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Sunday, November 29, 2009

You too can be a Meteorologist!

It's not a secret to my friends and family that I am weather-obsessed. If you'd like historical evidence, click here. Weather.com is perma-tabbed on Mozilla, and I check it in regular intervals throughout the day. I need to know any fluctuations in temperature, even if it's just a couple of degrees. A few degrees might mean the difference between a scarf and a parka and as a former Girl Scout, I shall always be prepared.

One reason I love rain so much is because I enjoy tracking its approach into Nashville. The squall lines normally roll in from the West. If I zoom down to street level on the radar map, I can almost predict to the minute when I'll hear the drops pummeling the roof over my head. And you don't want to know what happens if there's a snow prediction or a tornado warning. Tennessee weather can be volatile, and that's just the way I like it.

My weather addiction gets worse when I travel. Weeks out from my trip, I begin to monitor my destination's weather patterns, as I plan what I will pack. In February when Mom and I visited Park City, the planets aligned to combine travel and snow. Remember this?

Recently, after enduring a bad week at work, I considered quitting my job and enrolling in meteorology school. When I realized a meterologist's educational foundation is built upon mathematics, physics and chemistry, I gave that dream up fast. Mom, do you remember my semester of high school chemistry? *shudder*

And now, to my point: Today, I opened my email and began deleting spam messages. But, one subject line caught my eye: "Unique Gifts from the Weather Experts." Oooooooh. Tell me more!

The email arrived from WindandWeather.com and features eight varieties of "weather stations," digital panels that inform of current weather conditions, predict future weather patterns, and alert of warnings and emergencies. They even calculate barometric pressure and indoor/outdoor humidity levels. One even features the current moon phase! And, they're gorgeous, complete with stainless steel and wood-tone accents. The Wind&Weather people got to me with marketing phrases like, "be smarter than your local weatherman," and "analyze data and details like a meteorologist." What can I say? I'm an easy sell.

I was so excited, I hiccupped a rain cloud. I'd made up my mind to ask Santa (a.k.a. myself) for a weather station for Christmas. It would be perfect on my nightstand, right next to the Holy Bible. But, alas, I'm now suffering from sticker shock, as most of these beauties cost upward of $100, and some are even closer to $1000. That doesn't exactly jive with my single-gal income, nor does it jive with my desire to spend my money on worthier pursuits, like feeding children in Africa. Guess I'll stick with the internets...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Get off my back, already!

Hello, my name is Slacker. I used to update my blog weekly, if not daily. Evidently, I now only update monthly. This needs to change. Natalie is currently participating in the NaBloPoMo challenge, where you post everyday for one month. I can't commit to this in December, but it will be one of my January resolutions.

So, what's happened in the last month and six days? Not much. Lie!

In late October, myself and eight other singletons took a field trip to the little town of Lynchburg, Tennessee for a Southern meal at Miss Mary Bobo's, and a tour of the Jack Daniel's Distillery. The weather was chilly and crisp, and we were rewarded with a colorful display of fall foliage along I-24 and 231. For months, I'd heard Amy wax on about Miss Mary Bobo's and her delicacies, but I'm not sure I really understood just how good. She didn't exaggerate when she obsessed about the macaroni-n-cheese. It was heavenly. And most of the other plates and bowls of food served by Bobo were laced with Gentleman Jack, like the baked apples. Yummy. Over our whiskey-iced carrot cake for dessert, we speculated on just how "well" Jack and Mary knew each other.

After lunch, we ventured over to the Jack Daniel's Distillery to take the walking tour. The large museum lobby was beautifully arranged with educational displays and mini-exhibits. It was at that time that we realized that Jack was a wee little man of all of about five feet tall. He seemed to command the respect of his employees and business partners though, and he was quite a ladies' man (a Napoleon complex, I presume). The hour-long walking tour was both informative and fun. We visited the Rickyard, the Cave Spring, Jack's office, the Copper Stills. The sour mash vats looked like vomit, but smelled intoxicating. Our tour guide let us "huff" the whiskey as it was mellowing through charcoal, and you got a contact high from the scent. Our last stop was the Barrel House, where we saw hundreds of barrels of aging whiskey. It was a good day to be a Tennessean.

The following weekend, Siebe, Aubree and I packed a picnic lunch and traveled down 70S to the end (the end is the beginning is the end) of the Natchez Trace Parkway for a little scenic tour of the fall foliage. After harrassing some wild turkeys, we unpacked a picnic and lazed in the sunshine for a little while. After a short hike, we headed home.

Two weeks ago, Mom and I took the early train to Chattanooga so I could tape a gift guide television segment for work. Mom was along for the ride to make me giggle, but she tells everyone that she's on-board to do my hair and makeup. This has become an annual trip for us, and I love the undivided time I get with her on Tennessee's open roads. It's worth her complaints about my driving (insert obligatory Philadelphia "Scotttttttttt" joke here).

Last week, my roommates and I re-signed our lease, and effectively bought ourselves another year of singleness. Actually, the lease runs through February of 2011, so maybe a little bit more than a year. I'm not so sure about the singleness part (I will neither confirm nor deny), but I'm excited to ring in a new year with three fabulous roommates.

On that note, I'm losing one roommate this weekend, and gaining another. Emily is moving to Paris in January, and while I am oh-so-sad to lose her to La Ville-Lumiere, I am insanely jealous of the amazing time I know she will have. Oh, and did I mention that I've already booked my flight to Paris for April?! And, my new roommate, Wendi, will be fabulous, I'm sure.

Sunday afternoon, I went to the Green Hills Regal to see New Moon. I'm officially a wolfpack supporter now, thankyouverymuch Jacob Black. And wow, were there a lof of pre-pubescent teenage girls squealing in the theater everytime he would take his shirt off. Don't tell anyone, but I was squealing on the inside, too.

As we were getting up to leave, Siebe noticed that someone sitting behind her spilled a giant tub of buttered popcorn at our feet. There were pools of butter five seats wide. We were very careful not to slip in the greasy mess as we were exiting our row, and I thought I was home free as I took the steps down to the bottom of the movie theater. All's well until I hit the tile floor at the bottom, and London Bridge came falling down. It's not everyday that one can say, "I fell in a puddle of butter."

Speaking of grease, I have an update on my cleansing oil routine. Last time I left you, the Kiehls product was up to bat. But, I benched that product fast. The oil was so thick that it was like smearing vaseline on my face and then trying to wash it off with water. It never emulsified, so it just sat on my face. I have a rather large sample of the L'occitane product, and I'm using it now, but I don't think it's going to be a keeper. It breaks through the make-up well enough, but it burns the fire out of my eyes. That's a problem. I went to Cosmetic Market yesterday to try and get some samples of the Shu Uemura oil-cleansing product line, but they all contain mineral oil. What gives? Still working on trying to get a Bobbi Brown sample, and finding a few more brands that might be worth a try. At this point, the Origins product is probably going to win out, but geez, I hate the packaging! Why couldn't they have bottled it in pump form?

Sunday evening, I was reminded that my little transitional neighborhood is still undergoing transition. During Bible Study, Mandy and Stephanie's cars were both broken into. Surprisingly, none of their electronics or valuables were stolen, but their personal items were littered around my block. As we swept up glass off the concrete and taped up their windows with garbage bags, we couldn't help but be thankful that they both were safe and their stuff was intact. But don't ask me my thoughts on the Metro-Davidson Police Department. The 862-8600 number? It's a sham.

I'm headed home Wednesday for Thanksgiving. I'll travel with the fam to Jackson, Tennessee on Thursday to visit Mom's side of the family, and then Ben and Britt are going to hit town on Friday. I think we've got family plans to go see the The Blind Side Friday night. So excited about that. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm thankful for you!

Who said I didn't have anything to blog about?

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