Thursday, August 31, 2006


Yes, I've been back for two weeks now, but I have roughly 300 pictures (no exaggeration) from my trip. SO, I think I'll try and tackle this day by day (good thing I kept a journal)...HERE GOES!

DAY ONE- Thursday, August 3rd 2006

I flew out of Laguardia at the butt crack of dawn. I got an aisle seat, but roughly 47 people hit me in the head with their bags on their way to their seats. The obligatory screaming child was seated in my row. Thank GOD US Airways has Relax-0-Vision. No kidding. They had these TV monitors hanging down from the ceiling playing new age tunes over "soothing" footage of deserts, water lilies, and black swans. I took my personal Relax-O-Vision pill (aka Dramamine) and was out for the whole flight. I had a brief layover in Charlotte, NC. People were already talking in Southern suddenly dawned on me that I was about to willingly spend two weeks in the land I feared most: The American South.

Now, I've always had a deep-seated fear of the south. I'm not exactly sure when it began, but I think it had something to do with seeing a Dateline about some teacher in Texas that punished his students by locking them in a box. I also felt like every two seconds a new statistic came out damning the south (50% of girls in Arkansas are pregnant by the age of 16- was that one?). Soon I assumed that everyone with a southern accent was just a little bit dumb. Oh, and there was that whole slavery thing...The irony: My father is Robert E. Lee III. I am practically royalty down there. It was about time this Lee girl reconnected with her Southern roots.

I arrived in Memphis and Emily picked me up from the airport. We decided to just drive downtown to check it out and buy some maps. We discovered pretty much every ghetto in Memphis on our way, but we finally made it to Peabody Place (home of the Peabody Hotel, where they have ducks that parade around the lobby). We picked up some maps in Tower Records because there were zero book stores to be found and the cashier told us to go to Blues City Cafe for ribs. And so, having been in Memphis for approximately an hour, we sat down for a large meal of ribs and beer. Definitely set the tone for the rest of our trip.

We strolled down Beale Street (which was pretty much empty except for us) and settled in at Silky O'Sullivans for a couple beers in the warm southern sun. They had lots of handprints and signatures in the cement from famous country singers (God knows if they are authentic).

My friend Meredith worked at Silky's in college and had told me they had goats. I had to see for myself and, indeed, they had two live goats that would climb up and down a tower in the courtyard. Very bizarre. True to Memphis, a blues band started playing and we got a nice afternoon private concert.

It was a pretty lazy day. We dropped our stuff off at Nichole's (where we stayed in Memphis) and she sent us off to Corky's for BBQ nachos and pulled pork. On the way, we saw these giant crosses on the side of the road. Something we'd see a LOT more of as the trip went on.

We grabbed a table where we could watch the X Games (Emily's the only person I know who loves X Games as much as I do) and ate till we were comatose.

In short- Day one can be summed up by two words: Pork and Beer.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

If you know me at all, you know how much I love cured meats.

I also love the L.A. Times. Just a few weeks ago they brought me that lovely article on dips, and today, I got this gem on, yes, cured meats.

A few highlights:

"A salame with a big diameter will be moister than one that is smaller"

" is incredibly exciting to have this thing happening under your hands, though not quite under your control."

"There are all of these wonderful aromas you get from meat that's been aged properly. It appeals to the animal in people."

Talking about meat is inherently funny/dirty.
Went to see Chris Thile (lead singer of Nickel Creek) tonight at Bowery. Boy I love bluegrass. Made me want to turn around and go straight back to Tennessee...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Have about 300 pictures from my vacation to weed through...BUT, for now I'll stick to current events. Yesterday, we headed down to Coney Island to catch a Cyclones game. It was a wee bit chilly, but we still managed to go on the Cyclone and play a few midway games. If you haven't been to a Cyclones game, you should definitely check one out. They are tons of fun. The theme of our game was the number 26, because, well, it was August 26th. They had contests between innings where people won things like 26 cans of Spam (!), 26 cases of mustard (!), and even more useful prizes like a 26" TV.

Meredith, Jenn and I braving the late-August chill:

I think we were supposed to be in the bleachers, but no one was checking tickets...

This was a contest that involved fans racing on giant tricycles:

Jenn wanted to give this guy my number. He really liked the chicken dance:

Friday, August 25, 2006

An Abandoned Roller Rink in Memphis- I really dug all the old signs in Tennessee.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Still trying to figure out the new external modem, but I've at least made it let me put a few pics up.

Here's rough documentation of what we ate for two weeks on our trip. Apparently they don't believe in vegetables down south. I was super excited to eat fried chicken and BBQ for two weeks, but after about four days I felt like Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me. I woke up every morning with chest pains. That said, it all WAS delicious.

Ribs (About an hour after arriving in Memphis)

Pulled Pork and BBQ Nachos (Corky's- Memphis)

Country Fried Steak with Choice of 2 "vegetables" for me (The Arcade- Memphis)
Cheeseburger for Emily

More ribs at Rendezvous (Memphis)

Sausage at Loretta Lynn's Ranch (Motocross Championships)

Fried Chicken Sandwich in Lynchburg (Home of the Jack Daniels Distillery)

Spicy Chicken (Nashville)

Pigs in a Blanket at Pancake Pantry (Nashville)

Grilled Turkey and Cheese (Camping in the Smokies)

Pulled Pork and a Turkey Leg (Dollywood)

Yep, I ate that whole Turkey Leg (Dollywood)

Veggies! (camping in the Smokies)

Fire-cooked Hot Dogs (camping in the Smokies)

Krystal Cheeseburgers

Boiled Peanuts

Arby's! (I had to have it)

Shrimp and Grits (Charleston)

Shrimp and Sausage (Charleston)

Fried Green Tomatoes (Savannah)

HALF a Chicken. Fried. (Savannah)

Seems there are a lot of Birthdays recently. All these Birthday gatherings have got me thinking about my own Birthday wishes...

Here are some fun things I've found on the handy dandy internet recently that I wouldn't mind getting as Birthday gifts. (Ahem. Cough!)

1) A wallet that looks like it's made out of bacon from those zany folks at Archie McPhee.

2) A "Don't Hassel the Hoff" t-shirt like this one.

3) These amazing Betsy Johnson shoes. F Practical.

4) A Danish, mid-century, Eames era credenza like this one.

5) A prison pen pal.

For the record, my Birthday is October 13th. It's never to early to start shopping...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just took a little afternoon break to enjoy the sunshine. I got a fountain Diet Coke from Subway and then walked over to Crosby to ogle the puppies through the windows at Happy Paws Doggy Daycare. Pure bliss. I love random personal rituals like that. It’s great when you can combine all the little things that make you happy into one joyous event that you share only with yourself. Sure, someone else could be included in the activity, but what are the odds of finding someone that would be just as excited about that very specific combination of random things as you are? Does anyone else get that much pleasure from fountain soda (fountain, not bottled or canned), sunshine and puppies?

On my walk back I saw Ryan Adams walking down Houston. He was talking on a pink Razor. Pink. Awesome.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Oh my god, I'm in Hell. Never work in an office that's 98% female. NEVER.

Someone just brought in a baby. Let the fussy cluster f**k begin. Does anyone have any valium?
I am having some memory issues with Ye Olde Laptop that are delaying my post vacation wrap-up, so stay tuned for that...

In the meantime, I've become a little concerned that my sense of style might be questionable. First off, I'm fairly certain one is supposed to find Graceland to be tacky. Not the case for me. In fact, I was pretty convinced I wanted to move in. As I told Emily following our tour, "Elvis and I have the same taste!" Emily gave me a look that said, "And that is no taste whatsoever." If it ain't covered in carpet in Graceland it's covered in mirror and doggonit I liked it, ceramic monkey statues and all. I'm the proud owner of a brass monkey lamp myself, as you may have noticed in past photos...

THEN, we were in Savannah watching TV in our hotel room, and this show called "How Do I Look?" came on. The first episode we saw featured a girl who truly looked a mess. Long frizzy hair, way too many baggy layers going on, giant glasses...someone who I thought, "Yes, this girl needs a makeover." HOWEVER, the next episode came on and I was horrified to find that the girl who they were going to makeover pretty much wore what I wear on a regular basis. Do I need a makeover??? I don't think so. I always get compliments on my style. How is this girl getting yelled at for wearing cute vintage dresses in crazy colors and patterns. I thought she looked cute. Three people on this show were begging her to change her ways. Who was in the wrong???

The last straw comes this morning. As I'm going through my "trades" I come across this little snippet in the Media Bistro Daily News Feed:

"Can You Tell Which Room Was Decorated in 1970? [UnBeige]
A Flickr stream has been making the blogrounds due to its giddy depiction of '70s decor selected from the pages of 1970's Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement. It's a glorious cacophony of gold and zebra stripes, polka dots and pink. Laugh if you will, but this piece from last week's Times piece about designers who create happiness with, yep, gold and zebra stripes, polka dots and pink."

I'm fairly certain they mean we are supposed to find
these rooms ridiculous. Am I crazy to say I kind of dig a lot of the stuff going on in these pictures?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tennessee rules!!!

I'm still on vacation (through August 16th) but I wanted to post a link to pictures that Emily's posting on a website (when we have internet access). We currently DO have internet access cause we're spending the night at the Drury Hotel- which is apparently the coolest hotel on the planet. We get: free internet, free pool, free hbo, free long distance, free hot breakfast, free snacks, and 3 FREE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. Unheard of. Emily and I have pretty much devoted this entire day to Motocross-- we went to the National Amateur Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn's Ranch today (the 25th annual!) and are now chilling and watching MotoX X Games events on ESPN.

Realizations thus far:

1) Elvis and I have the same taste- no taste whatsoever.
2) You can't eat enough BBQ.
3) MotoX bikes are badass- If I have children, they will ride them.
4) Loretta Lynn is awesome.
5) The Drury Hotel rules.
6) I apparently like snow globes.

Here is the link to Em's picture page. Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mamma's got another baby. Okay, well, I ate my baby, but I admired it a while before I ate it. Yes, kids, the yellow pear tomatoes are ripening now too. I'm capable of being domestic after all!