Friday, December 28, 2007

2012

If anyone can pull off an equestrian Olympic experience like no other, it would certainly be the English.

Good thing I'll have my passport in "6 to 8 weeks...12 weeks maximum"! :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I love this man!

Ok, we already know he can sing, he can play the guitar, and he can write. But he also does this. He's the best.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On towards New Years...

Christmas is over, so it's on to the next fun, festive holiday: New Year's Eve!!! I don't know for sure what I'll be doing, but this really sounds like fun. Plus, it's for a good cause. Therapeutic riding programs are worth every cent. And, I'm not just saying that because I'm a rider. I've seen the looks on those kids' faces when they get taken out of a wheelchair and put on the back of a horse. In this season of giving and receiving, that thought is certainly something I will hold on to as this year fades away and the new year quickly approaches.

(And, yes, I admit it...that's a picture of Katie Holmes in the movie "First Daughter," but I love her purple ballgown!!!)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve and I'm at work. :( But, not for long! Have a Merry Christmas everybody. Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The good ole days

One of my favorite holiday memories is eating benne wafers from Charleston. We used to stock up on these like crazy when we were in South Carolina in the summers, and they lasted through the winter into the holiday season. I don't even want to know the fat and calorie content in these things. How bad could some seeds, sugar, and butter be? I guess you only live once.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ahhhh....

There is a new organic/green day spa that opened recently in Mt. Pleasant, SC that I'm dying to go to. I don't know if I'll make it when I'm down in Charleston for New Years, but I'm certainly booking the ENTIRE DAY there after the bridge run in April! Even if I walk the 7K, I will need a lemon verbena foot treatment and lemon verbena hand treatment, as well as the seaweed bath and an arnica muscle and joint massage. A little exercise and a lot of pampering goes a long way!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Home Improvement



I sure could use someone like Carter around my house for the weekend! :)

So. Freaking. Hot.




Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Blue

This is so sweet, and so true. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

So Sad...

I guess this was bound to happen at some point.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I've been good this year, Santa!!!

In case any of you are wondering what to get me for Christmas...you can just get me this. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Agony

For the past 2 weeks or so, my digital/dvr cable has been buggering up and I have been mean, irritable, and nasty on a regular basis due to this unacceptable occurrence. Anyone who knows me well knows that I heart my dvr very, very, very much. Unfortunately, it is the dvr that is failing my digital cable set-up, so I'm going to have to dismantle the whole shebang and take it back to Comcast and exchange it for a brand new box. This won't cost me anything (except my time and inconvenience) but it's so annoying. I have been beside myself, as I've now missed 2 new episodes of "Pushing Daisies" and last week's ultra suspenseful "Grey's Anatomy" since -- although they have recorded on my cable box -- they won't play back. Stupid, infernal technology!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday movies

Inevitably, Hollywood comes out with some great movies around the holidays, and this December is no exception. I can't wait to see The Golden Compass (as I've read all of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, as well as Pullman's Sally Lockhart novels). What I really am dying to see, though, is Atonement. I read the book several years ago and thought it was fantastic. Ian McEwan is a wonderful author, and I'm shocked that - although I had every good intention of doing so - I never got around to reading any more of his works. But, Atonement is certainly considered far and wide to be one of his best. I don't remember every detail, so the movie will still hold some surprises for me. I do remember enough of the characters and the plot to keep me connected, so it's a perfect book-to-movie viewing in the making. Plus, Kiera Knightly and James McAvoy are both lovely actors, so I'm sure the movie is sensational. I'll have to get downtown to the new theater here in Knoxville and see it soon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Holly-days

It's the Christmas season, which means I hear all manner of not-so-witty holiday jokes: "Happy Holly-days," "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas," and "Tis the season to be HOLLY." HAHAHA...I've heard them all. Believe me you clever beast, I'VE HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE. Anyways, tonight is our annual Wilbur Smith holiday dinner. I'm looking forward to it, basically because I like most of the people I work with. And, because I'm friends with several of the people that I also happen to work with, and it'll be a great excuse for us to all socialize at the same time, in the same place. I just hope my dress works out ok. It's a wrap dress, and as of right now, I can't quite figure out if it wraps and ties in the front, or if it wraps and ties in the back. I guess we shall see...Falalalala-lalalala.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"A good book and a warm bath..."

Everyone who knows me well knows that I'm really big on bubble baths, and reading. Reading AND a bubble bath is simply divine. I did 85% of my reading for my Master's degree in the bathtub. I could sit there amongst the bubbles for hours, just lost in a story. Lately, I've been reading a wonderful book called Anybody Out There? by the Irish author Marian Keyes. It deals with a subject that is one of my most paramount fears, but her treatment of the story and her characters is phenomenal and touching...not scary at all. The synopsis on the back cover of the book says:

Bestselling author Marian Keyes has delighted readers with the lives, loves, and foibles of the irrepressible Walsh sisters and their eccentric mammy. In this, Life in the Big Apple is perfect for Anna. She has the best job in the world, a lovely apartment, and great friends. Then one morning, she wakes up in her mammy's house in Dublin with stitches in her face, a dislocated knee, hands smashed up, and no memory at all of what happened. As soon as she's able, Anna's flying back to Manhattan, mystified but determined to find out how her life turned upside down. As her past slowly begins coming back to her, she sets out on an outrageous quest—involving lilies, psychics, mediums, and anyone who can point her in the right direction. Marrying life's darker bits with wild humor and tender wit, Anybody Out There? is a strange and wonderfully charming look at love here and ever after.


I'm really enjoying this novel and I was pleased to find out it is one of a series about the Walsh sisters (Claire, Rachel, Maggie, Helen, and Anna) and I can't wait to read more of them when I'm finished with this one!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Boot Camp

This is a picture of my new trainer, Melissa Roberts, at Runaway Farms in Kingston, TN. I have been searching for someone to help me get Reece ("Icy Reception") started for a while now. My main consideration was the training style and experience of the trainer, cost (obviously), and location. I had spoken to a couple of big name international event riders, both of whom are impressive rider/trainers who were kind to even offer to take on my horse, but one is in Southern Pines, NC, and the other is in Lexington, KY. And...both were out of my price range. Besides the cost, the location isn't terrible, but I would like to be involved in some of the training rides and take some lessons myself (and I don't want to be separated from Reece for an entire month!). It was important for me to find someone close enough that I wouldn't just be dropping him off, then picking him up again, having been completely removed from the situation.

So, my sister suggested I contact a local East Tennessee rider who has ridden hunter/jumpers, competed in 3-day eventing, and does primarily dressage now (focusing on retraining "problem horses" through flatwork, and starting off babies/greenies). She is eager to help me with Reece, although she insists she's not sure how much more she would be able to start him with the jumping than I might be, but I'm more concerned with his dressage just to get him going for me. I just can't put in the time that he needs for a good start. She is also going to take Eddie for the month of February and do a dressage "boot camp" with him for 4 weeks before I start my event season at the end of March. If Eddie would take dressage as seriously as he does cross-country, then we might have a bloody chance at actually winning something one day! Anyway, I'm really thrilled to have found this trainer to help me out. Reece is going to her on December 29, and Eddie on February 2. Hopefully, by next March, I will have two "new" horses, ready to get going and get out there. We'll see!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chicas to the front!!!

The reunion of all reunions. Go girls!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Come in...and pull yourself up a chair (like Chairy!)

I'm kind of excited about this. It says it's "In Production" but doesn't look as though it's expected to be released until 2009. Let's hope Paul Reubens can keep his pants zipped and stay out of the slammer until its all said and done!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Be Alive

One of my very good friends and I have planned to take a cruise (with several other people and anyone else who decides to join in between now and next fall) to Belize, Nassau, Cozemel, and several other Caribbean locations in November of 2008. I love to travel and to visit new places, but I seem to devote all my time and energy to my travel for eventing competitions...and never really any travel just for fun. So, when a friend says: "Let's go on a cruise somewhere really cool next year and get a bunch of people together and just have fun," then I say: "Count me in." I have no time to do that, and no money either, but like my friend Robby says, "Life is not a dress rehearsal."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Real men grow up on farms

My friend Lauren, in Nashville, recently endured the horrible experience of having one of her horses die on her in the pasture Tuesday afternoon. It was terribly unexpected (he was young, healthy, and talented), although he had impaction colicked several days before. He recovered from the minor bout with colic just fine, but as we all know with horses: anything imaginable can happen with/to them in the blink of an eye. In her struggle to deal with the death of her horse, she decided to transport him to the state lab in Nashville for a necropsy. She doesn't have a tractor, horse trailer, flat bed trailer, or a truck...so she was at the mercy of friends and neighbors who were willing to help out.

She wrote this message (below) to a group of us yesterday morning, recounting her ordeal over the past day or so, and it brought tears to my eyes. She told us that she actually laughed later when she thought of a bumper sticker she used to have that read: "I'm raising my kids to be cowboys." She said she'd like to get a new one that says: "I'm raising my kids to be farmboys."


"Ever try to find heavy equipment at 7:30 in the night when there are no farms nearby? We made phone calls for hours last night, and I made phone calls for hours this morning. I was a step away from calling U-Haul. We finally secured a trailer, to be rented from the Co-op, and the BM called her old boarding barn, and begged her to bring a tractor out- she was happy to do it, but it would cost us a pretty penny to have her haul the tractor on the trailer out there. We borrowed a truck from my roommate (hitch in place, no ball), a ball and an electrical adapter from one of my friend's students (she teaches high school agriculture and she was actually the person who was leasing Leo from me and prepping him for competitions in 2008). We were ready to do it. Four women, three of which were overly emotional to begin with.

Back-up to my friend, who teaches high school agriculture.
About 11am, I get a call from my friend- "Cancel everything, I have a truck, trailer and tractor, meet me in half an hour." What?!! I hop in the car and head towards the barn, I get there and find three high school senior boys, their big ol' farm truck with flatbed trailer and bobcat on board. The boys found out what happened to their teacher's horse, called their parents to get them out of school, packed up their equipment, teacher in tow, and came out to the barn, half an hour away. They took a look at the horse, sent us in the barn, and with the dignity he deserved, loaded Leo into the flatbed, covered him carefully and brought him down the the lab for us (another half hour south). They handled everything at the lab, we never had to see anything we didn't want to witness. They were polite, please and thank you, very genuine in their concern (they didn't use chains, they found straps, closed his eyes and mouth the best they could, laid him very gently and carefully down), apologetic for the whole situation and fixed up some other things they "happened to notice needed fixing" at the barn for us.

They very grudgingly let us buy them lunch and ADAMANTLY refused any other sort of payment, "No ma'am, it's the least we could do. We're very sorry."
On top of that, one of my friends called and offered to pay any vet bills we couldn't pay because "I live with my parents and have some extra cash laying around; you're on your own and I know things are tight." I can't even tell you how many times I've cried out of sheer gratitude today. People are truly amazing."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chihuly

I first became educated to the amazing genius of Dale Chihuly's glass artwork a number of years ago, back before I went to grad school. There was an exhibit of his work here in Knoxville at the KMA and I visited that temporary installation several times. I couldn't get enough of it! When I was in Cincinnati a few weeks ago for work, we all went to the museum of art for the afternoon. I enjoyed so much of what I saw (there was an original Maxfield Parrish painting there, and I LOVE MAXFIELD PARRISH!!! I got to stand close to the actual canvas and see every tiny brush stroke and every drop of paint he used...it was amazing), but was obviously thrilled when I walked through the front doors and there was an incredible Chihuly "chandelier" hanging from the ceiling in the entrance hall.

I also frequently enjoy going to his
official web site and looking at all of the beautiful photographs of his various installations from around the world. Just going and looking at his "lap pool" work is well worth the time to check out his site.

"I love to be around water. The connections between glass and water are so unbelievable and so visual. There is no doubt in my mind that water is conducive to thought. Water allows me to be incredibly creative. I work with four materials, of any scale—glass, plastic, water, and ice. And it is really light that makes those materials come alive."
-- Chihuly

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I will win.

Brad Paisley is playing here in Knoxville on February 1st. I don't really want to buy tickets at 9:00 this coming Saturday morning, and it is predicted the show will sell out in only a day or two. Our local country music station, WIVK, is periodically giving away 2 tickets in a contest where they play a current country music song at a faster pace and "polka" style, and listeners have to guess which song it is. I'm soooo good at this. Anyway, they did a song this morning on my drive in to work, but I didn't catch the number to call (I never do things like that...like, call radio stations) but when I heard the song, I knew exactly what song it was. It was "Fall" by Clay Walker!!! I knew it!!! But, I didn't have the number to call!!!

People were calling and guessing really stupid stuff or just blanking when it was their turn to guess. Nobody won, so they went to commercial, and did it again about 5 or 6 minutes later. Some girl called in and guessed "Fall," and you bet...she was right. So, Carrie with a "C" won my 3rd row seats at the Brad Paisley concert this morning. ARggggghhh. That's alright. I'll get them next time. I just went to WIVK's web site and put the contest line number on speed dial on my cellphone. Look out, peeps, because someone is about to win some concert tickets!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Only in eventing...

...would you see a horse and rider jumping onto/off of the roof of a house. :) Photos courtesy of the amazing Francis Whittington and his equally amazing horse, Sir Percival III.













Monday, November 26, 2007

Suh-weet!!!!

4OTs??? The SEC East title??? Are you kidding me? I cannot believe we actually ended up winning this game, but win we did. Now, on to Atlanta...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ouch.

I guess they couldn't "FTJ" this time around, either. Maybe next year!

(I really wish they would incorporate more purple into their uniforms. I loved when they played VT and pulled out the all purple outfits. But, then again, I'm certainly not one to complain about too much orange-and-white.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Why?

I was so devastated to hear this news. My friend Amy was a competitor there this past weekend and she is just all torn up about it. People are saying, "Well, at least she died doing what she loved." It makes me wonder if that's good enough consolation for this type of tragedy anymore. This seems to be happening more and more lately.

If anything, though, it reminds me that life is short...live and love while you can.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Garden & Gun

I am sooooo getting a subscription to this magazine. There are other people out there like me. Who would have thought it? And, here I was, imagining that I was the only girl who rushes home from work, feeds her dogs, rides her horse, cleans the barn, puts out hay, then absentmindedly reaches up to her throat with grimey hands...and realizes that all this time, she's forgotten to take off her good pearls.

Cincinnati

Tomorrow and Friday the WSA Central MAPS team is gathering in Cincinnati for a team meeting. We are going to the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Krohn Conservatory (a botanical garden). We'll just be missing the start of the holiday flower show (which I would have loved!!!) but I'm really looking forward to it anyway. I'm excited to be visiting Cincinnati (I've never been) and bonding with my fellow MAPS teammates. Bonding with teammates is also good, since we all actually like one another. It should be fun! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kids and Horses


This past weekend, I had friends (and their children) over to my place to ride the horses. It was a very nice Saturday afternoon. The kids were great and they all seemed to have a wonderful time. I'm such a firm believer in the power of fresh air and the out-of-doors for active kids. Everyone had fun riding the horses, but I think that almost as much fun was had climbing on my tractor and jumping off of my hay trailer. As long as they're having a good time, so be it.

These are pictures of my friend Jennifer's little boy, Blake, riding Eddie. Isn't he a cutie? And, when I say "cutie,"
I mean Blake, not Eddie...we all already know that Eddie is
adorable.




Monday, November 12, 2007

Hunting license

In order to ride with the hunt over Thanksgiving, I have to obtain a TN small game general hunting license. I can either do this online, or I can do it somewhere like Bass Pro Shops. I've opted to do this online since it is easier and more efficient, and because if I physically GO INTO the big Bass Pro Shops out near my house, then I am likely to spend lots of money that I don't have.

So, let's get this straight: I need to get a hunting license, but I'm afraid to go to BPS because I will buy lots of stuff (possibly even a new 4-wheeler) that I need but can't afford. I am such a Tennesseean that it's almost scary, don't you think?

Yee-haw.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A hunting we will go...

My sister and I decided yesterday that we are going to go fox hunting on Thanksgiving morning for the annual opening meet of the Tennessee Valley Hounds. And, when I say "hunting," I mean "chasing," because the TVH is a "no kill" hunt. I hunted with them last year, and it was amazing fun!!! Their primary hunt country is 2,000 acres along the Holston River in west Jefferson County, TN (about 20 minutes up US 11E from my place) and we ride in the valley along the river, cross the river and ride on an island, then cross back over the river and up into the hills. Eddie was a fox hunter for 2 seasons with a member of a hunt in middle-Tennessee, before I got him a few years ago. He's such a good little hunt pony (he's a good EVERYTHING pony, though) and I can't wait to get out there with him again this year. It's great exercise/conditioning for an off-season eventer, so hopefully this will help keep us sharp going into our competition season next spring.

My sister will be taking my mom's Tennessee Walking Horse ("Rebel") who jumps a little, but not the bigger types of coops, brushes, and paneling that are found in the TVH's hunt country. So, we'll most likely ride in the third flight and I can jump fences if we come to something that has an option where Melissa can also go around, but if we mostly end up just galloping around only jumping logs and ditches, then that's ok with me and Eddie too. Who knows, maybe Rebel will surprise us and really bust it all out. I always thought that he would love fox hunting.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Nature

This is a picture I took with my sucky camera phone yesterday (thanks for nothing, Motorola) of the deer that come out in the mornings beside my house. There were about 7 or 8 of them beside my driveway, and when I walked over to my car after taking their picture, they all turned-tail and ran into the woods behind my barn.

That was a much more peaceful end to my morning routine, than say, THIS MORNING, when my cat caught a little cardinal
by snatching it out of a tree. Yes, he actually leapt up and caught the bird while it was sitting in an apple tree in my horse pasture. I was so devastated and I chased down the cat and finally got him to let go of the bird, at which point I picked it up and ran with it (the bird...not the cat). It was a baby cardinal, which is probably why it was a bit slow and was too close to the ground in the tree. Plus, I saw my cat headed to the tree and yelled at him before he even jumped, and the poor little bird never even saw it coming. Why are there baby birds so late in the year? Why was he sitting so low in the tree? Why didn't he fly off when I yelled at my cat for stalking him, before he even jumped into the tree?

I put him on a shelf in my horse feed room with a little bit of cracked corn. Although he was looking around and bright-eyed (and he bit my thumb really hard with his beak), he wasn't flying and he wasn't moving his legs. I'm not very hopeful, but I set him up by a window so he can see out and maybe die peacefully (if nothing else). I was so mad at my cat. I'm going to have his teeth pulled and he can eat Fancy Feast for the rest of his life, for all I care. I feed him well! He doesn't need to kill birds. Or squirrels. Or rabbits. Or mice. Or moles. Or chipmunks.

So traumatic...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Francy Pants

I have had the BIGGEST crush on British event rider, Francis Whittington, since I witnessed his amazing dressage test (via DVD, of course) at Badminton aboard Spin Doctor in 2005. Suchhhhh a lovely rider. He's not bad to look at otherwise, either. :)

Plus, he's English, and we all know how I feel about ANYTHING English.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Octoberfest

Well, I made the move to Novice this past weekend and it was a good event in a number of ways. First of all, we finished fine and actually ended up in 5th place. That was great, since Eddie and I both love pink! Not bad for my first outing at Novice, but I also take it in stride, knowing that it wasn't a recognized event, so things weren't quite as "maxed out" as they may be at the real deal.

We had a lot of time penalties on cross-country (which means we were slow and "x number" of seconds over the optimum time; an optimum time which was too fast for an unrecognized show, in my opinion). It was very wet and slippery out there first thing Sunday morning, so there was no way I was going to tear around the horse park, slipping and falling all along the way, or sliding into big solid fences (like my friend Sarah did at the "stairs" jump, fence #6...although her horse got his hindend underneath him just in time, and they cleared it fine). Sarah was even slower than I was, and she had speed faults (meaning, she was too fast and was too far under the optimum time) at May Daze this past summer, so she and Raj aren't known to be pokey. But, since it was so muddy/slick out there, we both took our time with our horses and had clean jumping rounds, which is the most important goal in a schooling/unrecognized event: sacrifice the time penalties for clear jumping efforts. We're there to practice, not take home blue ribbons.

Neither Eddie nor Raj were 100% this past weekend. They are both pasture horses and being in a trailer on the road for 3 hours, then in a stall all weekend, really makes them stiff and "ouchy." Both of them took some "off" steps in dressage warm-up Saturday morning, so we only asked of them what they felt like giving this past weekend, and as true and honest as both of our guys are, they sucked it up and never let us down. It was a good weekend for seeing how Eddie might deal with a new level and new challenges, and I couldn't be happier with the result! He was very eager and easy throughout the whole competition, and knowing that wasn't his best effort, made me feel confident that when we are both 100% and ready to go, that our first "real," recognized Novice next spring will go great. Now, I can't wait to get back out there and do it all again! But, that won't be until March 2008. Until then...it's fox hunting season!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Respect

For crying out loud. This kind of wishy-washy bureaucracy is so infuriating. Who can tell whom to lower a flag, or not; or how many times in any given time period it's allowed, or forbidden??? Let them honor their dead, people. It's so sad, as it is, without there being stupid semantics blabbered all around.

I despise how everytime there is a particular tragedy or crisis, some type of political rhetoric inevitably factors in, and takes away from the levity of the situation. Can't there just for once be a time for human emotion, without some technical issue coming to the forefront? Leave us to our love and hate, joy and pain, happiness and sorrow, fear and bravery. Sometimes, rules are just rules, and they can always be broken.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Big Blue Burban

My college roommate, Michelle, and her husband bought a 1988 Suburban this summer to use to haul their vintage 1960's camper to Michigan on vacations. I can't imagine Michelle driving anything bigger than a Jetta or a Volvo S-class. But, drive the "burban" she does! I spent the evening with her, Jim, and the kids this past Saturday when I was in Lexington for Octoberfest. We cruised town to Kroger in the Suburban and I have to say that there is a natural aggressiveness in Michelle's ability to drive something that maneuvers like a big tank. I mean, I can drive a big truck, but my truck drives like a car, compared to the BBB.
Fellow drivers in and around Lexington, beware...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sing it, Carrie!

My new favorite quote?

"I close my eyes, and I kiss the frog. Each time finding...the more boys I meet, the more I love my dog."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thou shalt not...
















...covet thy friend Amy's trainer.

Friday, October 26, 2007

East Side, here we come.

Like the song says, "Well, we're movin' on up...". Yes, Eddie and I are moving up to Novice this weekend at the Octoberfest Horse Trials. It's not a full-on USEA recognized event (that will happen next March), but it'll be a good first outing at our new level. Bigger and better, right? We shall see...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spiders, spiders, and spiders...oh, my!

It's been a rainy few days here in Tennessee (thank you, God) and I've just been needing a little pick-me-up. Some Gary Lightbody love should do the trick! I about died when I read this excerpt from his tour blog on their official web site. I am convinced that GL is my destiny, but come on man...if you're going to make it in my world, you can't be afraid of spiders. Or dogs. Or horses. Or pot-bellied pigs.

"On a car journey from Sydney to play a show in Newcastle our driver and guide Rory, a genial and erudite ex-army man passed on his vast knowledge of the surrounding landscape, its history and its wildlife. After four days of feeling safe in Sydney (I was told on a trip here a few years back that no spiders lived in the city as ‘they’re more scared of you than you are of them’) Rory calmly answered my tentative inquiries about what things out here in the wilderness might bring about my untimely death. “As we’ll not be stopping out here,” he says, “there isn’t anything to worry about” (phew, says I). If only he’d stopped talking right there. Then he told me about the very real danger that lives in the place I’d just been feeling safe in for the last few days: the Sydney Funnel Web Spider (SHIT, says I). It’s a spider ONLY found in Sydney. Contrary to whatever liar told me there were no spiders to worry about in the cities this is one of the most deadly in the world and it lives in nearly every garden in Sydney. The place is teeming with them. Of course this is where Rory lets me have it good and proper while he has me up against the ropes and woozy as a nineteenth-century aristocrat’s daughter at a poetry reading. Before I passed out I recall him saying it had the ability to jump three feet in the air and very often the reason someone is bitten at all is because they try and step on the wee bastards and the spider, using the gift the devil gave it, leaps into the air and bites the fella on his mancakes. Bang! I hit the floor of the car. When I came to again and Rory stopped laughing he hit me with yet more tragic stories of insects and animals chasing folk (and catching folk) that would make you want to seal yourself inside a suit of armour forever. Although knowing me I’d end up sealing something nasty in there with me. I should calm down though. It’s really not that bad. For all my fears, we're yet to see so much as a moth with a funny look in his eye in all our trips out here, and all that said we’re having a wonderful last tour of this record. Australia has always been great for us and the gigs so far have been a hell of a lot of fun. Thank you all for coming and being such a great crowd."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween costume?

Next Wednesday is Halloween, and I'm really trying to talk my friend Erika (who I also work with) into dressing up. She's being belligerent and balky, but maybe if I could just find THE RIGHT costume, she'd get on board. Anything to make the work day less...Wilburish...is good with me!

I don't think I'll be choosing the Princess Leia option, though, as I did when I was six years old. I love how the whole long, straight blonde hair stringing out behind the mask seemed to pose no problem for me as part of the costume. Geez, mom. You could have at least pulled it back into a ponytail or something. With the contrasting hair, it's so clear that I'm NOT REALLY Princess Leia. What gives?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yum

Sorry, Becks...I know I've been neglecting you lately.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Redemption

In all fairness (after Friday's blog entry), I should also post this adorable photo of me and Kelly sled riding a few months before I went to live in Vail.

Back before she and Randy moved to Charleston, we did other things than just frequent SEC football games, intoxicated to the hilt -- although, I'd be lying if I led you to believe that there were more snowy sled rides than blurry football games. :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Go Vawlths...

OMG. I found this picture the other day and couldn't help posting it. It is basically humiliating, but hilarious all the same. This is me and my friend Kelly in a decidedly NON-SOBER state at Neyland Stadium a few years ago. Klassy, with a "K", aren't we? And, if you think that random people in our vicinity didn't get accidentally poked in the head about a dozen times with that huge foamy finger, then you would be wrong. It's kind of large and unwieldy, so difficult to control, in certain (drunken) situations.

I do believe that Kelly's equally trashed boyfriend (and now husband), Randy, had his finger over the lens when snapping this fabulous image. We were a struggling mess, and I was obviously doing a great job of getting my "Britney Spears" on.

Tomorrow is the Tennessee/Alabama game, so I thought I'd honor the occasion with a trip down memory lane, back to those foggy, Jim Beam-filled days when I frequented Neyland Stadium every home game Saturday during graduate school. I think the last time I actually went to a game there was when Shane and I attended the TN/GA game together (or, was it the TN/Bama game? All I remember was Charlie Daniels sang at half-time!) right before he moved to Louisiana. Fortunately for Shane, I was nowhere near the same horrifying state of grace at that game as I was in this lovely photo. Ah, well: we live and we learn.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back in the day

When I lived in Vail, I tried lots of new things: eating fried squid, mountain biking and hiking the ski slopes in the summer, going to Rockies' games, shopping in Denver, being a mom, skiing everyday for 3 months, and roller hockey. The last of these items seems a bit out of place for me, and rather unusual for someone as HIGHLY uncoordinated as I am. But, as this picture will tell, try it I did. I wasn't really that great at it (there's a good reason for those knee pads), but I had fun. I was good with the stick and the shooting, but terrible with the skating and ball/puck control. My friend Ned took this picture when we were out playing one day in Eagle Vail. I love the "No Slapshots" on the wall in the background...because, as you can clearly tell, I'm a pretty hard core hockey player and wicked slapshots are my game.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

VOLFAN

My friend Jennifer sent this picture to me last week. She was stuck in traffic in Richmond, VA, and looked up to see the shining beacon of the Tennessee "Power T" calling to her from several cars away.
We are EVERYWHERE.