Thursday, July 31, 2008

Two days of complete happiness

If only I were still here! Hiking through the Smokey Mountains was just too beautiful to put into words. How I've lived so close and not made my way up there sooner is pretty shameful.

I'll post more about our trip soon. But for now I have to go to work. ... And after nine days off, I must admit it's pretty difficult to think about sitting still and applying myself to the task at hand!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This girl rocks

I had the pleasure of getting together with fellow blogger Felicia from Bread, W(h)ine and Cheez this weekend. Oh my goodness, it was SO MUCH FUN! I felt like I'd known her for years.

Girl talk, yummy drinks and lunch just made my day. And to hear that I'm the reason someone began blogging was so incredibly flattering (and pretty darn cool) — especially coming from Felicia, whose blog I've always loved reading.

We're only a couple hours away from each other, so I'm looking forward to enjoying more girl talk and margaritas with this cool girl sometime soon!

But for now, I'm off to Gatlinburg. I'm all packed and ready to leave bright and early Monday morning. Now all I have to do is decide what I want to have airbrushed on a t-shirt because, you know, it's impossible to get out of Gatlinburg without the quintessential redneck garb. Ha!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

OK, so it could be worse

I may smell like Icy Hot, but at least I don't have a patch over my eye.

Poor Jim. He somehow managed to scratch his EYEBALL! Under that patch is one angry eye. I don't think I've ever seen anything that made my own eyes water so much.

But the doctor says it will heal, thank goodness!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm pretty much a hot mess

... An Icy Hot mess, that is.

Once again, I have managed to pinch a nerve in my shoulder. And let me just say that not being able to turn my head to the right is a pain in the neck — literally and figuratively.

Driving is fun, and sitting in any one spot for more than, say, 30 minutes stiffens me up so much that I feel like my entire right side may just crack and fall off. And that would be welcome at this point.

I've resorted to those Icy Hot patches, so now I smell like 80-year-old. It rocks.

Have I mentioned my vacation begins today? I'm hoping this doesn't last longer than a few days. I have so many fun things I want to do and don't have time for this setback!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The rest of the world

I went out last night. A Friday night. You know, that special day each week when the majority of the working world kicks back because the weekend has begun. Dinner, drinks, conversation and fun are to be had on Friday nights.

I had no idea.

I also had no idea just how busy downtown can be on a weekend night. People pack into bars like sardines. Tables and bar stools are nowhere to be found. And it's impossible to get a drink.

But it's fun, right?

I guess this is yet another sign of me getting old, but I wasn't a fan of nearly getting burned by more than one cigarette. And pushing my way through the crowd to have a look at the bar only to turn right back around and push my way out because there was no room really wasn't much fun, either.

I finally ended up at a sports bar that isn't the best in town, which is why it's generally not busy. But you know, it was good for this girl. I could hear who I was talking with and didn't have to breathe smoke-filled air.

Sometimes I'm happy I work nights and weekends. This is one reason why.

Are you over the whole crazy weekend night thing? (Or are you way cooler than I am? )

Monday, July 14, 2008

Because I've really got nothing

Bullet posts are never something I'm proud of, but they're necessary sometimes. Particularly when there is nothing exciting going on. And if ever there were a case for bulletted posts, this would be it. Life is somewhat bor-ing right now, but hey - I'm cool with that. So here it goes. This is what I've been up to:

* Best news of the week: I paid off a credit card! Hooray! Not that I've got a huge amount of credit card debt. It's just great to have a zero balance. I think I may just cancel that card altogether. Yes. That's what I'll do.

* Something to look forward to: Gatlinburg trip. A friend of mine knows a family who owns several condos in Gatlinburg, and we've got the deal of all deals - $50 a night! Can you believe that? So, I think in a couple of weeks I'm heading up there to take advantage of my hook-up!

* Work update: I'm still getting the hang of sports. Just when I think I've got something down pat, they stick me into something completely new and I'm thrown off-kilter again. I love my job, but my head always seems to be spinning. But, this is a good thing. I said I wanted a challenge, and that's what I'm getting.

* Apartment life: My neighbors appear to hate me. And it sucks. Long story short - I called the police on them for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago. It was 3 a.m., and their horrid music was still shaking my floors. Now, every time I see the guy who lives below me and all of his friends who have moved into our unit, they give me the evil eye. And last night something was said in my general direction about, "You better watch out, the police might get called." Ugh. I hate it when people are mad at me, but come on! You just do not play your music that loud at 3 a.m. and expect your neighbors to be happy with you.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pieces of July

(click to make larger)

I stumbled upon Wordle through Boho Girl this morning. I thought it was kind of cool how you plug in your blog's web address and get a cool little sampling of words from your latest posts.

And now I probably should do something productive.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Back to reality

In a few hours I will make the climb up the stairs and slip into my desk at work. After five days off, I'm not sure that I'll remember just what to do with all those words I'm expected to edit and the blank computer screen that is supposed to be transformed into news pages with stories and pictures.

There's just something about mini-breaks that makes you wish for a world without work, isn't there? Wouldn't it be awesome if, after every five years of work, you were given one full year off? (Paid, of course!)

I would travel the world. And take a photography class. And go to the spa for a facial. God, I need a facial. I would learn to quilt and maybe even crochet. Oh, and I would host dinner parties for my friends and go dancing again. Dancing! It's been so long.

One full year without work is hard to imagine - and I know it's pretty much a pipe dream. But it does seem lovely, doesn't it?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Brought to you by the letter F

Friends, family, food, fun, fireworks, freakish fish and full-on fear ... all words to describe my Fourth of July. God, it was great (and yes, I mean even the fearful part).

Thrown together at the last minute, Jim and I rounded up a few friends and family members for a cookout/fish fry at the farm. I've decided last-minute gatherings are the best. No huge planning, no worrying with invitations and no fussing over what to serve. Everything worked out perfectly and there was zero stress. Ahh ...

My dad, stepmother and their great-granddaughter, Abby, came up from Rome, Ga. Abby was particularly intrigued with the pond and all the catfish Waide managed to catch.

After enjoying dinner, some Frisbee action, socializing on the porch and soaking in the luxury of a holiday away from work, we decided to head over to Lake Winnie, an amusement park nearby. I mean, what could be more Americana than going to an amusement park on the Fourth of July with thousands of other people?

So Monica, Jim, Waide, Nate, Stephanie and I loaded up and headed out to what some could deem the redneck mecca of the Chattanooga area. Think of a permanent carnival: There are all the games with the cheap prizes, funnel cakes, corndogs, and all the rides your heart could desire.

The park's main roller coaster, The Cannonball, apparently has a pretty big following among wooden track enthusiasts. Although some may argue that it nearly scared the pants off me, I am quite pleased with myself for hopping on pretty much fearlessly. Of course, my fearlessness was quickly squelched upon reaching the top of the first peak. Ahead of me I could see several pretty large climbs and the stomach-in-your-throat feeling that was sure to follow.

I've been told that for the majority of the ride all I did was scream, "Oh my God!! Oh my God!! Oh my God!!" and I'm inclined to believe Jim, Waide and Monica based on my sore throat and raspy voice today. But to be honest, the entire ride is a blur. But I think it was fun.

Have I mentioned I hadn't ridden on a roller coaster since I was 12 or 13?

Next up was the Pirate ship — you know, the ride that looks like a big boat that swings back and forth as it goes higher and higher? Yeah. I handled that one just fine, thankyouverymuch!

Several rides later, it was time for fireworks. The entire park went black and what followed was a patriotic extravaganza complete with Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" song. A staple of Fourth of July fireworks shows everywhere, from what I've been told.

Finally, as we waited for the crowds to clear, we headed over to the lake in the center of the park.

Check out the freakishly enormous carp that gobble up popcorn from amazed spectators. I wasn't sure exactly what to think of these guys. They pretty much freaked me out.

Just as the night was about to end, I spotted this couple. No caption could do them justice, so I'll leave it at this. Whether you wore pajama bottoms adorned with the stars and stripes to an amusement park, or chose to celebrate the Fourth of July in a more subtle way, I truly hope you had a fabulous holiday.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ahh ... Time off

Five days off.
I am so happy.

Here's a rundown of my plans:

* Cookout on the Fourth
* Lounge by the pool
* Frisbee in the park
* Disc golf
* Cook dinner for myself
* Enjoy quality time with my cat (don't laugh)
* Make more fused plastic wallets for possible venture
* Catch up with old friends

I wish you all a happy Fourth of July!