Monday, November 28, 2005

A Bunch of Chickens on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over...and now I need a vacation. It's definitely one of my favorite holidays, but damn does it run me ragged. I have no concept of a lazy Thanksgiving where you eat and sit/sleep on the couch the rest of the weekend. My family always stays at the same lodge in North Carolina for Thanksgiving weekend (where we eat a fabulous dinner without having to lift a finger). The best part is that the same families return year after year and there are oodles of young people to hang out with. It's the only time we get to see each other all year so we don't waste a minute; we try to pack as much fun into 72 hours as we possibly can. Which means there isn't much time allocated to sleeping. We went shopping downtown, played ultimate frisbee, learned to line dance, and people-watched at the local coffee shop.

But the real fun started several years ago when we snuck out of our families' hotel rooms to go to the local tavern. And we've been doing it ever since. There's usually a good bluegrass band, the beer flows, and our conversations get interesting...very interesting. But it's when the bar closes down at 2 that the funny stuff starts.

This year, we broke into a (rumored) abandoned haunted building. (The same building where several years ago we saw a light turn on in a bottom floor window and rise to the third floor window in the span of several seconds--which would be impossible even with the aid of an elevator.) I definitely regretted my initial bravery once we'd crawled through the window. It was freezing inside and crunchy dead leaves were scattered across the floor. We slowly made our way down a dark hallway and discovered little rooms with hospital beds. (I kept expecting someone sit up and look at us with empty eyes.) And then we discovered a dirty stairwell that led to the basement...and that's when we backed out. We retraced our steps and had barely crawled out the window when it slammed shut behind us. We all screamed and took off like our lives depended on it. We laughed about it the next morning (in the daylight), but sure as hell didn't go back for another round.

Our last night together was a lot more low-key (and a lot less scary). We sat out on the deck with bottles of wine to keep us warm and traded stories. And then we got hungry and decided to see who could get the most items out of the vending machine with a coat hanger. (I am proud to announce that I'm the reigning 2005 Vending Vandal with 4 items to my name...and bruises on my wrist to prove it.) We managed only 2 hours of sleep that night because we were having too much fun to go to bed.

Despite my full 8 hours of sleep last night, I still feel like a zombie. But it's the price I pay for a fantastically memorable Thanksgiving. Now I'm just holding on till Christmas...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I Can Now Die a Happy Woman...

I finally had my first star sighting in Nashville and boy, was it a doozy. I figured that with my luck, I'd only run into LeeAnn Rymes over and over again...but on Monday, I got hugged by John Corbett (better known as AIDAN from Sex and the City)!! He's apparently trying to start a singing career and has relocated to good ole Music City to do so. Which means I have a good chance of running into him again...

He got up on stage and sang some of his songs--they were good, but I don't think it really matters what he sings as long as he keeps wearing his tight jeans. He's grown out his hair and looks a lot more scruffy now (apparently keeping with the "rocker" fashion), but he's still hot. And he's much taller in person...but I refrained from telling him would have been too gooby.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Almost Scarred for Life

I'm going to come right out and own up to the fact that I've slacked with the blog posting. And I don't have the excuse of being in either law school or PT school. I'm just a terrible person.

And with that out of the way, I have a funny story. My friend Beth was going to a wedding in Chattanooga this weekend and I decided to ride with her for an impromptu visit since I'm not going home for Thanksgiving. Being that Beth and I live on opposite ends of town, we'd arranged to have my dad pick me up at a central location to save her extra driving. Which just so happened to be our former high school. We figured that since it was a Friday night, the parking lot would be empty and we could transfer my stuff with ease. But oh, how wrong we were.

The parking lot was CHAOS. Apparently we arrived at the exact moment the middle-school dance let out. There were frantic parents and self-conscious-looking teenyboppers everywhere. The girls were all in dresses and the boys had on ties...and the different genders had separated themselves to opposite ends of the concourse to await their parents' arrival. (I can only presume that the entire dance passed in this fashion.) Beth and I sat in the car and laughed for a good five minutes. And then my dad's priceless words, "I'm so glad I'm no longer picking you up from these hormonal shit storms".

If we're completely honest with ourselves, our first-ever school dance was a horrifying experience. I know mine was. Boys were forced to enter through one door and girls another, and each set got a number written on their hand with a Sharpie. (Mine was 74. I’ll never forget it.) We broke off into segregated little groups and shot nervous glances to the strange, but fascinating creatures across the gym floor. Which might have been a perfectly fine way to pass the evening had it not been for the "match dance". Oh yes, we were cruelly forced to find the person of the opposite gender who possessed our exact number and slow-dance with them. Which was great for the girls who ended up with the cute guys. But my numerically-matched partner was obese, with braces and unwashed hair. I wanted to cry. While we stood there, jerkily rocking back and forth, I discovered that I if I shut my eyes, I could almost pretend I was dancing with JTT. That is, until I felt his erection against my leg. (I still get awful chills thinking about it.) Needless to say, I was completely freaked-out and disgusted and vowed to never go to another dance.

But thankfully, I did not keep my promise (because there would have been many a fun sorority formal missed). But if my 12-year-old self had known that I’d have countless more dance-induced erections pressed against my thigh/stomach/backside throughout the next 10 years, she might never have come out of the gymnasium bathroom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hell in a Handbasket

It's 4:04. The clock is mocking me. Never before in my life have I so wanted to be done with work and be in my bed. I'm stopped up, my throat is sore and I feel a little nauseous. But no, I have an entire hour to sit miserably at my desk and dream about my sweatpant-clad self watching Oprah. I'm being punished...and with good reason.

Let me explain. Every Tuesday night I attend a Bible study. My aunt convinced me to go with her once, and I really liked it. And let's be honest, it's hard for a 20-something to make it to church bright and early every Sunday morning, so this has been a great way to fill the spiritual void. But last night, I had a conflict--I was asked to go to a business dinner after work. It was a great chance to make some contacts...not to mention have a free meal at a fancy Italian restaurant downtown. I decided that if I hurried, I could fit both activities in. It was a great idea--in theory.

The dinner was great. Our food was wonderful. Our waiter kept us in stitches. The man who was paying for it kept our wine glasses constantly filled. And then he ordered a round of "after-dinner coffees" which consisted of about 5% coffee and 95% Irish Whiskey. Needless to say, my Bible study attendance ambitions started waivering. But once outside the restaurant, I decided to just suck it up and go (even if I was already 10 minutes late). So I hauled ass and made polite apologies for my lateness.

It was all going very well until my notes started swimming on the page and I couldn't help my giggling. Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I was DRUNK at Bible study. How horrible can you get? I definitely didn't get drunk intentionally, but I was drunk all the same. Once I realized that the "after-dinner coffee" had done me in, the paranoia started. I tried my best to act sober--which I'm sure made everything worse.

Hence my massive cold/hangover today. It's my punishment. Because Jesus may have turned some water into wine...he just knew better than to do it before Bible study.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Never Underestimate the Power of Girlfriends

That's my new motto--well, not exactly new, but I'm going to work harder at focusing on my female relationships. What brought on this resolution, you ask? Last night's episode of Laguna Beach. Laugh if you must.

All in all, the 2nd season finale blew. Dramawise, nothing substantial happened...AT ALL. I sat for 30 minutes and watched girls cry because they were leaving their friends. But it took me back--to both high school and college--and reminded me of all the friends I've said goodbye to over the years. And it made me sad. It's hard to think about all those long-cultivated friendships just dissolving through distance and time. But I guess it's the natural progression of life. If we kept the same friends our whole lives, we'd never grow. Through meeting new people and making new friendships, we discover new things about ourselves. But it's hard. It's always hard to say goodbye. Especially if it's forced--and you'd give anything to stay together if you could.

I've been making some wonderful friends here in Nashville--but I miss my old ones. I miss being able to say anything and know that they'll still love me. I miss our late-night talks about boys and boobs and everything in between. I miss our Wednesday night ritual at Pearl Street. I miss sneaking into the DG kitchen afterhours. I miss our (sometimes illegal) roadtrips. I miss our goofiness together. I miss seing their smiles.

So, to all of my wonderfully unique and truly fabulous friends, please know that I think about you often. And that I want nothing but the best for you. And I hope we can all get together soon to laugh about old times. You're all very very very loved.

Monday, November 14, 2005

RockyTop, You'll Always Be a Big Drunk Blur to Me

Business trips are the shizzit. I wish I could go on one every single day. We had a big meeting in Knoxville on Friday, but it felt more like a vacation.

Our boss took us out to a nice (free) dinner Thursday night and then the younger crowd decided to hit the streets of K-Town. I'm the only non-UT grad so Jenn and Lesley gave me a crash course on going out in Big Orange Country. Our first stop was a bar on the strip for "Animal Hour" where between 9 and 10, all liquor drinks have three shots worth in them. They ain't playing either. I watched one of the bartenders make my vodka tonic and it was like vodkavodkavodkavodkavodkavodka tonic. I had to ask for extra limes just to get it down. And then I got another one.

After the deadly-strong-drink special ended, we headed for Cool Beans (cheesy name, great bar) and stayed for over four hours. Who knows where that time went...but I apparently took some scary-looking drunk pictures in the process (which are always fun to discover on your camera the next morning). We only slept 4 hours in our very posh (and paid-for) hotel room.

Friday morning Jenn and I interviewed a UT student who wants to intern with us for the summer. (Ah, how the power was great to be on the other side of the desk!) Then we had back-to-back meetings where it took sheer will (and three cups of coffee) to remain awake. But luckily, the hangover wasn't too obvious...I think. After a much-needed nap and some Target shopping, we headed out for Round 2 of Knoxville Night Life. This time, we took on the Old City for some dancing. And dance we did. It was magical. The end of the night found us passed out 3-deep in Lesley's bed (there's nothing like some hetero-spooning between friends).

So, Knoxville was awesome. I had loads of fun while managing to only spend about $20 (can we say..."expense it"?) Now I want to give them a crash course on Oxford that'll make their heads spin. Because in the end, nobody, and I mean nobody, parties like a Rebel.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I think I Need Some Mace

Okay, the creepy guy from the cell phone store is now texting me. My theory on this is that if you have to re-introduce yourself in the text--you probably shouldn't be texting that person in the first place. Especially if they didn't give you their just stole it from the database at the place you work. Needless to say, I have not texted back.

On a brighter note, last weekend was a blast. Friday night we decided to try out the new Cheesecake Factory in Green Hills...until we found out the wait was 3 hours. Plus you had to wait an hour and a half just to get a pager. I mean, cheesecake is good and all...but damn! Not good enough to have your stomach gnawing on your backbone as you're waiting for a table. We said no thanks and headed to Carraba's where I loaded up on Sangrias during our measly 40 minute wait. And was just as happy. After stopping at the Greenhouse afterwards for some cocktails, we found ourselves back at Shane's house for rousing games of BUZZ (which I definitely blow at) and Drunk Charades. There is nothing funnier than seeing people with a BAC of more than 0.08 try to act out ridiculous movie and song titles.

Saturday found me downtown at Wannabe's, the cheesiest karaoke bar in Nashville. Jenn from work (love her!) met us there and we proceeded to sing an inspired rendition of "Like a Virgin". Our first choice was "Touch Myself", but some hookers had already claimed it. (And I definitely booed them when they took the stage.) That night, I also discovered that I could easily execute the Macarena, which is strange because I haven't even thought about that dance since the 7th grade. I guess a girl just can't help having mad skills...

Friday, November 04, 2005

My Hard-Earned Rent Money Goes to Booze

It's Friday and instead of being completely elated like normal, I just feel tired. Maybe I have mono. Or maybe I just need to go to bed at a decent hour since I'm now a working girl. It's just that I always feel like I'll miss something important and exciting by going to sleep early...but I usually pay for it the next morning when I'm cussing my alarm.

But the alarm gets off easy compared to my neighbor. My cute little house is attached to another house by way of a basement and backdoor. Weird, I know. The man living in the other house is our landlord...unfortunately. At first meeting, Jennie and I thought he was so nice and rather attractive for a 46-year-old man. But it's gone downhill ever since.

First, he doesn't appear to have any sort of job and lives off a trust fund and the salary of his live-in "finace". Therefore, with nothing productive to do, he drinks all day. Sometimes it provides us with loads of entertainment. Like the time he randomly knocked on our door with a towel tied like a cape. Or when he carved a jack-o-lantern completely shit-faced and no one could tell what it was suppossed to be.

But other times I want to punch him in the throat. Like when he goes off on tangets about mold spores or shows me how to use the dryer for the 6th time. Thankfully, I love his fiance and mostly deal with her. She's sweet as anything, although slightly kooky (she recently informed me that she was getting "evil spirit vibes" from the house and wants us to come to a "cleasning ceremony" with candles and incense). But because I love our house, I'll just have to grin and bear the occassional circus-freak behavior.

And on a completely different note, I have made an executive decision to start a "self-enhancement program". And no, I'm not talking about my boobs. I've decided that just because I'm out of college, I don't have to stop learning. So instead of reading all paperback bestsellers and what Alan refers to as "pink girly books"...I'm going to tackle serious reading material. I'm talking the classics, biographies of influential people, the books I was too immature to grasp in high school, etc. But I'm not phasing out the fun books completely. It will just be an equal ratio. And I can feel my gray matter expanding already...I just wish I could donate some to the alcoholic crazy man next door.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cell Phones+Rachel=Disaster

I have officially been through four different cell phones in the last year. The bottom drawer of my nightstand looks sadly like a cell phone graveyard. (Apparently I'm hard on them.) I just got a new one in July and was working really hard at being careful with it...when the screen randomly went out yesterday. By no fault of my own. So I take it to the Sprint store, hoping they'll just reconnect a wire or something and send me on my way.

But no...they inform me that it was a "lemon" and typically they'd replace it through warranty...but they found "water damage" inside which voids the warranty. That's when things got heated. Because I'd NEVER gotten that phone anywhere near water. But apparently, water damage does not occur from just submerging your phone per se. The man informed me that a cell phone can have water damage from such things as 1) talking on it if you're sweaty 2) having it in the vicinity of the bathroom while you're taking a shower or 3) breathing hard enough for condensation to form while talking on it. (I did not inquire as to the nature of the last one...I just didn't want to know.)

The cell phone guy "let me in on a little secret" and told me that this basically applies to everyone's phone. I think that's some kind of bullshit, but what can you do? So I forked over money for my FORTH phone in 12 months.

On the upside, my new phone is KILLER. It's the phone that I originally wanted (but was way too expensive) when I got the THIRD now-broken phone. It's was still expensive, but I discovered that cell phone prices can be haggled over (and it really doesn't hurt to flirt). He definitely dropped more than $180 off of it.

So I get home and happily start plugging numbers into it when I discover...the cell phone guy had programmed HIS cell phone number into my new phone. (And here I was thinking he was typing in activation codes or something!) CREEPY. That shit got erased immediately.