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Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

It’s true.  The saggy pants bill (love the puns in the headline) will fine anyone caught with their pants down, revealing their boxers, briefs, thongs, or should some dare to go commando, derrieres.

Honestly I think someone should’ve done something about mullets, but that’s another day.

Absolutely cracks me up… no pun intended.  For once Tennessee is taking fashion seriously, however, I believe the government has some more important issues to worry about.

Butt out, legislature!  Seriously, aren’t there other more important issues to tighten up and fix besides low-riders?

Oh, but on to more important news… I saw this via Twitter, and mark my words, it will eventually get to the boondocks of East Tennessee.  Perhaps we finally have the upper-hand on the fashion world!  I would like to see the legislature take a stab at covering THAT underwear up.

No, seriously though, since when has the state of Tennessee gave a crap about fashion?  I mean, yeah, it’s disrespectful sometimes and very distracting to others when someone’s red-hot flashy underwear shines above their Calvin Klein‘s, and it’s even more disgusting to see a piece of thread pulled a tad too high, but seriously?

Aren’t there more important issues to deal with like the economy’s effects on University of Tennessee budget cuts, drugs and violence?  Whatever happened to freedom of expression?  I mean, if I remember history correctly, I believe there’s that bit called the Bill of Rights in the Constitution somewhere, no?

At least they’re trying to protect the state’s integrity… but honestly I think it’s backfiring.  Get your priorities straight.

That’s all for tonight.  I might post some new links for kicks tomorrow when the new Metro Pulse is available.

Peace out.

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Over the last month, my world has been turned upside-down and every which way imaginable.  Granted, it was I who put it all in motion, but I’m rather glad it’s all happened.

Learning isn’t always easy, especially when emotions are involved.  I’ve learned from seeing people around me, two in particular, that letting go is the hardest part of growing up.

But, if we dont’ let go, we never mature.  If we don’t let go, we never learn to walk on our own.  If we don’t let go, we never grow up, and we’ll continuously rely on others to make our lives easier.

Some people just never understand that concept until you ignore them completely.  No matter how much you try to explain it to them, they won’t let go.  That’s when all connections must be cut and let them learn the hard way.  That’s tough love.

Experience is the greatest teacher, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

Writers become immortal because they write.  Musicians become legends because they sing.  Artists become famous because they’re inspired.  Dancers become prima ballerinas because they practice.
All of the above require experience.  Experience requires making mistakes.  Mistakes give way to knowledge.

You can’t gain experience when you can’t let go…

I’ve had to make adjustments this holiday season.  Working an hour from home resulted staying in Knoxville three days out of the week and driving back and forth to spend time with my family just so it can feel somewhat like Christmas.  My roommates went back home in Middle Tennessee, leaving me all alone.

One thing I’ve learned from coming home to an empty apartment at the end of the day is that I need people; I thrive off of people.  Growing up in a family of five made me used to having people around, and being the youngest, I’ve seen my family of five transition to a family of three then to an empty nest.  It wasn’t easy, but I got used to being the only one around.

Now I have to get used to, if only for a short time, being the only one left in a “family” of four.

Perhaps this will prepare me for when I move to NYC and live alone until I meet the man of my dreams … I’ll look at it that way.  Maybe I’ll submerge myself so deep in my career I won’t have time to think about it when I’m climbing my way to the top to be editor-in-cheif of Vogue (granted, the magazine still exists in 10 years. Epiphany: I need to take web design classes).

Either way, being alone is something we all have to cope with at some point in our lives.  But, being alone gives you time to discover something about yourself you’ve never known before.  I’ve learned that being alone inspires me to write blogs like this one.  It gives me time to think, to consider events in my life and to reflect on them.  I have time to finish reading a book or get caught up on The Office.  Even so, I thought I’d be perfectly happy alone.  Instead, I’ve discovered that it sucks.  It sucks big ones.

It’s not easy, but it’s part of growing up.

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Driving home this Sunday afternoon out of sheer spontaneity (well, close to it) made my heart race and sing out to a clear blue sky and trees adorned with bright red, orange and yellow leaves.  It’s autumn time in Tennessee.

I come from a place where everyone knows everybody else, much like Andy Griffith’s town of Mayberry.  There’s a total of maybe 4 red lights (one of which shouldn’t be operating, but that’s just my opinion) and a “downtown” consisting of a courthouse, post office and the corner ice cream/antique shop with a quaint barbershop next door complete with a barber pole on the side.  Imagine all that, plus three schools, a Hardee’s, Sonic and gas stations nestled inside rolling mountaintops guarded by a regional prison where my dad has worked for some 20 years now.  That’s where I come from:  Wartburg, Tennessee, a population that can fit inside Neyland Stadium with room for the rest of the county to spare.

The drive home Sunday showed me views I missed since moving to Knoxville.  Farms with old barns, junked-up cars (even an old camper, you know the ones, with a big “W” on the side) and the occasional sight of horses or cows made for perfect scenery.  With the car window rolled down driving on highway 62, I could smell the leaves blowing past my Ford Focus as I negotiated turns that weren’t made for the speed I was going at (It’s OK Mom, I do it all the time — I just wanted to get home to that homemade sourdough bread of yours).

Why I decided to go home Sunday only to drive an hour back to Knoxville I have no idea.  I suppose the simplicity of rural living called me back – in only a way homes can – to enjoy the changing of the seasons down by the river with friends, sharing warm kisses between sips of hot cocoa with Lance and watch the boys throw football under a canopy of gilded leaves.  Little treasures like that remind me that goodness does exist in a world of murders, theives and chaos.

I always enjoy stepping back into my warm childhood home after the brisk autumn air chills my skin.  There’s usually a warm, home-y aroma mixed with bread and cookies fresh from the oven and the promise of hot cider and wassail waiting to be enjoyed.  After reuniting with Fido and Nala after being months apart, Mom greets me with a warm hug and we make our way to the living room where the fireplace is warm, or the back porch where we can enjoy the weather, and simply catch up on our lives.

There’s a song that conveniently played on my iPod yesterday in the car, and I found it to be fitting.  It’s from a local band I’ve mentioned before, Christabel and the Jons.  It’s called, “Thankful.”  I’d say it was my theme yesterday…

“This is where I feel the most at home,
Rythym of the water, so nice and slow…”

“I’m thankful, so thankful, for my life..”

I drove past where my grandparents used to live before they passed away about ten years ago.  It hit me like a ton of bricks how much I missed them… my fondest memories of them are from this time of year and Christmas, when my grandma started cooking for an army of countless children, grand children and great grand children… Grandpa would always “test” the food… she would always get on to him for it… “Harold, get your finger outta that!” she’d say..  I remember she’d always sit in her rocking chair crocheting a doll or blanket for someone and watch The Price is Right (back when Bob Barker was the host.  It’s just not the same with Drew), Wheel of Fortune or during the day, Matlock.

You could always feel the love in their home.  It was small, but full of warmth – especially on those deep, cold winter nights.  My fondest memory I believe was when I was a small girl.  It was Christmas, and Wartburg’s Christmas parade was still something spectacular at my age.  That night was especially chilly, and I sat in Grandma and Grandpa’s old grey Ford to stay warm with Grandpa.  After the parade, we all went to their house (literally just across the woods from our house) for sweets and hot chocolate.  I don’t remember much except for what I told you just then, but I do remember everyone was happy.  I remember Grandpa laughing or at least smiling that big gummy grin of his (he had dentures but decided against wearing them — ever).  Grandma, of course, had a kitchen full of cookies, chocolate and treats I wouldn’t dare eat in one sitting today.  Everyone was there, and it was the perfect definition of family.

It was a tradition for a while with my immediate family after Grandma and Grandpa passed away to stay in an old, rustic cabin for a few days at Thanksgiving in the mountains somewhere.  Brandon and Steph were in school at Gardner-Webb University seeking their Masters of Divinity (they got it, by the way), so we always chose somewhere in Western North Carolina.  The first cabin we stayed in was tucked away somewhere in Black Mountain, North Carolina (I think) nearby Chimney Rock (again, I think it was Chimney Rock.  It was wherever they filmed Last of the Mohicans, I know that).  Unfortunately for me, I had tonselitis that year and didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I would’ve liked to… except for the fact that I thought I puked up my tonsils… but that’s another story.
Anyways, all six of us piled around a small kitchenette complete with a picnic-esque dining room table (I told you, this cabin was old and rustic) and shared Thanksgiving dinner that year.  The next morning, we awoke to snow flurries.  It was perfect.  There was just enough snow for a light 3/4 of an inch dusting, but not too much to worry about driving conditions.  We all took a walk through the woods among mountain laurel and a babbling brook that ran beside the cabin.

It was beautiful.

I hope to one day have the same kind of love and warmth that my family has had over the years.  It would only be right to carry on the family tradition.  It seems that not many families share that same love anymore, and that’s sad.  What the world needs now more than anything is love, sweet love.

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Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the ones that you wonder what could possibly happen next, hoping all the while that things wouldn’t, couldn’t get any worse?

Today started off innocent enough. I drove from Wartburg to Knoxville this morning, battling traffic, or slow beat-up trucks doing 50 in a 55 rather, for a math final. Typical for Morgan County. Might I add there’s usually never a good time to pass?

Right, so I got to Pellissippi OK and (hopefully) aced the final and finished it around 11:30. That gave me just enough time to head over to Gay Street for WDVX’s Blue Plate Special. Today featured Miss Tess and my favorite, Christabel and the Johns.

Great music and great crowds gathered in the Knoxville Visitor’s Center make for a great warm, June afternoon with not a cloud in the sky (except for those nice white fluffy ones). Basically, it was just the perfect summer day and to make it even better, I had no set schedule to go by.

After Blue Plate was over and the DJ said his closing lines, I headed out for lunch at Tomato Head (all the talk of food made my stomach growl, plus I hadn’t had any real food to eat).

Upon arrival, I walked in the restaurant, ordered my Kepner melt with fruit and water to drink, then sat down at a table with a MetroPulse. After reading a good few articles and realizing people coming in after me got their food and all I had was a lemon-less water, I decided to see what was up (nicely, I might add). It seemed to be they forgot to make my lunch, but the nice lady offered me free dessert of my choice to make up for it. I’m not a stranger to sweets, so I accepted.

My food came (along with a free vegan coconut cupcake), and I went to Coffee and Chocolate for a drink to go with my newfound sunshine.

Afterwards, I walked back toward my car, tea and cupcake in hand (I would eat it at the Beacon while laying the paper out tonight). Only one problem…

Is that my car? I thought I parked…. there….. no…. couldn’t be… surely….

Holy….

Mother….

MY CAR IS GONE!

I am an emotional being that is very attached to my belongings (1. Car; 2. iPod inside car). Immediately I freaked out, but tried to keep myself calm while asking the ladies standing there if they’d seen a silver Focus, only failing by sobbing almost uncontrollably while big hot tears rolled out from under my sunglasses. One blessed woman asked if I’d parked in the first slot on the bridge we were looking at. I had. Apparently cops like to park there, too.

In my depression and unbelief, I also threw away my uneaten, untouched free cupcake.

Thankfully I knew my brother would be working at First Baptist Church in Knoxville that afternoon, so while on the phone with Mom (who helped tremendously) I made my way there…
…only to discover he’d already left. And doesn’t answer his phone.

So now let me paint this picture for you. Imagine yourself a young lady alone in Downtown Knoxville. Not too bad, nothing you can’t handle, right? OK, now imagine yourself a young lady alone in Downtown Knoxville with no transportation, no friends, no family, or no one to call on to take you to the KPD Impound lot to rescue your baby. At least, no one within an hour drive that will pick up the phone.

At this point I’m wishing I hadn’t thrown my cupcake away; at least it would’ve helped to make me feel better a little bit. I start telling myself that maybe some homeless guy found it… there’s a reason for everything.

At this point, I just want to be alone, so I find the most remote part of the church and lock myself in a bathroom. I slide down on the bathroom floor and just cry.

Just…. cry.

Then, I snap myself out of it, muster up some maturity, and head back out into the world. And you know what? Brandon does answer his phone sometimes and is kind enough to rescue his little sister… and the “baby.”

And you want to know what else? I finally had my cupcake — and I made it all by myself.

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After about a week of journalism professors preaching to start a blog of my very own, I finally broke down and got one started… one a bit better than Xanga or notes on Facebook.

I’m not really sure what to write about in my first blog on wordpress.com, but I’ll try to come up with something that may interest my soon-to-be readers out there.

Okay, so I’ll start with telling a little bit about myself…

I am a vegetarian freshman studying journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee. I also work for Tennessee Journalist, The Daily Beacon, TRECS and soon eVOLve, which was formerly the Volunteer yearbook.

Wartburg, Tennessee was where I grew up. For the many of you that don’t know where Wartburg is, it’s about an hour away from Knoxville. Wartburg may come close to the smallest city with red lights you’ll come across. It’s nestled between the mountains of East Tennessee and on the Cumberland Plateau. Although beautiful and rural, it has its fair share of rednecks, which leads me to a funny story that may interest my readers…

So, as I mentioned before, I am a vegetarian and have been now for a year. When my fellow classmates in high school found out about this, some hunters thought it would be amusing to show their support. After school let out, I walked to my amazing 1990 325i BMW complete with a manual sunroof and, like any other normal person, sat in the driver seat. Fortunately, a good friend of mine was behind me in her car and saw the “support” my hunter friends left for me.

A deer leg, a REAL DEAD deer leg, was tied to the back of my car. I was mortified.

After fuming for quite a while, a kinder young gentleman cut the twine, and ultimately the deer leg, off my car. I drove on to work and called someone in the office to let them know the cruel joke that was pulled on me.

Now that I look back on it, it really was kind of funny in a morbid, sick way. I can laugh about it at least, but I certainly don’t want that happening again. I’ll kick some butt. Just kidding.

Needless to say, I was glad to get out of Wartburg, or at least high school there. I still go home on the weekends to attend church at First Baptist where my serious boyfriend of a year and a half leads music. Of course, laundry must be done, too, and at home it’s free. And eating something besides cafeteria food for a change is amazing, although sushi here isn’t so bad.

There are a lot of things I feel I could talk about in this blog, but by the time I would be finished, it would be more like a book. All I really have left to say now is I’m glad I was introduced to wordpress.com and started a real blog. Check back later for some more fun, hopefully animal-friendly, blogs in the future.

Peace out.

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