Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Miscellaneous Nonsense

1. Overheard at a Conference:
My boss injured herself yesterday while we are out of town at a conference. It's not severe by any means. Granted, not enough to keep her completely out of commission and out of my hair but not so little that she is able to take care of herself. One of our conversations today went something like this [with commentary added]:

Her: I found out where there's a Walgreens. Its only on the other side of town. Can you go there [even though I've already rattled off a list as long as my arm for other things for you to do that don't involve extracting your car from the bowels of the hotel parking garage and driving around a city you don't live in] and get me some crutches?

Me: Sure.

Her: I wish I had an ice pack too. But without any ice.

Me: Well, actually they make those.

Her: I know. But they don't work. And they're only hot.

Me: I've used some that work well. Some are hot. But they make some that are also cold.

Her: I don't think they'll work.

Me: Do you still want me to get you some?

Her: I guess.

------------------------------ four hours later -----------------------------

Her: Are you busy? [Like other than the 12 hours you just worked]

Me: I have to run out to pick up more name tags. Do you need something?

Her: Well, those cold packs were fabulous. Can you get me some more. [Oh yeah - and by the way you were totally right.]

2. The Patrick Dempsey Effect
I am now thankfully sitting in my pajamas, slowly digesting the room service dinner I just snarfed down and watching a marathon of Bones on TNT. And the most pressing question of the day... Has David Borneas always been this cute? 'Cause I remember him from Buffy and Angel commercials and my reaction was always, "meh." But now on Bones? Damn adorable.

3. Car Lag
I have trouble adjusting to other time zones. It's just one hour this time and its soundly kicking my ass. You should have seen me the time I flew to London. I almost fell asleep on the tube and have no real recollection of the first day and a half there other than what is in the pictures I took. Just a couple more days and then I will be back on good ole Central Standard Time. Oh but wait - then daylight savings time starts. Gah!

4. Many Happy Returns of the Day
Today is Katie's Birthday! Hooray!

5. Good Night
Flannel snowflake jammies, hotel cable, and a bed I don't have to make in the morning or kick two dogs off of means I am going to stop typing now and enjoy it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week in Review: Looking for the Good News

1. The thing making the rattly noise under my car finally fell off. Not sure if that's good news or not. Probably not.

2. My grandmother moved to town this weekend and into a retirement facility. That is a good news. She grew up here, but had lived in the same town in East Tennessee since 1945 and in the same apartment in that town since 1976. So yeah, the rest of that story is not so good news. Eventually it will all be fine, but right now its sorta sucky.

3. On Saturday we literally came within seconds and inches of upsetting the number one team and our greatest rival. The good news is that it was a great game and we dominated Alabama in almost everything. One area we could apparently use some help in, however, is feeding our defensive linemen. The Alabama player responsible for blocking the two field goals that won the game for them was (to quote an announcer) "one biscuit shy of 300 pounds."

The bad news is that within the span of five minutes football time / thirty minutes actual time my emotions went from:

disappointed ("Looks like we're going to lose.")
to surprised ("Fumble! He fumbled! Tennessee recovered!")
to shocked ("Touchdown! We scored a touchdown!")
to sceptical ("The only chance we have to win is to recover an onside kick. That never works. And when you have one of the worst special teams in the country it's definitely not going to work.")
to awestruck ("Wegottheball! Wegottheball!")
to hopeful ("If we can just get within field goal range we can win this game.")
to anxious and pacing ("Pleasemakeitpleasemakeitpleasemakeit.")
to devastated ("That giant man blocked it again.")

And not only is this hard on your system, but the last time I experience such a wide range of emotions like this I had to be medicated.

4. I went to drown my post-game sorrow at Target. I grabbed a cart and a Diet Coke from the cooler as I came in and expected to pick up a few essentials that I would eventually need, a few items that I could really live without and a bag of candy corn that is somewhere in between. But nothing helped. Even my Diet Coke didn't taste good. I got through all of the aisles and back around to the checkout area and my cart was still empty. Which I guess was good news. Only I still had to pay for my Diet Coke. So I pulled up to a cash register with my empty cart and my half-empty beverage and the cashier burst into giggles, shook her head at me and said "All that potential and all you have to show for it is a Diet Coke. That's just shameful." Mocked by the Target cashier. Not good news.

5. I am currently half-lying on the couch while I type this and watching Amazing Race. I am annoyed (is that girl really not going down the damn water slide? What dumb-ass auditions for Amazing Race if they are afraid of water AND heights...). I am also exhausted and have a stomach ache from spending the last twelve hours driving to my grandmother's and back with my brother while we bitched about the game, sucked down waaaaay too much coffee and ate extremely shitty food. Tomorrow I have to get up early to find out how serious the once-rattly thing under my car is and then on Tuesday I have to go back to the other end of the state I drove to today and spend the rest of the week there for work. I'm trying to find the good news in there, but right now it's not working. I think I'm going to fully lie down now, feel sorry for myself and either watch British people solve a mystery or Eli Manning play football until I feel better and/or less pitiful.

See you next week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ain't No Place I'd Rather Be

"In the East, college football is a cultural exercise;
On the West Coast, it is a tourist attraction;
In the Midwest, it is cannibalism;
But in the South, it is religion."

- Marino "Godfather" Casem

"If you live in Tennessee or Alabama,
there are two rules to live by:
Don't get married on the third Saturday in October,
and try not to die -
because in either case, the preacher might not show."

- Beano Cook

These thoughts might explain why I treat the fall with the same level of discipline and reverence, if not more so, than Lent and why I consider this week to be the college football equivalent of Holy Week (sorry, Jesus). Sure, we've got other games after this week, but - as you've heard me mention a million times before - this is the week leading to the Third Saturday in October. It's the 92nd meeting of the universities of Tennessee and Alabama. This is the epitome of SEC football - and one of the all-time greatest rivalries in all of college football.

The first game was played in 1901 and ended in a 6-6 tie when the fans stormed the field to protest a call by the officials and started a small riot.

The civility has not improved in the years since.

I was once at a game where fans nearly went over the wall after two Alabama players who were warming up on the field while Tennessee's Pride of the Southland Marching Band was performing the end of their halftime show. People screamed and yelled at the players to get off the field. An official came and told them to get off the field. They did. The official walked off. The players sauntered back onto the field and started tossing the ball around over the heads of some band members. People went completely ballistic. I was suddenly torn between fearing for the two players' lives and really hoping a Sousaphone player would just swing around and take one of them out.

That said, I don't despise Alabama like I do Florida. I don't dread the feeling of losing to Alabama like I do when we lose to Florida. I want the Alabama game to be a bloodbath of Roman Colosseum proportions on the field and a gracious handshake when its all over that honors the tradition we all just participated in. Whereas Florida... even if they win, I want those Gators to have suffered so miserably for four quarters that they cry on camera during the post-game press conference.

The Florida game is played in early September when its still hot and humid as all hell, just adding to the dank and icky feeling you have about the whole event. In contrast, you can't find a prettier setting for a football game than Knoxville in October (Tuscaloosa isn't too bad either, I hear). The days are crisp and cool and sunny and the maple trees all agree in the importance of the game as they've all turned into the teams' colors of crimson and orange by this time. It is college football at its finest.

(It's actually been a lot more than cool and crisp here - poor Oliver's been hiding under quilts and blankets. I assume it's because he's cold, but it could be that he's knows what week this is and is afraid that I'll dress him in orange again...)

The game is back on national TV this year, as God intended (CBS 2:30c / 3:30e). The weather for Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa is supposed to be 62 and sunny. Alabama is currently ranked #1 and I don't have any real expectation of winning - but you never know. Stranger things have happened. Speaking of strange... I'll end with my pick for this week's Hail Mary Haiku contest over at Rocky Top Talk. An homage to Japanese poetry, the Grateful Dead, and a great college football tradition. Nice.

We will survive the
Alabama Getaway
signed, Tennessee Jed


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Top Five List - Week in Review

1. Everything is Relative
Nobel Peace Prize, huh? Interesting. Bono is probably like, "dude, I totally have to have a shot at this now." Not that I'm saying Barack isn't worthy, or that Bono wouldn't be either for that matter, but it was all a bit surprising. Most surprising is that part of the reason he was awarded this was just because he put forth the idea (just the idea!) that if the US is going to be a world leader it should maybe be a partner with our allies and be leading with the policies they can all agree on. Fancy that. My idealist side is all warm and fuzzy thinking that maybe world peace is somewhat achievable if we break it down into simple things like this. But then my snarky pessimistic side pipes up and says "gee, what a seriously fucked-up eight years we all just lived through if this is a revolutionary concept."

But back to warm and fuzzy...

2. Dying from all the adorable
Anyone watch Jim and Pam get married on The Office last night? What a roller-coastery ride of squirm-inducing embarrassment and swoon-worthy cuteness. That Jim Halpert. I love him. And, thanks to Katie, I even have the magnetized note pad on my refrigerator to prove it. And, if fictional Jim and Pam weren't adorable enough, the real John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer are pretty damn adorable too. Video proof here.

And while I was watching...

3. Chipped
I am missing part of the girlie chip in my brain. I think I have half of it. If I'm lucky. It makes me that weird species known as Tomboy in a Dress. The kind that remembers who designed the gown Sarah Jessica Parker wore to the 2005 Emmy's, but can also tell you how many touchdown passes Peyton Manning threw last year. The kind that is a shoe/purse whore, but can't stand the color pink. The kind that always wants her toenails painted pretty colors, but can't stand for her fingernails to be painted.

And thus my point... I actually have pretty, girlie fingernails that other, more girlie-girls like to fawn over. But alas, they are attached to ugly tomboy fingers and hands. And I hate to have them painted. Occasionally though (like last night, while I was watching The Office) when I have purchased a new bottle of nail polish and am painting my toes I think "I have nice fingernails, maybe I'll paint them." And then I do. And then it dries. And then I think "Lord. This looks like someone put fake nails on Vienna sausages." And then I take it off. So that all happened last night EXCEPT I couldn't find my fingernail polish remover. So here I sit today. Typing with nicely polished nails. Well, not really, as I am also not a graceful girl and have already managed to chip three of them. Gah!

But speaking of Peyton Manning...

4. Pretty is as Pretty Does
I have a group of friends who enjoys harassing me over - well, over a lot of things - but often over the fact that I do not find Tom Brady attractive. I'm sorry. Shoot me. He's just not my cup of tea. I happen to believe that in the world of NFL quarterbacks, you fall into one of two camps - Bradys or Mannings. Being a good, red-blooded Southern, SEC football-loving girl, I am squarely in the Manning camp. I don't really find Peyton "hot" per se, but that Eli is a cutie. Regardless, I can't just go by "hotness" alone. There has to be some substance there behind any said hotness. And not only do I not find Mr. Brady to be hot, I also just don't find much else there to work with. So, whereas neither Manning boy may be of Greek God status, their personalities make them much more attractive to me.

So, this same group of friends at dinner this week launched into me again about my dislike of Tom Brady and then challenged me with "well then who DO you think is hot? Give us a top five." And you know - it was hard. The first two were easy, George Clooney and Johnny Depp. And then I stalled. And then thankfully someone changed the subject. Because again, it's not just about being pretty. I mean, I could have added Jude Law to that list because, mercy, that is a pretty man. But even if you believe a fraction of what you read about him in People magazine? Ew. Ick. David Beckham? Also rather hot, but have you heard him speak? And seen his wife? Total detractors for me. If we'd finished the list I would have added Colin Firth - but really, is he "hot?" I don't know. I love him. John Cusack? Hot? Perhaps. But definitely on my list. Rounding out the top five would have been Dave Grohl. Also, definitely not traditionally hot, but I do so love him. So very much.

Which brings me to...

5. Sibling Text Message Theater
Dave Grohl played in Nashville on Monday night. Not with the Foo Fighters or the surviving members of Nirvana. Or even Will Ferrell. It was some other ensemble. I did not go, but a friend did. And it turns out they played at a venue where my brother works. Said friend ran into said brother and they chatted while having a smoke. Turns out my brother MET DAVE GROHL backstage! Shortly after learning this bit of information I turned to the trusty qwerty keyboard on my phone:

Me: Just saw Melissa. DUDE! You met Dave Grohl!?

Brother: How's her foot?

Me: Little better. I REPEAT - DUDE! You met Dave Grohl?! WTF!!!!!

Brother: It's not like we had lunch.

Me: BUT STILL! I love him. Was he nice? What was he wearing? What did he say? What did you say?

Brother: He was cool. He said he was looking for a short, dark-haired, single girl he could spend Saturdays watching UT football games with. I said I didn't know any.

And that was the week that was. Happy Friday.