Monthly Archives: January 2010

Adopt a Word

Yesterday, one of my favorite grammar blogs introduced me to the most charming of websites, Save the Words, which displays a collage of words that are desperate for your attention.  Each year hundreds of words are dropped from the English language, and this website was created to protect these unique and precious creatures from extinction.  By adopting a word of your choosing, which entails solemnly promising to use said word as frequently as possible in conversation and correspondence, you can do your part to save our language.

As I giddily  scrolled over the near-graveyard of words that were begging to be given a second chance, I discovered I wanted them all. I settled for adopting three, and even then had to practice serious restraint to stop there.

Please allow me to introduce the newest additions of my literary family:

* Aquabib – water-drinker

* Patration – completion or perfection of something

* Rogitate – to ask regularly

(Aren’t they precious?!)

 

 

If you are so moved, go find a word to call your very own and together we can make the world just a smidge more eloquent. Oh, and feel free to share with your friends – maybe their lives would be signficantly improved by having their own word too?

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The Book of Eli

For those of you who have yet to see this penetrating film directed by the Hughes brothers, you can read ahead in confidence, knowing that I will not give away any spoilers in this post. In fact, I really won’t say much about it at all, as part of the fun of The Book of Eli is piecing the puzzle together yourself. There are many layers to this movie; it is very profound and very intentional, and thus very thought-provoking. When the closing credits roll, you will immediately want to watch it again in order to dissect the two-hour adventure you just experienced. I am curious as to how others responded to the movie – if you have seen or do see it, please feel free to share your reactions.

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give blood. give life.

Donating blood is one of my favorite ways to spend a lunch break, and much to my delight, that’s exactly what I did with mine today. Every eight weeks, I drop by Lifeblood to share my blood with people who need it more than me, and I always leave amazed that this simple gift can have such a grand impact.  Because Memphis is the second largest medical center per capita in the United States, the need for blood is pressing and constant. If blood donation is not something you currently participate in, you might consider it; if you do, then a round of applause to you, for you are helping save lives!

For those curious (or just needing a refresher course), here’s a tour of the giving process: Upon arrival at one of Lifeblood’s nine donation centers, a nurse will prick your finger to determine your iron count (mine is usually on the low side) and check your blood pressure, temperature, and other vital signs to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate. Today, the nurse was concerned over whether I weigh enough to give blood; I found this laughable and assured her I am plenty heavier than the required 110 pounds. After this initial screening, you will answer the obligatory electronic questionnaire regarding your medical and travel history, and assuming everything clears, you are ready to rock…er, pump. Once settled into a comfortable giving chair and prepped, the needle is inserted (it’s not so bad!), and all you have to do is relax and occasionally squeeze your hand as the blood flows. After you are two pints lighter, you will be offered a snack (today was cranberry juice and a chocolate chip cookie for me) and are free to go on your merry way.

And that’s all there is to it – with just an hour’s worth of sacrifice, you can save somebody’s life!

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Hope for Haiti Benefit Concert

If you will be in the Memphis area this Saturday night, look no further, I have just the plans for you. In non-erasable pen, mark your calendars for the Hope for Haiti Benefit Concert at Young Avenue Deli in Midtown, kicking off around 9pm. Musicians who have graciously agreed to perform include Amy LaVere, Snowglobe, Devil Train, and the Craig Schuster Band, and they guarantee a rocking good time.

I am not familiar with all of the acts, but I can tell you that Amy LaVere alone is worth the trip. Cute as can be, she thumps an upright bass bigger than she is and sings melodies that mesmerize. I was lucky enough to stumble across her talent at an obscure music festival a few years ago (rest in peace, Mucklewain) and have been hooked every since. You will not be disappointed.

A minimum donation of $10 gets you in the door, but keep in mind that all donations go to Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis and Food for the Poor, both good reasons to consider splurging.

Hope to see you all there!

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The Elusive Weekend

My weekend was quite lovely, as weekends generally are. In typical fashion, it hurried by in a whirlwind of activity and excitement and was over long before I would have liked. Elusive, weekends are. You look forward to them with such fervor, wistfully waiting, and at long last they arrive in all their glory. Then, before you have a chance to realize it, your weekend departs, oftentimes leaving you wondering if it even happened at all.

The beautiful thing about weekends is that there’s always another waiting on the horizon. You are never too far away from one, whether you’ve turned to wave goodbye to days passed or extended your gaze a few calendar spaces to the right, you can be comforted in knowing a weekend is undoubtedly looming nearby. And for this I am grateful.

There is nothing wrong with treasuring the weekend and the opportunity it gives to unwind and catch your breath, to let your hair down, and to take care of all the things your week didn’t give you time for (week days can be stingy). But, I caution, do not live solely for those fleeting days that punctuate the week. Don’t forfeit greatness during the week in longing for the weekend. Fill all of your days with productivity and enjoyment, and make the very most of each day you have been granted.

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Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles

I am crazy about live music. Going to shows is absolutely one of my favorite activities. Lucky for me, several of my favorite artists are homegrown, which means I get to see them on a fairly regular basis. Others are not, which entails that I make special arrangements to catch a show. But still handfuls of others were before my time and have since disbanded, quit touring, or kicked the bucket. In this category resides The Beatles, whom, try as I might, I would seemingly never have the opportunity to enjoy live.

Until now. Or at least it’s the next best thing.

For Christmas, my parents gave Jax and I tickets to the critically acclaimed Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, which will be rocking the Orpheum this weekend. From what I’ve heard, this show is grand. Better than grand, it is amazing. Note for note, word for word, and outfit for outfit, these guys supposedly give a flawless performance that takes you straight back to the Beatles show you wish you had been around to see. They cover the gamut; they hit the quartet’s clean-cut Ed Sullivan days, veer over to their trippy Sgt. Pepper experimentations, travel down Abbey Road, and make a stop at every junction in between.

A whole-hearted thanks to Mom and Dad seems appropriate here. *Thanks, parents!*

The Magical Mystery Tour is coming to take you away….

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Haitian Devastation

By this point, I’m sure you have all heard about the earthquake that devastated Haiti yesterday evening. It’s easy to skim over the headlines and not give it a second thought, but if you stop and consider the magnitude of this tragedy, you will realize it is not something to be brushed aside. Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, does not have the infrastructure and resources we do. They do not have a fire department and a slew of medical teams to come to their rescue. Death numbers are mounting quickly, and every hour that passes marks a critical line between life and death. Given the desperate circumstances this poverty-stricken nation faces on a daily basis, this catastrophic disaster is likely to have an extreme and lasting impact. The Haitians need our help – please take a moment to send a prayer upstairs to the Giver of Peace and the Healer of Hearts.

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on my mind, heart, and calendar

As I begin filling the blank slots in my planner with new adventures, festivities, and obligations, I am giddy over the endless possibilities that have yet to grace the pages. There is so much life to live! Make haste, my friends!

On my mind: I have many exciting vacation adventures in the works. Be it a road trip, camping trip, day trip, overseas trip, or any other variety of trip imaginable, I am interested. I want to do it all (and often have to be reminded that this is just not realistic). Working a full-time job requires that I be creative with my time off, an art form I have almost fully perfected. Mind you, I am certainly not complaining, as a salaried income provides a certain valuable resource that supports the ventures and dreams of my wanderlusting heart. At this stage, many of my potential opportunities are but seedlings in my mind, still waiting to be fleshed out and evaluated for feasibility. As I solidify plans, you will surely be informed.

On my heart: My latest undertaking involves a journey through the New Testament of the Bible. With a year-long schedule as my guide, I will travel through the truths, comforts, and revelations that God desires to share with me. At just one chapter per day, the schedule is totally manageable, and the benefits are exponential. I cannot even begin to fathom the transformation and inspiration a daily encounter with the Lord will allow. I will gladly share the schedule with any interested parties.

On my calendar: The cold (though rising!) temperatures will deter me from venturing out and about too much this month, which is actually quite nice when compared to the extreme hustle and bustle that characterized December. Aside from the office, the gym, Tiger basketball games, and the more-than-occasional friendly gatherings, I am perfectly content under a blanket with a riveting book in hand and my honey by my side.

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Humdingers

Restaurant recommendation: My boyfriend (hereinafter “Jax”) and I discovered a treasure of a restaurant this weekend – Humdingers: Grilled Fish & Piri Piri Chicken, located in East Memphis. The atmosphere is casual and inviting, the freshly grilled gourmet fish and zucchini strips are outstanding, AND they serve the good ice! Our economical, tasty, and healthy meal left us thoroughly impressed. Not to mention, they were kind enough to let us stay well after closing time in order to catch the end of the Grizzlies game (which resulted in a dramatic win!). Thank you, Humdingers, we will be back!

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2010 Stock Market Holidays

For those of you flipping through your day planner (I couldn’t survive without mine!) and arranging your year, or for those who just need to be reminded that there are vacation days on the horizon, I am posting a list of 2010 stock market holidays. While this certainly does not include all holidays (why the stock market doesn’t halt for National Punctuation Day is beyond me), it lists the nine days of this year that the major American exchanges are closed, which is worthwhile information for those of us in the financial industry, with a job, in school, and/or residing in the United States. I think that covers most all of us.  

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New Year’s Day – January 1, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 18, 2010

President’s Day – February 15, 2010

Good Friday – April 2, 2010

Memorial Day – May 31, 2010

Independence Day – July 5, 2010 (observed for July 4)

Labor Day – September 6, 2010

Thanksgiving – November 25, 2010

Christmas Day – December 24, 2010 (observed for December 25)

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Run for the Red

Undeterred by the arctic temperatures outside, I will be running my first 5k of the year this Saturday afternoon, which could prove to be disastrous. How so, you may ask? Just weeks after running the St. Jude Half Marathon in December of 2008, I was diagnosed with exercised-induced asthma. This frustrating condition kept me out of my running shoes for most of 2009, save the occasional attempt that left me wheezing, light-headed, and fighting to breathe. Unfortunately, running in cold temperatures increases the chance of an attack, which brings us back to why this race just might take my breath away, literally.

Despite the aforementioned obstacles, I am determined to get myself back in the racing scene this year. And this is where the annual Run for the Red 5k comes into play. The Mid-South American Red Cross has teamed up with the Fire Museum to host a race set for January 9th in downtown Memphis at 4:00, and I will be there in full running gear (and hand warmers!).

If you would like to register and join me and my lovely friend Mere in supporting their life-saving work, we always enjoy new running buddies!

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Baby, it’s cold outside…

Cold weather and I do not get along, unless it involves snow or an exciting outdoor activity. While I am in love with fuzzy winter accessories, I am not particularly fond of the reasons we have to wear them. This week temperatures in the eastern half of the nation, including my fair city of Memphis, will be in the thirties by day and the teens by night. While my loved ones in Wyoming would consider this a mild treat, I find it unacceptable. Bearing the brunt of these bitter temperatures are my unfortunate hands, which tend to resemble small blocks of ice during the winter months. Fully aware of my inability to retain heat, my boyfriend was cute enough to surprise me with not ten, not twenty, but forty HotHands® hand warmers.

If you don’t currently take advantage of these tiny blessings of heat, you are missing out. Made with natural materials, air-activated, and lasting several hours at a time, these little chaps are perfect for keeping you warm during a winter run, or for any occasion that brings you outside for a substantial length of time.

Here’s to staying toasty despite falling temperatures!

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Welcome to 2010

After waving farewell to the experiences, lessons, and adventures of 2009, I am ready to tackle 2010. Let’s do this.

A hodgepodge of thoughts:

1) Wearing pajamas to bring in the new year is not even slightly overrated. I highly recommend it.

2) I have started taking vitamins. I’ll have a One A Day® Women’s complete multivitamin with breakfast, please.

3) Today marks my first work out of the new year. Even after just a four day hiatus, I am suffering withdrawals and look forward to being back in the gym, despite the fact that it will be PACKED with resolutioners this month.

4) It’s not a serious offense if you haven’t taken down you Christmas tree yet…right?

5) Super MonkeyBall: Banana Blitz for Wii is highly addictive. Who knew guiding a monkey encased in a transparent ball across a suspended series of platforms and complex obstacles could be so much fun?!

6) The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team does not play another home game until January 13th. While I can do without the glacial walks to the Forum, I will miss the excitement of cheering alongside a stadium full of fellow fans.

Wishing you all the best in 2010!

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