macon and andersonville

WOW!  What can I say, Kelsey and I recently had a “father/daughter” weekend and it was FANTASTIC.

Macon, GA and Andersonville, GA.  Granted, these two locations may not sound glamorous, fun, etc…but we had a TERRIFIC time.

First of all, a big “shout-out” to Kelsey’s husband Phillip for being “part of the solution” for this weekend.  As a way of saying thanks, I did provide Phillip with some goodies.  Three sleeves of Pringles, a package of Thomas’ English Muffins, and an entire jar of Smuckers Orange Marmalade.  Guys are so simple.

And now to the highlights, and there were plenty.

I drove from Birmingham to Altanta one Thursday night back in September, pouring rain and I mean pouring the entire way from Birmingham to Anniston.  Of course i slowed down to 86 MPH but managed to hydroplane my way to Kelsey’s condo.

As some of you know, one of my “trip traditions” is to bring a baseball cap and have people that we meet and chat with autograph the hat as a keepsake.  Kelsey reminded me that a couple of years ago I gave her a modest collection of the vinyl albums that I had.  One of the vinyl albums was from the Allman Brothers titled Eat a Peach.  Since part of the trip included a stop in Macon, GA to go to and visit the Allman Brothers Museum (AKA The Big House), I had a BFO, or blinding flash of the obvious.  Instead of having people sign the baseball cap, have people sign the album cover.  HOME RUN!

For my visit, Kelsey had baked my all-time favorite breakfast, her world-famous cafeteria coffee cake.  MAJOR YUMMO that Friday morning!

Our next step was Macon, GA and the Allman Brothers’ “The Big House.”  We arrived, and it was almost a religious experience.  We walked around and toured The Big House for almost two hours.  If you or your mom or your dad are Allman Brothers fans, this is a terrific trip.  The Big House includes almost everything you can imagine:  lyric sheets, contracts, drums, keyboards, clothes, etc…If you are looking for a unique/creative gift, a trip to The Big House would be perfect.  We met and talked with several different “hippy-dippy” types and had a great time.

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It was then early Friday afternoon, and since Kelsey and I were both hungry, we opted for a restaurant that the Allman Brothers enjoyed, the now world-famous H&H Cafe.  The perfect little “hole in the wall.”  Kelsey had fried chicken and I had the brisket sandwich.  Great stuff.  Our server was nicknamed “Panda,” and she signed the album cover.  Sidebar, there were two Alabama football fans at H&H.  I guess they’ll let anyone with money come in.

Kelsey’s husband Phillip attended Mercer University in Macon, GA, so our next stop was to drive to Mercer and take a very nice walk around the campus.  The campus just oozes with education and smart people, and I was overcome with all the knowledge surrounding us.

One of the big highlights of Mercer was the time we spent with the statue of Jesse Mercer, the founder of Mercer University.  One of the many great traditions at Mercer involves the rubbing of Jesse’s head.  Well, in addition to rubbing Jesse’s head, I also poked him in the eyes, picked his nose, etc…

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girl, put your records on


last month was phillip’s birthday month and i insisted we celebrate in style and together.  we both took off that wednesday and started with a lovely breakfast at buttermilk kitchen, did a little afternoon napping, got soothing massages, and topped the evening off with an italian dinner at marcello’s with kyle and kari (we highly recommend the lasagna).  as we munched on cookies’n’cream cake from piece of cake down the road later at home, we broke in phillip’s birthday gift:  a record player!  i’ve used album art as wall art in my homes for years now, and it only seemed appropriate that we finally put those records to use!

phillip and i had been throwing around the idea of getting a record player ever since he moved in but just hadn’t gotten around to it.  his eyes lit up and his smile grew from ear to ear as he unwrapped the package – i couldn’t help but squeak in joy myself!  and as all men do, he insisted we set it up right then and there.

after some trial and error (and instruction manual referencing), the player was hooked up to the amp and we had legend frank sinatra singing “strangers in the night” to us from days past.  it’s funny how old things become new again, and i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t enamored with the vintage idea of playing records.  there’s just something about that vinyl spinning around that soothes you!  we always have it on when we eat dinner at the table together and i try to even put something on in the mornings as we’re getting ready.  fleetwood mac’s rumours record has been my favorite as of late.

if you’re on the fence about getting one yourself, i highly recommend you do so.  and while you’re at it, raid your parents’ vinyl collection and get some of those oldies but goodies going!  🙂

work it, riri

if you listen to the latest r&b at all (or any top 40 music station, for that matter), you’ve no doubt had the pleasure of hearing rihanna’s song “work”.  at first i wasn’t so sure about it, mainly due to the fact i can understand nearly none of the words, but after stumbling upon it more and more frequently, the song soon wiggled its way into my heart, a special place i keep reserved just for my favorite rihanna songs.  i suppose it could be because it’s just such a chill song, or maybe it’s hard to resist a beat with drake in there.  who knows!  regardless, “work” is one of my favorites, right next to “rude boy” and “diamonds” and “only girl (in the world)”.

oh, heck, and while we’re at it, treat yourself to the exquisite masterpiece that is drake’s “hotline bling”.  music video these days are a dream!

my new jam!

okay, folks.  it’s time to talk about my latest favorite song “get it on tonite” by mr. montell jordan.  this gem from 1999 came on the radio as i drove home the other day and i couldn’t resist sharing it with you all.  so go on, put in your headphones and check out the music video.

is your life complete now?  i know you’re answering with a resounding “yes!”  let’s talk about all the things in this video that make it worthy of nearly seven million views.

first up, the gritty and honest and sooo 90s lyrics are difficult to ignore.  now, i’m not saying i actually endorse the idea of checking out someone else while in “love” with your significant other, but at least he’s being true to himself?  sure, we’ll give him that tiny bit of latitude.

next up is the grade “a” product placement.  i don’t know about you, but i am ready to run out and drain my savings account for a white cadillac right now!  and that keyboard phone?  ooh!  you know i’m going to trade in my samsung galaxy for one of those this weekend!

the g spot club, sick dance moves, unbelievable acting talent, and wicked fashion (did you see his faux fur chinchilla coat?!) all add to the magic of this production masterpiece.  this mound of amazing work only adds to the fact that the beat and tune of this song are ridiculously catchy.  i mean, don’t you just want to bump along?!  i can hear each and every one of you chanting in agreement!

mm, the struts

a couple tuesdays ago i was working up a sweat at orange theory fitness when a killer song from trainer chris’ playlist came on over the speakers.  its beat was timed perfectly with my push pace on the treadmill, and since i didn’t have my handy dandy notebook with me (blue’s clues reference, anyone?) to jot down some of the lyrics, i remembered just one line so that i could look it up later:  “i wanna taste love and pain, i wanna feel pride and shame.”

i hopped online when i got home after class and typed it into my search bar, hopeful that not too many songs had these exact words in this exact order.  luck was on my side (and by “luck” i mean google), and after a few clicks, i found it:  “could have been me” by the struts.

you see, this is why i love music so much:  you never know when you’ll discover your new favorite song or artist.  this track is an excellent anthem, one of those songs that everyone, i think, can relate to on some level.  me?  i must see the world.  i have a wild heart that loves to travel.  i’ve conquered most of the united states, but nations like china and croatia and italy are calling out to me by name, and if my eyes never set sight on them, i’ll never forgive myself.

what about you?  what’s the one thing that you refuse to miss out on in your lifetime?  what do you want to say you did rather than what you wish you had done?  please share!  i’d love to know.  🙂

remember this gem?

i was cruising along in my mazda 2 the other day when, all of a sudden on 98.5, i heard a gem from way back in 2013.  yes, ladies and gentlemen, i am talking about that hit “blurred lines” by mr. robin thicke, t.i., and pharrell.

did it get overplayed?  sure.  wait, that isn’t the right answer.  YES.  every station, regardless of genre it seemed, blasted “blurred lines” about, i’d say, three times an hour that year just to be sure that you would hear it while scanning through your radio presets.  i’d worried the world had forgotten about this track!  lo and behold, it hasn’t been forgotten, just buried deep in the 21st century past.

and when thinking about “blurred lines,” it’s hard not to recall jimmy fallon’s classroom instrument rendition.  ah, yes, late-night television is a gift from the gods.

in all seriousness, i could not contain my excitement as a i bopped my head along with the beat and sang every word off-tune.  my perfectly pitched boyfriend phillip would have, without question, been highly embarrassed for me, but what he doesn’t know is that car karaoke is one of my hidden talents, among the many others.  wink wink!

after the song ended, i spent the rest of my drive remembering all of my robin thicke favorites.  first up?  the fabulous and unpredictable music video to “give it 2 u.”  i mean, it’s kind of hard to resist it when there are bottles of champagne walking around on a football field.

and then, perhaps my favorite thicke song of all time, i remembered with a smile “lost without u” from 2006.  ah, yes, so seductive and sweet.  see, i do have a sensual side!

the next question?  when is robin going to come out with more music?  i need another instant hit to get me through the end of summer!

sixteen tracks


folks, what you are seeing here is a rare form of music:  a compact disc!  a cd!  yes, i do still browse the racks at best buy to see what new music is hitting the shelves, and that’s where i found myself last night.  i was on the search for the backstreet boys’ june 2013 studio release in a world like this.  clark and i had seen the video for the single “show ’em (what you’re made of)” on vh1 or mtv the other morning, and i about flipped.  how did i not know they had made new music?!  but alas, the album is only available for purchase online…you should know that i’ll be placing an order for my copy soon.

well, since i had no luck with the backstreet boys, i roamed the cd’s for the 1975.  i fell in love with their first single “chocolate” and am definitely digging “girls,”, their latest hit to pop up on the radio waves.  the manchester natives dropped their self-titled album last fall after producing a couple of ep’s.  the four-man band has toured extensively over the past couple of years to build hype and support for the group’s alternative and stripped down approach, and they’re performing all over europe, canada, the states, and australia before the year is done.  there’s a good chance i’ll be going to their house of blues performance in boston in december with my buddy vinh.  eek!

i’ve listened to the cd almost the whole way through, and i’m enjoying every bit of it.  it’s upbeat without being overly energetic; a good mix of cruising and jamming songs.  i appreciate the quick and funky introduction of “the 1975” and transition in “an encounter.”  i don’t know which track i like most, but right now i might say “chocolate” is still my favorite because of their higher-pitched voices and the inflections from their accents.  it didn’t get replayed on the radio enough if you ask me.

these guys are grungy and hip, and i love each ounce of it.  i realized it’s the perfect summer album just as summertime is drawing to a close.  hm, i suppose i can listen to it as fall comes around the corner.

i’m a twentysomething

i am officially in the final year of my mid-20s.  hello, 26!  it’s the time of my life where friends are getting married, other friends are talking about having kids, and i’m just going with the flow.  they say i’m put-together.  “you’ve got a condo!  you’ve been at your job for four years!  you go, girl!”  if they only knew!  i am still trying to figure out where i want to be in five years.  heck, i’m trying to even figure out this next year!

my favorite artist jamie cullum had a track on one of his early albums.  it’s called “twentysomething,” and it has been one of my favorites over the years, despite his many record releases since.  i’m betting i’m not the only one out there who can relate, yes?

wait!  the only part i don’t relate to is the “leave me alone” part.  feel free to bother me, almost any time.

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love is LOUDER

i finally watched it.  the video that all my friends have been posting on facebook.  the one about a child’s speech to new babies coming into the world.  i am by no definition a web surfer, so a new video or site is usually discovered by a friend’s recommendation.  i liked the video so much, what this child and script writer had to say, that i have included here those words.  take a moment to smile and feel good about the world.

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the inspiration

for my 25th birthday last summer, i wanted to have a photo shoot, video shoot, hootin’ and hollerin’ time with my friends.  we got some wacky outfits, a few cameras (thanks, nathan and eric!), about 20 bags of cheetos, 10 bottles of champagne and let the magic happen.

our mastermind eric put the shoot to music for our own video.  check it out here!  yolo!