Posted by: Jo | March 13, 2015

Stay Lucky, Chip

All music is is a feeling to be shared with a beat, right? Well there were a lot of feelings for me last week. My mom was selling the Jeep. Yes. A car. But it was a car that Daddy bought. It is only a car, but it definitely had sentimental value. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a lot of actual value. When the brakes went out, that was the last straw. So she had to let it go.

I know that it was a hard decision for her. I know that she struggled with it for a while. But in the end, it is only a car. I know losing Daddy has been roughest on her. I think about him every day and there are multiple times I think to call him, but I don’t walk by his empty office. I am not constantly reminded of his absence. Sometimes I have to remind myself all over again (which sucks by the way – it’s like going through it again almost). So last week when it was time to give the Jeep away, a car that represented a slice of their life together, I was thinking about them a lot. And thinking about how lucky they were to be married for 45 years. I don’t care who you are, being married for 45 years has to be a lot of work. And I admire the people who stick with it and make it work. It seems so rewarding in the end to have love last for that long (and longer as I know her love for Daddy will never die).

The song Stay Lucky, Chip is for Mom & Dad. And I felt the need to share it with the world, to share them with the world. So, out came the iPhone Voice Memos app and there you have it – the rough recording is out there.

Posted by: Jo | March 12, 2015

Daddy & the Album

I started recording an album in August of 2014. I wish I would have started blogging when I started this exercise, but I didn’t. I wasn’t sure if anyone would find it interesting and what I failed to realize is it doesn’t matter. I would love to have seen my thoughts evolve since this began. I would have appreciated revisiting that experience. All the ups and downs of putting four of my songs that have existed for what seems like forever in a format that will. Posterity is a beautiful thing I’ve decided.

I did a lot of thinking, writing and a lot happened in that time since I went into the studio for the first time. Most notably, losing my father last October. I really wanted him to hear the progress – he wasn’t the biggest music fan in the world, but he did introduce me to EmmyLou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. I did used to sneak into his home office and use his CD and record player when I was little. His sound system completely won against my little cassette player. I never got the chance to share my songs with him. I wasn’t proud of them yet. I wasn’t sure they were good enough. He wouldn’t have cared.

“You never got to hear me sing and we never got to have our song”

I blog about my memories of my dad at rememberingkernel.wordpress.com

Posted by: Jo | September 18, 2013

Yummy Mushroom Tacos

I am OBSESSED with El Taco’s mushroom tacos. I don’t ever get anything else when we go (which is a lot). Unfortunately, when we do go we end up having guacamole, side of corn, drinks (they have my favorite Gluten-Free beer, Daura Estrella), etc etc etc. I suddenly start to hear that woman from Steel Magnolias who chastises Dolly Parton at Shelby’s wedding in my head (Calories, calories!)

Anyway, I was craving the tacos last night so I decided to try my own take on them. Here’s my rustic recipe:

– Sliced baby portobella mushtrooms (I dunno, like 1/3 of the carton?)

– 1/2 TBSP olive oil, 1/2 TBSP balsamic

– 1/4 c or so of GF beer (wine works as does Worcestershire sauce) 

– 1/4 c of frozen corn

– 1 tsp of cinnamon (trust me on this)

– dash of salt and pepper

– 2 corn tortillas

Cook mushrooms on medium heat – slowly add non-corn ingredients and cook until mushrooms shrink up. Add corn and season again with a dash of salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Add more wet ingredients as needed. 

Meanwhile in your toaster oven… warm the corn tortillas as desired (I like mine a tad crispy, but still foldable). 

Assemble and top with avocado, arugula, or any other desired toppings.

Enjoy!

Posted by: Jo | August 15, 2011

Caribbean Debut

As I mentioned before, my friend KH became KS recently in St. John. Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. S! Which meant celebrating their union included a nice, relaxing vacation just what I needed in the Caribbean. Being the fabulous hosts they are, they provided brews at the ferry dock welcoming us to their island paradise, a sunset sail, and plenty of rum punch at their wedding reception y’all were seriously awesome hosts. We spent the rest of the time hanging out at the beaches, snorkeling, and frequenting the local hotspot, Beach Bar, in the evenings more Painkillers, please. We ended up there for their official-unofficial welcome party on Thursday, which happens to be open mic night at the Beach Bar.

KH wasted no time letting me know she expected me to get on stage: “You have to sing! I’m the bride and I command you!”*
*actual conversation may have differed slightly

You have to do what the bride says, right?

Impromptu Jam Session

The fabulous thing about this open mic was that people just got on stage and jammed with you. It was so cool! I was about three chords into my first song when I heard bongos in the background. I kept playing despite my extreme desire to turn around and see if a naked Matthew McConnaughey had settled himself behind me . And then the host got on the keyboard where’s the keytar host guy? and added keys to the situation. I played a couple standard songs and somehow ended up singing on a cover of “Billie Jean” she says I am the one! but the kid is not my son… because I’m a girl.  All I know is that I have GOT to learn Kokomo for when I go back.

Posted by: Jo | July 20, 2011

a bachelorette recap

Last weekend, I got to celebrate one of my most favorite people in the world! KH soon to be KS is getting married in August in St. John thanks for getting married in such an awesome place BTW and a trip to Athens was in order. For the seven of us, including her sister, Athens is a huge part of our friendship we all met at UGA, which KH attended because of her sister. We went up Saturday afternoon, did some decorating and opened gifts and KH and I had the following conversation:

“Why do people keep giving me gifts? I didn’t do anything!” – KH

“You have made a man fall in love with you. You have succeeded in life!” – me in my best “Obnoxious Southern Belle” voice.

We grabbed tapas for dinner, ventured out to the side of town that the townies and professors frequent, and grabbed some yummy drinks at Highwire Lounge might I suggest the Pepper Basil Caipirinha. And then we got around to feeling old.

Here we are at Half Moon Pub below Flannagan’s quite possibly the only places that have survived since our freshmen years…. with a group out for their friend’s 21st.

“Y’all are a bachelorette party? Man! I feel young!”- Birthday Boy

“Yeah and I feel old!” – Any one of us could have replied with this statement.

Some observations:

  • My friends are not good at taking shots anymore. “I haven’t taken a shot in years!” Wait, what? Why not? Wait – why am I still taking shots?
  • One of our old fresh/soph year hangouts (aka places who accepted your library card as proper identification) was converted into a bar called 8D’s a couple years ago. We thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now they’ve opened 9D’s and I’m a little disturbed by this. When they open 00’s, I’m going to have a tantrum and reserve every right to have a midlife crisis in the process.
  • People born in 1990 really love Hanson. I mean, holy crap – Mmmmmbop came on and you would have thought you were in Shea Stadium in 1965 and the Beatles had just come on stage. It really made me question America’s youth.
  • Penis straws, a Bachelorette Party staple, will get you a few questionable stares the night of the Bachelorette party but should be disposed of properly afterward. No one wants a big blue penis straw falling out of their purse during work hours or a casual week night dinner. I’m looking at you, NK.
  • Don’t show anyone your 1980 birthdate. Accept the fact that they think you’re a 5th year senior and move on.
Posted by: Jo | July 20, 2011

Mischief Managed.

I realize I’m about 6 days late on my Harry Potter review but being that I didn’t see it until Monday, I figured I might as well blog about it late as well. J and I went to the Mall of Georgia’s 3-D IMAX screen because I insisted. It’s a little bit of a trek for us, 45 minutes or so, but I’m so glad we did (we weren’t as dedicated for HPATDH PT 1 and I kind of wish we had been). It was amazing. I laughed, I cried. I nominated Molly Weasley for the badass of the year award. I’m so glad they kept that line in the movie! I felt a little bit empty inside when the credits rolled.

Naturally, I dressed up Gryffindor. I got some interesting looks from passersby since a) it was a Monday b) The movie came out like 4 days before and c) I’m 30 years old. I didn’t care. Personally I was pleased with my conservative version of the slutty Hermione costume thankyouverymuch. Besides, how else could I get this awesome shot?

I am totally on the wrong side. I am totally not a Death Eater.

Couple of thoughts:

  • Last scene: Ron, Harry, and Draco looked successfully aged but why did Ginny and Hermione still look 18? Still glad they played themselves in that scene.
  • Apparently, Blaise replaced Crabbe in the Room of Requirement scene because the actor who played Crabbe was arrested for cannabis possession. It confused me because I didn’t catch that it was Blasie. Why is Crabbe suddenly black?
  • Ralph Fiennes killed it as Voldemort in this franchise. BTW, HP has the best casting directors ever.
  • I want to read the books again. All of them.

Also, other people liked it:

Lindsay, I promise I didn’t highjack your title. We just think alike, as usual:

Quick + Dirty Dirty

Perks of Being a JAP (that’s Jewish American Princess, y’all)

Cake Wrecks Harry Potter Cakes

Harry Potter Trivia on Sporcle

Go see it. The End.

Posted by: Jo | July 19, 2011

life’s too short

Last week, something horrible happened. And I don’t mean I got stuck in traffic and was running late to work. Or my hair stylist cut off five inches when I said “just a trim.” Or my dog ate one of my favorite pairs of shoes. Or someone pissed me off by saying something stupid or mean.

Someone I didn’t even know was killed in an act of senseless violence and I cannot shake it. I haven’t stopped thinking about this random act since I first heard on Friday afternoon from a friend who worked with the victim. I know this sort of thing happens every day – even in Atlanta tragedy strikes all the time. It’s why I can’t bear to watch the evening news. But this is different. Maybe it’s because it was in a parking garage I knew well, in an area that I always assumed to be safe. Maybe it’s because she went to my alma mater, UGA. Maybe it’s because it was someone my friend worked with and it could have very easily been her walking out to the parking garage that day. Maybe it’s because she could have easily been one of my friends.

I have found myself following this story hoping that the authorities can make some sense out of this. But there is no sense to it. It’s random (although I think the actual word I’m looking for is bulls***). It shouldn’t have happened. Her family and friends shouldn’t be ripped apart right now and mourning her loss. She was too young and had too many years ahead of her. In one of the articles, there was a link to her blog.  I read through a couple posts that started to paint a picture of who this girl was. Someone who appreciated the life that was so unjustly taken from her. In ways most others take for granted. Someone who had such a joy and love for life. Heartbreaking.

Her death is so tragic and so troubling – I am so saddened by it and I can’t wrap my head around why it happened. This world is so evil sometimes. It’s amazing that one girl who I never even knew can affect me in such a way that makes me hurt so badly for her friends and family. Her life was too short so loved and seemed to have make an incredible impact on this earth. I know she has on me.

I want to appreciate life like Brittney Fox Watts did. Because who knows how long we ever have?

Posted by: Jo | January 13, 2011

snOMG

I live in Atlanta so I’ve been stuck in my house for the better part of this week. Talk about cabin fever. Honestly, I never thought I’d be THIS bored sitting around. Here are my thoughts on the snow in Atlanta:

  • I work from home so I’m not missing any work. However, even though I do work in my pajamas most days, I do venture out after work hours. And this hasn’t happened this week. And I’m about to go insane.
  • My dog has only been crated for an hour the entire week. My captivity = her freedom. Irony.
  • I live a heck of a lot closer to the grocery store than I thought. I spent that hour today walking to and from to get ingredients for Butternut Squash Soup. I should really walk there more often.
  • I cook a lot when I’m stuck in the house. This week my roommate and I have made:  Turkey Chili, Oatmeal Raisin cookies, Chicken Stir-Fry, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (just like mom used to make!), and said soup.
  • Although she’s a great person and all, I seriously think I may hurt my roommate if I don’t get out of here soon. People aren’t meant to spend this much time cooped up with someone else. Get me out of here.
  • It’s possible to snowboard in your backyard.
  • I really miss my boyfriend.
Posted by: Jo | January 6, 2011

Should you lie to your grandma?

Scenario: You and your boyfriend are moving in together
Grandma’s view on premarital cohabitation: SINNERS!
Should you lie to your Grandma Conclusion: Yes. Yes you should.

Example:

Grandma (just so happens to be MY grandma in this case): So, your aunt tells me your moving into a new place? Are you going to have a roommate? technically, yes.

Me: Um… yeeeeeeeeeeah……………

Grandma: Is she nice?

She? Crap.

Me: Yeah, she’s great. Super awesome.

Grandma: That’s nice.

Phew.

Posted by: Jo | January 4, 2011

Bippity Boppity BOO-HOO

Last year, during an annual girls’ trip to Charleston for the Cooper River Bridge Run, we ran (ha) into a rather magical booth at the Running Expo. A woman named Melissa*, clad in a tiara and running medal covered with iconic characters (PLUTO!), revealed to us that a magical running event occurred in the most magical places in the world. Disney has all kinds of fun running events including a Princess Half Marathon. I was convinced we were destined to participate in the 2011 event. We are all seasoned 10kers but we are all probably more comfortable with a 5k (with the exception of KB, who runs 13.1 miles for fun, like, every Saturday).  I think the conversation went a little something like this:

Melissa: Would you girls like to compete in the 2011 Disney Princess Run?

Me: Oooh do you get a tiara?

Melissa: why yes, yes you do!

ME: Whaaa!!?!?! Sold!

Friend 1, NK: Hmm.. do we really want to do a half marathon?

Friend 2, KB (seasoned runner): Yeah.. I’m not sure that February is a good month to be doing your first half… it’s going to suck training in cold weather.

Friend 3, RCB: Yeah, that’s going to suck.

Me: BUT YOU GET A TIARA!!!!!

At this point I am quite certain Melissa pulled out a magical wand, shouting “Bippity Boppity Boo!” as she convinced everyone that this is the greatest idea EVER. I mean… EVER.

Melissa and her evil ways

Everyone: THIS IS THE GREATEST IDEA EVER! I MEAN… EVER!

Forward to today, January 4th, 2011: I am now convinced that this is the STUPIDEST idea ever. Bippity Boppity BOO-HOO (see what I did there?). Here are the top reasons why training for ANYTHING in the cold is stupid.

1) RCB and I have both been fighting some sort of cold thing since Thanksgiving. Do you how much it sucks to run in the cold with a cold? Needless to say, there’s been a big ole’ gap in the training schedule.

2) Btw, it’s cold as hell out there, which makes zero sense since it’s actually hot in hell. However, hell probably did freeze over after we made this decision. Also, I hate running on a treadmill.

3) I know I ate about 9,000 cookies (give or take 8,985 or so) over the holidays. That makes me all sorts of unathletic right now.

Sure, you could argue that this is a good thing. You could argue that this is good for us. A new year’s resolution! You could argue that we’ll make it out alive since we’re all runners and we’re in pretty good shape and if we can run 10ks, surely we can do a half. I just wish this run was in April instead of February so I could actually conclude my training in clement weather (I’m assuming clement is the opposite of inclement, right?) instead of  this bs coughy-cold weather. I’ll be sure to update all 10 of you who read this (optimism – isn’t it great!?) with the results…

*Not really sure if her name really was Melissa as this happened last April, but it’s close enough for the telling of this story.

**Another friend, LVF, was scheduled to make an appearance but tore her ACL playing flag football . It was an expensive and silly way to get out of running a race (LVF, you could have just told us you didn’t want to go), but I understand entirely.

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