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Monday, October 9, 2006

What. a. Weekend.

After work on Friday, I met my parents and Stella the Puppa at Centennial Park for a picnic. While my mom and I were waiting on my dad to deliver the pizza we'd ordered, I took Stella for a little squirrel-stalking in a grove of trees in the park. We'd start out by walking quietly toward a squirrel, then jog, then sprint, at which time I would release the catch on Stella's retractable leash, and she'd go barreling after those little furry rodents. Of course, I'd never actually want her to catch one, so I'd make sure the squirrels had time to scamper far up into the trees before Stella could wrap her chops around one.

We had fun with this little game, barking up at and running around tree trunks, until we had a bit of a "squirrel-scare." Stella spots a squirrel, nibbling on some nuts or whatever they eat, inbetween three trees. As we race toward the squirrel, much to my horror, I realize, a) the squirrel is in fact a baby, b) we're close enough for the Stella to actually capture this squirrel, and c) the squirrels may be protected animals, considering we are in a city park.

In a panic, I trigger the retractable leash into lock-mode, and hang on with both hands, trying to restrain the eager puppa. The squirrel is visibly shaken, and makes a frantic move, which is quickly countered by Stella. The squirrel zigged and Stella zagged, and after the third attempt at escape, the squirrel finally runs to safety.

End of game. We're done. I'm feeling like a horrible human being for allowing my dog to pick on God's creatures, even if they are lower on the food chain and carry all sorts of diseases, like rabies. Plus, I didn't feel like paying any kind of park fine for accomplice to murder. Stella and I trot back over to Mom at the picnic table, and call it a night.

That evening, Emily joined me for a viewing of Akeelah and the Bee. It's a cute movie, cheesy at times, but uplifting. My favorite part was the recitation by Laurence Fishburne's character, of a work by Marianne Williamson, called "Our Deepest Fear." It's a bit New-Agey, but encouraging and motivating, nonetheless.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Saturday, I met Emily and Amy at Centennial Park, for a day of ethnic food, Greek architecture and free music. Our first goal was to eat, and we had quite a few choices at the "Celebration of Cultures" festival, sponsored by the Scarritt Bennett Center. Em and I split a Scottish meat pie and sausage roll, and then a plate of Armenian pastries for dessert. The clear favorite was a delectably-gooey piece of baklava, laced strongly with cloves.

Sufficiently full, we hiked over to the Parthenon, because Emily had never been before. The admission fees had been waived all day long, so the three of us gleefully took advantage of the free treat. We got a bit giggly looking at Athena and Nike, and Amy even presented us with her own interpretation of a gargoyle.

Following an exceptionally stuffy shuttle ride, we made it to our final destination of the day, the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The building is simply breathtaking, and is richly decorated in tawny wood, shiny platinum fixtures, and cool green accents. The free day of music at the Center was open to the public, and I was excited to see people from many different walks of life in attendance.

The three of us caught the last-half of a performance in the main concert hall, and were amazed at how incredibly perfect were the acoustics, especially considering the musicians were playing their instruments unplugged. After this set, we had time to explore the Center, including it's tiered boxes and balconies. Our day concluded with the main event, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra featuring Annie Sellick. Annie is one of my favorite local artists, and I even got to meet her after the set.

Mom and Dad visited me yesterday and we went antiquing after church. I finally found and purchased a diamond "right-hand ring," as a very belated 25th birthday present to myself. It's a beautiful, white gold ring, with lots of diamonds clustered artfully around a center diamond, sprinkled with triangular-shaped rubies. It's very vintage and antiquey, and completely suited for Queen MAB. I rock, so I totally deserve a rock or two. I'll post a picture of it when I get it sized.

Sunday night, Lisa and I met Amanda and Tadd in Nolensville, to carpool to the eighth stop on the Queen MAB concert series, John Mayer and Sheryl Crow (or John Crow and Sheryl Mayer, with a bit of Lenny Kravitz thrown in) at Starwood. Debating on which star was the opener and which was the closer (and who was most deserving of each), we cackled our way through traffic and reached Starwood by dark. It was a cold, yet crispily-brisk night, and quite relaxing under the stars.

Mr. Mayer performed first, and while I find him consistently talented, I was rather bored and opted to lay down in the grass and watch the stars instead of the jumbo-tron. Sheryl followed him up, and rocked her way through a ninety-minute set. I have to say, Ms. Crow looked fabulous. Her hair was flowy and she is definitely aging gracefully, with the help of Botox, I'm sure. John performed with her during "My Favorite Mistake," and the biggest surprise of the evening, Keith Urban, was invited to collaborate on several of her songs. It's special experiences such as this, that make Nashville life so interesting. You never know what you're gonna get when you go to hear live music in this town. Evidently, Sheryl thinks so too, 'cause she mentioned that she now officially calls Nashville home!

V-O-V. What. a. weekend.


Blogger emilyb said...

Nobody told me about Keith Urban! That's awesome. I would have LOVED to have seen that. Oh well.

I had fun during our "cultural weekend".

3:11 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

I personally like to chase squirrels and bark at them.

3:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Annie Sellick! Is she officially back from NY now? I missed seeing her around town after she moved. She was the first show I saw at the late great Cafe 1-2-3. Awesome.
~Angela G

4:14 PM


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