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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It’s Cool — I’ll Just Sleep Here, Too

If you’ve read the blog for long you know my love hate relationship with running. Some days I love it and some days I’d rather bang my face against the wall than run. Several months ago I started switching up my workout routine to try and come out of my “I hate running, especially in the summer” funk. I did a couple of bootcamps, which I loved, got addicted to BarreAmped, which I cannot afford, and bought a couple of random Groupons here and there.

Speaking of – if you are in the Nashville area, I have about 15 day-passes to the Delta gym if you’d like them. Lemme know.

I told myself that as soon as I sold my house I’d get a YMCA membership. All my friends (i.e. all the cool kids) are members and I wanted to be too – but just needed to wait until the damn house sold before incurring any extra expenses. (That’s what grown-ups do…ahem ahem).

Anywho…

So I joined the Y a little over a month ago and HOLY gym rat, Batman. I am one of them. I am LOVING the Y and all the options I have now. I’ve gotten totally addicted to yoga, circuit blast, swimming and am dabbling in cycling, now. I just took my first cycling class last night and can barely sit down today. You know – in the crotch area. Wow.

But I LOVED cycling! I had no idea. Riding a bike up pretend hills while listening to rap music as someone yells at you to “BREAK AWAY FROM THE PACK!! You’ll come in last if you don’t KICK IT!” through a microphone? What’s not to love?

So, here’s what a typical week looks like for me now – of course, meetings and happy hours occasionally drop in there on the evenings, but if I had NO obligations, this is how I’d roll.

Monday
6:00 a.m. – swim a mile downtown (indoors, friends)
5:30 p.m. – yoga with Debbie downtown. She rocks!

Tuesday
6:00 a.m. – Circuit Blast (in East Nash.) with Nikole, my Hungarian beauty. This is 50% of why I joined the Y. (No, not to meet hot girls). My friends are in this class and (rightly so) talk about Nikole non-stop. She seriously is amazing. She’s so encouraging, puts so much thought into planning workouts for us and pushes us till we about die every time. YES! We fondly call it “hell class.” The folks in our class recently raised over $2,000 to send her and her daughter back to Hungary for a visit since she pines for it regularly and hasn’t been in many, many years – so that should tell you what an impact she has on her classes.

Evening – rest

Wednesday
6:00 a.m. – swim a mile or run 2-3 miles, depending on how I feel
5:30 p.m. – cycling downtown

Thursday
6:00 a.m. – Circuit Blast with Nikole again
5:30 p.m. – rest or yoga downtown (am trying this class tonight for the first time). How well I like the instructor totally makes or breaks yoga for me.

Friday
5:30 a.m. – Pancake Run! 3 miles.
6:00 p.m. – Yoga with Gina in Green Hills (Nashville peeps. Have you been to Gina’s class yet? Lawd. She about killed me. It is hardcore, but awesome. Come with me if you’re here!)

Saturday
REST! Eat and drink. It is football season, after all.

Although…there is a spin class at 8:45 a.m. that I’m checking out this Saturday. 🙂 I’m addicted.

Sunday
4:30 p.m. – power yoga with Ed. Again – quite the challenging class.

Start it all over again.

So, you’re probably wondering how in-shape I am and how much weight I’ve lost after doing this routine for a little over a month, now? Well, first thing first….I’ve GAINED a couple pounds. UGH! Dang it. It sucks being a woman. I workout like crazy and eat mostly healthy and I GAIN weight because my body is all like “OH NO! Reserve the fat! What if we want to have babies one day?! Must.hold.onto.fat.” DUMB.

In other news though, I know some of the weight gain is from muscle strength. I have lost inches, I can tell, and am much stronger than I was when I first started Nikole’s class, for example. So, I’m not too mad about the scale. So long as my pants continue fitting and I don’t bust out of them like the Incredible Hulk when I walk, I won’t worry about it.

I don’t have a recent picture of me in a sports bra to show you my workout bod progress — but this one looks pretty much just like me, so it’ll work.

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Ha.

Are any of you members at the Y and have a class that you just love? Tell me! As you can see, I like to try new things. 🙂

XOXO,
Jenn

I Should Own You, Target

I have about one bazillion updates for you — all exciting, of course — but must find time to sit down and download photos, etc.

In the meantime though, I’ll tell you about a fun little event that occurred at Target this weekend.

I went to Target on Sunday to return something and was in a hurry because I was trying to get to yoga in about half an hour. I was wearing these flip flops that I’ve had since college so ALL tread is gone from the bottoms of them. Also, right as I parked, it started pouring rain. You see where I’m going with this, right?

I ran in to Target, did my thing. No problem. As I was on my way out, I must have hit a puddle from someone’s umbrella or something, because 3…..2…..1 WIPEOUT. Holy moly. I did some version of the splits, except the tops of BOTH my feet hit the ground — the tops — and my right knee smacked pretty hard, too. I yelled something to the effect of “EEEEEE GAWD!” Just loud enough to get everyone within the front 1/3 of the store to turn and look in my direction.

One child pointed, laughed, then quickly slapped his hand over his mouth to prevent further embarrassment on my behalf. Too late, turd.

I executed this gymnastics feat directly in between two checkout lanes, and one of the clerks just turned and looked at me like, “are you freaking stupid? How did that happen.” Lady, I don’t know — but I guarantee you I couldn’t replicate it if I tried and neither could you. So, be impressed.

After brief, fleeting thoughts of “stay on the ground — roll around a lot and yell some more — ‘oh my neck! my back — it’s broken,’ — demand a $100 gift card for the emotional damage you’ve suffered,” I just stood up and got the hell out of there. Except I was afraid to run, or even quickly walk, after discovering my shoes are basically glorified ice skates, so I sort of hunched over to get a firm center of gravity and scooted all the way to the door. Also, not embarrassing.

I’m mostly fine — my pride was damaged the most — but yoga sure did hurt. I think I stretched more during my splits than in class.

Two days later, I have an awesome bruise on my knee and this sweet floor burn on the top of my right foot, which felt great running this morning. Not.

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I still love you, Target. Just don’t pull that crap again.

XOXO,
Jenn

I Swear Officer — I Just Wanted to Hug Them

I don’t normally get star struck, although in Nashville there are plenty of opportunities. The stars just walk among us like normal humans, for Pete’s sake.

I think I normally don’t get star struck because I usually don’t recognize who it is I’m looking at until they’ve come and gone.

Exhibit A: one time I was at the Bound’ry restaurant and ran into Lucas from Days of Our Lives, Bryan Dattilo. I literally ran into him coming around a corner. He was by himself and I was like “OH MY GOSH, I’m so sorry. OH HEY!”

Because I knew I recognized him but had no idea from where. UT? Kingston? Right. So I played it off.

Jenn: “How are you? I haven’t seen you in forever? (true statement — it had been since about 1997 that I last watched an episode of Days).  Doing ok?”

Lucas/Bryan: **confused — oh hell, how do I know her…is she crazy? Probably** “Oh — you know. I’m fine.”

Jenn: **wow — he seems a little uptight.** “Great — well, it’s really good to see you again. I’ve gotta run.”

Probably about one minute after he walked away I realized who it was. More cocktails, please.

Joke is on him since he probably spent the rest of the evening either a.) trying to figure out if I was an extra he’d once “dated,” or b.) looking over his shoulder for the deranged fan who pretended to “know” him.

Anywho, there have been countless other incidents like this and I’m just never quick enough to put it all togehter…until recently.

Monday night I had to get a package of tortellini for dinner. I tried to go to the Turnip Truck grocery in the Gulch, but they were closed. I cussed, then thought “I’ll just go to the janky Apple Market across the street from my place.” I got in my car and since I’d had a glass of wine with my gal pals, I dug my iPod out of my purse and turned on my favorite car sing-a-long, Miranda Lambert’s “Baggage Claim.” (This will be ironic in a moment).

I drove over there, walked in and turned down the aisle and saw a girl way at the end of it that was so cute. I thought “whoa…what’s she doing in this place?” It’s just kind of seedy. She had on cowboy boots and a crisp white dress and blonde hair in a low side ponytail. Then this tall drink of water walked up behind her and I thought “he’s tall. They sort of look like… HOLY TORTELLINI it’s Blake and Miranda.”

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. I about passed out. I don’t really give a hoot about a lot of these people, but I love Miranda and Blake is just precious and hilarious.

I think I stopped and just stared and then walked toward them — like a moth to a flame. Then I panicked and turned around and they cut down a different aisle. I then said to some random guy “THAT WAS BLAKE AND MIRANDA.” I think he was homeless. “What. WHO?” Nothing. Walk away.

I walked around until I spotted them again like a total creeper. I wanted a picture so bad! They were so cute and were just shopping and being normal. Who knew?! Miranda yelled “BLAAAKE! We still got them pizzas? Need more?” It was California Pizza Kitchen, if you want to be like the famous people. It’s basically a rule that I’ll only eat CPK pizzas now.

Unfortunately after I cut down three or four aisles like some sort of stalker, I gave up and got in the checkout line. Well heavens to Betsy, they got in line RIGHT behind me. I didn’t dare look at them. As we waited, a couple of people said stuff to them — one lady told Blake she auditioned for the Voice — and he was just sweet as pie. But I swear — Miranda had one of those pizzas up her butt because she was all eye rolls and smug looks. I understand — I’m sure that kind of treatment gets old. You just want to buy your overpriced frozen pizzas and go on about your business like a normal person. But lady, you’re in Nashville and it’s CMA Fest week. You gotta either hibernate at home or just get over it and indulge us a little.

The checkout clerk, who I feel like is my uncle or something since we go in there so often, asked her for a picture. He said, “My wife will just die. She loves you.” She released a heavy sigh and said a flat, “sure.”

I left at this point, got in my car and waited for them to come out. Yes, yes I did.

OH, first I did take a couple photos through the window, as seen here.

As they exited the store, Miranda looked RIGHT at me. I mean, we locked eyes. Dang it. I know she thought “there’s the creeper from inside.” As they headed toward Blake’s pick up truck (or hers, who knows), she whispered something to him and then HE turned and looked at me. OMG I was mortified. I’m one of them — those people who come to Nashville to see famous people and then bother them in their natural habitat. Like poking a stick at an animal in its cage at the zoo.

I cranked up my car and through my speakers blasted Miranda’s twangy voice at top decibel since I’d just been singing along with her. I thought she was back to beat me up. I about peed my pants and then sped away.

Such a loser.

XOXO,
Jenn

Give Me the Good Stuff

I can’t take cold medicine. I learned in college that anything with pseudoephedrine makes me have extreme paranoia, hallucinations and anxiety. It’s super fun. After I came back to the health clinic on campus convinced people were trying to run over me with their cars and not knowing how I ended up walking clear across campus with no memory of it, the doc took the Sudafed from my hand and said “let’s not take this anymore, dear. Ever.”

Turns out the main ingredient in meth (pseudoephedrine/ephedrine) = not so good for Jenn.

So, when I get a cold I have to turn to the tough it out method – or, the occasional home remedy. Like last night when I was DYING with a sore throat.

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Just like our ancestors used to do it, right? They didn’t have no stinkin’ Dayquil.

XOXO,
Jenn

Christmas Came Early

I love to be organized. And I like to do it the old fashioned way, using a pen and paper. I’ve had more planners and journals over the years than you could shake a stick at, as we say in the South.

When I was little, the stationery or office/back to school section of any store was my favorite part. Even in Toys R’ Us when I was little, I would head straight for the Lisa Frank stickers, stationery and pencils.

*Side note – do you remember Lisa Frank? OMG. I loved that stuff. But now, looking back at it, I kind of think Lisa must have been on some serious hallucinogens when she designed this stuff. Wowzas.

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I have only recently started relying on my blackberry to keep up with my calendar (just because it’s so darn easy), but I still write everything down in a planner as well. Double the work, but twice the fun if you ask me. 😉 Dork alert.

I recently saw on my friend Melinda’s blog that there was a screaming deal on Erin Condren planners. I admit, I’d never heard of Erin Condren. However, since learning of her, I think she’s one of the greatest things ever.

She makes these planners that are so girly and so adorable and best of all, customized. Again, huge dork here. So, the deal was that you could get a $50 or $60 planner for about $12.50. It consisted of purchasing some kind of groupon-like thing, using a couple of promo codes, another promo code, and then finally cashing it all in for a customized planner. I die. This is like organizational heaven meets couponing heaven. Pretty much what my Heaven will actually be like, I think.

So, I quickly purchased one for myself and called up my sis-in-law (who shares my love for planners and to-do lists) and said that’s what she’s getting for Christmas and to let me know which one she wanted. She emailed me back with her order in about 2.5 seconds because it had been on her wish list for some time. Dorks keep the company of other dorks.

It took a small eternity to finally arrive at my doorstep, BUT, I give you THE planner in all its glory.

I squealed with excitement when I saw it waiting on me Friday after work.

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I picked out (from lots of amazing options on the web site) the multi-colored zig zag design. It’s a dark brown color – kind of hard to tell here. And, it’s QUITE thick and substantial. The sign of a good bible planner.

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And this is my customized text.

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Each order includes a few personalized labels/stickers.

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They had to re-print my cover (probably because the design crew had to argue over my incorrect use of the ellipsis, but I love a good ellipsis…), so mine took a few days longer to get here than my sis-in-law’s, which was pure torture. However, to make up for it they sent me some extra personalized labels. Aw, Erin – you shouldn’t have.

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Some of the labels that come with every order, tucked into the little folder in the back. Swoon.

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Well, now that I’ve officially shared what an unbelievably huge (organized) tool I am, I’ll leave it at that. I’m off to try and come up with more things to put on the calendar.

XOXO,
Jenn

I See Santa

Ever wonder what Santa does in the off-season? Well, lots of things probably – but he definitely visits Music City!

Look who I saw outside the Flat today.

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Oh Santa – you have no idea.

XOXO,
Jenn

Purse Treats

Today I was driving home from work and was in desperate want of a piece of gum. I was so desperate that I thought “maybe there’s a stray piece in the bottom of my purse. I’ll just pick the lint off and it’ll be awesome.”

So I got to a stop light and dug around in the depths of my purse bag. Something poked me. A pen? A key? I don’t know…what is that? I pulled it out….and almost ran off the friggin’ road.

WHAT in all things pure on God’s green earth is THAT.

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Is that a tooth? A shark tooth, specifically? Should I see if there’s also some  shells in there and make a spring break necklace?

Seriously kids. This has to be a tooth. Look at the inside – it’s got the little marrow spaces like a bone, or a TOOTH.

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Here’s a picture (ignore my terrible non-manicure) next to my finger so you can see the size of this baby. It is not small.

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I bought this Coach bag at the factory store in Lebanon, Tenn. I got a wallet with it. And apparently, a bonus prize. This goes down in history as one of the strangest purse treats ever.

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I think I’ll sell it on Ebay. Maybe it’s a Fossil. Oh wait – wrong factory store.

XOXO,
Jenn

Don’t Stop…Get it, Get it

Last weekend was my *gulp* ten-year high school reunion. Can’t believe it. I also can’t believe that I had THE best time. Well, yes I can actually. We Kingston people know how to party.

More photos to come, because I’m tired and think maybe still recovering (five days later) – but my shins were so sore when I came home, for three days I wanted to wear these.

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And I did for a great deal of time. It says “to recover from dancing all night,” on the CEP compression sleeve box, right? My shins were more sore than they’d ever been from running. Probably because there were serious amounts of this…

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…in these shoes.

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Then again – at some point I did decide it was appropriate (and more comfortable) to just take my shoes off at the bar, and dance barefoot. I would like to thank the staff of Hanna’s in the Old City for their dedication to cleanliness, since I haven’t found any glass, etc. in my feet.

Till next time, kittens.

XOXO,
Jenn