Stan the Man

While my family and I were on vacation last week in Destin, we were in a gelato shop after dinner on our last night there. There was a family there and you could tell it was grandpa, grown kids and grandkids. Grandpa was treating the family to gelato and it was adorable. The man must have been about 80 years old and he had a HUGE button on his shirt that said “Stan _____.” I don’t remember his last name. So I casually said, “What’s up, Stan!” And he said “How did you know my name?” I said, “Oh, I don’t know – you just look like a Stan the Man if I’ve ever seen one.”

Then my brother pointed at his button and said “you have a huge button on your shirt with your name on it.”

Way to ruin the fun, Wade.

Stan said “STAN THE MAN! That’s me. I once lived in a retirement home and I wanted them to put that on my shirt and they wouldn’t do it.”

Well, alright then.

About that time, Stan was summoned by his grown son to pay the $14 gelato bill.

I meandered away and moments later realized they had all gone outside and Stan had left his walker by the cash register. Surely he’ll be back for it. Or will he? I mean, he clearly just managed to walk away without its assistance.

So sure enough, here he comes in a minute. I just put my hands on it like it was mine and when he walked up like “why the hell do you have that,” I was like “Oh! Is this yours!? Weird.”

Just a little flirting with an 80 year old man never hurt anyone.

So I passed him the walker and he leaned on it – settled in – and said, “What’s your deal? Are you in school?”

“Nope – I graduated nearly 10 years ago from UT if you can believe it.”

“KNOXVILLE!”

Yes, Stan.

“What did you study?”

“Public Relations – well, communications.”

Stan replied with a resounding, “Shiiiiiiiit.”

“Well, what’s that supposed to mean!?”

“Why not major in something USEFUL where you can actually get a good job, like engineering.”

“Well Stan, I hate science and math. Hate it. That would have never worked for me.”

“WELL SO DO A LOT OF PEOPLE, but you just work through it so you can get a decent job.”

“I HAVE a good job! I do marketing for Caterpillar.”

(Stan gives a look of consideration of this tidbit – mulls it over for a moment).

“Well, that’s pretty good. Alright then. God bless you.”

And then he walked, with the help of his walker, right on out of my life.

We did see him later with his family, after we’d walked around a bit more, and as we passed him all six of us said “Hey Stan!” “See you later Stan!” “Take care, Stan the Man!”

And he looked genuinely confused and shocked. I think he’d forgotten about our conversation and him dropping the career counseling on me.

Wherever you are, Stanley – preach son, preach.

XOXO,
Jenn

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Farewell, Old Friend

Today, I got a new whip. That’s means car, for those of you who aren’t so fly.

Before I can truly celebrate this though, we must mourn the one who is now headed to auction. There, she will either be purchased by some father for his 16- year-old daughter to ruin and not fully appreciate OR where she’ll be bought  *gulp* —- to be chopped up for parts. 😦

The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse. God bless her little motor oil pumping heart.

I remember when my Dad and I started shopping for cars together my senior year of high school. My parents always had a deal with my brother and I that if we kept an A/B GPA through high school and went on to college, they would buy us a car. One car, and one car only for the rest of our days, so we better take good care of it.

My Dad took me car shopping the last semester of my senior year of high school. I had gotten into UT and fulfilled my end of the bargain. As we headed to Knoxville, I had my heart set on one of those lime green Volkswagen Beetles. True story. Dad strongly encouraged me to shop around. The first thing we drove was the Mitsubishi Eclipse. I think we went there because they were running a great deal with super low APR. I fell in love. Hell, I probably would have fallen in love with anything on four wheels that wasn’t my ’91 Toyota Corolla I was driving at the time. But I like to think it was that little red car’s destiny – that she should shuttle me around for the next 11 years.

The Eclipse was so dang cool. It was the shiniest thing I’d ever seen. And soon, it would be mine. Thanks so much, Mom and Dad. Dad and I signed the paperwork and celebrated by eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant by the movie theater. Obviously.

Two or so days later she was in the garage waiting on me one day after school. And so it began.

Since then, she’s taken me on more road trips than I can remember, braved the parking garages at the University of Tennessee, had more fender benders than I care to remember or discuss and just overall been my number one gal on four wheels.

But she’s 11 years old now, and although she’s served me well and is still purring, it’s time for her to move on to the next phase in her little car life. Now, she’s chock full of door dings, hail damage, scratches, strange smells and several other surprises. Maybe I should have left instructions in the glove-box about how to turn the radio volume up and down. It’s sort of a tedious process.

Ah well.

There were near tearful hugs goodbye.

God speed, little Eclipse. I sure love you lots. The Mazda has big wheels to fill.

Also, August will be the first month that I’ve ever had a car payment in my life (again, thanks Mom and Dad), and I already think it’s pretty sucky.

XOXO,
Jenn

‘Merica — TCB

Happy 4th of July!

Hey y’all. Sorry for the hiatus, but lawd, I’ve been TCB! Taking care of business. You may have gathered from my previous couple of posts that I FINALLY sold my dang townhouse. It sold three years to the day that I put it on the market and I couldn’t be more relieved. It was weighing on me like I didn’t even realize, until it was gone. But all that to say, I hope to be back on the regular blogging scene now that I have my head back in a good, normal space!

In the meantime, let’s do a photo recap of what else has been going on.

I went to Kingston and watched two of my favorite Wade men do a triathlon. They basically kicked tail.

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Mom and Dad visited Nashville for Father’s Day. We had a joint Mother’s Day/Father’s Day outing to Arrington Vineyards and had a picnic. It was so fun and they both really enjoyed it. Of course, there was wine.

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We had dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill and lunch at Germantown Café the next day.

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Mom has always wanted to tour the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, so we did. It was really interesting and I loved the self-guided tour with headphones. You just punched in a code from a sign based on what you were looking at. I thought that was nicer than some period-costumed lady walking you around the entire time.

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Kim took me down to the Farmer’s Market to try Bella Nashville’s pizza. OMG. It’s like Bella Napoli, and its ah-mazing. I die. I think about it daily.

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I went to the courthouse one morning and TCB’d. Isn’t Nashville beautiful from the park?

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The month of June I worked out 4-5 days a week at FIT Nashville’s bootcamp at Centennial. It was beautiful and we never got rained out. Thanks, drought! Fabulous way to watch the sun come up and start my day!

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And in case you haven’t heard yet – I sold my townhouse! Ha.
So empty!

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If you need a realtor, call that guy on the sign. Frank J will TCB.

Then, I celebrated the move.

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And celebrated the sale. A lot of celebrating.

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Rog took us to J Alexander’s for dinner. All I wanted was mac and cheese (it’s to die for), but had some steak tacos too. He had the steak.

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In other news, I’m still obsessed with our McKay’s bookstore. I love it. Here are some of the latest finds.

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Are you bored with the randomness of this post yet? Hope not – because here’s an update on my hair! 🙂 It’s getting looong, and I love my bangs longer, now. I can curl them back a little and keep the little turds out of my face.

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Last Saturday Rog and I got all dressed up and went to Junior Chamber gala. It was so fun. We topped it off with a trip downtown to Robert’s Western World and then acted refined and had a nightcap at the Patterson House.

My handsome date.

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Phi Mu ladies!

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Mal pal.

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Two of my favorite Nashville friends – Rach and Linds.

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And two of my new friends thanks to NJC – Elisabeth and Evelina. I don’t befriend ugly people, clearly. 🙂

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Lastly – I ate half a sticker off my apple yesterday. That was awesome. Then, I checked my mortgage account and saw my outstanding balance. YES sir! Ha. Ok, I’ll quit talking about it, I swear.

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And, I finished this book today and HOLY moly. It scared the poop out of me! And had so many twists and turns. It would make a fabulous movie. But OMG – y’all. Read this book. I read it in three days and had nightmares. Ha.

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How’s that for a random brain dump? Now that we’re all caught up, I’ll try to keep it that way.

XOXO,
Jenn

Blog Readin’ Fatigue

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How do you all read your blogs? Do you physically go to each of them? Use a reader? Use the blog roll on your own blog and click through each one?

I, personally, had my life changed the day I discovered Google Reader. I love it and rarely physically hit a blog’s URL. Did you also know that when you look at the analytics of how many hits your blog gets, it doesn’t count all of those people who are reading your blog in reader? At least that’s how I understand it works on WordPress.

Anywho – if something is interesting to me and I want to read it every time someone posts, I drop it into my Google Reader, which I like to check every morning and sometimes every afternoon, so it doesn’t get too full. However, I recently found myself skipping over a LOT of the blogs I’d put in my reader. I’d just skim right over it and not even pretend to read it. I did this for months until I was like “hell – this is MY reader – why am I keeping this trash in here?” So I did a big overhaul on the blogs I follow and cleaned my reader out. SO much better.

It was sort of strange and got me ruminating over it – because I obviously liked the content at some point, or I wouldn’t have put it in there. So what changed? Surely the author didn’t change. They are probably doing exactly what they were when I once found them appealing. So it must have been me that changed. Why? How?

And with a couple of these blogs, I’m not talking about “eh, I just am bored with it.” I’m talking I was straight up like “you are terrible and dumb. Quit talking. If I see one more awkward self-portrait of you in running clothes in your tiny backyard, I will straight up knife my computer screen.” (I know, that makes me sort of terrible, but this is my little internet corner to speak the truth, just like they have theirs to be terrible in).

Did my interests change? Am I happier now and don’t feel like listening to them whine about how sucky everything is (when their world actually seems pretty perfect)? Or maybe it was the opposite and I found their constant state of euphoria unrealistic. Nobody is that happy. Maybe I’m jealous. Maybe I feel sorry for them. Who knows – but it got me thinking nonetheless.

They’ve done these studies that show that people who use Facebook are generally not as happy and satisfied with their lives as people who are NOT on Facebook. They believe it’s because we tend to post more about all the good things in our lives on Facebook, e.g. “I’m having the greatest day ever! I just got a promotion at my dream job and got engaged to my dream man via this 6 carat diamond! See photo.” Ok that’s kind of an extreme example – but you get my drift.

So we read all this crap about how wonderful everyone else’s life is – forgetting that they aren’t telling us about how they also gained four pounds last week, are strapped for cash until payday and have relationship issues, too. But it’s all about perception. So we start to think everyone else has a peachy life and ours is lame because we aren’t eating at the fanciest restaurants with the prettiest people and doing the “most fun thing!” every weekend. Neither are they – they are just going to be dang sure you know about it when they do. Multiply that by your 800 friends and you could see how that would be depressing.

I think the same thing applies to my recent blog reader overhaul. What do you think?

How’s that for a random Wednesday brain dump?

Happy humpday, friends!

 XOXO,
Jenn

Update on Eggplant Kitten, aka Sally

I got an email update from the sweet people who adopted Eggplant yesterday. (see previous post to catch up).

Apparently, Sally, as she’s been renamed, is doing just beautifully in her new home. She loves it and has settled right in. The four-year-old little girl who is Sally’s new mommy is having to work on giving “gentle hugs and kisses,” said her Mom, because the kitten is just so squeezable. Smile Too cute. She said Sally doesn’t seem to mind though, because she just keeps coming back for more. I’m telling you, this little fur baby has the sweetest disposition.

Check it out.

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So glad she’s enjoying her new home and all her new furry friends in that crib.

XOXO,
Jenn

Eggplant the Kitten

Yesterday I was headed to lunch at the Farmer’s Market here in Nashville to meet my friend Alice. I was walking down the sidewalk from where I parked, and noticed up in the distance this tiny thing bounding down the sidewalk. I thought it was a bunny — it was so tiny and bouncy. Then, it darted under a car. I hurried up to the car and knelt down to see what it was, and it was a tiny, adorable, heartbreakingly precious kitten. It mewed (smaller than a meow) and hopped up into the car’s engine parts. Oh hell no. I wasn’t about to let this little nugget get piston slapped.

I laid on the ground (in a skirt) and shimmied halfway under this car. Two people asked if I was ok. ‘YEP! I’m cool. It’s a KITTEN!” They just hurried away — probably going to find security.

I coaxed it partly down and then pulled the little booger into my arms — fully prepared for it to eat my hand off. (After all, I live with Callie Cat, so fury is all I know). But it just looked up at me and mewed. (I think it said “mama?”) Then it licked my nose. I about fainted from cuteness.

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I called Alice to see where she was because she’s always wanted a kitten — and told her where to meet me. In the meantime, approximately 20 people walked by and told me “oh you’re done for now,” or similar. Yeah — I know. I also tried to give her away to several people, just in case Alice didn’t want her because I sure as heck wasn’t putting her back out on the cruel city streets.

I knew I couldn’t take her home though. Callie is an only child and just can’t be anything else. Let’s just say that if I brought the kitten home, she would be an only child again like five minutes later, because she would eat it for fourth meal.

Alice went in and got our lunch (after she too fell in love with kitten pants) and we had a picnic outside with the kitten. She played (the kitten, not Alice), ate some cheese off our pizza, part of an old chicken finger someone had dropped (and accidentally bit my finger — so I was pleased to find out last night that she didn’t have rabies), then she tuckered out and took a bath and a nap.

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Alice took her back to her office, thinking she’d at least foster her for a few days and then decide what to do for her full time. But her Executive Director fell in love with her too, and took the kitten home to her four-year-old daughter who is going to give her a good home. She already got checked out at the vet last night and got a clean bill of health. Just a few earmites.

P.S. — Alice and I decided since we’d found her at the Farmer’s Market, we should name her something vegetable-like. So I blurted out Eggplant, and it was set. Little kitten Eggplant.

However, I found out last night that the four year old who Eggplant is living with has renamed her “Sally.”

I’m not sure how I feel about this, and think she’ll always be an Eggplant deep down.

I’m such a crazy cat lady.

Best lunch at the Farmer’s Market ever, right Alice? 🙂 Thanks for taking care of our kitten baby!

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XOXO,
Jenn

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I’m linking up with What I’m Loving Wednesday!

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I’m loving my recent Target purchases. How can I spend $90 in there like it’s going out of style, when I just went in for coffee filters?

$3 belt. Yes please.

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I’m so in love with this purse. I want to marry it.

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I’m LOVING my Adventure Boot Camp every morning with a bunch of amazing women and our trainer, Josh Allen. I bought a Groupon to check out this whole boot camp thing, because I’m enjoying mixing up the ol’ fitness routine lately. I’m on week two – four days a week at 5:30 in the morning. Whew! I’ll do two more days in my third week and then it’s off to the beach soon. I better be beach bod ready by then! 🙂

I’m hating the heat that’s set in this week in Tennessee, but loving that it gives me an excuse to not fuss with my long, hot mop on my head. There will be many more of these easy up-dos this summer.

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I’m in love with some new music that I bought today – I’ve been iPoding at work lately with my headphones and it makes the workday much more enjoyable.

Do you all know about Graffiti6 yet? You probably have heard “Free” but check out “Annie You Save Me” and “Stare Into the Sun.” OMG I love this band. So easy on the ears AND eyes. 🙂

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Here’s the whole playlist that I downloaded today.

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Lastly – I’m loving this guy:

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And this girl!

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Happy hump day, friends!

XOXO,
Jenn

Hey Girl, Heeeey

The ol’ bloggy blog got  little overhaul this evening. Aint she purdy?

You may see some minor changes in widgets and things but overall, the overhaul is pretty complete. I LOVE these colors (right now). Gray is always my favorite, mixed with a couple pops of color. Simple and clean.

Hope you love it, too! I used the “Forever” them on WordPress (free – and not indicative of how long I’ll be in love with it, I’m sure) – and I actually designed the header myself…in Microsoft Word. Word up.

XOXO,
Jenn

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I’m linking up with What I’m Loving Wednesday!

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I’m loving this spring weather! I wish it would stay spring-like forever. All year. I can do without the 20 degree winter that we skipped this year and I LOATHE the summer heat. Gawd, I hate sweating – and I’m really good at it.

I went to the Bicentennial Mall Park or whatever it’s called and had my lunch. Picnic style! It was so lovely.

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I’m loving homemade guacamole. I found amazingly perfect avocados at our dumpy little grocery store. I whipped up some homemade guac (Rog’s recipe – to come soon) and it was divine. We ate it all over the course of 24 hours. Gone.

I eat it on chips, I eat it on eggs – I eat it from ships and on my sea legs. Take that Dr. Suess.

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I’m loving Hank for Senate. Meet Hank.

Yep – Hank is a Cat. And running for U.S. Senate in Virginia.Hank for senate

Too bad he’s not on the Republican Primary ballot. Look at those eyes – so trusting and wise.

Speaking of ignorant things – did you Tennesseans see what former Congressman Lincoln Davis said after he was denied the right to vote because he doesn’t know where he’s registered?

“If I had moved here from somewhere else recently, maybe I could understand it,” said Democrat Davis. “But a former congressman, a former state senator and a civic leader … and nobody even notified me I’d been taken off the rolls?”

“Now I know how the black man must have felt a hundred years ago,” he said in a telephone call to a reporter.

Oh no. Oh no you di’int. I worked in government relations for quite some time and closely with LD from time to time, and always enjoyed him. However, it seems maybe he’s out of practice when it comes to talking to reporters. talking. Not your finest hour, pal.

Back to what I’m LOVING Wednesday – because it’s not politics.

I’m loving that I ate ground beef from Wal-Mart last night that was 5 days expired and didn’t die! Or even get sick – all because I’m too cheap to throw food away. I did get online and see if that was “too expired” to eat, and many websites said not to touch it with a ten foot pole, including the USDA’s site. But then, I found an anonymous comment on Wiki Answers (where everything is gospel, right?) that said “If it’s brown, don’t chow down. If it’s red, eat it Fred!” Good enough for me. Jenn, 1 – Meat, 0.

I’m loving that I signed up to be a Girls on the Run running buddy, today!

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Girls on the Run uses the power of running to help prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Through interactive activities such as playing games, running, discussing health, wellness and other important issues, participants learn how to celebrate being girls. The girls are empowered with a greater self-awareness, a sense of achievement and a foundation in team building to help them become strong, confident, well-balanced young women.

As a running buddy, I will run with and help pace a young girl during a 5K practice run and during the Girls on the Run 5k in May. So excited to meet my little running buddy!

I’m loving Good Reads. It’s social networking, but for book worms. If you read, you need to be on Good Reads! I just learned about it, but it’s a great way to keep up with what you read, see what your friends are reading and how they rate the book, and to keep up with your reading wish list. I used to keep a running list of books I wanted to read in my Gmail – and this is so much easier! Sign up – then find and friend me so I can see what you’re reading! 🙂

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Lastly, I’m loving my morning routine with Miss Callie Cat. I wake up, she bounces off the bottom of the bed where she slumbers, and meows and talks all the way to the bathroom sink. I lift her up there (wouldn’t want her to strain her fat self) and she drinks water and visits with me while I do my make up.

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Then, she gets down from the bathroom counter and sits at the bedroom door until I finally open it. She wants to go back to bed with Rog.

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She cuddles up with him until he gets up.

Think she’s rotten? I do. And have no idea how she got that way.

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That’s what I’m loving, today! Hope you love lots of things, too. 🙂

XOXO,
Jenn