Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hey everyone, I'm back from my guilt trip

Hey friends. So I'm back... I had to take a break because those last two posts really wore me out. Speaking of those last two posts, my parents aren't really talking to me right now, but I figure they're only in their early sixties so we have plenty of time to patch things up. Just kidding, they were pretty good sports about the whole thing, although I did have to pack my bags and take the requisite guilt trip... a familiar trek indeed. The truth is, I come from a long line of sarcastic smarta*ses, so they took it all in stride.

What's new... let's see. Gavin's mom and grandmother are coming to town on Saturday and we're trying to figure out something fun to do to entertain them while they're here. Anyone care to hazard a suggestion? We were thinking of going to see the bodies exhibit downtown, but frankly, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma: On the one hand, I feel like this is a fascinating scientific display that is certainly worthwhile to visit, and that we should take advantage of it while it's here. On the other hand, gross me out. I hate to be like that, but these are peoples' actual dead bodies on display, essentially for entertainment. Really? I'm not sure Nana will be all about that... it's newfangled, to say the least. We'll just have to see.

My book club decided to read the book I previously plugged on this blog, called Shattered Dreams: My life as a polygamist wife by Irene Spencer, so that leaves me wide open for book suggestions. Bring it. Remember, I'm looking for something edifying, yet interesting, so I can keep up with my New Years Resolutions.

Hey, speaking of resolutions, it's Lent, and during this time of the year, we Catholics are supposed to resolve to commit to give something up that we like and enjoy, or do something for others that is hard for us, as a way of commemorating the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. That is your theology lesson of the day. After 12 years of Catholic school, I have about a million. I'm late to this game but I'm trying to think of something to do. Right now I'm basically going to try to get to church on a regular basis, which will be hard enough. Hopefully I will arrive at a meaningful decision before Easter.

Well, back to real life.... lata.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cell phone mems

So after my last post, my good friend Jennifer from college was so kind as to remind me about my college cell phone. I think it is definitely worth a blog post. I entered college in the fall of 1998 and graduated in the spring of 2002. During that period of time, the cell phones pretty much all looked like this:

or this:

Mine, on the other hand, looked a little something like this:

It was a hand-me-down from my Dad's stash o' cold-war era cell phones. My Dad's philosophy with cell phones was similar to his philosophy with cars. They just needed to work, and with cell phones, they just needed to work in an emergency.

A few fun facts about my college cell phone:

1) It had no memory capability, so I had to actually memorize people's phone numbers and dial them on the giant keypad every time; I couldn't just program them in.

2) It had no voicemail capability or "missed calls" feature. If you called me and I didn't answer, you had to just keep trying because I would never know it.

3) No fun ringtones -- just one, ear-piercingly-loud-digital-office-phone sounding ring that could be heard well above the crowds or music in a bar or club. It definitely couldn't be set to vibrate, but might have had a silent feature... if it did I never learned to use it because the manual had been lost when I was in junior high, around the time when the phone was purchased. This helped me to avoid missing calls, which was important because of #2. Unfortunately this also meant I couldn't take it a lot of places.

4) It only fit in big purses.

5) Again, it was ok to make fun of it. My friends called it the Zack Morris phone, because it looked like the one Zack used on Saved By the Bell, circa 1992? Behold.

So anyway, imagine me tooling around Auburn in the Sable, in all it's masking-taped, cow-seated glory, chatting on my Zack Morris cell phone, and you can see why my personality is so great... I had a lot to overcome!

Just kidding, it was fun, and I would never change a thing. If I had normal amenities in college I wouldn't have the pleasure of blogging about them today, and again I learned some valuable lessons about growing up and earning the things you want, instead of having them handed to you. So, old cell phone, wherever you are, this next Bud's for you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Drive down memory lane

So a friend of mine got a new car this past weekend, and as we were talking about the nice shiny new car, it got me thinking about an old familiar car in my past. The Sable.

The Sable was my college car, that my Dad gave me my freshman year at Auburn. It was a 1991 Mercury that came into my life in 1999. It taught me a lot about life, gratitude, and most importantly, humility. You see, there were six of us kids, and Dad believed that, when it came to vehicles, we only needed something to get us around. We could have a nice car when we got a job and could buy it ourselves. This produced some fun cars for the brood... the Pumpkin, the Silver Bullet, the Rosewood, the Roach....

I have pics of the Sable of course... in fact I have one framed in my office right now. Unfortunately I have none on my computer. BUT I found this photo on the internet that is a reasonably accurate depiction. Behold.

Here are some fun facts about the Sable:

1. It had been totaled at least once. My dad, being in the automotive paint and body repair industry at the time, saved it from a premature journey to the scrap heap and had his guys put it back together with scrap parts and Bondo.

2. It was silver... mostly. The rear door on the passenger side was a distinctly different color. To be fair, it was in the same general color family as the rest of the car, but that particular shade was clearly the result of some guesswork in the paint booth. I suspect my Dad used this car as a training tool for some new employee. Way to kill two birds with one stone, Dad - I didn't need my car to look cool or normal or monochromatic! Whatevs!

3. After firing her up, I could completely remove the keys from the ignition and the car would continue to operate as though they never left. Sometimes they just fell out.

4. Due to a few mysterious stains on the seats, I installed luxurious furry black and white faux cow seat covers on the front and rear seats. These were financed by several successful "cow seat collection drives" which were also known as keggers at our apartment junior year, during which people would literally put money in a big cylindrical container (generously donated and decorated by Kristin's stepmom) that said "Cow Seat Collection Drive." By my senior year, the cow seats had made the Sable famous around town. The cow seats were the one cool thing about the Sable. I would park that b*tch right there on the sorority hill, among the beamers and the shiny new SUVs, and it could be proud, because of the cow seats.

5. I had luxurious big furry dice on the rearview to go with the seats. During football season I attached a tiger tail to the trunk, and I had some nice Auburn and University of Margaritaville (from spring break in Key West) decals sprucing up the rear window.

6. It was huge, like a big beautiful silver/gray barge with cow seats. I could fit seven people in the Sable, and did regularly, once for the five-hour road trip (with traffic) to Tuscaloosa and back for the 2000 Iron Bowl. All the luggage fit easily in the giant trunk. We all leaned forward, and we were off! Kristin rode the whole way with furry dice in her face and didn't complain at all (riiiiight).

7. The speedometer only went up to 85. Literally, that was the highest number on the speedometer, located all the way at the end, as though the Mercury factory folks felt exceeding that speed was unthinkable. Truthfully, in the Sable it was, because if you went over 63, it started to shake.

8. The odometer was so far over 100,000 that it had completely started over, and if you didn't know better, you'd think it had normal mileage for an 8,9, 10-year-old car. Really, it was that number plus 100,000.

9. Once someone rammed into it while it was innocently parked at my apartment complex, destroying one of the headlights. I drove it home, and my dad took me out to a real live scrap yard. I watched as he pried a headlight off a Ford Taurus from the same era, and had one of his guys hook the wires up. It worked, but it didn't exactly fit, so he wrapped white masking tape around it and told me not to drive too fast, or it would go flying off. It stayed like that for the rest of the time I had it, which was at least a year, probably more.

10. It was ok to make fun of the Sable. I was cool with it. Meg called it the Disable, and that caught on.

11. The Sable finally died in the parking lot of Varsity Tans in Auburn, about three months before I graduated. I put that baby into reverse, and well, nothing happened. Apparently the transmission blew, and the thousand or so it would have cost to fix it totaled the whole car. April had to come pick me up and I cried for days. My Dad really came through for me, sending up my mom's 1997 Bonneville on a tow truck and towing the Sable away. It was a sad day.

12. This is what succeeded the Sable, and what I drove throughout law school. Thar she blows! Seriously, though, I felt like I was driving a Bentley - it was so great.
Haha - people don't wonder why I bought a brand new convertible after I landed my first job out of law school. These cars were blessings though, because without them I would have been stranded all the time. They were really life lessons on wheels, because I learned that cars are really just cars, and you should impress people with who you are, not what you have, and finally, that fancy sporty shiny new cars don't make you cool - cow seats do.

Sable - wherever you are - this Bud's for you.

Valentine's Weekend

Valentine's Day was wayyy fun this year! Gavin and I grilled out steaks, popped open some wine, and hung out at the house. We thought about watching a movie, but decided to play Monopoly instead, and it was really fun and different. Yesterday Gavin barbecued all day long and last night we had Alan and Lori over to help us eat it and watch Big Love. Woo hoo!

So check out Maddie's new obsesssion. Meet Frankly Burgess. He's a chia teddy bear that Santa/Grandma also brought. This is him on Friday, before Maddie ate his face off. He's a little thinner now, but still hanging in there. I think we should all think twice before we get too attached to Frankly.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Hey guys! I'm back! OMG, we had such a great time -- out of control. Let me just tell you, the team came to play. I am still so exhausted.

Ok, here's the rundown. We all got there on Thursday at various times. First Meg, then me, then Leah and April. We stayed at the Hard Rock and Thursday night we hung out there and met some colorful characters, played some blackjack, and stayed out until it was literally morning. Friday I hit the strip (alone - everyone else was in the bed) and visited with a college friend who was actually in Vegas the same time as me (weird, but yay). Friday night, after everyone managed to get up and take showers, we had dinner at the Pink Taco and saw Elton John at Caesar's Palace, which was AWESOME, and then we hit some clubs. Saturday night we went to Tao for dinner, then hit more clubs. We later found out that Kevin Federline was at Tao nightclub while we were at the restaurant. We didn't meet him. DAMN.

This is us at Tao before dinner....

This is one of the colorful characters we met at Wasted Space, a club at the Hard Rock, after Elton on Friday night. Motley Crue played at the Hard Rock two of the three nights we were there, so the clientele at the hotel mostly looked like this guy all weekend. Great people watching - I cannot even tell you. He let us touch his mohawk.

So much happened in between that I cannot even begin to tell the story here on my blog. BUT, I will share some quotes with you. Some of the speakers are identified, and some are not, out of respect for the Vegas code... the unidentified speakers could be anyone - a Team Vegas member, or a random we encountered along the way.... I will leave it up to your imagination...

Meg: That old guy with the beard is looking at you.
Me: Yeah. That is one big rugby shirt.

"Can we touch your mohawk?"

“Look, if you’re going to spank me, do it like you mean it. I enjoy a good spanking.”

“I want to get to know you emotionally during my weekend trip to Vegas.”

Me: I just hope Elton doesn’t play Alligator Rock. I just really don't like that song.
Leah: Isn’t it Crocodile Rock?
April: I hope he plays I’m Still Sitting, Orange Brick Road, and Hold me Closer, Tony Danza.

“I will wear a furry bear outfit and feed you honey if it will keep you off drugs.”

“I’m doing my part this weekend to help the economy. Specifically the hashbrown industry.”

Guy in bar, pointing at each of us: “Trouble. Trouble. Trouble. Trouble.”

“Flex your butt muscles.”
“I am.”
(slapping) “Really? I can’t tell.”

“Wild Panda! Go b*tch go!”

“Quick survey: Man or woman?”
“Man. No wait – I think I see cleavage. But it’s hairy cleavage. I’m so confused.”

“Sorry I keep putting my crotch in your face.”

GREAT TIME! Can't wait for the next adventure.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just great.

I'll fix you later, Steve Burgess.

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Everyone get excited - I'm heading to Vegas tomorrow! Blog post to follow.....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Corrections and Updates

Just to clarify, I leave for Tampa tomorrow, not Wednesday. I'd hate to throw my stalkers off my scent.

Also, Steve Burgess has a new wound, on the anterior aspect of his right deltoideus muscle. I managed to stop the fluffrhaging in time, but we'll probably have to amputate if this madness continues. No way could this guy get life insurance.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Triple Threat Review

I wanted to make sure I blogged before my schedule descends into utter chaos this week. I'm flying down to Tampa on Wednesday, then driving to Orlando, then to Ocala, then back to Tallahassee, and then I take off for LAS VEGAS on Thursday!

First off, let me say that Gavin and I had such a fun weekend. On Saturday, we decided that we needed new pillows for our bed, so we hopped in the car and scooted down to Macy's to pillow-shop. On the way to the pillows, we encountered the mattresses. I couldn't resist sacking out on a few of them. I dominate sleep so this was like Clarence Clemens walking through a saxophone store, or Roger Federer walking through a tennis racquet store, or Bill Clinton walking through a store full of interns. I had to stop and sample the merchandise.

The sales associate taught us so much technical information about all the different mattresses, and it really got us thinking about upgrading our mattress to an actual name brand, or at least something I didn't acquire as a broke law school student. To be continued...

So anyway, after we picked out some pillows, we went out to one of the greenways in town and walked all through the trails. We walked by a pond and Gavin said he thought he heard an alligator and to be quiet, and to remember to run diagonally, in zigzags. WTF! Are you serious? I was terrified. We got out of there fast, diagonally.

We then encountered a couple raccoons. One of them heard us coming and froze on the tree he was climbing at the time, making eye contact with us. Gavin snapped some pictures on his phone but when I looked at them I couldn't locate the raccoon. Maybe it was a raccoon ghost and we are raccoon mediums. Media? Mediums.

After taking a walk, we went home, freshened up, and continued on our daylong date by going to dinner at a new sushi restaurant in town: Japanica. If you haven't been, definitely go. Gavin and I are actually kind of picky about our sushi, and we thought this place came to play. Check it out.

We then went to see Benjamin Button. Finally. I thought it was pretty good, but not quite as good as Frost/Nixon or Milk. The story was certainly original and the acting was phenomenal. I want to check out Slumdog Millionaire next.

Finally, I just finished a great non-fiction learny book: Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer. It's the best kind of educational book because it's also very juicy and scandalous. It's about the author's experience living as a plural wife in fundamental Mormonism. SO interesting. After almost every chapter I had to stop and ask Gavin if he wanted another wife. I do that during Big Love, too. He always says no, so I guess so far so good.

So, to recap: mattress shopping is fun, run diagonally from alligators, we see dead raccoons, Japanica has delicious sushi, Benjamin Button was good, and check out that book about the polygamous fringe sect. Lata!