Afternoon Delights

I am not a lover of insects. Neither am I a hater though. If I cross paths with a spider, I don't scream in terror and run the other way. I don't squash them or spray them or drown them. I don't harrass bumblebees, beetles, crickets...whatever. They do their thing, I do my thing, and as long as they are not on me, I say - live and let live. So, maybe you are impatiently asking, "okay Cathryn, why are you establishing the details of your benevolent relationship with insects? where are we going with this?"

For those of you in Nashville, you are undoubtedly aware of the nearly perfect weather we've been having: blue skies, sunny, gentle breezes, and temperatures in the mid-80s. In an effort to take advantage of these favorable meteorological conditions, I have been taking my lunch to the park; sprawling out on a blanket in the grass with bare feet and a book - a picnic.

As such, insects will occasionally invite themselves onto my blanket and that's fine, inevitable really, but if they get too close to my bare skin, I shoo them away. I mean, I don't mind sharing my blanket, but I don't want them crawling all over me either. Yesterday afternoon as I was reading (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon), my eye caught movement in the grass directly off the left border of my blanket. I put my book down and scooted closer to inspect the commotion. The movement was being generated by an ant - yes, one ant - and an enormous wormy-grub-like carcass that the ant was laboriously hauling through the jungle of grass blades. This dead grub-looking thing was probably at least 5 times the size of the lone ant. Yes, yes...I've watched the Discovery Channel, I know ants have amazing strength, but the determination of this one ant was, quite frankly, mesmerizing.

I forgot about my book, rearranged myself to better observe the ant's efforts, even went so far as to bend a few grass blades to help ease his passage. The ant would grab hold of the midsection of the fleshy worm and then drag it backwards, over and under through the bright green tangle. His prize appeared very cumbersome...not something he could simply lift over his head and triumphantly march back to base camp with. The ant was clearly struggling with his large and unwieldy burden. He would give up for a second, the grub-thing would sink down into the grass for a moment and then the ant would re-establish his grip and start dragging again with renewed energy. Like I said, the strangeness of the carcass and the ant's tenacity were oddly compelling and I watched the struggle intently.

And then, quite unexpectedly, the ant seemed to give up altogether. I thought he was merely rearranging his grasp, taking a breather...but no, off he went! And left the worm. I'll admit, I was disappointed in the ant's lack of resolve. C'mon! You've dragged that big, gross, fleshy thing this far - why are you stopping now!? But just as I was ready to turn back to my book, I saw the ant come clipping along through the grass back to the dead wormy thing - and lo and behold, he brought reinforcements! Yep, that stubborn little insect was NOT giving up - sorry, my mistake. He brought with him a fellow ant and together they hauled that worm. It took them a few tries to get in sync with grabbing the flesh and dragging in the same direction, but it didn't take them long to work out a system. I cheered them on with words of encouragement. Sadly, I had to leave before I could see them reach their destination, but I have no doubt they did.

Okay, be honest, is it weird that I derived so much entertainment from a couple of ants? It is, isn't it? Ah well....


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Yep. Attended a Bachelorette Party Saturday night. Kimberly's Bachelorette Party. We all met at her house out in Mt. Julio (Mt. Juliet, actually...I'm not sure exactly why my friends refer to it as Mt. Julio, but they do). It's your stereotypical 30-minutes-outside-of-Nashville hick town. Totally out in the middle of nowhere, and of course I got lost because, let's face it, I get lost no matter where I'm trying to go - it's the burden of my people.

Aaaaaaanyway, I finally made it to Kimberly's and only an hour late (yay me). It was sort of a weird assemblage of guests culled from Mt. Julio neighbors, co-workers, and friends of friend ("friend" being Jen - Kimberly's maid-of-honor). Besides the bride-to-be, I only knew the two friends of the friend. The plan was to eat cake and jello shots and open gifts while awaiting the limo to pick us up and take us downtown. So we ate Better-Than-Sex Cake...no, really, that's what it's called...although, I gotta say, it didn't live up to its title, and black cherry jello shots made with 10% jello and 90% rum. That'll do ya!

So, after the cake and introductions and stuff, the three of us friends of friend start getting ready to go out on the drunken downtown tour. Okay, I have to digress for a moment at this point because sometimes I forget that I now live in the Bible Belt. It's easy to forget because Nashville is surprisingly diverse and quite progressive - educated and liberal minded people abound. But as soon as you step outside of the city limits it's a whole other story as I was starkly reminded by this overheard comment:

"Homosexuality is wrong and I'm sorry, but if you think you're a homosexual, then you just need to confess your sins and move on"

Huh!? Yeah. I was very tempted to get into it with this moronic woman who went on to explain how every time her and her husband decide to have a child she gets pregnant immediately - "it's like God just wants us to have children" - but for Kimberly's sake I restrained myself. Fortunately, said moronic woman was not joining us in the downtown drunken extravaganza - after all, who would take care of her beloved children? - certainly not the beloved husband.

So the limo pulls up, we promptly stock it with every imaginable alcoholic beverage, turn up the music and act like silly teenagers - it was great. Of course, it being St. Patty's Day, we arrived downtown to throngs of people and long lines everywhere. However, and I did not know this, but when one has a limo driver, the driver will go plead with the bouncer to let his group of silly drunk women into the club without waiting in line. Yep. Worked like a charm. Another perk of being part of a bachelorette party is that people are very willing to buy group shots to congratulate the bride-to-be. By the time we pulled up outisde of The Tin Roof at 1am we were all drunkity drunk! Kimberly had a list of To-Do's which we all giggled over at the beginning of the evening. By 3am, she had crossed off nearly every one including table dancing, and the removal of undergarments...

I don't think one should need to be getting married in order to have a bachelorette party. It should be enough just to actually BE a bachelorette, ya know?


Bringing the Sexy Back...to Nashville

Okay, I just gotta tell you how phenomenal Justin Timberlake (affectionately referred to from here on in as JT) was in concert last night. Seriously, I simply don't understand how anyone can not LOVE this guy. Yes, he was in a boy band. Yes, he dated Brittany Spears. But, c'mon people! He is one talented human being - he sings, he dances, he writes his own songs, he plays the piano...and he smiles that sweet, sweet smile.

Anyway, Jen, Terah and I headed downtown last night to participate in the adoration of JT. It was totally worth the $60 nosebleed seats (the stage set was so brilliantly designed though that we actually had great views) and the mock-fest leading up to the actual concert. We were ridiculed, laughed at, asked if we were in the process of making t-shirts with puffy paint for the auspicious occasion, and informed we would probably be the oldest people there - without accompanying pre-teens! Laugh all you want, we had F-U-N. And we were not the oldest people in attendance - so there!

The people-watching (and of course commenting) opportunities were, as you can imagine, pretty prolific. There were, of course, hoardes of pre-teens (wearing, of course, their handmade puffy paint t-shirts), there was also the ghetto fabulous contingency in from Memphis (where JT is from), there were many representatives from the Gays (which is it's own little nugget of entertainment right there!)...and then there were just lots of regular twenty and thirty-somethings, including us.

The only annoying bits of the evening involved a 20-mile (yes, 20) long line at the bar during intermission and the losers near us who were trying to dance with glow sticks. I'll admit, I've done my share of glow stick dancing...like TEN years ago! There was a time and a place for glow sticks and a Justin Timberlake concert in the year 2007 is neither the time nor the place. Am I right Bethany?


A little cheese with my whine, please

You may notice that my last blog entry is from exactly one week ago. (yeah, yeah...I haven't been motivated to blog this week - my life just isn't that interesting). This is not significant except for the fact that last Wednesday we had gorgeous weather amidst a week of wet, gloomy, chilly days and I was pissed I didn't get to enjoy it; having to spend my entire day inside an office and then proceeding directly from said office to spend my entire evening in yet another interior environment for my CDT class.

So, the week progressed. Saturday it was rainy and chilly and Jen and I ended up playing tennis indoors. Then Sunday we were going to attempt to play outside, but again, it was rainy and cold. Then Monday, miracle of miracles (!), it wasn't wet and was actually fairly sunny, so Loulee and I decided to meet after work for some tennis. We ended up playing for only an hour due to the gradual numbness that encroached on our fingers! Once the half-hearted sun went down, it turned cold and windy, and I'm just not that hardy! (I think I'm getting used to the relative Southern warmness and it's making me soft!)

And yesterday, yes you guessed it, it was again a beautiful Wednesday. Sunny with a high of 72. And again I was in the office all day and again had class all evening and again did not get to partake in the fleeting warmth and sunshine.

This morning I woke up to a loud crash of thunder and ribbons of rain pelting my windows. Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown. Good Grief.