The Good Life

"It's been a year or two since I was out on the floor
Shakin' booty, makin' sweet love all the night
It's time I got back to the good life
It's time I got back, it's time I got back
'n I don't even know how I got off the track"

I've been working on a new mix cd and rediscovered this track. What a great song and totally makes me want to rock out, dance and laugh all at the same time!


The Orange

I've been reading quite a bit as of late. I've picked up books again that I’ve tried several times to complete with no avail. And I’ve feverishly rediscovered books that I had trouble putting down after my first passing.

An old friend and I have even been engaging in something I haven't tackled since college – a literary dialogue. It’s been really refreshing to become infused with ideas from new authors.

Below is a poem I found last week by Wendy Cope that really pulled me in...

The Orange
by Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave -
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park
This is peace and contentment. It's new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all my jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I'm glad I exist.

© Wendy Cope (1992), Serious Concerns


Matriarch’ s Mission

Normally I spend the season doing some holiday shopping for my family, friends & co-workers. But for the second year in a row, my friends and I decided against the purchase of presents for each other in lieu of buying gifts for a Salvation Army Angel Tree recipient.

This year we purchased gifts for a 4-year old little girl who really wanted a Bratz doll, Dora the Explorer, learning toys and some clothes. So the Matriarch’s set out last night to do a spot of shopping. We got everything on the list and we hope the little girl enjoys the holiday presents as much as we took pleasure in shopping for them. It was pretty amusing to watch us debate the pros & cons of each item, like we were purchasing them for ourselves.

There was major discussion about fun vs. educational toys. And then again heated conversation over clothes, specifically in regards to socks – to purchase ankle or low cut... But beyond all the dialogue over material items, what made a lasting impression on me was observing all the other folks in the store shopping for Angel Tree gifts too.

One couple specifically we met last evening have been purchasing Angel Tree gifts for children over the years. They started it as family project with their kids, but now as empty nesters continue to come out and select kids & presents for the Angel Tree. Hearing them speak of the joy we bring to people we never meet made me feel very full of hope.

By the end of evening I was filled with happiness and laughter as I walked away with my friends.


Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU!

I really miss Lawrence in the fall...

And at the start of another KU basketball season...



"But what do I know
What do I know?
I know"


WEVL Radio

Keep Memphis own volunteer radio station alive and kicking, by pledging a few extra dollars this week.

WEVL's Mission: To entertain and inform its audience through diverse music programming with an emphasis on the culture of Memphis and the South.

So skip the movies or cut out the caffeine for a week or two. Tune into a WEVL broadcast, come on - I dare you! You might actually encounter a new song, sound or show that really awakens something inside you.


I wish I was like you, easily amused...

Maybe Kurt Cobain was right, I'm easily amused. Even though I've been tossing and turning as of late, I'm constantly reminded how simple gestures can turn an overcast day around. I'm learning to take these lessons in day-by-day.

Case in point - I arrived to find some fun snacks at my desk this morning!

It was a simple and kind. And exactly the little lift I needed for a Monday. But it's not just the sweet treats that made me smile.

The true reason I’m so easily amused this morning is that no matter how hard I fight it; people are always teaching me new lessons. And it’s nice to rediscover ways to connect, listen and act selflessly.


Birdhouse In Your Soul

They Might Be Giants put on an AMAZING concert last night at Newby's. It was eccentric, exhilarating and ended at a reasonable hour. All the things you want in good concert. Plus as added bonus when they played one of my favorite tunes:

TMBG Rocking IT Old School!

LG, Amanada, Andi & SPE enjoying the concert. Guess who was hiding behind the camera again?!?


Running on Empty

I think I may finally be running on empty. The past few days have felt like a marathon. Between changing time zones, coordinating travel plans and well work, I'm do for a little rest & relaxation. Not to say it's all bad, but I definitely feel a bit drained by events. Here are some of my highlights from my packed week thus far:

*Listening to the new Radiohead album. Definitely some good stuff, at a price of your choosing!

*Waking up and enjoying some Blueberry Pancakes and freshly squeezed OJ in a new city.
*Stories of inspirations told by a stranger.

*Chatting up DeShaun Foster while overseeing an event opening in Charlotte.
*Greetings of a friendly face(s) when you are at the airport.

*Bonding with my co-workers over Halloween (seriously our area rocked the house).*Candy Wars

*Learning more about people by the music they select.

*Pure joy of kids smiling while trick-or-treating!

Hope your day was filled more with treats then tricks! So for now, I wish you all a Happy Halloween and good night as I try to refuel.


Professional Hipsters

Tonight I left my corporate shadow behind; as I headed downtown with a friend to become what I know will deem a professional hipster. What's a professional hipster you might ask? Well it might seem like a rare breed to see in action in the Memphis area. Truth be told a sighting might not be that far off if you go to the right venue 'round town.

But let's breakdown what the definition of Professional Hipster might be:

Professional: can be either a person in a profession (certain types of skilled work requiring formal training/education) or in sports (a sportsman/sportwoman doing sports for payment).

Hipsters: are typically associated most closely with a love of "alternative" art and performance, particularly music. They are commonly perceived to be devout fans of indie or independent rock and/or independent film. Hipsters may also enjoy or create DIY crafts, and enjoy any or all forms of fine art including conceptual or performance art. Contemporary hipsters are sometimes associated with leftist or liberal social and political views, a general appreciation of intellectual pursuits, and an ironic appreciation of lowbrow or lower class culture and subculture.

In this case the Professional Hipsters group consisted of 1 Pilot, 1 Manager, 1 Fundraiser, 1 Beat Writer, 1 School Administrator, 1 Engineer, 1 Ad Man and sprinkling of Marketing Gurus (like me) for good measure. Once you've got a core team of professional hipsters established you just need to appoint a social chair to dictate the events for the night. Toss in some Alt-rock music, adult libations and downtown locale to the schedule and you're good to go!

Ok, I wish I could take credit for outing, but I was just a participant. The truth is the man (in this instance WOMAN) behind the plan was my co-worker Janet from Janet's Planet on WEVL 89.9.

She's like the Encyclopedia of Music and the Yellow Pages all rolled into one. She's definitely a professional hipster and was able to gather an eclectic group of us to catch the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It was a killer show and I recommend you give them a spin if you get a chance.

It was an evening full of professional hipsters gearing up for a weekend of River Arts Fest and Voodoo Musicfest 2007 in New Orleans. Hopefully you can find something to entice you palate for this weekend...


Blimey Limey Tuesday

What a terrible way to start a Tuesday…I walked out the door with just a light rain coat, but was greeted by a misty rain. The gloom and wintry type of chill alone stopped me in my tracks. Today’s weather seemed so foreign to me since I haven’t seen a rainy, cold fog in what feels like well over a year. Feeling quite stupid for not consulting the Action News 5, Doppler weather forecast or the internet I returned into my house to fetch a warm fleece. This day was already off to a rotten start.

By the time I rolled into the office I was cold, cranky and a bit damp. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to shake the funk. But when I arrived at my desk a stack of 10 new music CDs greeted me! Yippee!!!

A co-worker had left me some new tunes to check out in preparation for a concert. My frown started to melt slightly.

Next, I headed off to a morning meeting and it ended early. Bonus!!!

And finally another co-worker stopped by my cube to drop me off a mid-morning Blimey Limey treat. Yummy!!!

At this point I realized it was futile for me to continue along my mopey path. I went out to lunch with the boys from work. I spent the afternoon smiling and laughing. Heck, I may even decide to splash in some puddles as I leave the office tonight.

Moral of the Story – Even when the cold wet rain falls on you, try to capture a few rays of sunshine. It might even turn into a bit of happiness! What made you happy today?


Indie Memphis & a slew of new music

Tonight I went to the 2007 Indie Memphis film festival. I had every intention of going to preview The Central Standards new music video "Cosmic Hole" and then jetting off to another function. However when I got there I quickly realized the premiere included all the videos submitted to the film festival this year. So I sat back and was introduced to a slew of new music. Some of which I enjoyed (see below) and others I truly could live without hearing or seeing again (that's right Mr. White - please stay in Leipzig, Germany). Anyway below was one of the new bands I was introduced to via music video stimulation tonight. I'm pleased to introduce the music stylings of the Chess Club.


Watch out for that first step

Wednesday I participated in a team building activity for work. It was a great way to mingle with work peeps outside of the normal daily grind. We traveled to a ranch where we participated all morning in smaller team leadership activities. Then we broke for lunch. Here I am mixing it up with members of the opposing teams:

After lunch the entire group did a team building activity, before heading over to the zip line and climbing wall for a bit of fun. Below is a step-by-step of how I ventured off a tower onto the zip line. Word of caution to those of you unfamiliar with the zip line - Watch out for that first step, it's a doozy!

Step 1 - Strategically climb a tower, have the guide clip you into the zip line and gaze out on the horizon...

Step 2 - Look down below about 60+ feet and decide that a sane individual probably would choose to take the stairs back down...Start to panic!

Step 3 - Take a leap of faith and hope the line will hold. Attempt to look cool while jumping, even if you're scared silly!

Step 4 - Loosen up as you free fall. Now you can start to crack a smile. Maybe this isn't so bad after all...

Step 5 - Laugh as you swing through the air with the greatest of ease. You've survived yet another challenge. Now it's time to prepare for running landing!

Overall, it was an excellent day and I was glad to participate in all the activities. It was a great way to get to know my team better and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. If you get a chance to take the leap, definitely try it out, it’s worth risk!


Free Hugs Campaign

The Free Hugs Campaign may be old news to some of you, but it's new to me! I came across the video after a strong recommendation by the check-out girl at Wild Oats. Hope you enjoy and make sure to give someone a hug afterwards...


3-day Caring Marathon

I do enjoy volunteering around the city, but I’m thinking I may have taken it to an EXTREME this weekend. Please don’t start picturing me a Saint Rach or a Girl Scout, because clearly I spend loads of time and energy on personal pursuits/gains. And usually my volunteer events are spread out every few weeks.

Here is a quick recap of events from Friday to Sunday -

*Team building “Day of Caring” through a United Way agency called the Diocese of Memphis Housing Department down to the Cleveland & Jackson location, I knew this wouldn’t be a typical day. We entered a worn building in need of some freshening up. My work group with a team of other corporate citizens spent the day bonding over the numerous fences, rails and rooms that needed to be painted.

We passed the time away chatting and painting what seemed to be the longest fence EVER. And when we ran out of paint I got a chance to hone my non-existent gardening skills as we planted some flowers and mulched in the garden. Our reward at the end of the day was seeing a freshly painted and flowery Diocese of Memphis Housing Department. Plus we rewarded our good behavior with an early happy hour at Boscos…

*Woke up at the crack of dawn to headed to Northhaven (an area in Frayser) to assist in a Habitat build. My friend Jan had set this adventure up for us, but backed out due to illness. But Julie and I pressed on to go work on the build. It truly was an adventure as we started the day attempting to put up baseboards. After some complications with the volunteer we were paired with, we somehow we are able to maneuver over to Amy’s painting squad. What Julie and I lacked in skill we definitely made up in with heart.

So I spent the morning painting and chatting with Sarah, Amber, Amy & Julie. As an added bonus I got to talk with the lady at length whose house we were working on. She’s was single mother of two from the Frayser area, whose husband has passed away a few years ago. She was probably in her early to mid-forties and this was going to be her first home purchase. I think she was most excited knowing that her son was going to be old enough in the coming week to help contribute some sweat equity onto the house too. At the end of my shift I left a little bit tired and dehydrated, but felt fulfilled knowing I was helping such a nice woman and her children take part in homeownership.

*I wrapped up my volunteer hat-trick by escorting the 7th grade class from TI-Memphis to the The Food Bank. Normally these kids are engaged in social interaction with each other or their cell phones. But early on a Sunday morning we got a reprieve from their normal behavior. For over two hours they worked as a team to selflessly label plain white boxes of fruit loops that were donated by Kellogg’s. Since it was a donation, they sent over those plain, white boxes filled with cereal we all enjoy and pay a premium for to see Toucan Sam on our box. Yet the government won’t allow a food bank to distribute food without a label that includes nutritional/ingredient information. So we split up into teams and went to our make-shift workstation pallets that included printed copies of nutritional information and box tape.

It was amazing to watch as the kids and adults attack the task at hand. I think our small crew of 30 labeled about 1,000 individual plain, fruit loop boxes. I think the kids felt good that their small impact was going to affect so many families across the mid-south who can’t afford basic necessities like food. And I it was fun to hear some of them thinking out loud and trying to calculate how many meals each box would contain. I know the whole focus of the 7th grade program on repairing the world, but I hope the kids walked away learning how even simple physical tasks can ease the burden of our fellow man.

Lessons Learned
Giving money is a very noble way to accomplish a variety of goals, but giving of your time can be just as rewarding and fulfilling. And now that I’ve wrapped my marathon weekend of caring up, I feel proud of the work that was accomplished and happy to stand next to the folks who contributed along side of me. I wish we all have more time to donate to our special causes to help relieve the people and community that surround us. But until then I hope ya’ll have a happy start to the coming week.


Grand Theft Auto 101

Saturday afternoon I got a first hand lesson on how easy it is jimmying a car open in under a minute. The folks at Mr. Pride locked Sarah's keys in the car and then asked if she perhaps carried her spare set of keys with her. Excuse me, how many people carry their spare keys with them?

When she failed to provide the keys we got a glimpse into how quickly someone can pop n' lock!


The Victorian Village

I traveled back in time this weekend with my friend Celia to the Victorian Village. This historic area of Memphis used to be the address of many of the wealthiest families in the city (in what used to be the edge of the city). These grand houses built in the 1800s stood as symbol of the growth and prosperity of Memphis. The homes remained intact through the yellow fever epidemic and the civil war. Most of the single-family residences were however destroyed in the name of progress by the people of Memphis.
Now all that is left a few original Victorian style homes that litter the streets between Adams & Jefferson. I was so excited when I read in the paper about the Victorian Village tour happening on Sunday. It provided me the opportunity to visit the grand homes, some of which are now private residences or closed museums. I was especially interested in revisiting the Mallory-Neely House and Woodruff-Fontaine House, which used to be yearly stop for school field trips. I had always been fascinated by the large homes because they had such ornate furnishings from the time period and the stories of Molly’s ghost.

The tour did not disappoint as I learned more about the living history left in Memphis. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Celia and I were both amazed by the splendor and magnificence of these homes. My only hope is that they do eventually re-open these houses to the general public for tours.
In the meantime if you get a chance, make sure to at least drive through the neighborhood or at least stop in for a drink at the Molly Fontaine Lounge.


24-Hour KC Twister

Indeed, Dorothy was right. There is no place like home...And in my case that means there is no place like my 2nd home - Kansas. Although I missed out on an opportunity to go visit Lawrence/KU (bad weather and not enough time), I did get to spend 24-hours in Kansas City for work. It was a whirlwind adventure as I flew in Tuesday morning and flew out Wednesday at lunch.

In between I did how ever get to fit lunch in with BPOP (Bitter Party of Pat) and a tour of Barkley (an ad agency) that will soon be featured on 20/20. Pat introduced me to the hipster area of downtown KC, which when I was still at KU was pretty dilapidated. We ate lunch at this great pizza shop (ok, I enjoyed it more then Pat) around the corner from here office. Seriously, check out how yummy my lunch looked (and it tasted even better)!

Afterward I shopped and even ran into some guy, named Guy from the food network who filming a segment on YJ's Snack Bar. Where I ended up having breakfast with Tony the following day. I'm not going to lie, the place was a dive but it was delicious and fully caffeinated!

Tuesday evening though I worked my tail off at Arrowhead Stadium interacting with customers and signing them up for a program sponsored by work. It was a lot of standing, a lot of talking and loads of schmoozing. I think it all paid off when the customers walked out happy learning about our products and more about the Chiefs. Plus I couldn’t really complain because I got to meet Boomer Grigsby & Derrick Johnson from the KC Chiefs.

And then there was a behind the scenes tour of the stadium…AweSOME!

It was a short, working trip, but it was jam packed with loads of good stuff. I even ended my day chilling on a porch with an ear to ear grin.


Waiting, Watching the Clock

So I'm waiting patiently this morning for a repairman to look at my refrigerator. The other night, I realized that the freezer wasn’t sealing properly so many items aren't really staying frozen...Ahh the joys of home ownership. Since I've been waiting I decided to take an extra long walk this morning. I caught up with a few friends on instant messenger and worked for a bit on a project for work.

I love being at home, but I hate feeling of being trapped in multiple 4-hour windows. And these service companies set our expectations with a wide-open windows of time, just to show up right at the end or cancel during the waiting process. It happens all the time when you’re waiting on the cable guy or any sort of repair person/contractor. So here I am, sitting, waiting and watching the clock...


Springer for Lester Lit

So here is how I spent my Tuesday post work cool down. I campaigned outside for Lester Lit for City Council. Now I’ve known Lester for a long time, but mainly in the capacity as my friend’s father. With that in mind though, when I left the office I wasn’t too keen on the idea of pressing the flesh with voters. But I was actually pleasantly surprised how interesting people watching spot to spend on a fall evening. And as an added bonus you really do learn about how the campaign/election process works in a city like Memphis. I spent a lot of time watching candidates, family members and staunch poll workers foam at the mouth with each potential person pulled into the church. I hope my presence made a difference for Mr. Lit. Hopefully though his celebrity endorsement, which you can see below will really push him over the edge:



So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc.).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool...because you're not.

Opening Credits:
Two Step: Dave Matthews Band

Waking Up:
Smile Like You Mean It: The Killers

First Day At School:
Silver Lining: David Gray

Falling In Love:
Steady As She Goes: The Racontuers

Fight Song:
Hands Down: Dashboard Confessionals

Breaking Up
Cold Water: Damien Rice

Hey Jealousy: Gin Blossoms

Radio Free Europe: R.E.M.

Mental Breakdown:
Underwater: Death Cab For A Cutie

Chain of Fools: Aretha Franklin

Total Eclipse from the Heart: Bonnie Tyler

Swallowed by the Sea: Coldplay

Birth Of Child:
Promises: Eric Clapton

Final Battle:
Tears of a Clown: English Beat

Death Scene:
Get In or Get Out: Hot Hot Hot

Funeral Song:
Dispatch the Troops: Matisyahu

End Credits:
All I Want: The Lighting Seeds


Hipster Olympics -To Cool For Skool!

Where is the U.S. located on a map?

I believe our children are our future...But this is just plain wrong! Sorry Ms. Teen USA from South Carolina, not sure even the bathing suit competition can help you recover from that blunder. Ouch!


Summer Sisters Birthday Extravaganza

15 years ago I made a new friend at Temple’s Wednesday night school. Who knew that 15 years later, countless movies, dinners, trips and more that we would still be such good friends…As well as Summer Sister (heck our birthdays are 2 DAYS APART).

So this past weekend, Sarah and I celebrated a joint brunch given to us by our parents. I think this was in an effort to get Sarah over her stage fright of entering a new decade. And for me a chance to start practicing saying a very large number, even when I’m not completely acting my age. Either way it truly was a milestone to enter a new phase of our lives.

I will fondly recall it as the Summer Sisters Birthday Extravaganza from now on.

We had some good friends join us for some bagels, french toast casserole, fruit and my personal favorite – Strawberry Cake from Miss Muff’n, What a great day and what an incredible group of friends and family that surround us. I’m extremely blessed to have such kind, warm-hearted people in my life.

Here are a few photos of the folks gathered:

Sarah & Rachel

Steve, Jan & Lauren

Cooper & Jordan

Beth & Sam


Welcome to the Dirty Thirty Club!

It finally happened. I woke up yesterday and was officially welcomed into the Dirty Thirty Club. It was bound to happen sooner or later (but I was still hoping for much later).

Anyway, more on the subject of staring a new decade in another post. And I'll recap my birthday celebrations from the weekend. But how funny is that the random number selected after ordering Dinner was - 30!

Guess it was just my destiny. Let's brace for impact as I begin life as a thirtysomething...


Wicked Game

Last night my friends and I were treated to the sultry melodies of Chris Isaak. What can I say about him – he’s dead sexy and his voice oozes with words of desire… Not a bad combination to have at all.

We braved the 100+ Memphis temperatures to picnic at the Live at the Garden event. I believe we were all a bit surprised that last night brought a slight reprieve from the summertime swelter that left us with a pleasant and sans buggy night. Or maybe it was they layer upon layers of bug spray that were applied.

Either way my friends and I filled our stomachs with a fabulous array of picnic items of meats, cheeses, salads, cookies and some adult libations. Our eyes were filled with the sights and sounds of Chris Isaak and the happenings of the picnics that surrounded our little site. And our ears were greeted with such tunes as:

Wicked Game
Two Hearts
Somebody’s Crying
Blue Hotel
Only The Lonely
Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
San Francisco Days
And more….

It was a sensory overload on all fronts that left my mind and spirit at ease. As the evening cooled into a late night bliss under the stars, I couldn’t have been more pleased the musical and comedic offerings of Mr. Isaak. And I think my friends would agree too:


Sweltering Summer Heat

This weekend was eroded by the sweltering summer heat that seems to roll around every August in Memphis. I was just lucky to be able to offset some of hot temperatures by chilling out with some old school pals. I attended a party in Midtown on Friday. This outside gathering (honestly it was a bit steamy) in a well manicured backyard garden provided some good eats, drinks and people to chat with. Unfortunately, I was a tad bit layered in my clothing selection so I quickly started to burn up and look like a tomato (see below).

Other then the party, I really just enjoyed spending quality time with some other fun folks over the weekend. Sushi at Pacific Rim was superb and who can beat a pre-movie trip shopping at Target. Plus there is no better way to beat the summer heat then going to see a movie (seriously – the ticket price alone for the air conditioning is worth the price of admission).

And finally what could be better then chilling at home Sunday with a few surprise guest visits throughout the day. Being greeted by a series of friendly smiles is a sure way stay calm and refreshed to start a new week.

The only other thing that might be better cooler this week while I'm at the office may be my mid-morning ipod shuffle to start the week. Here is the soundtrack to how I've started my morining post meetings:

1. The Authority Song – Jimmy Eat World
2. If It Makes You Happy – Sheryl Crow
3. Without You – Dixie Chicks
4. City of Blinding Lights – U2
5. You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby – The Smiths
6. I Don’t Want To Think About It – Wild Strawberries
7. Nos Da Caraid – David Gray
8. Try Again - Keane
9. Leave This City – The Sundays
10. Different Names For The Same Things – Death Cab For Cutie


Catch Me Up

Best of Times, Worst of Times

I’m not going to sugar coat it. Things have been a bit topsy-turvy for me as of late. My emotions have been quite raw. And the smallest things set off chain reactions that seems to send shockwaves to the far reaches of my soul. I could begin to list all these things out for you, but it won’t. It might scare you away. I will just state simply that July really has embodied the best of times and the worst of times.

And now is a time to heal and begin fresh. What I will choose to highlight are some special moments that have passed briefly before me. Things that are now burned into my memory like:

*Long, late night drives to clear my head with no particular destination in mind.
*Support of the greatest group of friends a girl could ask for (who seem to love me unconditionally)
*Unexpected gestures or visits (see pics of flowers from a friend or a visit from Kacey)
*Memories of what once happened and dreams of what are to come
*Long conversations that probe the parties involved of thoughts beyond the surface
*Learning the depths of my new co-workers and appreciating them for the unique perspective/easygoing smiles

These are some of the things that have warmed my heart and ripped my soul wide open all at the same time. I promise though my next post will move back more into a more light-hearted format of what amuses me. And we will continue to explore the special people, places and things that fuel my world.


Trivia Tuesday

Last night I helped guest host a wicked awesome music round at trivia with my pals Beth & Sam at the P&H.

It MAY only be infamous to us local Memphians, but the P&H is a place I've known well since my high school days. My connection to the P&H started through my co-workers Lori & Todd of the Fine Grind (you may recall it as the coffee shop in the mall that existed before there were 5 Starbucks on Poplar Ave or before it was hip to be called Barista – Anyway I digress). I remember that they would sit and discuss the happenings of Ms. Wanda and the rest of the P&H crowd. They were not just patrons, but fixtures to this establishment like Ms. Wanda and her hat collection. And I'm not ashamed to admit it, but for a while Lori & Todd opened my eyes to the entire cool, hip happenings that reached beyond my East Memphis abode.

I became reacquainted with the P&H when I returned to Memphis. I started playing trivia regularly on Tuesday night with folks from Thompson & Co. As we drank away our brain cells throughout the night, we always seemed to rack up a few points. We even took away a cash prize now and then that covered most of our drinks and food. How can you pass up beers, burgers and brain busters?

Last night however I got to pretend to be an actual host…My round I thought was genius! A round of cover songs. All you needed to do was answer the name of the song, the original artist and the cover artist. Of course there were some naysayers, but overall I thought it was a solid round. I even got a request on the spot to burn them a copy of the killer cover mix. So for you pleasure, here was my trivia round:

Tears of a Clown – Original by: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Covered by: The English Beat
Love Song – Original: The Cure, Covered by:311
More Than This – Original: Roxy Music, Covered by:10,000 Maniacs
Where Is My Mind – Original: The Pixies, Covered by:Placebo
Wonderwall – Original: Oasis, Covered by:Ryan Adams
Panic – Original: The Smiths, Covered by:Pete Yorn
Hazy Shade Of Winter – Original: Simon & Garfunkel, Covered by:The Bangles
Against All Odds – Original: Phil Collins, Covered by:Postal Service
Breaking Us In Two – Original: Joe Jackson, Covered by:Mandy Moore
Baker Street – Original: Gerry Rafferty, Covered by:Foo Fighters
Solitary Man – Original: Neil Diamond, Covered by:Chris Isaak
Wild Horses – Original: Rolling Stones, Covered by:The Sundays


And we'll all float on…

If there was an application to be a professional pool floater, I would so be all over filling out an application for that gig! Yesterday, I found myself enjoying something I don’t get to do that often anymore – relaxing in the pool & poolside. And as an added bonus, I was not escorting any children. This meant I was able to utilize my free swim for indulging in sheer pleasure of floating on a raft in piece. No need for spending the afternoon as the human jungle gym or supervising monkey like behavior in any way, shape or form.

It was just me, a few friends, a vacation friend’s pool, some awesome music (courtesy of some of my killer mix cds) and a vast assortment of tropical smoothie smoothies. All we had to do was show up and soak up some sun*.

What a lackadaisical way to celebrate the passing of another 4th of July. My only wish was that the dream like state of yesterday could have lasted for the a few more days. It was a hard reality check heading back into the office this morning.

*My only regret was not applying enough sun screen, I got a tad bit scorched by the warm rays


Adventures of the Wandering Moose

It's been far too long since I updated my blog, but honestly I finally settling back into some sense of a routine. I know this last statement may sound like an excuse, but I truth be told I've really immersed myself into learning the ropes in my new environment. I've been on the job for about a month now and things are going well thus far. And within the first two weeks I ventured up to NYC & CT for a family wedding. This will be the main subject for today's blogcast.

I made it to NYC late on Friday night and got back to Memphis on the early morning red-eye Tuesday am. Upon arrival I headed straight to the office and haven't looked back. Needless to say you don't really need to know every last detail of my trip, it's hardly worth telling...But here are some of the highlights from the trip:

*Cool breezes & late night chats/people watching from my uncle's deck on the upper west side.
*Long, wandering roads in western CT with limited access to the rest of the world.
*Adult libations to help ease the tension at the large family gatherings.
*Country weddings kept short, dogs actively participating as ring the bearer and dancing on shoeless in the grass.
*Eating lunch with friend in a quintessential New England town beside a covered bridge and gazing at the river (See Adventures of the Wandering Moose).
*Spending a lazy afternoon in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park chatting up yet another friend.
*Dinner & Dessert in the upper west side (See Crumbs).
*Shopping at an actual Kiehl's store.
*Random encounters & people watching on the Subway with my Ipod soundtrack.
*The Natural History Museum dioramas
*Happy Hour at Carmine's with an old college buddy.

Good times, I tell ya, Good times! Here are some pics of my Adventures at the Wandering Moose Cafe, the views of the covered bridge across the street & Cupcakes with Jess:

Sorry to disappointment all who may have tuned in who thought I might blog about today's release of the new Apple Iphone. Don't worry there might be some editorial from me about it after I talk to my sister's boyfriend who camped out for his new phone/music player/portable browser today.


Another Nail In My Heart

Ok, so today didn't go exactly as I planned. It started off quite nice. Met a friend for some coffee before work. (Always a nice to be with a friendly face before the rough and tumble of a working day.)

Then I accomplished a lot of little tasks in the morning, before heading off to run errands for Operation Feed (a work fundraiser for the Memphis Area Food Bank) at lunch. Unfortunately when I got to my first destination, I ran into my mom who asked "When were you in an accident?"

To my surprise I said, "What Accident?"

So per her direction I pulled into Saddle Creek and surveyed my damages. To my horror my car had indeed been dinged. In fact whoever hit me had sideswiped my car in the same place where my neighbor had hit my a few months before. Twice in one year my car gets nailed while being patiently parked & empty. Inconceivable!!!

At least I was able to easily resolve the situation the first time with my neighbor to get the car repaired. This time I didn't even get the common courtesy of a note. I'm honestly saddened and a bit irritated that someone thinks it's ok to hit a car (especially mine) and run off.

But then again, I'm not surprised. I just wish people wouldn't run away from responsibility or accountability in situations like what happened to me today. Then again, I may be asking too much of people in society. It certainly won’t change who I am and the things I do for others because of the incident. Yet right now I can say with this fresh wound I’m fully disappointed in my fellow man.


I wouldn't spend my life just wishing

As of late I’ve been a musical rut. It probably has something to do with the fact I went to see Walrus* this past weekend. Or maybe it’s a symptom of starting a new job. But the truth is I find comfort in music. I’ll admit that I’m a bit addicted to Sirius Satellite 22 (Classic Alt-Rock) when I’m at home, but boy do I wish I had it in my car. And practically every playlist on my ipod is filled with some Alt-Rock offering.

To make a long story short I’ve been wired with the gift of listening to some good tunes. I just sure wish that I were talented enough to produce some musical genius myself. But I shouldn't spend my life just wishing and leave it to the professionals (or at least my good friends who are musicians)…

*A fun Memphis 80s/Early 90s Alt-Rock Band


Unemployed but not for long...

So I began my stint of being unemployed on Friday, May 18, 2007. And I'm not going to lie it's been quite enjoyable. It's funny how a little time off can do you a bit of good. I've been able to catch up on many weeks of missed sleep.

I also ventured out of state to Chicago to visit my sister. Let me say it was quite the adventure. Sarah (who is also unemployed) and I made a quick little jaunt up to Windy City. It was packed with many memories to fill a lifetime. And good thing Sarah was such a sport for a riding the Ferris Wheel (once) at Navy Pier and braving a car ride with my sister and I all over the city. The trip was packed with all the shopping, sights, laughs and many a wonderful filling meals that you could pack into 72-hours.
Since my return from Chi-town, I've been able to start the massive CLEAN-UP effort on my house and spend time with friends. And everything was going on track for a great time off, until I waylaid myself with a back strain. Please note that futon mattresses look heavier then they appear.

So since the great mattresses move of Memorial Day weekend 2007, I've been laid up on the couch watching bad TV and movies. I even consulted Dr. Lisa who confirmed that my self-diagnosis treatment of rest, icy/hot and Advil would lead me down the path of recovery. And this rehabilitation sequence needs to make a miraculous resurgence since my unemployment is coming to a rapid end this Friday, June 1st.