Jul 29, 2007

The Arockalypse is NOW!

I was under the impression that when one plays paintball, one wears some form of padding. But yesterday, when we got to Memphis Paintball Park and rented equipment, the college kid behind the counter just handed us guns, paintballs and face masks.

My friend Eric decided that the only proper way to celebrate his birthday was to get a bunch of people together and go play some paintball, an activity that most of us had never participated in.

I was a little apprehensive, but for some reason, I didn't think it would actually hurt when I got hit. So, when Colin shot me in the elbow in a course that reminded me of Children of Men, I wasn't prepared for the sting. Once I knew what to expect, it was a lot more fun. I was on a team made up of two girls, Colin's brother-in-law, and three very fit dudes that had all shown up (independently of each other) in matching outfits. We did fairly well - there was one game where we didn't lose a single person.

In another game, K.K. and I (the last representatives of our team) exhausted our rounds on each other until she finally hit me in the other elbow. She had a clear advantage - she was in a tower, I was in a ditch. The ditch was kinda nice, though - I did a lot of crawling around. It was one of the only times in recent memory that I've felt like a bad ass.

After six games, we went to lunch, exhausted, dirty and bruised. Colin and I went home and took a nap that lasted until 7:30. Eric and Linsey went to bed around 8. Would I do it again? Hell yes. It was awesome, even though I'm still sore today.

In other news, Andy came over late last night and we made spaghetti. After a long discussion of things you probably shouldn't do whilst naked, the conversation turned to one of the best French pop songs ever, "Ca Plane Pour Moi", sung by a fabulous man named Plastic Bertrand. Plastic Bertrand looks like he really, really wanted to be a member of Flock of Seagulls, but it just didn't quite work out. He also dances like a deranged Jazzersize instructor. Observe:

Plastic Bertrand led to Andy and I scouring YouTube for videos of the Eurovision Song Contest. The Eurovision contest is about the craziest thing ever. It's a multi-national "American Idol"-style program complete with voting, costumes, and back-up dancers. Only, it's really nothing like American Idol, though I'm sure it does inspire lots of national pride. Here are some of the 2006 Highlights: (Note - these are all very worth watching. Make sure you're not drinking anything while you watch them, because beverages shooting out of one's nose can be a little painful)

Israel's Entry, "Push the Button".

Firstly, I can't believe this band is called Teapack. Secondly, I think this song is about terrorism. Unfortunately, the lead singer can't quite decide what style of music he really wants to be playing.

Then, there's the 2006 second place winner, a drag queen from Ukraine:

Um, I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm being commanded to dance. Or listen to Danzig . I'm not sure which. What I do know is that I want that headdress. They can keep the shorts.

The winner of last year's contest was a Finnish band called Lordi. They won for their song "Hard Rock Hallelujah". You just have to watch it. If you've skipped over all of the other videos, watch this one. It will make your life. Even if you don't like the music, glam rock sung in broken English is about the greatest thing ever. As is the lead singer's Finnish Pride.

Why are we Americans so geographically unfortunate? Why doesn't BBC America broadcast this here? I think we need to start a letter writing campaign to the EU. Who's with me?

Today is the day of Rockening,

Jul 25, 2007

Given and Taken in Ink

Today involved:

- my job.

- book club.

- swing dancing with the smartest kid from middle school.

Let's start with the book club - before you judge me, please know that Oprah is in no way involved. I haven't started reading the first book yet, but it's something about learning all of one's girlie lessons from Judy Blume. It makes sense - I learned a lot of my girlie lessons from her, even though I read "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret" entirely too early and was thouroughly confused about womanhood for a good number of years following.

The book club seems like a good idea - meet some new people, drink some margaritas, have some intelligent conversation. I've been in Memphis for almost three months now, and I'm starting to feel that itch of wanting to be super busy again. When I'm busy, I'm more productive, more fun, and less likely to take naps in the middle of the evening.

Following book club, I went to the University of Memphis to meet up with my friend David, who was by far the smartest kid I knew in middle school. I hadn't seem him since 8th grade, save for one night when he was volunteering at Live at the Garden when I was on production crew.

Anyway, he wanted to go swing dancing, and sent out a very last minute email about it. I met him at the weekly Red Hot Lindy Hop lesson, and we danced a few songs and then had drinks. There's another dance tomorrow night in my neighborhood, and I think I'm going to get a little dressed up and go.

It's typically a little disarming to have reunions like that one, but it wasn't awkward at all. I think I took care of that by saying things like "I only like agriculture I can see over," and "I used to be able to throw my leg over my partner's head, no problem." (mind you, the first was in reference to corn mazes, and the second in reference to how out of practice I am at doing swing arials.)

Coming up this weekend, I'm going to be playing paintball for the very first time, so expect a weekend update on my very first paintball experience. This weekend also marks the end of a bit of a tradition - The Ken Burns Civil War Drinking Game. If you're in Memphis and would like to play along, just email me, and we'll work something out.

In the meantime, me and senor Zombie Cucaracha are going to bed. Have good dreams, everyone!

scared of agriculture she can't see over,

Jul 23, 2007

I Should Have Gotten A Delicious Fruit Pie

I just got back from having drinks at Bosco's with my former photography professor. His daughter is about to start grad school at the University of Memphis, and they wanted to meet me for a drink to talk about living in Memphis. After giving the usual advice (don't leave it in your car if you don't want it to get stolen, lock your doors, local politics are for your ammusement), I wasn't really sure what to say. I tried some feeble suggestions for where to get the best Thai food, and where to go for live music, and where to avoid, but beyond that, I wasn't sure what to say. It's hard to sum up a city, especially this one. I've been back for almost three months now, and I'm still adjusting. It's strange to feel like the new kid in a town that's as familiar to you as the bottoms of your feet, or the zombie cockroaches in your kitchen.

I suppose the cockroaches aren't really zombies, but Andy's at my house right now, and the one that he thought he killed just kinda popped back up and started making a break for the sink. Apparently, despite its guts hanging out, it's still trying to move.

Despite the cockroaches, and the feeling that I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I'm doing at work, I really am starting to feel at home again. I play trivia, I go swimming, we've joined Hope and Healing (which is pretty awesome - it's a Christian gym for broke people!)Granted, Colin and I aren't too excited about the prospect of getting healthy, but our intentions are good. I don't want to look like my grandmother, and he wants to avoid some of the health problems that run in his family. Plus, if we work out, we can drink beer and not feel too bad about it. We're supposed to go back this week to complete registration, and then, two of the most unathletic people ever will be full time gym members. I'm sure we'll both dread it for a few weeks, and then it'll get easier. This is one of those things my mom would call a "character building experience." We'll see how it goes.

But back to tonight, and Bosco's - one of the waiters, who's a roller derby ref, came up to me and asked if I was "Colin's girlfriend." Apparently, my blog about taking Andy to the roller derby got linked on the MRD forums. So, if you're reading from there, hello. I think you're awesome.

This update begins a self-imposed regular update schedule. Without an editor (or two) expecting my blogs by a certain time (and if they didn't get them, I'm convinced that one or both would have shown up at my house to make sure I was alright), it's been more of a challenge to write here. My writing tends to go to shit when I don't do it very often. I'm trying to be good now, though - check back for regular updates on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.

In the meantime, I'm going to go back in my kitchen and get a glass of water. Hopefully, my zombie cockroaches are really dead this time.


Jul 16, 2007


It feels like I haven't updated in, well, forever. I know it's only been a week, but I used to be much better about this. That's why next week, I'm going to be going back to scheduled updates - no more checking to see if I've updated and finding nothing. No more of me feeling guilty for you finding nothing. Updates will most likely happen Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, but I'll keep you posted.

Hopefully, in a much more timely manner.

editor's note,

Jul 9, 2007

I Can Get You On My Wrong Side

This past weekend, my mom and I went to Morristown, Tenn. to watch my semi-cousin Amy get married. I say semi-cousin, because technically, we're not particularly related, but my very extened family has been gracious enough to include us in their festivities, which always involve lots of Bud Light and at least one round of the Hokey Pokey.

On the way to the wedding, we stopped in Knoxville to pick up my younger brother. He lives in an apartment that's both newer and nicer than mine (though, I will say that mine has more charm). Unfortunately, my brother enjoys cooking. More unfortunately, he does not enjoy doing the dishes. He also doesn't seem to be in the market for toilet paper, which left mom yelling from the bathroom for someone to bring her a paper towel. My mom (like most moms) usually has a huge bag of useful items, among which is a roll of oh-so-handy Charmin To Go. She left that bag at home.

The wedding was on Saturday, 07-07-07. It was held at Amy's parents' farm, and it was mostly put together by the family. On Saturday morning, we all got up early and went to the house to wrap hay bales in white butcher paper, arranged daisies in mason jars, spread pimento cheese on bread, and set up tables. I took pictures before and during the ceremony.

On Sunday, we made our way back to Knoxville to return my brother to the pile of unwashed dishes and the three random dudes sleeping on his couch. In the back of the car, we had a lot of photos from my grandmother (see previous entry about cleaning her garage). Most of them were handed off to my aunt in the Holiday Inn parking lot, but there were a few large framed portraits of Civil War-era bearded ancestors that were to be dropped off at an aunt's house in Knoxville. When we got to the house, my mom tried the door several times, but no one was home. Operation Ancestor Drop was not to be deterred. Clearly, we couldn't take them home with us. My mom has little use for bearded dudes, and as much as I love them, they don't match my decor. So, we did the only thing we could do - we left them in a place where my aunt and uncle were sure to find them:

So, Elsie, Bill - those are from us. We probably should have left a note.

drop it like it's hot,

Jul 4, 2007

I Don't Wanna Dance With Your Shaddow No More

This is really strange - as I type in blogger, the "Save Now" button is getting longer. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be doing that or not. Regardless, it's kind of cool.

Happy Fourth, everyone. I haven't really done anything terribly patriotic today, save for listen to a few people shoot fireworks off across the street. People get really into fireworks here, even though technically, they're not allowed within the city limits. The Fourth of July, like New Year's Eve is a great time to play one of the favorite games of Memphians - "Fireworks or Gunshots?"

I've been celebrating my independence in my usual sedate fashion. I slept in, ate cookies, had lunch with my mom, and went to a small cook out at Linsey and Eric's. It's possible that I'm trying to save all of my rambunctiousness for tomorrow, when I DJ at Printer's Alley (Shameless plug - it's at 10 p.m., and you should totally be there). I went last night to make sure I had the right cables and such, and there was a very very tall guy DJ-ing with cds and a big fancy set up. He was like Attack of the Nine Foot Tall Hipster. I can't promise that I'll be especially hip, but I will be playing some damn good music. I think my mom will be there, too, so if you only read my blogs to hear about the antics of my mother, you should come out and meet her.

Right now, I'm sitting at my house, listening to my playlists for tomorrow, and wondering if I should go out, or just stay here for now. I think "stay here" is winning.

As settled as I am, I'm still a little lonely. I have friends, and my work, and all of that, but I dearly miss the people that I befriended in college. I miss how comfortable I was around them, how many great ideas we had, how free I felt. A lot of this is coming from the fact that I'm not quite comfortable here yet. It'll get better with time, I know.

In other news, I talked to Dorsey today, and she told me that her dad still reads my blog. Hi Mike!

I have this little container of Mango Sour Altoids on my desk, and I keep reaching over and eating them, trying to decide if they're nasty or not. I'm bordering on not, just because I keep eating them.

Anyway. If you're in Memphis, you should come to Printer's Alley tomorrow. I'll be playing records, maybe doing a little dancing, and generally kicking ass, because I'm off on Friday.

Sparks and fireworks,

Jul 1, 2007

Your Right To View My Moustache

When I updated earlier, I forgot to post links to the two shorts that Kristin and I were in for Andy's internship. I think I mentioned it here earlier, but for those playing along at home, these are part of a little series of shorts representing the rights laid out in the First Amendment. It was filmed for the Live From Memphis Li'l Film Fest, and though they didn't win the prize, they totally should have. Behold:

Live From Memphis

Live From Memphis

And after you watch the videos, you should check out Live From Memphis. It's pretty awesome.

(and by the way, Trent, if you're reading this, I coded that link all by myself. You should be proud.)

In very random other news, there is a cockroach in my apartment. I'm not too fond of cockroaches, so I've adopted a live-and-let-live sort of policy about them. I let him chill in my kitchen sink at night, and he doesn't crawl in my bed. It's cool. In the meantime, I'll be investing in some roach and ant spray. I'm not sure why Bo Duke (that's his name) is in my house - I live a relatively clean lifestyle. There's no food left out, or anything like that. I think it's just one of the hazards of living in midtown in the summer. Dude, they freak me out, though. I think it's because I'm a bit wary of something that could outlast me in an apocalypse type situation. It's the same reason I'm wary of Keith Richards and Spam.

Anyway - watch the videos, donate cans of bug killing agent, or just be like me, and go to bed so you can get up and go to work in the morning.

living comfort eagle,

Had I Witnessed A Live Birth, I Would Have Seen It All

I was going to start this blog seriously (as yesterday was a pretty serious day), but in my ADD, I checked CNN.com instead. Firstly, they've done a re-design, and it looks pretty good. It's a little more simple, and the stories have more space. I scanned the headlines, and this one jumped out at me: "Man Pummels Vampire Peacock."

Right. Anyway. Moving on.

Yesterday, I attended Kylen's funeral. He was a kid I was in band with in high school. He died in a car wreck while turning out of the neighborhood that I grew up in. He was 22, like me. And I know funerals aren't supposed to be in any way happy, but y'all, this was the saddest funeral I've ever been to. It's always harder to lose someone who's so young. A lot of the people I marched with were there - it was the first time I had seen so many band parents since senior year. Steven was there, and it was good to see him, even under such sad circumstances.

After the funeral, I went to the wedding of a childhood friend that lived on the corner where Kylen was killed. She married the guy she's been with for seven years. It was lovely cerermony, but I was unable to attend the reception because it was raining so hard on the walk back to my car that my skirt was soaked and stuck to my legs.

In other news, Colin has gone on tour with the Antique Curtains. He called me last night from a merch table in Asheville. Which I just accidentally typed as "Assville." Having only been there once, I can't make that judgement call.

My Grown Up Job is going well. At least, I think it is. I'm really not sure how I'm doing, other than that I'm feeling more comfortable by the day. Strangely enough, I'm also realising how useful some of that stuff that I learned in school was. So yeah - go team.

Tonight is the fourth installment of Civil War Drinking Game, and I've been meaning to post pictures here for weeks and haven't managed to take a single one. Today, I will. And I'll post them. And you'll like it. If you're in Memphis and want to play, let me know. In the meantime, I'll be getting my playlists together for Thursday and maybe going thrift shopping.

That is, if I can find the will to put clothes on.

Have a great Sunday!

stubborness breaks hearts,