Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Return

I have returned from the Atlanta 3 Day / 60-mile breast cancer walk. Alive. And with all of my lower appendages in tact.

My calves and feet did try to secede from the rest of my body several times, but they're hanging around for now. My very wide feet were part of the problem. Seriously, if they were webbed I could give Michael Phelps a run for his money. But on land all it means is that my shoes tend to not fit as well in the heel and that caused very nasty blisters. Also, I apparently have tendinitis. At the time I just thought it was normal for your feet to feel like they were on fire after you walked 18 miles or so. Turns out they're not really supposed to do that AND there's a name for it. Who knew?

Things are pretty much all better now though and it was totally worth it. Not hey-lets-do-this-again-next-year worth it, but I'm definitely glad I did it this once.

I walked all but six or so of the 60 miles, which at times really bummed me out, but I eventually came to my senses and decided that it's not too shabby.

There will be more details to come and of course lots o' photos, but I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks again to everyone for their nice words - and cash :) Our team raised more than $7,000 and the entire event raised more than $8 million. Also not too shabby.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Shopping That's Good For You

No, really. I promise...

An acquaintance of mine has a business called ASK Apparel. She and her sisters make hand-printed and hand-painted t-shirts, scarves, totes and such. All organic fibers, natural dyes, and a sustainable business ethic to boot. Plus, they're super nice.

I recently bought a t-shirt from them at our neighborhood farmers' market and I loooove it. It's a screen print of a rooster crowing at the sun. A nice reminder to be happy in the morning especially now that it's dark when I get up. It was a hard choice though - they had lots of cute designs.

In the process of my purchase I also signed up for their e-newsletter and today received an online $5 coupon on my next order. So... I thought a good way to spread the love of my shirt and of my few lovely readers would be to offer up the coupon to anyone who might want to purchase something.

So if you've been hankerin' for a new t-shirt or need a unique baby/kid gift, post a comment to me and I'll find a way to forward you my coupon.
Happy shopping!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Wondering...

...why it is that when I have a day off from work or am at home sick, Oprah never has a really good guest.

It's never "today on our show we're going to spend an hour with George Clooney in his swimming pool." Never.

Today it was Suze Orman. I do enjoy Suze's financial advice. Even have one of her books. But come on Oprah, it's a holiday. Yes, it's only Columbus Day, but STILL what is the more appropriate way to celebrate the Imaginary Discovery of Our Country:


Or this?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Rest of the Story

Here are some more photos from the debate festivities on Tuesday.

The bell tower at Belmont. I'm so proud of our local college. They did a great job. You might not know this, [WARNING: useless trivia alert] but Nashville has the most number of colleges and universities per capita of any city in the country. Fisk, TSU, Belmont, Lipscomb and Vanderbilt just to name a few. Over the past few years I think Belmont has risen to be my favorite - or at least very close to the top. It's hard to compete with the Fisk Jubilee Singers and the TSU Marching Band, but almost beating Duke in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament helped a lot :)

The rally before the march. Lots of people lined up along 21st ave at Magnolia Blvd getting cars to honk their horns.

The march up the median of Magnolia to Belmont's campus. This isn't my photo. It came from here. I really wanted to get a good picture like this, but it wasn't easy and I finally got tired of trying. One of the many contributing factors as to why my original career plan of photo journalism didn't quite pan out...

Our seats for the debate. The real live debate was going on only a few yards directly behind us. We stood in the mud behind the MSNBC stage. They were very nice and set up a TV for us to watch. Unfortunately we could only watch and not hear most of it because a gaggle of extremely immature and inconsiderate Vanderbilt students set up camp behind us and decided we should instead listen to their loud and insipid conversations. Yet another reason why Belmont has become my favorite local college.

Another shot of the lovely Chris Matthews.
He was actually very friendly and funny.

We bumped into several friends.
Mostly from church and/or the neighborhood.

The different signs people made were really interesting. It never would have occurred to me to make a sign, but you could really tell some people put a lot of thought and their feelings onto a little piece of poster board - or the shirt they wore.




And the trifecta - funny and international AND a kid:

Like I said before, a good time was had by all. I think I may be volunteering at the Obama offices on Wednesday and watching the last debate - so you may have to endure another round of photos next week too :) Happy Friday!

P.S. - say a little prayer tonight for my boys in orange. They're having a tough season this year and they have to play Georgia tomorrow. Yikes.



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

For Better or Worse

I'm sure it's pretty easy to tell how I'm voting in this year's election, but for some reason I hadn't felt the need to spell it out. I'm quite passionate about my choice, but I haven't been shouting it from the rooftops and I certainly haven't been volunteering my time. Very unlike me.

So on Sunday I finally went for a volunteer training in preparation for the debate. It was great. I was overwhelmed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the people there. It's a feeling I hadn't felt in a while and one that I missed. So what took me so long? What's my problem? At some point it hit me. I'm gun shy. I've had a life-long love of political campaigns - especially presidential campaigns. But I've been burned. The presidential campaign process and I, well, we've had a pretty tumultuous relationship. Let's review:

1980 - Schoolgirl Crush
I was nine. I adored Jimmy Carter. On election night at the dinner table I begged my parents to tell me who they voted for. My father finally gave in and said "Reagan." I cried.

1984 & 1988 - Surly Teen Angst
My disdain for all-things-Reagan/Bush/Quayle continued but I had no faith that the adults in my country were capable of doing anything about it. Most of this phase in my relationship with politics was spent writing bad i'm-going-to-die-without-a-decent-president poetry and listening to angry music on my Walkman.

1992 - Annoying Co-Ed Infatuation
It was the first presidential election where I could vote. I was full of entirely too much pep. I did cartwheels when Al Gore was named Clinton's running mate. I bugged the beejeezus out of my one Republican roommate. I did all kinds of volunteering with the campus Dems. I was clingy, needy and ready to put me and my love for campaigning in a frame and paint our names on it in glitter.

1996 - True Love
I jumped head first into a super-serious relationship with the presidential campaign. That summer I worked part time for Rock the Vote. That fall I worked part time for the Clinton/Gore campaign and spent most of my free time as a volunteer. I spent every available moment with that campaign. We moved in together. We bought furniture and got a dog. Life was grand.

2000 - The Honeymoon Ends
Did I get too serious too soon? Did I misread the signs? Did I have a foolish and naive expectation when it came to Democracy and elections in our country? When the Gore/Leiberman campaign was too busy to pay as close attention to me as the last campaign I worried about what I had done. Was it because I no longer lived in a swing state? Was it something I said? My solution? I just kept shamelessly calling. We saw each other when there was time. I attended rallies and did some volunteering and even though it wasn't the relationship I really, really wanted, I knew that on election day it would all be worth it. It would all be OK.

Oh, but it wasn't. At some point on election night it all went to hell. My love of politics and presidential campaigns abandoned me on a street corner in downtown Nashville. Literally. (You'll hear that story another time.)

Over the next couple of weeks I held out some hope that things could be fixed and we'd go back to how it was supposed to be. But it didn't. I'm not good with break-ups and when Gore conceded the election I couldn't watch. I took a bubble bath and ate some ice cream. And very few days went by over the next four years where I didn't wake up angry.

2004 - Jilted and Bitter
Poor John Kerry. His campaign never really had my complete loyalty. I wanted it to work, but part of me knew it wasn't going to end well and that it was just my transitional campaign. After election day the angriness I had started each morning with for the last four years was pretty quickly replaced with four years of cynicism and disillusionment.

2008 - Ready to Try Again? Or Just Too Jaded?
So here I am. I don't come into this election lightly. I have a lot of baggage. I watched Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I heard him speak in person in 2006. I knew that one day he would run for president - just not anytime soon. But he did. I voted for him in the primary even though I didn't think he'd get the nomination. But he did. I've been wary and hesitant and tried not to get too attached. But I am. And even though this is all written tongue-in-cheek I honestly don't know what I'll do if it ends up being another election like 2000. So I've tried to remain detached. But I can't. And then fate put a presidential debate in my own backyard and told me to just suck it up and get over myself.

So I did.

I went to the training on Sunday and then earlier tonight I met up with several hundred - possibly thousand - other Obama supporters from across our supposedly red state.

There was a march to Belmont's campus where the debate was being held:

And a rally on the quad:

With the exception of a small hand full of McCain supporters and third-party-activists, everyone was pro-Obama - and this is only half the crowd. I'm really not trying to exaggerate or be catty. I was expecting a far more even crowd, or frankly, to be outnumbered. Maybe there was a different area of campus where FoxNews was set up and the crowd was different, but where I was, it wasn't even close.

Before and after the debate our job was to stand around the MSNBC tent/stage and keep Chris Mathews "entertained" (he looks thrilled, doesn't he?) Check out the "Nash Vegas for Obama" sign behind his head. Ha. So much fun. Even in the pouring - and I mean POURING - rain.

I'll have many more photos available later but for now I am sleepy and soggy. Proud and inspired. For better or worse.
But very soggy nonetheless.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My First MeMe

I've done these on email before, but not in a bloggy fashion... I don't think anyway...

Green Girl in Wisconsin had this one up earlier in the week and I thought it was cute.

1. What are your nicknames?
Most Obvious: Gert/Gertrude
Most Popular: K
From College: my last name or K-dog
From Waitressing: Quiet, Marcy

2. What game show and/or reality show would you like to be on?
I mentioned "Amazing Race" the other day, but let's get a grip people... I've joked about wanting to be on "What Not to Wear," but in reality I think I'd rather suffer the humiliation of "Amazing Race"... So... ummm... "Antiques Roadshow"? I don't know. I am kind of digging that show on PBS with Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow where they eat their way through Spain and drive around in a swank convertible. I could get over how she kind of bugs me to be able to hang with Mario. We could wear our matching orange clogs.

3. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?
I think it was Top Gun (VHS) and When Harry Met Sally (DVD).

4. What is your favorite scent?
Something earthy - herbs or spices. I just bought a bottle of Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. It goes from light and citrus-y to a warm, spicy smell the longer you have it on. It is just as its name implies.

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it?
Travel - Turkey, India, Antarctica, Tanzania and Italy. Real estate - an Adirondack-style camp in the mountains and a cedar-shingled cottage near a beach so none of my friends and family would ever have to pay to go on vacation. I'm not sure a million would cover all of this though.

6. What places have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to?
Italy, Italy, Italy and Italy. Oh, and Maine.

7. Do you trust easily?

8. Do you think before you act, or act before you think?
I often over-think things to the point that I make as bad a decision as if I didn't think at all. Does that make any sense? No, no it does not.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
Have I mentioned that until yesterday I've been hiding in my basement?

10. Do you have a good body image?
Uh, no.

11. What is your favorite fruit?
Berries. Any kind. Apples and pears are good too.

12. What websites do you visit daily?
All my favorite blogs plus,, and

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
Oh my secret shame... this summer I decided to pick a TV series on Netflix that I'd never seen. I picked "Felicity." Don't mock me. It's JJ Abrams - I had to see how the "Alias" and "Lost" guy could also make a show about college - and it was actually really well-written and acted and I was quickly hooked. I have to admit that it also morphed into a Scott Speedman addiction, but that's another subject. I just finished the whole series last week.

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Smart, funny, kicks ass and takes names (in a good way).

15. What's the last song that got stuck in your head?
Cold Play, "Viva la Vida." Has been for like a month. Damn you, Chris Martin, you're starting to bug me as much as your wife does!

16. What's your favorite item of clothing?
See yesterday - black cashmere hoodie. God bless those magical little goats.

17. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Kinda. Rice Krispie Treats? Most definitely.

18. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?
Check to see if anyone lost it. I would first wish that no one did, but I would still check.

19. What items could you not go without during the day?
Caffiene, something that makes me laugh, and dog treats. Not for me, of course, but logistically speaking it's not a good idea in my house to go a day without dog treats.

20. What should you be doing right now?
Timesheets. The monthly bane of my existence.

I now tag Katie. She needs an easy post since she's been sick. And because I keep obsessively checking to see if she's posted anything new :) Gimme somethin to read, woman!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Summer Lovin' Sooooo Over

I had a positive, enjoyable AND productive day today. I was actually chipper AND motivated at work. It's enough to make me want to peek my head out the cellar door and try rejoining the rest of society. Possible causes:

Or, could it be this:

Behold! Glorious Autumnal Beginnings in my front yard!

And this:

Glorious Autumnal Weather Report from today!

And this:

Most Treasured Cashmere Hoodie I've been longing to wear for many weeks and was finally able to today.

I tried really hard to enjoy and appreciate summer. And I think I did an OK job. But truth be told...

Autumn kicks Summer's ass.

Every. Single. Time.

Happy October!