Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh Tennessee...

In Tennessee guns seem to be taken more seriously than say, Portland... Go figure!

During my first week here I remember seeing bright yellow billboards that said "GUNS" really big and in all caps across the entire billboard and then in smaller font some information about a gun show or something. Those billboards are still around town, just with an updated date and time for the gun show.

Anyway, proof that guns are more prominent here is the law that was sent and passed by lawmakers (House and Senate) to permit the possession of concealed weapons in restaurants and bars in Tennessee. YIKES! I don't really want people who are drunk in a bar to carry a handgun. A bar fight could lead to much worse than a black eye! Fortunately our governor, Phil Bredesen plans to veto the bill.

Hopefully we move before it the bill gets brought back to the table..meanwhile wine can't be sold in grocery stores in Tennessee. Now that law I want to pass!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I still blame knee surgery...

In an earlier post I blamed my recent knee surgery for causing me to watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight and for getting totally addicted to the show. I had avoided the show for all 4 seasons it has been on and then reluctantly gave in to watching while I was cooped on the couch with my bum knee. I blogged about this on April 14…I literally got personally invested in the Gosselin family just in time for it to spiral downward. I'm so bummed that I started watching so I wouldn’t be so sad about the recent problems between Jon and Kate.

The 5th season premiered this week. Matt and I watched and felt completely depressed the whole time. What used to be an entertaining show with 8 adorable kids has become a painfully awkward broadcast of Jon and Kate's marital problems. After we watched the season premier we watched an episode from the previous season and the two episodes were like night and day. During the older episode we were laughing, rewinding to see the cute clips of the kids and thoroughly enjoying it. The new episode was so far from that. I hope that Jon and Kate can remove themselves from the public eye and focus on their family. I truly hope for the best for them, but I also truly wish that I didn't care!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Earlier in the month my sister Megan posted her review of Bananagrams. I bought it for my brother-in-law Mark's birthday, not knowing from personal experience if it was a good game or not. I knew two things: 1)It sounded fun. 2)I'm a sucker for good packaging/marketing.

Matt and I bought it this weekend so we could play it during our travel to Spokane this weekend and we gave it a few test runs. Turns out, it is fun! And I'm still a sucker for good packaging/marketing. There is really no reason for it to be called "Bananagrams" has nothing to do with bananas other than the adorable banana-shaped pouch it comes in. Some brilliant person thought, "let's put it in a banana pouch and call it Bananagrams." It might not be a logical packaging design but it sure does appeal to shoppers! And the banana pouch is perfect for travel!

My rating: A

Friday, May 15, 2009

What a pleasant surprise!

Matt just told me that he thinks our first wedding gift arrived. A package from Macy's arrived with a Wedding Channel sticker on it. What fun!? It's still 5 months until the wedding so this is quite early (though not totally unexpected since I happened to see a few weeks ago that one gift on our registry has already been purchased).

We'll open the package together on Saturday to find out who is so on top of things. How fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Consider this an invitation

What: University of Tennessee football games (Go Vols!)

When: Choose from…
Sept. 5 vs. Western Kentucky
Sept. 12 vs. UCLA
Sept. 26 vs. Ohio
Oct. 3 vs. Auburn
Oct. 10 vs. Georgia
Oct. 31 vs. South Carolina
Nov. 7 vs. Memphis
Nov. 21 vs. Vanderbilt

Where: Knoxville, TN

10. Free place to crash at Matt and my place.

9. This is the last football season that we plan to be in Knoxville...meaning the last season you can go to a game and crash at our place.

8. Fall might be my favorite season in Knoxville.

7. People in the South go crazy about college football. You can choose to go crazy for the Vols too or just have fun observing all the crazy people. Either way…guaranteed fun!

6. Attending a game in Neyland stadium is pretty impressive. The official capacity is 102,037. Yeah, picture that many crazy Vols fans packed into one stadium. It’s the fourth largest stadium in the US…right here in lil’ old Knoxville!

5. The Vols have a new coach this year, Lane Kiffin. I know nothing about him and very little about football in general but it is rumored that a new coach injects more excitement into Vols fans and the games promise to be extra fun this year.

4. As I just said, I know very little about football and really don’t care to watch it. Unless it is in person, with the energy and enthusiasm I enjoy them (plus the dance team, cheerleaders and half time show always keep me entertained).

3. Did I mention that it’s the last season we will be in Knoxville and therefore the last chance for you to come stay with us?

2. Tailgating. Who doesn’t love tailgating? And just as people in the South take their football seriously, they also take their tailgating seriously.

1. Singing the Vols official fight song, Rocky Top. It’s so fun to sit back and listen as 100,000 people sing along while the band plays Rocky Top.

Who knew?

Working in education is new to me. Working with low-income, inner city schools is also new to me. It's an eye-opening experience so far.

Here are five things I never knew until my current job:

1. Louisiana is like its own country. They abide (or don't abide) by their own rules/laws and it is all about who you know.

2. When people say Detroit is bad, they mean half the population is leaving and what's left is a mess. The Detroit school district has closed 100 schools in the past five years. Just this year 29 schools will close and 40 are being restructured. Read more: Detroit schools are 'ground zero,' U.S. education secretary says

3. Contacting parents can be nearly impossible because families move so often. Schools are left with bad addresses and phone numbers and no way to reach the parents.

4. In some areas if you ask a parent what is most important about their child's school the answer is "safety." Not academics, not qualified teachers, but knowing that their child is safe for the 7 hours they are at school

5. Every child deserves a good education, no matter where they live and what status they have. That's why everyone I work with does what we do (even if we want to pull our hair out some days).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Looking ahead

The move to Knoxville has always been a temporary one. I knew when I came that we would be here for two years and then Matt would finish his PhD and we could move closer to the NW. Time is flying and by this time next year we will know where we are moving and could move anytime from May-July. It'll be here before we know it!

What is really cool about the job search for accounting professor positions is how early the process starts. Schools are already posting job openings for positions starting fall 2010. Matt will start the interview/networking process this summer and then formal interviews will start in the fall. So by November or December we could already know where our next home will be. Cool, right? Especially since I'll be conducting my own job search!

As of last night we only have two job openings that intrigue us (it is very early so there will definitely be more that peak our interest). A university in Milan, Itlay or one in Seattle. Both would be very cool. And if we are being completely honest, Seattle is the more likely of the two. I still have my fingers crossed for jobs in Portland or at WSU Vancouver. We'll see!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Knee update

I'm happy to report that I "graduated" from physical therapy last Friday and was given NO RESTRICTIONS! I will get the official blessing tomorrow from the surgeon.

Upon my graduation I decided it was time to do The Shred with Jillian Michaels.

Megan, my sister, started The Thirty Day Shred Challenge with her husband a few months ago and she looks great! It appears to be a good jump start into getting fit. Matt and I kicked off our Shred workout on Monday and so far so good. No knee pain, just some extra soreness and swelling in my knee because it is so weak. I'm even getting close to wearing heels again! I've gotten comfortable wearing certain wedge heels and the next step will be my true heels.

Looks like I am healthy enough and have plenty of time to get in shape for the wedding and honeymoon. I'm hoping to run a 5K sometime this summer. I'm going to take it slow and then start looking for local races when I feel I'm in running condition again. For now I'll continue to do jumping jacks and lunges with Jillian from the Biggest Loser. (Quite the sight to see! I got a major case of the giggles during the first Shred workout we did. I looked at Matt and I jumping around in our tiny living room doing Jillian's every command and thought anyeone watching would be cracking's not very pretty...we're quite out of shape!)

**Matt and I won't make it thirty days straight of doing the Shred unless we bring the video with us to Spokane and do it at Colin and Brenna's...which is an option but I'm not sure it is very likely!