Monday, September 28, 2009


Once upon a time I competed in a Fantasy Football league with a group of about 12 guys...and I came in second. It's definitely up there on my list of astonishing feats in life. I was pretty proud.

Those were the days when football came before a lot of things in my life. I knew the leagues. I knew the players. I knew the coaches. I even aspired to have the Monday Night Football theme song somehow incorporated into my wedding. Oh, and once, I totally predicted the Superbowl match-up in like Week 5 or something ridiculous like that. Yep, as far as the general female population goes, I was definitely considered a pigskin nerd.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned here, that football flame died somewhere along the way, and up until a few weeks ago, football's only role in my life was a possible producer of background noise to be played while I wrote papers during late-night babysitting. Well my friends, I think it's back. And I'm pumped. Check it:

This is where you can find me Saturday night, at 7:45 pm, in the perfectly brisk fall air that screams, "are you ready for some football?" Oh, and if you can't make it to field to see me, you might just turn on the tube and watch you some ESPN...I'll be the one on the FOURTH ROW, just off the 50-yard line. I'm hoping to find some sweet orange overalls to's that for spirit, eh? Be jealous, UT students, be veeery jealous.

And this is where I'll be come November 15th! The Benjamin's totally not-a-surprise birthday present is a ticket to the Titans-Bills game on that Sunday afternoon. I've never before experienced an NFL game should be quite exhilarating I'm thinking. Especially considering the fact that I will be seeing T.O. in person...well, from the nosebleeds that is.

And now I shall be off to continue pretending to do my homework while devoting way more attention to Monday Night Football and the peanut-butter-chocolate-chip banana bread my neighbors just made...hello deliciousness! :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blame it on the Rain...

When this is the forecast...

This is what I put on...

And this is where I set up camp...
That's pretty much been the story on this super-soaked Saturday. I'm not sure I knew so much rain could fall from the sky. I'm not really complaining, though. Since I've been sentenced to staying at home with Lucky all weekend, I was sort of banking on a fairly uneventful and lazy couple of days. I've done a great job carrying out that plan. Check it out, though. This picture was taken today only like two miles from my house...

Scary, yes? I think so. Needless to say, the Benjamin and I did at least venture out from under the roof today though, in order to run a little errand known as dinner. Now, had the sun been shining and the birds chirping, you just might have seen something the likes of this on my kitchen table this evening:

Yummm. That would be Emeril's Shrimp with Linguine in a Pesto Cream Sauce, and my oh my does it look tasty. However, with the rain comes the laziness, and with the laziness comes the indecisiveness. So even though we had a Target buggy full of all the ingredients needed to create this delicious feast, a second analysis of what we really wanted to do tonight produced this replacement in our cart:

Yep. Classy, huh? It was perfect, though. The only prep required was turning on the oven, and the only clean-up required was tossing plates in the dishwasher. It doesn't get much better than that. Especially on a lazy, rainy day when the only productive activity I accomplished was washing my sheets because I had been in them for so long this morning. Yikes.

Well, here's to continued couch time and hopes of sunny skies for tomorrow. I don't really think I can sit any longer...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Story of My Life

Leave it to Maddie Beal to speak the most insightful and true statement I've heard in a while...

In her words, "The paragraphs in my chemistry book are like food for the brain...and my brain just isn't hungry."

The family determined it the quote of the day. I'd like to designate it the quote of my semester. Except extend "the paragraphs in my chemistry book" to everything I hear in every single class on each and every day, blah blah blah.

Thanks, sis. Here, I'll even put up a picture of you since you so often complain of blog neglect. Sorry it's from like four years ago. And that you still have braces.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What I Learned This Week

Longest week ever. Well, actually it seemed like the shortest week ever, but my to-do list sure needed the longest week ever. Tests, research meetings, documentary proposals, history readings...the list goes on, and now all I'm left with is a mind full of mush. Tired mush. But I can manage to remember a few things I learned this week. I thought I'd share...

1.) From Jeopardy. Apparently on the Forbes list of the Top Billionaires of 2009, positions 11-14 are held by Walton family members. Well I've helped that cause out a few times this week...oops.

2.) From a history reading. When Mickey Mouse first came onto the scene back in the day, he starred in nine movies before he actually talked. His first word? "Hot dogs!" Classic Disney. Always memorable.

3.) From my research lab training. I got hired as a research lab assistant last week and learned about the task I'm working with on Wednesday. The really cool part? The Navy actually wrote the experiment, and they are actually counting on the results to improve their system.

4.) From the sky in Knoxville, Tennessee. Sometimes it rains everyday. But it is possible to still have a joyous day despite that.

5.) From Ben & Jerry's. This is absolute, no-joke, for-real best all-time flavor Ben & Jerry's offers. I had never seen it before, but I picked it up yesterday at Walmart as an end-of-crazy-week treat. Now I can't stop eating it.

6.) From The Office. Pam and Jim are having a baby. I think that's weird. The Office is not a baby kind of show.

7.) Again from history. Also back in the day, when the U.S. decided showing movies on Sundays was a bad idea, Knoxville was apparently the last to put the rule into effect. Way to go K-town. Way to be the heathen city.

8.) From my life and the Lord. No matter how defeated you might feel by your day, your week, or your life, God will never give you anything you can't handle. He definitely revealed that to me this week, and I am so incredibly grateful.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good News and Bad News...

Oh the Neyland Stadium student you love to make me so exhausted and unhappy. So much so in fact that in recent years I have come to avoid you at all costs...that is if I can do so without committing social suicide. Why UT students, why must you be so numerous and ant-like on game days? And why must you create such crowds amongst those oh so uncomfortable bleachers? Why must you insist on standing the entire game? And why the whiskey-spiked Cokes? They just never end in good times...

I have become very good at rattling off this ranting list when it comes time to present my excuse for not attending each and every home game during football season. It breaks my heart, too, because it was not long ago that college football was one of my favorite things in life. I used to love going to games with my family, tailgating at our usual spot, experiencing the overwhelming rush of excitement that is Neyland Stadium. For some reason, though, as soon as I actually became a Tennessee Vol myself, it was suddenly so much harder to mean it when I cheered how "great" it was to be one.

I must admit, I didn't even really care about the newness and excitement surrounding the new coach this year. The most interesting aspect to me was the cool fact that Lane's oldest daughter attends the pre-school where I work, meaning I kind of have a long and strange but totally valid connection to someone somewhat famous, or at least well-known. Still, though, in keeping with the general trend of what college students are "supposed" to do, I bought a ticket for today's game and tried my best to not completely dread it. And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there were moments of utter exhaustion. Yes, my legs currently feel like I might have just run a half-marathon. And yes, at times I probably looked like I had just jumped in a pool thanks to the sweat pouring from my body. But those things are to be expected at these things, and overall I still had a really good time.

So that is what I'm calling the good news: the fact that there is still hope for me and my dying love of America's game. I yelled and screamed and cared (which is big), and it made for a great day and a definite thrill. Unfortunately, though, as you can see by the second part of this post's title, there was a bit of bad news on this day as well. And if you turn on SportsCenter right now you could probably hear about Crompton's multitude of interceptions (I lost exact count) and soon after the sad score of UCLA-19, Tennessee-15 will flash across the screen, and there you will find the bad news. We were so close...I mean just one more yard kind of close...but aren't we always, right?

At least I felt a negative emotion as a result of the outcome, however. I'll confess to secretly pulling for a loss on game days during my freshman year, as a win meant people would be crazy happy, which would lead to crazy parties, which would thus make me feel more like a loser and probably have a harder time sleeping in a peaceful environment. But it was still a bummer that we couldn't capitalize on our blowout victory last week. I just hope Kiffin is hot on the trails of many a mind-blowing high school quarterback, because good grief we need a good one. Maybe by next year we'll find one...hopefully I'll still be interested in attending a game by then.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sometimes it's the Little Things...

It's official. I am a terrible blogger. It appears when I start to add graded items to my to-do list, my favorite summer activity gets kicked to the curb. And I can't even really commit to a full post here. Although in this case it's not the homework that's beckoning as much as the pillow. I knew the daily 8 a.m. class decision would catch up with me eventually.

Regardless of my need for sleep, however, I just wanted to share the ingredients of my one moment of solace on this crazy day...the pumpkin spice latte has returned to Starbucks, indicating not only the promise of many happy helpings for myself, but also the coming of everyone's beloved favorite: fall. So take heart in knowing the option is out there, and please make a point to go try one. I'm not even a coffee fan, but this little treat probably brought me more joy than anything else today. It's true what they say: sometimes it really is all about the little things.