Friday, December 29, 2006

And That's the Way it Was...2006

This morning, the Today Show did their annual video montage of highlights from the past year. I'm quite the Today Show fan and I'm a sucker for any year in review spots, especially from a show where I've experienced most of them. I thought I'd take a look back over the year, from my blog point of view...what happened in me and others? And, what did I report on....

January - My year kicked off with a great celebration at a local bowling alley, and a somewhat awkward encounter with a former acquaintance - of the single man persuasion. I predicted this might dictate my year of relationships of the romantical kind. Um, yeah, that pretty much summed it up.

February - The great Don Knotts passed away. I never tire of chuckling at a good episode of Andy Griffith and his escapades with Barney Fife. What a loss.

March - I had yet another registered letter delivered to me in error and a fender bender in my parking garage. Someday, someone from Romania will come over here stalking me if the Postmaster General doesn't finally tell someone it's not me.

April - To keep with the Today Show theme...Katie Couric announced she was leaving and Meredith Viera announced she was taking her place. Katie wasn't my favorite, but messing with the groove of my morning show wasn't something I was looking forward to...but time has shown Meredith is a great replacement.

May - Winnie the Pooh got a star on the Walk of Fame and Taylor Hicks found fame instantly as the newest American Idol. The connection? They both are cuddly fellows.

June - My house was struck by lightning (confirming that it is easier to get struck by lightning than marry over 40). Speaking of marriage, I also enjoyed one of the best weddings ever by witnessing the union of Kyle and Ashley Barrett.

July - I reunited with an old (in time, not age) friend to spend a glorious day in Nonesuch, Ky. There is nothing like a friend that can pick back up with you no matter the miles or minutes that separate you.

August - I took a trip to visit my friends, Chad and Tracy, in their new home of Adel, Georgia, for my summer vacation. It was one of the best vacations ever. No need for huge theme parks or busy schedules - spending time with good friends is the best vacation ever. And, I ended the month with new eyes as I had successful cataract surgery.

September - We experienced "Flood 2006" in Louisville causing my road to collapse and an impromptu slumber party at my house. We still have barracades up where the road has been repaired but not repaved. I turned another year older becoming officially over 40. I truly wasn't looking forward to that, but had one of the best birthdays ever.

October - Stop the presses! I finally got published! Definitely one of the biggest highlights of my year. I'm still basking in the glory of it all but I need to focus on getting published the second time. I'd hate to be a one hit wonder. My church also celebrated 100 years in existence. Anything that lives to 100 deserves a big celebration.

November - I got yet another registered letter from the post office and quickly returned it to the Postmaster General. When will the madness end? And, I completed 80% of my Christmas shopping by the end of November.

December - I blinked and Christmas was here. I was thankful I did a majority of my Christmas shopping before December to save time for the parties and socials of the season. My favorite part of Christmas? Not necessarily the gifts, but spending time with family and friends, laughing and enjoying the bonds we have. And, my other favorite part was buying the gifts for the Operation Christmas Child boxes I filled and the Adopt a Family we had at my workplace. I would cease all other gift-giving to do more of that.

I hope your 2006 was a wonderful journey down the path that you trod. May God bless you greatly in 2007!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Second Chances

Kentucky seems to always have its problems. Aside from the great press we get on the first Saturday in May for the Kentucky Derby, many times, the state is viewed as Hickville, USA. We're stereotyped as barefoot, pregnant, and uneducated. Even the most recent season of The Amazing Race had a team from Eastern Kentucky. Good ole David and Mary were precious, but definitely what the world would view as normal Kentuckians.

For those outside of Kentucky, let me assure you that we have Starbucks here, we wear shoes on a regular basis, we have multiple bookstores validating our abilty to read, and we have a variety of food cuisine to choose from at our local restaurants.

This morning the news was all a flurry about Miss USA, Tara Connor. This little 20-year old was the first Miss Kentucky to take the crown in the fifty plus years of the pageant's existance. Her hometown of Russell Springs, as well as the entire state, was proud to say we finally made it. Yet, her crown, of late, has become tainted. It's been revealed that prior to her 21st birthday, she was found carousing around in the bars of New York and "actin' a fool" as we say it down South. Would Trump ask her to give back her crown? What type of role model is she for American girls? Many people were on the edge of their seats - especially Miss California who was in the wings to take the crown - waiting to hear the final decision.

Trump decided to give Miss Connor a second chance. She'll be entering rehab, but with her crown intact. Donald Trump stated he believes in second chances and thinks the glamour of New York overwhelmed her. Interesting way to approach a very touchy situation.

This whole episode is quite a dichotomy. I realize there are probably some contracts and forms Miss USA must sign that require her to behave and act in a certain way. But, a role model is a role model. Who is going to call out other role models for the younger generation? ....Paris Hilton and her sexually-explicit climb to fame...Britney Spears and her so-called relationship with Kevin Federline and all the hoo ha that went along with that?

I don't condone Miss USA's behavior, but if we're going to be concerned with her lifestyle as a role model, let's not just stop with the Kentucky girl.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dating Lessons from a Reindeer

Last Friday night I watched the annual presentation of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I never tire of watching all those Rankin-Bass Christmas specials...they bring back memories of my childhood. I'd always watch them with my Mom and one of them would be airing the night we would put up Christmas decorations. I still bust out singing the Snow Miser/Heat Miser song at random moments.

As I watched the episode on Friday night (I own the video, but somehow seeing it "live" makes the Christmas season right), I noticed some interesting lessons on dating, provided by the cute little doe, Clarice. She's the reindeer that stole Rudolph's heart. Let's see what Clarice can teach us about the world of dating for us humans...

Lesson 1 - "Let the buck pursue you" - Clarice merely noticed Rudolph, batted her doe-lashes, and he asked her if he could walk her home. She didn't plot a conniving plan with the other does in the wood on how she could manipulate the situation to nab her a buck. Maybe I need to bat my eyelashes more.

Lesson 2 - "Reindeer are fragile." - Once Rudolph's red nose was revealed, he was shunned from ever playing reindeer games again. With his head hung low, he wandered over to Clarice, probably figuring she'd reject him too, but, oh no. Clarice encouraged Rudolph about how special he was with his bright red nose...and that she thought it was cute. After some deer ego boosting, she breaks into song with "There's Always Tomorrow." to continue her quest to edify Rudolph. Men are fragile too, we gals sometimes forget that.

Lesson 3 - "Clarice was patient." - While Rudolph went off finding himself with Yukon Cornelius and Hermy the Elf who would be a Dentist, Clarice was back on Snow Mountain worried what would happen to him. After Rudolph's return and the Bumble's demise, Clarice was right there...patiently waiting. And she didn't nag him about why he went off on this misfit journey or complain that he wasn't paying attention to her. She knew he would eventually return and she would be there. Patience is a virtue, and a very difficult thing to do. Trust me, I've been single a long time.

When Johnny Mercer wrote Rudolph, Clarice wasn't a part of the story, but thanks to the Rankin Bass story writers, we now know the doe behind the buck.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Magnolia Memories

After my last post on movie lines, I had a friend from my past, Lisa, e-mail me that she enjoyed that memory reminder. She was part of the group of friends that saw the movie for the first time in the theater. Since I mentioned previously my love for Steel Magnolias and its ability to fill a blog entry, Lisa's reminder confirmed it needed to be done.

The evening we saw the movie was eventful - obviously if after all these years she and I both remember the details. Lisa, Antoinette, Daniel, Alisa, and I all crammed in Alisa's Mom's car and headed to Showcase Cinemas to see the movie. Now, back in the day, this was the only Showcase Cinemas. That Bardstown Road location we visited has since closed, but it used to be THE place to hang out in the 80's. Oh nevermind there was no stadium seating...who needed that? It had multiple glorious screens to catch all the new flicks. I remember how excited Daniel was about the movie. You see, he loved Dolly Parton...and, being a true thespian, he knew the importance of a person like Sam Shepard actually playing a part in this movie. Add to it the fact that this was originally a play, and Daniel was pumped. We laughed, we cried, we remembered all the movie lines. And we wandered the parking lot looking for our "lost" car when Alisa got past the blonde moment and started looking for her Mom's car, not hers. It was a night to remember.

The memories don't stop there. A former co-worker of mine found out my affinity for movie lines and quoted an extremely obscure line "Looks good, looks real good" to see if I could identify the movie. It was Steel Magnolias....the doctor's response after Shelby's kidney transplant. At Christmas when I told her there was a fire sale at the Baptist Bookstore, she asked me to clean them out of Baby Jesus' to make a wreath...yet another line. Nothing bonds co-workers like a common thread of movie lines.

About 5 years ago, I met a great friend, Brad, who had recently moved to Louisville. In a long ride from Asheville, North Carolina to Louisville, I heard Brad's story. Amidst his story, he spouted, "you can broaden your horizons your way, I'll broaden my horizons mine" and immediately a light went off. Could it be? Another fan? Yes, Brad was a Steel Magnolias fan, too, and had the movie memorized. A small way to bond, but 5 years later, it's interesting to think that movie had a part in developing our friendship in the beginning.

Many people despise the movie, while others love it. In looking back over the memories, the way it has united me with people is a bit uncanny. But, no matter how odd, I wouldn't trade them for the world. If you've never seen the movie, give it a spin. I'll give you my one non-spoiler review....the movie begins and ends at Easter. And, for those of us who are called Christians, our lives must begin and end at Easter too.