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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving, Compliments of the Dirty South

Dear little blog,
Thank you for allowing me an avenue to wax poetic about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....and my Thanksgiving recap! Little blog, I am thankful for you.
Queen MAB

Last Wednesday night, Ben, his girlfriend, Brittany, and I, went to the ghetto movie theater in Jackson to see Deja Vu, Jerry Bruckheimer's latest crime-drama. The plot had plenty of unexpected twists and turns, and was overall, mindless entertainment. Plus, it's never a bad thing to keep an eye on Denzel, and Jim Caviezel, was oh-so-hot, in that "nerdy-dirty-mountain-man kind of way" (I know some of you are chuckling right now).

Anyway, that's not the point. As we are walking out of the theater, Britt comments aloud, "you know, Jim Caviezel always plays the bad guy in movies." Facetiously, I replied, "yeah, Britt. He played that Jesus Christ guy. He was soooooo bad. I mean, how dare he die for our sins!" Needless to say, we had more a couple of laughs at that one.

Thanksgiving, traditionally one of my favorite holidays, did not disappoint. Mom cooked a scrumptious meal, Mamaw was in high spirits, and Stella exhibited her puppy exhuberance, entertaining us all.

Representin' tha Dirty South with Mamaw and Ben

MA & Britt

Stella the Puppa, 9 months

Stella, pretending to be asleep on my pallet bed, so she doesn't have to sleep in her own bed

Fast-forward to Sunday morning, Mom and I headed to Jackson's for a pre-theatre brunch. Mom had surprised me a couple of months ago with Lion King tickets at TPAC. We were both really excited, but neither of us had any idea the show would be as good as it was. The opening sequence was simply breathtaking, with the colorful lights, the intricacy of the costumes, the harmonious music, and the magnetic energy ("We've got chemistry here. Did you feel it? I felt it. Alright Janice!). I don't think I even blinked during the entire rendition of "Circle of Life." I was blown away.

My favorite characters were Rafiki and Scar. Mom and I were both a little disappointed in the "grown" version of Simba, as the actor seemed a bit lacking in talent. I also really loved the animal costumes, especially the giraffes, rhinocerous and the hyenas.

Go see it. Now.

The long weekend allowed me to unpack all of my hibernating holiday decorations. It's a big job, but I always take so much delight in making the Aspen Bungalow festive. Winding down the weekend on Sunday night, I stopped to admire my handiwork---my fully decorated Christmas tree. Isn't she pretty?!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Pige-Gat Report

WHO: Nine fabulous, twenty-something Singletons.

WHAT: A long weekend, full of shenanigans. Involved sweaters , ladybugs, football, hand-puppets, a hot tub, the great outdoors, praise and worship, deep-fried goodness, shopping, laughter, board games, and adult beverages.

WHERE: A long weekend in East Tennessee; i.e. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge; best known as the Great Smoky Mountains; more specifically, the Deer Crossing cabin.

WHEN: The weekend last.

WHY: Do we need a reason???

Amy, Natalie, Emily, Lana, Sarah, MA, Amanda, Rhonda, & Mandy

The Great Smoky Mountains

A dusting of powdered sugar

My first snow of the season

View from Appalachia's highest point, Clingman's Dome

Top L to R: Natalie, Emily, MA, Lana, Sarah
Bottom L to R: Amanda, Rhonda, Mandy, Amy

Monday, November 13, 2006

Let the games begin!

Saturday afternoon, I thought I'd get ahead of the game, and complete some of my Christmas shopping a little early. Much to my dismay, everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line, had the same idea. And evidently, they all decided to come to Cool Springs.

After three hours of standing in line, I exited Parisian, heading for my car. As I'm walking down the row, a lady flies past me in her car, then slams on her brakes when she realizes my spot is about to become vacant. About this time, a lady pulls in behind her, and turns on her blinker, intending to pull into my spot. The first lady, begins to back up, and in a matter of seconds, both cars are bumper-to-bumper, right behind my vehicle.

I sit in my car a moment, halfway backed out of the parking place, waiting to see who's going to win this Mexican standoff. Looking in my rearview mirror, I see them gesture wildly at each other. The gestures are a mix of hands flying up in the air, pointing, and furious waving. I see open mouths, muffled by their respective vehicles, and angry eyes. One minute passes, and I'm still only halfway out of the parking space.

I look down at the time, then look back up. All of a sudden, both women are out of their vehicles, positioned behind mine, screaming at each other. I kid thee not.

By this time, I've had enough. I roll down my window, shout at both of them, "HEY! I don't care WHO gets this parking spot, but you both better move out of my way NOW!"

They look a bit startled---as if they had forgotten I was there. The first lady gets back in her vehicle, and screeches off. I'd like to say that I exit the parking lot without anymore drama, but ten minutes later, I'm still sitting in parking lot traffic.

What a way to kick off the holiday season...

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Life is particularly hectic these days, and I really have no one to blame but myself. You see, I have this problem. It's called "failing to set boundaries," and it's finally caught up with me.

My psyche likes the frenzy. I thrive in situations where I can wax decisive in pressured situations and administer my organizational skills to provide an efficient environment. It's no surprise, nor is it a secret, that I'm a card-carrying "Type A."

But this time, I think I bit off more than I can chew.

I'm slowly learning to set boundaries with the people in my life, including family, friends, co-workers, and social acquaintances. But the more I learn, the more I realize people don't like it when I set boundaries. Maybe they aren't accustomed to me saying "no." The reactions are mixed. Some are angry, some are disappointed, and some even pout. Perhaps I should be flattered that I'm needed, but I must stop the cycle of allowing people to suck me dry---even when I realize their intentions are good. Who was it that first said "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"?

This past Wednesday night, I arrived to church about an hour and a half early. Needing some time to mentally prepare myself for the 8th grade girls Lifegroup I was about to lead, I walked into the 2,500 person sanctuary, and sat down near the back. It only took me a second to realize I was the only person in the massive room. It was a bit eerie, and so quiet that my own rustling made me very aware of the impressive acoustics.

Settling in for the next hour, I tried to remember the last time I was in a quiet place without distraction. The experience was foreign to me, as it had been a long time since I'd been still before the Lord. Even during those times of "faux silence," like in the car alone, or in my apartment, there are always distractions. Normally they appear in the form of the radio, television, a book or magazine. And while he means well, my little Bastard Cat Jack always seems to waller his way into my lap whenever I attempt to have some still moments.

For an hour that Wednesday night, I had no distractions. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. But I slowly let the Lord's gift of peace wash over me, and was still for the first time in a long time.

I'm ashamed at my delinquency in posting to my blog, because it's my primary creative outlet of expression. I miss it. I miss a lot of the things in my life I once enjoyed when I had more personal time. It's time to draw a line in the sand. No means no.

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