Friday Five — Sept. 17, 2010

September 17th, 2010 2 comments

For a period of time, while I was keeping my LiveJournal up daily, I would participate in The Friday Five. I decided this week to see if it still existed and to my delight it does! So today I bring to this blog my answers to this week’s Friday Five questions.

1) What is your favorite mode of travel? (Car, train, plane, etc).

I very much enjoy flying! I occasionally will reach a point when I just have the urge to fly somewhere. Anywhere. It’s just fun to look down from the skies on the Earth and marvel over how small we truly are. However, with the cost of flying, the security fears, and all those ridiculous fees… give me a road trip any day! Plus, I prefer to have more control over when I go, where I go, and how fast I get there.

2) Where is the northernmost place you’ve traveled? The southernmost?

Northernmost:  Astoria, OR
Southernmost: Honolulu, HI

3) What is the last place you visited for the first time?

Clarksville, TN… I know, so very exotic.

4) Of all the places you’ve traveled, which is your favorite?

Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN — So relaxing and beautiful!

5) Where would you most like to travel to next?

I have so many places I want to travel to see! Right now? I am trying to plan a trip down to Texas again. Hopefully for a special day coming up next month. Everyone cross your fingers!!

Categories: friday five Tags: ,

A cell phone trick…

September 16th, 2010 No comments

Bailey waits for a phone call

In continuation from yesterday’s post, its 5 pm and I have only been up for MY Thursday for two hours. That’s because I went to bed around 10 AM…

My husband was back in town and ready for me to come pick him up from the bus around 6 AM. Since I’m a night owl, I found it easier to just wait up for him than to go to bed and sleep a couple of hours before going to pick him up.

As you can imagine, this meant getting caught in morning traffic through downtown Nashville… twice. Making a usual hour-trip closer to two hours in stop-and-go traffic. And, of course, we got home and both were too wired from driving in traffic to go straight to sleep.

When we went to bed, I silently prayed that the phone would not ring and wake us up early.

It did ring around 2:30 pm with a telemarketer. I suppose I should be grateful, because had they NOT randomly pulled our number out of a hat, I’d have probably slept until more like… well… I’d still be sleeping. But instead, of course, I grumbled and cursed under my breath for my sleep being interrupted.

Then I remembered an old cell phone trick I used to do when I’d work much more regularly in a bar downtown. I’d get home around 4 AM, and by the time I went to bed I knew my phone could easily be ringing by 9 AM while I was trying to sleep. The easy answer: turn the phone OFF. My rebuttal: I don’t ever want to be unable to be reached should anyone in my family have an emergency.

I have special ring tones for my family and closest friends.  For example, my husband’s ring is the song we danced to at our wedding. (Awwww… right?) Other ring tones include  “Small Town Kid” by Eli Young Band and Pat Green’s “I Like Texas.” There are others, but I’ll leave you with that to marvel in my phone geekiness style.

I figured out that if I set my “default ring” to silent (or the case of my current phone, the quietest notification sound), my specialty ringtones would still ring loudly. So instead of silencing my phone or turning it off to avoid being bothered while I sleep, I can rest easy knowing that in an emergency my family can still reach me but other random calls would not bother me.

Now a key thing is that upon getting up, you can’t forget to change your default ringtone back to your normal setting!  But that little trick came in handy countless times in the past, and any time my husband and I have one of these wackier-than-usual sleep days, I’ll be putting that trick back into service.

Categories: tips Tags: ,

Show Stories — Change of plans

September 15th, 2010 4 comments

When I got up yesterday morning, my day was fairly clear cut. Work, then head to the Grand Ole Opry where my husband would be playing that night, then off to a writer’s night to support friends. A good day for sure, and my anticipation of going to the Opry was high.

However, upon getting up, my anticipation plummeted. A message came through that no guests would be allowed at the Opry after all. That’s not that unusual when the Opry is being held at The Ryman, but there was no problem with my attending the last time they played on a Tuesday night. My expectations were high, and they crashed down pretty hard and fast.

I was then left wondering what I would do while my husband played the Opry. I figured I’d either wait in the truck, or I’d stroll around Broadway for awhile. Maybe I would just grab a bench outside of the Ryman and people/tourist watch.

Poking around on Twitter and Facebook, I stumbled upon a headline stating that Merle Haggard had canceled all his September dates due to illness. I admit, I briefly wondered who would be filling in for him on all those shows or if they were just completely canceled.

As such, I was and wasn’t surprised when my husband’s phone rang and it was their manager asking if he could drive the bus (since he is also a bus driver) that night to a last-minute show the next day (today). Suddenly, our whole evening got turned upside down, and our plans went from a fun night out to logistics of the Opry, dinner and then getting him to the bus to pick up the rest of the band. (We are a one-vehicle family, so its not like he could just head out without me.)

Thankfully, we had no plans for the next day and we weren’t out of town.

People invite me to things and ask me to commit to events weeks in advance. This precise phenomenon is why I rarely will make ANY commitments. You never know when plans have to change due to a last minute show!

We quickly figured out our timeline for the evening, and we could feel ourselves shifting it into high gear. We both grabbed showers, he packed an over night back, and we headed downtown in time for the Opry. I walked him to the backdoor of the Ryman and wished him good luck. While he went in, I strolled off on my own for the next hour…

…I got maybe 100 yards away and my phone rang. My husband noticed my name was indeed on the list to get in! He said to come back right away. I did a 180 and headed back, and much to my delight I got to go in and see my husband perform!

I have probably 10,000,000,000,000,000  photos of my husband on stage, and yet I can never stop myself from taking even more. I’m his biggest fan! :)

After the Opry, we finally got to sit down and eat. However, we found ourselves scarfing down our food, still in hurry-hurry-hurry mode. We’d been in fast forward for the last several hours, and we found it almost impossible to slow down. We agreed that we would just head over to the bus early. That way we could both chill out and relax.

So, we went and got him loaded up on the bus. He did all his pre-trip checks, and we said good-bye. I followed him out of the lot. I went home; he headed to where the band would meet him to head to their new show.

Here I am, sitting at home, marveling at how much everything changed in the span of a few hours. It’s not the first time its happened, and it most certainly won’t be the last! I can’t complain about it at all. Its just one of those things about the life that you have to take in stride. Its one of those things that keeps it all interesting.

School dress codes

September 14th, 2010 8 comments

I just saw a news article that had me fired up. My husband just stared at me, perhaps with a little fear over how mad it made me.

The article was about a young boy who has hair that does not conform to his school’s dress code, and as such has been placed in detention until he gets a hair cut. His mother is threatening a lawsuit because they are causing him mental harm my keeping him apart from his classmates. [article]

My response: GET A HAIR CUT!

I got just as fired up at the beginning of the school year, when a group of students decided they would all wear flip-flops to school on the first day of school to protest the fact that their dress code said flip flops were not allowed. [article on the dress code]

Dress codes exist for a reason: for the well being of the students. There is a concern for their safety, but also for their ability to focus on their school work. As an adult, I know how I dress not only affects my ability to focus on my job, but it also affects how others react to me. But that is something school-age kids have rarely figured out.

When I was in high school, we had a stringent dress code. The length of shorts, skirts and tops were watched closely. No males had facial hair, nor did their hair get long enough to be below their shirt collars. There were no open toed shoes, nor any shoes without backs.

We might have grumbled about it… I know I did, because my height made finding shorts and skirts long enough impossible and, as such, I lived in jeans every day… but in the end, we all followed the rules. Oh sure, we had those who tried to buck the system, but there was never any big drama within that that I can recall.

We knew that high school was more than just book studies; it was getting us ready for “the real world” where jobs have dress codes and you’re expected to confirm to those rules. You “found yourself” or “expressed your individuality” in ways within those rules. You also knew you would be awarded the freedom to dress as you wished when/if you attended college.

Our dress code was less strict than it was for our older siblings and our parents. I know many dress codes today aren’t as strict as ours was. Some schools have since gone on to impose a school uniform to avoid the dress code issue completely.

You don’t have to agree with a dress code, but you do have to follow it. As I already said, it does get you ready for the rules you’ll follow in the workforce. Plus, you’ll get to have your way when you get out of school. When you look at the span of an average life, your junior high and high school years are just a small portion of that life.

It can be argued that by fighting a dress code, you’re learning to stand up for yourself. You are learning to be an individual. But it can also be argued that sometimes you need the lesson that its not so bad to follow the rules.

I wonder sometimes if we haven’t bent the rules so much that they no longer are respected; if that’s not why many of our youth have a lack of respect in general. Have we not promoted individuality and “bucking the system” to the point that many believe rules don’t apply to them?

No matter where you are in your life, there are rules/laws to follow. Isn’t it easier to learn that when the consequence is detention and not life in prison?

(Note: I know this can open a whole can of worms, which makes me hesitant to post this. But let it be known that in general, I prefer a hands-off approach. Guide through respect and solid examples, less by hard-rules. But I also believe there are rules in place for a reason, and those rules should be followed.)

Categories: rants Tags: , ,

Music to look out for in the future…

September 13th, 2010 2 comments

Living in Music City, I get to be privy to a lot of amazing music that the rest of the country doesn’t know about (yet). I’ve wanted, for a long time, to start a weekly post about new music coming out, but I’ve never felt confident that I could really keep it up every week. My husband proposed a monthly post, an idea I really like! So we will see what I can do about that.

For now, I have three artists or groups that I really like and would love to hip my readers to…

Manic BloomManic Bloom — I was introduced to this group when they had a different name, and that was long enough ago that I couldn’t even begin to remember what that name was! I also discovered them because three of the members are former students of Texas A&M University.

I pretty much dragged my husband to a show to support fellow Aggies, and we left die-hard fans. We have both their CDs, and everyone my husband has played them for has gone, “Who IS this!?”

They simply have a style all their own. “Epic Melodic Rock” does indeed describe them to a “T.”  They rock hard, and yet there is a melodic quality to all they do that pulls you in and won’t let you go.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out a few of their accomplishments:

  • Stereofame.com’s July 2010 Artist of the Month
  • Named Nashville’s “Best New Artist” of 2009 by 102.9 The Buzz
  • Grand Prize Winner of Ourstage.com’s October 2008 Music Finals
  • Heard on MTV, University of Alabama’s TideTV, regular college radio rotation
  • Featured on Dude Perfect, YouTube sensation with over 18 million views

It’s seriously only a matter of time before they go big, and I know I’ll be going, “Remember back when we saw them play live with only about 12 other people in the room?” And I, for one, absolutely can’t wait for that to happen… I am SO excited for them and where they are headed.

Check out their site and their music. I’ll be absolutely floored if you say you don’t like what you hear.

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David Byrnes — David came to Music City a little after I did. A kid from Arkansas with big dreams and talent, he caught my attention the first time I saw him on stage.

He’s a friend of mine, and that might tinge my “he rocks!’ attitude a little. But in the end I really see a talent waiting to be discovered. He’s a solid songwriter and a great singer. My husband compares his voice to Tracy Lawrence. I can see that!

When you see him play, he fills his set with a combination of old country, a little newer country, and his original music. The more he performs, the better he gets.

Currently signed to a new independent label, his first single, “Sweet Distraction” was recently released to country radio. Call your radio station and request it… check him out for yourself. Personally, I really believe in his potential in this crazy music business.

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Adam Fears — Now that I’ve introduced you to a rock band. And then I introduced you to a hard core country artist. Now let me introduce you to a combination of the two.

This last week, I went to see Adam perform after finding out he’s a former student of Texas A&M University. And just like with Manic Bloom, I left a HUGE fan. I’m seriously excited about this guy.

Growing up in Texas, I have this love for the Texas/Red Dirt scene. Its half country and half rock. So even as I understand and appreciate (and like) Nashville’s cleaner sound, I like my country to be a little rough around the edges. I guess, you could almost call it Southern Rock.

This is where Adam stepped up and blew me away. For the first time since moving to Nashville, for a couple of hours I was back in my favorite bar in Texas. I totally forgot I was in Music City. Instead, I was (in my mind) back in college diggin’ on the music.

I’m going to say something bold here. As Cross Canadian Ragweed takes a short break to spend some time at home (I applaud their decision as someone married to a music man, but the fan in me cries in my bottle of beer), they’re opening up the genre for someone to fill that void. I honestly believe Adam is the perfect artist to do just that.

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So there you have it… my three picks for new music that you’ll hear about in the future. Do I understand what music executives are really look for? Nope! I regularly scratch my head over the music industry and their decisions. I only know what I like and what I feel has the potential to be the next big thing. I like sharing good music and maybe dispelling the myth that Nashville is only what you hear on the radio. There’s a lot of good music here… you just have to find it.

Weekly Winners (Sept. 5 – 11)

September 12th, 2010 36 comments

Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

Weekly Winners

Sunflower

I found these sunflowers on sale at Publix last week. I thought they were SO PRETTY, that I got two and put them at my front door.

In the studio

My husband did a session in a studio this week. (See my blog post written this past Wednesday all about it!) So I was a kid in the candy store taking pictures.

In the studio

Hubby on the piano... in you look in the middle of the picture, you can see the guy he did the session for recording acoustic guitar parts.

Mason ring on piano keys

My husband takes his Masons Ring off to play because its too top heavy and can mess up his playing. So I took it and had some fun. I thought I got a cool shot that just screamed my husband... his ring on the piano keys.

Retro Camera :: Wurlitzer

They oughtta give me the Wurlitzer Prize... Loved this Wurlitzer piano that was in the studio. And, yes, that is my husband reflected back. *Taken with Retro Camera*

Retro Camera :: B3

My husband should be proud... he has totally turned me into a B3 Lover. Let that Hammond B3 Organ SING... Love it. *Taken with Retro Camera*

Retro Camera :: Piano Keys

Pretty self explainatory, I think. LOL *Taken with Retro Camera*

Retro Camera :: Books

I took this photo SPECIFICALLY for a blog post -- used it in said blog post -- but its a favorite photo for me. So I had to include it here, too. *Taken using Retro Camera*

Half-staff

Flags at half-staff in honor of 9/11.

♥ ♥ ♥

Photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20 unless otherwise noted in the caption. View all of my photos available on my Flickr stream.