8.06.2007

It's all good in the hood.

Hey ya'll! (Everytime I write "ya'll", I feel like a Britney Spears impersonator, but what can I do - maybe Britney and I have more in common than I would like to admit...I do wear underwear on a regular basis, but I like Cheetos probably as much as she does, and I too have danced around with a snake around my neck. Okay, mine was stuffed, and I was dancing with snake while I was teaching VBS (theme was "Jungle Adventures"), but still, it was a snake and dancing was involved.

So, you are all probably wondering where I am. You thought I was missing, didn't you? Did you wonder if I had freaked out during the bar, written a holographic will on my bluebook, and then jumped off the Henley Street Bridge? Yes, yes, you did. In fact, there are probably hundreds of people searching in an orderly grid pattern fashion in Knoxville's Fort Sanders area hunting for a telltale stubby finger of mine or a scrap of my so-gross-it-should-probably-be-illegal-my-Rainbows-are-so disgusting flipflops.

People are driving under the 75/40 junction reading the signs "Have you seen Artsy Fartsy?" and the CNN scanner on the bottom of the screen is reading "Slightly pudgy, over-obsessive former law student gone missing on July 25, 2006. If you have seen her, please contact 1-800-BAR-EXAM."

BUT I AM ALIVE. No worries. In fact, I am very much alive, and happy, and totally immersing myself in Memphisness. Since it has been about 2-3ish weeks since I have written, let me tell you a little bit about what I have been doing with myself since I last wrote.

But an aside first...Thanks for the Dansk help. I have decided to go with the Precision pattern. All the other patterns I liked had BROWN in them, and before the Knight even looked at the patterns on the website, he stated quite adamantly that he did not want BROWN dishes. How he knew I would like those, I have no idea. Perhaps it is because our entire apartment is decorated in brown and green. But probably not. (DID YOU KNOW? That the Knight and I have been married now for 3 years? July 23, 2004 - we got married. Three years of putting up with my obsession of all things brown and green. Thank you sweetie. No brown dishes for you!)

BUT, to Josh who left quite an interesting comment. Thank you for stating your opinion about Dansk's business practices. I have to say that I completely disagree with you. I think that what Dansk did for me and countless other customers was the only smart thing they could have done.
You see, ever since I got these dishes, I have been displeased with them. That have been of the poorest quality, and I had sworn I would never use, buy, or recommend this brand again. I had told a lot of people about how displeased I was with the Caribe pattern, and dissuaded at least one bride-to-be from registering for them. No doubt, other customers have done the very same thing. Word of mouth bad publicity like that can kill a business, so the only way for Dansk to redeem themselves was to offer to replace them with another pattern. Sure, it doesn't make up for the past 3 years of frustration, but it is a good way to say "we're sorry for selling you a defective product, let us try to make it up to you." Now, if I am pleased with my new dishes, I will tell people how Dansk went above and beyond for me, and how I love my new dishes, and won't you come over for dinner sometime to try them out? So, in my opinion, their decision to give me new dishes was exactly what a good business does to stay in the good graces of their customers.

Okay, now back to what I have been doing the last few weeks. My mom came and visited me this past Wednesday through Saturday. When she arrived, she brought me a diary that I had written in during age 10 for my grandma. Each day of the diary was preprinted with the date, and I did my 10 year old best to write in it for grammy. Of course, I think even at 10 it was pretty censored, because I know a lot more fun stuff was going on at age 10 then that diary reflects, but still, it was hilarious to go through some of the old entries and see what was going on. So, I am going to list out calendar style the last two and half weeks. I am doing to describe to you what I have been doing during those dates as a 26 year old, and when the diary has an entry for those dates when I was 10, well, I'll include those too.

July 25
10 years old: I wish I was BLOND. Also, Anna cryies way too much. Well Bye.
(Note: Anna was my, at that time, new baby sister. She's still my baby sister, but just not a baby anymore.)
26 years old: I still wish I was blond. Instead, I just have an inordinately large number of blond friends, strangely most with names starting with the letter "L." Daisy is one of them. We spent the day stressing about the MBE, creating ridiculous mnemonic devices, and studying for stuff that we were told was always on the bar. Also, we ate a lot of dark M&Ms. Remind me sometime to share with you my mnemonic devices. Some are pretty good, but most are just as hard to remember as the elements behind the device. Have I ever mentioned that until today, I thought mnemonic was spelled pnemonic? Yes, and I even won the 6th grade spelling bee. It boggles the mind.

July 26
10 years old: Anna is a bore. Well Bye.
26 years old: Anna is most definitely not a bore anymore, and is, in fact, more a drama queen than I could have ever imagined. Just roll Anna Nicole Smith, Dolly Parton, and Winona Ryder into one person, throw in some firecrackers and hysterics, and you have my sister. Oh yeah, this was the day I took the MBE. Started the day off bright and early at 3 in the morning visiting with Auntie Vomit and King Porcelain Throne. Awesome. Pretty sure that EVERYTHING BarBri and PMBR told us to study for was not on the bar and instead we were tested on Wills and Estates and obscure burdens of proof. Afterwards, we came home, experienced a roller coaster of emotions ranging from complete despair to pee in your pants excitement that we were one day closer to being done with this God-forsaken bar.

July 27
10 years old: No entry
26 years old: Oh dear Lord, I thought I was going to have a panic attack. I HATE big fact patterns, and never did great on big fact pattern type of exams. For some reason, I was way more terrified of the TN portion than the MBE. Right before the essay portion of TN's bar began (12 30 minutes essays on more obscure areas of the law, thank you), I rush to the bathroom. That pesky Auntie Vomit is all kinds of threatening to come visit, but I kept reminding myself what my mom said to me a few days before the bar "First, you have studied too hard to fail. Second, if you look at that giant fact pattern and start to freak out, just picture that fact pattern as an elephant. Have you ever tried to eat an elephant? It seems to be an impossible task if you just start in on the side. But if you just walk around behind that thing (something I hope never to do by the way) and pick up that tiny little tail, well, then that part doesn't seem so scary. Just pick the first fact in your hypo, and start munching. Figure out where that fact goes, what it is there for, and keep going on, fact after fact. Before you know it, you have eaten that whole elephant, and still have room for dessert." As strange as eating an elephant seems, her advice was comforting, I calmed down, returned to my seat, and began my test. Our first fact pattern was crazy - it asked us to discuss the proper criminal procedure if our client is raising an alibi defense and how to get experts and other defense help for indigents.

I had absolutely no clue about both topics, but figured most other people didn't know about them either, so I had a little fun making up some procedural rules, and made sure to mention Daubert/McDaniel. A couple other questions also were way out there (hello? When did Civ Pro/Conflict of Law go from being a "subtopic" to the main focus of not one but two entire essays? Just wondering BarBri, just wondering.

After it was all over, Daisy and I went and got a mani/pedi, showered, went to a local sushi place, and then crashed. Our big plans of a wild night quickly disappeared after we sat down on the couch after dinner and waves of exhaustion started creeping over our bodies. We were LAME.

OH, and the Knight passed his big air traffic control test. He is officially an air traffic controller, and starts this following Monday (July 30th). Yay for him!

July 28
10 years old: My grandpa is very sick. Please pray for me. Well Bye.(For me? Gosh, even at 10 I was a self-centered little brat!).
26 years old: Drove from Knoxville to McMinnville, had my braces adjusted, learned that I did too good of a job wearing my rubber bands, so now I have wear different rubber bands to correct the over correction of the last rubber bands assignment. Ugh. My mouth now looks like a suspension bridge.

The Knight and I rented our moving truck and filled a 24 foot truck with mounds of worthless crap. HOW do we have so much stuff?

July 29
10 years old: Grandpa is VVVVVEEEEEERRRRRRYYYYYYY sick. Also, I am going to camp tomorrow. I packed 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, my bathing suit, some goggles, and a pillow. I am so EXITED! Well Bye. (I really hope I packed more than that. Did you know "exited" is now considered an emotion?)
26 years old: Drove from McMinnville to Memphis with no radio. (Hi Knoxville Crime. Thanks.) About halfway through the drive, I mustered up the courage to listen to my iPod while driving, and I must say, my ear bud cord threading talents are coming along. I threaded my cords up through my shirt, tucked the cords under my hair, behind my ears, and then brought the buds to the front of my ear and tucked them in. Yeah, I know, I am the only one in the world with such an original idea. No applause necessary! Got to Memphis before the Knight, and became a little, um, hesitant about our apartment choice. It was dingy, the carpet was stained, and a few of our neighbors seemed a little white trash and/or ghetto and/or unsavory. But, by the time the Knight arrived, more of our neighbors were getting home from work, and everyone else seemed pretty normal. There is a single guy who lives across from us, a cute little old lady who lives above us, and my favorite neighbors are this cute Hispanic couple who lives above the little old lady. They are always out on their patio hanging out after work, and love to feed the ducks their leftovers.

OH, the ducks! I forgot all about them! Our apartment is on the bottom, and our patio faces a little murky lake. There are about 4-5 different breeds/brands(?) of ducks. There are wood ducks, mallards, some type of goose, and then the Oak Ridge ducks. We call them that because they look a little deformed, as if they have been exposed to years of radioactivity. But they are the nicest and the gutsiest. It is actually quite pleasant to sit out there at night and drink wine watching the ducks and turtles play in the water. Betty LOVES the ducks. They don't know quite what to make of her, and one momma duck has already nipped Betty on the bum after Betty got too close to her babies, but Betty was not scarred. She still sniffs, chases, and pounces on them every chance she gets.

July 30
10 years old: no entry. I guess I am still "exited" about camp.
26 years old: The Knight goes to his first day at Memphis ATC Center. I spend the day unpacking. I used to like moving, but knowing that this time the unpacking is going to be mostly my responsibility since the Knight is working. Did I mention that we have two bedrooms and two bathrooms in this apartment. I feel like we are living in a mansion after formerly residing in the 550 square foot cracker jack box in Knoxville.

AND! I have a job. I interviewed with a judge (that is all I can say, if you really want to know more, shoot me an email) and he hired me on the spot. So, I am going to clerk for the next year, and I am SO EXCITED (no being exited here!). I will start in two weeks.

July 31:
10 years old: Today I went to my grandfather's funeral. It was very sad. My great-uncle passed out the funeral. That was scary. I bought a purse today. It is very cute. I love it. Well Bye.
(Random. And very calloused. I hope I am a little more compassionate now.)
26 years old: I feel like passing out. I am quickly making progress on the apartment, but we have so much stuff. I have 10 boxes marked "Decor" and "Fragile" that I haven't even touched. Where with all this fragile decor go? Probably under the bed. I really need a third bedroom for all of this freaking decor.

August 1
10 years old: No entry. Probably still wooing over the purse and grieving my late grandfather. Sheesh.
26 years old: Mom is arriving today. I am so excited, I am driving her nuts. I keep calling her - how is she doing, is she tired, does she need to pee, when is she getting here? I spend the day trying to get the house more in order. I have an actual laundry room in the apartment, and today is the first day I can actually step in there. Whoo Hoo!

August 2
10 years old: I hate Daniel. Well Bye.
(Daniel is my now 22 year old brother. I think we spent our entire lives hating each other until I went to college. Now we are very close, and like to joke about how I used to hit him on the head with the coffee mugs loading the dishwasher and how he chased me around the house one afternoon with a real knife threatening to cut me. I promise my mother was a good mom, and she stayed at home to care for us. Perhaps, at times like these she had just decided to sit back deciding that if something happened to one of us, at least there would be one less person to do laundry for.)
26 years old: Mom and I spend the entire day shopping. I am recovering several throw pillows for our bedroom and living room and have a guest bedroom now, so we have lots of reasons to buy things. Also, have I ever mentioned how AWESOME my mom is? The woman is amazing. She spoiled us rotten - did all of our laundry, helped me figure out where to hang pictures, and sewed 6 throw pillows. Also, the woman can make the best lasagna ever.

August 3
10 years old: No entry. But, I probably still hate Daniel. And wish I was blond.
26 years old: Mom and I do more shopping. Today we are looking for a mattress for the guest bedroom. Mattresses are expensive! Also, the Knight and I take Mom to Bonefish Grille for dinner as a meager way of saying thanks for her whirlwind tornado of help and wonderfulness. I eat too much bread and decide that I need to go on a diet. I never want Mom to leave, and keep telling her that I think she has a fever which can only be remedied by another day of shopping and significant portions of wine.

August 4
10 years old: Today mom and I went shopping for school clothes. I got two new pairs of shoes, some new Levi's!!! and a bodysuit. I can't wait for school to start! Tomorrow we are going to get school supplies. Well Bye.
26 years old: Wow, not much has changed. If only I could find a plaid bodysuit now as cool as the one I had back then. And Mom and I are still spending quality time together by shopping. Whoever said retail therapy is ineffective have not met us. Nothing brings a smile to our faces faster than seeing the word "SALE!". Mom leaves to go back to Tulsa, and I am very sad. But it is exciting to know that a) she and the rest of the family only live 7 1/2 hours away now instead of 14 and b) the Knight and I have jobs so we can afford to rent a little plane and the Knight can fly us!

We spend the day driving to Olive Branch, Mississippi and poking our noses into new neighborhoods. I decide that subdivisions to not appeal to me in the least, and prefer homes that are not in nice little boxed rows with IDENTICAL FLOORPLANS. Three cheers for "Charm" and "Originality"? Yes PLEASE!

Next we visit one of the Knight's ATC friends in the Midtown/Cooper Young area. Now, this is more my style. Quaint homes next to eclectic businesses and friendly neighbors. A real community. The Knight doesn't like the area because it is in the city, there are tiny yards, and no room for a swimming pool. How are we ever going to find a home that suits both of our tastes?

August 5
OKAY, IF YOU ARE STILL READING THIS - BLESS YOU. YOUR EYES HAVE TO BE CRAMPING BECAUSE LORD KNOWS MY HANDS ARE. I can't stop blogging now. Only two more days to write about. Stay with me, we are almost through!

10 years old: Today I did 203 cartwheels. Signing off. (What? "Well Bye" isn't original enough anymore? Am I a pilot now?)
26 years old: The Knight and I try to find a church that I had heard about from a random guy I met at Starbucks. We drive everywhere and never locate it. However, we do manage to find about 15 other churches. We eat Sonic for breakfast and then drive back to Olive Branch to go look at the little airport there. This time, we find some homes that both of us seem to like and then quickly discover that they are about $400,000 more than we can afford. Sad. I guess living on a golf course near a country club should have raised a few flags for us poor folk.

On the way home, the Knight and I discuss what to do with my car. It is a hooptie, has a bad transmission, and just seems to be a real lemon. We inherited it from his late grandmother, and I am the one lucky enough to drive it. The big question is whether we fix it and I keep driving it until we can save up for my "within reach" dream car (either a completely loaded Toyota Solara or a Volkswagen Eos. Of course there are more expensive cars I love (can we say Astin Martin?), but those seem unreachable and wholly impractical).

As we are discussing the pros and cons of each decision, the car's transmission starts really acting up. We are almost done convincing ourselves that the car is still pretty reliable and will not leave me stranded on my way to work when the "check engine" light pops on. The remaining 20 minutes home were the longest of my life. The entire time I am muttering under my breath "please get us home, please get us home." Thankfully, we cruise into our apartment without breaking down. It is decided. I am getting a new car.

The rest of night is spend deciding what our price range is and what type of car I am going to get. I am anti-SUV and pro-convertible. The Knight is anti-expensive and pro-reliable. I think I have found an older Volvo convertible with low mileage that meets both of our demands.

August 6
10 years old: No entry.
26 years old: Today, I coax my car to the nearest internet cafe and do my research. I am even more convinced the Volvo is right for me. As soon as the Knight gets off work, we are going to go see it. I really wanted to save up money first before buying a car, but it seems that is not going to happen. I have to admit I am a little terrified of making "payments" for a vehicle, but at least I have a job!

Okay, I am exhausted. I knew it was going to take a long time to catch up, but not TWO hours!

Hope ya'll are doing great, and life is treating you well. I'll write sooner next time! Well Bye.

Artsy Fartsy is wishing she still had that purse she bought the same day of her grandfather's funeral.

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