Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm back!

Whoa! My weekend jaunt to Virginia was quite interesting ... So interesting, in fact, that I'm not quite sure how to sum it up in a blog post. But I'm going to try.

Really, I am. Just not tonight.

So instead, enjoy this photo I took while visiting the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., on Saturday. The scenery was beautiful, and the memorial was very moving. I'll definitely be writing more about that later.

But for now, I'm going to finish up work and then crash. Did I mention it was a long, long, long weekend?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Clean, pack. Clean, pack. Pack, pack, pack!

Whenever I've got any kind of trip coming up - no matter how long or how short the adventure may be - I turn into a neurotic cleaner and packer. My brain kind of goes into stealth mode, and all it can think about is what I haven't done or how I can re-do what I've already finished.

Yes, I believe it's a tad excessive - but, hey, that's just the way I am sometimes (i.e. now).

Jon and I are heading up to Lynchburg, Va., to visit my mother and meet her new boyfriend this weekend. Two daunting efforts rolled into one, if you ask me.

I love my mother to death - she and I have always gotten along very well, and she was always thought of as "the cool mom" when I was growing up. She and I love the same music, could shop all day and all night if given the opportunity, and always share at least one tear-inducing fit of laughter during our visits.

However ... The visit to Virginia can get a little iffy when other family members are involved ... namely a wacko cousin who knows my political views and gets a big kick out of ruffling my feathers by disagreeing with everything I have to say.

Add to that the fact that Lynchburg is Falwell Country (as in Jerry Falwell), and you've got hell, if you ask me.

Then there's meeting my mother's boyfriend, which is going to be interesting ... he's seven years younger than my mom (way to go!), is a hippie computer geek (my mother's words, not mine) and apparently wants to marry her (they've been dating 5 months).

Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous, concerned and anxious all in one.

Really, I don't know what to think, so I'm trying not to think at all. Instead, I'm cleaning and packing. It's what I do best, of course.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The saga of the loud neighbor ... is it the end?

My weekend work schedule is a doozy - I work Friday nights until around 12:30 a.m., and then have to be back at the office between 8 and 9 on Saturday mornings. Needless to say, I don't get much rest on Friday nights, and prying myself out of bed on Saturday mornings while the rest of the world is sleeping in doesn't make for a happy Stacey.

So, you can image how extremely irritating it would be to get to sleep on a Friday night around 2:30 a.m. only to be woken up 30 minutes later by a loud slam!, the sound of blaring music, loud voices and general party mahem.

That's just what happened this past Friday ... and the party didn't stop until 5:30 in the morning! I was not at all pleased, but I managed to contain my anger to a couple loud stomps on my floor to get my point across to the party below my feet. But, when nothing happened as a result of my loud stomping, I figured their music had pretty much drowned out my jumping up and down, so I went to bed and sulked with the full intention of having a nice talk with my landlord on Monday morning.

Enter THE NOTE, pictured here ...

As I was leaving Saturday evening to head to Barnes and Noble with Jon, I found this note attached to the clip beside my front door. Hmmm ... Apparently my stomps WERE heard, afterall. And, according to the note, I won't hear a sound out of her for the next several months and then she's moving out. Sounds like a pretty bold promise, but I'm all about it if it's true.

So, I didn't have that nice, long talk with my landlord ... I'm actually going to trust that I maybe got my point across and she may very well keep it down for the remainder of her lease. We'll see!

Apartment life is always interesting ... you never know what you're going to be getting, and neighbors never, ever cease to amaze me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pedestrian rage?!?

"Look both ways before you cross the street."

That saying was recited to me by my parents, babysitters and teachers a million times as I was growing up. And I can only assume every other child has heard the same mantra over and over and over again, right?

Most folks stick to that rule ... you simply do not walk out into busy traffic and expect folks to stop immediatly. ... Especially when said traffic is in a downtown area and there's a green light up ahead that is next to impossible to get.

But there are the few, the proud, the stupid, who choose to risk it - stepping out into oncoming traffic as they put their trust in flashing lights meant to alert drivers that a pedestrian is in the area. Now, I am all for pedestrian safety, but when the person is a big, fat, jerk, I'm all for revving my engine to put the fear of God in 'em.

So, this afternoon I was minding my business driving down the road in front of our county courthouse when the pedestrian-alert lights began flashing. I was only 10 feet from the pedestrian crosswalk and figured the woman who had just pressed the button to cross would know how hard it would be for me and the car next to me to stop. But I slowed just in case, and THANK GOD I did, because the "slowing" quickly turned into a break-squealing stop.

Miss Thang immediatly stepped in front of my car, screaming and wagging her finger in my general direction, as if I were to blame for her rediculous decision. The woman actually stopped in the center of the road to chew me out, and I was absolutely mystified.

And what really irks me is that if I hadn't been able to stop and I'd hit her, the blame would have been pinned on me - despite this crazed woman's behavior.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I want to go where it's warm

The retail giants are at it again ... It could be 0 degrees outside, but Christmas is over, so the swimsuits are out.

Normally it would bug me to see tank tops and shorts lining the aisles of Old Navy, Target, etc. so soon, but this year I'm so ready for spring that I just want to try on every last outfit that screams 80-degree weather.

My sandals are calling my name, and I cannot wait to go clothes shopping for some much-needed new capris and t-shirts.

Spring is my favorite season, and it can't get here soon enough. So I'm thinking I need to go to it. ... Vacation, anyone?!?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Too cool

There are very few stars who keep my interest. Really only two ... Jennifer Nettles and Jon Bon Jovi.

Jon Bon Jovi has been a bit of an obsession since I was 10 or 11. And I still think he's a hottie, thankyouverymuch!

But it wasn't until I was in college in South Georgia that I was introduced - quite by accident - to Jennifer's unique sound when she was in the Atlanta-based band, Soul Miner's Daughter.

I was standing outside one afternoon awaiting word on whether I'd been named managing editor of our campus newspaper (I got the job, by the way), when I heard an amazing band playing yards away under the rotunda. I ran down the steps of the student center and found myself in awe of the incredibly powerful voice coming from the girl wearing a wife beater and baggy pants in front of me. Combined with her energy, she packed a powerful punch, and I was hooked.

Now, 7 years later she's no longer with Soul Miner's Daughter - or the Jennifer Nettles Band, which she formed a few years back. Breaking away from the free-spirited funky rock she once performed, Jennifer is now lead singer in the country band Sugarland.

I'm no country fan, but I'm hooked once again. And tonight I came across this photo on The Associated Press web site - Jen is at the Grammys.

I am so impressed, excited and hopeful that Sugarland will not only give a killer performance, but that they'll take home a Grammy for Best New Artist.

I've seen Jennifer perform dozens of times and had the opportunity to attend a CD release party of hers in Atlanta a couple years ago. More than anything, what struck me was how sincere, very outgoing and kind she was. If anyone deserves a statue, it's this girl.

Friday, February 03, 2006

2 + 9 = @#*!

The number 29 seems so harmless ... boring, actually, doesn't it?

I've never been a fan of odd numbers. And this lackluster numeral is just not at all appealing on a variety of levels - but mainly because it has sent me into a bit of a tizzy lately.

Age 29 is a little more than a month away. (Insert classic horror flick scream here.)

I know, I know ... you're only as old as you feel; age is just a number, and so on. But that's all thrown out the window when you really start to evaluate yourself and ask where the heck time went. God knows I don't think of myself as 29.

It's funny how inching one year closer to yet another decade can be more than a little unnerving. But I think the big 3-0 is packed with unfair innuendo - namely the end of one's carefree single life and the beginning of spinsterhood.

A single girl approaching 30 is often the subject of conversation - be it good or bad - that revolves around when she's going to "settle down." You know - get married, buy a home, start popping out children, join the PTA and become the wholesome soccer mom America has somehow grown to love (and hate).

That's just not happened in my life, and although deep down I'm fine with that, I still don't know how comfortable I am with single life. Friends have been getting married/engaged left and right, and by God, I don't want to be the girl people secretly recite the saying, "always the bridesmaid and never the bride" about.

Then there's the financial situation. As I've alluded to here before, I'm not rollin' in the dough. Not that I'm dying to be super wealthy, but how great would it be to go on a shopping excursion and not automatically head for the sales racks. Buying clothes at full price is unspeakable, and I'm sick of it. Really, I am.

I guess getting closer to age 30 (what I secretly consider to be a true "adult") has made me take inventory of my personal life, my accomplishments and, yes, my failures. We can always look back and see the things we could have done differently, but looking ahead is more difficult. What move is next, what decisions lie ahead and where the coming years will take me are on my mind a lot lately.

I blame it on 29.

But this could be a good thing.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Getting outta my funk

OK, so I've been rather down lately ... and for no real reason, which bugs me.

And this is where this blog becomes a bit of therapy, so bear with me while I attempt to prove to myself that it would be a bit rash to play in traffic. (I'm kidding, so don't send out the rescue units just yet.)

Here I will list things I should be happy about:
* I'm not dead
* I'm not even near death (unless, of course, I decide to play in traffic)
* I have a nice apartment
* My neighbors could be worse
* I have a crazy cat who keeps me entertained
* I have a good job
* Even though I'm not rich, I can pay my bills and sometimes even buy groceries (ha!)
* I have a vehicle, which will be paid-for in September (THANK GOD)
* My vehicle is not a gas-guzzling SUV
* I'm in good health (despite my not-so-good figure)
* I have wonderful friends

There ... now I feel better. Somewhat. I guess it's always good to remind yourself that your life doesn't suck completely.