Saturday, December 15, 2007

the $1300 road cone


Yes, the road cone is costing $1300 to repair. This is when I'm glad I have to have full coverage on my auto insurance since I live in the city.

But, some good news: today Wilson went to the vet. He did a great job and made everybody's morning. He's a healthy 3-month old puppy and weighs 7.5 pounds. that's 2.5 more pounds than 3 weeks ago. No wonder he's so clumsy!!

Chris is out in Johnson City (East TN) doing some photography stuff so it's been just Wilson and me. We got the vet visit out of the way, got some movies from Blockbuster, got my car's oil changed in preparation for the monstrous 14-hr drive to NoVA for Christmas (YAY!!!), did some grocery shopping, cleaned the apt some, and watched some movies.

I watched "The Queen" because Chris didn't really want to see it. It wasn't a thriller, a comedy, or an action movie. But it was awesome. I highly recommend it. As long as you're okay with serious, not-much-action-but-awesome-acting movies. Then I watched "The Muppet Christmas Carol," which is probably my most favorite Christmas movie. I had to rent the DVD because I couldn't find my VHS. We're going to show the movie during classes Monday and Tuesday because at this point the kids really can't do anything that has to do with thinking or retaining info. Instead of watching the regular version, since I've seen it so many times I can basically recite it while it's playing, I watched the version with Brian Henson's commentary. It was awesome to learn how much it took to make the movie, like having the entire set 4 feet off the ground with movable flooring for all the puppeteers to maneuver around, and how many times they had to use robot puppets and do the green/blue screen stuff.

That's about all the excitement I could handle for the day. Oh, and I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Because, you know, they're healthy enough to eat for dinner. I'm attempting to get over this cold/bug thing I've had for a couple weeks that seems to be going around the school.

Hope everyone's having a great time getting ready for the holidays!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

etc.


I'm definitely ready for winter break. And I was sick this past week and was only at school 1 day. The next week is going to be ridiculously busy with all the after school rehearsals and going to sing places and having an in-school concert from the local high school band, our in-school concert, and our evening concert.

Wilson's doing really well. He's got "sit" down, as long as he's in a standing position and isn't really excited. Not so well with "shake."

Chris shot a wedding yesterday and some of the photos he's shown me are AMAZING. He's so talented! Hopefully we'll start making time for him to really teach me and for us to go through some sessions so I'll be a good second shooter. Eventually I'd really like to quit teaching and just do photography with Chris. I know that won't happen for probably at least 5 years, but it's something to look forward to. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching. But I'd much rather be a business partner with Chris and get to be artsy fartsy.

So while Chris was at a wedding yesterday, I was busy running over road cones. Okay, really what happened was I was on a highway going to see some apts because my current lease is up at the very beginning of March. I was driving behind an 18-wheeler and there were a couple of those 2-foot orange road cones next to the lane. The cones were so light, and the truck was going so fast, that the wind created by the truck swooped the cone out in the middle of the lane in front of me. Being on a 2-lane highway, going 60 mph, with it misting out, and cars everywhere, I had no choice but to hit the cone. First of all, I have no idea where the cone ended up. But I know it hit the front of my car on the bumper's grill, seeing as half of the grill is now gone. Of course I called my parents crying. But I called USAA, my amazing insurance company, and the helpful lady talked me through everything. Since I'm living within Nashville's city limits, I have to have full coverage on my car. So repairs will only cost me my $100 deductible. And I learned the hard way to pay a couple extra bucks a month for rental car coverage, so USAA will pay up to $30/day while my car's being repaired. Maybe this is a good time for me to rent a car I've wanted to buy... well, as long as it's $30/day or less!! (Yeah, right.)

So the start of the apartment hunting didn't go so well. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Wilson was with me and he'd knocked his water bowl over in his crate and spilled it all over the newspaper and everything was soaking, including Wilson, who was shivering. This happened pre-cone. So I'd done what I swore I'd never do and put him in my lap. All he did was sleep on my lap, until the cone incident, at which point he was hurled onto the floor. By my feet. Not so fun when I'm the one driving. He shook for the next 3 hours.

Back to the apartment hunting... I went to a couple complexes closer to school and liked them both. But one place had this weird lease term situation where they can only have a certain amount of people moving out at the same time, so depending on what day you sign your lease, you could only have a 15-mo option, or a 7-mo option, or a couple other options. Not what I'm looking for. And they won't know what places they'll have until the end of December. And the places available may or may not end up being in my price range. Each floorplan is priced according to base price, extra for each floor, extra for a water view, etc. And washer/dryer hook-ups would only be a possibility in some apts (although there are pay-laundry facilities throughout the 80-acre complex).

The second place has 2 1-bedroom places available when I need to move in. Although they do have 6-mo leases, I'll have to pay an extra fee per month, but I'm okay with that. And one floorplan is a townhome! It's got a loft bedroom, and upstairs is the full bath and walk-in closet. Downstairs has an extra half bath and a breakfast bar. AND both floorplans have a washer and dryer. So today after church Chris is going with me to look at the second complex and I'm going to go ahead and do the deposit thing and all that. And, since I'm a public school employee, I get some fees returned, some waived, and a discount on rent! Sweet!

So one bad thing (cone), but two good things (apt found, great wedding photos) happened yesterday. Not bad. Although... now I have to get my car repaired. Blah.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wilson!!!


We got a puppy!!!!!

For Christmas, on Thanksgiving Day Chris and I drovoge 20 hours to Carthage, NC and back. Fun points: we made a huge event out of it; we got to stop by Biltmore (but did not pay the $55 per person to go on the tour!); we got a freaking puppy. Not so fun points: we had to leave at 3 am; nothing's open, including fast food, on Thanksgiving.

We absolutely love Wilson. He's adorable! He tries really hard to be a good dog, too. We're doing really well with "Sit" and I'm starting to work on "Shake." And as long as he goes out every couple hours he doesn't go potty inside.

He likes to stuff his toys underneath his bed in his crate so he's more comfy. He's a really picky sleeper. Everything has to be perfect. He moves around about 10 times before he's got the perfect spot. He's like a cat and will climb all over you (and sometimes when he whines he meows). He thinks he's sneaky by bringing his squeaky toy, Mr. Elephant, over to something he'd rather chew on and "accidentally" switches to my shoe.

So, it was an awesome Thanksgiving, and I got an awesome Christmas present!!

You can see a slideshow of photos of him on my blog!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Raced for the Cure

I did it! The Race for the Cure yesterday went well. I raised over $1000!!! So a HUGE thanks goes out to everyone who financially and emotionally supported me!

Next year hopefully I'll raise a good amount and actually be able to run some of the Race. There were 10,000 people there, so since I didn't get close enough to the runners I got stuck in a pack of walkers, which isn't bad. I walked with my team (headed by members of my school's county's educators association (read: union). I stayed with them for the first mile but it took 30 minutes and Chris had a photo shoot to get ready for, so I excused myself and walked as quickly as I could for the other 2+ miles. Then after the race I did get some free stuff, but I do have to say I was a little bummed that I didn't get to the Ford tent until they were out of scarves. Apparently they hand out really cool scarves every year. Chris and I did get some free Sun Chips and Panera bagels, and I got a free visor from Shane Co. (a jewelry store).

Then it was off to, well, change my air filter. We'd walked by a couple auto stores on the way from where we parked to where the race started, and I was in dire need of a new air filter. So we bought one and Chris helped me change it (he did most of the work).

Then we went to Famous Dave's for a celebratory lunch then to the photo shoot at Fellowship Bible Church, where Chris and I have been going to church out in Brentwood the past few months. He's on the email list for a photography club through the church, and he got to be one of about 5 photographers for family portraits. The first two families (each family had an hour with a photographer) were really difficult. The third family was awesome and it made everybody's day. Chris finally had a fun time and got some cool stuff.

Next on the schedule was the drive-in! We love going to the drive-in. It's inexpensive (including the food), fun, and we get to see 2 movies instead of 1. We saw "Michael Clayton" (the new George Clooney movie) followed by "The Brave One" with Jodie Foster. Neither are feel good movies but I liked them both.

So after a really long 19+ hour day, we got to turn the clocks back (yay!).

And I think we're going to Cracker Barrel for breakfast!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

fall break!


For the past week I was in NoVA. It was a great time. I had way too much to do and didn't get to do it all, or see everyone. But it was great nonetheless. Plus, Mom got me a bunch of fall clothes (always a plus).

Now it's time to go back to work. Okay... it's not yet. Man, I love a two-week fall break!

Other than seeing some awesome friends and spending some time with the rents, I got some quality sleeping-in time a couple mornings, I went walking solo or with Mom for an hour to an hour and a half every day, and went down to VA Beach to help Chris' family celebrate his sister's awesome graduation from massage therapy school. And I got to read some magazines I put off during the school year.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to NoVA over Christmas break to do some more stuff I didn't get to do, like going to see some friends' houses, going to church at Reston Town Center, eating at Big Bowl, and visiting more people.

Maybe a two-week fall break isn't as long as I thought it'd be...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

chugging along


Things at school are basically going well. I wish I had a more supportive administration. Chimes meets after school on Mondays, chorus meets after school on Tuesdays, and starting next week the musical rehearsals will be after school Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Chris has been super busy working part-time as a school photographer (think picture day and yearbook stuff including sports teams) and doing his own photography stuff on the side. Last weekend he shot a horse show for the whole weekend and I helped out on Saturday and Sunday. I had an awesome time. I do have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of dressage (where the rider has to make the horse do certain things like walk and canter and turn with the least amount of movement as possible). I'd much rather go to a rodeo (something I still haven't done out here). The best part was that I got to pet a bunch of horses. It made me realize even more how I'm completely happier when I have animals around me (nice animals, that is). So I've decided I want to take some horseback riding lessons for a month or so just for fun. Hopefully my friend Katie, who owns some horses, will be my teacher. I really hope it works out.

Also, I've joined the Nashville Race for the Cure. I'm running (err, walking... err, crawling) in honor of my mom's mom, my granny, Alene Bohanon. She had breast cancer when I was little and had a mastectomy. I'm on the Wilson County Educator's Association (county my school's in) team, so I'm hoping I'll get to know some other teachers and people working in the county. And I'm hoping to raise some money for breast cancer research. If you would like to help me reach my goal of $1,000, you can go to my website for the race. I'm super excited about this!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

stupid finale registration


I just spent about 6 hours working on some hand chimes music. I basically had to take 4 songs and cut them apart (musically/notationally... if that's a word... speaking) and rewrite them all in Finale NotePad. I would have loved to use the version of Finale I bought back in college, but I loaned it to too many people and can't register the software on my newish laptop.

I will probably never want to hear Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Jingle Bells, Up on the Housetop, or We Wish You a Merry Christmas after the chimes group is done with them.

We're working on getting the musical approved by our principal. I hope it's approved. My team teacher really wants to do it (and I don't really but that means I'll be able to do the one I like when I'm teaching solo). It's a new kids' musical called Dreamcatcher. The teacher I work with is all into Native Americans and ghosts (she says she can communicate with ghosts and wants me to go with her to the Bell Mansion to see if she can communicate with the Bell Witch Ghost... on halloween). Last year's musical was some spinoff of The Wizard of Oz and it was almost not approved because there's a witch/evil/scary stuff. Mostly evil. I mean, this is the first year where if the chorus sings a Christmas carol (We Three Kings, for instance), we also have to sing a secular Christmas song (Jolly Old St. Nicholas). We weren't even allowed to sing any songs with the words Christmas or Jesus when I was in elementary school. (Sidenote: apparently this school system drove out the ACLU a couple years back, and when we do the moment of silence we actually have to bow our heads and close our eyes.)

Next week is my first observation and I'm not too excited. The state of Tennessee has so much paperwork for observations that it's taking me longer to do the paperwork than prepare for the lesson! And I don't know what this administrator wants so I'm not positive what kind of lesson will make her happiest. From what I can tell, anything that connects to other subjects is good. Basically involve as little music as possible, and as much social studies as possible.

But I'm finished for the afternoon, so that's good! I learned that a new teacher spends an average of 70 hours per week working. So it's great to have a little break!

Friday, August 24, 2007

so it's been a while


I've been SO tired with my new job. It's been pretty exhausting but a great time. Even though I'm at school for 12 hours at a time, I don't feel as, well, depressed as I did with my previous job. We'll see how it goes for the rest of the year. I do know, though, that Wilson County Schools doesn't have appreciation for the arts like Fairfax County (but really, most school systems don't).

I'm getting over the 2nd week sickness. My team teacher (there are 2 general music teachers for the school since we have over 1,000 K-5 students) has been sick as well. Turns out the school's ventilation system has no air filters. We asked them to come in and clean our vents, so some guy showed up, put plastic bags under the vent (on top of the desk directly below the vent), and swept it with a broom. The end. He didn't even take the bags up. Oh well. Like my team teacher, Emily, says, it could be worse!

Now I'm ready for my first full weekend off. Not this weekend though. I have my second full-day Saturday In-Service. Ugh. At least I'm having a good time with a new 2nd grade teacher at my school.

I'm going to save my money throughout this school year so I can take an Orff I certification class that will be a week long in the summer. It'll teach me more about general music, which is especially great since I didn't have much coursework in it and I only subbed for a music class for a few weeks after I graduated.

I'm excited to go back to NoVA for 8 days in October. I guess one good thing about working for this county is we start with the kids in late August, but we have 2 weeks off for fall break and then 2 weeks off for spring break and are finished with the kids on, like, June 1 or something crazy.

That's about it from me. I'm just, well, it's my bedtime.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

everyone has one



I want a scooter. But I don't know where I'll be living in the next few years, so I've decided it's not the best investment. I don't want to end up living in Hermitage and riding my scooter downtown.

Our gift shop manager has one (blue with red/yellow flames). One of our gift shop employees has one (red). One of our food/beverage people has one (blue and silver, I've heard, although I haven't seen this one). And somebody else that works here has one because I keep seeing a light silver one by the "bike rack" (photo on right).

But for the record, I wanted one first!!!

today is lisa's birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

tires


So I have a screw stuck in one of my tires. Luckily it's stuck straight in with nothing on the screw head sticking out. And it's stuck on the "fleshy" part, not in a tread or anything. I noticed it on my way to my car this morning. Since that last time I drove my car was last night around 7, and it's now after 8 am and still looks okay, like it hasn't lost any air, I'm going to stick out the work day and take it to a place after work.

A couple (other than the obvious) things suck about this. 1) I'm going to some end-of-the-season party being thrown by a coworker tonight and I have food to make (antipasta salad; got the recipe from the Real Simple Magazine website). 2) I've never had any experiences with car repair places out here so I have no idea where to go. 3) I've never had any experiences with something stuck in my tire, so I basically have no clue what I'm doing. But I did call Dad and he asked me questions about how it's stuck and whatnot and seemed pretty positive I'll be fine to have it parked out here. And at least I have AAA, so if it does turn into a flat I'll give them a call and have them put the spare on (hey, I pay for AAA, I'm not gonna put the spare on myself!).

On another mixed note, yesterday my supervisor told me I need a suit for a meeting today. So I think, "Okay, I'll go home and try on my suits to make sure I can wear one of them." After all, I've gained about 20 pounds in the last few months, so who knows. So I got home and... couldn't find my suit pants! The other suits I looked at were definitely not working. Awesome. So I drove out to the mall, went to Dillards, found the petite sale section, and tried them all on in my size. Usually it takes a good 6 hours or so to find one or two good suits that fit well and don't cost a fortune. But I found one. Yay! AND, yesterday morning I found $50 in a purse I'd never used that my mom gave me. So that paid for almost half the suit. Suits are expensive!!

At least it's Friday!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

B.A.C.A.


I was watching the news this morning and they showed this group, B.A.C.A. (Bikers Against Child Abuse). They go to court to support children of child abuse and help them feel safe/unafraid of their abusers. They meet the children before their court date, tell the kids who they are and what they believe in, give them a B.A.C.A. teddy bear with their hotline phone number on the back, and will even camp out overnight if the children want them to. Then they go to court in their B.A.C.A. gear (lots of black leather) and sit through hearings/trials to support the kids if/when they have to go on the stand.

These bike (mostly) guys are HUGE with lots of tattoos. And they're empowering abused children everywhere and making them feel safe. Isn't this great?!?

On a completely different note, I've been reading books about Boston terriers and other dog owner books (a great one I'm reading now is an ASPCA book about dog ownership). So last night I had a dream that I had one maltese and one beagle puppy. It was awesome.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

pet store


Yes, I went to the "Puppy Mill" we also refer to as the pet store. And they had 3 Boston terriers and I played with one. I wanted to take him home but 1. it's a pet store. If I'm going to get a purebred I want to get it straight from the breeder to learn about the line and any hereditary problems and from someone that knows about and loves the breed. 2. It was Sunday afternoon and you're supposed to get a dog when you'll be home with it for a few days before leaving it alone for a whole day. And 3. after getting a library card and checking out 3 books about Bostons and a book by the ASPCA about dogs, I've learned I know absolutely nothing about dogs and refuse to take a living being and attempt to keep it alive and healthy and happy without knowing anything. So I'm reading and taking lots of notes. Did you know pugs and Bostons, because of their nasal cavaties, don't handle extreme heat well? Well, now you do. Yeah, that's right, I'm going to do this dog owning thing the right way. But I really did want to take him home. He was completely adorable, was good at playing with the toys instead of my clothes and shoes (mostly), would give me the toy when I asked, and when he was tired he was ready for me to hold and love him.

Sigh. And I guess Chris should be with me because he'll be partly responsible for taking care of the dog and we want to be sure everybody's happy with everybody. Chris is livin' it up in VA Beach for a week without me (I'm completely jealous, seriously).

Also, I got to talk with my old roomie Katie, who I haven't talked to in a month or so, and it's always a great time catching up. I love my current roomie Melissa, don't get me wrong, but I miss Katie bunches!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

granny, events, etc.


Granny's home (yeah, I don't know... I wouldn't want to be home either) and my uncle and aunt have been staying with her until my parents get out there so Dad can install new doors. Mom and Dad are driving, again, out to Oklahoma and are stopping tonight on their way. Poor parents, that's a whole lot of driving back and forth in the last few months.

Chris and I met Big Kenny (see photo; Chris didn't take this one) of Big and Rich at a MuzikMafia show at Fuel downtown Tuesday night (Big Kenny: "Hi, I'm Big Kenny." Chris: "Yeah... I know."). He's a really cool guy. Now I really feel like I live in Nashville. Damien Horne and Michael Inge did a great job and it was an awesome way to start the 4th of July holiday.

We (Chris and I, not Big Kenny) went out to our friend Katie's for a barbecue on the 4th. Burgers and hot dogs done on Katie's new grill, homemade mac'n'cheese, rice pudding, apple crisp, and other goodies abounded. I'm not really used to the legal fireworks in Tennessee (Virginians, think big firework shows). But it was cool because we could see a few from Katie's back deck.

Chris is going to VA Beach for about a week. Although I know we'll miss each other, it will be a great opportunity for him to visit family and hopefully shadow a wedding photographer, and a great opportunity for me to have some girl time and go to the gym. Then he'll be back in time for us to go to Chattanooga next weekend!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nashville


A new tv show on Fox! It's going to be a part-reality part-documentary show about the music industry. It will feature local music venues, coffee shops and restaurants. Fridays at 9 beginning in mid-September.

Sweet!

news

Mom's mom (Granny) is in the hospital. The doctors think it's something wrong with her gall bladder but we don't know much yet.

Granny's been living by herself since Papa passed away about a month ago. She'd been afraid to stay home alone but wanted to be brave so she was staying by herself.

While my uncle was at the hospital with Granny, Granny's house got broken into. Someone kicked the door/deadbolt/entire door frame in. Before they broke in, though, they cut the phone line. They stole everything of value like Granny's jewelry, all the electronics (which probably wasn't worth it since everything is like 10 years old), and all the cash in the house. Some of the house was trashed, where Granny had everything valuable; the rest of the house was left untouched. Sounds like the person knew where things were.

Mom and Dad are going to drive back out to Oklahoma and will probably stop over in Nashville during the weekend. I guess Mom's really not doing well. Understandable.

I'll update when I know more about how Granny's condition is.

Monday, July 2, 2007

iphone


I'd love to get an iPhone, but I happen to be on my parents' Sprint plan, and they pay for it, so it's either buy a new expensive phone and pay for the service (I'm sure it's cheap), or continue paying $0/month. Plus, I'm totally waiting until the iPhone has GPS service and collaborates with Google. I mean... really... Apple came up with the iPhone, why not a Google GPS? Although, Google told me to get on I-40 and merge onto I-24, and so did my GPS, and it's totally illegal.

In other news, I still don't have a puppy. But we did go clothes shopping for Chris over the weekend. Then Sunday we went to church, met Katie for lunch, and saw Live Free or Die Hard. As for church, we've gone to Fellowship Bible Church twice now and we both pretty much like it (building/location, message, worship music). Now to tell you about Live Free or Die Hard. It. Was. AWESOME. Now, I'm not the best movie critic to pay attention to because as long as I'm entertained by the movie I usually like it, whether or not there's a viable plot or not. But this movie really was awesome, with some great one-liners. I'm A Mac did a great job, and he and Bruce Willis seemed to work together well. A+! Although some scenes/details were pretty unbelievable (example: an unmarked, non-military non-government helicopter would not get into DC airspace), the action scenes were awesome, there were no obnoxious explanation dialogue scenes (where you think, aren't they being chased? Do you think they should sum things up a little quicker?), and the action scenes were awesome. Okay, I know I said that last part twice, but that's how awesome they were.

Okay, I'm ready for my 4th of July vacation day now.

Friday, June 29, 2007

This guy decided to live in his truck. He had a job and was a college student and doing okay, but hated paying rent. So he decided to be homeless. Crazy! But I can imagine he saved a LOT. Well, okay, he was really just trying to get out of debt. If he hadn't been in debt he would have saved thousands! Here's his blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Congratulations!!!


Dan and Lisa are engaged! Yay! I'm SO happy for them. They're such awesome friends, a great couple, and deserve the very best. Dan proposed while they were on a vacation in England. Awww!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

the drive-in


Chris and I went to a drive-in movie theater last weekend. It was the first time I'd gone to a drive-in, and it was AWESOME. We saw Evan Almighty and Shrek the Third (Evan much better than Shrek). It was only $6 for each of us for two movies! We've decided to never go to a regular movie theater again. I doubt that will be the case once winter hits, mostly because I'm pretty sure the place will be closed for the winter.

Also, Chris got a (paid!) gig shooting at a triathlon close by. It was a great weekend... although I've been sick. With what the doctor thinks is a staph infection. Gross. I went to the doctor's yesterday. Apparently I had a fever of 100, so I'm glad I got antibiotics to help me out. Hopefully it won't be the resistant strain we saw on the news last night. They (you know, They) said the resistant strain has infected 10 times the amount of people as usual... kinda scary.

And if I had a puppy I totally wouldn't be sick. I read about it in a magazine at the doctor's office. Okay... it said people with pets are happier and in turn healthier. And I found an article from ABC News about it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

conference

Funny how this American Symphony Orchestra League's Conference is called "Conference." It really sounds dumb unless you can say "the Conference." But you can't. Just "Conference." Like, "Are you going to Conference this year?" I really can't stand it. BUT it's been pretty fun so far. I really enjoy meeting other people from orchestras around the US and Canada. Last night was the under 35 party. Way too late of a night for me to be at work at 8 am today, but it was a good time. And I left at like 11:45 when the band started. And I do have to say it was awesome going to Steve Turner's loft which is, I dunno, like, 8000 square feet or something crazy. There's a sauna in the bathroom. In a loft! There were two open bars too, which was really nice.

Interestingly, the recurring theme during the Opening Plenary Session was music education (YAY). And I met a lot of people my age last night. I hope today is as good.

A couple days ago Chris and I rented the first 2 Die Hard movies. We're preparing for the new Die Hard movie (Live Free or Die Hard) coming out this summer. We watched the first one a couple nights ago. I'm psyched. The best part? A kid at the Blockbuster register looked like a 16 year old Ben Folds. It was awesome.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

i don't seem to get it


Every time I finally feel like I'm doing well at work, I make a mistake. This is the first job I've had where I just don't seem to "get it." It's so frustrating. A lot of the time it's because I don't know something. But a lot of the time I just seem to overlook it. I've never felt so... slow?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

virginia beach


Over Memorial weekend, Chris and I went to VA Beach. We visited his family, walked around the boardwalk and beach one night, swam a lot in the pool, relaxed, and had a graduation party for Chris. It was a great time (other than the fact that I got sick at the end of the trip and am still getting over it). Chris' family is great. I always feel like I can be myself around them. And they seem to love me just fine. =)

Now that we're back, Chris says I need to keep a VA Beach attitude. You know, happy. It's a little difficult still being sick and tired, but we're both trying really hard and so far it's working well.

This weekend Mom and Dad are driving out here for the weekend on their way to Oklahoma. Then they'll be back again over Father's Day weekend on their way back home. I'm making my "I need these things" list because Mom really wants to buy me stuff (no, really, she does, and if there's nothing for her to buy she'll feel useless). You know, bathroom rug and trash can, food processor, a house. Just kidding about the house. But I really do need the food processor. I tried making hummus last night and it was a disaster. The mini-prep processor (is it a food processor or not? I've decided not) didn't work with more than 3 ounces of chickpeas, and the blender didn't work with the hummus at all. So for now I have lumpy hummus in the fridge awaiting food processing. Then it will be glorious.

Friday, May 25, 2007

last night's dream


I had a dream last night that I got my Boston Terrier puppy. Not only that, but I had nothing for a puppy. No food, no crate, no toys. And I was freaking out. I made Chris go with me to a huge pet store, I'm guessing PetSmart (I don't know if there are even any out here) and I ran around all frantic-like looking for puppy food, which for some strange reason I hadn't researched, toys, and a crate, which I also didn't know anything about.

Good thing I've started researching how to train puppies. And, of course, I've researched breeds. I've even looked at photos and read about spay/neuter surgeries. Whew.

relationship budgeting blog











Some stats from this blog, Committed Unlimited:
  • The median household income for a family of four in the US is around $45,000; it’s been stagnant for several years.
  • About 43% of Americans spend more than they earn in a year.
  • The average U.S. household has over $8,000 in credit card debt.
  • Credit card debt in the U.S. has increased by 1/3 in the last five years.
  • On average, Americans spend $1.22 for every dollar they earn.
  • Americans now have a 1-in-6 chance of losing half or more of the family income in any given year, a huge increase from previous decades.
  • Personal bankruptcies have more than doubled in the last 10 years.
  • 78% of Americans have a major negative life event at least every 10 years.
  • A majority of Americans now have net worths lower than most people in the poorest African nations.
  • In Georgia, the state where I live, 1 in 422 homeowners is somewhere in the process of foreclosure. Foreclosures nationwide have skyrocketed in the last five years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

today


Is my ex-roommate's birthday. Or would be? I'm not sure of the proper verb tense. I guess if someone was born on a certain day, even when they are gone it is still their birthday.

I will never understand why some people take their own lives. But I do know that it severely impacts the lives of those close to them.

I hope I can make Stephen proud of me. He always knew what I was capable of and would hold me accountable when I fell short while still encouraging me. I hope at some point in my life I can be that for someone else.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

photos from grant


One of my aunt's (Aunt Frankie's and Papa's sister). And a photo of Papa, his dog Hank, and Grant.

My family is awesome.








hard core folds fans


A fight broke out at a Boston Symphony concert. Ben Folds was the main artist. Crap. That really reduces my chances of getting him here.

my baby!


Not to be confused with my bebe.

My MacBook came in the mail! Chris helped me set it up. I'm SO HAPPY with it. The only problem currently is there's no sidebar when I open folders despite the settings showing they're supposed to be in folders.

It's quieter, lighter, faster, just plain nicer than my PowerBook G4 (5 years old and still running, though!).

I'm in love!!!

grant


My awesome cousin (okay, ALL my cousin's are awesome, I must admit), Grant, lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He's my Aunt Frankie's son. He kept Auntie's bedroom furniture and his wife drove it all out here for me to have. (Next month when one of my roommate's moves out, I'm taking her room and will be able to use it all!) He and his wife also have 4 boston terriers. At Papa's funeral reception I mentioned that Chris and I want to get a dog (September or later), and he said they're going to try to breed and I could have one. Well, he didn't say "have" so we will probably have to pay for the puppy but I'm sure the price would be super cheap.

Chris and I have been looking at puppies and I've been reading up about breeds. A few weekends ago we played with a Bullmastiff puppy, a Maltese puppy, and a Shih-Tzu puppy. Okay, we would never get a Bullmastiff, but it was fun anyway.

The plan is dual custody. The dog would be with me one week and Chris the next week. And that wouldn't last too long if I buy a house in March.

Also, Chris and I know we won't have a huge place to live so we don't want a huge dog (not fair to anyone). But Chris doesn't want a little fluffy froo-froo dog. Although we both have allergies (in general, not really dog-specific), we were originally looking for a breed (or cross-breed, or mutt) that's non-shedding and has "allergy friendly dander". BUT, I've come to the conclusion that I keep my home CLEAN and having one small "average shedder" would be okay because I'd be cleaning a lot anyway.

So Boston Terrier it is (I hope!). We'll see how the breeding goes. =)

Oh, and the picture on this post is serving as my MacBook desktop.

suze orman


I'm reading her book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke and it's amazing. Easy to read and understand, great advice, and she totally understands the importance and long process of graduating college with student loans and credit card debt and getting a first "real" job with a tiny salary and having to pay for housing and pay off loans. She's convinced me to hold off on putting more money into my Roth IRA until I have a downpayment for, and buy, a house. So my current lease is up in March and I'm going to live as frugally as possible (although sometimes I wonder how much more frugally I can live) until then.

And I've been downloading and listening to Dave Ramsey's podcast from iTunes and sometime in the near future really want to go through one of his classes about investing and/or home buying. His "headquarters" are close by and he seems to know the way to invest and save and get out of debt.

papa


Papa passed away a couple weekends ago. The trip to Oklahoma was the most difficult 4 days I think I've ever had. I think the biggest reason was seeing my family, especially Mom, so upset and I couldn't do anything to help. Apparently Papa was famous. Who knew. For a county with 2 stoplights (downtown), 1 small post office (where you only need to know a local's name and county and whatever you're mailing will get to them), 1 k-8 school building and 1 high school, and where everyone lives at least a half mile from their neighbor, the small church (14 pews) where the funeral was held was standing room only, and some people had to stand outside with the doors open. What a production, though. There was a viewing of the body and receiving of friends and family the night before (I will be cremated!). At the funeral a number of people spoke (including Mom, who by far did the best eulogy- despite there being 3 preacher who spoke- and did it without crying). People donated silk flower arrangements that covered the entire sanctuary (they even did a big arch over the casket). We had to view the body again. Then we all went to the cemetery and had a presentation of the casket and another prayer for the family. Then we all went back to the church for the reception (Dad made a slideshow on his Mac of pictures of Papa that was great). So many women cooked so much food. And so many people out there have little to nothing, but they still contributed beyond their means. And it was all because Papa did the same thing. We didn't know so much of what he did to help others because he was so humble. He was an amazing man who loved everyone and everyone loved him too.

Some great memories... we went to the barn with a milk pail and filled it with the barn kittens and Papa brought them inside to my room and I read books to them (I was only maybe 5 so I faked-read)... he taught me to ride a horse and saddled the horse for me every day so I could go ride when I visited... he let me ride in the pickup bed to go up to the mountain place or drive around the homeplace (the only times I was ever allowed to ride in a pickup bed)... he would write me letters (difficult because he was missing parts of 3 fingers on his writing/dominant hand) and include a stick of doublemint gum and 2 $1 bills... the last time I visited, he told me "never give in, never give up" and I hope to take that to heart.

Monday, April 30, 2007

best boyfriend in the world

Chris spent the whole weekend with me. Even though he has his last 2 finals today. We spent a lot of time at my place while he studied, which was obviously fine with me. But we also went to the Parthenon and walked around Centennial Park. We looked at puppies (and almost got one) at a pet store (I know, don't get a puppy from a pet store). Sunday he went with me to the Apple store and I bought a MacBook because over the weekend was the Tennessee no sales tax thing.

I'm flying out to OK on Wednesday. Papa's funeral is Thursday. I'll fly back to Nashville Saturday night. I have to miss Chris' graduation. I'm really lucky, he understands and isn't upset or anything.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

the jewish lawyer from new york

I was invited to attend Chris' last class with him (by the professor). This Jewish lawyer from New York (relocated to Nashville in the 90's) spoke. He wore a tie-dye t-shirt and had a huge mustache. And he swore. A lot.

But he lost 60 pounds pretty recently and it didn't take him long. His explanation? He "just %$#&* % did it." He said if he wrote a book about how he lost so much weight so easily, that's all the book would say.

So, I'm just $%#&*# doing it. Not just with losing weight, but with work. I'll stay late, I'll come early, whatever it takes to figure out what the heck is going on. I'm always missing things because nobody tells me. Turns out I have to put a lot of extra hours in to figure it out myself.

Monday, April 23, 2007

a great weekend but no puppy

Last weekend was great. The weather was amazing. Friday Chris came with me to the Symphony. He took photos in the Founders Hall for me. The concert was incredible. After the concert, the flautist and harpist from the Mozart Concerto, the soprano from the Mahler (4th Symphony), the composer of the first piece (Stephen Danker, a hilarious guy), and the conductor joined in on a post-concert reception with our individual and corporate donors. It was a great night.

Saturday Chris and I walked downtown and made our way to the Farmer's Market, which was really cool, but I think more stuff was there in the morning and we didn't make it there until the afternoon. I bought socks because I was getting a blister from my amazing shoes, which I need to wear more often so I stop getting blisters (the shoes in the slide photo). I helped Chris with a photo shoot Saturday night.

Sunday morning we went to church. Another new one for us. I've heard finding a new home church in middle TN is quite the venture. We've only been to 3 so far, but also so far all 3 have been misses. So far, I haven't found any of the churches to give as meaty a message or as good of music (go figure, we're in Nashville where everyone's a musician) as Reston Community Church.

Then Chris and I had lunch at Steak'n'Shake (maybe my new "fast food" favorite) and then saw PUPPIES. Chris' mom is right; we need to STOP seeing PUPPIES because it makes me want one more each time. There were Pekingese, Peek-a-poo, and Shih-Tzu puppies and they were all adorable. Of course I held a couple and the Peek-a-poo I held nuzzled my neck and then didn't want me to move him. But, I'm not as big of a fan of the Pekingese breed, so I'd really rather have a Shih-Tzu. Really... I want a small, fluffy dog that doesn't bark too much since I live in an apartment.

Maybe after my engaged roommate gets married and moves out we'll get a PUPPY and have, like, dual custody and Chris will have it for a week and I'll have it for a week. Of course, we don't even know where Chris will be living and I don't want my roommate to have to deal with my PUPPY (not that I'd ever expect or ask her to take care of it, but it'd still be in the apt).

This weekend if the weather's good and Chris doesn't feel like he has to study all weekend, we'll go to Bowling Green, Kentucky and camp Saturday night. I already bought the marshmallows and chocolate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

another amazing link

With financial-type calculators. Like, rent vs. buy, how much mortgage will you probably qualify for, how much/how long do you have to save to reach a certain goal, etc. Seems pretty neat. It seems like everything's included, like taxes on any interest you earn, closing costs/realtor fees/monthly fees/insurance, stuff like that.

https://www.timevalue.com/Tools.aspx

amazing link for renters

http://www.rentometer.com/

It compares the price you're paying to rent your apartment/home/etc. with other places that are similar in the area.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

car

loan paid off.

Sweet.

Now to save until the new Mac OS comes out and then have a computer loan. HAH!

Friday, March 30, 2007

rule

if this wasn't already a Rule, it is now...

If you go to a bar-b-que restaurant and order a sandwich (on a hamburger bun), you MUST eat it with your hands.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp

I heart Ben Folds. And I heart his new LP, which is actually a collection of songs from a few EP's.

I LOVE the song "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You." Love, love, love it.

Once you read the lyrics, I bet you'll love it too. I got them from lyricsmania.com (Caution: explicit lyrics!)...

Smile
Like you've got nothing to prove
No matter what you might do
There's always someone out there cooler than you

I know that's hard to believe
But there are people you meet
They're into something that is too big to be
Expressed
Through their clothes
And they'll put up with all the poses you throw
And you won't
Even know

That they're not sizing you up
They know your mom fucked you up
Or maybe let you watch too much TV

But they'll still look in your eyes
To find the human inside
You know there's always something in there to see

Beneath
The veneer
Not everybody made the list this year
Have a beer

Make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall
But there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, you're the shit
But you won't be it for long
Oh, there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, there's always someone cooler than you

Now that I've got the disease
In a way I'm relieved
Cause' I don't have to stress about it like you do
I might just get up and dance
Or buy some acid washed pants
If you don't care
Then you got nothing to lose

And I won't
Hesitate
Cause every moment life is slipping away
It's ok

Make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall
But there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, you're the shit
But you won't be it for long
Oh, there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, there's always someone cooler than you
Oh, there's always someone cooler than

Life is wonderful
Life is beautiful
We're all children of
One big universe
So you don't have to be
A chump

And you know
(You know)
That I won't
(I won't)
Hesitate
(Hesitate)
Cause every moment life is slipping away
(Away)
It's ok
(It's ok)


Make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall
'Cause there's always someone cooler than you
Yeah, you're the shit
But you won't be it for long
But there's always someone cooler than you
Oh yeah, there's always someone cooler than you
Because there's always someone cooler than you

Cooler than you
Boy
Cooler than you
Girl
Cooler than you
Sir
Cooler than you
My Lady
OH!

Nerds gone wild
Yeah yea

gatlinburg and ben folds

Chris' birthday was last weekend. I'd told him we were going to Lynchburg, where one of the only known things to do is go to the Jack Daniel's distillery. Well, surprise, I'd paid for a cabin for the weekend in Gatlinburg, not Lynchburg. He was really surprised! We had a great time, though. We spent Saturday in Gatlinburg and Ober Gatlinburg. We walked around Gatlinburg, took the aerial tram to Ober Gatlinburg, and did all the "amusement park" stuff (alpine slide, scenic chairlift, water/tube ride). Sunday we spent the day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The weather was gorgeous the whole time. Our cabin was tiny but it was a great size for 2 people. And we bought groceries at Kroger before we got there and we made breakfast (complete with waffles, eggs, bacon, OJ, and fresh fruit) both mornings and Chris grilled steak for dinner Saturday night.

I bought tickets to see Ben Folds and John Mayer here in August. Okay, so I'm really an idiot and didn't check the tickets and they'd given me tickets to a Predators game in April. So I'll have to walk back over to the GEC (in the rain, which sucks) to hopefully switch the tickets. I was SO MAD at myself. It may be their fault for giving me the wrong tickets, but it's my fault for not checking them. I'm just hoping we can still get good seats for the right concert when I go back in an hour. Ugh.

P.S. I'll start putting pictures back up once I find my camera battery's recharger. Also MIA are my (laptop) mouse and my iPod cords. ...And my iPod headphones.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

quick update

Sorry I don't have pictures up of my new place. Since I moved I can't find my camera's USB connector to import any photos, and I can't find my camera battery charger. ...or my computer mouse, not that that has anything to do with photos.

I love the new place. I love the roommates. Last night Melissa and I went to Maggie Moo's. It was good ice cream, great company, and she took me a back way. There are such freaking gigantic/amazing houses where I live! When my parents come to visit I'll show them the area.

My job is getting a little easier. Well, easier's not the best word, but I'm learning how things work and who I tell/ask what. And I apologize for bothering people or adding to their workload constantly in an effort to keep them from completely hating me. One girl (we went to college together, how cool is that) started a walking club of sorts. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at noon we all put on our sneakers and do a 2-mile loop around the city. Wednesday was day 1. There were maybe 8 of us. One lady has bad knees and I felt badly that she couldn't walk as quickly as the rest of us so I stayed behind and walked with her and we talked. But the weather was gorgeous and the exercise was great, and so was the company.

I won't be joining in on the walking tomorrow because... (dramatic pause) ...it's Chris' birthday this weekend and we're going out of town! I've rented us a cabin and we're gonna have a great time and the weather's supposed to be awesome.

I have one prayer request: Mom emailed me and told me her dad (my Papa) has not been doing well. The truth is he's been doing poorly for a while and he and my Granny have 24-hour in-house care. Papa was doing well for a while with it- he was finally getting bathed and his teeth brushed and was wearing clean clothes. And he was super nice to the nurses and we think he was just enjoying having a companion. But apparently he's been falling trying to get out of bed and the nurses (because there's only one there at a time) can't get him up. And a day or so ago he hit the nurse and has been in a generally agitated mood. So my prayer request is for him, for my Granny, for the nurses, and for my mom and her family.

Thanks! And happy Thursday!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

chris sent me this email...

so you totally just woke up laughing and said, "hahahaha... they're calling us blazers!"

me: "huh?"
you: "they're calling us blazers... tee hee heee"
"what?"
"i don't know"
"are you dreaming honey?"
"no!"
"so what's happening?"
"they're calling us blazers... hee hee hee"
"who is 'they'?"
"i don't know"
"so what's up?"
"they have some pianos... it's the brand name or something!"
"uh huh"
"and they're calling us blazers... hee haaa haaaa heee teee "
"ok... you know you're dreaming right?"
"no i'm not!"
"ok... so tell me more..."
"why are you making fun of me?"
"'cause you're dreaming"
"no i'm not"
"ok, well i'm going to write this down so that i can tell you all about it in the morning"
"*pout*"
"so tell me more about these blazers"
"i don't know, they're looking at our car!"
"uh huh"
"stop making fun of me"
"ok, i love you honey"
"i love you too"
"i love you honey"
"i love you too"
"i love you honey"
"i love you toooooooooooo" <-- cranky
"goodnight"
"*snore*"

three minutes later

me: "hey"
you: "hey"
"so tell me more about these blazers"
"ha ha" <-- more cranky
"what?"
"you're making fun of me"
"what? why?"
"cause i couldn't remember the name of the place"
"what place?"
"the place with our stuff"
"what stuff?"
"i don't know, our stuff from the day!"
"ooh... ok. ... ... *confused*"


i'm forgetting some already... too bad.

you're fun when you're sleepy.

i love you,
blazer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

myspace

has 3 profiles added every second, which is more than the growth rate of the American population.

"Web-savvy local bands garner international exposure for free", Nashville Business Journal, Feb. 16-22, 2007, page 21.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

west end


So Chris helped me move the last of my stuff to the apt. I'm super excited about the commute. One thing I noticed was the types of cars on the interstate driving into downtown are much different than the cars driving into downtown from West End. The interstate cars are mostly Chevys, then Fords seem to be the second most popular, then probably Nissan, then a few Mazdas, Toyotas, and every now and then a BMW. The West End cars seem to be pretty evenly divided between Lexuses, BMWs, Nissans, Mazdas, and Toyotas.

Go figure.

Thanks to Chris everything is in one place and not one house and one apartment. Tonight I'll try to finish at least moving things around and maybe finding a spot for my chest of drawers.

Work is going well, today has been great and I've felt like I've known how to do things and have made some materials for the fashion show and had received happy approval (it's going to be super exciting; Oscar de La Renta, and we've had such interest that we can't fit everyone in the hall and are going to do it outside, I think we're actually closing a street down or something). I went to the downtown library for Arts Advocacy Day but we didn't have the time to go talk to representatives, which would have been really interesting. We were only able to stay for a few speeches which had interesting data in terms of numbers and how much we make off arts advocacy license plates, but everything was pretty straightforward and what I already knew. It was interesting, however, to see things from a lobbying perspective rather than an educator's perspective. ...and I may have fallen asleep...

Oh, and Chris has his website up and I think it looks great! He got a new awesome lens that I'm in love with and now think my camera sucks. And I took this picture AND used manual focus! Woo!

Monday, March 5, 2007

comic

The comic in my last post (the new kid) is now taped up to my wall where people walk by, and it's just about at head level. I've gotten two laughs so far and I'm pretty sure nobody else has noticed.

Next week: homemade green St. Patty's cookies, and e-vite to everyone in the development department, and maybe green punch. Okay, just kidding. But I might make the cookies anyway because they sound yummy.

the new kid


I feel like the new kid in school. I was never the new kid in school. It sucks! Nobody's invited me to eat lunch with them and I feel awkward inviting myself, so I've been eating lunch alone. I know, how depressing.

On a much happier note, Chris helped me move everything out of the POD over the weekend. So everything's out of the POD and in the apartment (taking over a pretty big "corner"). Sunday we made waffles, bacon, and eggs for breakfast before going back to the apt to unpack the rest of the POD. Then Chris and I, and Chris' friend Brent, finished unpacking. We took Brent out to lunch (and I'm glad we did because we discovered an amazing pizza place with amazing pizza close to my soon-to-be apt).

Friday night I worked in the Founders Hall and Chris came with me and we got to sit in some really good seats. Between work and the concert we went to dinner at a great Mexican place with my soon-to-be roommate Melissa. Saturday night Chris and I went with Brent to a show downtown to see Emerson Hart. It was a great show and we had a good time. Last night Chris and I bought Breyer's Oreo (aka Cookies and Cream) ice cream and watched The Departed, which was really good.

Next weekend on Sunday hopefully I'll move in (and really unpack). We'll see. I'm really excited about moving because I'm pretty sure I'll be meeting new people, and I'm excited to get to know my soon-to-be roommates better because they're really cool.

Well, at least I can get a head start on all this stuff I have to follow up with, like new tracking spreadsheets to create and some researching to find out which sponsors are sponsoring which concerts. Hooray!

Friday, February 23, 2007

friday


It's finally Friday. I fell asleep in a meeting yesterday (awesome, I know). So last night I went to bed at like 10. I'm freaking exhausted. I know it's the commute and learning everything about a new job. Tomorrow I'm going to sleep in. But the job is going well, I feel like I'm learning a lot (and hopefully enough to do this job on my own when the other girl leaves). Luckily I've got another whole week with this girl for more training.


What I have to really learn is how to get around this building. It's so confusing and every hallway looks exactly the same. AND there are something like 7 half-floors. Not 7.5 floors, I really mean, like, 7 half-floors. I can go from the security entrance to my office and to the bathroom, but that's about it. I still haven't figured out how to get to the break room or the cafe. Luckily there's a fridge close by that I can use. My boss Susan suggested I get myself lost (not difficult), so I might do that after Erin's gone. We'll see.


Alright, time to work!
P.S. Grey's was awesome but I'm honestly a little bummed that Meredith lived. I would have liked to see how they would continue the show without her.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

day one


I know you want an update!

It went well. I'm exhausted. The commute is about an hour an 20 minutes. Boo. Everyone was extremely nice but I do have to admit it looks like a lot of extra hours I hadn't anticipated. But if the girl about to leave (whose job I'm taking over) absolutely loves it and has been there for 5 years, and everyone else I've talked to that works there loves it and everyone seems to get along and are about the same age and seem really nice, I'm sure the extra hours will be worth it.

I'd better see lots of concerts, though! =)

It wasn't too overwhelming, just as overwhelming as any first day at a job is, where you know absolutely nothing and have to learn everything. I'm really lucky (and glad) this girl is there to train me for a week and a half before I leave. I just hope I'll be able to stay afloat with the workload while still learning how everything goes. And hopefully it will take less than 8 months-1 year to feel comfortable with the job and be able to answer the phone with confidence. =)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

surprise!


Last night Chris and I went to B. B. King's to see this guy, Damien Horne, perform. It was a great show. The chick after Damien, however, had Dolly Parton sized you-know-whats, and had scary red hair and a really nasally voice.

After that Chris surprised me and took me to The Melting Pot, my favorite restaurant EVER. When the hostess seated us, there was even a long stemmed red rose waiting for me! I hadn't been to The Melting Pot in a couple years or so and the food is always amazing. Chris had never been before and he really liked it too.

It was such an awesome night (in spite of the scary red-haired singer)!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

facebook album of the move

here

welcome home


So I'm here in Tennessee. Yay! The move went well, the drive went well, no problems. The weather was great. We stopped in Harrisonburg and thought we'd be there for like an hour. I'm pretty sure we were there a few hours. It was really good, I know we're both glad we spent some time there.

We had lunch at Dave's Express. Mmmmmm, souvlaki!

We stopped for dinner at a Craker Barrel and it was delicious.

Also, it was our one-year anniversary the day I moved. How cool is that?! It was a great anniversary. =)

Everything's gone well since I've been here. We're going to try out the commute tomorrow morning and meet with a potential roommate. Don't get me wrong, I love Katie's house and Katie and Colleen are awesome girls, but it'd be nice to be a little closer to work.

Now it's time to go grocery shopping. Woo!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

music people rock


I was emailed this from one of our music association people that know I'm leaving...

Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell on the arts
Sunday's (2/4) Nashville Tennesssean includes a commentary by Mayor Bill Purcell. Purcell writes: "The arts speak to the soul of a city. Here in Nashville we know that, and we have known it for the past 200 years ... It is essential, however, for government to help make sure that this reputation flourishes and expands so that the arts can continue to play a central role in the life of our city ... Over past seven-and-a-half years, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission's grants budget has been increased by almost 50 percent ... With the cooperation of the council, Metro has been able to provide substantial support for the Schermerhorn Center, as well as planning dollars for the long-awaited Museum of African-American Music, Art and Culture ... It is vital for us to remember that it takes vigilance to make a city's cultural life prosper. It takes funding, of course, but it also takes an unswerving conviction that the arts are not merely a frill or an afterthought. They are a treasure. They are part of what makes our city great."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

the national office


I feel the need to make a quick post because I can copy/paste these kind words.

One of the best things about this job with NASM/NASAD/NAST/NASD is the people I get to work with. Especially the Associations' "big wigs." They're the directors of schools, deans, and presidents of colleges and universities. They're a million times busier and smarter than I am. Yet they still check up on me to find out which new car I bought and do I love it. I sent them an email to let them know I'm leaving and gave the contact of the incoming Accreditation Coordinator. And I've gotten so many kind farewells and good-lucks and well-wishes. My cup overflows.

"You are terrific! Where are you going next? I wish all good things as you take on your next adventure."

"I wish you the best, you have always been such a great colleague! I'll send you my new LSO disc when it is released on Naxos next year. Marin Alsop has scheduled the premiere of one of the works at Cabrillo this summer. Let's keep in touch, OK?"

"Please know that you will be missed."

"Congrats to you Adrienne, how exciting!
GOOD LUCK TO YOU.. THEY ARE LUCKY TO HAVE YOU."

"Ohhhhh, we'll miss you!"

"It has been great knowing you, and I hope that you have the really great life you deserve!"

"Where are you going?!"

"Yo, Adrienne! I'm going to miss being able to do that, and miss visiting with you in Reston. You are a charming dinner companion.

My very best to you in your future pursuits."

Monday, February 5, 2007

marine corps museum


I went with my parents to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico on Saturday. They have Phase 1 finished and will do Phase 2 after the "current era" is over around 2010. It's a bit of a drive but it's free. And amazing. I mean AMAZING. Each section has its own walk-through area (like you can go through the boot camp section, or World II section, or Vietnam, etc.). Each era also has its own experience-it-yourself thing. Like Boot Camp has a thing you can step inside to get yelled at by a drill instructor. There's also a general 10-15 minute movie about the Marine Corps.

My parents' church had an interim pastor for a year a few years ago and he was one of the directors. He gave us a general tour then sent us on our way to look at whatever we wanted to.

I was on the verge of tears the ENTIRE time. Even though my dad was in the Navy I felt like I could understand him a little better. And since I'd previously made an eye dr. appointment in Sterling before my parents invited me to go with them, we couldn't stay more than a couple hours. I could have spent at least 2 full days there. Joe (our past interim pastor) said there are 3 types of people that go through: the streakers, the strollers, and the students. The streakers go through the main corridor that has the general information and timeline and artifact type stuff and might go through one era and they will spend a couple hours at the museum. The strollers spend some time in a few eras and do some of the interactive stuff and will spend half a day or so there. The students will spend two full days and still feel like they didn't learn everything. So I'm the student.

We went through some of the boot camp section and I went inside the "female drill instructor" dome/room thing. Freaky! It's all in surround sound and it sounds like the instructor is walking back and forth behind you and yelling at you.

We also went through the Vietnam section. The interactive thing was that you walked through the back of an H-46 and that's the type of helicopter my dad flew. So he showed me a bunch of the buttons and cords and hoses as we walked through. When you walk through, it's warmer and there's wind from the helicopter rotors. They have guys wounded, a guy dead under a tarp, gunfire sounds and lights, and real sandbags. Real Marines modeled for all the mannequins so everything looks real. Joe told us everything is historically correct and with the correct ambiance to show people what it was really like for the marines but not gory enough to give kids nightmares or veterans flashbacks. Dad seemed to do well and he really liked talking about everything, and pointing out people on the wall of honor that he knew or fought alongside (again, even though he was in the Navy).

I highly recommend everyone check the place out. FREE ADMISSION. FREE AUDIO TOURS. It's definitely 100% a must-see for anyone who has or had relatives or close friends in the military regardless of whether they were in the Marine Corps or any other branch.

super bowl bash

I fell asleep during the 4th quarter. I'm such a party girl.

Mom walked me through the house making sure that I get everything I want. She even offered furniture. I'm not quite sure she understands this is when I'm trying to downsize the amount I have to pack, not add stuff.

I ordered new glasses yesterday at Costco and am VERY excited to get them. Of course, Mom will pick them up and mail them to me then I'll have to get them fitted because, of course, one of my ears is higher on my head than the other.

Really, I don't have any more exciting news. I met up with Amanda, my little sister (sorority) for lunch on Sunday and had a great time.

How often are you supposed to change your car battery??

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

rizza

I'm going to miss this dog, even though she smells bad (because I'm pretty sure she hasn't been bathed in a couple years) and ate my packing tape yesterday.

Oh... and I'll miss my friends and family too!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

fine! i'll make a new post!

So I've been told by a couple people to post again. So here goes.

I decided to change my (engine) air filter myself. I had the part and watched Dad do it last time (when I bought the last one from Wal-Mart and they had the wrong part listed and we did everything to replace the air filter and took the old one out and realized the new one was the wrong size). So, I got my tools out, took off the battery cover and duct cover (and didn't lose the screw like Dad did last time), unclamped the air filter cover, got the old filter out, put the new filter in.... and the clamps wouldn't clamp closed. Something wasn't allowing the cover to close all the way. Crap. So I called Dad and he pretty much told me I couldn't do anything until he got there (where I was working on my car in the parking lot in front of the townhouse I live in). So I waited for him for like 45 minutes. In the meantime I went inside to ask my roommate Sean if he happened to know anything about replacing engine air filters. The girl visiting for the weekend said, "is that, like, for a car?" Pause. Okay. I know girls don't know that much about cars (usually). But.... really? I was nice and just said, "yes, for my car." Yikes!

So Sean came out to my car (with cigarette in hand/mouth and the whole time I thought, "Don't get ashes on my car, and if my car smells like smoke I'm gonna be pissed"). And he tried everything. He said he doesn't know much about cars but he does know how to replace an air filter. Neither of us could get the clamps to clamp without being worried we were going to bend/break a clamp. So I thanked him and waited for Dad.

Conclusion to the air filter drama: 1) I need a tool like Dan has that's a long skinny pointer thing and has a magnet on the end to get clamps that I drop onto the oil pan/air buffer. 2) Some filters have too much rubber around the top and keep air filter covers from clamping closed. 3) If your car has 4 metal clamps to keep the air filter closed, you don't need them all, especially onces that fall off and you can't figure out how to put back on again. 4) If your air filter cover won't close all the way, have one person put as much of their weight on it as possible as another person forces clamps closed.

Today's car issue: tire rotation and alignment. My best friend is NTB (and Dad's membership discount). They did it all, I brought a sandwich and a banana and a book and the waiting was painless, I'm good for the next 3 years (or I should say future alignments/rotations are free for the next 3 years), and whichever NTB employee drove my car into the shop is a smoker. Gah. At least I have an (almost equally overbearing smelling) car freshener. It's one of those packets of smelly beads you put under one of the seats and your car reeks of plasticy blue nondescript odor. I should have just bought the more expensive Yankee Candle Clean Cotton rear view mirror hanging deals. Clean Cotton is my FAVORITE.

On a completely different note, I went to Sweetwater with Dan and Lisa. Congrats to Dan and his new exciting job! And I had a great time and will miss the two of them, among others, a whole lot.

Also on a completely different note, I've been as calm about the whole "unknown" factor about moving to Nashville. I have a place to live with a great friend but it's a long commute to downtown Nashville, so I've also been looking for other places closer to the city. I actually put an ad on craigslist (and got at least 20 responses). One caught my attention, from a chica looking for a roommate for July or August. Not exactly within the 30 days I have to use the pod I'm renting, but I kept reading. Her roommate's getting married then and so she knows she'll need a roommate around then. It sounds like she's got a great place. And we've been in touch a lot and she seems uber cool and down to earth. So I'll meet her and see the place sometime during the first week I'm in Nashville (before I start my job with the Symphony). And we've decided even if I don't like or want to live in the place, we get along well and should hang out. So, it turns out the apartment has a study (bigger than my current room!), and she's willing to rent it out for cheap until her roommate moves then the person who moves into the study can move into the 2nd bedroom. Awesome! So I'm pretty stoked about it. Of course I'm keeping myself in reality check mode and know it might not work out. But it might! And it's a great opportunity anyway. I could move there at the end of February and still be within my 30 days with the pod. I'd live a lot closer to work and closer to downtown. And it seems like a really cool place. And I've made a new friend! So really, no losing situation and I'm really happy about it.

Everything with moving to Nashville is going really well, a couple hiccups here and there but there have been so many wonderful things like getting this job with the Nashville Symphony, Chris getting a great internship with Provident Music Group, having a great place to live (even though it's a little bit away from downtown) with some great friends, and a few other things. I'm just so excited (and sad to leave my family and friends here). I know this is God's awesome plan for me and that I've got a lot more blessings to look forward to.

And THAT is my novel post.

Monday, January 22, 2007

there are certain people you just keep coming back to. she is right in front of you.

This song, "All At Once" by The Fray came on my iPod. Chris had me listen to the song when we started talking (after not being in contact for a year) and before we started dating. It's a good song. =)

I can't believe I'm moving soon. I still feel like it hasn't hit me yet. I'm sure when it does I'll be even more freaked out and excited.

That's all.

snow

I love the snow even though I'm not a huge cold weather fan. What I don't love is the SUV drivers who think it's okay to tailgate cautious drivers who are already going the speed limit. GAH.

Friday, January 19, 2007

jeans

We got to wear jeans to work today! We NEVER get to wear jeans! And they bought us pizza for lunch. It was awesome. We spent the day cleaning out our offices. I found a binder with my job description, master schedule, and how to do everything. It was last updated in 1998. HAH! The girl before me didn't even know about it.

I also found a valentine's day pez dispenser, pink pez, and a felt snowman ornament.

Yikes.

P.S. My boyfriend is totally completely awesome and is scoping places out for me (apts).

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

the other boss

So I talked to my other boss (aka The Boss... aka Sam) about leaving and my last day and everything. Such a great guy. He's not happy to see me leave but he'll be happy to do anything he can to help me out. I'll miss him, he's a great boss.

But, onto bigger and better. Or something like that. I'm just really super excited about Nashville. Now, if I can find a place with less than an hour commute in my price range, I'll be happy! Don't get me wrong, a friend has offered to let me live with her for a good price but it'll be a looong commute, and since the Symphony has offered to pay a certain amount of my moving expenses, I'd like to only move once and have it all paid for. I'm so lucky to have such a great boyfriend who is willing to go check places out for me!

If you know of anybody looking for a roommate near Nashville, lemme know! =)