Monday, September 22, 2008

Politics (but not religion)

I have refrained thus far from vocalizing my political picks. Part of that is the fact that this link is posted on Facebook. One of my co-workers is friends with me on Facebook. Blogs and work don't mix. However, I don't intend to be talking specifically about any person. I also feel like the teachers are slightly more liberal than I give them credit for. I still take the cake, but they seem open to some of the "liberal" tendencies. Therefore, my official endorsement is for Obama/Biden. Yes, I realize Obama has no "experience" in leadership. Neither does McCain. He never served as anything more than a senator, same as Obama. Palin doesn't have leadership experience either. She was mayor for the second largest city in Alaska...with 9,000 residents. My hometown is bigger than that. And it's tiny. She's the governor of many residents? As governor, her short-comings are too long for me to list (otherwise I'd be here until my bedtime tomorrow).
Essentially, this election boils down to 2 pairs of candidates with no experience. Both promise change, one is in the position to bring it. One has a real plan to help middle-class America. The other promises 4 more years of the status quo. I hate status quo. I think Nashville residents are a little tired of status quo. Vote change, vote Obama.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brown Thumbs

I've never fancied myself as the "gardener." I enjoy seeing beautiful flowers, but am not willing to put forth time and effort towards the actual growing process. I kept a plant in middle/high school, but that was enough of a commitment. I left it in the care of my parents when I went to college and it has since gone to plant heaven. My mom isn't the best at keeping plants either; she kills cacti. So I wasn't surprised to come home and see the pot, but not the plant. I will also admit I didn't leave "Philemon" in the best of health anyway, so it's not Mom's fault (I love you)!
When I moved into my own apartment I made the goal to keep a plant. I would water it regularly and watch it grow and brighten up the boring off-white walled room. I researched the plants available at my local Wal-Mart and corner garden center. I considered the needs of the corner and bought a plant accordingly. I also got potting soil, a pot, and a collection tray for the water overrun. I carefully planted it and watered it regularly...a little TOO regularly. I noticed gnats flying around the room. I emptied the trash, cleaned the kitchen, and made sure all food was put away. The gnats were all over. I finally noticed they seemed to gather around my plant. So, I did what any young college grad would do--I put "gnats in a plant" into Google to see what would come up. Sure enough, that can happen when you over-water a plant. I tried not watering it for awhile, to let the soil dry out to no avail. I went to Lowes and bought some spray. That cured the gnat problem, but made my plant sick. When I gave it water again, the gnats came back. Finally, I took the whole plant, pot and all, put it in a garbage bag, and threw it in the dumpster. So much for my green apartment.
When we moved into this apartment, I decided to take another stab at growing plants. I considered the needs of the space and got 2 small plants for our bay window. After some frustration, figured out a watering schedule and both are thriving. Then, Adam came home with a pot of 3 different plants for Administrative Assistants Day. One I knew as a philedendron, easy. Another is what I think is a peace lily. At least I identified it! I still have no idea what the other one is though. All of our plants are doing very well, except for one. The peace lily does what I call "fake dying" and it drives me crazy! I try to remember every couple of weeks to water the plants. Mr. Peace Lily doesn't like that. So like a 4-year-old, it gets dramatic. It limps over the side of the pot and goes all wilty. Guess what happens when it gets what it wants? Pops right back up and even gets a flower or two. Who knew raising plants is this difficult?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Supremacy of SEC Football

SEC flexing its football muscle
League is No. 1 in America,and there's NoT a No. 2

HOOVER, Ala. - The two friends played hooky from work and drove an hour-and-a-half from Anniston, Ala., on Thursday just to stand in a crowded hotel lobby and catch a five-second glimpse of Alabama football coach Nick Saban.
"There he is! There he is!" squealed Lindsey Bagley as she jockeyed for position to get a better look at Saban and his entourage briskly walking through the lobby.
"Roll Tide," yelled Beverly Tidwell on cue.
Welcome to the Southeastern Conference, where pre-season media conferences draw more fans than a Duke homecoming game. On Wednesday, it was Florida quarterback Tim Tebow who received the rock-star reception from giddy fans here on the outskirts of Birmingham. On Thursday, it was Saban. For the three days of SEC Kickoff 2008 - a media feeding frenzy attended by coaches and players from all 12 league schools - the Wynfrey Hotel turns into college football's version of Woodstock.
Now ask yourself, what other conference can turn Birmingham into Hollywood? And in what other conference do nearly 800 media members show up to listen to SEC supervisor of officials Rogers Redding give us a dissertation on the nuances of the 25-second clock?
You want passion and interest? In what other league does a football coach show up for a pre-season media gathering and get served with a subpoena from a disgruntled booster from another school? That reportedly happened Thursday when Tennessee Coach Phil Fulmer arrived in Birmingham and was served a court order that required him to appear in the libel and defamation suit of disassociated Alabama booster Wendell Smith. Not only that, the subpoena was supposedly served by a process-server posing as a Tennessee fan.
"This is not the place for that kind of thing," Fulmer said evasively, denying he had seen a subpoena. "The great fans that are very passionate about the Southeastern Conference aren't interested in that kind of B.S. "And I would have some other choice words if there weren't so many cameras in here."
But there are so many cameras in here because the nation can't get enough of imagery and pageantry of the SEC. This is the league that has the defending Heisman Trophy winner and the defending national champion. This is the league that draws the most fans and makes the most money. This is without question the No. 1 league in college football. And there is no No. 2. If the SEC is the King of Hearts, everybody else is the Six of Clubs.
Coaches traditionally use college football as a steppingstone into the NFL. Not here. In fact, the NFL has now seemingly become a steppingstone into the SEC with two coaches - Saban and Arkansas' Bobby Petrino - leaving pro football voluntarily to immediately return to college.
"I don't know that it can get any better (than the SEC)," said Saban, who left LSU to take a job with the Miami Dolphins and then bolted the Dolphins for Alabama. "Sometimes, you have to go someplace else to fully understand that."
Of the 12 coaches in the SEC, five - Saban, Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, Les Miles and Phil Fulmer - have won national titles. Yet another - Auburn's Tommy Tuberville - probably should have after his team went undefeated a few years ago but didn't get to play for the title because of the idiotic BCS.
Average salary for SEC coach: About $2.5 million per season.
Average expectation for SEC fan: National title. [and nothing less]
Typical reaction if you get paid $2.5 million and don't win the national title: (Motto: "You can't spell 'Phillip Fulmer' without three L's!")
Seriously, what does it say about the strength of the SEC when Spurrier didn't even make a bowl game last year?
What's it say about the dominance of the SEC that it has won back-to-back national titles and recorded seven bowl victories last year - the most in the history of college football?
What's it say about the wealth of the SEC that it already makes more television money than Oprah yet it is close to starting its own TV network?
We now interrupt the regular flow of this column to rush you back to the hotel lobby...

War Eagle!


At VANDERBILT : it takes two, one to change the bulb and one more to explain how they did it every bit as good as the bulbs changed at Harvard.

At GEORGIA : it takes two, one to change the bulb and one to phone an engineer at Georgia Tech for instructions.

At FLORIDA : it takes four, one to screw in the bulb and three to figure out how to use the other to prime a keg.

At ALABAMA : it takes five, one to change it, three to reminisce about how The Bear would have done it, and one to throw the old bulb at an NCAA investigator. [I would argue it takes at least 1,000 to reminisce about how Bear would have done it]

At OLE MISS: it takes six, one to change it, two to mix the drinks and three to find the perfect J. Crew outfit to wear for the occasion.

At LSU : it takes seven, and each one gets credit for five Semester hours.

At KENTUCKY : it takes eight, one to screw it in and seven to discuss how much brighter it seems to shine during basketball season.

At TENNESSEE : it takes ten, two to figure out how to screw it in, two to buy an orange lampshade, and six to phone a radio call-in show and talk about how much they hate Alabama.

At MISSISSIPPI STATE : it takes fifteen, one to screw in the bulb, two to buy the Skoal, and twelve to yell, "GO TO HELL, OLE MISS".

At AUBURN: it takes one hundred, one to change it, forty-nine to talk about how they did it better than at Bama, and fifty to get drunk and roll toomer's Corner when finished.

At SOUTH CAROLINA : it takes 80,000, one to screw it in and 79,999 to discuss how this finally will be the year that they have a decent football team.

At ARKANSAS : None. There is no electricity in Arkansas.


I've seen this posted on several other blogs and felt the need to pass it along.

Planning for the fall football season in the South is radically different than up North. For those who are planning a football trip South, here are some helpful hints.

Women's Accessories:
NORTH: Chap Stick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.
SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary - that's what dates are for.

Stadium Size:
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor:
NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:
NORTH: Also a physics major.
SOUTH: Also Miss America .

NORTH: Rudy Giuliani
SOUTH: Archie & Peyton Manning

Getting Tickets:
NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus.
SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus, make a large financial contribution and put name on a waiting list for tickets.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game :
NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because they have classes on Friday.
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.

NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking.
SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.

Game Day:
NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is
broadcasting "Game Day Live" to get on camera and wave to the idiots up north who wonder why "Game Day Live" is never Broadcast from their campus.

NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down.
SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance by Dave Matthews Band, who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off
bottle of bourbon.

Getting to the Stadium:
NORTH: You ask "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it state's third largest city.

NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's mascot on it, filled less than half way with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.

When National Anthem is Played:
NORTH : Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

The Smell in the Air After the First Score :
NORTH: Nothing changes.
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.

Commentary (Male):
NORTH: "Nice play."
SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs."

Commentary (Female):
NORTH: "My, this certainly is a violent sport."
SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch - tackle him and break his legs."

NORTH: Neutral and paid.
SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.

After the Game:
NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, while somebody goes to the nearest package store for more bourbon, and planning begins for next week's game.

Nothing else in the universe comes even halfway close to the glories of Southern football!