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Monday, August 30, 2010

New Avatar Pic!

Found a picture that is my new favorite picture. Think I will make it my avatar. :)

Remain Hopeful, Never Settle!

I couldn't think of a decent subject today so I decided to regale you all with something I wrote almost two years ago. As I read it now, it occurred to me how true and relevant it still is. I also thank the stars that I am not as cynical and jaded about love as I was then. I'm also very thankful that I did exactly what I said I would at the end of this post. It's why I now have Alex. :)   I hope you all take that hope with you and never settle for less than true happiness. Enjoy.

September 21st, 2008
  I don't know why I wrote this or what the purpose was. I think I was just rambling. I blame the episodes of  "House" I just watched. They had a lot to do with love and what makes people happy.
A lot of people have the "Bumper Stickers" app on myspace.  If you don't, you should. It's fun.
            Anyways, I was looking at some of the stickers on there and one was a video. Clicking on it brought me to the full size version on YouTube. It was a couple's first dance at their wedding. The started off dancing to "When You Say Nothing At All," inserted the evolution of dance, and then finished with the song they started with. It was cute.
That video led me to another. It was a similar scenario. A guy and his wife slow dancing and then doing some hip hop stuff, surprising everyone. For the last few songs, their two little boys came out and did the dances with them. When I read the info, it said this was at their 10th anniversary party.
How cool is that? To be married for ten years and still be in love, still having fun. There is no doubt in either of their minds, even after ten years, that they are with the one person they are supposed to be with. They set all that stuff up. Imagine how much fun they had while learning it.
All the passion, creativity, and dedication that makes a couple work was on display and it was cool. They were so happy!
I think a lot of us go through life saying we are happy, but we are not. We may be content, but we are not happy. We have good jobs, nice cars, pretty homes. Therefore we must be happy. It's not just about being with someone either. It's about being with the right someone. The someone who after ten years you want to stand up with in front of all your family and friends and do a bunch of silly dances. That is love.
Like I said, things can be going totally one hundred percent in your favor and you can seem so happy. However, I don't think we can be "truly" happy until we have what the people in the video have. There is fact of this all around. If we can be so happy without someone, then we don't need love. If that were true, so many people wouldn't be trying so hard to find "the one." Matchmaking is a huge industry. There is a reason. Even if you don't actively search you still know it.
I have gotten very cynical about love. My friends can attest to that. I have doubted the existence of true love. "True" in my opinion meaning mutual. I have fallen in love...but never with someone who loved me back. I have had people fall in love with me, but then I did not reciprocate. Of course, there are the people who toss around the word love, cheapening its meaning. Every time they date someone, they are in love. People who have been dating for two weeks, a month, are saying, "I love you," to each other. I'm not saying it's impossible to realize you love someone in that short amount of time, but it is very unlikely that both these people feel passion, commitment, loyalty, desire, respect, completely and totally just for each other without even knowing how the other likes their eggs cooked (reference to "Runaway Bride" there). They have the passion and desire, but that doesn't equal love. And these relationships don't normally last. Lucky for them, they weren't really in love so it doesn't hurt that badly when things end.
There is also the other side of that coin. The people who are "in love" just because they like their eggs cooked the same way. They meet someone whom on paper they are very compatible with. Them being together just "makes sense." They get along so they stay together, eventually it must be because they love each other. They have loyalty and respect, but there is no passion, no desire. Doesn't mean these relationships won't last. They can and a lot do, but one or both of the people won't be happy. They will say they are though. These relationships only fail when one of the people realizes what they are missing. Someone or something opens their eyes to the passion that exists in the world and how they settled for less then what they should have. When these types end it's usually badly. The main reason is because so much time was put into the relationship and it was a waste. They get together logically and break up logically.
Love has to have it all! All those things I mentioned above. It has to be there. If a couple doesn't fight, it doesn't mean they are perfectly in love. The passion will evoke disagreements and fights that will be intense.  That is good though. Your love should test you and push you to your limits. That's how you get stronger together. If you are in love, commitment and loyalty will bring you back together and you get to make up...which will be just as intense as the fight.
So how do you find happiness like the people in the video? Sometimes I think it's too late. They met, got together over a decade ago. It seems like nowadays things are so different. The world is oversexed and not ashamed about it. Guys don't ask girls out anymore. People meet (at a bar, store, online, wherever) and they talk. No matter what you talk about, what does it all come down to? Eventually everything comes down to sex, which is very disappointing for someone looking for a bit more then that.
So what? Do you wait around hoping that person comes along? Is there no hope? Maybe the people whom are "in love" with someone they just met have it right. Might as well just have fun over and over. Who needs the comfort of long-term familiarity and commitment? Or the people who are logically "in love." If you are going to be unhappy, might as well be with someone who can cook eggs for both of you.
The choice is between being hopeful or settling. Settling for what is irrelevant. Either you settle for "many loves" or the "logical love", but neither is fulfilling. So...the choice. Do you settle? Do you remain hopeful that in this oversexed world there is someone who remembers what a date is? Remain hopeful that there is someone who will give you butterflies, make you smile with ease, piss you off, make you happy, be your go-to person, that you will fall for….and remain hopeful that if you do meet that person, that they feel the same about you?
             What do you do?
             I guess I will just remain hopeful. I have felt love. I know it. Maybe someday I will feel it for someone who loves me, too.
To my fiance: thank you so much for everyday, for letting me love you and for loving me back, and for making our life as happy as the couple in the video I saw so long ago. I love you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some Reviews

Not a whole lot to put here. Just gonna throw out some comments I had on some things.

After a horrible day yesterday, Alex and I went to Carino's in Pigeon Forge. We had a nice young server named Zack. Like all the Carino's servers, he is quite capable of writing his name upside down. I'm not sure why they started doing that. It is interesting though and always sends me down the thought path of how well I would write my name upside down. (I don't think I would do it well.) As far as servers go though he was nothing spectacular, just a kid trying to make money. We didn't expect more mind you, but sometimes ya get a professional server. You know the type, the ones who serve for a living because they're just that good at it. Zack was friendly and attentive though. We lacked for nothing. The food was of course amazing. I got my usual, the Bowtie Festival. So yummy! Bowtie pasta, chicken, roma tomatoes, bits of bacon in an italian cheese sauce....perfection. Alex had a Tuscan pizza thing and ate most every bite. So definitely worth stopping in there.

I recently watched "Did You Hear About the Morgans?," starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant. It was cute and had some funny moments. I liked the concept better the first time it was done in "For Richer or Poorer," starring Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley. They had a better chemistry than Parker and Grant did and the entire movie played out a lot better. Otherwise it was the exact same movie. A city couple on the verge of divorce needs to go in to hiding in the country. Life is hard there. They hate it. Something allows them to use their skills from their jobs in the city. They find love for each other again. Seriously, exact same.

K. That's all the reviews for today! Enjoy your Sevier weekend!

Friday the 13th was 2 weeks ago! WTH?

I will have a very busy day this coming Monday. There's a lot of things I need to update in our inventory system at work. I have the system installed at my desk in the office and at the cash register I run. I was on the register yesterday so I tried to get as much done there as possible, but it was running insanely slow. I finally gave up. I was spending more time waiting for the computer to catch up then I was updating the items. So now I just have a ton to do Monday. I'm sure that will make getting to sleep easier on Sunday. {sigh}

For those wondering, I am not pregnant. My "Aunt" showed up yesterday...five days early. Aside from dashing my pregnancy hopes, it also meant that Alex and I hadn't even been trying during the right time. Normally I am very regular, but it seems like ever since we started trying things have been out of whack. I don't know if it's the stress, my age, or what. I have got to figure out something. Dealing with gut-wrenching disappointment, the complete betrayal by my own body, and the sadness over losing something you never had is not something I can keep doing month after month. It's too hard.

Just in case yesterday wasn't horrible enough, I got a text from my mother while I was at work. My grandfather, whom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma a few months ago, has been given "just a matter of days" left to live. This was rather shocking as he had done so well after his first round of chemo and we thought he would get to have a couple years at least. According to my mother, the cancer had spread, even since the surgery he had just a couple months ago to remove as much as they could, it just kept spreading. 

I'm quite torn about what I should do. When my grandmother was in the hospital, about to pass away, I rushed up there. She was unconscious when I arrived and though I did end up with a moment where she opened her eyes and reached out to me, I feel like I would of rather not seen her like that. She was a small woman with a fiery spirit, but she looked even smaller in that hospital bed. My grandfather, on the other hand, is the opposite. He's always been a tall, strong man, the cornerstone of our family and of the business he runs. Mom says he is extremely thin. He's 6'2" tall and currently only weighs 130lbs. I just don't think I want to see him like that. I do feel bad since the majority of my family is there with him. However, most of them live there, too. It's a seven hour drive for me. We did have a good visit early last month. He got to meet Alex and that was good. I think I want to just leave it at that.

Needless to say, I was more than ready to leave work yesterday. I am trying to relax a little this weekend, but it's hard considering my condition. I think may curl up with a Harry Potter book later, Take a couple hours and just disassociate myself from Sevier life.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kids and Pets

To kill some time, I was looking at some craigslist pet ads. I have noticed more than one person is giving away their pets because of an impending baby. One person was giving away two young kittens because she was pregnant. That was the extent of the excuse.

Being pregnant is not a sufficient excuse to give away your pets, at least in my opinion. You made a conscious choice to bring the animal(s) into your home. Whether you were planning on having a baby or whether it was a surprise, you made a promise to a being that shows unconditional love.
I don't even understand what is so difficult about being pregnant and/or raising a child around pets. Maybe it's because I've never been pregnant, but apparently neither have the craigslist people. If so, they wouldn't have pets to give away. I have six pets myself: three dogs, two cats, and a bird. I am also trying to get pregnant. When the wonderful day finally happens that I can say I am with child, my pets have nothing to fear. This is their forever home. I didn't get them just to while away the time until something else came along. They will get just as much love when a baby is in the house as they do now, even more because our child will grow up learning to respect pets and to love them just like we do.

 If a person is not sufficiently capable of providing a pet a loving, forever home then maybe they shouldn't be having a child. Just my thoughts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baby Blues

From the last post you can probably tell that I want to have a baby. I'm not getting any younger so I'm of the mind-frame the sooner the better. I also vowed to myself that if I didn't get pregnant by a certain age then I would go to a fertility doctor and get implanted. That age is fast approaching. 
As you also know I have a wedding next year. I do not want to walk down the aisle in a maternity wedding gown. It's just too white-trash for me. However, there isn't a lot of weight gain at the beginning of the first trimester. This means I have until October to get pregnant and if I don't I can't really try again until June. That would suck since this is something I very badly want and have been trying for a few months now.
I really thought we had a great chance last month, but no such luck. So this month we doubled our efforts (not a bad situation). Now I'm in the waiting part. I've had some of the early symptoms, but there are many, many other factors in day to day life that can cause the same symptoms. I don't want to get my hopes up too much. The monthly let down is bad enough. No need to intensify the horrible feelings of failure and disappointment with hope.
I still have a week left before I can test and expect a true result. When I've been waiting so long to have this happen, the couple weeks between trying and learning whether or not you conceived seems like an eternity. I keep thinking I should quit thinking about it. Somewhat counterproductive, huh? But there's nothing I can do about it right now. I just keep finding myself noticing everything my body does, the way I'm feeling, and wondering if it's a positive sign. Like right this moment, I had a sudden headache start up. Could be because I'm looking at a too bright computer screen in a too dark room. Could be the sounds from the game Alex is playing behind me. However, mild headaches are an early symptom of pregnancy so could it be?
Again though, I'm not trying to be hopeful. I don't want to be one of the crazy ladies that thinks herself into a false pregnancy. My Sevier life is dramatic enough without that addition.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Business of Being Born

Wow. I just finished watching "The Business of Being Born." The description reads, "Director Abby Epstein's controversial documentary takes a hard look at America's maternity care system, juxtaposing hospital deliveries against the growing popularity of at-home, natural childbirths that some expectant parents are opting for."

Not having yet had the privilege of being pregnant, I had often wondered which way I would choose, hospital with drugs or at home where I would be comfortable. I had gone back in forth in my head a thousand times and I just always figured there would be no way I would be strong enough to do it without drugs. However, I decided to play this documentary, more in the background then actually watching it as I planned to do some more dress searching. I got totally caught up in it. The computer was set aside and I watched, completely enraptured by what I was seeing and learning. These are just a few of the statistics I learned about:
-The United State has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world.
-Since 1996 the Cesarean section rate in the U.S. has risen 46%. In 2005, it was one out of every three births. 
-The drugs used in hospital births can cause more problems than they solve.
-The use of drugs during birth and Cesarean sections dulls the or even overpowers the oxytocin, the "love chemical" which causes intense bonding between mother and child. 
I want to point out that the last comment does not mean that mothers who had their children in either of those mentioned method do not bond with their child. It is specifically referring to the moment right after birth when the oxytocin in both baby and mother are so high that it is literally like being in an altered state of mind, where mom and baby are the only things that exist. That is a bonding that is proven to only happen after natural childbirth.

I certainly do not want to rob myself of that moment. I know it might be hard, but the births shown in the video were not like what I normally see. The video for the hospital shows and such always show the mom in one of two states, either completely delirious or screaming in pain. That was what made me want to do it in a hospital. The thought of the pain scared me. If it was going to hurt that bad, I wanted to be drugged. But the home births were nothing like that. The women did have pain, but they were allowed to be up, walking around, have soft music playing, take a bath. Believe it or not, these are all things that make birthing easier and can dull the pain of contractions.

My friend who wants to get into midwifery has always told me that home births were better for mom and baby. I believed her. I just didn't think I could do it. Now I know I can. When I get pregnant, I will be having a midwife and when my baby is born I will have that moment.

There will be nothing to top it in my Sevier life.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wedding Planning Is On!

Alex and I had postponed a lot of our wedding planning due to some unforeseen financial problems. We've pushed the wedding date back to next summer though so planning is back on. We had planned a "Winter Wonderland" wedding, but since we changed the date to next summer we had to change the theme. We decided to just drop the "winter" part and have a "Wonderland" wedding, as in "Alice In..."

For research I watched the original cartoon and the new Tim Burton version. I took some notes and came out with more thoughts than I know what to do with. There are even themes within the theme of "Wonderland." There's the two queens, the tea party, the many color schemes. It's over-whelming really. Whenever I think I have decided on something I change my mind the next moment. 

There's a lot to it and I can't find a dress I like. Actually, I have found a couple, but they do not exist. What I mean by that is while there are pictures of these dresses, I cannot find them to buy anywhere. It's quite frustrating. One of the dresses is actually a Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding dress so it's perfect, but I cannot find it to buy. 

This is the dress I was talking about. The other is a lovely, simple Vera Wang. Here is its picture:
So if anyone comes across either of these for sale, please share the info! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review of "The Expendables"

Last night, Alex and I went to see "The Expendables." I was very disappointed in this movie. I had not actually seen a preview for the movie. If I had, I might have not gone. All I saw beforehand was a cardboard prop in the lobby of the Pinnacle that had the pictures of all the action stars who were in it. Considering the fact that there were so many action guys shoved into one film it was ridiculous, I honestly was expecting more of a parody of action movies. No one movie in particular, just the genre as a whole. I was wrong. It's strictly action. Any comedy in the film is brief and not well done. Aside from that, it seemed to take a while to get going. The whole opening scene made me wonder if any of the movie was going to take place in daylight. You are literally half way through the movie before the plot is revealed. Actually, revealed is not the right word. It's not like you get it through what's going on. It's stated. Literally. Like at that point, Stallone could have said, "The plot is...," and then proceeded with his lines. 

The second half was pure action. There was fighting that looked like it could have been cool, but it was so sped up that I couldn't always make out what was happening. The last ten minutes of the movie before the five minute close was nothing but explosions. I was so bored by it at that point. There was no more acting, just explosions. I have an issue with the leading lady, too. I don't think she was pretty enough to be playing the spirited but helpless maiden who needed to be rescued by the big, strong men. I just wasn't seeing it. My last issue is Bruce Willis. I feel I was mislead. He had nothing but a bit part. He should have had a much bigger role. I think the comedy would have come into play more if he had been a major character. He's a master of mixing the genres. I guess I will just have to wait til "RED" comes out to see what I was hoping to have seen last night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anniversary Day!

Yesterday, was the one year mark for Alex and I. We started off the day with a yummy breakfast at IHOP and ran a few errands (things still need to be taken care of after all). Then we headed to Knoxville. We walked around the mall a bit, ran another errand, had a light lunch and then went to Spa Visage. 

It was as nice as always upon walking in. I was lead to the changing room and Bryan was taken to the guys' area. We met up in the Gathering Room. The Gathering Room is a cozy little room with dim lights, soft music playing, a few seats, lots of reading material, and a TV showing different scenic views. They also have water, mints, trail mix, and hot water and tea bags available in the room. It's just a nice place to calm yourself and get into the relaxed state of mine prior to whatever treatment you have booked. We were in the room for quite a while before our masseuses came to get us. We were led to separate rooms which was not what we had booked. I asked about this and my masseuse, Kay-kay, said they could set up the big room quickly if that's what we wanted. I had her ask Alex. He wanted the other room so we were led back to the Gathering Room for a short wait. When we were led into the Couple's Sanctuary, I was so happy Alex had insisted on it. It was huge compared to the normal rooms. There was a small sitting area and two massage tables set up on the other side of the room. Three of the walls were completely mirrored. One of the walls was framed by a large rosy pink drape that went all the way up to above the end of the tables. Candles were lit around the room. It was just gorgeous. 

They left to let us disrobe and get on our tables. The massages were great. My girl used a bit too much pressure in some places, but it was generally good. The very top of my back, right below my neck is incredibly sore today, but that has happened every time I get a massage. I think from now on I will just ask the masseuse to steer clear of that area. After the hour was up, they left and said they would be waiting right outside the door. When we got our robes on and stepped out, they were there holding glasses of water for us. It really feels so nice to be pampered like that.

We got dressed and I went to wait for my express manicure. The manicurist was Thahn and she was great. Not a whole lot to it, just the traditional manicure which is what I was expecting. After a quick sit under the nail dryer I was led to the esthetics area for my eyebrow wax. Kimberly was my waxer and she was great, as well. She mentioned that she had permanent eyeliner, which I so badly want, so she gave me the info of where she had it done at. I hope I can get that someday soon. After that, we paid our tab and headed out. We ran by the mall again to get my make-up fixed. I was going to have it done at Sephora, but the short wait an employee told us about turned into a long wait so we went down to Belk to the MAC section. A girl named Amanda did my make-up and she did it wonderfully. It turns out that I actually knew of her from a guy I had talked to online years ago. When she said her name, it just clicked. I asked if she had dated a guy named Mike or Michael and she said that she had married a guy named Michael. So that was kinda cool. I haven't talked to him in forever so I was glad to hear his life was going well. After she was done, I bought some foundation and concealer and we headed to Misaki's.

The food was great, as always, but I didn't like their white sauce. It had a slight kick to it that I didn't care for. After dinner, we went to the Pinnacle and watched "Dinner for Schmucks." It was honestly one of the best comedies I have seen in a while. I was laughing out loud through most of the movie. It was great. I have always been a fan of Paul Rudd and Steve Carell and this was just an excellent reason why. 

It was late at that point so we came home. The day had been great and we were both exhausted. It was a good anniversary. So here's to a year of Sevier life as a happy couple!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Sorry about no post yesterday. After work, we went straight to Dixie Stampede so I didn't really have a chance to get on here. 

We really wanted to see Dixie Stampede because we heard they had changed the show up this year. The beginning has a new set up and a few new songs. I really liked the new stuff. As always, the meal started off with a biscuit and soup. I was pleasantly surprised. The last time I had been the soup was runny and the biscuit was rather small. This time, I dipped the good-sized biscuit in the soup and it was wonderfully creamy, not runny at all. The rest of the meal was equally great. I ate more of the chicken than I usually do. The potato they served was also bigger than I remember. The dessert was the usual apple turnover. I could never complain about that. It's always been scrumptious. The competition between the North and the South got underway. We were on the South of course. Their new bit in the competition is the "Rumble In The Treetops." It consists of a relay between loggers. The first guys climb a trunk and when they come back to the bottom a runner tags two men at the other end of the arena who start working to saw through a log. As soon as the piece falls the first guy starts a "standing chop." It's literally what it sounds like. The man stands on a piece of wood and begins chopping away. It was really interesting to see. They no longer have their racing ostriches. I can't remember if they had already dropped that part of the show or not last year. They may have. They do have racing pigs and racing mini-horses though. They are too freaking cute. The patriotic finale was wonderful. It starts with a message from Dolly Parton up on a large screen and then she starts singing "Red, White, and Blue." All in all, I have to say it is still, by far, the most fun place to eat in the Smokies. 

Tonight we wanted to play mini-golf. We have been to Ripley's Old MacDonald's Farm Mini-Golf course a few times so we decided to try somewhere else. We stopped at one place on the Parkway, but it looked rather busy and as we pulled up a family of six and a family of eight were walking into the place. We decided to try somewhere else. The next place we came to was Fantasy Golf. They give a good local rate with ID so we paid, picked our club and ball, and headed to the course. We were very disappointed. There was no atmosphere and each hole was boring. There was no skill to any of the holes. Just hit it either up or down a hill and then spend three or more strokes trying to get it into the hole. The rims around the cups were all warped so it was near impossible to get the balls in. I took to just tossing my ball in the general direction of the hole and then using my club after that. As I told Alex, if you have to hit the ball that hard to get to the hole, you're no longer playing mini-golf, you're playing golf. So it was not worth the time we took to go there. 

Tomorrow is our trip to Spa Visage in Knoxville. I look forward to giving you a positive review on that. Good night!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Emo and Scene

I really like the emo look. Multiple colors, crazy layers and height, eyes ringed with black making them totally pop. However, because of work I haven't been able to try most of that. I've been thinking about going ahead and doing it anyway though. I'm really wanting to the bright blond hair with pink streaks or chunks or under layer or something. I don't like doing the teasing thing to get my hair to stand up though. I am anal about knots in my hair. All my life, my hair has been my favorite thing about me and I've always kept it neat. So teasing it goes completely against my nature! I also want to do the emo eyeliner. The only problem with that plan is that I suck at eyeliner. I can't do a descent normal line, let alone a perfect ring around the entire eye that leaves a cat-like appearance. For some reason, whenever I do my lower lash line it's like my lashes get in the way. There's bunches of little blank spots in my line. When I try to fill those blank spots I just get eyeliner blotches. It's horrible. 

Anyways, I was trying to find tips on how to correctly apply the eyeliner and came across another blog that covered all hair and make-up aspects of emo fashion. Emo Style  It was quite informative and I totally enjoyed the pictures. My eye was caught by a line at the bottom of the page though. It reads, "All in all, emo is all about looking good and following the latest trends." This totally confused me. I was under the impression that emo was all about being very emotional and/or moody and dark. So either emo is just another way of being popular or it has morphed into a word with dual meanings: emo as I know it and emo meaning fashion. I just couldn't help, but find the line amusing.

Of course, now I find that the term is "scene hair" and "scene make-up." I'm not sure why. Not sure what "scene" is being referred to. However, I'm all for it. I love the look. I practiced with my eyeliner tonight and will keep practicing til I get it right or give up in utter defeat. I have a lovely chunk or pink on my right side of my hair and a purple streak on my left. I love it. I look good with pink hair if I do say so myself. Maybe someday I will get my wish.

I wonder how well that would set with the rest of the people living Sevier Life.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Thanks to Chris Brogan at for this topic.

Guilty pleasures. We all have one or two or three or dozens. A quick Google search for a definition brought up its Wikipedia page. It says, "A guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. Often the "guilt" involved is simply fear of others discovering one's lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes, rather then actual moral guilt." So I have decided to face my fears head on and share of a few my guilty pleasures.

Guilty Pleasure #1: McDonald's Mocha Frappe - Drowning is a fear of mine. However, if I drowned in a Mocha Frappe, it would be such a happy death. Due to my diet, I limit myself to one a week at the most. As with most things, if it tastes that damn good, it cannot be good for you.

Guilty Pleasure #2: Sun Tan City's VersaSpa Tan - It's true that tan skin is simply damaged skin, but let's face it; Hollywood has made it a desirable look. Even though it's an unhealthy thing, being tan just looks good. We're all raised thinking that. Rather then roast myself and increase my cancer odds, I go for the VersaSpa Spray Tan. It gives me that oh-so-desirable color with no of the harmful side effects. There is also no blotchiness, no streaking, and no orange color. Nothing but a perfect tan that lasts a good two weeks.

Guilty Pleasure #3: Talking to James - James is a friend of mine that I often go to for advice. He is quite knowledgeable on many topics, He's also quite attractive and quite interested in laying me down by the fire, if you know what I mean. Don't worry. Alex is aware of James's presence in my life. Since he has complete trust in me, he finds the James's advances rather amusing. I also think he likes knowing  he has what other guys want. This is definitely a guilty pleasure since I spur him on at times because I do so enjoy the comments.

Guilty Pleasure #4: Spa Visage Massages - The pleasure part here is obvious. The guilty part is the the hit my wallet takes. Money that could probably be spent on other things. While the atmosphere is perfect and I have never had a bad experience there, the prices are high enough to have me considering other spas. However, so far I haven't been willing to risk the pleasure to lessen the guilt.

Guilty Pleasure #5: Weekend at a cabin - One of the perks of living in Sevier County is the abundance of cabins. Cabins galore! Whatever your preference of amenities, whatever your budget, there will be a cabin that will be perfect. It makes for a great mini-vacation. Whenever we want a bit of time away from the monotony of life, a short trip in a different environment is just the thing to revitalize.

So those are five of my guilty pleasures. Little things that put a smile on my face, but leave me thinking twice at times. Ah, but such is Sevier Life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ice Cream or Nothing?

At work, we sell ice cream and candy. It's a tourist attraction must have. More times than I can count I've seen a parent, usually obese, come dragging their child over and tell their kid that he or she can have ice cream. The child sees the candy and wants that. The parent tells the kid, "No, I will get you ice cream. Don't you want ice cream?" The child says he or she doesn't want ice cream, wants candy. The parent then gives them the ultimatum of ice cream or nothing. The child insists he or she doesn't want ice cream. The furious parent drags the kid away.

This aggravates me because the parent did not drag their kid over to buy them ice cream. They use their child. They know their child would not eat all of the ice cream and the rest would be the parent's to enjoy. Moms are especially bad about this. She can't just by one for herself. She'll seem like a cow, but it's okay when the kid hands over the barely eaten ice cream to go play. That's why they walk away furious. They didn't get what they wanted.

Why do I think this? Candy contains less calories, less sugar, no fat, and costs less than the ice cream. It makes sense if you want to treat your child to do so with something they want, especially when what they want is a better alternative health and money wise. Even today, a child chose a sucker over ice cream and the mom surprised me by saying, "Well, that's better for you anyway." I was happy to hear that. The other parents are teaching their children to make poor food choices. "Get what's most fattening and full of sugar and will make you obese like me or else you don't get a treat!"

And we wonder why our kids are getting fatter so early in life.

Near Death Experience

As usual, I was listening to the Star 102.2FM morning show on the way to work. Marc was discussing his "near death experience/realization." Whenever you hear about such things I'm sure you do what I did which is to think back on any near death experience you may have had. So I have decided to share mine.

Some might not think my experience counts as an NDE since there wasn't anything that happened that could have killed me. I didn't dodge a bullet or miss an accident, but I was inches away from death via falling down a mountainside. "Inches from death" seems pretty "near death" to me. Perhaps it was near near-death experience. 

About 12 years ago, I was kinda seeing a guy who worked at Ober Gatlinburg. He also lived near Ober, up on the mountain. One day, he suggested I come by that night, which meant driving up Ski Mountain Road in my little car. Being a fearless teenager, I agreed. That night I told my mom I was going to Rockin' Raceway to play pool with some friends. She said that was fine, told me not to stay out to late, and off I Gatlinburg.
The trip went fine until I got near the top of the mountain and couldn't figure out how to get to the building where he lived. The directions he told me was to turn on a certain road and that road would turn into the drive for his building. So I picked the road I thought and headed up it. The paved road became gravel. Okay, I thought. Some driveways are gravel. I quickly realized this was not where I wanted to be though. With a mountainous drop off on my left and a foot and a half deep ditch on my right backing up (which at 16 I had not quite mastered) was not a risk I wanted to take. I naively assured myself there would be some place ahead where I could safely turn around. The gravel road turned to dirt. I became very nervous. Then...I got stuck. I was stuck on a road on the mountain in the middle of the night, no where near where I was supposed to me. I just knew my car was going to get taken away from me. Not knowing what else to do I figured I was going to have walk back down to a house I had passed (back when the road was still paved) and ask to use their phone to call my mother. I turned off my car, grabbed my stuff, and got out. I shut my car door and then I realized something. It was pitch black and the sounds of the Smoky Mountain night life was all around me. 

Now, when you live in this area you learn some things, like, don't go tromping through bear country in the middle of night without some serious protection. I had none. I stood frozen as the scene of being mauled by a bear played in my head. Recovering from my overly grotesque imagination, I quickly jumped back in the door. I let myself cry for a good bit before pulling myself back together. I knew there was only one thing to do. I had to back down the mountain road. I grabbed a purple crystal that hung on a small chain from my radio knob. I had got it a couple years before at a psychic fair. It was supposed to be a medium to contact my guardian spirit. Laugh if you want. I believed it and either way I needed all the help I could get, I think that's the hardest I have ever prayed in my life. I also promised never to lie to my mom about where I was going (a promise I kept for many, many months after). I turned the car on, flipped on the lights, and got out to survey the road and make my backing up plan. I got back in and, keeping the driver door open, I slowly crept backward, trying to not end  up falling down the mountainside. Occasionally, I would stop to go check the other side of the car and make sure I wasn't about to go in the ditch. After what seemed like an excruciatingly long time, I backed on to the pavement and into the driveway of the house I had planned on walking to. 

If such a thing happened to me at this point in my life, I'm pretty sure I would break down into hysterics as soon as I made it back to the pavement. However, I was young and still crazy so I just smiled, thanked my guardian profusely, Sevier life went on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Work, Planning, and Cedar

Got to work a bit late today. It took me forever to decide to get out of bed. Then getting ready took forever due to my constant laughter thanks to the Marc, Kim, and Frank Show on Star 102.1FM. The stories about the epic job quittings were great! By the way, for those of you who don't know, Frank Murphy has his own blog that makes for an interesting read. It's listed in my blog links, or just go to

I managed to get lots done at work today and even managed to spend some time thinking about new things to write for you all on later dates. I got lots of planning done. Spoke to the vet about when to schedule an appointment for vaccines for my puppy. Made the appointment at Spa Visage for Alex and I (added the Express Manicure for me). Decided if I'm going to comment on tourist attractions I need to see one of the gems of our county, Dixie Stampede. I've been dozens of times, but they supposedly have a new show this year and I have yet to see it. So I made reservations for Friday the 13th. I am so looking forward to that good food.

We stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home and picked up one of those giant bags of cedar shavings. I heard that cedar keeps fleas away so I dumped a bunch around my front and back porch. I love the smell of cedar, by the way. Makes me wish I had a cedar chest for storage or something. Cedar, by the way, is NOT what you should use in cages of small animals. That is originally what it was sold for, but it is well-known for causing respiratory problems in small animals. Actually, according to this article, Cedar And Pine Shavings: Problems and Toxicity, it can also cause "dramatic changes in liver enzymes on animals."  So make sure to use something safe for your little ones.

Have a great night and an enlightened new day on the morrow! 

Monday, August 9, 2010


Today was a fairly calm day at work. I had a couple things happen that got my feathers ruffled, but I just took a breath and let it go. Pointing out the problem and trying to fix it does not work. The powers that be do not want the problem fixed. To get it fixed would be to admit there was a problem at all and we can't have that. So if I say anything about a problem I am just wasting my breath and sounding like a complainer. Those in charge are supposed to "lead by example" so I am trying to follow their example and not care. It's just hard sometimes when you know something is an easy fix, but you can't get the support to make the fix happen. Oh, well.

Alex and I went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse in Governor's Crossing in Sevierville after work. I can honestly say I have never had a bad meal there. They had a special going on where a 10oz Rib-eye with two sides was only $10.99, five dollars cheaper than their menu. So that's what I had and Alex had the full rack of ribs. We both had leftovers to take home and were satisfied over all. The wait staff do have a tendency to line dance to certain songs though. I guess that's okay. It definitely kept children at the next table entertained, but for me it was somewhat distracting. If I wanted dinner and dancing I would have went to Black Bear Jamboree (excellent show by the way). When I'm at restaurant, I want normal restaurant atmosphere with the wait staff doing their job, talking up their tables, earning a tip through their work, not their ability to remember all the steps to "Watermelon Crawl." Still love the restaurant anyways. The food is worth putting up with the stomping and clapping every other song.

At the moment, Alex is playing Oblivion. We got the game for me and I recently got him to play, as well. Later, either I will be playing or we will be watching an episode of Alias. Remember that show? Jennifer Garner played a double agent for the CIA. The show also features Greg Grunberg and David Anders who both later played in Heroes. We just recently finished watching Heroes and was sad to here it would not be back for more seasons. Anyways, I had seen Alias back in the day and knew Alex would like it so we're now going through the series via Netflix. So, for now, I look forward to the next day of my Sevier Life.

Thoughts on Sharing Religion

Recently, a fellow employee and I were discussing the discount the state provided on marriage licenses when you've undergone a marriage preparation course with a minister. I said that we would probably forgo the discount since Alex is an atheist. This bit of info left him unfazed and prompted him to inquire about my religious beliefs. I hesitated before replying with, "I' spirituality." He nodded in understanding and informed me of his beliefs.

 However, my response wasn't an answer at all. I used the right wording to make it seem like an answer, but in reality it was an evasive maneuver. The truth is, I'm a Pagan. My family and friends all know and for the most part do not judge me for my spiritual choice. After all, passing judgment is very un-Christian-like. Generally, I do not hide this fact from people, but when he asked I became very aware of the fact that I was at work.

In the past, I had worked in businesses that kept a fairly close circle of employees and said employees were intelligent. It was not uncommon to walk into the office and fine a civilized, religious debate going on. I never felt the need to hide my beliefs there. In fact, I felt compelled to share and was rewarded by others' thoughts, insights, and questions, questions that often generated new insights in both others and myself. 

When I took the job I had before I work where I do now, it didn't occur to me that not everyone was so open-minded and intelligent. I didn't think to care that anyone I worked with knew I was Pagan. I didn't go around shouting it, but on occasion I had reading material related to the subject or would give my thoughts on religious inquiries that arose. Not long before I left that job I found out that quite a few people in my department thought I was a devil worshiper. I was rather surprised to find out that this is what the general consensus was. I was surprised for two reasons: (1) it was so completely wrong, and (2) no one had shown any sign that they felt this was accurate. Perhaps they were afraid I would call down the "dark lord" upon them. I don't know. They would smile to my face, then spread malicious inaccuracies behind my back. No one, not one of them, thought to question what they had heard. No one thought to look into what Paganism actually is. It was apparently much more worth their while to judge me on someone else's ignorant misinformation then to just ask me about Paganism.

The fact that such a large group of people all associated Paganism with devil worship was quite an eye-opener. I knew that had been a popular belief in the past, but I thought that had been widely proven false.

Now I work with a company much larger than the last one and interact with many more people on a daily basis. So when the seemingly innocuous question about my beliefs was posed to me, the thought of being referred to as a devil worshiper by so many flashed through my mind. As happy as I am with my religion and as proud as I am to be a Pagan, the ignorance of others tends to cause hurtful situations. Not wanting to deal with that at an already stressful job, I went with the simple statement. While it wasn't particularly the truth, it wasn't really a lie. I am open to hearing and learning about all forms of spirituality (so long as someone is not shoving their choice down my throat). My coworker had nodded to the statement and, as I say about Sevier Life, it goes on...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My first post. Yay! Guess we will see how this goes. My blog will generally be about my life in Sevier County, Tennessee. As a note, some names may have been changed.

Sevier County is a well-known tourist trap. Home to Dolly Parton and her namesake, Dollywood. Lots of shows and attractions in our area. People come from all over the world, putting their lives on the back-burner, to spend their vacation time here in the Smokies. Of course, for those of us who live here life just keeps on going.

A little background on me: I’m late twenties, childless, and engaged. I work at a local tourist attraction. It’s not bad work. I have some issues with my place of employment, but then again I think most people do. Money is alright and I meet a lot of really cool people. I meet assholes, too, but thankfully they are few and far between. :)

It’s tax-free weekend so my fiance (Alex) and I have spent the weekend here at the house. I have no desire to get out and tangle with the giant-purse-toting soccer moms as they claw and bite their way through to the last of the half-off school supplies.

Next weekend though, we will be celebrating our anniversary. I’m super-excited to have reached this milestone with my man. We will be taking a short vacation and that in itself will be quite a blessing…assuming we can keep work from calling him non-stop. We have bounced back and forth a thousand times on what we wanted to do with the time. We talked about Vegas, renting a cabin here, Florida, Biltmore, relaxing at the spa…we decided on the spa. We’re going in for a couple’s Swedish Massage at Spa Visage in Knoxville. I have been there quite a few times over the past few years and have only had one experience that wasn’t exceptional (the one wasn’t a bad experience per se, just was rushed and not up to the standard of care I am used to receiving when there). Then we’re going to the Hibachi place on Kingston Pike that’s so nice. And then we’ll be off to catch whatever movie we decide to see. It will be such an enjoyable evening. I’m hoping to finagle in some extra amenities at Spa Visage (mani/pedi) if Alex is feeling generous. Guess I’ll see.

I guess this will suffice for a first post. I will try to keep you updated with more posts about Sevier Life. :)