Sunday, July 30, 2006

Celebrating victory over de'feet'

Saturday afternoon was spent with my two best girls - Allison and her daughter, Leanza, shopping our hearts out in Atlanta.

There was a mission, and I'm proud to say that mission was accomplished: I am now the proud owner of a pair of black sandals.

Yeah, I know - it sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, it's not.

I hate discussing feet because it truly gives me the willies, but to explain the desperate situation that has sent me to shoe stores all over Chattanooga, I must let you guys in on my most embarassing secret ... I've got wide feet. And that sucks because cute shoes rarely come in wide widths, and for those of us who enjoy wearing stylish kicks, it's no fun trying on countless strappy sandals only to feel like an Amazon woman after a quick glance in the mirror. It's almost shameful - like my feet are obese or something.

Anyhow, I must thank the good people at Franco Sarto who make shoes for freaks like me. And the fact that they have some style is a blessing in and of itself.

So, after searching high and low and finding the holy grail of footwear, we decided to head to The Cheesecake Factory for a victory dinner. We laughed the night away as only two women who have been best friends since the seventh grade can do, while Leanza looked at us like we had, indeed, lost our minds.

Two hours later, after wine and strawberry martinis, some yummy dinner and an amazing cheesecake, our stomachs were full and we were all pretty darn tired. We headed back to Woodstock, where we all promptly crashed.

I love weekends like that.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Project Runway ... 3 days later

It's been a long week for me, and I'm feeling a little guilty for neglecting my blog - and not posting about this week's "Project Runway" episode (Sorry, Kate!). I've been busy with work and a number of other dull responsibilities, but I'm still alive!

As for "Project Runway," I must say I was somewhat bored with this week's episode. But, that may have been because I only caught bits and pieces of it due to 1. A phone call that was a blast from the past, and 2. Nodding off midway through the show from sheer exhaustion.

I know, I know ... I'm ashamed. But, I will say that I agreed with the judge's decision to send Katherine home, even though I had hoped she'd dazzle me with her groovy snowboarding style. She's right out of design school - unlike the others - and I wanted to root for, but her sporty fashion approach didn't even begin stack up to her competition. The concept of this week's episode - design for a dog and her diva, basically - made my stomach turn. But I had to laugh when the designers met Tim in Central Park to get the lowdown on their assignments and Laura showed up all decked out in what appeared to be something a horse jockey would don just before a race ... complete with the knee-high boots and tight riding pants. Cheeseball, cheeseball ...

Anyhow, I'm still trying to figure out who truly has a shot at winning - but thus far, I'd have to say Keith is it, despite his flat-out arrogance. I don't like him for a hundred different reasons, but let's face it, he's good.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What a day

I woke up this morning bright and early at 9 a.m. (that truly is early for someone who works 2nd shift). I paid some bills, caught up with e-mails and made lunch. By 12:45 p.m., I was at work on the Spanish newspaper, and let me just say that it was an experience. Nothing bad happened, but working with a foreign language is much more difficult than it sounds. I was a tad stressed by the time I left at 7 p.m.

So, I met up with Jim at Blue Plate, which is quickly becoming my favorite place to go in all of Chattanooga. We had some amazing food and then walked along the riverfront where the Delta Queen was docked for the day. I'd never really seen a true riverboat that people actually pay money to spend weeks on traveling up and down the river, but hey - if it floats your boat ... (baaad joke, I know).

After walking around a bit, I decided it was time to get home and chill out for a while. So, after watching two episodes of "Friends" I hopped on my exercise bike and burned 300 calories before collapsing on my sofa.

Now I'm tired and am seriously considering going to bed - and it's only 10:15! Wow ...

Friday, July 21, 2006

My new 'do' and other stuff

After weeks of thinking something about my head looked just plain bad, I finally figured out my hair was way too long. Upon my revelation, I immediatly headed to the salon and had a good 5 inches hacked off. Let me just say, I feel sooo much better!

To go along with my new "do" I decided to try for a whole new look in general, which necessitated a shopping trip. I lucked out when I walked through the doors of Old Navy, where they are having the clearance sale of all clearance sales. Five shirts and two pairs of capris later, I'd only spent $45. Can you believe that?

I'm about to book my flight to NYC. Seriously ... I'm going to FLY. I'm scared stiff, and every time I think about it, my stomach gets all flippy. I can only imagine how sick I'm going to be come Sept. 8. Ugh.

Next week at work I'll be assisting with our Hispanic newspaper. I'm also quite nervous about that. It's been ages since I've spoken Spanish, and I sincerely doubt my level of comprehension of the language. Wish me luck.

I think that's about it. Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Malan, how I loved thee ...

First, I must preface this by saying that whenever possible, Wednesday night posts will be nothing but Project Runway, and I apologize if this is a bore to some of you, but I must discuss this topic because right now it is very important. And that's that. Thanks!

OK ... Malan is out and I am so VERY sad.

He had the perfect snotty - and quite possibly fake - British accent combined with a high sense of drama that would creep out at just the right times - which makes for excellent reality TV. But most importantly, of course, is that the man can design clothes that are drop-dead gorgeous. Granted, the poop-brown gown he concocted for Miss U.S.A. in tonight's episode was a bit confusing - not to mention very unflattering up top - but he truly had potential. His details were fabulous ... just not perfectly executed.

I loved him, and now the show is really going to be lacking that dramatically charming designer, and I'm just disappointed beyond belief.

And yet again, Vincent the freakshow makes it by the judges. His gown was a charming color, and the material was pretty amazing, but I have to say it truly was too simple to be in the Miss Universe pageant. I was very surprised to hear Miss U.S.A. come to his defense when his partner, Angela, bashed it on stage.

And what was with him being so possessive of his design? OK, yes, it was his design, but Angela was there to help. And when she tried to help, he literally shooed her away. Of course she would be offended by that. He didn't take any of her advice and shot her down on several occasions.

Next week looks to be interesting, but I have to say that the loss of Malan is going to make Project Runway a little less classy, if you ask me. Not that you did, but that's just how I feel.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The great birthday fiasco

My father's 63rd birthday is approaching rapidly, and I'm at a loss.

The issue at hand is what to buy the man who quite literally lives to golf ... and golfs to live. The problem lies in the fact that my dad has everything he could possibly want to maintain his "lifestyle" (because golfing is more than a mere hobby, of course).

Every year I buy him the same thing ... a golf shirt and a bathroom book (yep ... you know those "Uncle John's Readers" - classy, eh?). This year I want to do something different, but what? He has no other hobbies - except frequenting the Black Jack tables at casinos throughout the South and cruising whenever possible. So, that doesn't help much.

Is it me, or is it next to impossible to buy for parents? Mine always say not to worry about birthday gifts or Christmas presents, but we all know that's just crazy talk. I need help - and I need help ASAP ... the big day is Thursday!


Monday, July 17, 2006

Dang, it's HOT!

I went to college in South Georgia - where the gnats swarm like bees and you can just about cut right through the hot, humid air with a knife.

I know what it's like to stand out in the middle of a soybean field interviewing a farmer about his latest irrigation system while swatting mosquitos, wiping sweat from my neck and trying to concentrate as the blazing midafternoon sun beat down on my face. It gets brutally hot in Statesboro, Ga., and I knew that when I moved down there, so there really was no use in complaining. It was hot; it had always been hot ; and it will always be hot.

I also know that Chattanooga is 300 miles north of my old college town and, thus, should rarely - if ever - get so humid that it takes your breath away. However, the last two weeks have been take-your-breath-away hot and humid. One step outside and the perspiration begins. Two steps and I'm full-on sweaty.

I took a look at the national weather map this afternoon, and it turns out I'm not alone. The high in Oklahoma City on Sunday was 102 degrees. Yuck. Think that's hot? Nuh-uh ... How about Rapid City, S.D., - their high was 108 degrees - in South Dakota, for crying out loud!

A little research turned up some more disconcerting information. Apparently, the past decade was the hottest of the past 150 years and perhaps the past millennium. The hottest 22 years on record have occurred since 1980, and 2005 was the hottest on record, according to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

I must admit that I didn't see Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" - partly because sitting through a lecture on the climate isn't exactly my idea of exciting entertainment, and partly because I've been somewhat afraid to learn just how sick Mother Earth has become.

I know it's July, and I know that July is supposed to be a hot month. But, seriously folks, this is something that appears to be getting worse and worse. Diseases are spreading more quickly, wildfires are becoming more and more common during the summer months and we've all heard that glaciers that have been here for thousands of years are melting.

There's so much more to it, and I wish we had the answers to stop it immediatly. We've been lucky in that car companies are developing more hybrid vehicles, but there's only so much driving a hybrid can do for the earth. At least it's a start, though. I wish car companies would find a way to make them a little less expensive so maybe the masses would be more willing to give up their gas guzzlers for something a little more earth-friendly.

There are so many other little things that, if we all took the time, could help at least a little. At this point, I think it's well worth the effort.

If you're interested in reading more about things we can do, here are a few links:

* World Wildlife Fund Tips
* EPA guide
* NRDC information

OK, I'm off my soapbox.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Another day, another design

I wasn't thrilled with the last design I gave my blog, and this one makes me happy, so it'll stay for a while at least!

I'm trying to teach myself how to work with Photoshop - more than just your basic photo touch-ups and the little graphic work I've done here and there, so I was pleased with how this masthead turned out. Hopefully I'll get better the more I work with it. Next up, I really, really want to teach myself Illustrator.

Anyhow, I hope you guys are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Vincent the basketcase

I literally shreiked a few moments ago when the judges announced Vincent Libretti had made it to the next level of BRAVO's Project Runway.

I have to say, this kooky guy makes me want to grab a model, throw a burlap sack on her, tie it together with a few tassel-laden cords and call it glamorous.

Did you feast your eyes on what his model was forced to walk down the runway in? OK, OK, I know they had only a few minutes to rip out upolstry, curtains and rugs while gathering linens and various decor from their luxury NYC apartment, but good freakin' grief!!! It reminded me of a funky idea gone completely awry in the sewing portion of my home economics class in high school.

And what was with that basket adorned with little chain thingies?? I believe Vincent called it a "hat." I wasn't convinced. Neither was Michael Korrs, who summed it up perfectly ... It truly did look like the model had a few too many drinks.

And poor, poor Stacey Estrella. I so wanted to root for her, considering we have the same first name and all ... but the girl didn't know how to operate a sewing machine. Who goes on a fashion design TV show without learning to use a professional sewing machine? Bless her heart; she's out.

Next Wednesday you can bet I'll be glued to my TV at 10 p.m. I can already tell this season is going to be full of surprises ... I just hope they're not all shockers based on loopy designers sqeaking by because someone couldn't sew quickly enough by hand.

Monday, July 10, 2006

As if you needed proof ...

As requested, here is a picture of my finished closet. (Scroll down several posts and have a look at the "before" shot.) Stunning, isn't it?

Now, if only I had some new, high-fashion clothes to go in there, things would be truly grand!

Anyhow, now that it's done, maybe I'll find something interesting to blog about!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ditching the past ... sort of

The place is clean.
Goodwill has new stock.
I can walk into my closet again.

Mission: Accomplished
Insert wild cheering and applause here

Cleaning out the horrendous mess where I hung my clothes, stored my linens and the place that had essentially served as a hiding place for a myriad of old shoes, pictures, bags and one very fake Christmas tree, forced me to make some tough decisions. Closets tend to do that - especially when it comes to whether or not you should toss out various items that, to most people would just be crap - but to you may be something that acts as a sort of time machine, transporting you back to those college years or *gasp* high school.

Yep ... I've still got clothes from high school - lots of 'em, to be exact. Well, I did. Many, I finally ditched over the last few days. But there are a few select items that I did not - nor will I ever - toss.

Take for instance the Sublime T-shirt. Not technically from high school, so I guess this one doesn't truly count. But I loved Sublime in high school and college and after college and still today. Sooo, that's why this shirt has special meaning, even though it's got a hole in the back shoulder and a bleach stain on the bottom front. It's seven years old and I won't toss it ever. Well, unless I can find another EXACTLY like it, then I'll think about it.

OK - next up is my Drivin' n' Cryin' long-sleeved T. This one is an oldy. The year was 1993, and I was a junior in high school at my first concert in Atlanta without any sort of adult supervision. It was just me and Jacob, the guy I would have sworn I was going to marry (thank God that didn't work out as planned). Anyhow, he bought me the shirt after some drunk girl threw up on the one I was wearing. Nice gesture, eh? I thought so. But that's not why I'm keeping this one. I'm keeping it because this shirt has been through just about everything with me ... It was always my comfort shirt that I'd throw on after a crappy day in college or when I was just plain sick. And now you can see through it after being washed hundreds of times. But I still love that shirt, and I'm keepin' it.

Up next: My first Earth Day shirt. My mother bought me this shirt from some guy on the side of the road when I was a senior in high school. I was out to save the world, picking up litter, driving my friends crazy preaching the urgency of recycling and always, always, always cutting the plastic rings that hold soft drinks together for fear a dolphin would get its cute little nose stuck. My mother bought the T-shirt because she said the little girl sitting on top of the Earth looked like me as a child, and she said I was put on this Earth to save it. I think I'm failing at that grand task, but this shirt makes me remember how simple I once thought life would be. All we had to do was recycle and cut soft drink rings and everything would be OK.

And finally, that wonderful senior class autographed T-shirt. You had one, right? It was the covetted rite of the senior class. Everyone signed inside the year and it was printed onto a T-shirt that you wore with all the pride in the world ... for three months - until you went to college and you were looked at like a little baby for wearing something from high school, of all places. But I kept mine anyway. Call me a cheeseball, but I just cannot throw this one away, either.

I know I'm not alone, right? What relic from your past do you have stuffed away in your closet, dresser or storage chest? Come on ... spill it!

Saturday, July 08, 2006


In my ongoing effort to avoid finishing what I've started with my closet, I redesigned my blog instead.

I'm not too thrilled with it, but at least it took up a fair amount of time I could have spent doing something truly productive!

Hey, that's what Saturdays are all about, right?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Three hours and five bags later ...

My closet is getting there!

I've managed to fill FIVE garbage bags with clothes that I dropped off at the local Goodwill ... I should have taken a picture to show you all the magnitude of this accomplishment. I am *so* proud.

Tomorrow I've got more work to do, but I feel like the worst part is over.

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Where did it all go wrong?

I don't know how this happened.
Honestly, I have no clue.

My closet it a fairly large walk-in, but you wouldn't know it from peering inside. And don't even try to actually "walk in" to it.

This closet it the source of my frustration each day when I get ready to greet the world outside my little apartment. Clothes are precariously stacked, hung or otherwise draped over shelves, racks and other clothes. It's all I can do to not throw my arms in the air and refuse to get dressed. But, we all know that wouldn't be wise, so this weekend is dedicated to creating a neat, organized and way less cluttered closet.

I've managed to get Friday-Sunday off from work, so I've got more than enough time to tackle this disaster. I'm not at all looking forward to it, but now that I've shamefully posted this picture, I have to do it ... unless anyone is volunteering to do it for me.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Life Lesson No. 111

Waxing the top of one's feet before wearing strappy sandals is not a good idea.
It will hurt.
A lot.