Thursday, July 31, 2008

MINOTTY

Why Not, Minot?... I'll Tell You Why Not!

Here it is folks: My first "Eventures" post from the road. I just wrapped up my first week on tour with a mobile marketing campaign in Minot, North Dakota. As Lindsay previously mentioned, our remaining stops will include the Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota State Fairs. I must admit: the North Dakota State Fair was rather anti-climatic. Nonetheless, here are some of the highlights from the North Dakota State Fair:
5. Denim Disasters: Being from Dothan, Alabama, many people would probably assume that I've seen my fair share of denim (thank you, National Peanut Festival). WRONG! Apparently, I missed the denim memo that was sent out to fair-goers, because 90% of the people attending chose to wear denim in some form or fashion -- jorts, jean skirts, jean skorts, denim shirts, etc. -- EVERY DAY of the state fair. Check out a couple pics of my favorite denim disasters. Please keep in mind, at some point in the day, these people decided "this looks good enough for me to wear in public":Emphasis on the Electric Turquoise Denim Pants!

4. Beanie Babies: I thought they died and went to Toy Heaven in 1998! Apparently not:
3. Separated at Birth: From the looks of it, Shania Twain has a twin sister who never made it into the mainstream country music scene. I found this Brunette Beauty singing all of her wannabe-sister's favorite songs on a VERY small stage wearing a beautiful airbrushed tank-top, which read "Shania TOO":

2. Deep Fried: According to an experienced source, Minnesota's State Fair should supply plenty of similar blog-worthy material. This dining option at the North Dakota State Fair is only a TASTE of what's to come:
And NO, I did not fork over money for this State Fair Delicacy!

1. Easily Entertained: What's the world coming to when a State Fair has a competition like this:
Only in North Dakota!?!

Well, these are the highlights from the North Dakota State Fair "Ev-enture". Check back in soon for more "Ev-entures" from the Wisconsin State Fair! Until then, I'll be on the road!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CAKEY

Today is National Cheesecake Day!

Run to your nearest Cheesecake Factory, where they are selling cheesecake for $1.50 a slice.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

OFFENDED

Dear 270 Tampa Drive,

Regarding your recent Craigslist ad, we appreciate the offer, but no thanks.

Sincerely,
All the Women


Dear Intern Candidate,

Writing that you "pay attention to deatil" does not, in fact, imply that you pay attention to detail.

Sincerely,
Someone Who Read Your Cover Letter

Monday, July 28, 2008

FLIPPY

How was everyone's weekend? I got in a lot of rest and relaxation, including a a 6 hour stint at the pool and a trip to the cinemaplex (isn't that a fun word?) to see Stepbrothers (hilarious!). Not so much fun: a 2"-ish burn on my forearm from my attempt to iron a dress. Back to steaming them in the bathroom.

Anyway. So, I've been meaning to post on this phenomenon for a while and haven't gotten around to it: sign flippers. What good do they do?

I was driving down the road the other day near a busy mall when I noticed this young man flipping and twirling his surfboard-sized sign all over the place. I am quite sure the point of his task was to attract attention to a business nearby but here's my beef with sign flippers: how am I supposed to know what you're selling if you won't hold your sign still long enough for me to read it?

Rather than think to myself, Oh - I need what he is selling and I'm so glad I saw him flipping that sign to remind me!, I was thinking, Christ Almighty, I am about to have a wreck because I am too busy trying to read this idiot's sign. And then, as I'm stealing glances at him while trying not to wreck, the wind catches his sign and almost blows it into the traffic. What a lawsuit that would have been.

As someone who used to be in the advertising industry*, I can tell you there are a lot more ways to be spending your marketing dollar than hiring some punk to stand outside on the corner flipping a sign in the hot sun.

*And by "used to be in the" I mean "showed up everyday to."

Friday, July 25, 2008

BUSY

Sorry I have been MIA all week. I was hardly at my desk all week, worked late two nights, saw the Dark Knight, had tap class, and before I knew it, it's Friday! No down time to blog!

1. First up: tap class. I am sad that we only have two left! This week, we learned a new step, called a Maxie Ford, and put it at the end of our dance sequence "combination." My foot was still a little swollen, so it was a long hour feeling fluid shaking around in my foot. My skin was puffing up a little bit in my tap shoe - like a loaf of bread rising in the pan. Lovely visual, right?

2. Work is still awesome. We attended another event on Thursday night, after a day full of meetings. I didn't go in until 10 a.m., which I'm finding is so, so nice. I ran four errands before I even went into work, so I have a very productive start to my day.

3. The coolest things that have happened on the clock since my last post are taking the museum's audio tour and learning even more about the artifacts and exhibits (including pausing to watch a video of Garth Brooks talking about meeting George Jones for the first time - when Garth started to cry, so did I) and taking a tour of RCA Studio B. It's still a working studio, but with the stipulation that tours are never suspended; meaning, if I'm famous and I want to record in the legendary Studio B, tour groups will be coming through there every hour. So on Wednesday, we were told to schedule a Studio B tour and as we were doing so, the tour guide said, "It's a good day to go out there. Martina McBride has a session scheduled for this morning." I'm sorry - who's got a what scheduled when now? There is an Elvis Christmas hits CD coming out this winter and several artists are recording songs in Studio B for the compilation disc: Wednesday was Martina's turn. She arrived as our group was loading the bus, so we didn't get to actually see her record, but the next groups did. Can you imagine spending your hard-earned vacation money to bring your family to Nashville and being able to see an artist like Martina McBride record a song live in front of you? What a memory. I love it.

4. Also on Wednesday, I made my first visit to the gift shop, where I picked up my Johnny Cash poster, a reprint of the building's grand opening commemorative poster, and a bumper sticker that says Johnny Cash Is A Friend of Mine. Ha.

5. Lastly, on Wednesday night I went to see The Dark Knight. Ah. May. Zing. I'd never seen or read or paid attention to anything about Batman or his adventures, but this movie had me captivated from the get-go. Heath Ledger was incredible. The film was so suspenseful and intense that my leg was shaking from nerves almost the whole time, and then I got home and was so wound up that I slept with the light on... but I still kind of want to go see it again!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

AWESTRUCK

My second day of work was equally as amazing as the first. I actually was excited to go to work. What a feeling. I couldn't wait to get there and begin my day. I hope that feeling lasts and lasts.

On my way in, I stopped at TMobile and bought Monica a new outfit - a jacket for her to wear so she doesn't get scratched each time I drop her, which happens more often than I care to admit. Her new outfit, or her Monicoat (hahaha), looks great. No more scratches.

Work was more meetings and introductions, including a two hour lunch (!) at the Germantown Café (!!!) with the department VP. It was fun and casual, a great way to get to know such an important person. I continually stand amazed and humbled that I got this job; I'm almost sure it's a mistake. At lunch, we were talking about the errors and no-no's that got the +300 other candidates booted from the process. All the little things you think might not matter? DO. I don't want to get specific but let's just say that an organization as high-profile as the one for which I now work certainly has the applicant depth to cut for anything they want to, and so they do. I just can't believe I made it through.

We got to watch an event being set up and then hung out for the first hour and a half to observe. Our first event, hooray! However, after that milestone, I can say quite confidently that the hardest part of my job will be not partaking of the food at these events. Desserts. Dips. Macaroni and cheese bars. All kinds of carved meat and veggies and fruit and anything you can think of, including my own personal Kryptonite: mashed potato bars. I saw waitstaff clearing plates with tons of food left on them and it was all I could do not to grab a martini glass of mashed potatoes and head for the bathroom. Very very tempting.

The other small highlight of my day (it really doesn't take much these days) was learning that one of my coworkers' grandfather was Johnny Cash's one and only drummer. I had gone on and on about how much I like Cash before she dropped that gem. Seriously? I was stunned. What a legend. I remember being so excited to read her grandfather's book the week it came out and absolutely loving it. Stay tuned to see if I can swing an autographed copy...

I'm going to try to (/really need to) get back to posting about non-work related stuff soon (like my foot: almost completely not swollen; still a little bit of fluid moving around in there) but it's so hard when everything at work is so surreal to me. I mean, I already can't wait to go back, and I was just there 3 hours ago. Is that crazy or what?

Monday, July 21, 2008

DISBELIEF

The first day was great! I felt much much better today, the foot is almost back to normal and so was I, which was good because I had to meet a lot of people today. Highlights included:

  • Taking a tour of the museum with inside info from my boss, with the promise of more tours with even more inside info to come
  • Getting our official photo ID badges
  • Finding out we get business cards, personalized stationery (!) and office supplies we get to select ourselves from an office supply catalog (!!!!!)
  • Finding out we get to take a tour of the official museum archives at the end of the month - WHAT?! I am SO going to steal something.
  • Finding out we get direct lines and cell phones
  • And of course, meeting my new coworkers!
The day went by very quickly and I didn't want to leave when it was time. We have a full week of introductory meetings and lunches and orientations. There is so much to learn, from building policies and emergency procedures to the process of how to do my job - it's a lot to take in. Luckily, I am a part of a great team.

Seriously? I can't believe this has finally happened. When my boss hopped up from the lunch table, the other new hires and I just kind of looked at each other, sighed and laughed. Finally, one of them said, "Is this as surreal for y'all as it is for me?" There was a unanimous yes.

So, in the words of Annie, I think I'm gonna like it here!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

BENADRYLED

Just as my foot was swelling to epic proportions, my mom came to town. Unfortunately, our visit took a turn for the worse when we stopped for some Benadryl. After all, we were heading to the pool. So, figuring there's no better place to pass out than in the sun, so I took two pills.

I waited. I didn't get tired. Nothing happened.

We had a nice time at the pool and then came home to shower and head to dinner and the mall. Except that I got out of my shower and went from 60 to 0 in about ten minutes.

I tried calling for her. No answer. I knew I was going to be asleep in a matter of minutes, so I figured she could find me asleep at my computer or asleep in my bed, and knowing my bed was more comfortable, I crawled in it, still in my towels, and crashed.

That was the last thing I remember. And it was only 6:30 or so. She told me today that she woke me up at 8 or so to try to go somewhere, but I was incoherent so she let me sleep. At midnightish, she woke me up to brush my teeth and get my contacts out and made me take two more Benadryl.

I woke up at 9 or so today and have felt lousy ever since. We went to the mall and I was out of sorts the entire time. I probably shouldn't have even been driving. But something tells me it's not just the wasp stings and their effects. I feel like my whole body is being pulled to the ground and I'm achy and sore. So I'm about to take some more Benadryl, set my clock, and go to bed. I must shake this before my first day on the new job tomorrow!

REVENGED

My mom was determined to handle our pest problem. After they made her baby daughter's foot look like this:

video

she decided to see revenge. She swore up and down that she could just use a "torch" to light the nest on fire and the whole nest, wasps included, would catch on fire and burn up instantly.

Here is her first attempt:

video

That was not so successful. They just got angry, flew around and came right back to the nest. And what you can't see in this video is that Mom RAN into my apartment waving her fiery torch, nearly setting our couch on fire. Evan had to shout "FIRE! FIRE!" before she realized she was still holding the torch and ran to the sink.

A few minutes later, she decided to go for the nest under our steps, the ones that attacked me:

video

She claimed victory, that she got them nest and all. But later when we left the apartment we noticed she hadn't set anything on fire. The wasps and nest - including all the little egg sacks - were still there. She had mildly burned it but not enough to do any damage. So we almost set fire to the apartments and angered every insect in Davidson county. Awesome. Wasps 1, Mom 0. They may have won the battle but not the war - she wants to try Raid spray later today. I will NOT be outside to film that.

**Update: We bought some wasp spray at Target. I waited in the car while Mom, with a towel over her head, sprayed not one, not two but three wasp nests. They dropped like flies (flies with a big fat stinger, that is) as soon as the spray made contact. Success! I waited safely in the car to make sure they were good and deceased, then took the spray for myself and sprayed a big one that was already dead just for good measure. I couldn't help but smile victoriously as I lugged my fat swollen cankle up the stairs past the watery graves of about 15 to 20 dead wasps.

So the final score? Wasps, 1, Mom 10. Game over.

(I know we call them bees and wasps interchangeably in the videos, but after they were dead on the ground, I got right up to them for a very, very close inspection. Survey says: wasps.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

MESMERIZED

Thursday night was the Idina Menzel show. I was very excited because I love Idina. She's got a voice unlike any other and I was ready and willing to pay money just to hear her belt some songs, even if I didn't know them (her tour is promoting a CD which I had never listened to). But it's Idina. In the words of Paula Abdul, she could sing the phone book and it'd be amazing.

From the beginning, she was a hoot. Her microphone pack slipped out twice during the first song. She was "discombobulated" and thrown off her game and kept talking about it all night long, which, in my opinion, made her that much funnier and more endearing. She told jokes and lots of stories. She was very interactive and sassy with the audience, even going into a little bit of "Over the Moon" when someone yelled "moo with me!" She did a whole bit about her previous life as a wedding singer and how she had to dance with the band and wore awful clothes. She sang "No Day but Today" and also sang a very sweet a cappella "For Good" which went from sweet to hilarious when she kept forgetting the words. After her final song, she came out for an encore and sang "Defying Gravity" as recorded on her new album (aka not the Wicked version). It was different to hear it without the full orchestra, but she channeled a little Elphaba for us at the very end when she hit that final note.

For a few years now, I've wanted to see Idina Menzel perform live, no matter the setting. Thursday was no disappointment. The theater was pretty intimate, so between that and Idina's candidness, the show was worth every penny. If you like theater, and her show is coming to your city (cough Eric cough), you should definitely go.

Friday, July 18, 2008

GONE

1. Even though I thought my insect attack story was pretty good, I've been asked for a Friday Five. So without further adieu... I guess I will write about Idina tomorrow. Does this count as a bullet point? It's my blog so of course it does.

2. Today was my last day at work. Sob! I just got back from my farewell lunch. Everyone at work was so surprised I wasn't coming back from lunch. I'm sorry, like you have something pressing for me to do? More pressing than blog about my Friday Five and go to the pool? Exactly. We had Mexican, there were 10 or 11 of us and it was so fun. Perfect, even.

3. My mom comes tomorrow, hurray! She gave me a Visa gift card for my birthday so I hope we can shop for something to spend it on. I really want a new bag. I saw this one in Macy's but I don't want to commit to anything just yet. I originally wanted a new make up bag but now I may be leaning toward a nice quality non-Target handbag. We'll see.

4. The wasps are still there. I called our property managemer yesterday (at least I think I did...) and asked her to please have someone come knock them down/kill them all. So far, nothing. They're still there, waiting for me to cross their path, just like an evil dragon that lives under the bridge. While I have successfully crossed their path a few times by now, I have done it on tip-toe so as not to disturb their labor, slumber, partying, whatever it is they are doing in there.

5. Look what my client sent to my office today:

Pretty, right?

TORMENTED

I had the WEIRDEST night last night. Let me tell you all about it!

I left work at 4:45. I was very excited because last night was the Idina Menzel concert I have been looking forward to for a few weeks. So I got home, got the mail and was walking up the stairs when I felt two daggers into my right foot. I look down. Wasps. All. Around. Feet. I screamed, accidentally dropped some mail and ran up the rest of the stairs into my apartment.

I didn't know what to do besides scream and curse. I grabbed ice cubes and put those on the stings. It didn't help. I opened my cabinet. No meat tenderizer. I sat down on the floor to inspect the wounds when it hit me: painkiller, ASAP. So I took two ibuprofen.

I hobble to phone and text my Mom. She writes back that I should use tobacco. I write back and remind her that I don't smoke. But I do drink. So I hobbled to the fridge and poured myself some Chardonnay.

I sat back down again, elevated my foot and start thinking. I knew I should have called someone to come kill those wasps. They have three nests in our stairs, including one right above our door. I also knew I should have knocked them down this winter, like I told myself everyday I was going to do. This is how they repay me for not destroying their home? Asses.

My houseguest found me deep in my thoughts when she got home. She offered me some Benadryl itch reliever cream, which seemed like the best idea so far. So I put a healthy amount on each wound.

As I am hobbling to my room I pass my shoes, which I had flung off in the kitchen. These are a pair of my favorite shoes, and I realize that in my haste to get up the stairs, the strap on them broke. AGAIN. I just got them back from the cobbler on Friday to repair the straps, and the wasps made me break them again?

I got to my room and took a closer look at my foot. I think the wasps were having pouncing practice, like in the Lion King, because one sting/affected area had swelled significantly larger and faster than the other. "Okay, son... here she comes... ready, aim, STING!" "Is this how you do it Dad?" [Baby wasp barely penetrates my foot] "No son, like this!" [Father wasp line drives my ankle, digging torso-deep into my flesh]

I keep my foot elevated and get ready for the show. By the time my date arrives, it's official - I have overdosed. I was pretty loopy. And I have to walk down the stairs. Past the very wasps that attacked me. It may have been the bravest thing I've done all month.

We made it through dinner and went to the show - which was fabulous and deserves a post not overshadowed by insect revenge, so I'll write about it later.

I get home and am at this very computer when I hear some papers rustling behind me. That's weird. There's no breeze in this room. What could be rustling my papers?

I turn around and see what could pass for a jumbo shrimp crawling across my floor. Roach. In. Bedroom.

I scream and throw a shoe at it, all the while thinking WHAT THE HELL. First the wasps, now the roach.... and this is the first one I've ever seen in this condo. They were practically our landlords in my last condo and you don't know how proud it's made me to have not found one in my house so far. Roach free is the way to be. This one wasn't even scurrying. It was moseying. It was taunting me, teasing me with its size and presence.

Finally I throw enough shoes to render the roach unconscious long enough to get it down my toilet. Honest to blog, this was the biggest roach I'd ever seen. It looked like a seahorse. With legs. Or a turtle. Or a ferret.

So then for 30 minutes almost, I just sat there, sort of scared to get out of my chair and go to bed. What's next? A snake in my toilet? A squirrel in my shower? A bat in my kitchen? I mean really.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

IMMATURE

I've been deleting old e-mails on my office computer and happened to find this forward that I sent in November 2006. It made me laugh out loud all over again. Sorry if this offends but I have a very immature sense of humor sometimes.

The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs
Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today’s world you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name selected as other see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do this may result in situations such as the following (legitimate) companies who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn’t give their domain names enough consideration:

1. A site called ‘Who Represents’ where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name… wait for it… is www.whorepresents.com

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at www.expertsexchange.com

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at www.penisland.net

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at www.therapistfinder.com

5. Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company… www.powergenitalia.com

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery*, based in New South Wales: www.molestationnursery.com

7. If you’re looking for computer software, there’s always www.ipanywhere.com

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is www.cummingfirst.com

9. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their wacky website: www.speedofart.com

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at www.gotahoe.com

How funny are those?! I removed the link to all of those web sites but trust me, they work (*or used to - apparently some of the companies wised up and changed their URLs and I take NO RESPONSIBILITY for who bought them next! Surf at your own risk).

OFFENDED

Why do I always have such drama with the You Tubers? They are MEAN.

Well, I guess Ross was only trying to be nice but twice already, different people - STRANGERS - have commented on my tap shoes! One chick even said they are ugly! Allow me to quote: "do you have any other tap shoes than those ones thos ones you have on white are ugly." Guess she was so horrified that she lost all her punctuation! Or is that just how they talk in Canada?

Well, the joke is on you, Clickerboots2tap. Why do you think we bought them? It's a lot more entertaining and a hell of a lot funnier to dance in misfit tap shoes. You should try it.

And you know what else you should try? Punctuation!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EVENTUROUS

When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

Or, in my case, when life takes one of your best friends away for eight weeks, make him blog about it.

Evan, one of my Nashville besties, is taking a job to work a booth at four different state fairs for eight weeks. It's a well-paying job that he is excited about. I am not. He'll be gone, and then what will I do? Who will play with me?

But after all, I suppose if there's anywhere I'd want him to leave me for, it'd be New York. Then Los Angeles. And then four different state fairs across the midwest. Haha.

Now. Some of you may remember my own state fair "experiences" from October (let me jog your memory if you're new: I came, I saw, I conquered). Needless to say, I am not the best advocate for the life of a carnie. "Don't do it," I advised him. "Nothing good happens at those state fairs - or on the way there! The food is fun for the first five hours, everything's all fried and buttered and chocolate coated, but then all you can think about is a garden salad or some fresh vegetables. It'll drive you crazy, man. Fourteen hour days? Surrounded by rednecks? Who are only interested in your product if they can win it, wear it or eat it? Don't do it, man. Just say NO."

But he's going anyway. So I'm making the best of it. Evan has agreed to write some guest posts and take photos to document his Tour Across America for us. Evan's adventures, or, as we're calling them, Eventures, will be a weekly feature just like the Friday Five. His first stop: Minot, North Dakota, followed by the exotic metropolis of West Allis, Wisconsin, then stops in Illinois and Minnesota.

What do you want Evan to look for? The tackiest outfit? The largest family? He is not shy, folks. He'll give us what we ask for. We could give him a new challenge for each fair, like a list of questions he has to ask people or words he has to try to get airbrushed onto a T-shirt or things for him to have battered and deep fried! Oooh, hold on, that's good. Those carnies will fry anything if it'll sell. This blog can host Will It Fry? with Evan T. and then put each episode on You Tube and we'll all become internet phenomenons!

Isn't this exciting? We've got our own Ross the Intern! Rupert Gee! Special Correspondent! Field Reporter! So help me stay positive and get on board.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TAPRIFFIC

Tap class was crowded last night. Everyone that's ever been in our class was there - seven people total. But it was fun. We only learned one new move which I will tell you about in a minute.

After class, Allison and I stayed a little late to document our progress for posterity's and my blog's sake. Before you watch the videos, three things to note:
1. we ended up having class in the ballet studio because the floor in our normal studio (where these videos were made) is still very slick (why I keep losing my balance);
2. the quality is poor because I had to rotate the video on my computer (we took it vertically, won't make that mistake again) and
3. with enough practice you, too, can be this good.


Here is my first take of our dance sequence "combination" (excuse the curse word at 1:14):


This take, I am a little more serious. Less singing, much bigger finish:



I am not the only star of this show. Allison is pretty good, much better than she wants to admit:



The move without a name
I finally Googled hard enough and found the name of this move. Take your pick - the Shirley Temple, the Chop Suey, the Broadway or the Alexander:



And now, without further adieu, here is my favorite move. It's called a Sugarfoot. You twist your feet inside out and do jazz hands and lean back. When we were practicing it in class, I laughed so hard my gum fell out. Nadine kept yelling "sugaaaaaaaar!" like I am doing in this video and it was making me howl. Good stuff:

FORESHADOWY

I have the very best tap class recap ever coming up for you later today. Some of you may have already seen what I am talking about, but I need to fix something at home before I repost it. So check in tonight or tomorrow and prepare to be amazed. Sadly, they are not offering near as many classes in the fall, including adult beginner guitar or adult intermediate/ advanced tap class, so I am going to have to rethink my plans.

It's already Tuesday. Hooray. Keep it moving, Week. There's nothing to see here and I've got places to go and things to do.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

CLASSIC

So now that my first and second goals for 2008 are out of the way, I think I found a new one.

Last night, I was with some friends and our conversation turned to picking the worst movie villain of all time (no one thought Marv and Harry from Home Alone were good picks). This topic quickly segued into the best movies of all time. Good thing I had brought my Entertainment Weekly special 1000th issue over for someone to borrow. That issue contains "The New Classics," or what the EW staff has decided are the best 100 movies, albums, TV shows, etc of the past 25 years - since the magazine's first issue. While it's kind of cool that I am the same age as Entertainment Weekly, it's not kind of cool that I have seen so few of these movies (but in my defense, I wasn't old enough to see some of these until 2001, an excuse which I had to lean on a lot last night). So my new goal is to watch these New Classics, the Best 100 movies of the past 25 years, or the Top 100 Movies that have been made while I've been alive.

Blockbuster, here I come.


1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988)
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
12. The Matrix (1999)
13. GoodFellas (1990)
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler's List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998)
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room With a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988)
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999)
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39. The Sixth Sense (1999)
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988)
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988)
53. The Truman Show (1998)
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988)
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

I understand why EW got some hate mail for leaving off Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Princess Bride, American Beauty, etc., but to omit Home Alone AND Wedding Crashers?!?! I almost canceled my subscription.

What films would you add to the list?

Friday, July 11, 2008

GROOVY

1. I listened to Viva la Vida (in entirety) yesterday at work. For all the hype this album has been getting, I was sort of expecting Chris Martin to waltz into my office and personally serenade me while feeding me grapes and cheese. Nonetheless, I was still pleased, even though I can't figure out what Chris Martin is so sad about. It's a very gloomy, depressing album. So, I'm not obsessed with it by any means, but it's clearly another solid record from Coldplay. Which is a lot coming from me, because lately it's seemed that if Timbaland didn't touch it, I'm not interested.

2. LAME ALERT. I have decided to get an emergency credit card. Any suggestions? I want one with little to no interest and a good point system so that when I buy (and then immediately pay off) big items, like plane tickets or new furniture (not that either of those are are on my horizon [well... I guess a plane ticket is]) I can put them on the card and then get points or cash and not have to wear all my clothes when I travel or ride an invisible bike while I wait for my rewards like the people in the commercials do. I know some of you adult types have a recommendation. Let's hear it.

3. Things to look forward to in the few weeks: Idina Menzel performance at TPAC!, Mom coming to visit me next weekend, the onslaught of summer movies carries on (Wanted is at bat, Dark Knight is on deck and Stepbrothers is in the pen), and of course... the new job!

4. My iPod died again. This time it's especially alarming because I didn't do anything to trigger the memory lapse. In the past, I've accidentally unplugged it before it had properly ejected. The last time I used it was a few days ago when I had it sitting in my speaker dock thingy and picked it up to take it with me. Then yesterday, I plugged it into my work computer and only the songs on the iPod that were also on the work computer would play. That's like 100 songs out of 3000. Boo. So add "new iPod" to the list of things I'm saving for/will put on my points credit card, because I have a feeling this one is close to biting the dust for good. I've had it since 2005. Isn't three years (sadly) pretty good for an iPod? It seems like everyone's dies around then.

5. Is it 2004 all over again? Because I definitely held down the front row of the 17th Floor show last night and I know I haven't done that since senior year. All day long I had been trying to make a case for my favorite college band ever, but you just can't explain how good they are. Words don't adequately describe the party that is 17th Floor and they didn't disappoint us. It was so much fun. Word to the wise: when making plans to attend a show, check the band's web site to see what time the show starts instead of calling the venue. Because the venue may say 9, but if the band says 10, that's whose opinion I'm going to take... from now on, at least.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

HOPELESS

An update: the exclamation situation has only gotten worse, I'm afraid. Read these e-mails between my mom and her best friend (my second mother):

Woo Hoo!!!!!!! (I love exclamation points!!!!!!!!) Lindsay met the CEO today and..... She got the job!!!!!

Okay, Lindsay has told you to leave off all that punctuation! Last I heard, they were going to let her know soon. They actually called her?

Yes - she starts July 21!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those things are annoying, but I guess you're going to do extras now that you know how much it's annoying us.

You have me pegged.....but you LOVE ME ANYWAY!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

SPECTAPULAR

Yesterday was my third tap class.

Allison came to my house before class, where I presented her with two royal purple ribbons for her tap shoes. After agreeing that our feet look pretty good in purple and white, we headed to class.

This week it was just us plus our instructor and one other girl. We started off with our warm up series and then moved to the bar to do our Al Gilbert progressions: straight shuffles, then shuffle heels, then shuffle toe, then shuffle hops, then shuffle heel toes and finally shuffle hop toes. Then she had us practice our ball changes all different ways, which was kind of awkward feeling: normally you ball change to the back, not the front then side then back then side and all over. I felt a little like a horse trying to gallop free.

We moved back to the center of the room where Nadine taught us our first time step: a simple time step. It took Allison and me while to get. I was having a hard time staying balanced because the floor is so slick. Eventually we got the hang of the step and Nadine herded us into the corner.

I love traveling. It's my favorite thing we do. We started off doing a simple travel: falap heel. We falap heeled across the room, then Nadine added extra heels (falap heel heel, falap heel heel, falap heel heel heel heel heel heel). Then we did front irishes, and after Allison had tapped across the room, Nadine told Allison she was a "polite tapper," meaning she wasn't making enough noise. Haha. That was my favorite moment of the night.

It was then time for us to work on our "combination," as Nadine now calls it instead of a dance "sequence." We hadn't even done it once with the music before the third student piped up and said what if we tried something "more interesting" in the opening, like this! and then whipped out some new fancy steps. I'm sorry, who am I paying to teach me here? You or Nadine? Show off. Nonetheless, we changed the opening steps to her "more interesting" version and ran through the whole thing a few times before adding on.

We added two turns to our dance sequence "combination", a quick run and then a fancy new step that Nadine could not remember the name of. I have been googling it all day, trying to get the name of it, but am not having much luck.

I have discovered that Nadine is very forgetful. My first class she forgot the music and the dance sequence "combination" that she'd taught everyone the week before. Last week, she forgot the dance sequence "combination" again and this week she forgot the names of the steps altogether! Goodness.

We worked on the new steps to our dance sequence "combination" for a while, then practiced to the music, and then it was already time to go home.

I almost got a video of Allison and I practicing our dance sequence "combination" but she wouldn't agree to be filmed just yet. But in the mean time, here is a picture of our lovely white shoes and purple ribbons, my red white and blue patriotic taps for the week of Independence Day, and just because I want to, a picture of me, Allison and her dog Miller:

THANKFUL

So, the first thing I did when I got back to my desk after turning in my notice was hit publish on yesterday's post. I was so excited that it was official! But, giving my two weeks was pretty hard, which I had been warned it would be. That's why I asked you guys the other week what the hardest thing you've done in your career has been (IF you have a career, that is).

Once I told her, my supervisor's reaction was supportive and positive but still sad. We went in to talk to our HR lady together, and she also acknowledged what a good move this was for me.

So what exactly will I be doing? My new job is on the events team. After some training, I will eventually plan and execute all kinds of events: anything from book signings, bar mitzvahs and banquets to wedding receptions, induction ceremonies and after parties. Luckily there are about six of us that do this same job, plus our supervisors, because there are so many events taking place there. They really emphasized the team part of the job because you have to coordinate with other departments and vendors. So couple the incredible company and setting with the detail/logistics focused aspect of the job, and you can see why I'm pretty confident that I am going to love it.

Patience is suuuuuch a virtue, you guys. I haven't really written about job searching but I've been looking since January. And let me tell you, it's been hard. I'd get my hopes up and then get disappointed. I was super scared that was going to be the case again with this job. But as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait and all my frustrations from the spring are completely worth it now, since I'm so glad none of those situations worked out.

So that's all I've got for now! Back to tap class recaps and the like. Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers and supportive calls and voicemails and texts and e-mails. Y'all have been awesome. I have the best friends!

Monday, July 07, 2008

HOME

I have thought long and hard about how I want to share this news. I am sure most of you have figured it out, but just to be safe, let's start at the beginning.

Two years ago, this happened. Excitement. Eagerness. Purpose. Something to look forward to, to write (call) home about, something I could be good at.

Then somewhere along the way, this happened. Frustration. Burn out. Wasting time. Wasting days. Wishing I were 1,000 other places. And most importantly - I knew I was ignoring this. Denying what I knew I was designed to care about, to love and to do.

I live in Music City, damnit. I grew up on country music. I love it. And I still love it for a reason. I know I have that passion for a specific purpose. I also know I will spend the rest of my life kicking myself if I don't invest my time, my energy and my skills, working for music, the thing that I love, when I am more surrounded by it than I'll probably ever be. Because life is too short to settle. Especially when you're settling 7.5 hours of your day away, everyday.

So four days before I finished this goal, I set a new one. I entered my resumé into a pool of 375 applicants for what I started calling a long shot and my dream job.

Three interviews, three months and countless hours of worry later, I just did this.

Because Lindsay gets to go work here:

One floor above the Black that the Man wore, and his guitar.
One floor above original, handwritten lyrics to some of the most famous country songs ever written.
One floor above some of the guitars and pianos that legendary artists used to play legendary songs at legendary venues all over the world.
One floor above some of the most recognizable costumes, cars and hats that were ever owned or photographed.
One floor above a collection of silver, gold and platinum records for songs that made country music into a national phenomenon.
In the same building where the history of country music is collected, preserved and displayed.
In the same building where a league of artists are honored for shaping the music industry and accomplishing goals that most of us could only dream about.

Some of you may be thinking, so what? Maybe not all of you get it. But here's the thing - I DO.

I get it. I understand it. I appreciate it. I have the passion for it. And starting July 21 (exactly three months after I submitted my resume), I get to surround myself in it day after day after day.

So, goodbye advertising and public relations.
Hello, music.
I'm finally home.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

LOVESTONED

Last night I went to see Wall•E. It was so cute! What a smart movie. I was very impressed with how the animators portrayed so many emotions using slight gestures and movements (Walle's eyes, for example), as well as using the same two words ("Eve!" and "Walle") but packing different emotions into every mention (fear, happiness, concern, etc).

After the movie, who should I see in the corner of the lobby but Wall•E himself! Never one to shy away from a celebrity, I had to go introduce myself... and hold his hand.


And if I look really happy in that picture... it's because I am!

Everyone have a safe and happy Independence Day. I know I will be celebrating independence, and in more ways than one...

Be sure to come back Monday to hear all about it!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

DELIVERED

God has heard me, and answered my cry!
I can't believe it's finally happening!
I've waited so long and held out hope for what seemed like forever!
I thought this day would never come!
Good things come to those who wait!
...and a thousand other cliches, none of which are inappropriate for announcements such as this.

Hahaha, I know what you thought I was going to announce. We'll see!

But in the meantime... are y'all as excited as I am?!?!?!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

BLIND

I don't know when it started. But it's time that it got stopped. My mother, the English major, has started using more exclamation points and question marks in her e-mails than she does actual letters. Observe these, all from the month of June.

"How was tap class?????????????????"

"LULULULULULULULULULULULULULU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On this day at approximately 11:40 am I birthed the best gift God ever gave me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a blessed Day!!!!!!!!!!!"

"WOOHOOOOO!!!!! That would be sooooo great!!!!!!!!!!!"

"WWWWWWWooooooooooooooooooooHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This calls for extra exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

It hurts your eyes to read, doesn't it? And she gets mad when I don't reply. Interestingly enough, while searching for these e-mails, I noticed that all the ones I had replied to were properly punctuated.

So yesterday, after receiving this:

"Whoa!! Did you look at that photo of [family friend]--she is a beauty!!!!!!!!!!! Miss Fall Rush???!!!!!!!!!!!"

I wrote this:

Please kindly consider your exclamation point privileges revoked. You are an English major and therefore should know that we all have about seven total uses of an exclamation point in our lives. You have grossly exceeded your lifetime allotment of exclamation points.
From now on, e-mails with more than 2 exclamation points will not get a reply. Furthermore, e-mails with three or more exclamation points will be forwarded to the authorities who will resort to disciplinary action including but not limited to canceling any and all of the violating party's e-mail accounts.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation in this matter.
The Grammar Police

She replied:

Dear Grammar Police... How am I supposed to express abundant enthusiasm? Maybe with this? *************************or this?&&&&&&&&&&&or this?############
OR HOW ABOUT THIS?

My response:

You don't need to express abundant enthusiasm in an e-mail. You have cried wolf with your enthusiasm and now if it has a billion exclamation points, I honestly skim it. Notice which of your e-mails I do respond to: the ones sent by a human and not by a clown. Do yourself a favor and stop using them so much.PLEASE.

Her answer:
Ok I will abandon all punctuation of any kind I love you now you have another idea for my headstone:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Yes, she likes to talk about her headstone.)

But tell me - am I the only who finds that super annoying? It's right up there with USING ALL CAPS ALL OF THE TIME. It's called Netiquette, Mom. Give it a whirl.

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