Monday, July 25


My office has a workout room with two single restrooms which each have showers.  I typically use one of these because, let's face it, most people prefer a private restroom to a public one.  

I use the restroom a lot during the day because I have a camelbak water bottle, which I fill up about 3 times a day at work.  I'd say on average 7-8 times during the day.  

Well today was odd.  I'm determined that there's a ghost in the bathroom at work.

 The artist picture above is what the bathroom typically looks like.  The red X indicates where the chair typically is in the bathroom.  No big deal, right?

So today, when I first went in the bathroom, the chair was moved.  No big deal.  I left it where it was because it didn't bother me.

Above is where the chair been moved.  An hour or so later, I returned to the bathroom, and the chair was either still there, or someone had put it back, and then someone else had moved it again.


So I moved it back to its proper location.

This afternoon, I went to use the restroom again and the chair had been moved BACK!

I'm determined there is a ghost in the bathroom, who just made it home today, and who likes the chair slightly askew in front of the toilet.

I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow.

If only I could put a camera in there to capture an image of the ghost....

Monday, June 20

The Da-Man

We have lots of nicknames for Dad.  He's dad, daddy, popsicle, poparazzi, and the Da-man! 

Lately my parents have been all about the spending time together thing.  What I mean is, instead of just doing dinner or lunch for Mother's Day/Father's Day, they want to do something.  For Mother's Day we cooked breakfast at Chez Elmore and then headed to Cheekwood to see the botanical gardens, art, and trains.  Mom loved it!

When she emailed my brother and I about father's day, she gave us some gift ideas (the Elmores are all about lists.  If you don't make a list, you don't get anything) and asked what we wanted to do for Father's day.

I suggested going to Arrington for an afternoon picnic.  This was a well received and great idea until I looked at the weather and saw that it was supposed to be 96 degrees and scattered thunderstorms.

Sunday morning we woke up to heavy storms and lots of rain, so I figured out plan would be doomed.

Instead, it cleared off, was still quite warm, but still beautiful for an afternoon of wine drinking/tasting in the vineyards with some great cheeses!  I think dad loved it!

When we got back to my parents house, for some reason or other, we started hitting golf balls in the common area behind my parents house.  I hadn't done this in ages (my dad used to go out there and I would bring my wiffle ball golf set to hang out with him.)  I was actually better than M thought I'd be, so I think I've convinced him to take me to the driving range!

It was a great father's day!  I'm so blessed to have a father who was so so involved in my life and supportive of everything I do.  Even though he may drive me crazy at times with his cheesy jokes, he's still my daddy!.

Thursday, June 9

Vegas baby!!!!

M and I went to Vegas last weekend on a trip paid for by his unbelievably amazing boss.  The airfare and our stay at the Cosmopolitan were covered.

I took last Friday off and we met his coworkers at booming Nashville airport.  After we got through security, M and I settled in at the bar at Tootsies, BNA branch.  After about an hour, we had all the seats around the bar stocked with Concept Technology employees and significant others.  Our flight went from Nashville to San Diego (where we stayed on the plane) and then into Las Vegas.  When we landed we checked in and had about 4 hours to kill before a dinner paid for by his boss.  

First of all, when we walked into the hotel (which is the newest hotel on the strip, located directly next to the Bellagio) we were mesmerized.  Our room was unbelievable with a tiled shower, jacuzzi tub, living area, and super comfy king bed.  We also had a balcony because the Cosmopolitan is the only hotel on the strip to have them.  The view was unbelievable.

View from our balcony
  Our flight was at an awkward time so we missed lunch (besides inflight peanuts...) so M and I grabbed an appetizer at a restaurant in the hotel and had a couple beers.  It was very refreshing to have a new list of micro brews to choose from that's different than what's available in Nashville.  I tried several: a Red Fox Stout which is brewed in Vegas.  A brown ale called Bitch Creek from Idaho and the Polygamy Porter, which had a lower percentage of alcohol because it's from Utah.  The bottle had cherubs on it.  I found it amusing.

From getting appetizers, we got ready for dinner, met up with the company at the "Chandelier" for drinks before dinner.  It was called the Chandelier because it looked like this...

Except the beads went all around the entire bar and down to the 1st floor belowDinner was at Tao, a fancy restaurant and night club located in the Venetian.  From what I remember the food was great!  There were so many courses with sushi and other Asian fare.  I didn't care for the Sake.

After dinner we all headed back to the hotel where M's boss had rented out a cabana at the hotel night club.  The club was  It was packed and damn near impossible to get in.  Luckily we had connections so we bypassed most of the line.  I felt like a rockstar.  

We stayed at the night club until 2:30.  One of M's coworkers, in her 30s, had never been drunk and it was her goal for the night.  Her husband was tired and wanted to leave, so I promised to escort her home.  This generosity resulted in vomit on my feet, but we managed to find the exit (after M asked someone who worked there to escort us out) and we took his coworker to her room.

M and I struggled to get out of bed Saturday morning, but once we finally did we had some breakfast and then hit up the pool.

O em gee the pool was amazing.  I want to put one in.  The deepest spot was in the middle at 3.5 feet.  The middle was stairs so you could sit in the water.  The rest of the pool was about a foot deep for laying in the water and tanning.  Positively divine.  Wasn't bad having margaritas brought to us, either.

After the pool we hit up the casino.  I've never gambled with real money (we had a casino night in high school for prizes.)  We played the blackjack tables with a minimum bet of $15.  I walked away when I was up by $300.

My winnings!...temporarily
 We went out to dinner for M's birthday and after dinner hit the tables again.  I lost some of my winnings, but still came out in the positive.  I think I won about $80.  Not too shabby.  Better than loosing.

After dinner we watched the Bellagio fountains and went up to chill in our room where we crashed.

The next morning we had to head out early, but it was just such an amazing trip.  I recommend staying at the Cosmopolitan if you ever make it out to Vegas and happen to have a decent amount of cash to spend on amenities! 

Sunday, May 22

Oh hey, free time...

So far the month of May is off to a great start (even thought it's over halfway

M and I took a day trip to Lynchburg, TN to visit the Jack Daniel's distillery.  M had never been and I'd gone when I was really little, like 6 (yeah, my parents were responsible adults who too their children to a whiskey distillery, no biggie.)

M had had a couple rough weeks with work and family life, so I told him to keep his Saturday clear and I would plan something fun.  I intended to keep it a surprise as long as possible (which is hard for me...) and all was going well until he knew which exit to get off at (he wouldn't let me drive) and we saw a billboard for the distillery and the same exit number.

Either way, he was excited.

The tour was great!  The only thing I remembered from my childhood visit was that it smelled really, really bad.  But I was a kid.   I thought all alcohol was nasty.  I'm not big on Jack (or any kind of whiskey...bad memories from college) but it was still really neat to see how it's made.  

M and I with Jack on the Rocks!


After the tour, we headed to the square in the booming downtown Lynchburg.  They were having some sort of festival with live music and such.  We decided to have lunch at the BBQ Caboose Cafe.  It was a great hole in the wall place with delicious BBQ.  They had a train that went around the entire place and had train lanterns hanging from everything.

After that, we walked around the square, ate ice cream and visited a gift shop where we bought charcoal made from the empty whiskey barrels.

That night was great, too, because met up with Brittany, Jimmy and Louis for the Nashville Sounds' game.  

Last weekend I went to Memphis with several of my sorority sisters.  It was our intention to go to BBQ fest, but it never really worked out.  We walked down by the river to see how flooded the Mississippi was.  We saw the movie Bridesmaids (which was hysterical!) and went out on Beale street.

I've been out on Bourbon street (which in my opinion is way better) but Beale Street was like a different world.  For starters: the security just to walk down the street was worse than the Nashville airport.  I guess Memphis is one of the most dangerous cities in America...oh well!

It was really nice to have some girl time, especially since I rarely get to see those ladies.

Now it's just a countdown for things to look forward to.  First up is our trip to Las Vegas with M's company.  His boss promised to take them all to Vegas if they received a certain award so many times.  We're going June 3-5 with our airfare and hotel paid for.  I've never been and I'm so freaking excited!

In mid summer we're hitting the beach!  I'm very much looking forward to a whole week's vacation.  It's been entirely too long.

So glad Summer's almost here!

Tuesday, May 3

Will history repeat itself?

It's been so long since I posted that I really have a lot to say but not enough time to say it all.

It's been a year since Nashville flooded.  My mom puts it best: "I used to watch flooding on the news and wonder why those people lived there if it floods."  This was thought before water surrounded her house.

The first weekend of May last year started like any other weekend.  M and I were hanging out, nothing particularly important planned.  And then it started to rain.  And it rained and rained and rained and rained.  I remember it being a lot of rain, but it really didn't seem like any more rain than we'd gotten other times in my life.

Saturday evening M and I sat down to watch the news because we had nothing better to do.  All the news could talk about was a flood.  Flood here, flood there.  I will always remember watching a classroom portable floating down I-24 and breaking apart.  While it floated down the interstate, cars bobbed here and there like toy ducks.  Water poured over the concrete median on the interstate.  My mind couldn't grasp what was happening.  

I talked to my parents and my dad said the common area behind our house, which for the 20 something years I lived with my parents had only completely covered with water (about an inch) once, was rising.  I figured "ok, no big deal.  It's never been an issue before."

Our power was out for long spurts at a time.  Sunday night we couldn't cook dinner because we had no power.  We opted to go the Asian place down the street.  While we were at dinner I received a phone call from my parents that I'll never forget: "We're evacuating the house."

I'm sorry, come again?

My parents said they were evacuating the house.  The water had come up over the driveway.  Luckily, my parents had been watching the water and moved their cars to higher ground and as the water filled the common area began to move precious valuables and memorable items into the attic.  My parents didn't have flood insurance, just like 90 something percent of Nashvillians.  Because it doesn't flood here.  Or didn't.

The week before my parents had just finished renovating their kitchen.  They spent Saturday, while it rained, moving everything back into the cabinets.  They didn't have flood insurance.  My mom was panicking.  Almost sick.  They went across the street to our neighbors, which is elevated.  

My dad went across the street every hour or so to check if it was receding.  Finally, around 2 in the morning Sunday night my parents went back in the house.  

My parent's house, surrounded by water
The back of my parents' neighborhood was a lake.  See the stop sign?  I used to wait for the school bus, right there.

The common area behind my parents' house.  There's a 7 foot hill behind the dogwood tree.

My parents' driveway.

They were lucky.  The water surrounded my parents house and made it about 3 or 4 inches below the back door.  The only damage they suffered was that their air conditioning unit and duct work under the house were ruined.  A small price to pay considering it needed to be fixed any way, and they got FEMA support. 

Many of their friends and neighbors weren't as lucky.  Many Nashvillians weren't that lucky.

I worked in Metro Center, north of downtown, which borders the Cumberland River (which flooded downtown Nashville.)  They wouldn't let us go to work for a week because they were worried the levee would break.  Many of my coworkers (who hadn't suffered flood damage) sat idle during that time.  I used those "days off" to help those in need. 

On Monday, I went to my parent's neighborhood to volunteer.  The water receded as quickly as it raged in.  I helped people rip out their floors.  It was devastating.  Tuesday I went with Hands on Nashville to help clean up debris that was scattered in yards (not just debris, large pieces of trash and furniture, etc.)  I found 5 dollars (which I sanitized, hardcore!)  Saturday, M and I went and helped a family in Bellevue (one of the hardest hit places) who had to be rescued by boat as their first story (which was already 10 feet off the ground) completely filled with water.  We threw away their memories and many of their dearest possessions.  

It was heart-breaking, but extremely rewarding.  I was blown away by how Nashville came together as a community.  

It's been a year.  One whole year.  Many people haven't moved back into their homes.  Many people straight up abandoned them.  

I will always remember where I was during the May flood.  I will always remember how it devastated a wonderful city.  It hurt the rich and the poor.  People of all races, religions, and ages.  Water is powerful.

I worry now for the rain we've had over the past two weeks.  Here in Nashville and in Memphis.  The Mississippi river threatens to flood again.  People's homes might be destroyed.  People in Alabama, Tuscaloosa especially, mourn for friends and family, homes and jobs.  The South is threatened.  And all I can do it hope and pray that sunny days come our way.
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