We're not in Kansas anymore...

Thursday we drove all day to get to Kansas City where we stayed with John's Aunt Carol and Kim. We had a blast. They had a pot roast supper waiting for us when we arrived and Marissa (John's cousin's little girl) was staying with them for the week. She is sooooo adorable. After supper we took a drive around KC to see the Christmas lights, the Plaza and downtown.

Friday morning we took off to finish our trip to Nebraska to visit my family. Wow. Can't believe how much AJ and Katie have grown. AND, that Cassy is only about five months from graduating from high school... she's 18 already?! Where did the time go? Oh yeah... and my Mom's new kitchen is FABULOUS.

Christmas Eve, all the Petersen's assembled at Mom & Dad's for dinner (that's lunch time on the farm). That new kitchen was just the ticket... we all were able to sit in the same room for ham, potatoes, salad, peas and homemade cream puffs. Yum. After dinner, we the kids opened their presents. It was a riot... can't wait til I get back to Nashvegas so I can post pics of all the excitement.

On Christmas Day, John and I went on a movie adventure in Yankton, SD with Cassy and AJ. Dick and Jane was a pretty average movie, but getting to hang with those two was priceless. We had a blast.

Today, Monday, we spent the morning saying goodbye to the Petersens. (Time flies when you're having fun!) At around 12:30 we hit the highway toward Yankton, SD where we met up with Ronnie, a long time friend, for coffee. We talked for more than two hours over coffee at the Fryin' Pan. Good times.

Then, we were off to Sioux Falls to see Denice, Shannan, Brent, Shelly and Dave. Spezia's was the scene for great food and reminiscing about the old times and new times. More good stuff.

Right now, I'm hanging with Denice... JTC just went to bed... so we'll be able to leave for Christmas with John's family Iowa on Tuesday. Can't wait.

Miss you! I'll write again on Friday when I get back to Nashville... provided my computer is all better.

Hope you had a MERRY CHRISTMAS and wishing you a HAPPY New Year.
Be safe.


Proud iPod owner

JTC got me an iPod for Christmas. It's so pretty... I'm so excited.

The bummer is that our computer at home crashed AGAIN and I won't be able to load it up until we get back from our holiday travels.

(The computer is staying at Media Tech until we get back... hopefully it will be all healthy by then... a Mac is looking better and better. SO tired of freaking viruses.)

Anyway... There's room for more than 7,500 songs and I've got more than 500 CDs to transfer to it... so if anyone has some good iPod tips for me... HIT ME!

Songwriter links and holiday travels

Check out the blogroll over there to the left... I added some new links for some of my songwriter friends. Just discovered that they've all got MySpace sites. Pretty cool. I'll keep adding them as I find more...

On another note, JTC and I are on a holiday adventure... Touring Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. We'll be back on 12/30... so watch for photos of the trip when we get back. In the meantime, I'll be posting as often as I can get to a computer.

I'll be thinking of y'all here in "balmy" Nashville.


Hey you...

Draw Me Something
**Tips hat to Emily**

Simon Sez Santa

Remember the subservient chicken?

Well... Now there's a Simon Sez Santa.


Sittin' in with Jonell

Hey! Check it out...

My friend Dirk snapped some pics of me sittin' in with Jonell at 3rd on Friday night.

We sang the "Woke up" song and had a blast.

That's Craig Krampf on drums, Tom Brit (plays w/Vince Gill) on guitar and Don Johnson (no not that Don Johnson!) on bass.

How cool is that?!


Do NOT press.

Seriously, I mean it.
(Do NOT press.)
You'll seem insane and crazy to everyone around you.
Trust me on this one.

Egg and muffin toaster dreams...

I still haven't bought one of these.
Wonder if Santa will be good to me?
If not, I wonder if Target will have them on clearance after Christmas?
One way or the other, I will have one.
It is my destiny.


Hermitage, Pat and Jonell

Got my work Christmas Party (yes... I said CHRISTmas) tonight at 6:30. It's at the Hermitage Hotel, with open bar until supper is served at 7:30. JTC is going with me, so I have a designated driver, which means I can have a few adult beverages. Wheeeeeeee... haven't done that since my night of fun at Durango back in October. Crazy.

Then, we're going to bug out at 9:30 or so to catch Pat McLaughlin's first set at Douglas Corner. I promised Lindsey Rhoades we'd be there before I remembered we had the Christmas Party tonight, so it will be a good excuse to make a gracious exit.

From there (11:00 or so), we're going to go catch Jonell's last set at 3rd & Lindsley. Love her... she is such a dear friend and incredible singer. I want to make sure we end up there last so we get to talk a little and exchange presents. AND, Craig Krampf has been playing drums with her lately... he's amazing.


Price of loyalty keeps going up.

A friend of mine just noticed that the bid is up to $900... AND, it looks like the seller has been making the rounds on Knoxville TV stations.

What a hoot!
Can't wait to what team this guy ends up with and how much he makes "selling his UT loyalty."

Oh the drama of it all!

To be continued...


OK... I must say... seeing Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett on the same stage at the CMT Crossroads taping last night was absolutely incredible. Definitely makes the highlight reel for 2005 for me.

Loved the room where it was shot at The Factory in Franklin. It had that cozy industrial loft feel and the set was amazing. It was also pretty intimate... I'd guess there weren't more than 200 or so people packed in there. I'm sure it will look great on TV.

Lyle and Bonnie were on stage together throughout the entire taping. She's so tiny! And, he is such a class act. They are obviously good friends. Talk about communicating musically! They were locked in all night and so were the bands.

First, they performed a few of Lyle's songs with his band: My Baby Don't Tolerate, In My Own Mind, North Dakota... and one more that I can't think of right now.

Then they performed a few of Bonnie's songs with her band: I Don't Want Anything to Change, Something to Talk About, Thing Called Love... hmmm and the other escapes me again. (Drat!)

They combined members of both bands to perform "Do Right Woman" as the last song. They ended up doing three takes of it... they wanted to get it just right. All THREE takes were amazing. Very cool.

Bonnie's voice was absolutely flawless. She has an unmistakable playing style that permeated all the songs. And... what a spunky lady. I'll bet she's a straight shooter, too. Besides that, she also gives props to the songwriter constantly. Bonnie said at one point in the night that she considers herself a fan of great songwriters... and that she wanted to get it right with so many of the "authors" in the audience. Love that.

Lyle's voice and grace on stage are impecable... I've been impressed with him every time I've seen him. When he sings and talks, you feel like he's singing / talking right to you. His songs are so expressive. Love the way he writes and delivers his songs. Yum.

Lyle's spectacular band was made up of Viktor Krauss (upright bass), Russ Kunkel (Drums), Matt Rollings (keys), John Hagen(cello), Mitch Watkins (guitar)and James Gilmer(percussion). He didn't have the horns / background singers with him on the gig, but it was great nonetheless. These players take Lyles incredible songs to the next level. They play with precision and feel and they are so locked in. One of the coolest parts of the night was Russ was playing a cajon (that he was using as his drum throne- like JTC does) while James played the cabasa inside that beat during North Dakota. They were so precise and there was so much space... but it didn't sound stiff. It felt like a heartbeat. And, Matt Rollings was weaving his delicate piano moves in and out and between those beats. Incredible. I could feel myself out on the prarie in North Dakota as they played.

Bonnie's groovey feeling band was made-up of George Marinelli (Guitar/Vocals), James 'Hutch' Hutchinson (Bass/Vocals), Jon Cleary (Keyboards), and Ricky Fataar (Drums). When they hit the stage the vibe was loosley tight... if you know what I mean. They have an incredible feel like Lyle's band, but in a completely different way. I wish I could explain it better, but they communicate musically so well together. They are one instrument when they play together... they read Bonnie like a book (and vice versa).

I'm sure the order and presentation of the night will change-up after the edit / post process is complete... but that is the gist of the set list. Can't wait to see it in its final form on CMT.


Standing in the Crossroads audience

Guess what I get to do tonight?! I'm sooooo excited... I'm just beside myself.

Lala invited me to attend a taping of CMT's Crossroads featuring Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett with her.


I'm taking my camera... if they'll let me.
**fingers crossed**


Random 1

Has anyone else seen this show on A&E? I ran across it as I was surfing a couple weeks ago and then again last night.

Basically, these two guys drive around in an old beat-up Ford truck they call "Jackie" and find "Random" people to help.

They have 24 hours to make a difference in someone's life. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't... but it doesn't matter. The show is all about giving without conditions. Love it.

Please watch it... I wish there were more shows like this out there but it won't last long without eyeballs.

Check it out and tell me what you think. It airs on A&E, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (central).

Falling from the sky

I'm sure everyone knows about this story already... since it's been everywhere all week. But, last night I was mesmerized by an interview with Shayna Richardson on CNN.

In October, during her first solo dive, Shayna's parachute didn't work. Then her reserve chute malfunctioned as well. She fell 3,000 feet out of the sky, hit the an asphalt parking lot going 50 miles an hour and survived to tell about it. To top it all off she found out that she was two weeks pregnant in the emergency room after the fall... and the baby survived, too.

A miracle perhaps?!
I think so.

Do you suppose that child is bound for greatness? I mean, really. For her life and the baby's life to be spared, she must be carrying a future world leader or something! Wouldn't that be wild?


Selling Vols Loyalty on E-bay

OK... for the record, I have no opinion on this except to say:

1. It is a clever way to express dis-satisfaction.
2. Hysterical.
3. This person may not have enough to do.

From the description on e-Bay:
I've been a loyal TN Vols fan for more than twenty five years but after The Hiring made for this University football team. I’m DONE!!!!!!! I'm selling my services as a College Football League fan to the highest bidder. I CAN BE A FAN FOR YOUR TEAM! The winning bidder will get to pick my new favorite College team. I will root loudly and enthusiastically for my new team for the remainder of the 2005-2006 season (If in a Bowl game) and the entire 2006-2007 season. >>read more

What a hoot.


Pandora's box

Just ran across a post about www.pandora.com on Pith in the Wind.

Pandora is a site designed to deliver your own personal radio station online. All you have to do is type in an artist or song that you like, it creates a playlist inline with your selection. I'm listening to it right now... so far it is spot on.

If you click the thumbnail of the album cover in the playlist, you'll see several cool options... it is very intuitive. It gives you the option to buy the song from iTunes or the album from Amazon, you can vote on whether you like the album, start a new station from the album playing or find out why Pandora added a song to your playlist.

This really is one of the best uses of the Internet that I've ever seen.

Wish I'd have thought of it!

Go ahead... take it for a spin!

12/23: The Sutler is closing

Last night I went to a show at the Sutler. It's just one of many I've attended there over the past five years. If you've never been there, you've only got two more weeks to experience more than 30 years of Nashville Music history. On 12/23 The Sutler will be closing its doors for good. For more info, CMT has a news story about its closing and the many closing of long-time music venues across the country.

The Sutler is an honest to goodness bar with some of the best, most varied music in Nashville. You'll hear anything from a label showcase to a songwriter's night to live radio show taping to bands on the rise.

It's longevity is probably most notably marked by the wall behind the bar and the bar itself. The wall is probably 15 feet high and almost entirely comprised of intricately hand carved wood that encases a gigantic mirror. Dozens of liquor bottles and various bar necessities rest atop a marble counter in front of the mirror. I sure hope someone is able to save this stunning piece of historic craftsmanship. Once that is gone, there's no getting it back.

The room is divided by a saloon like rail. The floor is half painted / half carpet. The tables are worn and dark from years of drinks and dinners being served on them. And, yes, there is that old familiar bar / club smell. These things make the Sutler a "real" place to hang out. You don't have to be hip or "in" to be there... it's just a place where everyone let's you be yourself.

Perfomers test out their newly written songs on a stage that is positioned almost among the audience. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of up-and-coming artists have played the stage over the years. If you look around at the photos on the wall, you'll see photos of everyone from Trisha Yearwood to the Night Hawks to Keith Urban. Pretty amazing.

I've known that the old building was on its way out for several months now. But, I didn't know until recently that the Sutler wouldn't be rebuilt.

Now, I realize this is the busiest time of the year with traveling, Christmas parties and shopping for Santa... but, if you can swing it, please stop by, take-in some authentic Nashville music and say goodbye to a piece of Nashville's history before 12/23.

Blockhead calculation

If you've ever wondered just how big Charlie Brown's noggin' is... look no farther. Our blogger friend and architecht, Tim Morgan, has solved the mystery.

Given his calculations, it's really amazing that Charlie Brown can stand up at all.


Do you have to grunt?

OK... first of all... I must issue a big shout out to Shannan (if you click... scroll down the page half way for a pic), my long-time friend, who called last night to let me know she and her new hubby are expecting in May.
Congrats sistah!

What you don't know about Shannan, is that she hates the word "poop". Always has... probably always will. (Of course this is license for me to find many ways to use the word in a conversation when we talk... I'm evil. But I tease only the people I love. **wink**)

Anyway, so, I asked her what she was going to say when her baby had to go, (whispered) "Will you say that word you don't like?"

She responded, "You mean poop?"

(And, as she was saying poop on the phone, JTC, who was sitting next to me on the couch, started saying "poop poop poop poop poop poop...over and over again. It was hysterical... but I digress.)

I said, "yes."

Shannan relented, "I might have to use it... but when we were kids my mom called it a BM."

Although she said her sister pointed out when they were older that BM was dumb... because you wouldn't say, "Do you have to bowel movement?"


Of course, JTC was listening to the conversation and weighed in with, "Do you have to go lay some pipe?"

The funniest of all is what my family called it. As I think about it, I can hear Mom asking, "Do you have to grunt?"

No lie.

The funniest part is that I didn't realize how ridiculous it sounded until I was in college. (Yes... the cruel realization of just one of my family's many unique weird but lovable dysfunctional traits is an embarassing story that I will not bore entertain you with at the moment. Let's just say I didn't get out into the world much before I went to college... and have some pretty funny stories to prove it. **wink**)

Later, I talked to Denice and told her Shannan's good news. We were laughing about Shannan's poop dilema and proceeded to go back and forth about ways to say poop without saying poop.

Again... hysterical.

As adults, Denice reminded me that she and Kenny would refer to it as, "Going to the library" because Kenny liked to "read in the bathroom."

Denice's family said, "Number one or number two?" and sometimes "Do you have to go potty?"

The last alternative is probably the most universal... and a little less boring than "Do you have to go to the bathroom?" Especially if you're trying to avoid using the words "poop" or "grunt."

How 'bout you?
What did / do you call it?
Got any embarassing "grunt" stories to share?
Hit me... I can handle it.


Monday musical makeover

My Monday night definitely made up for the ho-hum beginning of the day. Last night I went on a whirlwind music extravaganza.

First, Karleen and I met for supper at 3rd to catch Keith Anderson and the band. There we met up with our friend Warren Sellers (songwriter for 3 Ring Circus / Windswept).

Keith was supposed to go on at 8 but didn't start until after 9... which was a little annoying, but we had fun nonetheless. We only got to see three songs before we left to go to 12 & Porter for Anthony Smith's show. Which was phenomenal. Chris Wallin's wife (sorry... my brain is farting and I can't remember her first name right now... I think it might be Michelle) plays bass with Anthony and she was so in the pocket. She made me want to be a bass player!

Anthony's show ended at 10:30, so Warren asked Karleen and I if we wanted to write with him at Windswept. Of course we jumped at the chance and had a ball. While I'm a little tired today, it was worth it. We got as far as two verses and half a chorus... so we're almost there. Hopefully we'll get to finish it yet this week before Warren heads back to L.A. on Sunday.
**fingers crossed**

See... Monday's aren't so bad!


I'm having a Monday.

Usually, Monday's aren't really a big deal to me. I actually look forward to them most week. But, for some reason, today is different. The weekend seemed non-existent and Monday just came way to soon.
  • Maybe it is because last night I had a "slap in the face" realization that in just three weeks, we'll be home for Christmas and I have absolutely nothing done / ready. No presents bought. No treats made. I'm way behind. (But as of the weekend I do have a list... so that is something!)
  • Maybe it is because I realized this morning that three weeks to Christmas also means less than three weeks to finish some very major projects at work. I've already been coming in early and staying late the past couple weeks in an effort to make this happen... with progress I might add... but it is still freaking me out a little.
  • Maybe it is because I've been working on the 2006 BB plan. You know... what I am going to accomplish for myself, not my job, next year. The plan / goals are pretty aggressive... and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed that time is closing in I have to put some discipline behind it starting January 1. Yikers!

I guess what it really boils down to is that it is all of these reasons.

So, it's time to kick it into gear and make a few things happen around here! Going to quit whinin' and go into "mind-over-matter" mode... JTC can tell you all about BB in this mode.

All I can say is, watch out. Tasmanian devil like behavior is soon to ensue.


Good Gigs...


7 p.m.
Ashley Clevland
3rd & Lindsley

9 p.m.
Blue Mother Tupelo
Douglas Corner

9 p.m.
Spin Doctors (yes... the "two princes" band)
3rd & Lindsley

I'm going to try to hit both of the 9 p.m. shows.
Maybe I'll see you there!

Idaho honors Napoleon Dynamite

For my friends who love Napoleon Dynamite, I thought you'd like to know that Idaho is honoring the movie's creators.

No joke.

According to Snopes, this NOT a myth.

You can now pass this on without a guilty conscience.


Number One Reception

I was fortunate enough to attend my first "#1 reception" at BMI yesterday... and I hope it is not my last. The event celebrated Montgomery Gentry's successful climb to the top of the country charts with "Somethin' to be Proud of," penned by Jeffrey Steele (BMI) and Chris Wallins (ASCAP).

The whole event was centered around celebrating the song and the writers. Noteables in the audeince (that I know of anyway) were Montgomerry Gentry (of course), Jeffrey Steele (of course), Chris Wallin (songwriter), Steve Markland (Windswept Pacific), David Preston (BMI) and John Grady (SonyBMG). And, to my surprise, several friends (who are just as notable but not necessarily well known) were there, too... Steve C, Cat Miller, Tommy Mac, Tom Hambridge, Karleen Watt, Randy Hauser, Ken Johnson, Lucy Angel, Randi Perkins... and more I'm just not remembering right now.

It was great to be there to support Jeff and hang with my peeps. I even got to meet Eddie Montgomery... he's really nice. (He makes me think of my older brother.) Kinda cool.

The whole event was an inspiring. I was surrounded by people who were living their dreams... yeah... I'm sure they have doubts and frustrations with the "business" just like anyone else... but the fact of the matter is that they don't settle. They are doing what they love. They are doing what they would do whether it made it to #1 or not. I really respect that... and it fuels my motivation to keep writing and to get more focused on my own musical path.

I've got work to do!
Stay tuned... you'll see way more from BB in 2006.


Snow incommunicado

UPDATE 12.01.05: Got a call from Brenda (my sister-in-law) to let us know that everyone is okay. The power is out all over and the phone lines are down... she was able to call because the phone out by the feedlot is working. She wasn't sure why that was the only phone working, but when she realized it had a dial tone, she thought we'd want to know what was going on. Jim (my little brother) and his family are staying at Mom & Dad's place (because they have a generator). Tony (my older brother), Brenda and the kids don't have power at their place, but they are getting by okay. Just trying to stay out of the wind/cold as much as possible and stay warm. Whew. I feel better... don't you?! Thanks for all the good thoughts yesterday.

Petersens, are you out there?
OK... I know this is futile, but I have to post about it. While I'm not panicked or anything, I am feeling a little unnerved. I've been trying to reach my family in Nebraska for the past two days. The phones are ringing but no one is picking up. I can only guess that the blizzards that went through the area on Monday have knocked down phone lines. AND, since they live out in the middle of nowhere, literally, that they are just waiting the situation out. It is just a really weird feeling to be here, 1000 miles away, with no way to get ahold of them.

So... please send good thoughts Nebraska way. AND, if you read this and you know something, click that little envelope at the bottom of this post to send me an e-mail about it. (Thanks!)

This kind of thing happens all the time up in Nebraska and KELOLAND... so I'm sure everyone is alright.

As I type this post, I'm thinking about what we used to do when we got snowed in.

Always thinking ahead.
Living on the farm, we were always prepared for stuff like this. There isn't a grocery store up the street or a gas station down the road... so you plan ahead... always. There was always plenty of canned stuff from Mom's garden in the cave house, a stocked fridge & pantry, and plenty of meat in the chest freezers downstairs. We had two freezers... one was beef and the other was pork, veggies and other things like homemade bread and egg noodles that we always made in bulk.. oh yeah... and stuff Dad had bought from the Schwans man. (yummy... we loved it when the Dad was home when the Schwans truck came... he has a HUGE sweet tooth and bought sherbet push-ups, ice cream, fudge bars, popsicles, etc. And, what I didn't know until I didn't have it anymore is that Schwans ROCKS, too. They have the best ice cream I've ever tasted... just a little bit better than Blue Bell.)

The Wood Stove.
There was a wood burning stove in the basement to keep us warm when the power went out. It smelled so good and radiated A LOT of heat. My Dad and brothers would chop wood throughout the summer and fall to make sure we had enough wood to get us through the winter.

Kerosene Lamps
When ice storms and blizzards took our lights, we'd get out the kerosene lamps and play board games at night. Mom would make some real buttered popcorn with the "Whirly pop" stove popper. It was so warm and cozy and it made me feel very close to my family. (I have one of those lamps in my house here in Nashville... maybe I'll get it out tonight and pretend I'm home hanging out in the snow. Wanna come over to play Monopoly by lamp with me?!)

Snow Mountains
Before Dad could feed the cattle in the morning, he had to use the tractor with the loader bucket to push the snow up into big piles all over our farm. Many winters, those piles reached half way up the light posts. The one Dad made in the middle of the yard in front of the house was always the biggest (I'm sure he did this partly because it was easy and partly because he knew we'd have fun playing on it.) My brothers and I would bundle up in our ugly green farm coveralls, zippered sweatshirts, chopper gloves, overboots, stocking hats and scarves. (And, long johns and two pairs of socks... sometimes three!) We'd play "king of the mountain" on our giant snow piles... I lost a lot. HA. We'd also make slides and dig tunnels. Believe it or not, we never really noticed how cold it was until we had icicles hanging on our scarves and our nose started freezing shut when we took a deep breath... or until Mom was yelling to us that it was time to come in and warm up.

Wet clothes & deer jerky.
When we did finally go inside, we'd take off all of our wet clothes and hang them in front of the stove from hooks in the basement rafters. I can remember putting pieces of deer jerky from the chest freezer on the wood stove to thaw while we shed our winter duds. By the time we were all changed, the jerky was thawed and so yummy and chewy.

Toboggans & the Hay Meadow
Once the maintainer (snow plow) had gone by and cleared the road, sometimes we'd pile into the back of the pick-up with our sleds and toboggans(a giant sled that holds at least six people... not a stocking cap!) to go sledding in our hay meadow. Because we mowed it for wild hay in the summer we always kept the seedling trees from growing on the hillsides. That meant the hay meadow had fewer trees than the hills than in our pasture... PLUS, the hills were really steep and long so we could get going really fast. It was the PERFECT sledding scenario... no trees, no cars and sssspppeeeeed.

Snowball fights and forts.
As the snow storms came and went, the cold temperature did not. Consequently, nothing melted and the drifts would pile higher and higher in the non-road / path areas. We would make big snow bricks and build forts in the shelter belt (tree lines planted around farms to protect them from the wind) and in the yard. Then, behind these forts we would create stockpiles of snowballs and have incredible snow wars.

Trying not to sink in.
Because the drifts would build on themselves in each storm, they'd develop thick crusts on the top if the weather warmed up to 33 and the snow melted a little. When we would walk to the school bus stop at the top of our hill, it was a challenge to see how far and carefully we could walk so as not to fall through the snow. When we did fall through, depending on the size of the drift, we might even end up hip-high in snow.

Chores sucked.
There were also things that weren't so fun about tons of ice and snow... like scooping cattle bunks so we could feed the cattle... or chopping 6 inches of ice out of the tanks so the cattle could drink... or using a feed scoop to clear away big drifts by the house and in front of the chicken coop. (Have I ever told you that we had 400 chickens, too?!) The chickens were pretty much my deal growing up... and let me tell you, hauling five gallon buckets of water and feed through three feet of snow is no picnic.

Believe it or not...
The funny thing is, that even these things seem good to me now. I miss the farm and being completely independent. I miss physically working hard and being tired from it at night. I miss snow and ice... and everything that goes with it.

I wish I were home, stuck in a blizzard with my family right now.


Today's insidious time waster

OK... got this link from Mike, my friend in Texas. Once again, he's hooked me up with a good'n.

Click away and give it a try.

It takes a bit of practice and a responsive mouse. You put your arrow on the red thingie and move it around so none of the blue thingies hit it... and don't let the red thingie hit the wall!

Good luck.
Happy time wasting.

"Givin' It Up" for 3rd & Lindsley

BJ reminded me that Delbert McClinton is going to be performing at 3rd & Lindsley on 12/11.


If you can swing the cover, I highly recommend you make it happen. Seeing the show live will be an experience to last a lifetime.

AND... I recommend that you get tickets ahead of time. Got my tickets reserved online at 3rd's site over the weekend.

"Why?" you ask.

Well, because, not only is Delbert the main attraction, but Jeffrey Steele is also the opening act. Jeff's AMAZING... a songwriter with so many hits that people think they are listening to a cover band when they hear him play his own stuff. He's also got several co-writes on the new Delbert album.

Which means... it is going to be packed. Between Jeffrey's fans and Delbert's fans... people will be lined up around the block and I think 3rd only holds like 275 people. So... you'll also want to get there as soon as possible to make sure you get a seat.

See you there!


Good music this weekend.

7 p.m. Tom Hambridge CD Release Party @ 3rd & Lindsley
9 p.m. Pat McLaughlin @ Douglas Corner

9 p.m. Fortunate Sons (Gary Nicholson, Reese Wynans, Michael Rhodes, Kenny Greenberg and Chad Cromwell) @ 3rd & Lindsley

Hope to see you there!

Rotorooter saves the day!

Well... yesterday, just before John and I started to get things going for our little Thanksgiving feast, I was doing a little kitchen cleaning. I had filled one of the sinks with water, but when I went to drain it, the water wouldn't go down. In fact, it was oozing into the other sink. So, I turned on the disposal to see if I could get it to go down.

No luck.

By this time, John and I were both trying to figure out the next step. We put some drain clog stuff down the non-disposal side of the sink. Still no luck. As we were waiting for the kitchen sinks to drain, John went into our master bathroom... where both of those sinks were backed up with junk from the kitchen sink.

Uh oh.

We decided to try to unclog those as well (which I wouldn't do again) so, John drove off to get more drain cleaner. When he returned, we had enough to put in both kitchen sinks, both bathroom sinks and the tub (for good measure). Time to see what would happen in the next 60 minutes.

Tick tock.

As we waited to see if the nasty chemicals worked (they didn't), I grabbed our handy dandy homeowner maintenance book. There I got a quick plumbing 101 and discovered that we were probably looking at a main drain clog. In the book said it was much cheaper and easy to fix yourself . Just needed to rent the right equipment and be ready to clean up the mess. If it were a Saturday and we weren't waiting for company to come over, maybe. But, Thankgsiving Day?

I don't think so.

Instead of taking a chance with our own plumbing incompetence, we decided to throw in the towel... so to speak.

Hello yellow pages.

Wow. I had no idea there were so many plumbing services in Nashville. And, all of them were clamoring for the emergency business. Ultimately, I went with Rotorooter because I had a good experience using them when we were still in Sioux Falls. And, because their ad said that emergency was their specialty... and they made it clear that they were always available, 24 / 7 plus holidays.

So, I called.

It was about 9:30 by the time we dialed the phone. Within 10 minutes an appointment was scheduled. A Rotorooter technician would be there between 10 and Noon.

More waiting.

With the extra time on our hands, I called Karleen and let her know we were experiencing technical difficulties and asked if she was okay moving the turkey eating time to mid-afternoon. She was.

Good news.

JTC and I decided to make the most of the waiting game by cleaning. Something we never seem to do enough of around here... it felt good.

No time wasted.

The phone at around 10:35... it was Rotorooter dispatch telling us their man was on the way.


At about 11 a.m. he arrived and went to town. I followed him around like a curious little kid. It was cool to see how everything comes together. He was so nice and I was very thankful that he came so quickly to help us on the holiday. I know... he was on call... but so what?

It still sucked.

But he didn't complain and was soooo helpful. Patiently, he answered all my, "What's that?" "Is it working?" "What are you looking for when you do that?" "Do you want some coffee?" Where are you from?"

Blah blah blah.

When he actually used the "rotorooter" it went 35 feet into our pipes. The whole fix took less than an hour. Wow.

Mr. Rotorooter saved the day!

Eventhough the clog cost us about three ours of turkey grilling time and the dinner was delayed, it all worked out pretty well. And, it wasn't that expensive... at least it wasn't as expensive as I expected it to be.


By 4 p.m., John and I were back on track... showered and everything! Karleen came for dinner. (She even brought crackers and a cheese ball... and all the fixin's to make fruit smoothies. Mmmmm yum.) Later, Steve C and Cat came over to join the three of us for pumpkin pie and coffee.

Good times.

Hope your Thanksgiving was incredible and way less uneventful!


Tim's puffy cheeks

As I watch the AMA's, I can't help noticing that Tim McGraws cheeks look really puffy. He's grown out his beard to cover, but it's not quite working. They actually look swelled up, you know that shiny look a person's flesh gets when it is filled with fluid. And his eyes seem a little tired, too.

What do you think?
  • Is he sick and taking some form of steroids to help him get well?
  • Did he have some kind of plastic surgery?
  • Is he just frazzled, tired and worn out?
  • Or, do I just need to get my eyes checked?

But... I don't want to be an otter.

DP was just looking through the windows of my cube saying, "I like to observe workers in their natural habitat."

She's really funny... yeah.

Well, anyway, that got me thinking. Wouldn't it be funny if we all had gumball machines outside our cubes... you know... like the food dispensers at some zoos to give treats to the animals?

AND then, I realized there was probably a quiz out there to tell us what kind of animal we'd be... so we'd know what kind of treats to put outside our cubes.

So, a quick google brought me to Quizilla's "What is your animal personality?" quiz:

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

I wanted to be a big cat or something cool like that... not an OTTER?! Oh well, the other options are kinda lame, too... badger, horse, bear, wolfe, puma and crow. Not very exciting.

And, what the heck do you feed an otter? I hope they like salty, chippy treats... or I'm screwed.

UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: JTC is a badger... OMG... we just laughed hysterically when this result showed up. It took him 15 minutes to take the quiz and he was crabbin' at the options the entire time. HA. What a freekin' hoot! However, most of you who read this will not agree with the badger option... so I think it is safe to say this "quizilla" is pretty subjective at best. Oh well... it sure is fun.
What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

She's back!

LD is blogging again.
Welcome back, sistah.
We've missed you!


BB's secret Saturday song pact

Saturday night a bunch of us went out to see Tom Hambridge (7 p.m.), the 3 Ring Circus writers (8:30 p.m. - JS's publishing group), Jeffrey Steele and the guys (10 p.m.) tear it up at 3rd.

As you all know if you read this blog, Jeffrey Steele is one of my favorite artists / songwriters in Nashville... in the country for that matter. On top of that, I'm also beginning to get to know him, slowly but surely, on a more personal level which only makes me respect him more. He's good people.

Anyway, over the past year, he's busted my chops at least three times because I don't just jump up and sing with him when the urge strikes. Last time this happened, I told him that as a performer, I'm trying to respect his stage and that it just feels weird to get up there without being asked ahead of time. He said he understood that but basically said if you feel it, you got to do it... and that you got to make your own opportunities. He didn't know Bekka Bramlett the first time she jumped up and sang with him... and he loved it. After that, I felt like he thought I was just a chickenshit and copping out.

Well, you know, and I know, that is NOT the case. But I couldn't have one of my mentors thinking I was just making excuses now could I?!

So, Saturday night, I made a secret pact with myself. I told myself that if Jeff played "Dance" I would go for it. By the time the JS show began at 10, I was already feeling a little gross and was a little hoarse from trying to talk over the music and the smoke. A couple hours passed, he hadn't played the song and I started giving myself a little pep talk in my head, "Well, God is probably trying to help me out so that I can bring it with a fully healthy voice next time. If it is meant to be, it is meant to be. If not, that's okay, too. blah blah blah..."

I actually felt a little relieved.

Until, toward the end of the show, a woman came up to our table, borrowed a pen and a piece of paper, and then wrote the word "Dance" in big black letters across the entire sheet. Uh oh. This was it. Would he play her request?


As soon as she laid it on the stage, he read it and started the song.

"What the hell!" I thought, "Go for it, BB." So, I stood, walked over to Steve C's side of the stage and asked Steve if I could use his mic. (BTW: Steve has also encouraged to get me to jump in and sing... so he was more than happy to oblige.)

When I first started singing, my mic was muted... then Mikey (sound man) saw what was happening and punched me in. Soon, Jeff looked over and just gave me a HUGE smile. Somehow, by the grace of God, I just forced it out over the hoarseness. AND, I think it came off alright. We had a blast singing together and hopefully it didn't come off weird.

The song ended. Jeff gave me a "high five" and a big hug. And, as I walked off the stage he said to the audience, "Now that girl can sing..." Or something like that (I didn't actually hear him say it... that is what I was told he said. I was too busy trying to figure out how to get through the crowd to notice. Funny.

It was an amazing night. So amazing that I think between going out and traveling to DC, I've sent myself into a little sickness relapse. Of course, I couldn't talk at all on Sunday morning when I woke up... but it was worth it.

Oh well.
Tonight I will sleep.


An Interesting Character

Eric and I flew to DC today for work. As usual, the Southwest flight was a pretty full flight. But, as most of you already know, I've been fighting the crud for more than a week now so we thought most people (after hearing me hack and cough) would steer clear of sitting in the middle seat between us. Sounds reasonable...right? And, we thought we had actually dodged a bullet... until a woman named Betty spotted our seat. Coughing didn't deter her... "Is this seat taken?"

She was a pretty African American woman... full of life. As she sat down to buckle her seat belt she looked at Eric, then me, and said, "I get sick when I fly... I need one of those bags."

Needless to say, I didn't waste anytime helping her find one since we would soon take off. As I handed her the barf bag from my seat pouch, I looked over at Eric. It was like I was looking in a mirror... he was giving me the same "oh shit" look I was giving him. But what could we do but laugh and hope that she didn't get sick.

After she had her barf bag and seat belt fastened, she saw that I was reading through the lyrics of a song LaLa and I are working on. "Wow. That is so cool... you write songs?!"

"Yeah," I replied.

"I write songs, too," she said and as she confidently snapped her finger she added, "I can write a song like that. They just come to me."

"Really?!" I said. "Do you live in Nashville?"

"Oh no!" Betty replied.

"Well, then you should move to Nashville. You know it is the songwriting capitol of the world. It's a great town."

Betty wrinkled her nose and said, "No... I don't think so. What kind of music to you write? Country?"

"Well, yes and no. I grew up listening to country, but my influences are more soul / old R&B... so you hear a lot of that in there."

This hit a good nerve with Betty, "Oh... Old R&B and soul. Yes... yesssss. Who do you like?"

Anyone who knows me, knows that at that point I was about to start spewing tons of names like Al Green, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Oleta Adams, Eva Cassidy, etc and so forth. The only name I got out of my mouth was "Al Green" and she begin to wail very loud.

I'm not exaggerating... not even a little.

I was stunned and I'm sure my eyes got really big... I couldn't tell if she was crying or laughing or both. I became really concerned that something was wrong. But, as I looked around to see the quizzical looks of those around us I realized that she was just totally overwhelmed at the thought of "Al Greene". It was surreal... like I was in a living SNL skit.

"I love Al Green. I love Al Green. He's so incredible...**inaudible**... oh my... girl he is so good. Where did he go? He is so good..." all the while she is raising her hands, shaking my arm and squealing. It was wild. All I could do is laugh and enjoy her totally uninhibited joy.

Soon after, the plane began to taxi for take off. Betty didn't notice at first... but as the wheels lifted off the ground, Betty began to moan. She grabbed the bag and made some gagging sounds... Eric and I gave each other the "oh shit" look again... but soon realized that she was okay. As it turns out, she just wasn't a conditioned traveler and I think she may have been confusing the feeling of taking off with the feeling of getting sick. And, by her own account later in the flight, she told me she liked attention. I think moaning and breathing heavily into a white paper bag was a good way to get a little of that, too.

Once we reached cruising altitude, the drama subsided. We had a little moment of silence and I thought maybe I'd get to work a little during the rest of the flight.

Well, that thought didn't last long.

By the time the plane landed two hours later, I knew everything about every celebrity in the "People" magazine Betty was reading. I knew that she is a Leo. I knew that she had three daughters, 8, 10 and 12. I knew that she had finished her cosmotology degree and was in the process of taking her boards. We also talked about why she'd been visiting Nashville... which turned out to be a trip in itself.

I asked her if she was married. For the first time during the flight... she looked at me with withholding eyes. Betty said, "Yes... but girl you won't believe the story."

Knowing this would be good, I said, "Hit me. I can handle it."

She gave me a sideways glance... like she was sizing me up to see if I could really handle what she was about to tell me.

"Are you impulsive?" she asked.

"I can be," I said.

Apparently this satisfied her and she started telling me about her Nashville trip.

Betty had come to Nashvegas to see her boyfriend of six years who'd just gotten a job here. He was staying in a hotel while he looked for a place and she was visiting to see if she wanted to move to Nashville. From the sounds of it, their relationship had been pretty rocky and she wasn't sure she wanted to make such a big move with her kids... especially when her daughters didn't really like the guy.

By her own account, the first night with her long-time beau was wonderful. Then, apparently, her boyfriend "went psycho" and locked her out of the room. I couldn't quite follow what transpired, but because she didn't have a place to stay, it sounds like some people there stepped in and helped her out. In the process she met a nice man... this was last Tuesday (11/8).

I couldn't quite follow all that happened from Tuesday to Saturday... but what ever it was... Betty married the man she met on Saturday. She never told me his name, but I found out that he had two daughters and had never been married before.

Betty was beside herself as she described the scene... which is why I had a hard time understanding everything she said. The gist of it all was that this man was a great person but she has no idea what she was thinking. While she says it seemed like a good idea at the time... as Betty told me her story, she had doubt in her eyes. Somehow, she also convinced her three daughters over the phone that the guy was cool and they gave her their blessing before she took the plunge... but I'm not sure how that went down either. Her Dad has already suggested she get it annulled... but for now she was thinking she'd see what happens. Betty doesn't want to move to Nashville, but somehow the two of them never discussed any of those practical matters before the nuptials on Saturday.


Anyway... that's where the story ends for me. I have no idea what she's going to do but Betty's stories and antics throughout the flight proved to make this trip to DC one of the most interesting ever.

What a character.
Thanks, Betty!
And... good luck.

Got any good "character" stories of your own you'd like to share?
Hit me.
I can handle it.

DC Bound.

On my way to DC today for work... I'll be there through tomorrow night. In all actuality, I may post something relevant tonight if I have wireless in my hotel. Otherwise, you may not hear from me again until Saturday.

PS: On the third day of my Z-Pack and am feeling a little better. **fingers crossed** I hope traveling doesn't delay that progress!


Phlegm fest.

OK... I'm finally sick of being sick. Since tomorrow will mark one week since I started feeling icky, I decided I'm going to the doctor TODAY.

This ain't allergies, folks.
**cough**hack**choke**she sighs as she sanitizes her hands... again**

Tried to go to the walk-in clinic just around the corner from work, but the doctor had been called away to an emergency. So, I made an appointment to go back at 2:30 today.

Wish me luck... I want some kick ass drugs to kick this out of my big ass!

Hey... I typed ass... twice.
Hee hee.

I'm sure the people I work with and John will be happy to know that the "phlegm fest" may be coming to an end... SOON.

YAY! Just returned from seeing the doctor and they're calling in a Zpack to the pharmacy for me right now. Got some real Rx on the way. **sweet** The Dr. also gave me some heavy duty Rx strength cough med samples (they'll make me sleepy... so I won't be able to take them at work... sorry peeps.) Anyway... I'll be phlegm free in less than FIVE DAYS. Wheeeehhhheeeeeeeee!

SO... the moral of this story is... if you're getting and/or got the crud, don't wait a week like me. Go get something now. Kick it in the pants before it kicks YOU in the pants.


We're back from Iowaland.

John and I returned from Iowa on Thursday. The trip was, as John put it, bittersweet. While the reason for being there was a sad occassion, seeing most of John's family and then some was nice. They are wonderful and I feel blessed to be included in the Richardson clan.

When we saw Matt for the first time at the funeral home, we actually felt relieved. He looked so much more peaceful than when we last saw him on Sunday morning. Losing someone you love is never easy, but there is comfort in knowing he is no longer suffering.

Somehow, Gertie (John's mom) and I ended up sick by the time everything was said and done. We both woke up Wednesday morning with sore, scratchy throats. Swallowing was a challenge for me and everytime I get sick... it just amazes me how much junk a body can produce. (I mean really... where does it come from?!)

When I realized it was hard to talk, I was crushed... because I was supposed to be the song leader and soloist at Matt's funeral, but didn't think I'd be able to pull it off. Thankfully, with the help of the good Lord and Stephanie (piano), I was able to muscle through it. And, actually, the distraction of the sore throat may have helped me from thinking about how sad I was... so maybe it was not a such bad thing. Even with the sickness, I almost had trouble keeping it together... especially when I saw John as a paul bearer carrying the casket. He was strong, but understandably upset. From that point on, I just couldn't look at anyone in the sanctuary... I would have lost it.

Stephanie, John's cousin, played the piano for the service... she was incredible. We were both so happy to be able to lend our gifts to the service.

Anyway... I'm still sick. Stayed home from work today as Mandy is pregnant and don't want to take the chance of getting her sick, too. As of this moment, I have 171 e-mails in my inbox... so I'm going to try to go in to work on Sunday afternoon to see if I can make some headway and help myself hit the ground running on Monday. If I get a chance to download some of the photos we took in Iowa, I'll post them this weekend. There are some cool family pics as well as some shots of Matt's hat hanging from a post on his land. It's a long story that will make more sense when I post the photo.

Thanks, again, to everyone for their kind words, prayers and thoughts throughout Matt's sickness and his passing.


The final goodbye.

John and I made the 10 hour trip to Iowa yesterday to be with his Grandpa and the family. We are very glad we were able to be here with everyone and to say "goodbye" to his Grandpa one last time.

He passed away early this morning. While we are all sad, we are also relieved that Matt is now at peace. I envision him sitting up in Heaven having a cup of coffee with his brothers, laughing and feeling no more pain. They're probably talking about farming, cattle and comparing stories about their lives... talking about what they have to get done before we all get there one day.

The funeral is most likely going to be Wednesday. John and I will return to Nashville on Thursday. Most likely, I won't be posting again until I return from the trip.

Thanks, again for all your thoughts and prayers.


Update to Saying Good-bye

John just called to let me know that the doctor has advised the family that Granpa's condition continues to deteriorate and he expects the end to come within the next 36 hours.

Please continue to keep John and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you,

The ultimate costumes...

When DP showed me this photo of young Napolean and Pedro yesterday, I couldn't stop laughing. I was still laughing about it on the drive home. Whoever thought of dressing their kids up like these two is a genius.

What a RIOT.

And, Big Orange Michael showed us this link... if only I would have seen it before Halloween I'd have known to dress like a martini.

Must remember that link for Halloween escapades next year.


Take me home

Got a new continuous loop song going in my head.

I just got Marc Broussard's CD and can't get past track one, "Take Me Home."

When I first heard the song on CMT, I was blown away.

First, because it is incredible; and second, because I can't figure out how it ended up in the CMT rotation... and, now that I have the album, I'm really confused. There's not a lick of country on it.

Oh well... whatever the reason he's on CMT, I'm glad. If I hadn't been zapped by the song while watching it, I might never have discovered this yummy little nugget.

Broussard's sound is Marc Cohn meets Stevie Wonder meets Johnny Lang... and when you hear his voice you'd never guess that he's only 22 years old.


Saying Goodbye

JTC left for Iowa bright and early this morning. His grandpa Matt isn't doing well. John wanted to go home see him one more time before it is too late.

A little more than three years ago, Matt suffered an injury to his foot while working on his farm that just never healed. At the time I think he was 88 and had never missed a day of working on his farm. Since then he's had part of his foot removed and has been staying in the Sigourney Nursing Home. Rosemary moved to town and last spring they sold 10 acres of the farm that Matt and she have lived on for more than 64 years.

A few weeks ago, Matt developed an infection in his foot that they were unable to get under control with antibiotics and fluids. Because he is a long time diabetic (doesn't heal well) and in frail health, the doctor would not do surgery to remove his foot for fear that they would lose him. Earlier this week, he was admitted to the hospital in Iowa City to see what they could do to get the infection under control besides surgery. By this time, his blood had become septic (not good) and he was in alot of pain. They started giving him big doses of powerful antibiotics to try to get rid of the infection, but the effort has been futile. Matt hasn't had an appetite all week and is pretty much sleeping all of the time. As of yesterday, the doctors decided the antibiotics weren't working. And, as of right now, they are only giving him morphine to keep him comfortable. It's looking like we may only have Matt with us on this Earth another two to three weeks.

What an incredible life he's lead:
  • Respected in is community.
  • Loved by everyone who knows him.
  • Never says a harsh word about anyone or towards anyone.
  • Hard working, determined and tenacious farmer.
  • Strong.
  • Gracious.
  • Benevolent.
  • Beautiful family, grandchildren and great grand children.
  • Married 65 years in November.
He's amazing. They just don't make them like Matt Wehr anymore.

While the thought of losing him makes me cry, I also think Matt is ready. It's really weird to type that... but I think he knows there is work for him to do in Heaven, where his body won't ache and he can farm to his heart's content. That gives me comfort.

I adore John's family and hold a very special place in my heart for Matt... and most importantly, I want to be there for John. My heart is very heavy because commitments this weekend prevented me from going along to Iowa. John said he would give him some BB love and if all goes well this week, maybe I can go next weekend. But, just in case I don't get to say, "Goodbye" in person, I know Matt knows how much I love and adore him. I feel like he's my Grandpa, too.

For the next couple weeks, please send tons of good thoughts and prayers to Matt in Iowa, to his daughters (John's mom, Gertie, and her sisters), to Rosemary and all of the Richardson clan. It's going to be a long two or three weeks. We'll need all the help we can get.


UPDATE: John returned from Iowa on Sunday. Since then his Grandpa is out of the hospital and back in the Sigourney Nursing Home so he can be close to family and they can keep him comfortable. I'll keep you updated over the next few weeks. Thanks for everyone's e-mails and good thoughts / prayers.


I'm a copycat.

Yes... it's true.
But when I saw the Frapper (beta) on Busy Mom and Rex's blogs... I just couldn't help it.

Show yourself my peeps!

E, A, D and G

Those are the chords I can play so far... well... sort of anyway.

OK, I know it's taken me WAY too long to apply myself, but Durango inspired me to get off my ass and learn to play the guitar JTC gave me for my birthday.

So, after ten days of practicing, I've got four chords down pretty well. Whoohoooo! Yes... I pretty much suck and my fingers are numb, but hope that within the next few months I can actually accompany myself.

Everyone keeps telling me that the F chord is the hardest to learn... but I'm not going to let that scare me off!

Wish me luck.


Need a date night? Family night? Fun night?

You need all of the above... right?!

Well... look no further for the excitement you crave.

Plan to attend:

Music, Movies and 'Za
7 p.m.
October 29
(THIS Saturday night!)
Christ Lutheran Church
(299 Haywood Lane - 615.833.0476)
$5 Cover

While the kids are eating popcorn and watching movies in the CLC "theatre", you will be getting to have a date night, with pizza and candles and table side music and everything.

Performing in the round (ITR) throughout the night:
Donna Ulisse, Kerry Chater (Founding member of Gary Puckett & the Union Gap / You Look So Good in Love – George Strait; I.O.U. - Lee Greenwood; and more.), Lynn Gillespie Chater (You Go First – Jessica Andrews), Louise Mosrie, Jon Ims (She’s in Love with the Boy – Trisha Yearwood), Denny Martin, Randi Perkins, BB Logan, Jon Coleman & Cat Miller.

Come out!
It will be FUN... meant it!
Hope to see you there.

Stop signs and red flashing lights...

**ATTENTION: Rant ahead.**

This morning, on my way to work, I was stopped at the corner of Blackman & Edmonsen Pike. As I looked ahead through the intersection, I saw five or six kids waiting for the bus. Just then the school bus pulled up, turned on the red flashing lights and activated the bus stop sign. To my disbelief, I saw at least three cars obliviously blow by the school bus and the kids getting on it.

No... they didn't even tap their brakes and pretend to slow down. I would like to believe that they are just unaware that what they did was ILLEGAL and putting children in danger... but I'm having a hard time with that. What I really think is that they weren't thinking of anyone but themselves and how they were late for work, or talking on the phone or putting on their make-up...blah, blah, blah. Whatever the excuse, I don't buy it.

People... please... just take the time to think about the other guy when you are driving. Use some common sense before someone (like an innocent child getting on the bus) gets hurt. They don't put these laws in place just to give the cops something to do... kids have gotten killed and/or hurt because we're too caught up in ourselves to notice a GIGANTIC yellow school bus loading kids. It's not worth it... and once the damage is done, you can't make it right.

I'm sure most of you know how to navigate around a bus and understand the consequences of failing to follow the rules, but just in case, per the state of Tennessee, here is the rule:

"Never pass a stopped school bus. Not only is passing a stopped school bus dangerous, it's against the law. All drivers must come to a full and complete stop until the bus driver deactivates the warning lights and stop sign arm. "

Get it?
Got it?

Now... be sure to remind your fellow driver.
Thanks for reading.

**END of rant.**


What do they mean?!

My friend Emily sent me some cool links that I thought I'd pass on to you.

Find out interesting facts / stuff about your birthday and find out what your name means... it's kinda cool... subjective but good.

Raed tihs.

Can you blveiee taht you can aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht you are rdanieg?

It's the phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy. Apraetplny it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?

And I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Waht is eevn wlider is taht tihs is atclualy a haok taht has been criucalitng the itnrent snice 2003.



Boo somebody.

I was boo-ed last week. (I think it was DP but am not sure.)

So, I just boo-ed jetta girl. (yeah... I know I'm late... but better late than never!)

Now... it's YOUR turn.

Have fun!

Moody Bluebird...

Remember when I said that the "special guest" for Saturday's Bluebird show was big in my post on Friday. Well, I couldn't say who it was then (because they didn't want the Bluebird to get mobbed by crazed fans), but the special guest was Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues.

The show was spectacular. Jonell, Harley Allan and Justin really clicked, the songs were great and they were hilarious. I'm really glad I was able to be there.


Clone me... just for the weekend.

I really wish I could clone myself this weekend... there is so much going on. So, thought you might want to check one or two of these listings from the Rage out as well.

Have a good one!

7 p.m. - BB King's
Jonell Mosser

9:30 p.m. - Bluebird Cafe
ITR w/ Bob DiPiero, Jimmy Wayne, Tony Mullins & Anthony Smith
DiPiero has been cranking out hits since his arrival in Nashville, earning him 19 top tens, 13 number ones, 18 BMI Awards and a Nashville Songwriter of the Year Award in ’98. Mullins has had big hits with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. Anthony Smith is an incredible songwriter / artist most recently known for the song he penned with his friend Jeffrey Steele, "If that ain't country (I don't know what is...)". AND, Jimmy Wayne is on the radio RIGHT NOW... he's an artist and songwriter and an incredible guitar player.

9:30 p.m. - Douglas Corner Cafe
Pat McLaughlin
“Uncle Pat” has been slicing up soul-burning blues and rough-hewn roots rock with his wit and superior guitar skills since the ’80s when he had a short stint on a major label. 9:30pm, Douglas Corner Cafe, $7.


9:30 p.m. - Bluebird Cafe
In the Round w/Jonell Mosser, Harley Allen & special guests **hint hint** (special guests means someone BIG and I mean it... that's all I can say.) Possessed of some of the best pipes in a city full of singers, Mosser is a woman among girls when it comes to owning a song and revealing its inner layers with the power and passion of her voice. Mosser is joined by diehard folk and bluegrass stalwart Allen, who earned two Grammys and two CMA awards for his contributions to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"


7:30 p.m. - Ryman Auditorium MOODY BLUEGRASS: Tribute to The Moody Blues. with Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues; Plus, Harley Allen, Alison Brown, John Cowan, Larry Cordle, Charlie Cushman, Stuart Duncan, Tim O’brien And Jon Randall. $25.50-$42.50.


Big Girl needs a home

OK my blog peeps... help me out here before we have another animal added to our household! Thankfully, we don't have a fence or I'd probably be posting about our new dog.

INSTEAD... keep reading if you or someone you know is thinking about adopting a dog.

JTC called to let me know that one of the vets at his PT gig is fostering a gold lab (that's what they think she is anyway). She's about 70 lbs, adorable and someone is probably really missing a pet that was lost. They've done everything they can to find the owner but have had no luck. So, now they just want to find a home for her that is as nice and friendly as she is... John says she knows tons of commands (sit, shake, etc.), is house broken, spade and just as sweet as can be.

If you're interested in adopting this cool dog, currently known as "Big Girl", give Grassmere Animal Hospital a call [615.832.6535] and ask for Dr. Lambeth.


Chip Greene's cool music

JTC plays with several people around town... while BMT is his main gig, many times he gets asked to work with other people, too. (It's the Nashville way!)

Anyway, he recently began rehearsals with Chip Greene and we are both diggin' his music. It's "Coldplay" meets "U2" meets "Springsteen".

Check out the music links on his page. Good stuff.

What would you do?

BJ got me thinking today... about what I'd do if I won the lottery.

I posted a long comment at his site already... and until the moment I posted it, I hadn't really thought about what I would do. It really got me thinking about the possibilities. So much that I'm actually going to buy a lottery ticket on the way home from work because of it.

What's more... it got me thinking about where I am currently spending my time, money and efforts. My life seems to be the exact opposite of what I would ideally want... maybe I should consider changing that?

Hmmmm... I don't know... something to think about.

What would you do if you didn't have to worry about bills, job, etc.?


NSAI Songwriter of the Year

Jeffrey Steele was named NSAI Songwriter of the Year!

From the Nashville Business Journal, "The songwriter's trade organization gave Steele the award at its annual Songwriter Achievement Awards. The award recognizes Steele for his work on hit songs "Gone," recorded by Montgomery Gentry, and "Help Somebody," recorded by Van Zant.

Steele was NSAI's top writer in 2003. Among songs to his credit are "The Cowboy in Me," recorded by Tim McGraw and "Something To Be Proud Of," which topped the charts for Montgomery Gentry."

Rock on, my brother.


Lemon in my tea.

OK... for all of you out there who bring a bottle of lemon juice to work, only to have some over zealous fridge cleaner throw it away OR to be the supplier of lemon for everyone who also likes lemon in their tea, there's something new out there that you've got to try:


A few weeks ago I was given a sample.
Tried it.
Loved it.

True Lemon is the size of a sugar packet and packed with lemon flavor. According to the outside of the box, it is a "crystalized lemon substitute." No sugar added. Just pure lemon yumminess.

So, I ordered a sample box and gave it to the person who orders our break room supplies at work hoping she would try it, like it and see the value in having TrueLemon as part of the regular hot beverage condiment options.

I had pretty much given up hope until this morning. Just now, as I walked into the break room to make my morning tea... there it was tucked neatly between the Nutrasweet and the Splenda!

No more going to the break room fridge to find an empty bottle that someone else finished off... or to find no bottle at all.


Life is good.


NFIB launches RSS

YAY! Something several of us have been working on is finally complete. NFIB.com officially added RSS feeds to the site this week.

If you look at the footer of every page, you'll see the cute little orange box that takes you to the landing page where you can subscribe to several feeds.

Subscribe away, peeps.

Long live small business!

Mountains, music and memories.

As many of you know, LaLa and I attended the Durango Songwriter Expo in Colorado last week. It was incredible. I'm still exhausted from traveling and just trying to expand my mind to sponge-up all the great information / feedback.

Thursday morning (10/6), we flew into Albuquerque, NM (the closest SW terminal to Durango) on LaLa's frequent flyer tickets (Thanks chickola!). From there, we rented a car and spent the afternoon driving about 4.5 hours to the Lodge at Tamarron a few miles north of Durango where the Expo was to take place. It was a spectacular drive... breathtaking if I do say so myself.

Once we arrived at around 6:30 or so, we did the usual room check-in and expo registration. Our room was a 600 square foot studio condo with a great view. Of course, in the thin Rocky Mountain air, we practically passed out carrying our luggage up the three flights of outdoors stairs (one of them circular) leading up to the room.

As soon as we'd freshened up from the trip, we made our way back to the main lodge to see the first showcase of the weekend. The first person we said "hello" to when we pulled up was Jeffrey Steele... my favorite country songwriter. He'd just arrived as well and was making his way into the showcase.

The showcase was a cool event, but I was a little disappointed in the talent the first night. I guess I just expected a little higher quality of performer / writer. There were a couple stand outs though and the best part of the night was just getting to meet other writers, publishers, PRO reps and hook up with hit writers.

After the showcase there was an open mic. LaLa performed the song we wrote (it is her song really, I just helped tweak a couple lines and redo the bridge). She was great and everyone loved the song, including Jeffrey. Very cool.

Once the open mic concluded, we walked upstairs and spent quite a bit of time hanging with Jeffrey. Loved it. While I've talked with him before at shows in Nashville, this was the first time I'd ever gotten to spend an extended time with him. He is as cool up-close-and-personal as he is when he performs. Jeff really gets it, not just music, but life in general. He's very grateful and I really felt a connection with him on many levels. And, somehow, eventhough everyone seems to want something from him and through all the overwhelming demands on his time, he remains gracious to every last person that wants to talk to him and/or say hello. Jeff is definitely the kind of person I aspire to be. Anyway... enough of the JS love fest for now. Bottom line: I dig him as a writer and a person and hope to be able to continue developing a friendship with him.

All that happened on Thursday... and those are just the highlights!

Friday morning, we skipped orientation to catch an extra hour of sleep. Then, I went to a panel discussion on "Royalites" where I learned a lot. David Preston (BMI), Loretta Munoz (ASCAP) and Linda Bertelli (SESAC) were there representing all the big performing rights organizations (PROs) of the industry. Finally, I have some clarity on the role of the PRO, how royalties are determined and how I can start working on relationships with the PROs. It is all so complicated!

LaLa and I both had our first song critiques on Friday as well... those things make me anxious! Basically, you play your songs for industry people and they tell you what is right and/or wrong about them. For some reason, I find that nerve racking... I guess because I want them to be impressed and it is a little difficult to hear what they have to say sometimes. My first one was with Warren Sellers (3 Ring Circus) and Michelle Berlin (SonyBMG). They both loved my voice... alot... which was really cool. And, they liked the song but that I had a couple things they'd like to see me work on... which was also cool.

Friday night we went to the second showcase. Again, the performers were okay... but I was hoping for more. (I need to learn to set my expectations a little lower I think!) All LaLa and I had eaten all day was a roast beef sandwich. We missed supper at the Lodge because we were planning to go to dinner with Jeff in town, Durango, about 15 miles away from the lodge. Well... while we were waiting to go to dinner we made the mistake of having a couple drinks. Needless to say, they went right into our bloodstream and we were in no shape to go to dinner later on. Wisely, Jeff bailed on us and we proceeded to get drunk. HA. I never do that, so it was kinda fun. And, believe it or not, I didn't even have a hang over the next day. But I sure was hungry!

Saturday was the last day of the Expo. I had two critiques and went to two panel discussions. The first discussion was "Words & Music" by Jeffrey Steele. Of course, the room was packed and he really had some great things to say and insight into writing. Some of the points he made that really hit me were:
  • "Do it your own way. Don't get too caught up in structure. "
  • "Just say what you have to say."
  • "You gotta go with what you know."
    (meaning... write about the things you know about and / or have witnessed)
  • "You gotta have people around you that believe in you. Find people that 'get' you."
  • "You can't be afraid to bet on yourself."
  • "Every single thing is a song to me."
Then I had my next critique session which turned out to be with the same publishers as Friday. I ended up playing an up-tempo song that they liked but had some great feedback on as well. We really had some great writers in these sessions. I was blown away.

The afternoon panel discussion was about Publishing with Julie Newton (Magic Mustang Music), Sara Kapuchinski (Chrysalis Music Publishing), Steve Markland (Windswept Music), Michelle Berlin (SonyBMG). My brain soaked up more really good stuff in this one. I found out that the only way I'd ever get a publishing deal would be to get a referral from a PRO and/or to write with someone who already was signed to a deal. Most publishing companies don't accept unsolicited material and/or demos from people they don't know. I also learned that a new writer with no cuts gets signed to a "schedule A" contract which means they bring their song catalog to the table and the publisher can start plugging them. An unproven writer (no cuts) will have a draw of $20k - $30K while a writer with cuts will have a larger draw... probably $45+. And, of course, if the publisher plugs a writers songs, they get cut and actually make money, the writer will get their writers share of that money on top of the draw. I really learned a lot at this discussion. It was great.

Then came the third and final critique of the weekend with James Slater (hit writer) and Danny Sheridan (LA Producer). They both loved my voice... which was very cool... and they loved the song as well.

LaLa was also in this session with me and played the song we co-wrote. Again, good response all around. They loved her voice and the song / idea.

We felt pretty good about all of our critiques and the feedback received on our craft. We definitely left Durango feeling like we were on the right track, but that we also had alot of work to do!

Another cool thing, after the last critique session was over, Danny Sheridan told me he thought I should consider being an artist... he told me not to worry about my age or my extra pounds. If he had a voice like mine, he wouldn't think twice about any of that. Isn't that cool. I was blown away. Then, his girlfriend came up and asked me for a CD and wanted to have her photo taken with me and him. It was wild. Talk about making my entire weekend! I felt validated. HA.

Saturday night was the big concert with all the hit writers. It is a story in itself that I don't have time to tell right now.

Watch for it either later today or tomorrow.


BB Sings

Thanks to everyone for coming out last night.
We had a blast!
Hope you had as much fun as we did.

Come out and see us play ITR (10/13):
7 p.m.
Steve C & Cat Miller (Johnny Microwave), Karleen Watt & BB Logan
French Quarter Cafe
823 Woodland Street

Hope to see you there!


Napoleon pumpkin head

OMGoodness... my friend Alison forwarded this to me and I just had to share.

I must say, this IS scary.
**hee hee**

The guy who carved it says he spent three hours carving the upper lip.


Too much to tell!

I don't have time to give you all the details right now, but let's just say the Durango trip was a HUGE success.

We didn't get back until very very early this morning, so I haven't had time to decompress, upload my photos and think about all the cool things I want to share with you... SO... check back in the next couple days as I'll be posting the Rocky Mountain "highlights" this week.

Missed ya'... mean it.


Rocky Mountain High

LaLa and I are off to the Durango Songwriter Expo Thursday through Sunday night. So, you're probably used to this by now, but, posts are going to be light the next few days while I'm off getting to know some of my favorite songwriters, finding new ways to write better and learning even more about the "biz."

Try not to miss me too much.

buh bye.


Seek YOUR thing.

No... not your "thing" your THING.

I was hipped to this site at a creative meeting yesterday.
Very cool viral idea.
I mean really, I posted it so you could see it, didn't I?