Friday, February 29, 2008

Keeping me Awake

I usually have no trouble sleeping. I live a pretty full life, so by the time I climb into bed it's usually only a matter of minutes before I am sound asleep. I'm only likely to be kept awake if I'm upset over something or if I just can't quit thinking about anything.

Last night, I think it was 30-40 minutes before I fell asleep. Here's what was one on my mind (because I'm not upset over anything right now):

1. LOST. Last night's episode was really amazing. I'm addicted to this show because it's so creative, mysterious, and well-written. It drives me nuts that so many questions are unanswered, but that's also part of why I love it. I know I spent a good bit of time contemplating the new info viewers received last night and trying to piece things together. Of course, I'm just as clueless as I was before, but at least I feel like I have a new detail to make things make sense.

2. Then I was thinking about something else that's going on in my life (forgive me, but I dno't want to share the details). I've been thinking a lot about why I feel the way I do about it and praying for some clarity in how I should move forward. I don't want to waste my time or emotion. I feel really positive and am really curious to see how things play out.

3. Then I was thinking about how my friend Danielle leaves tomorrow to move to Korea for a year, maybe two. When she left last time to go to England for a year, I remember thinking a year was kind of a long time but that things would pretty much be the same when she got back. Granted, we'd be a year older and possibly concerned about different things, but all in all there would likely not be any huge changes. This time feels different. This time I feel like something much bigger could change while she's gone. I moved last time, but that's not huge. I don't know how to explain this feeling. It's not a bad thing by any means. It's just this feeling that I have this time that this time things are going to change more in our individual lives over the course of time she's gone than last time. It's kind of an exciting feeling.

I slept just fine once I finally drifted off. Sometimes I have some of my best thoughts during those evenings when it takes longer to go to sleep, and I thought last night's time was rather productive as I thought through some of these things.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A note on fitness

I was thinking today while I was running about how I hear people say things like, "I want to be able to fit back into my favorite pair of jeans from college."

I had a fave pair back then. I can't wear them now not because they don't fit, but because I wore them all the time and they have holes in the knees, butt and crotch. So I was first wondering how all these people who say that could have a pair that was still in decent enough shape to wear.

I guess maybe the concern is more their physical shape than the condition of said favorite pair of jeans.

Then I realized that the pair of running shorts I threw on today were the shorts from my cross country and track uniform from high school. They still fit exactly the same as they did then (please don't hate me or roll your eyes in disgust. You know I run like a bazillion miles to stay fit and healthy).

So - I decided today that it'd be pretty cool if I could continue to be able to wear those shorts as the years go by. Obviously should I decide to have a child someday, they'd have to be put away for a few months in exchange for maternity clothing (don't worry.. we're talking quite a few years down the road!) But I figure that I must be doing something right in terms of staying a healthy weight if I can wear shorts from high school.

You have to keep in mind that by like junior year, I was as tall as I'm going to get and I'm sure my bone structure was done growing. I'm genetically a small person. But I know that the only reason why I keep off the weight is because of my diet and exercise. I strongly encourage anyone who's wanting to lose a couple of pounds (or more) to get back into those jeans to go for it! Exercise has so many benefits aside from looking fabulous in your favorite clothes... you have a less risk for MANY diseases, you feel better about yourself, you have more energy... am I starting to sound like a fitness magazine yet?

My point is... don't just wish you could wear a size smaller. Go for it. You get one life and one body. Take care of it. Love it. Be proud of the person God created you to be, but also be responsible for yourself.

I'm not sure where this came from. I guess it started with the jeans and shorts. I realize this was a random post. I just want for everyone to know that you can indeed find ways to empower yourself to get out there, get active, and be fit and healthy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When Inanimate Objects Come to Life

When I was in high school, I had a stereo that talked to me.

This morning I was in my bathroom getting ready to go to work. Tucker was sitting on the vanity purring up a storm like he does most mornings as he watches me get ready and fights to work his way into the sink to drink from the faucet. All of a sudden, I thought I heard people talking. I stopped and stood there listening. I knew there was no way someone else was in the house, but my heart kind of picked up the pace a bit. Finally I realized that between the wind and some trees bumping against the house there were just noises that sounded like talking. Or maybe they sounded nothing like talking and I just have a very vivid imagination...

Either way, it reminded me of my talking stereo. It's been years since I thought about that. Back in the day, my sister went to school before me. She'd get ready, mom would take her, and then it was time for me to get up. Dad was already long gone for work and mom would stay in the den until time to take me. I didn't really turn on the tv or music back then... I just got ready in the quiet.

One day I was in the floor putting on my shoes and I heard voices. (One never likes where such a comment often leads... don't worry - I'm not crazy.) I got up and they were coming out of the stereo. It wasn't on!

I know I went to school and told friends about it. I'm sure I sounded insane. But it kept happening. Not every day... but enough that I knew I wasn't crazy. I finally mentioned it to my parents and my dad was sure that the positioning of the stereo and its antenna along with the house antenna were probably picking up some signal somewhere, like someone's phone conversation.

Well that made sense. It wasn't quite as fun as someone using my stereo to broadcast a secret message or to summon help (not that I could ever really make out what they were saying very well).

It's a snowy day in middle TN, meaning we got some flurries and a light dusting of snow. It's kind of pretty though. Schools are closed, and traffic on the interstate is apparently a mess according to the radio. I'm proud to say I had no problem making it the 3 miles to work today... but I did go really slow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gorgeous Day

It's absolutely gorgeous in middle TN today. Sunny. Bright. The clouds moved out. 60 degrees. Beautiful.

On days like this, I always try to find a reason to get out and about. It was easy today. After lunch with Danielle, we headed to Wal-Mart. She picked up some things for her move, and I stocked up on things we needed at the office. I love fun little mid-work day field trips like this one!

It'd be a perfect day for a run if I needed to get one in today. If Mondays weren't my Mercy Ministries day, I think I'd head to the park for one anyways. I do think I'm going to try a new class at the gym later this evening.

I hope everyone around here gets a chance to enjoy it today. I love being outside on pretty days like this one. And for my friends up north... well, it may be a while before you see this kind of weather, but know that I'm thinking of you today and sending some sunshine your way.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Little R&F (Rest and Fun)

I slept for 12 hours last night. This may not some like a huge feat. I know my sister does this on a regular basis. Heck, I remember doing that on a regular basis. But now that I'm an adult and living and working in the "real" world, it doesn't happen very often.

Friday night after a little gathering at my friend Beth's house, I went to bed relatively early to get about 8 hours before rising at 6:30. I headed out in the cold and gloom to run at Percy Warner Park. This was the first time I'd run hills since like June. I'm not even kidding. Since the last marathon I trained for was flat, I trained on flat paths. I did relatively well for my first time back on the hills and small mountains that make the trail at this particular park. I even managed to maintain my usual pace as an average for the run. Granted, we stopped about 2 miles early, but I figured the hills made up for it.

After a quick shower, I headed to meet up with my mom and Erin to have lunch and do some shopping. I also took some time out from shopping ( because we all know I can only handle so much of it) to meet an old friend, Laura Beth, for coffee at Panera. We had a lovely time catching up and talking about life, sharing some current stories and laughing over all sorts of things we've both encountered recently.

After dinner with some friends, I spent the rest of my evening doing some reading and then crashed by 10pm. I normally am not one to bed in bed that early on a Saturday night, but I was unbelievably exhausted. I'm always a deep sleeper, but I'll usually wake up if my phone rings. I found a missed call and 2 missed texts this morning when I woke up 12 hours later. I guess I was out cold. This is why I tell my parents that if we ever have bad weather in the middle of the night, they'll need to make every effort to keep calling and wake me up.

I woke up today feeling refreshed, which is good since I had a lot of errands to run and some things to take care of during the day. I finished my day out by watching the movie Waitress with Keri Russell. I totally recommend it. It's not anything amazing, but I found it to be such a quaint, sweet little Southern movie. I really enjoyed it.

So I've had some fun and had some good sleep this weekend. What more could a girl want? Well, I could think of some things but that's not relevant for this post. :) Time to get to bed again and rest up for Monday!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Birthday Blog

Happy Birthday to my best friend Stephanie, who turns 25 today! I'm not sure when you should stop discussing a woman's age, but she and I are in the same year, and I don't yet feel it's taboo to discuss it so I'm assuming she doesn't either... ha.

If you know me or Steph at all (or have read previous posts we've both written with references to one another) then you know that she and I go back over 10 years. I don't think I ever could have known that day in math class just what she would come to mean to me over the years. Stephanie is the kind of friend that I'll still have around when we're old and grey and have grandkids to talk about incessantly. Or at least cats. :)

Distance hasn't even been able to deter our friendship. We haven't lived in the same place as each other since June 2001. We somehow manage to make sure to see each other a few times a year I must admit - it's pretty cool to not only get to visit with her but to also check out cool places like Boston and Chicago. (And I guess Knoxville... I went there to see her a lot, too.) we email constantly. Despite the differences in location, time zones, and current marital status we still find time to make sure we know what's going on in one another's life.

I have so many really great memories that include Steph... there's way too many to try to list them here. We've shared a lot of happy and exciting times. We've been there for each other when things have been hard or sad. I'm sure there have been times when we've been less than perfect (but who's really perfect anyways?) but we're the kind of friends who can forgive and completely forget that any kind of conflict or whatever even existed.

She and I know each other really well. We get one another's jokes. We feel free to be completely ourselves. I know that I can talk to Steph about anything. She won't judge me for whatever I think or feel. She'll offer really great advice when I need it. She won't be offended if I decide not to take it. :) We're capable of carrying on multiple conversations at the same time, which is a pretty neat trick.

My world wouldn't be as colorful and fulfilling without her. I know she was intrical in helping me come out of my shell in high school and develop a little more of the extroverted traits that she possesses. She's definitely been a positive influence on my life and someone who has helped me become the woman I am now. I look forward to many more years of friendship to come.

So happy birthday to Stephanie! I know we'll celebrate many more "together" even if we never end up in the same place again. (But you should know that I keep my fingers crossed that maybe one day we'll at least end up in the same state again.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Graduation Day

If you know me or have read some of my previous posts, then you probably know that I regularly volunteer at Mercy Ministries, a non-profit that provides a residential treatment home for women ages 13-28 who stuggle with a variety of issues such as addictions, self-harm, sexual abuse, eating disorders, etc. I joined this year's community board to help raise awareness and money in the Nashville area. It's such a blessing to be part of something that is teaching young women how to have self-confidence in who God made them to be so that they can live their lives in freedom. One of the coolest things is that it's absolutely free of charge to the girls who come there for the 6-month program. It's completely supported by donations. Amazing.

Today I had the opportunity to attend a graduation. Four young ladies had completed the program and would be heading off to go home and finish school or to start working somewhere. It's hard to really describe the experience. The morning started with a few praise songs, and it was really incredible to hear all these girls singing together. It was beautiful. Each girl told her story about what brought her to Mercy, what God had shown her, and what she planned to do next. I can't imagine dealing with some of the things these girls have dealt with, but I know how difficult this life can be and I respect the journey they have been on to find their confidence and freedom within it.

The graduates' family, friends, and counselors there at Mercy also shared a few words about what they had witnessed with each girl. Nancy, the founder of Mercy, also shared a few words. She offered a reminder that I think we all need to be reminded of at times... 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear (or "timidity" in some versions), but instead he gives us one of power, of love, and of sound mind (or "discipline" in some versions). We are going to feel fear sometimes. There is no promise that we won't be afraid at times, but the thing to remember is that fear is not FROM God. He gives us much better things so that we can overcome the fear that life sometimes presents.

I just thought it was a good reminder lesson. I was really glad to be part of this day and experience the emotions that come with a Mercy graduation. If anyone wants to know more about the ministry, please feel free to ask me.

After the graduation, Bob and I went to drop off some cabinet stuff to one of the builder's we work with. They have their office inside one of the condos they intend to sell, so you're required to take your shoes off at the door. It was really funny to me to walk into this office and see all these grown men with socked feet as they worked away at their desks. Then, we headed over to Sylvan Park Restaurant, one of the best meat and three places around. We of course had homemade chocolate meringue pie to top it all off.

It's been a good day. And it's absolutely beautiful outside which is kind of crazy since it was snowing this morning. Hope everyone else is having a terrific Tuesday!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Productive Weekend

I may have just had one of the most productive weekends I've had in a while. Check this out:

1. Friday I saw The Spiderwick Chronicles with a couple of friends. It was pretty good, and we all had a nice evening.

2. I started Saturday with the Total Body Conditioning class at the gym. Let me tell you... when they say total body, they mean total body. Muscles I didn't even know I had are sore today. It's a good kind of sore. I've really been trying to focus on strength training lately because I know it can have huge benefits for both my running and my overall health. Plus, my current fitness goal is to work on firming up my tummy a bit.

3. I had lunch and ran a few errands with my mom. Our steak at Demos' was exceptionally good, as was the Reese's pie. :)

4. I caught up on all my laundry and ironing. I've really been on the go a lot lately so it had kind of piled up. It felt good to get everything clean and put away.

5. I did my IT Band stretches. I'm determined to not let this nagging problem affect my running.

6. I cleaned all my floors. I burned candles. My house is so nice and clean.

7. I journaled. I posted some pictures online. I found some things online I'd wanted to find.

8. Today I went to the park to enjoy running in shorts in the beautiful weather. I did 10 miles in an hour and 33 minutes. This was a terrific accomplishment because a) it was pretty warm and I don't like running in warm weather; b) it was very windy and I'm pretty sure we ran into the wind far more than having it on our backs; c) my IT Band didn't pain me, but it had a dull ache the whole time; and d) this was 3 miles more than I've run since the marathon on 12/8/07. This was honestly only a few minutes off the pace I'd like to be at, so I was pleased.

9. I had dinner with my family. Then I talked to my good friend Rachel who lives in California. We had a nice time catching up.

10. I worked on my scrapbook. One of these days I'd like to catch up. For now, I'm up to Christmas 2003. I'm trying... once I get past college it'll be easier. I don't have near as many activities to take pictures of on a regular basis like I did back then.

I hope everyone else had a good weekend. I got close to 12 hours of sleep last night which was amazing, but I'm actually pretty ready to head to bed now to get ready for a new week!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Weekend in Knoxville

I promised a post about mine and Danielle's road trip to visit Bennett in Knoxville last weekend. Here you go! The pictures are also from the weekend... one night out and one night in for the blue party. The blue clothing, or lack thereof, should make it obvious which evening is which. You can find all of the pictures on facebook.

After stopping for happy hour half-price sweet teas at Sonic (a road trip ritual) we were on our way to Knoxville. Danielle did a pretty good job of describing the drive to K-town in her blog (so feel free to click on her link on my list of friends' blogs to read more). Suffice it to say here that we did a pretty good job of having some quality girl talk and covering a realm of topics and emotions.

Once at Bennett's house, we chilled out for a bit (he's got a pretty sweet house other than it's freezing cold inside) and then headed out to Preservation Pub to hear some good music. I've been to Pres Pub on previous trips to Knoxville. It's a pretty neat little place. We went to hear American Bang, made up of some guys Bennett went to high school with here in Nashville. They were REALLY good, and the link will take you to their website. The lead reminded me and Danielle of an old high school friend. Seriously, the guy could have been his long lost twin! After grabbing some Krystals' at 2am and getting home to find they didn't put cheese on ANY of them, we headed to bed.

Saturday we had the pleasure of meeting Bennett's super cute and sweet girlfriend when we all had lunch at The Tomato Head. I will HAVE to go eat there any time I'm ever in Knoxville again. I had the best pizza ever. If you're ever out there, go find the place in Market Square. You'll thank me.

We spent the afternoon making goodies for the party and hanging around the house. Bennett likes to throw themed parties. This one was called The Blue Party, and you were required to wear all blue. (Except one girl who showed up in yellow... there's one in every crowd, ha!)

We had SUCH a good time. We made all blue food and drinks, so ultimately everyone also ended up with blue tongues. We laughed, we danced to really awesome music in the living room, and made some new friends. Danielle and I managed to make some new friends by the end of the evening through some terrific conversations about books, music, dancing, and other odds and ends.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. I think the pictures speak for themselves about how much fun we were having. Enjoy! I always love a good weekend road trip, so let me know if you ever need some company for one!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy V-Day to you all! Granted, I'm presently single and it just feels like another day to me, but I love everyone in my life and wish you all a fantastic day! I hope everyone, single or taken, has a lovely Valentine's Day. Greeting card holiday or not, the concept of celebrating love is positive, so tell someone you love them.

I did wear a red shirt today to be in the Valentine spirit. And pigtails. That has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, but they look cute. After work, I'm going to get a tempo run in before heading to the dentist for a cleaning. I think Danielle and I are going to grab dinner together, and then I'm heading home to catch LOST. It should be a quiet day for me, but then again one never knows when something might surprise her. Lightning 100.1 is playing songs about love and relationships all day, so I've got that playing on my computer. It's setting a nice tone for my day. :)

I did this survey on Valentine's Day last year, so I thought I'd post it again and update my answers where necessary. Here goes…

[01] Is there anyone you like at the moment?
I like a lot of people… but as for if I like someone in particular, my lips are sealed "at the moment…" ha

[02] Have you ever given or been given roses?
I've gotten some roses a few times… I don't think I've given any

[03] What is your all-time favorite romance movie?
One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeifer and George Clooney; I also really like Hitch with Will Smith – it's so funny!

[04] How many times have you honestly been in love?
Honestly – one solid time; I may have thought I was in love another time, but I was young and didn't really know

[05] Do you believe that everyone has a soul-mate?
I think that we're capable of developing relationships, romantic or not, where we feel deeply connected and know that person almost as well as ourselves… and I think we can do that with more than one person.. that's the kind of relationship I want with a man AND with my closest friends

[06] Do you think that you should put your friends first?
I think there should be a healthy balance, though I definitely think there are appropriate times when your significant other should come first (b/c this person often becomes your best friend)… again, balance…

[07] Have you ever had your heart broken?
Um, yeah… more than once… but I'm resilient, so I'm not afraid to accept the risks that come with love to find the man who's NOT going to break my heart

[08] What do you think about long-distance relationships?
I've done it before – it's doable… you just have to do things in a different way than you would if you could see each other all the time

[09] Your thoughts on online relationships?
I think the Internet is a good way to maintain relationships to a certain extent… but I kind of like meeting people in person to figure out if there's something there or not

[10] Would you rather date someone five years older or five years younger?
5 years older. No contest. There's a bigger difference between a 25-year-old girl and 20-year-old guy than there is between 25-y-o girl and 30-y-o man. (And I know I'm not 25 yet, but I'm close enough so shush your mouth)

[11] Have you ever seen a friend as more than a friend?
I think so. If my memory is clear, it seems like it always fizzed out before I ever did anything about it, and that was probably for the best

[12] Do you believe the statement, "Once a cheater always a cheater"?
I think we all make mistakes and can change after them, but I also think that we have a right to not trust a person once they've lost our trust... especially in that way b/c that's a pretty big deal

[13] How many kids do you want to have?
2? I don't know… I'm not thinking too much about having kids right now…

[14] Do you usually fall for the right boy/girl?
Yes… well, ones that I think are "right for me" anyways

[15] What is your favorite color?
Green – what does this have to do with Valentine's Day?

[16] What are your views on gay marriages?
This doesn't really have much to do with the rest of the survey either – I'll say this: I'm planning to marry a man, because I like men

[17] Imagine you're 79 & your spouse just died, would you re-marry?
Who knows what I'd do at age 79? But knowing how I am now, I think that if I just spent like 50-55 years with my husband, I'd probably not be able to be with any other man.

[18] At what age did you start noticing the opposite sex?
I used to race boys on the playground in elementary school… they didn't like it that I could run faster than them. I didn't start actually liking boys til I got to high school.

[19] What song do you want to hear at your wedding?
Goodness, I don't know – something that is fitting for me and the man I'm marrying… I'll plan the wedding once I find the man (or he finds me), ha

[20] Do you think that someone likes you?
It's always fun when someone likes you… I think a lot of people like me… and I hope that if anyone really likes me a lot, that they'll tell me

[21] who is your #1 person on your myspace friends list?
My sister Meredith

[22]single or taken?

[23] Describe the perfect Valentine's day.
I like surprises – and it doesn't have to be anything fancy… I'm a simple girl who just likes for things to be thoughtful

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Snowy Wednesday

Humorous Pictures
I really got into the show 24 over the past two seasons and have been missing it this year (since it's not on because of the writer's strike... boooooo). I got a good laugh out of this LOL Cat today.

It's snowing pretty hard right now. It's kind of nice to look out the front door and see gobs of snow coming down. Granted, they're like the tiniest flakes ever and there's no chance we'll have enough to play in. It's been like 5 years since we got enough snow to go sledding, and I'm ready to get to do that again! But it's still pretty.

The Edward Jones dinner was fun last night. There was also a little presentation catered toward women and their finances. Did you all know that men STILL outearn women by 33%?! And I'm not just talking about in general because they work more than women or anything like that. Men still sometimes earn more than women for the same kind of work! Why aren't we doing something about this? Granted, I have no complaints about my own income, but still... clearly there are places out there where women are not being paid the same as men. I'd like to know what all the presidential candidates have to say about that!

And in other news, I did NOT go to the dentist yesterday after all. Oh, I went. I got there and found out my appointment had been moved to Thursday because the girl who does my teeth had a death in the family. I definitely have sympathy and am not bothered by the change needing to happen, but I was a little irritated that their office didn't call to tell me. I'm considering asking for a discount when I go back to account for the 40 minutes I wasted driving over there, finding out, and driving home.

I wish I had my camera here at work. It's REALLY beautiful the way the snow is falling on our parking lot. It's actually sticking a bit! Have a happy day, and to all of you here in middle TN - please don't drive like an idiot today. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back on the Radar

Apologies for neglecting you lovely readers. I spent this past weekend in Knoxville with good friends, and it took me a day or so to recover from the lack of sleep and all the fun!

I do promise a post about the weekend sometime later this week as well as a couple of photos once I get all of them from Danielle. You'll also find all of the pictures on facebook. Keep checking back. In the meantime, you can read about one part of the trip on Danielle's page.

I woke up this morning to hear it pouring down rain outside. I love being cuddled up in my bed when it's raining. It was SO hard to pick Tucker up off me (I love how sweetly he purrs and cuddles with me in the mornings once he realizes I'm awake) and get out of the bed. I can see outside from my desk, and it keeps getting darker and then brighter and then darker again. It looks like we're in for a rainy day.

After work today I'm off to the dentist for a cleaning. I've never really minded going to the dentist, and I love how smooth my teeth feel after a good cleaning. Then I'm off to Legends Steakhouse for a Valentine's Dinner for all the women that are clients of the guy who is my investment representative. Last year we also got a little box of candy. This is likely the extent of my V-Day activities, so I look forward to enjoying it! I will also be the youngest woman there, I am sure. (Yet another encouragement to my peers that you should start doing wise things with your money now.)

Have a terrific Tuesday, and be watching for my post about the weekend and the Blue Party we attended.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Thoughts

I enjoyed sharing some random thoughts last week and found that some readers enjoyed reading them... so let's do it again!

1. I've been diligently working on editing my friend's PhD dissertation each evening this week. I've been learning all sorts of things about continuing education for athletic trainers, not to mention making use of my green ink pen. (Red is so harsh, and blue or black wouldn't show up well enough.) I've also remembered why I want to make a career of writing and editing eventually. I totally feel like it's a talent that I have been given that has grown into a passion for words. Someday I'll write a book, or edit a magazine, or work at a publishing house. It's exciting to think about the possibilities. For now, it's spurred me to update my résumé and try to find some freelance work to do on the side. I really enjoy it!

2. There have been some changes in the company I work for, which ultimately means that my jobs is changing a bit. I'm still doing most of the same things, but we have stopped offering a few products that substantially frees up my time. Bob told me he plans on having me take over our website. This is fairly exciting as it means I'll be learning a new set of skills, making me even more marketable for future career opportunities. He started showing me a little bit of it today, and it looks like it'll take some time to learn but that it won't be too terribly hard to do once I master it.

3. Danielle and I are headed to Knoxville to visit our friend Bennett. Actually, Bennett was Steph's friend first, but we've claimed him as well. We'll be hitting the town tonight, and then staying in for a "Blue Party" at Bennett's house tomorrow. The idea is that everyone has to wear ALL blue to the party, and all the music will consist of bands or songs with the word "blue" in the title. It should be terrifically fun. It reminds me of the themed mixers we had back in college. It's been a while since I've been to Knoxville, and that's one of my favorite weekend road trips.

4. I used to take road trips to Knoxville to visit Steph, but now I have to fly to Boston (and soon, Chicago) to see her. I was just remembering yesterday how I went one time on Valentine's weekend (I think in 2003) and we went to this Singles Only party. Oh, what a fun night. There was cheesecake. And single boys. And a Minute Maid Lemonade concoction that Steph gave me. And this thing with green liquid inside that trickles to the other side when you flip it over. And a guy named Adam. Or was it Alex? Something with an A. We watched Home Improvement at like 3am. Steph is probably the only reader I have that can truly appreciate this reference, but suffice it to say that was one of the best Valentine's Day I've had while single. (Though should anyone know a good way I could top that record this year, I'm game.)

5. I've been listening to Sufjan Stevens a lot this week... like while I was standing in line to vote.

6. Some new knowledge I received this week has made me remember things I hadn't thought about in a really long time. It's been sort of nostalgic and weird. But I'm ok with that.

7. I'm excited about being involved with this:

8. I have a coupon for The Melting Pot should anyone be interested. Let me be clear... I'm not just giving it away. You have to eat there with moi and split the bill. But the coupon makes it a much more affordable meal.

9. The LOST episode last night continued to confuse me even more. But oh how good that show is!

10. I've been thinking a lot about numbers the past few weeks. Anyone who knows me well knows I'm not the best with numbers. I've come to the conclusion that numbers often don't mean as much as we think they do. In the end, so many other aspects are more important. And yes, I'm being evasive on this. I may explain later.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Breakin' Up

I have discovered the best break-up song ever. I realize this may not be the most appropriate post considering Valentine's Day is right around the corner, but you'll forgive me.

There are a lot of songs out there about love and relationships and breaking up. I'm sure this is because it's something so relevant to the human experience, and we can all usually relate to it. But here's my thing... when I'm going through a break-up, it's often hard to listen to some of the stuff. I find it either bitterly depressing, which is the LAST thing I need at such a time. Or it's too hateful and mean, which ultimately doesn't make me feel any better.

It's been a good while since I've had to be in that place, but when I bought the new Rilo Kiley album (quite good, by the way) it came with what I think is the best break-up song ever. I'm sharing the lyrics below, but it's not even so much the words as it is that the tune is light and cheerful. It's kind of like "hey, I hate how much this sucks right now, but I also know it's going to be ok" when you hear it. Of course, I've been listening to it in a "single and fine with that for now" state of mind, so someone actually going through a break-up may feel differently. But I kept thinking when I first heard it that it would have been nice to listen to in previous break-ups I've experienced.

Check it out, or ask me to play it next time you're with me.

Rilo Kiley's "Breakin' Up"

It's not as if New York City burnt down to the ground
Once you drove away
It’s not as if the sun won’t shine
When clouds up above
Wash the blues away

Are we breakin' up?
Are we breakin' up?
Is there trouble between you and I?
Did my heart break enough?
Did it break enough this time?

Here’s to all the pretty words we will never speak
Here’s to all the pretty girls you're gonna meet

Am I breakin up?
Am I breakin up?
Is there trouble on the line?
Did your heart break enough?
Did it break enough this time?

Ooooh, it feels good to be free... Oooh it feels good to be free... Oooh it feels good to be free

The trail is a thorny crown
You wear it well
Just like a king
Revenge is the saddest thing
Honey, I’m afraid to say
You deserve everything

Am I breakin up?
Are we breakin up?
Is there trouble between the lines?
Did your heart break enough?
Did it break enough?
Break enough this time?

Ooooh, it feels good to be free... Oooh it feels good to be free... Oooh it feels good to be free...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Severe Weather

Last night the election became so very unimportant in Tennessee. We had some pretty terrible storms and tornados across the state (and in some surrounding states).

Fortunately, it wasn't too bad in the greater Nashville area. We got some thunderstorms, but no devastating damage. I felt lucky this morning that all I had to do was pick up my trash cans that got turned over under the carport. There have already been around 50 deaths confirmed throughout the several states that were hit, with the highest number coming from Tennessee.

There was also an explosion at a natural gas plant. The glow from the fire (with flames shooting up 400-500 feet) could be seen 30-40 miles away. Insane.

Times like these are always good little reminders of all the reasons why we should count our blessings and make the most of every single day. Life is short, and our days are not promised.

Love on someone today. Say a prayer for the people that lost their homes or loved ones. And while who our next president will be is important, try to keep everything in perspective... because there are some moments in time when it's better to care about watching the radar screen and keeping your family safe than to view coverage over the number of votes someone received.

I'm positive after reading some of the online news coverage about the storms that there are many ways people are needed to lend a helping hand. If it's on your heart, do some research on donating some of your time, money or household items to the people who lost everything last night.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I'm not going to write a post about how important it is to go vote. If you want to vote, you'll vote. And that's that.

But some of you may have no idea who to vote for. which is the boat I always find myself in. I claim no set political party so I'm not one of those who's just going to vote for my favorite democrat or favorite republican. I also think that the media is so unbelievably biased and that we can't really trust what we see there. (You are free to disagree, but after getting a journalism degree and seeing the media from another angle, I am convinced it is true. Thus, this is why I will never work in the media.)

You may find that you don't feel like you know enough about all the candidates. If you're going to go vote today, I encourage you to make sure you know who you're voting for. Please don't go vote for someone just because you keep seeing them on TV more than all the others.

A co-worker told me about a website today where you answer around 30 questions and then it shows you which candidates your ideas most closely match. You can read all sorts of info on what each candidate has said about each issue.

Check it out. If you're going to go vote today, know what all you may be voting for.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Way to Go Giants!

I realize on Friday that I said something about how I knew it wasn't likely that the Giants would win the SuperBowl. Honestly, it probably wasn't likely. But I knew there was always a chance they could pull it off and that I'd be cheering my heart out for them from the comfort of Joel and Aleesha's living room. I just didn't want to say something and jinx it. hey - if Eli Manning can be so superstitious as to only let his girlfriend sit in the stands (even in Green Bay), then I can be a little bit, too.

What an exciting game! Granted, it wasn't really exciting until the fourth quarter, but once it got there - wow! I think this game will always be remembered for the play where Eli Manning was determined to not get sacked and pulled with all his might to throw the ball to that other guy (sorry, I don't know all their names) who caught it in this really cool backbend yoga move.

Wow. I think that play won the game in my humble opinion.

I'll be honest... I mostly cheered for the Giants because I like Peyton Manning and love all the good things I've seen and heard about the Manning family and figured that it only made sense to cheer for a team that Eli plays on. I also don't like it that the Patriots started the year off with a little bit of cheating. sure, they're a good team... but talk about some bad karma to kick you in the butt when it really counts. I'm not sad for them. Cheating is wrong.

So it's a celebration in my household. Back-to-back Manning wins in the SuperBowl. Now if only we could see them play each other in it next year... that'd be pretty cool.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Thoughts

~ I ran 6 miles yesterday and then discovered that my left knee is aching in the IT band area. I had problems from Jan-March last year with my IT band, except then it was my right knee. Maybe my IT bands don't like the winter. I don't blame them. It's cold.

~ Registration for the Chicago marathon opened today. I'm seriously considering it. Some of you still think I'm crazy. Allow me to share part of my marathon mantra that's taped on my fridge (though I have no idea where I found this little diddy):

"At mile 20, I thought I was dead.
At mile 22, I wished I was dead.
At mile 24, I knew I was dead.
At mile 26, I realized I had become to tough to kill."

~ It was very exciting to finally see a new episode of LOST when the season premiere came on last night. Except now I'm more confused than ever. And I have a feeling I'm going to stay confused over the next 3 years as the show plays out. And then I'm probably going to have to watch all 6 seasons back to back so that I can try to make sense of whatever the conclusion is... but wow, what a good show!

~ I'm digging Ingrid Michelson's song "The Way I Am."

~ I'm enjoying a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks, purchased with a gift card I got for Christmas. Ah, how sweet it is to have a Friday treat and it be kind of like extending Christmas.

~ I know it probably won't happen, but I'd really like to see the Giants win the SuperBowl. And I'm looking forward to the commercial I heard Justin Timberlake made.

~ I'm spending around 12 hours throughout this weekend with my friend Danielle indulging in one of our favorite little obsessions: Seth Cohen. I know what you're thinking... what 24-year-old watches The O.C.? Well, that'd be both of us. Danielle missed season 4 when she was living in England so we're making up for it by watching the whole season this weekend. So sad the show is over. It only got better without Mischa Barton.

~ I caught Anne Geddes for a few minutes on tv while I was eating lunch. The interviewer asked her how she got started in photography and her response was, "Well, I was 25 which is relatively late in life..." Late? 25? Seriously? I know I have a few months to go til the big 2-5 myself, but I still feel like I'm in the part of life that can still be characterized as "early."

~ I'm already tired of campaign commericals. I'm curious if over the next few years that'll be a less popular medium for campaigning. I mean, if I had a TiVo you better believe I'd skip all of them.

~ I wish everyone a lovely weekend!