At first, I thought it was Bill Frist. Then I saw a plethora of long curly hair on girls of all ages and realized that it was the Duggar Family from "18 Kids and Counting."It quite literally held up the line.

But that wasn't the awkward moment. The awkward moment came after the first period when we were sitting in a Club level suite with about 10 other strangers and a few people I knew. The announcements came on the jumbotron and the first one was a marriage proposal. I was sitting there thinking and nearly saying aloud "I love sports and all, but I'd be a little pissed if Chef pulled that."

A few seconds later there was a commotion behind us in the suite area. I thought it was someone bringing out a cake for a birthday celebration, but instead it was a middle-aged dude on his knee with a ring. The people around them were obviously friends and they were joyous. The woman getting proposed to. . .not so much. In fact, my dad overheard the guy say "Will you at least let me put the ring on your finger? Either way, I bought it for you and it's yours. "

Public proposals are a risky business. The stadium proposal is not as bad, unless you have cameras on you (this couple did not). But why you would perpetrate a public proposal without having a certain answer, is beyond me. I had a friend whose now-husband publicly proposed is an infinitely more creative way--but he was smart enough to she would say yes before doing it. It was my first witnessed public proposal. And a very awkward moment.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do People Not Understand They Can't Really Control Publicity??

Look I don't agree with Carrie Prejean's political and/or moral views. (For those of you who need a refresher, shes' the beauty queen who was nationally lampooned for her opposition to gay marriage). But like someone who tries to stay consistent, I can't be for freedom of speech and then want to shut up someone that I don't agree with. It's not how freedom works. You can't go half-way.

What I don't get is someone who uses a major aspect of freedom of speech (the free press) to express her viewpoint (and hawk a book), but won't be subjected to the questions asked. Prejean appeared on Larry King Live recently and called him innappropriate for asking about why she decided to settle her lawsuit against the pageant officials. Her original claim was that they impeded her religious freedoms.

Larry King offends me in many other ways (his suspenders, his frog-like face, his penchant for blondes) but asking why Prejean chose to settle when the basis for her fight was so dear to her did not seem "inappropriate." In fact, it seemed logical.

So here's my beef: You can't get beat up by the media, use it to defend yourself and then not expect to have to defend yourself. It's like a verbal boxing match--you don't get hit once, take a few swings back and then throw your hands up in victory. That's not how the media works. At least an intelligent media.

Freedom is not doled out on the cafeteria line where you can choose to forgo the jello and only eat fruit. It's all or nothing.

I choose all.

Monday, November 09, 2009

At Least I Haven't Pigged Out That Much

I've been riding a pretty hard guilt train the last two weeks because although I've still gotten in my morning runs, I haven't been to the gym. It's not because I don't want to. It's simply because I have either had a meeting run into boot camp time, had an emergency editing session run over or had an event. I'm honestly still learning the details of my new position, establishing my systems and reacting to the most urgent stuff first. But despite what might seem like good excuses, they aren't. And whenever I'm not busting my butt hardcore at least twice a week, I feel like I can eat more because it doesn't feel like a sacrifice to ruin my calories over a 20 minute morning run.

Despite my gorging and lack of sustained exercise, I have not been tempted by the Burger King promotion with Microsoft in Japan. Yes, Microsoft. They launched the Windows 7 Whopper that has SEVEN meat patties. It was supposed to run for 7 days (naturally) but was such a success for Burger King in the Japanese market that they extended it. So if you're one of the first 30 people to order it, you get a steal at 777 yen (about $9). After that, it goes up to about $16. And it only costs you 2,120 calories plus a down payment for your future angioplasty.

There are many videos of people conquering the Windows 7 Whopper, but my favorite is this one from a guy who had the local Burger King make one because he couldn't afford to fly to Japan.

He had it his way and then his colon had its way with him.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

An Open Letter to the NFL

Dear NFL (and all related broadcasters),
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I think you did some additional marketing research or something this year, but I choose to believe this was something done on purpose and not a random act.

I want to thank you because I am an Indianapolis Colts fan. However, I live in Nashville, TN. So, naturally there is a disconnect between what team is supposed to be on the TV and what team I wish would be on the TV. In years past, I've had to strategically plan trips to Indiana on weekends of big games that weren't big enough to be on ESPN or NBC telecasts. I've invested in Sirius radio because if I couldn't see the game, at least I could listen and watch my computer for live updates on the computer with graphics that look like an old football handheld video game my brother used to have as a kid.

However, this year I've gotten to see every Colts game so far this season. Today will be the 8th. I choose to believe that in an effort to support its very lucrative broadcasting and sponsorship contracts that the NFL did a little research on secondary markets. Seeing that each of its 32 teams have a primary media market that LOVES to see their team (and in the case of probably all but maybe Oakland it tends to be where the team calls home), there are also other pockets of geography that have a strong affinity for teams.

For example, Nashville has a very high level of Colts fans because of their allegiance to all things Tennessee Volunteer related and its favorite prodigal son, Peyton Manning. Couple that with being in the same division (AFC South) and it nearly guarantees that any game played by the Colts outside of the Tennessee Titans schedule will garner some great ratings. Really it's a win-win-win scenario.

I choose to believe in research, money and planning than the randomness of TV schedules. Because I want there to be a pattern and not to think that I'm just the luckiest non-Indiana living Colts fan. Either way, it's almost game time and I've got a front row seat.

Sincerely,
your satisfied fan

Thursday, October 29, 2009

When Did I Become Old?

It's not that atypical that I go to bed at 9 p.m. on weekend nights. No, you totally read that right. I'm in bed early a lot. Mostly because Chef gets up at 4 a.m. for work and if we're going to spend time together, it just makes sense that we try and be on the same schedule. He's done it for me on the weekdays and by Friday, I'm only too happy to succumb to his early bird regiment.

But it really takes me by surprise that I've starting drifting off on the couch in the early evenings. What the hell made me so tired all of a sudden? Oh yeah, it's going non-stop from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. I always get so excited about new jobs and challenges that I completely forget how all-encompassing it is to figure out what your organization method is going to be, how to manage the new items and of course, when you're going to move your office. None of which are nearly as important as the looming deadline. . . and there's always a looming deadline for one thing or 20.

Okay, I should quit bitching about being tired because if you're an adult, you're tired for some reason or another. But that's the thing. When did I become an adult?

Maybe we're all sleepy in my household.

Monday, October 26, 2009

How to Clean Up Cat Vomit

This is something Chef and I became experts on as two of the little angels were heaving like Linda Blair in The Exorcist this weekend. Nothing to worry about, but definitely little pools of vomit joy to clean up.

This was the first time that I regreted having more than one animal. Mostly because as soon as one was making that nasal wretching noise (cat owners, you know what I'm talking about) and we ran to try and pick him up to place the feline on a hard surface, then the other one would start wretching too.

Chef got the brunt of the vomiting clean up duty. Genghis and Attila were the infected kitties. So, we kept the clean up to a science:
  1. Wet down spot

  2. Mop up excess vomit

  3. Spray with Complete Stain & Odor remover

  4. Comment on how Complete only works about 75% of what I need it to do, making it really 75% and not nearly COMPLETE

  5. Towel up wet spot

  6. Repeat in 6-8 hours

  7. Be thankful that the other two cats aren't sick

  8. Wonder if the full body cat vomit spasm has pulled any of their kitty muscles


We've been vomit-free for almost 24 hours. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beautiful Ladies As Far As the Eye Could See

Yesterday was another one of those days that I felt grateful to have my job. After a long hard year of raising funds in a crappy economy, poor morale for the country in general and having everything come down to the phrase "if it weren't for this economy. . . ", days were you feel grateful are as few as Peyton Manning sacks.

Yesterday I got to spend my day with about a dozen lovely ladies who help make Go Red For Women happen in Nashville. These ladies truly devote hours of their lives to helping spread the Go Red gospel, getting turned down by skinny ladies who wreak of cigarette smoke and feel they don't have anything heart-related to fear, doing grunt work, doing non-glamourous things and speaking in public. And yesterday with the help of some fantastic photographers, great stylists and friends, those ladies were able to have some fun, get their pictures taken and have some glamour in their lives.

You see, we picked out 10 or so ladies back in February at a casting call to be our local faces. Most are survivors of heart disease or stroke or close to someone who had heart disease or even saved someone's life. They are all inspiring wonderful women and when you spend nearly all day with women, but spend your time in the asexual world of business, it's nice to be reminded that a group of women can be fun. Not bitchy or competitive or single-minded or scared or fragile or emotional. Just fun. (By the way, that's not a reference to my co-workers, who are also fun, but to my general experiences with large groups of women. And another reason why I was never in a sorority. That and my fear of having to stand before a mirror with a Sharpie circling my "trouble areas").

If you'd like to come meet my friendly, beautiful, fun ladies, you can. Go Red For Women is throwing a Girls' Night Goes Red event on November 5th from 7 to 8:30 or so at The Belcourt. It's free. It's fun. And did I mention that the Belcourt sells drinks?

As I said, yesterday was a day I was grateful for.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired

I haven't full blown caught the heat of the germs and I'm very thankful for that. However, I am super tired, sniffling, aching (although that could be boot camp), and in desperate need of some extended time off. I get Sunday and this afternoon, so I'm excited about that. I have to work my last weekend engagement for a while tomorrow, but it's a photo shoot (meaning I don't really have anything to do) and I love the lovely ladies that will be there.

So I've been operating at about 70 percent for the last 24 hours and know that my head will be perpetually hot and my hands and feet always cold. It's a fun state to be in. Plus I'm crazy busy right now with an event coming up and my new things piling on to the old things. Luckily, I have next friday blocked off for some planning so I can get a system in place other than post-it notes and a million pieces of handwritten stuff everywhere. The lack of organization in my office and my life right now is infuriating me. I'm ready to dump it all in a trash bin and start again. If only, I could find my trash can. . .


On another note, I laughed my booty off when I saw Jeff Fisher sporting a Peyton Manning jersey this week while introducing Tony Dungy at an event here in town for Rocketown. He famously said "I just wanted to know what it was like to be a winner." You see the Titans are winless so far, and that was just funny. Of course, people here got their panties in a wad over it. Of course there's a web site up for his demise.

I have to say that I like the guy. He united the city with a beautiful eulogy after a local legend quarterback was found notoriously murdered by --not his wife. He handled the situation with grace and gave the city a chance to mourn without the constant salaciousness one would expect. He does a lot for the community and when he's worked with kids in the AHA's Play 60 program, he was phenomenal. A through and through class act. And not to mention a good coach. Despite the bad season.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

God Hates Women. Men Love Boobs.

Yesterday I did what I usually don't dread so much: I went shopping. It wasn't the shopping itself, it was the item that caused me pain: bras. Normally I'm able to whip into a Cacique shop, have the lady there fit me and grab a great fitting, nicely priced bra. However, there's one drawback to losing weight. I'm officially too small for the Cacique store any more and therefore have to shop like mortals in department stores and the like.

Here's what I don't get. How can I three women who are supposed to be bra fitting specialists measure me at three completely different sizes? Also, to the lady who measured me with my top on, come one. I know we're in a time of being politically correct and body sensitive, but I'm fairly certain the large origami-style tufts that were placed across my boobs on the t-shirt I was wearing probably threw the measurement off a little. It's a bra. I'm more than happy to strip down and let you measure the girls properly.

So after three places, three rounds of leaving in tears of sorrow and frustration, I had a moment that I missed my mom. Odd since it was her boobs that ended up turning on her in the end, but growing up, bra shopping was never a horrible life-altering experience. My mom always made me get measured, she pulled style after style of bra off the shelf and shielded me from horrible saleswomen. While shopping for a bra was a pain as a 13 year old D cup, it was never tear-provoking, embarrassing or frustrating. Mom, I didn't give you nearly enough credit.

For now I am in a bra that fits better but not perfect and was way too expensive for what I got. However, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not going back until I have hours of time and loads of patience. It's either this or I gain weight until I can fit back into a cacique bra.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's the Jitterbug of the Computer Technology Set

Who knew that Florence Henderson was a technology wunderkind? Okay, so she's probably not. But, she's at least marketing the tech support services for the older generation.

Computers are hard. I get that. If I hadn'd been around them and messed around with them, I would be frustrated and lost too. Here's Flo's solution to all that:
  • "North American" tech support
  • remote users who can access your computer and fix your problem without being on the line receiving instruction

Does anyone else wonder if perhaps Florence Henderson (aka a Hoosier and Carol Brady) might be getting unsuspecting seniors to allow her minions to hack their computer for bank and other information? Whoever thought of it was a GENIUS. (insert evil laugh here).

Less evil but more condescending is the Jitterbug. Although it's commercial jingle is very catchy, the product assumes that most people don't know how to use. . .a phone. I get that address books are hard, but do we really need someone to connect are calls for us? Are we getting that lazy? There's also the Model T version of choice; one phone comes in black or silver.

Perhaps I'm just spoiled because I have an internet savvy, email writing, blog reading, Tetris on a Game Boy-playin' grandmother. Yes, she's really that cool.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chocolate Sludge

Today is Day Three of the diet and overall, it's not as bad as I anticipated last week. Mostly because I was trying to cook for three days all in the span of three hours. It wasn't a pretty sight. In fact, Chef got the brunt of my fury. I mean, I'm all about salmon burgers, but it is damn hard to mush together chunks of salmon and egg whites until they patty up enough to cook and flip on a stovetop.

However, now that I'm just reheating stuff to eat, it's not so bad. In fact, with the help of the pre-cooking and the work of my diet partner and the protein shakes, I'm pretty much a 15 minute or less per meal/snack in prep now. (Of course, because he's on a different --aka NO--plan, Chef's meals require a little more time. As I have ignored his eating requirements, I am tempting my willpower by making him taquitos tonight. )

Three days in and the scale has dropped 5 pounds. However, please note that the first day I could've weighed in a little off. I dropped 1 pound in the last day. However, three days is really not enough time to see the change. So I'll next let you all know the change after the two weeks are up. And then I'll let you know how quickly it was before I put the weight back on. That's what I'm really scared of.

Oh the price we pay to be beautiful. . .or at least make a valiant stab at being beautiful.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rain Rain Please Stay Until At Least 6 p.m. Because I'm Lazy

Today is day two of the diet and my new role. The new role is easier than the diet. When you've been eating whatever sounds good for the last two weeks, your stomach tends to rumble at eating just protein and veggies. I'm doing the Ultimate New York Body Plan with a friend. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure it's better than what I have been doing and I need to be hungry every now and again, but the first two weeks of dieting are the worst. Luckily, this intense part of the diet is only two weeks long. And if I can lose a few more lbs in the process, then it will surely be worth it.

However, with little to go on and promise of butt kicking, the diet and boot camp are a mix that I'm not looking forward to. I'm hoping it rains until at least 6 so that we'll have to be inside for boot camp and I won't have to run up the steps of the Tennessee State Capitol "Rocky" style...again.

So aside from that, my new role in the AHA started yesterday officially. It will be my fourth new role in my time here. Four roles in eight years means about 2 years a role. That's about right. I'm now a Senior Development Director and will get to manage (hooray!), work on the corporate accounts that tests my strategic thinking skills, and continue to work with volunteers on marketing initiatives. What's different is that with a few lingering exceptions, I don't have to work on our local childhood obesity efforts and my weekends will be less filled with obligations. I'm not going so far as to say that I won't be working on the weekends. It's just that my work will be on my terms and not because I'm at a kid's event trying to get 5th graders to join the empowerME movement.

Of course, that life of luxury starts after this weekend. This weekend I'll be up to my neck in kids events. Kids and no carbs. This could be a long weekend.

However, no matter how hungry or angry I get, I won't be like this guy. Now that's just embarrassing. (Thanks, Chef for the link!)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

tonight is for fun, tomorrow i get down to business

tonight I get to watch harry potter and the colts game, eat taquitos and a cupcake, hang out with chef and enjoy the remnants of my weekend.

tomorrow I not only go back to work but I start a new role in the organization. and aside from that, i'm trying a new diet. it's high in protein and veggies (and legit by the way) but the carboholic inside me is scared. new role, new diet and a new week. hopefully in a few weeks time it'll be a svelter, more well-rounded me too.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I'm A Sucker For Romance. . .Now

Things that struck me as sappy and way too sentimental a mere 4-5 years ago are now bringing me to tears. Not like "Crying at a long distance commercial" kind of tears, but the promo that's been running for The Office has made me giggle with delight for the last week. It was touching and I think everyone wants to hear sentiment like that being said. . .to someone else.

I refer to Julia Robert's character Vivian in Pretty Woman when she says"the bad stuff's just easier to believe" about yourself. I think the same goes for when someone is being romantic. If you don't have the best view of yourself at precisely that moment, the comment being made seems like a bad joke.

What do you mean that I've never looked better? I'm in sweatpants and a t-shirt with spaghetti sauce splattered over me.

It's that kind of comment that makes me doubt I'll ever be able to truly apply romantic notions to my own life. Nothing to do with Chef and his love, but more to do with my own issues. Isn't that the way it normally is?

However, I have come to appreciate romance in other people's life. Even if the people are fictional TV characters like Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. So I was happy and cried and believed every sappy minute of Jim's love for Pam. It was awesome. It'll be even more awesome when she pops that kid out during February sweeps.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Favorite Signs of Fall

For the first time this year, I felt it was fall. It was not only the lack of rain, but the crisp bite in the air while you're car's still warm inside from the day's sunshine. Here are some of my other favorite signs of fall:
  • Football games that mean something. Once you're this far into the fall, College games get interesting because top teams aren't playing the little sisters of the poor and pro teams have either won or lost enough to either confirm or refute any predictions of the season.
  • Pumpkin Spice Anything. Today I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. I also saw an ad for pumpkin spice candles, cupcakes, donuts and even beer. And I will probably buy them all because when you mix pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove what you get is delicious and/or fragrant.
  • Tall boots. I've got good legs and I know how to use them. Primarily in leather zip-up rockin' boots.
  • After 120+ games, baseball is interesting again. The pennants were decided (for the most part) long ago, so now that the play offs are starting, it's time to start watching baseball again.
  • Midnight Madness. The first official practice for NCAA Men's Basketball. Where hope springs eternal for Hoosier fans.
  • Running in crisp mornings rock!It's too warm to run with a jacket and just cold enough that sweating provides comfortable relief.
Thank you mother nature. I used to think that Spring was my favorite season, but now I'm having second thoughts. . .

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Good Thing I Was Already Wet

There are many things about Chef that I love. His ability to find nearly any TV show that I want to watch. The way he texts me and offers to cook dinner on a regularly basis. His ability to make me laugh at myself and others.

But he also has a habit of trying to make me cold. I'm not exactly sure why he does this other than his desire to watch me scream or wiggle in discomfort and surprise. But he does it. Whether it's with a cold coke can to the back, leg or any other available, exposed piece of skin or turning the shower knob to cold while I'm enjoying hot water. He does it.

Last night I knew he wanted to mess with me, so I thought I'd play it safe and lock the door to the bathroom while I took a shower. I highly underestimated his desire to get me. I turned off the water, got my towel, let Shower Buddy (aka Genghis) out of the bathroom, and when I opened the door, I got a bucket full of cold water thrown on me.

Keep in mind that he had to climb onto the outside bathroom counter and perch while I toweled off. Waiting like a little monkey, he then doused me with what was not a bucket, but our coffee maker's water resevoir. Lying in wait, plotting revenge, and terrorizing those who get in his way. I'm glad he loves me or I'd be in serious trouble.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I Thought We Got Cats. . .Not Dogs

Yup. It's going to be a quick cat blog. Mostly because one of our cats started doing something disturbing that had me thinking about all of our cats. We started with Genghis and soon enough all the cats were exhibiting dog-like behavior. Maybe all cats have similar traits, but I have yet to hear of it. Here goes:
  • Genghis recognizes his name and comes when called.
  • If Chef pats his legs, Genghis comes bounding across the room and hops into his lap to be pet.
  • When you rub the couch or bed in a circular motion with your hand, Attila hops up and flops on his side. If you don't immediately start petting him, he then flips on his back and puts his paws in the air--like he's a true player.
  • Lastly, because I know this list is getting boring. There's the issue of feminine hygiene products. Attila has an affinity for them. At first he just went into the trash and picked out whatever he could. Tampon, wrapper, pad, it didn't matter to him. So I started throwing them away in trash containers that were too high for him to stick his little snout into. Then he started going into my purse. It wasn't until all I saw was a tail sticking out of my bag that I realized he was digging in for my mobile stash of tampons. I zipped it up, but apparently I wasn't consistent because yesterday morning I woke up to a completely unwrapped unused tampon that had been carried through the house like a trophy. Maybe the string makes him think it's a mouse. Wait, he does that with pads too. Never mind. We're thinking of getting Attila counseling.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Things I Remember When I Have A Drink

Last night I went to Lime with my friend Greg. We get together every couple of months and chat about things that don't matter or chat about things that do matter and generally just enjoy each other's company. Because of the focus on fitness that I've had lately, I don't get out and have a cocktail or beer very often any more. However, when I do I suddenly remember things that I had forgotten, such as:
  • I like drinking. Not to alcoholic extremes, but a good beer after a long day or a glass of wine at dinner really can melt away some top of mind concerns, even if it's only for the duration of the glass's contents.
  • I'm not as dumb, ugly, pathetic, mean, bitchy, evil, or insignificant as I thought I was. Not that I've got major self-confidence issues, but whatever doubting thoughts are in the back of my mind bury themselves even deeper after a good mojito.
  • People are interesting to watch. Especially in bars. Check out the subtle leaning in of one person in a conversation or the out of place track suit top in a bar where the women dress up in hopes of catching a cute or rich-- or preferrably both--man. (Notice I didn't say nice. Nice doesn't tend to get a lot of play when alcohol is involved. Just a word of advice for the single dudes out there).

I think these were many of the same reasons that daytime drinking was the norm in the 50s and 60s (or maybe it wasn't the norm, but Mad Men has me convinced that I need a bottle of scotch, an ice bucket and glasses in my office). Either way I enjoyed my Xingu beer and the company even more so. And both were needed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little Luxuries Get the Ax

Chef and I have slowly been taking inventory of what we've been spending lately. It's not that unusual seeing as most of the country is thinking of ways to save . Advertising lately is less about spending and more about products positioning themselves as the better buy.

What I realized is that our budget is kind of like my eating habits. When I don't keep track of it closely, it goes out of control until two weeks later I'm left with cupcake crumbs around me and a lighter wallet. We don't spend like crazy because we're not millionaires, but we also don't do things like vacation. So we've let our "little luxuries" take the place of big purchases, which is also a bad habit to get in to.

In an effort to cut, we've had rousing discussions around our cable bill. Mostly because Comcast sticks it to me by making ESPN only available on the full basic cable. I mean, it's one of the most popular channels and we can get everything BUT ESPN for $10 less a month, but they're milking suckers like me that don't want to miss Monday Night Football or who like to fall asleep watching SportCenter.

But the luxury that I thought was going to be the hardest was cutting our name brand groceries. Primarily the carbonated beverages. I'm a sucker for cold bubbles tickling my nose with a combination of sweet chemicals and deliciousness, but am mostly a sucker for the name brands. Since I've cut a lot of major sweets out of my diet, diet drinks are one of the things that satisfy my sweet tooth. But I digress.

In the swap, my favorite thing about buying store brand cola, aside from saving about $10 a week on drinks alone, are the names. I'm currently shopping Kroger so these are all Kroger brand, but if you have any suggestions, let me know. Here are some of my favorite new drinks and my opinion:
  • Diet Dr. K (aka Diet Dr. Pepper--all doctors hang out together): sweet, really sweet and lacking the pepper bite at the end, but not a bad substitute.
  • Diet Citrus Drop (ala Diet Mountain Dew?): this one doesn't really know what it's supposed to be. Is it Diet Mountaint Dew, Diet Sprite, Fresca? Or maybe it's like the diet cirtus version of a suicide that I used to get after softball games when I was younger. Nothing quenches the thirst of a kid who's just played sports like a little bit of RC, Big Red, Mello Yello, and Diet Rite mixed together.
  • Big K Oh! (aka Coke Zero): My favorite thing about this drink is the exclamation point at the end of it's name. It's so excited to be added to the line up. Honestly, it's the best drink that I've found so far, so I'm pretty excited about it too.

What's your favorite off-brand product?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Can it be Friday Now?

I know it's Sunday. I enjoy Sundays. Watching football all day and getting to see the Colts play because they or the Titans are on a featured game. Trust me I love Sundays.

But for about a month now I've had my weekends eaten up by work, personal obligations or both. Not like I have to bring home my computer kind of work, but a "I have to be there for three hours" kind of work.

Add to that sleepless nights (not in Seattle but the constant rain here the last week has made it feel like we're living a northwestern lifestyle) and you've got one mentally, physically and emotionally drained girl. . .with this Friday off. I'm not big on wishing my life away but i'm also not big on not recharging my batteries.

So, one more small event, several self-imposed deadlines, two other deadlines, and it's a long slumber on Friday morning for me!

Until then I'll enjoy the few hours of my Sunday night and root hard for my colts.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Well, it was Hell AND High Water...but mostly lightning

Woke up last night at 1 a.m. Then 2 a.m. Then 3 a.m. and then every 5 minutes until the alarm finally went off at 4 a.m.

The rain was loud, but it was the lightning that cancelled the Nashville Start! Heart Walk today for the first time in its 15+ year history. Big Bummer! I feel disappointed for our volunteers who put so much time and energy into raising funds and helping out. I feel really disappointed for our staff who devote nearly a year of their time to pull off the day.

That being said I'm tired of my feet being wet. And my legs. And the chill running through my body. Ready for a warm shower and some football this afternoon before trying again tomorrow to reach out to kids about health at the Vanderbilt We Care For Kids Day event. Mother Nature apparently cares more for kids than hearts, because it's supposed to be beautiful tomorrow for the first time in a week.

That being said the offer still remains for the person who puts me at or over the top on my Start! Heart Walk fundraising campaign will receive a copy of the picture of me in a bee suit like the one donned by the little girl in the old school Blind Melon "No Rain" music video. I'm only a little ways from my personal goal!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Come Hell or High Water. . .Or Perhaps Both

This Saturday is the Nashville Start! Heart Walk and why we're praying for some Blind Melon-type inspiration*, it might be baptism by nature. There are only two things worse than getting a downpour of cold rain while you're required to be outside:
  1. Not hitting my Heart Walk goal. I'm only about $75 dollars away now, so any help you give me would be very appreciated!! Please help me not have to walk with my head down in shame for an entire year.
  2. Having to wash cars outside in October. While my team (the fozzie bear inspired Walka Walkas) have admirably raised more than $3,400, it is still about $2,400 behind the Walker Nashville Rangers. So unless anyone wants to write me about a $5,000 check, it looks like I'm going to have a frozen booty as I'm scrubbing my co-workers tires. (I'll be sure to post pictures of it after I've recovered from the impending pneumonia).

Either way, if you live in Nashville, I highly encourage you to come out (rain or shine) and walk with us. We'll be on Vanderbilt's campus from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., walk at 10 and then have more fun until about noon. Honor loved ones who have passed away from heart disease, live with it now or just walk to prevent you from getting heart disease yourself!

Come say hi. I'll be in the Kid-tastic! Get Active area. See you Saturday!

*The Blind Melon reference is to their hit song "No Rain" which featured a girl dancing in a bee costume. I myself have pictures at about 6 years old in an identical bee costume for a dance recital. I will send a copy of the picture to the person who donates to put me over the top of my individual goal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reasons Why I Want to Be Tina Fey

With 30 Rock taking home some well deserved Emmys again this year and prepping for the beginning of the new season, I thought it was about time that my love of Tina Fey --well, more than love--my wishing to be her--was laid out on the line.

There are, of course, the obvious reasons--money, fame, accolades. All of those are nice enough, but here are some of the real reasons that I wish I was Tina Fey:

  • She began as a writer and only then moved into acting, and I think most writers secretly wish they'd get tapped to come out from behind the page.
  • People who mistake her for Tammy Faye would respond that she looks so much younger without the make-up (side note: I saw a seemingly homeless man the other day wearing a t-shirt that read "I ran into Tammy Faye at the Mall" with what seemed to be make-up without the face below it. It tickled and saddened me to think that the man had the shirt so long it had become so outdated it was now kitchy.)
  • Despite the real story, she can still act like the scar on her face was from a cool gang fight.
  • I too have confidence that outweighs my looks and abilities-so well done to my parents too!
  • Working with Alec Baldwin would allow me to ask what he calls his daughter now that his voicemail to her is stuff of Internet folklore.
  • Lorne Michaels was seen with Paul McCartney and Jack Nicholson at a Yankees game sitting behind the backstop. Just to know someone who could afford to those seats would be nice.
  • I want to be my own description of hot (For example, "Tina Fey hot" refers to food that doesn't seem so hot in the beginning, but the longer it's with you, the hotter it gets -- that was coined by the "commissioner" of the competitive eating league and was just good enough to get stolen.)
  • If I could come up with just 1/10th of her one-liners, I could write the best stuff.

Those are just a few reasons for now, but my adoration continues. Not in a creepy stalker way, but more in the "admire you from afar" way that I became so familiar with in high school. If you want to adore Tina Fey (and you do whether you know it or not), I suggest picking up the first season of "30 Rock" and then going from there. You're welcome.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

You're Not Fooling Me, Wendy's!

Seeing as it's football season, I tend to see the same commercials several times a day. Lately, I've been seeing Wendy's talking about their 40th anniversary and how they're celebrating by offering us four all-time favorites for 99 cents each.

Look, I'm all for deals and steals, but don't try to tell me that a double stack for 99 cents is a huge deal. Because it's on the Super Value Menu for 99 cents every damn day whether it's Wendy's 40th anniversary or not. So are the sour cream and chive baked potato, chili and frosty that are being touted as HUGE deals.

I realize that other parts of the nation do not have the standard 99 cent Value menu that our Wendy's does, but I doubt that getting a 20 cent break (as I have yet to see a Wendy's Super Value menu at over $1.19 per item) is driving the customers out in droves.

So instead of selling me four items for exactly the same price as any other time of year, how about offering them at 40 cents each (makes sense with the 40th anniversary)? Too steep a price cut? Do it for a day or week or make it happen with the purchase of a regularly priced item. I know that people are looking for any deal possible, but seriously Wendy's, I love your square burgers and dipping fries into my Frosty, but nothing is less appetizing that eating a load of bull.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I run for myself, I walk for my breasticles

Last night I went for a run at 9 p.m. after a nice Greek dinner with my stepdad and his girlfriend. I realized at that time that I was running for myself. It felt good. I also realized that while it took several years for the message to sink in, I work at the American Heart Association for myself. It's my own health that I'm trying to inspire and support and that selfishly hearing so many people's stories are my own daily affirmations to keep going.

However, this morning I did something for my boobs. Well, not just my boobs, but everyone's boobs and mostly in memory of my mother. Some of you don't know that I lost my mother to breast cancer nine years ago when she was only 52. Every year my stepdad and I get together and walk the 5K in my hometown in Indiana in her honor. I pin on the neon pink "I Race in Memory Of" card where I've scrawled "My Mom- Terri Winternheimer."

The first year was awful. I couldn't even turn around without seeing someone I knew and I luckily had friends and family that helped me through it (Shout out to Manders and her family for helping me keep it together--also a pleasant memory of Jill Hoffman who sadly also passed away way too young from cancer).

This morning was better. Nine years and a little more hometown anonymity made things earier. While I listened with great intent, I couldn't let myself get too attached. I still have some anger that cancer got the best of my mom because few things did. I listened as the racers rejoiced with the 909 area survivors and thought "I wish there were 910." I don't know if I'll ever get over it. But what was also nice was that just before we crossed the finish line, a woman tapped me on my shoulder and said "I knew your mom. She was a great lady who's missed." It was a random act, but it touched me a lot.

It makes me wonder as I prepare for the Nashville Heart Walk next weekend how many of our walkers will reach out to each other and share a memory. While I'm deeply touched by the Komen Walk, there's nothing that has made my heart stop faster than seeing one and two year old child heart survivors. And so in the end, while I lace up my sneakers and run every day for my heart and for me, I'm glad that I took some time to walk for my breasticles. And I encourage everyone to find a cause they care for to experience a walk because if anything else, it lets you know that you aren't alone.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Five years ago today I walked into MacDougal's Coop for some chicken and ended up finding the love of my life. Five years ago today I met Chef.

I don't think either of us really knew that we'd have had such an impact on each others' lives as we've had. I kind of laughed today as I got drenched with rain as it was raining that day as well. You'll have to excuse my mushy nostalgia as I'm rarely either mushy or nostalgic.

However, we met, we fought, we loved and five years later, we're still by each other sides. The things I appreciate most about him are that he supports and motivates me more than any person I've ever known. Whether it's in my career, in my weight loss goals or in my writing, he's always the positive influence that keeps me going. Tonight I told him how my mother used to be that role when I was younger and that I felt lost for several years without someone constantly urging me to do more and feeling their pride. When he stepped into that role, I never really comprehended how much I missed and needed it.

So for everything I've accomplished in the last five years and everything to come, I thank Chef. Without him, I'd be complacent. With him, I strive for more.

Thanks for indulging my ramblings of love. Now it's back to celebrating.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Trouble With Fantasy Football

In my fantasy, I have the entire roster of the Indianapolis Colts. Because in my head, win or lose, they are the players I'd like to have on the field (even Anthony Gonzalez who crumpled in the first quarter of the first game without being touched).

In reality, I get stuck with players that I loathe--at least one or two and am then forced to root for them despite my personal feelings. Putting personal feelings aside is something I have to do constantly in the work world. Having to do it in my leisure time is just toying with my natural instincts.

Last year, I was forced by the laws of my competitive nature to cheer on Tony Romo, Randy Moss, Jason Witten and the Baltimore Ravens defense even though I think Romo can't perform in the clutch, Moss is an egomaniacal selfish receiver, Witten is a Cowboy (enough said) and the Ravens defense has Ray Lewis.
This year my main point of contention is Phillip Rivers. He's known for being a hot-head, he's always trash talking, and he beat the Colts in the play offs last year. Is there anything else that needs to be said? The dude gets on my last nerve and now I have to depend on him to anchor my team or be reduced to the depths of last place. It's playing my real life convictions against my fantasy one. It's like having to kill a friend in an online game to get ahead.

At what point does my loyalty come into question? Is it when the Colts play the Chargers or only if they're both in contention for a wild card play off spot? So many questions. It keeps me up at night. A new thing to add to the list.

Monday, September 14, 2009

You Know the Economy's Bad . . .

When one of the only two things that are certain to happen in life feel the need to discount their services. It's death and taxes, right? Well, aparently there's worry around here that people will start lighting their loved ones afire in Hefty bags or digging plots in their back yards before shelling out the dough for funeral costs.


A bus bench advertisement for "Quality Caskets for Less" cries out desperation in my book. There aren't any less deaths because of the economy, right? It's a pretty steady demand industry.

And if any of you have been in the unfortunate situation where you've had to buy a casket, you know that they aren't angling to get you to buy the cheapest one. In fact, in my limited but scarring experience, the upsell factor was one that equated love with a high end casket and copper lined casing.

Funeral homes and their owners give me the creeps.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things to Remember When I Visit Indiana

I left Friday afternoon to make the nearly 3 hour trek north to Indiana to visit family. For a long time, I used to say that I was going home for the weekend. However, despite my undying love for the Hoosier state and a good portion of the inhabitants in it, it is no longer "home." I think we all get to the point where we've made our own homes and it's weird, but a necessary part of life.

That being said I visited Indiana and made the rounds of most of the places I wanted to visit. I did not, however, get the stop to visit my Grandma Wrye on her birthday on Saturday like I had planned. For that, I say Grandma if you're reading this 1) Happy Birthday! I love you and 2) I'm coming back through next weekend and have made visiting you my top priority.

Okay, so back to the visit. I was going to Indiana to visit my Aunt from Florida (it's closer to Indiana than Florida, that's why) and each time I go back I pick up different things that I hadn't noticed before. This time I noticed the things in Indiana that I don't see a lot of anymore:
  • Lots of artificial flowers. I'm not talking the arrangements that can be mistaken for real, but those that have glue drops on them to look like water just hit the leaves. Or roses in a blue color not found in nature.
  • Wallpaper with border. I had it and loved it when I was growing up and I'm not opposed to wallpaper, but having stripped it and then repainted, I have taken a wallpaper celibacy vow. I know you feel me on this one. At least those of you who've steamed, stripped, sanded, spackled, primed and painted.
  • Mall rats. I don't hit the malls here a lot, but there were a LOT of them in da ville. However, with about 40% of the stores catering to the teen crowd (I never realized there were so many stores that sold cheaply made graphic printed clothes), I guess if you build it, it will come.
  • Lack of coffee options--there are a few places that serve good coffee (Briar and the Bean, anyone?), a few places that serve bad coffee (McDonald's) and about 2 that serve consistent coffee (Starbucks). None of which are open past 9 p.m.
  • Other than the obvious places (downtowns, previously designed subdivisions) there weren't a lot of sidewalks. This made running a new adventure in making sure I didn't get run over.
Despite all this, let's be clear: Indiana is not the middle of nowhere. People are pretty plugged in to the goings on of the world and then choose whether or not to care. And when it comes down to what's important to making a home, it really is the people. Which is really why I keep going back, the people. Not the ability to get a skinny caramel latte at midnight (although that is pretty nice).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things That Keep Me Up At Night

Random thoughts that go through my head as I'm trying desperately to push them out and go to sleep:

  • Does Tom Brady think he out kicked his coverage by marrying Gisele Bundchen?
  • Where do companies that SPAM come up with the weird ass names they put in the "from" line?
  • Why don't I have an undying urge to have children? Or even any urge?
  • Why doesn't ProActiv asked Peyton Manning to be their newest spokesperson? He gets some raging Chin strap acne during season.
  • How would my 10 year old self respond if I told her what I'm doing as an adult?
  • Is there still hope for me and Matt Damon to get together. . .even if it's as some kickin' senior citizens?
  • If we died, how long would it take before Genghis and the cats ate us?
  • Why does my fantasy football team seem to suck so much more this year than last?
  • Is there a way to make Cake Batter ice cream at home?
  • How much do stand up comedians make per year? Could I get just as much emjoyment just being friends with a comedian?
  • Will midgets (aka Little People) ever be able to ride roller coasters? (Yes, even 10 years later, this one still crosses my mind).
  • Why can't I ever find figs at my grocery store when I want some bacon-wrapped figs?
  • Will I ever be able to afford Manolo Blahniks? If I am, will I ever be able to overcome the Midwestern sensibility instilled me in to actually pull the trigger and buy them?
  • What happened to the characters of "Gilmore Girls" after the series finale? (Sometimes I make up happy endings for them all in little vingiettes in my head. Sometimes the whole town of Stars Hollow goes up in smoke. )
  • At what age did I officially become old enough to hear the worries and problems of my elders? Can I go back before that time so I can live in oblivion again?
  • Whatever happened to . . . (fill in the blank with an old product like 'Get in Shape Girl' toys or an old acquaintance that resists facebook)?

So, that's a tiny peek into my world of crazy. Hope you enjoyed your time here. Come back again tomorrow night as I lay in bed and try to play out the entire Colts-Jaguars game before it happens.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I Want Your Opinion. . .

Which is scarier: Martha Stewart's Halloween cover of Jennifer Lopez? Didn't we get rid of both of these ladies with the Bush administration?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

At Least I don't Have a Year Old Rotting Pumpkin in My Living Room

When I was feeling sorry for myself in the past, I was able to pull myself out of the funk by qualifying my life. Thinking "At least I don't have cancer or heart disease or some other ailment that requires a national non-profit to combat" or "at least I still have a job" or "At least I have full use of all my limbs".

However, lately the old stand by qualifiers don't seem to be doing the trick. I think part of it is that we've all been held hostage by the economy for the last year (or more) and so we're suffering some kind of mass Stockholm Syndrome that makes us think that there's not a lot more that can be done that would be all that bad. Heck, the economy is now our friend. We should listen to it when it says take out a huge ass mortgage on a teacher's salary. Oh, wait that's how it lured us in the first place.

It wasn't until watching "Hoarders" last night as I was trying to fall asleep that I finally found a qualifier statement that I'm fairly certain will last me at least until the housing boom starts up again. The show is as creepy as it is great, but it made me realize that no matter how dirty my house gets and how cluttered it may be, there's never going to be a time where having a year old rotten pumpkin lying in the middle of my living room floor can be rationalized.

So, can't sleep?
No, but at least I don't have a year old rotten pumpkin on my living room floor.

Work suck?
Maybe, but it doesn't suck nearly as much as having a year old pumpkin lying on my living room floor.

Gain a pound?
Sure, it happens. But at least I didn't gain 5 pounds of rotting pumpkin mush on my living room floor.

Yep, I'm pretty sure this is going to last me a while. Thanks, "Hoarders".

Monday, September 07, 2009

I Don't Shower Alone Anymore

About two months ago, I got a Shower Buddy. I didn't know that I wanted one. Most showers are built for one because adding more than one would require another to stand in the cold by themselves and hope that the other tires of the massive amounts of hot water hitting them. Not that I know from experience. I'm just surmising from my single-serve shower time.

Nonetheless, I've gained a Shower Buddy. He's compact, furry and slightly horrified at the idea of getting wet, so really he's the perfect partner. I call him Doodles, which is short for Genghidoodle which is a bastardization of his given name: Genghis. As soon as he hears the water turn on, he does his little cat scamper from anywhere else in the apartment and jump between the fabric and plastic shower curtains.

Then Genghis goes to town. He sits on the tub ledge and proceeds to swat the liner curtain until he can get a mouthful. That's his time to sharpen his little kitten teeth and puncture holes in the liner. Then Genghis waits for the water to hit and tries to drink from the newly formed holes. The first time he did this, it was cute. It lost it's cuteness when he was pinning the shower curtain against my (or Chef's) leg and sinking his teeth into curtain and flesh.

It regained its cuteness when he corrected the biting behavior. However, now the curtain liner feels like a Braille version of Tale of Two Cities. I'm fairly certain I felt "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." the other day when I was wiping it down.

So it comes down to whether it's more cute to have a Shower Buddy or a fully functioning, non-leaking liner. And the winner is. . .


Shower Buddy, you're the one. You make Showers lots of fun. . .

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I Lost Weight so I Baked a Cake

This morning I hopped on the scale for the first time in a week or so. I hadn't been avoiding the scale, but I hadn't been trying real hard to lose weight in the last week. Ever since the contest ended, I was supposed to take a day or two to enjoy and then hop back on the horse. That hasn't been the case. I haven't gone hog wild, but I've only cut a few hundred calories a day from my diet instead of the usual 500-600.

That being said I got on the scale and saw that staring back at me was a number I have never seen as an adult. It was officially 0.8 pound lower than my lowest. Not a lot, granted, but hopefully enough to get over my self-sabotage.

To celebrate I got an instant craving for white cake and white icing. It was not enough to be denied. So, I did not partake in the ice cream at a social event and instead decided to spend $2.50 to bake a reduced sugar cake. After licking some batter, licking some frosting and have a small piece, I think that I'm over the cake thing. Tomorrow might be a different thing where I crave the sugar high, but either way.

After about 3 weeks, maybe I am getting motivated enough to bust through the plateau. Or maybe I am destined to eat cake batter off of the mixer attachment until I always remain at this weight. Either way, I'm happy.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

My Saturday Ritual

If I would've known myself two years (or more) ago, I probably would've not liked myself a whole lot. That's not true. I would've liked myself until I started mentioning calories and exercising and then in my head I would've thought "rub it in my face, bitch."

Mostly I say that because I've started getting up when Chef does on the weekends. He gets up at 4 or so to get into work (he preps until the restaurant opens). I get up and go running. That's right. Not only is my ass up before the sun, but it's up and running. I started doing this a few months ago when it got blazing hot and I was reluctant to run past sun up.

So now, I get up, run, feed the cats, empty litter boxes, take a shower and then curl back up into bed knowing that I have 4 more hours of sleep. Seriously, perhaps it's working against itself, but getting up and then knowing you have plenty more time to sleep is a luxury that I never knew existed. Sometimes I take advantage and sleep. Other times I take advantage and watch horrible chick flicks that I know Chef wouldn't care to see. Either way, I'm the winner.

When I finally get up, I vacuum. Four cats and despite the fact that three don't shed very much, one does and that's enough. So, vacuum, eat some cereal (all done in my underwear) and wait for Chef to come home. However, underwear has become a problem this week.

We don't have the luxury of a washer/dryer or hook ups. We do, however, have pay machines a mere 50 yards away. They require quarters and in this day and age of debit cards, I rarely have the silver. We got the majority of our clothes washed with a roll I got at the bank last week, but Chef forgot to wash my undies (I'm thinking this was not an accident). So, I'm in those last few pairs that are smashed under a bra that fit 80 pounds ago. Luckily, (and this is probably too much info, but I'm going for it) these are undies that I bought in a sentimental state. They look like Underoos. Supergirl Underoos nonetheless. It was kind of liberating to have them on under my suit pants the other day. Gave me a boost of confidence.

Underwear aside, I then spend the majority of my Saturdays hanging out with Chef. Today we watched movies and ate Hungry Girl Kung Pao Chicken (delicious). Of course, my time is limited as he goes to bed early to accommodate his work schedule (he doesn't have the extra four hour luxury). I better get back to my spot on the couch before the other lady fo the house (Mila) takes my spot on Chef's lap.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Happy Long Weekend, People!

An extra day to lay around and do nothing?!?! It must be my birthday. Nope, it's Labor Day. I've got a book to read, one to write and recipes to cook. Hungry Girl released an email filled with a cheese-lover's dream of low-cal, extra creamy cheese-rific dishes.

Cheese leads me to think about The Biggest Loser. I mean, it's been off the air for like a month, it's about time to get back on the air, dammit. What's that? It premieres on Sept. 15th? Hot damn.

Has anyone else noticed that holiday weekends have gotten progressively longer the last couple of years? Is it the economy or just pure burn out? Either way, it seems like more and more people are taking more time off around 3-day weekends--officially or unofficially. Our office was quite depleted today, but I'm not complaining. I actually got things done without pop-ins and email interruptions. If only I could be that productive on the average Wednesday. I'm just saying.

Okay, off to bed to dream of cheese. Or Mike Rowe. Or Mike Rowe covered in cheese. Delicious.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Sometimes Labels Tell You Too Much. . .about Bowel Movements

This morning I was going to town on a Kellogg's Fiber Plus Bar and I noticed the New User Warning that read: "Increase your fiber intake gradually. Gastrointestinal discomfort may occur until your body adjusts."

It's not every meeting where you start to think about gastrointestinal discomfort, but once you start, it's hard to get the train back in the station. Here are some related and random thoughts:
  • Immediately I pictured the old Saturday Night Live faux commercial for Colon Blow. And of course, Super Colon Blow.

  • In college, Amanda, Anne and I kept track of our use of the "No. 2" bathroom with a tally chart. The first week was the control and we were supposed to use metamucil the second week, but we never got that far. We did learn, however, that I pooed on a much regular basis than they did, so from then on out I had to buy more toilet paper when it was my turn to buy for the house.

  • Again, in college, I thought buying the Olean filled BBQ Potato chips would save me so much fat and calories that the pounds would just melt off. They did not. I did, however, consume too many for my bowels and did not have a proper "New User" warning.

  • I still strive for Gillian McKeith's perfect poo.

I know that food is kind of like clothes where things go through cycles. For a long time, "Chipotle" was the hot topic. Now, it seems to be Fiber and I'm totally down with that. In fact, it got me thinking back to my childhood and Kellogg's "Fruit & Fibre" cereal (still sold in the UK!).

So while there are some trends that I'm just not down with (Maxi Dresses--I'm talking to you and your cuteness that's only suitable for tall people), I can hang with the fiber. Or Fibre. Whatever you prefer.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Taquitos are a good time

Lately we've been having taquitos at least once a week--sometimes more if we run out of dinner options. Tonight is taquito night this week and it left me thinking a few things.
  • Is there really such a thing as a taquito or was it made up by the frozen food companies because frozen tacos suck? I got my answer.
  • Isn't a taquito just a smaller version of an chimichanga? Isn't a chimichanga a fried version of an enchilada? Isn't an enchilada an open ended version of a burrito? Is there any Mexican food that isn't a derivative of another dish?
  • Avocado is a god-like food that can be smeared on nearly anything edible to make it delicious. It's becoming my slightly healthier version of cheese in that sense.

Anyway, because I've been asked before, I'll post my "recipe" for taquitos, which really isn't a recipe, but just a tested method of making these things healthier and still very crispy. Here goes:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place one to two cookie sheets in to warm up (I hate you Sandra Lee, but I love this tip).
  2. Brown some ground turkey (yes, turkey) then add water, taco seasoning, garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, minced onion, cayene pepper and whatever else you like until it tastes how you'd like it. Honestly the taco seasoning does a lot of the work, but I like making it a little spicier.
  3. Next take about 5 taco size corn tortillas and place them between two moist paper towels. Nuke them for one minute. Okay, here's my corn tortilla sidebar: I have a preference for Kroger brand corn tortillas (and I rarely have a preference for anything related to Kroger) for three reasons: 1) They are only 35 calories per tortilla as opposed to other grocery stores (Harris Teeter I'm talk to you) that have about 50+ calories per tortilla 2) They're cheap--like 70 cents for a pack of 10 and 3) they seem to roll better than other brands-no idea why.
  4. After the tortillas are warm, take one and slice it in half. Have both pieces with the long side facing you on a cutting board and put in the ground turkey and , if you like, a small pinch of cheese. Warning--make sure the ground turkey is in small bits because a chunk might make the roll impossible.
  5. Roll up and push down to get to stick. Roll as many as desired--10-15 per person should be plenty for a meal.
  6. Take cookie sheet out of the oven and spray with Olive Oil flavored Pam. Place taquitos on pan in rows and spritz tops with Olive Oil Pam. Bake for about 5-10 minutes--until slightly brown. Then flip and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes. Taquitos are now crispy and delicious.

Ten taquitos are about 375 calories without guacamole or salsa. Not too bad a way to be bad. Mmm, now I'm hungry. Okay, spread the love of taquitos, people.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sure Signs You're Middle Class

Last night I went to a work shindig. It was very lovely and accomplished many things including rallying some very influential movers and shakers around the cause. However, when that many high powered people are in one room, it makes me realize just how staunchly entrenched in the middle class that I am. Here are some ways I knew:
  • When one guest mentioned wanting a pool, I immediately threw out there "Yeah, but the upkeep is horrendous" before realizing that they probably won't be touching pool chemicals or a sweeper ever.
  • None of my stories begin with "We were taking this quick jaunt up to Chicago in our private plane, and. . ."
  • I had to explain to the valet the best way to get into my 14 year old car. (It only unlocks from the passenger side, God love it.)
  • I can't relate to taking a business trip. . .to Japan or hosting the Australian Trade Commissioner for dinner.

However, that's what I love about sports. No matter how rich or poor a person, they can all become instant friends or enemies in the matter of one question: Who's your favorite team?

Monday, August 31, 2009

One Reason I'm Glad That Summer's Almost Over

I think most of you know that I'm an avid sports fan. That being said I multitask each morning by watching Mike & Mike on ESPN 2 while I get ready. While Mike & Mike rocks, it puts me in a demographic to watch stupid life jacket PSAs every morning. Look, I get and understand the importance of wearing a life jacket. I just don't need a teenager preaching to me at 7 in the morning. Especially not one that's about 3 feet tall.

So while I don't look forward to cold weather, I am ready for the Wear It Tennessee! commercials to come to an end.

Check it out and give me your opinon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Things I Learned from Last Night's Keith Urban Concert

Last night I went to the Sugarland/ Keith Urban concert at the Sommet Center. I'm not a live music person which is sacrilege in Nashville, but the ticket was free, in a suite, and the company promised to be fun as well. Besides, there's no better place to country music, pop country or old school, than in the town that celebrates it in its every boot scuff and lilting twang accent.

It was a good show. Anyone that can play for two hours with but a minute or two break is truly earning some money. It was entertaining for sure, but I'd have say that I dig Sugarland a little more than Keith Urban. Plus I was resentful that he didn't even mention Nicole Kidman at all.

That being said, here are some things I noticed:
  • Every woman there--from the young to the more mature--was dressing as if they expected Keith to see them and instantly know he was meant for them. Which is a little bewildering when he has a notoriously famous and beautiful wife who bore him a child. And little creepy when you consider that if you brought a recovering coke addict accountant home, your family wouldn't have a great response, but Keith Urban-hell yeah.
  • To have be a hit in country music, you must have at least one song in your catalog about skipping work and staying in bed with your lover. It's obligatory. People eat that shit up.
  • Guitarists truly are enamored with having something large come from their crotch. Keith Urban is a HELL of a guitarist. More than I've probably ever taken the time to notice or give credit for. However, one hazards to guess that those calluses don't come solely from his pickin' if you know what I mean.
  • Are the expectations of a country love song a little out of reach with reality? I mean if Chef started spewing some of the things that are in these lyrics, I think I'd have a hard time taking him seriously. Also, it made me think Keith Urban was a little but of a pussy. I'm just saying.
  • The older I get, the more curmudgeonly I get and think that I'm turning into my father (not that that's entirely a bad thing). I found myself thinking "Stop letting the crowd sing. If I wanted to hear that, I'd step down to the karaoke bar and listen to these drunk bastards later tonight." and the classic "Why are you singing someone else's songs? I didn't come to hear someone else. I came to hear you sing YOUR songs."
Overall, it was a good night with great company and what I needed. Now I need a lazy day and some additional grocery shopping.

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