Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...

It's true. I take off tomorrow for my last work trip of the summer. Fortunately for me, this particular conference is in Miami, FL!! I have always wanted to go there. I've got lots of plans if I can sneak away some personal time. I also just came across a handy little tidbit. My hotel is right on the beach and mere 0.4 miles away from MIAMI INK. WHAT?!?! I am stopping by for sure. No plans for another tat, but maybe I can get a cameo picture with one of the guys. (fingers crossed XX) More to come on this latest adventure.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

kenny chesney

So this song by Kenny Chesney has been playing non-stop on the radio lately. I seem to hear it at the same time everyday. Some songs just hit you in a way you can't explain. This one makes me almost cry everytime. I'm sure that on a subconcious level I know exactly why. Enough exploring down that road for now ... take a look at the lyrics and click here for a listen.
Better as a Memory:
move on like a sinners prayer
let 'em go like a levee breaks
walk away as if i don't care
learn to shoulder my mistakes
i'm built to fade like your favorite song
get reckless when there's no need
laugh as your stories ramble on
break my heart but it won't bleed
my only friends are pirates, it's just who i am
i'm better as a memory than as your man.

i'm never sure when the truth won't do
i'm pretty good on a lonely night
i move on the way a storm blows through
i never stay, but then again, i might
i struggle sometimes to find the words
always sure until i doubt
walk a line until it blurs
build walls too high to climb out
but i'm honest to a fault, it's just who i am
i'm better as a memory than as your man

I see you leanin', you're bound to fall
I don't wanna be that mistake
i'm just a dreamer, nothing more
you should know it before it gets too late

cause goodbyes are like a roulette wheel
you never know where they're gonna land
first you're spinning, then you're standing still
left holding a losin' hand
one day you're gonna find someone
right away, you'll know it's true
that all of your seeking is done
Its just a part of the passing through
right there in that moment
you'll finally understand
that i was better as a memory than as your man
better as a memory than as your man

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

baby fever

Let's be clear - I'm not saying I have it, I'm just saying - it is spreading like wildfire! Most of my friends and associates are at that age where babies are either already a reality, very close to entering the world or on the "To-Do ASAP" list of their life. I'm not quite there yet, but is certainly all around me.
Fun story : I recently discovered that and acquaintance of mine has this fever so badly that it makes her do astonishing things. For example, while attending an amazing clearance sale at a high end department store she could not stop herself from purchasing the perfect onsies, socks, hats, pants, blankets and the like for the child she hopes to have some day. When asked by her husband (that I would like to point out discovered the items tucked away in a secret drawer!!) to explain that which could only be a psychotic episode ... her only response was, "they were just too adorable and at 70% of retail (which she almost swayed me to her side with this argument, but no.) how could I NOT buy them honey? I mean, we will have kids someday. Right?"
The story was to shocking to be real. Anyone who knows me can appreciate that it would be a vast understatement to say I like to plan ahead. I would say I am an advocate for planned parenthood, but good grief! Like I said, there are things about kids that I am just not sure about yet. I am pretty sure my reservations boil down to selfish reasons and I am completely ok with that for now.
I leave you with this. Best of luck to each of you that already have children and those with a bun in the oven - even if I don't know you personally, I think you are very brave. Here is a photo of one of thw world's latest editions. Meet Sophia Ann. So tiny and full of possibilities. I wish her well in her journey through life and will be laughing all the way as she wraps her daddy around her little finger. Congrats Darren, we love you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

brunch at the square on the square

Scott & I randomly enjoyed a Sunday brunch at the Square Bagel at the Marietta Square. We have been so busy lately, it was nice to spend a little quiet time together. Granted we had already been up working for 6 hours before the brunch, but I digress. I hadn't been there in years and he had never had the pleasure. It was actually better than I remembered. They have an extensive menu and breakfast specials that run until noon. I recommend if you are looking for a new place to enjoy.


rollin' on 26" rims

WHAT THE ?! Oh, you heard me. I am now the proud owner of a super fun Huffy Beach Cruiser. Behold, my most spectacular spur-of-the-moment-side-of-the-rode purchase ever. She needs a little TLC, but I love her already. Anyone want to go for a ride soon?

Friday, June 20, 2008

belated: review of Dante's Down the Hatch

First of all, I have decided "the Hatch" is a much funnier and much more appropriate shortening of the name then "Dante's". Please note afore mentioned restaurant will henceforth be referred to as "the Hatch".

I just thought I would throw that out there. Now, back to the matter at hand. My review. Touted as one of Atlanta's must visit restaurants, the Hatch sits unassumingly in the middle of Buckhead. Cozily tucked off the main drag, it is surrounded by several sleek, modern neighbors that you can see poking above the tree lined parking lot. High rises and retail are absolutely engulfing the whole area, yet the modest wooden sign seems to pop right out onto Peachtree and beckon you in.

The exterior is reminiscent of the themed pathways that lead you up to the rides at Six Flags (props to Christy P. for the perfect illustration). Very cool and unexpected, also super creepy swamp vibe after dark. A small doghouse ... oh, i guess I mean alligator house?? ... can be seen just along the entry path. Apparently Dante has a thing for gators. This particular display pays homage to "Throckmorton". According to the conflicting signs adorning his memorial, he was either 120 years old or 33 years old. I couldn't get confirmation. Entering under the simple welcome aboard sign doesn't prepare you for what you are about to see.





Oh - in case you didn't know. These very fancy signs are posted EVERYWHERE on the way up to the restaurant. For people that do layout and design for a living, this was a nightmare.



Stepping through the front doors sends you into a world of ships, first mates and jazz (who knew). You walk the little plank past the hostess stand and are led through possibly the most precarious steps I have ever witnessed in a restaurant down to your seat. We scored a prime spot - in the ship portion of the restaurant - right next to the jazz trio that was playing for the evening. They were impressive to say the least. The elaborate decor was honestly hard to describe. It looked like you were sitting on a ship. A ship with lots of tables and chairs and romantic nooks, but a ship nonetheless.

This was the very odd waiting area/barber shop outside the restrooms. The whole restroom experience was bizarre.

So ... onto the dinner. If I being totally honest, after all the hype and the excitement leading up to this dinner, I was mostly underwhelmed by the food. The boiling, bubbling oil was a little intimidating. The plate containing all of my raw food - chicken, pork, beef, shrimp and veggies all together - was a little disturbing. Mostly because I am OCD about my raw meats not mingling. In addition to the mingling, there wasn't a large amount of food for the cost per person and THEN you work for your food.

The entire eating portion of the meal was a strategic ballet of each persons' skewer being placed delicately in the fondue in such a way that fully immersed their item, while not sitting directly upon anyone else's all the while being cautious to keep from knocking items off the tip of the skewer and cause fishing (the fishing for your food became quite the skill.)

All that being said ... look how freaking happy we all are!! It boils (excuse the pun) down to this...you are going here for the company and the ambiance. It was a fantastic experience and that is certainly what you are paying for. Though the food was a lot of work and score of par at best, the whole thing sets the mood for great conversation. There was plenty of time to chat, share stories, enjoy the music and most of all, laugh at each other while we perform the seemingly simple task of cooking. Who knew you needed a whole different set of skills to fondue!








The back parking lot was full of old cars and fun trinkets from Dante's adventures. These were some of my favorites. The description of the 1928 Whippet was particularly fascinating.



I have decided that I will be going back. Please take a moment to read all the RULES and REGULATIONS associated with the chocolate fondue (choose from the restaurant drop down menu). I have heard the raves about how amazing it is and upon further investigation discovered that you have to work to even make this dessert a reality. Despite the hoops you must jump through - the goal is to set up a dessert at the Hatch sometime this winter. I hope I optimistic that I will be WOWED!!

i scream ... you scream ... we all scream ...

... and don't I wish it was for ice cream. It is a known fact that some people eat when they are stressed out or looking for some other oral fixation based coping mechanism. I admit (not proudly) I am a comfort eater. My weapon of choice ... sweets. Before you get all judgy and preachy, let me just clarify... I know it is an awful decision. I am also well aware that there are a litany of other fantastic avenues in which to vent such feelings. That being said, the past two days have made me want to do nothing but curl up on my couch with my dog, wrap up in my favorite UGA blanket, watch movies and eat bowl after bowl of cookies-n-cream ice cream. I have refrained thus far - I make no promises for the remainder of the weekend.
PS: don't judge me. It is not as destructive as other alternate coping mechanisms. Things could be way worse than a good heaping bowl every now and then.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

HA!

Sometimes working in corporate America is just too much for me to handle. There are some great parts for sure, but an overall tally of pros vs. cons tips the scale heavily in the con direction. I know the parts about it the irk me are never going to change, however i sometimes find me hope of such a joyous day getting CRUSHED under the heels of management (that is a four-letter word right?). Suffice it to say - some days and weeks just seem longer than others. This one qualifies. As a personal pick-me-up a wandered over to the somecards site and found this precious classic. They never cease to hit where it hurts the most ... and make you laugh about it.
Special shout out to the ecards folks for your quick wit and ridiculous illustrations.

Hope your day is pleasant.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cheers

Even as excited as she was to leave...I still miss her tremendously. When I think back on what has happened in just the past year I am amazed. Life changes so quickly. For some reason it hit me today, we had already endured years passing between us. We grew, we changed, we were different people when our paths finally crossed again. Somehow though, the friendship that had once sewn us so close together was still there just waiting to be fostered again. I will miss her so much. I feel it deeply even in the short time she has been gone.

So here's a post in honor of my friend. Wishing her safety & excitement in her new adventure. Hoping that when she returns all the changes we have both made will have only made us stronger, better & wiser. Cheers to you Jennifer.

You can check out her blog about Guatemala here!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Protest

Sometimes I do things I really don't want to. For any given instance the source the spurs me forward may be obligation, money, guilt, duty or a litany of other equally unattractive reasons. I give in more than I should, but less than I used to. It's hard for me to say no to people I love or to people in need of the service/task they are asking of me.

A funny moment with my dog made me contemplate this fact about myself. I will continue to work on finding the yes/no balance in my life. Until that magical day comes to fruition, I think I will take a cue from Reese ... just pure unadulterated physical protest.

Fun times to come

Along with a very hectic work schedule full of meetings and project updates, I have committed to having more fun time with my friends. I work too much, that's the bottom line. Since it doesn't look like that fact will change any time soon, my goal is just to infuse fun whenever possible. Sleep is optional right?

So this week's fun activities include ...
Thursday night dinner @ Dante's Down the Hatch


followed by Screen on the Green @ Centennial Olympic Park -- the movie is E.T.


Friday fun lunch with some new friends at my fave new Taco Mac @ Philips Arena


followed by a night time tour of the Sweetwater Brewing Company


Saturday is potential yard sale goodness with my domestic goddess of a sister-in-law. (two work events which shall remain nameless)

Come out and play. Better yet, let me know what fun thing you are doing and I will come if I can.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tony & Ashley's Wedding

The wedding was beautiful. The bride was gorgeous, the food was delicious, the company was priceless and the entire event was memorable. As I suspected, it was nothing shy of a OHS class reunion. It was honestly wonderful to see how great we are all doing. The majority of our little group is happy. Lots of married folks, babies, careers in full swing and still looking ahead to all of the laughs and good times in store. With all that has changed, there was so much that had stayed the same. Some old friends that we haven't seen in years, or barely hang out with, were able to pick up right where we left off. A true testtament of character on both sides of a relationship I say. To be able to marvel at all the changes the other has made, remanise in the glory of the past and come together in the present to enjoy each other now.

Christy's speech was so touching. She certainly brought a tear to her big brother's eye and had pretty much everyonw else in the room welled up. The night was full of love. The love that Tony & Ashley exuded for one another was palpable. Everyone in attendance could see the bliss radiating from the two of them.

With our wedding day barely in the rearview mirror, it was nice to watch them start this next leg of their journey together. Just a few pics for fun...

I still have a tan from the honeymoon. Scott - not so much.


What a good looking group.


Classic Erik & Ashley photo.


Even more classic Erik & Christy shot.


mom was there too - she made another delicious cake.


just us gals.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My family ... extended & otherwise.

My family is ever growing and ever changing it seems. Don't get me wrong, so much of the way my family is remains consistent as the years go by, but they always find ways to amaze me. Sometimes I am comforted by how outright generous and loving they can be. Sometimes their selfishness can be completely heartbreaking. It varies on the day these days. Truthfully, it always has, it just seems blatantly obvious to me these days. Like a spotlight is being shined on it all.

Each of them is so unique, it is hard to believe we are all bound to the same strange lot. Some have grown and evolved into genuinely amazing individuals. Some of continue to slip further away and lose touch with those we once held so dear. When new members join, it seems like the windows of possibility open and change is swept in on the breeze.

It's that time again. In my eyes anyway. Even if they are only family on a technicality, I'll take it. Tony & Ashley are getting married on Saturday. He has been in my life for so long, it would seem odd to me now thinking about us not being connected in some way. Christy (his sister) and Erik (my brother) have been married for two years. They are one of the most inspirational couples I know. They are so right for each other. I guess I have claimed Tony and Becky as my other default siblings-in-law. I adore each of them. I probably don't tell them enough how great I think they are. I'm rambling now, but suffice it to say ... he is family to me and I am so happy for him. Our lives have both twisted and turned and our fates have not paned out like we once thought they would ... but like I always say, with a little time & perspective it all seems to be working out.

As one joins, others leave. I consider my dear friends the family I have picked instead of the ones I was given. Travis & Heather are leaving. They announced today that Heather would be taking a job at the YMCA in Indianapolis. She is very excited and professionally this is a dream job ... but they are going to be very missed. I haven't known them to long, but have grown to love them each dearly. It is such a happy/sad bitter/sweet weekend.

That's the way my life usually plays out though. I can never have the sugar without the salt. I'll take it however it comes though, because the good times are something I wouldn't trade for the world. Cheers to my ever growing, ever changing family. I hope they keep me laughing for a long time.

R&R