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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ode to Ashwood & My New Abode

Let me start by apologizing for my brief hiatus. I overestimated the power of the internet gods and their ability to get to me quickly in my new house. I FINALLY have everything up and running over here in Crieve Hall, and I am loving it!

I fully intend on filling you all in on my first week adventures of living alone in my new house. And OKAY--I'll post some pictures soon, but FIRST, I must bid a proper farewell to the "Big house on Ashwood" and it's many, many inhabitants and memories.

Heidi, Shelly, Yennie, Lanie, Melissa, Jonathan, Matt Dobson, Nathan Burns, Zach Davis, Zach Watson, Will White, and David Hefley... to name a few... We sure had a good time, didn't we? A-- no shower Saturdayin', Spring Breakin' at the Red Door 2009, porch dancin', dog losin', wine drinkin', Sportsmans walkin', crib paitin', bluegrass listenin', Steeplechase after-partyin', ceiling cavin' in, everyone knows where our hide-a-key is and they're not afraid to use it-- good time! Did I mention the cRaZy sleep-walkin' ex-marine? Hahahahha-- okay, well-- now I just did.

Shelly--have we really only lived together ONE year? Seems like WAY longer, my friend. I guess it could have been the 2 and 1/2 yrs spent at The Compound. Too bad I didn't have a blog then... Boy, if that fence could talk! I sure am glad we both decided to go that Super T concert back in 2003. Nashville nightlife has never been the same, and neither has mine. Not sure what I'll do with you not living 20 ft away from me anymore. Guess we'll just have to talk on the phone a lot. I'm sure glad we didn't die in that wreck after the John Prine Concert by the way.

Heidi, my love! I'm so glad I had the chance to live with you this past year. I love your "big Texas hair" and all of our porch chats, and raiding your closet(s), and listening to your infectious laugh! No one says it better than Toby Keith if you ask me:
HEIDI ! She's a HEIDI !!! Got a smokin' little body !
String bikini and a barbed-wire tat
She's a rockin' that cowboy hat!
HEIDI ! She's a HEIDI !!! and just a little bit naughty !
Kayay digidigy, Kayay digidigy, yey HEY hey hey HEY ...

Ahahahahaaha. That just never gets old. Really :)
Love you. Mean it!

Yennie-- my Crazian friend. I loved living upstairs in the sorority house with you! We miss you a ton but know California was the adventure your SOUL was yearning for. That Matt Dobson is a lucky guy! Thanks for being so good with "gadgets"... ... and for only cooking that wretched fish ONCE.

Okay-- that takes care of my mates. I'll fill you all in on my new house-- briefly-- because it is currently 3:43am.

So far, I like it. And I haven't even had a cable or internet for a week, so that's really saying something, don't you think? There's never a "line" to use the washer and dryer; I get to park where everI want; Nothing I was really craving has disappeared from the fridge yet, AND I get to walk around naked! What's not to love?!

Oh-- except these abominable crickets that I keep finding everywhere! FOUR of them to be exact... and counting. Also-- I had an alarm system put in at the insistence of several of my male friends. I'm not a scaredy cat. Not even close. And I'm glad. Although-- I think it's possible to be a little extreme on both ends of the spectrum.

Last night, for instance-- the wind was really bad. I woke up around 4:30 and it sounded EXACTLY like someone was in my house. I literally thought-- I'm too tired to get up... I sure hope they don't kill me. Dear Lord, I'm so tired. Please don't let them kill me." And then just like that... I was snoozin' again. I know what you all are thinking, and hey-- there very well may be something wrong with me. But at least I'm not losing sleep over it, right?

Here's to the weekend! I hope yall have a great one.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Wisdom---and a Whole Lot of Fun














As I sit here typing... I should be packing. Correction-- I should be cleaning out my closet because there is no way I can take everything I've accumulated this year to my new house. Moving day is set for Nov. 30th and there is SO MUCH TO DO between now and then. I'm really good at procrastination, however, (i.e. this blog entry you're reading), and I work best under pressure, so no worries, people! At least not yet...

I had a fabulous weekend in Gulfport, Mississippi celebrating the nuptials of my girlfriend, Morgan, from college. Lots of people from the coast go to Mississippi State, so I've had several friends from there for a long time--but let me tell you about my newest one--- MiMi Martin! She is my friend Caroline's 82-year-old grandmother. Beautiful, smart, generous, hilarious, and awesome-- She offered to take us to brunch at the new yacht club on Saturday. I was weary of the idea at first because "brunch" always implies waking up and dressing up at what I usually think of as way too early in the morning. But as it turned out-- Caroline and I are perfect roommates, since neither of us are capable of sleeping in past 6am anymore. I think this could be another side effect of turning 30... but I am secretly still hoping it is just a phase and will pass.

Anyway-- we met MiMi at 10am and she was already two Bloody Mary's deep. Caroline and I ordered mimosas in an effort to catch up, and the next couple of hours we spent chatting. We heard stories of Hurricane Camille's destruction in 1969. The things she saw, the things they endured, how it compared to the devastation of Katrina. Stories of parties from Yacht Clubs past and how at one point, because of all the storms, the "club" was nothing but a single-wide trailer and the four couples in town still willing to pay dues, and how they would play cards and drink cocktails just like before--unaware, at least for a little while, of mother nature's depredation all around them. She talked about her husband of 55 years, Earnest, who passed away nearly 5 years ago. The children they raised, the love they shared... She said things like "summa" and "motha" and "Suga" and I loved it. But she also wanted to know all about the wedding and who would be there. If there would be any attractive young men there for us to dance with, and all the men she would love to set Caroline up with--- grandsons of all her other friends who are also 30 and single but scattered throughout the U.S making it nearly impossible for them to meet. "If only we could get them together," MiMi said. "I'm just SURE they would fall in love with each other." Hahahahaaha.

See--this is what I love about being a Southern, adult woman. You can put two or three of us in a room, anywhere, at any age, any stage of life, and chances are we are going to bond over the same things: Alcohol, men, and laughter. It is a strange and wonderful thing.

After brunch, Caroline and I had enough time to go back to our hotel and nap (those mimosas had done their job) and shower in time for the reception. We picked MiMi up as she was also invited. I complimented the way she was wearing her hair, because I was pretty sure it was different than it had been at brunch. She said, "Thanks, suga, I cut it myself. It wouldn't do right so I just cut it mySELF." Hahaha-awesome.

We got a history lesson on the whole ride over to the reception site in Pass Christian. Stories of all the old buildings that still remained and how they were used during "the war." We danced and drank and had a big time all night, and when we took her home she invited us in to see her paintings. MiMi has apparently taken up painting in the past two years and is actually really good! "Never too old to learn a new skill," she said.

When we left, I gave her a hug, relatively sure I'd never see her again-- but definitively sure that I wanted to be just like her when I am 82. It is absolutely possible to rock at any age, and I fully intend on it! Here's to MiMi Martin and her utter awesomeness. I'm so glad I got the chance to meet you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

CMA's & Birthdays

CMA's & Birthdays

Okay, so I am not going to lie. I'm not a huge fan of country music anymore. I know this comes as a shock to a lot of you readers... okay, well, all 7 of you... but the stuff they are playing on country radio and selling on music row right now stinks, and I hate it. The vast majority of it at least.

The stuff of the early 90's... Suzy Boggus, Vince Gill, Sammy Kershaw, Kathy Mattea, Garth Brooks, Tricia Yearwood (before the nuptials), Alan Jackson, Dan Seals, Johnny Lee, Keith Whitley, Allison Kraus, Mary Chapin Carpenter... etc, etc, etc. Those were the singers and the songs that made me want to move to Nashville and be a country music singer. I was 12 years old, and I said it loud and I said it proud for everyone to hear because that music MOVED me. I felt it in my SOUL. I didn't care what other people thought about it OR me because I was passionate about it, and I believed in what they were singing!!! Man, I get excited just thinking about it!

...This just is not the case today. Now it's all one hit wonder beauty queens who can hardly sing and men in graphic tee's who straighten their hair. They all probably spend more time in the gym than they do on their music. At least it SOUNDS that way. In late 2005, a song called Honkey-Tonk Ba Donka Donk actually made it to number 2 on the country charts. That's about the time I gave up on it.

I could go on and on and on about this subject but in the interest of staying on today's topic at hand, let's talk about the CMA's shall we?

I was multi-tasking, so I can't say that I watched it ALL, but I did see at least 75% and I can tell you one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: Award shows.................Make. Me. AWKWARD.

OH MY WORD, it is excruciating to have to sit there and watch these people who ARE NOT ACTORS try to get up there and be funny, or serious or sincere, or sarcastic or what have you. The whole time--all I can think about is how mortified they are going to be when they watch this play back on their DVR! I mean-- seriously-- I can't be the only one who is thinking this! Stresses me out. A couple of things-- and then let's move on:

Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland): Is your accent for REAL? I mean--where exactly are you FROM?! I'm sure there is a voice coach or image consultant you could meet with before the next big awards show... And WHAT WERE YOU THINKING asking Brooks & Dunn to get on stage and speak when you had just won THEIR award? Hahahahaha. Oh, it was just so awkward I have to laugh to keep from CRYING! Ahahahaha.

Taylor Swift: Sweetie, were you really THAT surprised EVERY time they called your name up there? Really? Okay, well, I guess that explains why you didn't take the time to put any forethought into what you were going to say IF in fact you did win an award... or FOUR. Seriously, if you are in need of a good publicist, I know some people. You made me really really really awkward with that whole "reading my diary" speech. Let's work on this for next year. I think you are a talented writer, a mediocre singer, and a good role model for all of your adoring tweenager fans out there... Let's just work on our delivery a bit, okay? Okay.

Carrie Underwood: You are really really pretty.

Okay, I'm done. That's about it for the CMA's. Oh, accept I did want to mention that I currently like that Tim McGraw song that talks about Apalachicola... so I guess there are exceptions to every rule... and hope for country music?... ... Jury is still out, but I'm not holding my breath.

I haven't left my roots THAT far behind, for any of you wondering what I do listen to nowadays. I am constantly finding/hearing new awesome bands on our local Nashville Station, Lightning 100, and basically love anything that involves a banjo, harmonica, piano, mandolin, or horn! Rockabilly, bluegrass, folk, acoustic sounding music or a combination of any of the above really seeps into my soul. I still love lyrics more than anything though and that's why ba donka donk's and big green tractors just don't do it for me anymore.

*Artists to google and learn and love, for example would be:
The Avett Brothers
Todd Snider
Conner Oberst
Nick Pagliari
Chris Milam
Kings of Leon

...That's just to name a few....

Okay, so... I turned 29 yesterday! I know that some people think birthdays are depressing but I can't for the life of me figure out WHY?! Who doesn't love a BIRTHDAY?! People come out of the WOODWORK to wish you well and it is always so fun to see who forgets and who remembers, and which medium they will use to inform you of the recognition of your birth: Facebook, email, phone call, text message, e-card, or the very archaic birthday note delivery by way of the US Postal Service-- So exciting! I am blessed beyond belief to have so many caring and amazing friends who wished me well yesterday. One of my friends, Holly, who is *slightly* older, said to me: "each year just gets better and better", and I really, truly believe that. I wouldn't go backward at all (unless we're talking about time traveling--because THAT I would totally do). But, I am learning so much about myself with every new day and each year that passes. What I want. What I can't have. What I will tolerate. What I cannot. Who my real friends are and why. I love a God who I can turn to when I am hopeless, hurting, lonely, happy, excited, doubtful, or scared, and he loves me back, always. I have my health, hope, faith, friends, and a future in Christ, and I can't WAIT to see what my 29th year brings with it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Life vs. The Movies

My friends have been telling me for years that I should write a book about my ridiculous encounters with the opposite sex. Some people call these dates, but I'm not really sure I'm comfortable with this term. Sounds so formal. I think that because dating has changed so much with my generation (and younger) -- that they probably should just change the name too. Call it something like text messaging, or facebooking, or gchatting.

I thought I'd post a few blog entries on the subject... see how it goes. I honestly don't think I care to remember a whole book's worth of failed prospective relationships, but a few of these stand out in my mind as being insanely excruciating to live through, and those are likely the ones you'll read about here. In an effort to not sound braggadocious, (don't you just love that word, and the opportunity to use it?). Anyway--in an effort to not sound braggadocious, I feel I need to clarify that it's not like guys are asking me out ALL the time or anything-- but I AM like 30 yrs old and not really a long-term relationship kind of girl, so they tend to add up!

Chapter 1:
Samson
My girlfriends and I often find ourselves in a situations where we'd like to respond a certain way and then we have to stop each other and say: "Um...you DO realize this is real life.. right? Not a movie."

This is particularly true when dealing with a new romantic interest and his initial advances. I mean-- sometimes it works---- for instance, I was at a local bar about a year and a half ago when a cute, young guy walked over to me and two of my girlfriends and introduced himself as Samson. I immediately held out my hand and said, "Ha! Really?-- my name is Delilah." And he's like-- "no way, are you serious?" And I'm all, "Dead serious." My friends, don't say anything to the contrary, of course, because 1. They are awesome and 2. I do stuff like this all the time.

He asked me to dance and the rest was history. Okay, well, not "history" exactly, because we dated for the next two months, and then I broke up with him, but you get the point... Movie-esque beginning. Just not the same fairytale ending. I did end up telling him my real name, by the way. But it was after he'd bought me several cocktails.

He got my number that night and put me and my friends in a cab, then texted me a couple of days later after stalking my facebook page, asked if I wanted to "grab dinner or something." A couple of dinners, one movie, and about ONE THOUSAND text messages later, I decided it was okay if he met my friends. And this, per the usual--- is where things started to go down hill. In my experience, if there aren't already a ton of red flags popping up in the initial stages of a relationship-- you can bet they start once you introduce him to your friends.

Red Flag #1. He wasn't nice to them! Um... you think I'm kidding but he really really wasn't nice to them. Already having met Lanie and Melissa (my two accomplices at the bar), it was like he deemed this as entitlement to act like a huge jackass to them. Poking fun, mimicking their voices, judging their significant others/crushes--- that sort of thing. It wasn't just them either. It was everyone. We'd never encountered this before. What happened to kissing all of my friends arsses for at LEAST the first 3 months? I mean-- he was kidding, of course... It just wasn't funny.

Red Flag #2. This kid mumbled. Not in front of me, mind you, only in front of my friends. Someone would ask him a question and he'd vocalize something that sounded a whole lot like he had rocks in his mouth. It drove me nuts. Couldn't handle it.

Red Flag #3. He didn't like his momma. Whaaaaaaaat?! I mean-- whaaaaaaat?! I probably should have bailed right there! But I didn't.

THIS is how I bailed:
I've got a friend who keeps his boat out on one of the lakes in Nashville. Several of us went out one Sunday, and I invited Samson. He couldn't come for the whole time because of some family being in town, but he could meet us at the dock around 4pm if that was okay. I said that was fine and had an awesome time.... until HE got there.

First of all, he didn't wear a swimsuit. WHAAAT? Who comes to the lake without swimsuit? I mean, WHAT did he think he was??-- an overweight adolescent girl?!

Second of all, he was getting on my nerves! I can't explain why exactly... just a culmination of all of the above...and the MUMBLING. Arrrrgh.

So, what did I do? The mature thing, of course. I jumped in the lake, went under water and never came back up. I literally just did the dead man's float for about 2 and 1/2 hours out there until it was time to go. He couldn't do much about it, after all. He didn't even have a swimsuit!

A somewhat anti-climatic ending to such strong start, I thought. But hey--one awkward text message later, and I was free. I thought of it sort of like Karma. Not EVERY movie can have a happy ending. That, my friends, is why it's called real life!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First Time for Everything

So, here's the deal. I've written a lot of things in my life. I wrote a poem about Betsy Ross when I was eight (it was actually published in our local newspaper, even though I'm pretty sure my dad may have paid for the add space where it was printed). I began journaling when I was 11. I started writing and recording songs at age, 14 and that continued throughout high school and college and my early twenty-something years. It was also around that same time that I started writing a novel. It's about a woman, a Southern woman. She's in her 20's. She is single. She loves music and men and novels and money and Jesus. But it's not an autobiography. I PROMISE. I feel my best work, however, comes from what I've known, what I've lived, to some degree. I CAN tell you though, that I've also got a hell of an imagination. And where what I "know" leaves out some of the details, what I can imagine fills in the gaps with wild and reckless abandon! :) So you see, the book, is mostly fiction.... mostly. I've also started a children's book. My dear friend Emily has agreed to illustrate it if I can ever finish. So here's hoping.

My point in telling you all this is that I've always had an outlet for my thoughts and feelings. For a multitude of different reasons, I don't have that anymore. It's like the creative juices in my mind have stopped. They just stopped. I haven't cared enough about a man to write a melody down about him in almost two years (sad story). I don't have time to journal, and let's face it, what if somebody FOUND that thing? I don't have time for the embarrassment. I'm 30 years old! Journaling just seems ridiculous. I'm at a dead end with what to do with Leah (the heroine in my book) and I am unable to finish the story of the precocious pair of puppy dogs, lovingly and familiarly named, the Cupcake Darlings on what is meant to be their first of many adventures in and around the Mississippi Delta (my children's book). Soooo... I'm going to try this blogging thing!

My Facebook friends can thank me later because unlike SOME OF THEM (who shall remain nameless) I am not posting these thoughts on my page, clogging up their feed, and annoying the STEW out of them. I'm not vein enough to think that all 678 of my fb friends care what I'm doing, thinking, or feeling on a daily basis. And honestly, this blog is more for me than anyone else. So, starting now, from time to time... I'll post things. Random things. Silly things. Funny things. Sad things. Thought provoking things. Inspiring things. Genuine things. Honest things. Things about me. Things about the world in which I live. If you'd like to tune in, GREAT! If not, that's okay too.

Maybe... eventually... I'll be able to write another song, or start back on that novel, or finish that children's book.

*Things that may be helpful to know about me (if you don't already):

*I am insanely competitive. Possibly to an unhealthy degree. I'm not sure I was cut out for team sports. And... oddly enough-- I think it's getting worse with age. Maybe it's because I used to be naturally good at things and now it seems to involve a lot more effort.

*I grew up in a very strict, ultra conservative, right-wing Republican, Presbyterian home. I was lucky. I'm not complaining. My folks are great. It's a weird thing though, you know-- having your own thoughts. It's like you grow up to be like, age 30, and realize that your parents weren't right about everything. That I can have my own opinions about things, that I can say the words like "damn" and nothing bad is going to happen to me... (at least not right away)... Ha!

*Anyway-- oh yea, I have a precious baby niece, Lilly Whit, with whom I am slightly obsessed. However, in an effort not to bore you to tears, I will try and keep my comments/photos/stories about her to a minimum. I mean-- I like kids-- ESPECIALLY babies-- but I'm no dummy. NO ONE cares about hearing baby stories unless they actually played a part in creating the offspring in the aforementioned comment/photo/or story. Unless maybe you're a weird aunt who's like 30 years old...
I'd like to tell the Facebook god's this. I think there should be a limit on the amount of pictures/comments/status updates that one gets to post about their baby per week. There should be a really loud buzzer that goes off once you've reached photo number 5....or status update number 5. And then a woman's voice would come through your computer speaker and says: "I'm sorry, you've reached your limit of posts about your offspring for the week. Please talk about something else!"

*I'm not really 30. I'm 28, but ever since I turned 26 my "go to line," when I need to justify any decision or rationalize any behavior I may exhibit, I just say. "__________________, I'm 30 years old!" You can fill in the blank with just about ANYTHING, and it works.

*For instance, I just bought a new house. I bought it. That's right. Me. My money. Mine. And, starting in Jan. I'm getting a co-ed roommate. My mother was all, "Myra--you are going to be living with a BOY?! I don't know how I feel about that." And my response was, "Momma-- co-ed roommates are the newest, hippest thing! Everyone's getting one!" And when that didn't appease her, I said, "Besides, I'm 30 years old!"