Friday, September 28, 2007

Miller Time

My little sister is in town, so last night we were supposed to go and see Scott Miller and the Commonwealth play at the opening of the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Oak Ridge, TN. We were way more about Scott and the band than hot air balloons, but it sounded like fun anyway! I love, love, love Scott (as all of you know) and I haven't seen him play live in several years. He's great and always will be. But, alas, after Melissa's drive in here yesterday -- and by the time I got home from work and got all my chores done -- we just lost steam and didn't end up going (the season premier of Grey's Anatomy was on last night anyway). So, no Scott this time around. He'll be back, I'm sure!

By the way, don'tcha just love how the color of his eyes in that picture matches the color of his shirt? Too cute.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I'm not sure what to think about this, or what to do with this information. So...depressing. Ioan has, basically, been my idea of perfection since way back when I first saw him in Titanic, and of course I obsessed over him incessantly in his Horatio Hornblower days. (Sorry, Becks, I know you were there first and all.) Now what am I going to do? What am I going to hope for? What have I got to live for? Sadness all around!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vintage Wes

For those of you reading this who have never seen the movie Bottle Rocket, then there's a very good reason why we are no longer friends.

I have been hooked on the Wes Anderson/Wilson brothers roller coaster since I saw that first film back in 1996.
Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaum's were worthy follow-ups, but nothing like that debut effort. I was flat-out disappointed by The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (although the Family Guy episode the title inspired, The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou, is a favorite of mine, without a doubt). Nevertheless, I never even finished watching that movie all the way through. However, I am very excited about the new movie coming out in New York this weekend. It seems they have gone back to the basics of what makes a Wes Anderson film so phenomenal (plus, the added bonus of Jason Schwartzman as a writer as well as an actor seems like a good move), and with Adrien could you go wrong?

I'm looking forward to seeing this when it comes to Knoxville, and need I even say how excited I'll be to see the subsequent Family Guy episode,
The Quahog Limited. Good stuff, to be sure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Engineers rule

I love working with the Wilbur Smith people in Knoxville. I know that other WSA peeps elsewhere don't have it so lucky, which makes me even more grateful for the wonderful people I encounter on a daily basis.

This past Friday morning, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to re-open James White Parkway in downtown Knoxville, as the first contract of the SmartFIX 40 project came to completion. Our firm designed this interstate/roadway improvement and our engineers are also taking part in the construction inspection of the work as it progresses. I'm really proud of everyone working on this job, since it's hard, thankless work, and because - ultimately - the road improvements will save lives. And, saving lives is always a good thing.

You can click on the above photo to see it in a larger size, if you really, really, really want to see everybody up close and personal. I got pulled into that photo at the last minute (which is why I'm smack dab up front) and if you can't tell by my expression, I wasn't exactly sure why they wanted me in the picture. It's not like I be engineering ANYTHING, or whatever. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pumpkin seeds

I am introducing pumpkin seeds into my diet big time this week. They are an excellent source of zinc, iron, essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. They are almost like a tasty little multivitamin, and that means I don't need to stand in the supplement/nutrition aisle at Walgreen's for, like, an hour trying to find THE ONE VITAMIN that gives me everything I need, in one simple little dosage. Pumpkin seeds are really all I need. And, it's fall now, so it just seems right to be eating pumpkin seeds. It just seems right.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Sadly, my cat Samuel (aka "Sammy") passed away yesterday. He had been a bit sickly for the last week or so, but I thought maybe it was just a cold. He wasn't coming up around the house and eating from his bowl on the front porch and he wasn't really being very social or affectionate, so I knew something was wrong, and I sort of knew where it was all going. I feel like the Bermuda Triangle of pets lately. That's 3 animals (Lucas, Soapsuds, and now Sammy) that I've lost in the past month. But, I have to think that I'm a good owner and love them and take care of them while I can.

May Sammy rest in peace (beside his sister, Sasha, over behind the barn) and may he catch lots of rats in Kitty Heaven!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

No needles is GOOD

I saw this news item this morning on tv, on the BBC World News (yes, as shocking as that is for most of you, I do get my daily news from the BBC. Such a surprise, I'm sure).

Since my friend, Amy, is terrified of needles (unless it has to do with the veterinary treatment of or care for a horse, which she is totally fine with and perfectly capable of doing) she will be happy to know of this new medical development. It's pretty cool, and I'd certainly prefer my flu or tetanus shot to be administered this way. It's also interesting how it was derived from computer printer cartridge technology. IT and medical science coming together - once again - for the betterment of society. Way to go, geeks of the world!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


There is just something very wrong with this man:

"A Portland, Oregon man is recovering after being bitten on the tongue by his pet rattlesnake. Matt Wilkenson admits that he put the snake's head in his mouth while drinking with friends. Miraculously, he survived. Wilkenson says he still loves his snakes, but has gotten rid of the poisonous ones."

I am so oogied out by this story that I can't believe I actually posted this. It's just so insanely fascinating.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Becks, Becks, Everywhere...

This is fabulous news.

I don't "do" MySpace (I technically have a page and a log-in, so that I could leave a message for a friend of mine on his page back in June, but I've never really done anything else on there). I may have to reconsider my non-MySpace involvement, since this new development.

Jenn, you know you so want to, too. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007


....not surprised. Florida 59, Tennessee 20.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Big Game

Tomorrow is the 3rd Saturday in September, so we all know what that means: Tennessee/Florida. This year, the crazies will all be convening in Gainesville and I will be content to watch it all play out in the comfort of Shane and Matt's living room. And, I'd say that by about the second quarter, I'll be flipping through the channels thinking to myself, "Gee, I wonder who Vanderbilt is playing today?"

By the way, I think the "O" in "VOLS" in that picture is one of my former students. Nice.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Science 2007

I've mentioned on here before my interest in spinal cord injuries, as you all know that I compete in an equestrian sport that is considered "high risk." One of our greatest number of human tragedies is spinal cord injury during a fall with or from a horse on the cross-country portion of 3-day eventing. The recent football injury of the Bills' Kevin Everett has saddened me, but has also fascinated me -- both because of his now positive prognosis, as well as the experimental methods they used at the time of the injury and are continuing to use as he stabilizes and recovers. I was really interested in the saline or "cooling" method they used when they injected saline into his spine on Sunday to lower the temperature of his spinal cord and surrounding tissue to help avoid the cord and tissue damaging itself through swelling and bruising. According to Everett's orthopedic surgeon, that method "saved the day" for him. Now, I understand that all injuries are unique, and that might not have been the case for a different injury or a different person, but I still think that trying something like that (it's not radical and it's not sacrificial, so it wouldn't have hurt anything, only helped) is so valuable. I pray all the time for new approaches to assisting spinal cord injured athletes and I find hope and inspiration in these stories of newfound successes in treating those injuries and the improvements in the conditions of the patients.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Check me out, bitches!!!

I love, love, love this man. Adorable. :)

"The bus is bumping and trundling towards Vegas for tonight’s show. With cactus filled desert leading to vast mountain ranges on either side of the bus it’s hard not to feel minuscule. There’s a strange and eerie sense of history too in the intolerant landscape. It’s not like I can empathise with the hardships faced by the Native Americans or even the pioneers (we’re in an air-conditioned tour bus with two TVs, beds and a flushing toilet) but this terrain hasn’t really changed in eons, if you overlook the road we’re on and the stoic ugliness of the telegraph pylons. It’s incredible to think of folk braving this snake and scorpion filled blast furnace on horseback, rickety wagon or indeed foot. Not that I’m offering to get out and walk in some misguided pursuit of the past. For that part of history the books will do just fine for me."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


So, I just returned from my magical family vacation with my BFF Kelsey, and we had such a good time in Wilmington!!! The weather was amazing, the Avett's show was unbelievable, and we just laughed and cried about everything all weekend long. Good times, for sure. I'd never been to Wilmington before, but I enjoyed it very much. We didn't visit all of the historic downtown, but the 5-8 block radius from the Riverside Hilton (where we stayed) was delightful. A very cool city, indeed. Once I get some pictures downloaded, I'll put them up here. They're really amazing, let me just tell you...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Go Tigers

...And, when I say "Go Tigers" I don't mean "Geaux Tigers" (Sorry, Shane dear).

So, after this first exciting weekend of college football, I have decided that I am not going to be able to cheer for Tennessee this year after all. About halfway through last football season, I gave up on UT and chose to support the team with the coolest colors (orange and purple!). Clemson was a good choice, since my friends Will and Brandon, (Loper, aka "BLo"!!!) went there, too, and that means I have a personal attachment. My other choice would be Georgia, but I just can't do that...not yet, not at this time. Again, sorry, Shane dear.

After all was said and done last night, I'm going to have to cheer for Clemson, and of course, whoever happens to be playing Florida on any given Saturday. Or, whoever is playing LSU, who I hate just as bad. AGAIN, SORRY, SHANE DEAR. Clemson has the cool colors, but I have to say that their slogan "The Paw Says It All" has got to go. No self-respecting athletic marketing director would come up with such a lame catchphrase, I am sure.

Monday, September 3, 2007


This week, I'm on vacation from work. I needed a break so bad, even though I'm not doing anything crazy exciting. Well, I just spent the holiday weekend at the lake with my parents, which was fabulous (although I got way too much sun and water!!!). I'm going to NC with friends (Charlotte and Wilmington) this coming weekend for my birthday, which will be super fun, but it's not like I'm hopping a ship for Greece or anything like that! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday today and a very good week!