Archive for August, 2009

Fair days

August 31st, 2009 No comments

The rides have been torn down. The last funnel cake fried. No more roasted corn to be had.

Wilson County Fair - 2009

Wilson County Fair - 2009

The Wilson County Fair has come and gone for another year. And I’m happy to say I got to attend this year.

Ever since I moved to the Nashville area, I’ve heard that the Wilson County Fair was something I absolutely had to go do. However, with a husband who plays county fairs all around the country, attending yet another county fair just for fun was pretty low on the list.

This year, though, it was announced that the Wilson County Fair was listed as one of the top 50 fairs in the country, and the urging to go grew too hard to ignore. So one night last week, my husband and I packed it up and went to the fair.

And I am SO happy we did!

Our visit to the fair really made me feel like I’d taken a step back in time to when entertainment didn’t revolve around video games and the Internet. We decided to be kids again, and we made a meal out of carny food. The smell of the food and the lights of the rides were sensory overload. We sprung for a ride on the large Farris Wheel that turned over head all night and upon reaching the top didn’t know which was to look first as the fair seemed to spread forever below.

There was a petting zoo. A walk through an old town. Monkeys riding dogs. And most importantly: families out having fun together.

Just when I start to lose a little faith in our world thanks to the constant stream of bad news coming from all around, I have an experience like the fair that brings that faith back. Moms and dads with kids of all ages were scattered all around the fair bringing a smile to my face. I walked through the fairway holding hands with my husband, and it was like being on an old fashioned date.

We left that night more relaxed than we could have ever asked to be. My legs were like goo from walking so much, and my stomach gave a little grumble at the junk food we’d eaten. We rode home with the windows open in complete content silence, marveling in the wonder night we’d had.

You’re never too old for a night out at the county fair, and I do highly recommend catching your local fair when the opportunity arises. Leave the stresses of work and society behind and go be a kid again. It’s wonderful therapy for the mind and the soul.

My Flickr Set of Fair Photos

Categories: middle tennessee Tags:

My “Hollywood” experiences

August 25th, 2009 No comments

I joked tonight that I’ve lived in Nashville too long when a movie being filmed outside my place of work annoyed me instead of leaving me excited. I say that about running into singers, actors, etc. as well because on a whole I really have just come to take it in stride. (Though I have to confess, George Strait made me totally freeze up and start stuttering and lose a great opportunity to possibly meet him, but some day maybe the chance will return. Doubtful. But maybe.)

I do think the whole Hollywood thing is pretty exciting. And there is a true mystique and fascination that exists around the whole TV and movie making process. I admit to getting wrapped up in it on occasion myself. Getting to participate in making the new Lee Ann Womack video was pretty incredible.

But twice in my life, Hollywood has made me throw my hands up in the air and want to scream in frustration.

InfamousMy first Hollywood experience was actually in little ol’ Marlin , Texas, in 2005 when they used the Falls County Courthouse to film a lot of scenes for the movie Infamous whose cast included Sandra Bullock and Sigourney Weaver. I was working at the town’s newspaper at that time, and of course this was the biggest news to hit Marlin in probably almost 20 years. (Well, the biggest bit of positive news.)

They filmed inside the courthouse and outside the courthouse. For exterior scenes, they put out a call for classic cars to line the streets around the courthouse. To be honest, the cars got me more excited than the stars, but then that’s just how I roll.



On the afternoon that they filmed some of the exterior scenes, I went out to try to get a few photos for the next week’s issue. I was careful to stay OUT of the way, but before long I was sniffed out and scolded to not take any photos due to the need to keep things about the movie confidential. I could respect that fact up to a couple points. One point was the fact that Marlin is a small town that I doubt any entertainment reporters would be picking up our paper to sniff for things about the movie. The other point was the one in which they started to impede my ability to do MY job.

Old CarsIt took awhile, but I did finally get them to leave me alone enough to take pictures of the cars all around the square. One gentleman offered to let me sit in his car and watch from afar, which I gladly accepted as at that point I had to crouch down behind all these cars to stay out of view.

Eventually, the movie was done filming. We ran the photo I took of the cars in the paper. And life moved on…

I never did see the movie. It’s in my wishlist in case anyone cares to buy it for me.

Fast forward four years, and I had my second Hollywood experience. This time, Nashville, TN. Printer’s Alley. My job? Working in one of the bars in the Alley. The filming is going on in the bar next to the one at which I work, but it somewhat disrupts things in the whole Alley.

Now, understand, when I heard days ago about a movie being filmed in the Alley, I got excited about how much great PR this could mean for it. Perhaps seeing our Alley in a movie would bring visitors next year?

However, going into the night I was already in a bad mood, but it didn’t take long for the bad mood to sour further. I quickly felt like I couldn’t do my job properly lest I cause some sort of problem between “Quiet! Filming!” barks and worrying about how our band would be able to load in their gear. Ultimately, I wanted to do my job, while they did theirs, but struggled with how to do just that.PA filming


And I have to admit. That frustrated me. I believe my exact phrase was “Pain in the a–, huh?” to my husband as he pulled in to unload his gear to play.

I often get this exact same frustration from tourists who seem to forget that while Nashville is a tourism-centric city, it’s also home to many people. We’re happy to have you here. But please don’t stop us from living our lives; doing our jobs.

Chances are tomorrow night I’ll have my third experience, as apparently filming will be again occurring in the Alley. I don’t know if that will go into the night and overlap with my time there. But, the chance is there. And I can’t say that it excites me.

Call it a pessimistic approach to the experience if you want.

Me? I call it an experienced approach to it.

Because that’s how I roll.



You gotta taste this!

August 21st, 2009 2 comments

I like to eat. I like food. It’s not a comfort thing! Generally, if I am stressed, I DON’T eat. It’s when I am happy that I eat the most… which could explain why I gained about 15 pounds after getting married. I’m working on that, but the long and short of it is simply that I do like food.

Dinner is served...

Dinner is served...

I also really like to discover places in Nashville. New places. Old places. I just like to discover places in, and things about, my city.

So it goes to reason that on my Twitter feed, Taste Casting caught my attention. The discovery of new places to eat? Sampling menu items? Blogging about my experience? Brilliant!!

Without taking a moment to second guess it, I signed up. It wasn’t until later that I started to do the, “What if I don’t get along with the other bloggers?” or “Who am I kidding? I’m not foodie.” and “Will this work with my schedule?”

Those questions were silenced once again simply with the idea of good food, city exploration and blog fodder. It couldn’t be a bad thing at all.

Wednesday night, I attended a meet and greet with other bloggers who had signed up to be a part of Nashville’s Taste Casting team. My husband came along, and I really hope I can convince him to also become a member and this be something we enjoy together. But even if he declines, I can already tell — based on this first experience —  I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this new endeavor, the people I’m going to (and already have!) meet, and the things that I will learn.

Despite there being only four members of the group in attendance, myself included in that tally, I’m excited about the possibilities. It was very much like meeting three other kindred spirits. I feel like I can learn a lot from them, but in the same breath once again feel like I have found a place that I fit. The friends and business contacts that can be made are exciting. The new places to discover make me curious. The food to be tasted makes me hungry. The job to get done gives me determination.

The Taste Casters :: Me, Kim, Debbi (our leader!), and Jessica

The Taste Casters :: Me, Kim, Debbi (our leader!), and Jessica

What is Taste Casting, you  might ask?

Taste Casting is a group of people — bloggers, twitter users, Facebook addicts, all of the above — who come together to visit restaurants we are invited to review.  Upon an invitation to review a restaurant (or a bakery or a coffee shop… any type of food service establishment) a group will meet on a specific night and time to have a meal provided by the restaurant. At that time, the members will have an opportunity to critique and ask questions — not only about the food, but also about the ambiance, the service, the menu… everything! Photography, video, and Twitter and blog posts are to be made to help promote this new business. Consider it a whole other avenue of advertising for the establishment as well as a wonderful networking opportunity for the social network members.

As I’ve said before, I’m excited for this, and we are have room for more members in our Nashville Taste Casters group. Just visit Taste Casting, take a look around, and if you’re in Nashville and interested… join! Or if you own an eating establishment and would like to have us review your business, Request A Tasting!

It’s all about food and social media. Sounds like a positive combination to me!

Categories: taste casting Tags:

Words & Time

August 15th, 2009 No comments

If I had time and ability to write a blog entry every time one came to me, this blog would be updated about five times a day versus once a week at best. This realization truly frustrates me and makes me realize that I need to MAKE time to write more often.

Time is money they say.

Words are cheap others say.

These opposing ideals are what seem to be holding me back. And this must change.

Recent topic ideas: new discoveries in my city (I finally visiting the Bluebird Cafe and fell in love with it just as I feared I would), family coming to visit (my brother will never know how much it meant to me to have him and his family come up this summer), roots and wings, and anniversaries of important events.

Perhaps I will go back and revisit some of these topics at another time. But for tonight, I lament the fact that I’ve let these words expire as time flew past. And I realize once again that the dreams I dream mean I need to marry those two old cliches.

Time is money. Words take time. And in my case. Words are money. And every word I write. Every sentence I compose. They all lead me down the path to my dreams of writing for a living.


August 5th, 2009 1 comment

hack: verb [...] 4 a: to write computer programs for enjoyment b: to gain access to a computer illegally

Or in my case, to access my Facebook account and proceed to tell everyone that I was in London and needed money to get home. Amusing considering that I don’t even have a passport to get over there if I wanted to in the first place! A friend passed along part of her exchange with “me.”

10:46 “Me” — Am stuck in London. I was mugged at a gun point last night
10:46 My friend —  what?
10:46 “Me” —  All cash credit card and cell was stolen off me
10:46 My friend — did you call the bank?
10:46 “Me” — It was scary and terrible am just happy i was not hurt
10:47 My friend — definetely

10:48 My friend — wait…where are you?
10:49 “Me” — Am in a local library
10:49 My friend —  where’s craig?
10:49 “Me” — Is not in Town

10:52 “Me” —  Can you help me with some money to settle my hotel bills and also get a cab to the airport….so as to catch up with my flight
10:52 My friend — what flight, where are you goin
10:52 “Me” — I will def refund it back to you as soon as i get back home. Am coming back home. I promise i will def refund it. I don’t to miss my flight. Are you there with me?

11:02 My friend — call your parents :):) you know i have no money…
11:03 “Me” — They went to Fiji Island on holiday. It just a little money. I will def refund it back to you i promise
11:04 My friend — and how do you suggest i give you the money (that i don’t have…)..?
11:04 “Me” — Cos i don’t want to miss my flight now that the embassy has agreed to help me with a refurn flight back home. You have your credit card with you
11:04 My friend — no
11:05 “Me” — why not go to your bank
11:05 My friend — i have no bank
11:05 “Me” — and get some money
11:05 My friend — i want to know where exactly you are
11:05 “Me” — ok
11:06 My friend — tell me your exact location, hon  i know! why don’t you call your brother?
11:07 “Me” — 626 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London W4 5RY  he went with dad and mom to Fiji Island
11:08 My friend — right. tough luck, dude
11:08 “Me”– It just a little money $590 Any luck?
11:08 My friend — no

I don’t even know where to begin! Fiji Island? On holiday? REALLY???

I’m originally from Texas. Holiday to me is Christmas. Not a vacation. And my friend they chatted with here is in another country… which makes the whole request for money to “come back home” all the more amusing.

While I laugh now, at the time I was angry and frustrated. This person or spambot had hacked into my profile, added a different email address to my account and then changed my password. And as I went in to change my password so I could regain access… as soon as I changed it, the spambot would change it again! This went on for a good half hour before I was able to regain control of my own profile.

I am SO grateful to the friends who alerted me of this happening, and I apologize profusely at the same time… as they had to deal with this impostor and its attempts to get money from them.

Facebook security has been notified of the incidence, as has the email host of the email address that hacked my account. I have gone through and changed almost ALL of my passwords to various sites. A friend sent me the link to an article giving advice on ways to create more secure passwords. Now, I just hope I can remember the new passwords!

The irony of this situation is the fact that I am diligent in spyware and virus scanning, with scans set to run multiple times a week while I sleep. But I also have to acknowledge that in this day and age, even doing that does not guarantee that one is safe. Sometimes, its just a random thing, which is what I really think this case was. I was target of the day.

I’m left feeling a little like someone broke into my house, snooped around, did a little rearranging (as some of my links were deleted!), and then ultimately stole a gallon of milk out of my refrigerator. I feel violated and frustrated, and yet I have to also laugh about it. Because the scenario painted by the spammer was so far out there…

Spammers… smart in how they are able to access your account. But not too bright in pulling the wool over people’s eyes.


At least in this case.

By the way, to anyone curious, that address is a legitimate hotel address: Chiswick Moran Hotel.

Categories: lessons learned, security Tags:

You think it can’t happen

August 1st, 2009 No comments

Two nights ago, my husband played at Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alberta, Canada. This in and of itself is pretty mundane. Tonight, though, its noteworthy as today a storm hit the festival and the main stage collapsed. As of right now, one has been confirmed with 60 others hurt. Billy Currington was finishing his set when it happened.

When I heard the news, I was literally in shock for a moment. Because on certain levels you really think it just can’t… won’t… happen.

How many times has my husband told me about their being in tornado watches and warnings. Trying to outrun storms in the bus. Etc. And every time they seem to get out unscathed. You slowly start to build this feeling of invincibility. Then… it does happen. The storm hits. And even though my husband wasn’t there tonight, it still hit far too close to home. It could have very easily been him scrambling off that stage. I had to hear his voice after wards.

Beyond that, though, the music community (especially the Nashville music community) really is like a family. Think of it kind of like a family tree, with all these little families making it up. And a branch of that tree suffered a very close call tonight. I worry for them all out there, and I send a prayer up that they all make it back home to their families safely every run.

Sidebar: I also find myself thinking about gear and equipment. This would have been a good time to be using backline, no? haha  Not a time to laugh, but I admit, the thought crossed my mind. For musicians, their equipment is their livelihood… its like a computer is to a data entry specialist. They need it to do their jobs. Stage collapse can spell being sidelined in your line of work if your equipment is damaged in the event.

Like me, I’m sure there was that element of belief in everyone affected today that it just can’t happen. I guess this proved… it can and does happen. You just never know…

Article on the event: