This morning was rough.
Wait, I can’t really say this morning because it all went down at 9:30 pm.
I’d been asleep since 8:30 pm only an hour before.
I woke up. It hurt. My eyes were burning & my mind was confused.
BUT that’s what I’m paid to do now. Wake up when I normally would go to bed and do it day after day WITH a smile on my face because there are MANY people who would love my job, which, I should add, I VERY much do. I only discuss the pain to explain why waking up with a bit of burn and a foggy head felt normal.
I did the dark hallway shuffle to my bathroom. Turned the water on. Undressed. Took care of some personal business while I waited for the water to get hot and took a second to think. As my mind wondered I got a little scared because I didn’t actually remember my crazy loud alarm going off.
I feel a bit of panic. Having already forgotten the time I looked at my phone to check it. Imagine my shock it said, 9:30. OMG I’d overslept. I’d missed the whole freaking morning newscast! Nightmare……….
I looked out my window and realized it was still dark. I know for a fact the sun is coming up right now around 7:10 am.
I turned the shower off. Put my pajamas back on.
Didn’t cuss myself. Just said thank you for the four more hours of sleep I was about to get.
I drove to work this morning giggling.
This was my morning drive song.
I waited and waited.
I put it off. I looked again to only wait another year or so.
Finally, I bought a new car. What a pain in the rear that process turned out to be for a first time car buyer. Yuck!
Once I worked through my very strong opinions on cars and what they say about our society (usually negative things), I decided to skip the sky high car note that the Audi ( I really wanted) would have gifted me and the plastic-like ride one of the lower end cars I thought about buying would have provided. I went instead……for a Camry! That was two weeks ago. I’m so happy with my decision. My old car was a 2000.
Enter the tech age, Ms. Brown.
I can talk on the phone through bluetooth. Holy Cow. I can also play music wirelessly from my iphone. Playlist heaven.
Though, for my first out of town drive this past weekend I picked a “book on tape” or in my case “book on itunes”.
This cheesy crime novel about a murder on a movie set got me all the way back from Birmingham yesterday. Matt (my boyfriend) and I met at what was sort of half way between where he lives in Georgia and Memphis.
We stayed at the Ross Bridge Resort there which is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. It was perfect for us. We pretended it was our own manor house. Ignored all the other people sitting by the fire and sipped our drinks in pretend privacy. This is Ross Bridge pictured in the distance. We get a serious discount so this will be our home away from home.
Despite the snow flurries most of the south had to endure this weekend, we got out and about a good deal. We even went swimming in the indoor pool. I haven’t done that in forever! The resort is pretty far out from from most of the restaurants we wanted to try, but we still hit up two of the Frank Stitt restaurants we had planned to visit: Bottega and Chez Fon Fon. I just loved sweet French Chez Fon Fon with my glasses of wine and croque-monsieur. We closed down Bottega. See how satisfied??
This car is going to one day be old and worn, but for now it is just perfect. I promise to take good care of it. I bought a special vacuum specifically to keep in the trunk. No debris. No food in car. No parking too close to me like this driver. Almost left a note for her.
Big thanks to my sweet friend who helped me in the car shopping process as I threw down the dealership provided popcorn. One day they even put caramel in it! Can’t wait for my maintenance to be done there.
Also, big thanks to John O’Neil Johnson Toyota in Meridian, MS for helping me so much while I looked. I ended up buying from this guy – James at Wolfchase Toyota. My sweet old jeep in the background.
Still, glad I don’t have to do this again for another 10 years — maybe even more!!! Come through for me Toyota.
My boyfriend Matt and I live in different cities. He’s near Atlanta and I, of course, am in Memphis. This is a fairly new relationship but it does appear we will fly to see each other once a month. It’s a nice short flight, but clearly we will want to visit more than just 12 times a year!
So, this weekend we met up in a random city between both our homes. This time we picked Huntsville, Alabama.
Why? Well :: why not. We stayed at the Marriott flanked by rockets on all sides. Pretty wild drive up to the parking lot.
Our view from the hotel room :: cool!!
It was all intentional, though. We’d decided to do the whole science/history thing and tour the space center which is basically on the same property as the hotel. I’ve never been very interested in science or space. I know every one thinks space is cool, but I really don’t, well maybe I just don’t think about it all that much. However, I do think war weaponry, WW2, Germans and history are cool and I got a lot of that, much to my surprise. They should really market the museum better, if you ask me.
You see. Maybe it’s a history most know :: or at least most who were alive during that era. During the 40’s and the war Hitler had a team of scientists working on rockets – – missile technology. We knew that. What I didn’t know is that those same men who were responsible for the Nazi V-2 rocket, that rained down on Europe during the war, were also taken taken in by American troops at the end of the war, and were flown to Texas where they continued their research, this time for us. These former Nazis were essentially the true brain power behind what we now know as NASA. We can thank them for the Saturn V that propelled Apollo to the moon! Fascinating!!
The main man was a rocket scientist by the name of Wernher von Braun, a German.
His desk was on display
If he’s a household name I missed that dinner conversation. He’s all new to me. He and his team were initially taken to a base in Texas (their relocation was called operation paperclip) then moved to Huntsville where they spent many years putting Alabama on the map. Many of the German families still live in Huntsville. Matt and I were just shocked by the fact that NASA was essentially jump started by some Nazi leftovers.
Von Braun circled
He’s with nazis
All I can say is better we got the scientists and not the Soviets who surely were looking for them, too.
A mere 16 years later with the president
Anyhow, the museum dedicated a majority of the material to Von Braun, and the Huntsville people seem very proud of him. I imagine there were some confused people in the area during the 50’s, though. We went in this cute little bookshop that carried a lot of local books and one of them was written by a man who was a kid living in Huntsville during that time. We read through enough to find out that lots of people in the community then wondered if the gang of scientists were really German spies! Can you imagine the porch/coffee talk! Matt and I are both obsessed with all things Russian, German, Cold War and WW2 so this bit of history was a weekend-maker / non-stop conversation for us.
Also memorable was Matt’s fish dish at dinner Saturday night. He looked ahead and picked this very lovely place called Cotton Row for dinner.
The lighting inside was perfect, and the food was so good and rich. I had lamb and it was quite nice, however, Matt says his fish was one of the best fish dishes he’s had in a long time. What a statement! It also had a good creamy risotto. We’ve decided to go back to Huntsville just for that meal!
Now to some rather sad weekend news. As I walked out of my apartment to leave Saturday morning I saw something heartbreaking. Lydia the bird was dead. Her sister Leona was just crying above her in the cage. I don’t know what happened. My only guess is that she had been eating some of the painted wood off her cage and possibly the Chinese construction poisoned her. It is a very old cage. I know a bird is probably just a couple of degrees above a fish in terms of how wrapped up one would get in them. By that I mean, no I didn’t cry. It’s not as it would be if I lost Bridget, but it did break my heart. So much so that I had to call a friend to help me with her little body.
Lydia on the right
To make Lydia’s death a little crazier Matt and I had a marathon movie watching session Sunday morning (now that I wake up naturally at 7 am there is lots of time ) consisting of Pet Sematary 1 and 2. Talk about crazy images.
poor poor Eward Furlong
He was such a cutie kid. Today hard drugs have hit him hard.
I prefer to picture him this way – the way he looked in Pet Sematary
I’ll close this blog by saying Lydia will will not be visiting pet sematary. Also, that Matt and I loved Huntsville. To have been there for such a short time it really was fun and authentic.
If you can think of some other interesting meeting spots between ATL and Memphis let me know! I suppose I haven’t said anything about where we met. He was just quickly announced as my boyfriend via my blog. Well, we met in Oxford when he was in graduate/law school at Ole Miss and I was finishing undergrad. We actually had a journalism ethics class together (Dr Adkins) in Farley Hall ( my favorite spot on campus) together and I thought he was dreamy. He was two years older than I was. We became very close friends until I moved to start my career in Meridian. It just took him a while to decide he liked me the same as I always liked him. Well, like nine years. Goodness life is funny. Bottom line I haven’t been with a person I considered or called a boyfriend in around five years. He has a similar story. We are excited.
What’s great is that for two music people we naturally have a song/band/music genre for every outing…. this is from the Huntsville trip.
This was my song for the drive to and from Rocket City
The xx – chained (from the new album coexit)
This has been the week of cats for me. purrrrrrrrrr
Of course, everyday is full of feline fun since Bridget Brown moved in back in 2009. My admiration for her Long Beach, Mississippi born charm/dysfunction has been properly documented. So, I won’t stay on this too long.
The big cat news this week was when I interviewed a mother and father duo who are in jeopardy of losing their house full of cats because they have more than the 6 cat limit in Olive Branch, MS. It was a heartbreaking story full of tears, litter boxes, 16 year old elderly cats and kitchen prepared chicken lunches their owners feed them. (for real) (yum) (adopt me)
WATCH The mother and son talk about how much they love their cats.
Below :: A grown man crying over his cats
He admits it sounds silly
He loves them
Then, today there is an article in the NYTIMES talking about just what serious killers domestic cats are….I’ve known Bridget is holding in her inner huntress, but I had no idea the number of kills they make every year. Interesting read, I’m telling you.
All of this has had me singing and inconspicuously dancing to The Cure song :: The Love Cats.
It has the sweetest little chorus with adorably lyrics……
We move like cagey tigers
We couldn't get closer than this The way we walk The way we talk The way we stalk The way we kiss We slip through the streets While everyone sleeps Getting bigger and sleeker And wider and brighter We bite and scratch and scream all night Let's go and throw All the songs we know... Into the sea You and me All these years and no one heard I'll show you in spring It's a treacherous thing We missed you hissed the lovecats We're so wonderfully wonderfully wonderfully Wonderfully pretty! Oh you know that I'd do anything for you... We should have each other to tea huh? We should have each other with cream Then curl up by the fire And sleep for awhile It's the grooviest thing It's the perfect dream Into the sea You and me All these years and no one heard I'll show you in spring It's a treacherous thing We missed you hissed the lovecats We're so wonderfully wonderfully wonderfully Wonderfully pretty! Oh you know that I'd do anything for you... We should have each other to dinner huh? We should have each other with cream Then curl up in the fire Get up for awhile It's the grooviest thing It's the perfect dream Hand in hand Is the only way to land And always the right way round Not broken in pieces Like hated little meeces... How could we miss Someone as dumb as this? I love you... let's go... Oh... solid gone... How could we miss Someone as dumb as this?
You never know when they will come.
For me today it was in the grocery line. I rushed to the store before picking a friend up from the airport. In the rush of moving through the to-do steps I realized I was standing in front of the motivational greeting card stand at Whole Foods. You read them lately? They really are good. I really don’t much like store bought greeting cards with messages, but these said things like ” shoot for the stars” “live the life you imagined”
I wanted to buy one to put on my fridge, but then decided I could just print it off at work. Save myself $4. Yea, jeez, that’s pricey. Didn’t even have texture on them. Though, I’ll take inspiration/motivation anywhere I can get it!
Christmas gift of the year.
What a treat. An eight pack of mini diet cokes. My morning crew already knows me so well. Plus a gift certificate to Chick-Fil-A, which I call the cafeteria since one is located right next to the station. My friend and our editor/does it all, Zebonique Petties.
This is me hiding my no make up face….at 3:30 a.m.
I thought I was going to cry. Left them for me Christmas morning at 3:30 when I didn’t have a diet coke. How thoughtful. I love the morning ladies.
That’s what my mom always says. Clearly I mean ESP!!
Kym Clark and have this crazy mind / outfit thing going. It’s been this way since I started on the morning shift. Not only will we wear the exact same color but we will go with same color family or theme. Today :: safari!! Bizarre. Promise not planned.
Man, am I behind in my writing.
There are two reasons, though.
Life has been busy and good.
Since I was at my peak writing I’ve turned 29, lost around 22 pounds, and started anchoring a split a.m. & p.m. shift at the station.
I feel I can’t properly move forward in my blog if I don’t get everything up to speed.
So, yes, I turned 29 in October. Flew down to Dauphin Island, Alabama (south of Mobile) for a week with my family. Dauphin Island is remote and far from commercial. I love it. Our house was right on the beach. We looked over the water sitting on the porch. Basically I just read and drank diet cokes. Heaven. My family hasn’t taken a proper vacation in at least ten years. I know we all looked at each other several times and said, “Why haven’t we done this more?” Good question. For a family as close as mine why would we not take the show on the road. What I loved is that my dad, who is a notorious homebody, started searching for our next Dauphin Island beach house in the middle of the trip with no prodding from the lady folk. That is rare! Something to celebrate along with turning 29. I was happy to spend the day with my family and alone with my thoughts.
Our beach:: right on water
Mom made the trip back up to Memphis with me. We shopped all the way including my favorite flea market in Meridian. Once back here life went crazy. The station wanted to try something different on the morning show by putting me there anchoring with the current team from 6-7 a.m.
With mom at Band of Horses concert
This would make anyone who really knows me laugh. I may have graduated from college years ago, but I never moved on from college hours. I’m routinely staying up until 3 a.m. and sleeping till 11:30 or noon. NO MORE. Your girl is up at 4 and at station by 5. On air at 6. Not only on air but happy to be there.
Quiet newsroom in the early morning hours
I actually have time to volunteer
Get this. Morning news is for me. I LOVE it. The speed is my style. The content is perfect for my personality. Who knew? Big thanks to my bosses for approaching me with this seemingly crazy idea that turned out to possibly be a life/career/future changer. The reason it’s been so nutz, though, is I’ve also still been anchoring my newscast, the 4pm. So, I go home between. Sounds awesome and to an extent, I admit, it is, but this schedule will start to play with your mind and body. Talk about a crash. Still, I’m cool. Not sure how long I’ll be on this shift, but I’m appreciating the positives while is lasts. You’ll only find me miserable for the first couple of minutes I wake from my midday nap.
Another big thing. I’m twenty something pounds down. I haven’t talked about it much other than to my close friends and family, but Memphis put a hurting on my figure. I take full responsability, though. The Chings hot wings, pursuit for favorite bbq and frozen yogurt right by my home left me with NO control. One day I realized none of my clothes fit and I was no longer the physically fit marathon runner I once was. It happened over a period of time, but really just hit me at once. Nothing like not being able to wear any of your old clothes and then having to go on live tv feeling like a total slob. I made a HUGE lifestyle change. More chicken and veggies and less, wait, NO crap. The camera already adds about 10 pounds, I hardly need to add to that embarrasment. Now, I’m back to pre-Memphis weight. Actually pre-move weight. I treated myself to a/several cold Newcastles throughout packing and unpacking which only jump started the spiral to total loss of control. I typically think talking about weight is rude, but you know what, I’m proud. I’m myself again. I’m a runner again and lifting weights. Doing it the healthy way.
Mix all this with a new found social life since I have nights off now and life really feels good. Feels right. Full speed ahead with lots more blog posts to go along!
Grizz game with Memphis pal Leah — who also once worked at WTOK in Meridian
Best bud Jonathan came for a visit recently
Wine Tasting with Friends
Liberation. That’s truly what it was to understand this message.
My grandmother said those same words to me when I was 25. I was sad and felt alone even though I had a great family, job and friends. At the time she said them it was this time of year. We were walking through her back woods as we always did when I drove down for a weekend. My grandfather was a month away from dying of cancer. Her strength knowing she was going to lose her life partner showed me being alone was nothing to fear only something to embrace.
Men really are funny when they talk about bras :: even funnier when they wear them. Throw in flashing lights and a deer rack attached and you are asking for a giggle fit. They just light up : turning all red with mere mention of a BRA! Check out the funny photos at the bottom.
Thursday night I judged a male bra contest at Harrah’s in Tunica. It was put on by the employees there as a way to raise money for the American Cancer Society. A mixture of Harrah’s execs and local media men modeled the bedazzled bras. I’m talking a fancy Victoria Secret style stage and catwalk. I almost fell out of my chair as the guys strutted their stuff. Teams of employees did the creative decorating.
It was called Battle of the Bras. It was a first time event with many more sure to be held. In media we get asked to attend a lot of functions :: if only they were all this fun and hilarious!!
Oh, and a big shout out to my mom. She’s been here with me in Memphis about a week now. I’ve made her go all over the city with me. Concert :: Grizzlies basketball game and bra war!!! I love sharing my life with her. Hope she’s not too worn out!!!
I haven’t seen my friend’s mom since I was in high school, but I’ve thought of her a lot over the years.
I knew she was sick. Very sick. I just didn’t want to think about one of my oldest friends losing her mom. So I put it out of my mind.
Tonight I’m just so sad for her.
When I explain my memories they will sound so trivial, but they’ve played an incredible role in my decision making and outlook over the years.
In the period I most remember her mother was divorced and not seeing anyone. She would have been in her early 40’s, I’m pretty sure. Though, when you are 12 age is as abstract as money.
In my memories that now all run together we spent a lot of time in her vehicle. It was a blue suv that was rugged like a jimmy. The windows were always down and music playing.
Remember that song, “Where have all the cowboys gone” by Paula Cole? It came out in ’97. I’m sure you do it was rather catchy. About a woman who, to simplify it, marries a worthless man who goes out drinking every night leaving her with the babies, laundry and debt. (and any other horrible affliction one can imagine)
We listened on repeat in that car. Being our youth her mom was always driving us around the coast. She always talked during this song. I think she was talking to us, but in that indirect way people can. She didn’t look at us. Just stared ahead at the road. I don’t remember her words specifically, but she told us that what those lyrics described really did happen to people.
This was a time that my mom wasn’t even discussing boys with me. Not even the fact that I might find one attractive — certainly not the fact that I could marry one, have babies and be treated horribly. In my young mind love was a fairly tale type thing.
Her mom spoke with harshness — a rawness about it. I remember her saying girls have to protect themselves — be smart and tough. Be independent. Choose wisely. Never rely on a man for our resources or emotions and never be caught off guard because men and love can’t be trusted or truly counted on. Maybe it was a little harsh for a 12 year old, but it was true. Maybe it’s why I view all the weddings, proposals and engagement rings with a slight skepticism, but I do. I always will. We all have heartbreaks, betrayals and worthless partners and when I had mine, I remembered her knowing I wasn’t alone. My mom did give me the cold hard facts eventually, but considering they came first from a person who lacked agenda, I believed what I heard.
She was a kind woman who had a rawness to her that was real. She was never materialistic. She was an authentic person and I have always looked back at that with intrigue and appreciation.
Years ago I heard her mom remarried. I was so delighted because, yes, what her mom said is true, but it isn’t absolute.
Along with that coldness of the Paula Cole song, we, the gaggle of girls, also rode around with her mom listening to the Indigo Girls, Rites of Passage. We knew all the words and they were beautifully written with a message of hope and strength. When I think of her mom I remember both. The beauty of youth and the words of a wise woman who just wanted us to become women who used their brains with their hearts.
Just yesterday I was in a record store and saw a Rites of Passage cd with a $1 sticker. I own two cd copies already, but bought it again just because I can’t leave it behind. I only tonight saw the news of her passing. Life is strange that way.
I know this little memory is incredibly insignificant to the total of her life, but it’s a reminder of the profound strength our words have on the people around us. People we don’t think are listening or would ever remember. 17 years later I do remember and always will.
My love to her sweet daughter.
There are days you just feel the long intro. Honestly, I’ve always been more a music person than one for lyrics. Though, as with most things in life if you wait they will come around. Same goes with this 1984 number I’ve danced around my house with for the last two days. Amazing the song is almost the same age as I am. Well, actually if it came out in ’84 it was probably already recorded in ’83. Possibly my life twin.
It’s friday. Rest and relaxation isn’t far away.
I’ve already decorated my house for fall — few more things to find — excited to just enjoy it this weekend as one of my old work friends makes the drive north.
This isn’t over.
It looked great in person. Well, let me say it looked good to me when I looked in the mirror. These days I’ve decided that’s all I really care about. I mean I am my toughest critic, so If I’m happy with something I’m content — until it comes to tv clothes. The funky pattern made the tv screen go kind of nutzo. My friend and assignment editor walked up to me after show and said, “yea, that dress, don’t wear it again.” Can you imagine my face?
I checked it out and he’s right. The vintage style and colors were fine, it’s just the pattern. Just wish they made them like these still. The length was mid-calf. Lady-like and sweet. Check out the conservative neck! What a bummer.
p.s. this is the type of dress Banana Republic should have tried to recreate in their mad-men line. Yet to see a pretty neck or flattering length in their collection. Remind me, who can really wear pencil skirts? Not this lady. Doesn’t matter how much weight I lose. Can’t shove myself in there.
Oh, how sweet of me.
Ummmm, no. Both for me. The first one I polished off before 4:30 a.m.. The second one went with me on the set.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself right now. Yes, a toot my own horn blog. I’m not saying I did a very good job or looked “with it” at all beginning at 4:30, but this is the thing, I normally go to sleep between 3 & 4 a.m. Instead, your girl was sitting in the anchor chair alert and smiling four days this week. I can say, my news director Tammy Phillips told me today we had no hate calls with me on the desk and I assume that also means no calls asking if I was drunk. When I watched back I did look kinda manic — like I was going to hop out of my seat and make all my Mid-South friends some coffee while they kicked back and enjoyed the aroma from their kitchen table. You see, I really was happy. Happy to be awake, happy to be alive and thrilled to watch the sun come up on our sky cam over the Mississippi River. How exciting to know people were waking up and (hopefully) we were helping them get moving. That’s pretty darn cool, or maybe I’m just tired.
I know this. I leave Memphis on a train bound for New Orleans at 6:30 tomorrow morning. After waking up at 2:45 a.m. the last four days, 5:45 is going to be a piece of cake!! Bring it, Amtrak. choooo chooooo and Hotty Toddy!!! Here’s to us hopefully winning the one Ole Miss game I attend this season.
Around 5:20 this morning I thought I was going to lose the breakfast I didn’t eat this morning.
Sunday night was fine. I got about six hours of sleep and felt fantastic during work the next morning, but Monday night was a personal low for me. I got only three hours. I’m filling in on the anchor desk during the mornings while the male anchor, Andrew Douglas, fills in for the evening shows.
My plan was to stay awake until 8 p.m., but I couldn’t make it past 6:30. I started nodding off sitting up in a chair and mumbling to my mom on the phone. I eventually hung up on her when she wouldn’t let me get off the phone to snooze. My sleep was hard and good. I remember my cat, Bridget, putting her behind in my face and I didn’t budge.
Around 10:30 I was awake again and was nice and sleepy, but I was on the couch and thought I’d get in the bed in an effort to have better sleep. WRONG.
I never went to sleep, instead roamed around my apartment in a state of depression knowing 2:45 was getting closer and closer.
I bought new apps for my i-phone, ate an apple since I was absolutely ravenous, read some, sat on my porch in the dark. When I got cold I got back on the couch and finally felt like I could doze off, but at that point I only had 25 minutes left to sleep.
The good news is I got through the news that begins at 4:30 a.m. From what I watched I never looked uphappy, super tired or grumpy. No doubt in time I could really get the hang of this and come to actually enjoy the routine. It’s in no way happening soon, but I’d love a family one day. A morning shift job seems the best way to seemingly have it all.
Now it’s 4 pm. I would normally be anchoring the news, but instead I’m on the couch about to watch a documentary about prohibition. May it help me drift away.