Back from New Orleans

Whew. Ian and I just got back from a St. Patrick’s Day trip down to New Orleans (we were there last Wednesday thru this Saturday), and I have a ton of pictures and stories—some of which will never see the light of the Internet. I will get to posting the ones that are appropriate for public consumption shortly, but I just wanted to check in and announce that unlike last June, this time New Orleans did not kick my ass. It was a non-stop party for three days, but I more than survived and am back feeling refreshed, if not a little nostalgic for the hilarity that ensued.

Stay tuned.


Tomorrow the iPad 2, the electronic device that I have been waiting a year for (yes, ever since the first one came out), will be released.

I can’t get it yet, but mark my words: I will have one. In white, 16GB. This thing was made for me. Whether it’s a birthday gift or something I save up and purchase myself, it will be mine. Hopefully in a few weeks or maybe months. Hopefully before summer.

AND I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED!!! Seriously, you guys. Sometimes I think about it and I get that feeling like you did when you were a kid on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait.

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park

Grand scaleAbout a month ago Ian and I drove down to Manchester for a day hike at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, a 2,000-year-old American Indian ceremonial site.

It was gorgeous in spite of the still winter-esque landscape (there’s something a little sad about an entire forest of barren trees with just a few sprigs of green), though I was bummed to discover that there was not, in fact, a big fortress made out of stone for me to look at and maybe climb around on. But come on, when you read this:

It consists of mounds and walls that combine with cliffs and rivers to form an enclosure measuring 1-1/4 miles around. The 50-acre hilltop enclosure mound site is believed to have served as a central ceremonial gathering place for some 500 years. It has been identified as, perhaps, the most spectacularly sited sacred area of its period in the United States and the largest and most complex hilltop enclosure in the south.

You’re going to expect a FORT, right? Walls! It says walls! But the only stone walls to look at were those of an old mill. Which was cool, but not 2,000-years-old cool. We kept seeing signs that directed us to walk either above or below the “wall,” but let’s face it: They should just stick with calling those things mounds. Because that’s what they were. Small hills in the landscape that were covered in dirt and leaves and mud.

And a note for the settlers who “tended to name such enclosures ‘forts,'” — come on. You know what a fort is. Don’t tell me you weren’t trying to play a practical joke on your descendants, knowing that by the time we discovered what you had stumbled upon anything that was left of a structure would be gone and we’d be all “WTF? Where is the fort?!”

But despite a little historical pwnage from our ancestors, we really enjoyed this state park and are planning on returning sometime this spring/summer to see what everything looks like when the foliage is out in full force.

Pictures are here.

Fluffy friend

This morning Ian, the cats and I were awoken by the sound of a mouse frantically scratching/chewing whatever crap that is up in our attic. It’s not a new sound; I think since we moved into our house seven years ago we’ve had perpetual mouse-in-the-attic issues. We set traps, they die, we live in peace for a while and then the cycle starts over again.

But at 3 a.m. I was in no mood (NO MOOD!) to deal with a nocturnal rodent and his dance party in my insulation, so I grabbed my pillow, flipped a bird at the ceiling and headed downstairs to the couch. King Boo had been sleeping on the bed but got up and followed me downstairs.

I could still hear the freaking thing, so I jacked up the heat enough for the unit to kick on and make enough white noise to allow me to fall asleep eventually. I thought it was sweet that when I woke up again this morning (at 6 a.m. when Ian got up to go to work early) King Boo was still sleeping on me. He wasn’t always the most cuddly sleeper, but lately he’s been curling up in the crook of my knees and staying there all night, from what I can tell. It’s oddly comforting.

Mark it

I am officially burned out on Charlie Sheen. I started following him sometime late last week on Twitter, and I just now unfollowed him. That trainwreck of a UStream on Saturday night told me all I need to know: He’s a coked out pillar of insanity that likes to hear himself talk, and he’s enabled by a crew of 20-something bottomfeeders looking for their 15 minutes of fame.

I’m out.

Charlie Sheen UStream Drinking Game

Charlie Sheen WINNINGI said I wasn’t going to feed the troll, but like any good American I can’t not look at a train wreck. Plus, our friend Scott brought over Patron coffee liqueur, Disaronno and Bailey’s Irish Creme (to mix together and drink a very tasty but potent concoction) tonight, so we needed some entertainment to go along.

We decided that if anything was made for a drinking game this “Sheen’s Korner” was, especially since he calls his homestead “Sober Valley Lodge.” On second thought, that kind of makes us sound like assholes, making a drinking game out of a video broadcast by a downward spiraling drug addict who beats women. Don’t feed the trolls and all that, remember? Ok, to ease my conscience I’m going to make a donation to RAINN. I urge you to do the same if you’re playing this game tonight. Or just in general because it’s for a good cause.

We were sad to find that Google didn’t lead us to anything useful regarding existing drinking games for this epic event, so we decided to make our own:

  • Any time Sheen says “Tiger blood,” drink once
  • Any time Sheen says “WINNING,” drink once
  • Any time Sheen says “DNA of Adonis,” drink once
  • If a prostitute/porn star appears, drink twice and add $1 onto your total donation to RAINN
  • Any time Sheen says “warlock,” drink once
  • If Sheen says “defeat (or failure) is not an option” drink once
  • If Sheen says “soft targets in cheap suits” drink twice
  • If Sheen mentions the awful, horrible show Two and a Half Men drink two and a half times
  • If Sheen says “fastball” chug the rest of your drink

So there you have it. Good luck, to both our game players and Charlie Sheen himself. I have a feeling he needs some luck in his life. Or maybe rehab.

I’m a wild and crazy bachelor tonight

Ian’s out of town for work today and tomorrow, and I am already missing him. All day I kept psyching myself up for a night alone, telling myself “But it’ll be fun; you can do whatever you want! The night is yours!”

So what am I doing?

Sitting on the couch drinking wine, eating cookies and watching X-Files. Basically the same thing I’d be doing almost any other night.

I’m pretty sure that means I have an awesome husband, you know, since I can be my lazy, drunk, cookie-eating, X-Files loving self any day of the week.

I’m also pretty sure that means I life a fairly boring life. But whatever, it’s my life. And I like it.

I can now add “trained storm spotter” to my resume

Last night Ian and I attended the Nashville Office of Emergency Management’s storm-spotting class in an attempt to allay some of the intense feelings of doom and insanity I feel whenever there is any kind of storm warning in the area. I can’t say that the class made me feel like my house has less of a chance of being blown away in a storm (sidenote: I am not actually afraid for my own safety in a tornado; my concern is that my house—which contains everything I own and, more importantly, my cats—will be destroyed), but I did learn some interesting things.

Some highlights include:

  • If you see the funnel and there is no debris at its base, then it’s not a tornado.
  • Tornados form in an updraft, not a downdraft, which is what happens when the temperature drops suddenly. So if you feel cool air, you’re probably OK. But if you notice the temperature has dropped and then all of a sudden you feel a warm breeze, you best get to your safe place.
  • There are two main types of storm clouds: Wall and shelf. You will see 100 shelf clouds for every one wall cloud (haha I just noticed I wrote in my notes “They are like unicorns!!”), but wall clouds are what tornados form out of. If you see a wall cloud and a rain-free base, get your ass in gear and head for your safe place.
  • If you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning. I’m pretty sure the meteorologist said that you can be struck by lightning up to 20 miles away from a storm.
  • Most tornados are 99 percent survivable if you are in the lowest, most interior room of your house WITHOUT windows. Our safe place in our house is the downstairs bathroom, which is under the stairs and has no windows. So I feel good about that.

The National Weather Service’s Nashville office launches weather balloons twice a day (6 a.m. and 6 p.m.) and the guy leading the class said we were welcome to attend a launch as long as we emailed ahead of time to set up an appointment. I think Ian and I might try to do that one day in the next few months just to see what all is involved.

In the meantime, I am going to practice my storm-spotting skills. Actually, I am going to figure out if there is some pagan anti-tornado dance I can do instead. Prevention is the best medicine, right?!