Warmth & Sunshine

Yesterday, after a week of frigid temperatures, we had a day of sunshine and 72 degrees. A most lovely Spring-like day in which I did not get to partake. A friend of mine expressed my disappointment with his own eloquent dismay:

"And here I am, stuck in a windowless room, trying to milk science and creativity out of my sterile brain, while I should be outside, taking the warm weather in and storing it for days of lesser fortune." - F.B.



There are dickies . . . and then there are Dickies

When girls get together (and by "girls" I mean smart, funny, beautiful women in their late twenties/early thirties) on a Friday night and you throw in some STRONG (thank you, Terah!)Cosmopolitans, you get some very strange conversations. . .

Michelle: I have no neck...that's why I don't wear turtlenecks

Cathryn: Well yeah...people with no necks shouldn't wear turtlenecks...maybe a mock turtleneck...or a dickie.

Heather: a what?!

Terah: you know...a dickie (uses universal sign language to illustrate a dickie)

Michelle: yeah, my mom has a lace one to "dress up" her sweaters

Rebecca: (laughter) oh yeah...the "fancy" dickies(raucous laughter)

Jen: (returning from potty break) what did I miss?

Terah: just dickies

Jen: (raises eyebrows) dickies?...or Dickies?

Rebecca: you mean like Purple Onion dickies?

Jen: or Hustler Hollywood dickies!

Terah: field trip!!

Jen: Michelle, we have to take you to the Hustler.

Cathryn: you've never been to the Hustler?! where do you go to stock your "goody drawer"?

Michelle: what's a "goody drawer"?

Heather: I don't have a "goody drawer"!

(collective groan)

Terah: how can you not have a "goody drawer"?

Christie: you know...where you keep condoms and...stuff. I have a purple one.

Jen: my favorite one died and I had to get a new one...I gotta say, I prefered the old one.

Jen: Michelle, we'll go to Hustler and get you a bullet

Cathryn: or a rabbit!

Jen: no, a rabbit is too extreme for her first one...a bullet is safer.

Michelle: I do not want to go in that store!

Cathryn: don't worry, it's like the Walgreens of porn stores.

Terah: Hustler totally IS the Walgreens of porn stores! More Cosmo, anyone?



Today is my dad's birthday. He would've been 55. Young. I know this day is especially difficult for my nana and papa. Losing a parent is horrific . . . losing a child must be unbearable.
When I found out my dad had been killed, after the vomiting had subsided and the denial gave way to numb acceptance, I remember helplessly thinking, "what am I going to do without him?" Even though I was an adult, the black-hole desperation and fear of abandonment was overwhelming. In the past 6 years, it hasn't gone away, but it has lessened. And for that I am grateful. The cliche, "Time heals all things", is a cliche for a reason.


5K HooHa

There are those who are designed for running . . . and there are those who are not. I am not. Unless it involves running after a tennis ball or running to first base or running away from an ax-murderer, running in and of itself just for the sake of running, does not appeal to me on any level. Yes, yes, I know the benefits of running are many - but just because I know spinach is good for me doesn't mean I'm going to eat a pound of it every day. Did I lose you on that analogy? Sorry, it's early.

Anyway, yesterday morning at 10am, prompted by the extremely frigid temperatures and a gunshot, Jen and I powerwalked our way through the downtown 5K course for the Predators Foundation (they help kids - c'mon now, what kind of person would I be if I didn't put forth the effort to help kids!? well that, and . . . they gave participants free tickets to the game that night). Motivation aside for the moment, our goal was to NOT cross the Finish line last. You'll be happy to know, not only we were not last, we even beat out the couple with the stroller and the older gentleman with the dog. Yes, truly we are the elite walkers.

The 5K was followed by celebratory red beans & rice and bloody marys at the Sportsman with the rest of our gang who actually ran the race. And after a hot bath and a long nap, I was ready to brave the cold again and attend my first Preds game. It was a sold-out game against the LA Kings and we can attest to the traffic and parking challenges to prove it!

Parking in any city's downtown is a headache - it's the just the nature of the beast - you accept it and move on. Under normal circumstances, Nashville's downtown parking isn't all that bad, comparatively. Under Saturday-night-sold-out-game-cold-temperatures circumstances, it's a pain in the ass. We did finally find a cozy spot for Roxy (Jen's car) in a lot only 4 or 5 blocks from the GEC. HOWEVER, it was one of those unattended lots where you pay for your ticket at an automated ticket kiosk and then display said ticket in your window.

Again, under normal circumstances, this arrangement seems to work out well for all parties involved. But, of course, we were not operating under "normal" circumstances. The line at the kiosk to acquire the necessary ticket was at least 20 people deep (I am not exaggerating and may even be underestimating the quantity). The line was also moving at a snail's pace due to the extreme slowness of the stupid, motherf***ing machine. Add to that, the 28 degree temperature, and we spent a very unpleasant 30 minutes just paying for a parking tag.

Once inside, beer in hand, parking drama a distant memory, I had forgotten how much fun hockey games are! Ultimately, the Preds lost, but it was still fun and totally worth all the 5K HooHa!


Friday Night at the Drive-in

Well, okay, not really at the drive-in...it just sounded cool. Are there even any drive-in theaters left anymore? Sad.Anyway, I did go to the opening night of "Hannibal Rising" at a local ordinary, non-drive-in theater Friday night. The film is the latest installment in the "Silence of the Lambs" legacy, and though it was lacking the genius of Sir Anthony Hopkins, it was an engaging story nonetheless. I must warn you though, if you decide to go see it, make sure you have tissues handy. Seriously, it was heartbreakingly tragic and I pretty much vacillated between crying and hiding my eyes during the entire movie. Yes, in addition to the heart-wrenching, tear-inducing moments, there were also many, many graphically gruesome scenes. Someone with a stronger stomach for gore (i.e. Kelly) would have no problems, but hey, I can't help it if blood makes me queasy!


A Quote

"We must have our goals, our dreams, and we must strive for them. We are not gods, however; we do not have the power to shape every aspect of the future. And the road the world makes for us is one that teaches humility if we are willing to learn."

Once in a while you'll come across nuggets such as this contained amidst the pages of a popular "New York Times Bestseller List" novel. Not often...but every once in a while. The above quote was stated by my new favorite popular fiction character, Odd Thomas, in the novel Forever Odd by Dean Koontz.


An Evening of Mamet

Once again the Tenn Rep troupe pulled off a fantastic performance. Last night, my friend and I were fortunate enough to take part in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" - wonderfully directed by Rene Copeland and brilliantly performed by the Tenn Rep actors (not to mention we had perfect seats). Speed-the-Plow is a caricature and a self-parody of the dichotomy faced by those in the Hollywood movie industry between art and commerce. zzzzzzzzzz....c'mon on, don't fall asleep on me.

The play is not anywhere near as dry as that synopsis made it sound. Mamet is well-known for his biting dialogue and sarcastic humor, and Speed-the-Plow lives up to every Mamet expectation (that is, if one HAS any expectations to begin with). The writing is sharp, contemporary and clever, edged with cutting wit. It was one of those live theater experiences where every aspect was incredible - everything from the chosen script, to the direction, to the stage sets, to the acting. And afterwards, you just walk out, speechless, with a huge grin on your face.


Snow Day

Today is Ground Hog Day. People in the South do not celebrate or even really acknowledge Ground Hog Day. Punxsatawney who? Perversely enough though, they do celebrate Snow.
One could detect a vague atmosphere of panicked excitement yesterday evening when the weatherman ominously predicted overnight snowfall with accumulations of 1-2 inches. (yes, 1-2 inches) But, since these threats rarely amount to anything more than people rushing out to the Kroger to buy bread and milk, I really didn't take heed.

But, as I stepped outside this morning at 7 am, I found myself surrounded by pillows of the cold white stuff. Shockingly, there was probably a 2 inch blanket covering everything (keep in mind though that one could still see the grass blades sticking up through the snow). My next door neighbors were outside with their kids videotaping them as they squealed with delight and promptly dropped to the ground to make snow angels. Other neighbors were gleefully swooping the snow off of their vehicles, red cheeked smiles, forming playful snowballs in their gloved hands. It was positively festive.

Of course, all of the schools were closed. Snow plows and salt trucks are a scarcity, so even a little snow seriously cripples the city. Plus, despite the fact that us people from snow-country can easily drive 65 mph in a raging blizzard without flinching, the born-and-raised Southerners who have seen snow maybe 2 or 3 times in their life, are not comfortable (to say the least) driving in snow.

Those of us who made it in to the office, were laughing and chattering about the snow covered world outside. Some regaled us with stories of close-call slippage on the treacherous roadways. Someone even brought in hot donuts to celebrate the occasion.

When snowfall is a rare seasonal occurrence instead of the 5 months of slushy, salty coldness, it's really not so bad!