Monday, October 27, 2008

Prim and proper? Definitely not me!

Matt took me to my very first UT football game this weekend against Alabama. His old roommate, Quinn came to town with his fiancé and stayed with us for the night. His fiancé, Deborah went to Alabama so they were sitting with other Alabama fans and the people we hung out with at the tailgate were mostly Alabama fans.

I got decked out in a bright orange Vols jersey, jeans and tennis shoes. And since we were tailgating, I was ready for some beer drinking. Turns out, I was a little bit of an oddball in the crowd we were hanging with.

APPARENTLY if you are a girl and an Alabama football fan you need to act and dress ladylike for the event. You should wear your nicest wool coat, scarf, leather gloves and of course, don’t forget your designer purse (it can’t be an understated designer purse—it should be the type of purse that clearly states “Juicy,” “Coach,” etc. People should know you spent a lot on it). And drink beer? Definitely not! Ladies don’t drink alcohol! (I’m sure these girls would also claim that ladies don’t fart, poop or burp either.)

Anyway, all the proper southern girls were very nice. But I’m not ready to conform just yet. I proudly wore my jersey and slammed back a few beers. That’s what football weekends are all about where I come from!

Oh, and we lost. Bummer. But I can’t wait to go again and cheer the Vols on to a victory!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I heart NY!

I went to NYC for work this week. I spent most of my time in an office building listening intently in meeting after meeting. But my first night in town I did take time in the evening to go to the Top of the Rock. (Rockefeller Plaza that is.)

This is my favorite picture looking up at Rockefeller Plaza from below. I had to kneel down on the ground and look like the ABSOLUTE tourist to get the flowers to frame the shot...but the embarrassment was worth it (and after all, I WAS a tourist).

I also looked like a total tourist when I took a picture of a street sign...but I couldn't help it:

New York driving cracks me up. They even have a New York edge to their street signs. And not surprisingly, as I took this picture, a car pulled up and parked in front of the sign. Things like the driving and the excessive honking, the bad taxi car driving and the piles and piles of garbage that collect on the sidewalks all remind me that NYC is a fun place to visit but I'd have a really tough time living there. I do hope the next time I go to NYC for work that I can stay a little longer and Matt can come along for a couple of extra days. I'd love to go back to Times Square, ice skate at rockefeller center and really really want to go see Wicked on Broadway!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Is it November 4th yet?

I get these email newsletters from Aaron Karo, a comedian. They are pretty entertaining. Here's an excerpt (and I apologize for the foul’s not me talking!):

“We are in the midst of one of the most divisive elections in history. Democrats hate Republicans. Conservatives hate liberals. Everyone hates the debate moderators. But there is really one group that we can blame for all the negativity and vitriol that has enveloped this campaign: “undecided” voters. Obama and McCain don’t care about those of us who have already made up our minds, and with good reason. All their speeches and ads are now targeted to those people who claim, that after a year-and-a-half-long media blitz, they still don’t have enough information to make a decision. I don’t call these people “undecided” – I call them fucking idiots. Forget about hockey moms and Reagan democrats; what the candidates are really courting… is the moron vote.”

Now I won’t call undecided voters morons as Karo did, but I seriously do wonder how people can still be undecided. At this point, what in the world are they going to make their decision based on? We’ve heard all there is to hear, make up your mind already!!

And another excerpt that just cracks me up:

“Think about how old your dad is. Now think about how many years you’d have to add for him to be 72. Now think of your dad at 72. Now think about your dad at 72 running for president. Even if you love your dad as much as I do mine, your conclusion will invariably be the same: no fucking way.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trent the lion

Meet Trent the lion.

He's just about the cutest lion ever! (And no, its not just because I'm his Auntie, he really is the cutest.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beer and pumpkins make me like politics

When election season lasts for two years (which is crazy, just crazy) the political campaigns really have to get creative.

Here are a few ideas that I recently learned of and LOVE:

Hop Obama: buy beer to show your support!
I like it!

Half Moon Bay Brewing actually sells an Obama AND a McCain brew. Unfortunately they are only sold in California so I won't be showing my support. But the good news: Obama beer drinkers are really kicking those sorry McCain beer drinkers' butts!

And if you love fall like me, you can go to the pumpkin patch. Pick out the perfect pumpkin and then go to and find lots of stencils. When you finish your masterpiece you can upload a picture and everything. I already carved a skull and cross bones in my pumpkin so I missed my opportunity.

Go Obama!

Falling in love with fall

I just love fall! And it turns out that it is a great time of year to move to Knoxville! Ever since I got here the weather has been warm (80 degrees and higher!) and the skies have been bright blue for the most part.

In an attempt to fully embrace fall in Knoxville, Matt and I drove out to the country to go to a pumpkin patch and corn maze. The drive was beautiful. So many of the trees had already started to change colors, bright reds and oranges everywhere! Plus I made pumpkin muffins the night before so we could enjoy them on our drive and have a true fall-themed day.

The pumpkin patch and maze was really fun. It was almost too warm for us, or rather, we just wore the wrong clothes...thinking fall here would be like fall at home: chilly! Instead we had a nice sweat glow going!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Living in the South

Now I’m sure I will come across countless things about the South that seem odd to me as a northwesterner. I hope to share some of the regional oddities in my blog. Here are some of the most recent observations.

*Subarus are few and far between. In Portland every third car you see is a Subaru. Though it isn’t really surprising, they are marketed as great cars for the outdoorsy folk and that sort of suits the PNW.

*Names here are really different. A lot of people use two first names (like my coworker Jean Ann). Then there are names that just sound southern, Dolly (a woman working in the Knoxville airport). And then of course, there are made up names. Names I’m certain wouldn’t be found in the baby book of names... It seems that parents just take an ordinary name like Shaun. Add a couple new letters and you have your son’s unique name: Vashaun. Or your daughter’s name: KaShawna. A twist on my own name: JaKara.
And so on and so on…

*One of my friends here invited Matt and me over for dinner. She has a two year old daughter and when she does something she isn’t suppose to, Jennifer says (read with a southern accent), “Maddie, no ma’am. Don’t put that pea up your nose.” I actually love the use of “no ma’am” and hope maybe one day to use it with my own kids!

*Church is definitely viewed quite different here in Knoxville. It seems that most people I encounter are religious in some fashion. And you just see more churches around town. Matt and I drove out in the country on Saturday and drove past 3 Baptist churches within 3 miles of each other…and we were seriously out in the country, with very few houses around but lots of churches. In our outing on Saturday I counted a total of 8 Baptist churches.

*Along those same lines, there is a pregnancy help center right by our house. The sign says that all services are free. They must perform abortions there because all day every day there are anti-abortion protestors along the street. I personally don’t think it’s appropriate to protest there. I doubt that the only thing this clinic does is in abortions. And it isn’t exactly fair for some girl who thinks she might be pregnant but doesn’t know where to go (and fully intends to keep the child) to have to walk past protestors who are probably judging her. BUT that’s not the problem, people can protest…go for it. I am up in arms with what I saw on Sunday afternoon. It was right about the time people get out of church, when a big group of people joined the protest. It was a couple of families with kids in tow. They walked right past a big playground and made young kids (probably ages 5-10) hold signs up on the street. Really??? Seriously!? Kids protesting? How did you explain to them what abortion is? They shouldn’t even know what that means yet! Shouldn’t you take them to the park to play on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon?!? I just hope they didn’t have any graphic pictures included in any of the brochures or signs.