March 30, 2010

New Orleans, Part I: Hammond, LA

So this weekend, we got together a group of friends and decided to travel to Hammond, LA. 

Okay, not really. We decided to travel to New Orleans, LA, but ended up spending some quality time in Hammond. Here's what happened:

We met at the train station bright and early. 

Sarah had the goods.

And on to the train we went! This was Christopher's and my first ride on good ole' Amtrak. I enjoyed the comfy seats.

So did Charlie and Sarah.

And Darrin and Jenny.

And Matt...and especially Laura.

It was a little dreary, but interesting to see the country side.

Then, the train stopped. Not slowed down, but stopped. We waited for the "smoke break" to be over. And, we waited some more. Finally, we were told that the bridge we needed to cross was the 'up' position. Not good.

So we were able to get off the train and enjoy Hammond, LA. Well, enjoy the train station and grounds. Thankfully, it was a pretty day, and we were all in good spirits.

See: love and good spirits:

Love, good spirits and laughter!

Love, trains and flowers:

Even the guys had some love for Hammond.

And each other.

 Have I mentioned that I love the self portrait? Maybe a few times?

Laura is a real photographer. See her real camera?

Thankfully it was sunny, and we got to enjoy Hammond. We even looked cute doing it!

Three hours later, the bridge was fixed and we were on our way! We arrived in New Orleans to a welcoming parade.

Seriously, we stepped out of our taxi at our hotel, and this parade turns the corner immediately behind us. Thankfully, we were all able to grab our luggage and get out of the taxi before it got run over. Such a nice touch to be recognized for the famous and important people we are, but really New Orleans, we don't need a welcoming parade every time we visit....maybe just the next several. 

And there was this guy!

What could be more exciting than that?

To be continued...

March 23, 2010

Greedy Donator

With every change of the season, I look forward to cleaning out my closet. I LOVE to purge. I get rid of old clothes I've never worn, jeans that have shrunk, and just stuff I don't need. So with spring approaching, I found it time to purge. 

In Little Rock, I would collect all of my items, mostly clothing, and contact ARC to pick it up. I just put my bags curbside, and they toted them off and left me with a nice tax-deductible note. Simple and easy, and everyone won. 

Now that we're in Memphis, I decided to try another route for my first closet purging: Consignment. I have a friend, you know who you are, who always reaps the benefits of consignment selling. She's always making money selling her stuff. 

So I Googled consignment shops in Memphis. There was one that popped up several times, and I visited their web site. They said that they accept clothing for younger adults from brands like GAP, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, etc. They also said that they pay you cash on the spot. Right there. No waiting 90 days to see if your stuff sells. Awesome. 

The site also listed two locations, and that both locations don't always accept the same thing. I chose the location in the "nicer" part of town, assured that those people would want my old stuff; most of which had nothing wrong with it other than it was old, a little worn, and I was tired of it. 

So I struck out to visit this pay-you-cash clothing store. I was a ways from my house, but I made the commitment to going. I arrived and things looked good so far. The place was large, had mostly cute, if not too young, stuff and there were normal people inside. There was a couple in front of me who was being handed a wad of twenty dollar bills. A wad may be over stating it, but there were several twenties. 

I handed her my three bags of clothing, filled out their little form, and was told it would be an hour wait before she handed me a wad of twenties. Well, it would take me most of that time to go home, so I spent an hour driving around shopping. I reminded myself that I had made this trip to make money, not spend it, so I managed to just browse. 

An hour later, I returned to the store where they were just finishing filtering through my bags. I could tell this because my three bags were sitting on the counter. Success, I thought! Here comes my wad-o-cash. 

The woman reported to me that they weren't able to accept all of my clothing, but for the pieces they could buy, she could offer me two ninety five. $295.00, I thought? Awesome. A definite haul.

I said okay, and as she opened the cash drawer and reached for the quarters, I realized she meant $2.95. And, I realized that the three bags of clothing on the counter were going home with me. 

I took my change....literally...and exited the store. As I was packing my bags back into my trunk, I decided I was not going to take this. 

I drove two blocks to the Goodwill Donation Center, which I had seen while driving around for an hour and pulled in. Jeff greeted me at the door with a smile. Took my bags from me, wrote me a receipt, which I will be directing to my tax guy in a year, and thanked me repeatedly for my donation. 

This is more like it, I thought. 

Then, he handed me two coupons, each for a three-piece chicken strips pack at Chick-Fil-A. 

So not only did Jeff not judge me, rifle through my clothes or send my clothing back, he gave me free food. I'm also pretty sure that 2 three-piece chicken strips packs are worth more than $2.95. 

Because of this, I will continue donating my clothing, writting it off and getting free food. 

Take that consignment shop!

March 20, 2010

My Coffee Cup

This is my travel coffee cup. 

I use it every morning. I goes with me to work and sits patiently next to me, providing my morning caffeine fix. 

Today my coffee cup is sad. It's sad because it no longer gets to go to work with me in the mornings. 

It doesn't get to go to work with me in the mornings because I'm not going to go to work in the mornings. 

I quit my job!!

And even better than that, I have another job!!!

AND even better than that, I will be based out of my house!!!!!

I've taken a job with Green Line Marketing Group as a senior marketing specialist. I can't wait to begin work with a new batch of clients, and rely a lot more on my writing, creative thinking and history in media. I think it's going to be a great match.

So, my travel mug will not be getting its morning exercise. It looks like I may be using its cousin a lot more.

March 17, 2010

Eric Clapton

Friends, we saw Eric Clapton. We saw him the night after Reba and George Strait. We had great seats. It was actually Chris' Christmas present come to fruition.

I'm been holding off on posting about it hoping that something witty comes to mind--some funny story or explanation about our night. But, people, we saw Eric Clapton.

There really is no anecdote or humorous story about seeing Eric Clapton. He's Eric Clapton.

He walked up on stage with some baggy, faded jeans; Sperry Top-Siders; and an over-sized shirt. That's it. He didn't introduce himself or say hi, he just started playing. And he played. And he played. After about the fourth song, he did say, "thank you very much." But that was about it. He knew why we were there, and so he played.

So there is no witty story or rendition about seeing Eric Clapton. He just played. And we sang and we chair danced because that's what you do when you see Clapton. And it was awesome.

P.S. I will say that he definitely didn't look like this anymore. But it's okay. He played.

March 6, 2010

The Reba/George Strait report

Dear Club8 Row G Seats 1&2 ticketholders,

We missed you at the show! You would have been the only other people sitting on our little row. We were destined to be friends, to laugh and sing together and to revel in the magic that was Reba and George Strait.

So let me tell you what you missed.

Well, first you missed having a little row all to ourselves. Sitting on the Club level was great. There were comfy seats, a restaurant and bar right close by and lots of bathrooms that didn't have a ton a people lined up outside them.

You missed Lee Ann Womack opening the show, and yes, she sang the I Hope You Dance Song. We didn't dance, but we did sing along like 15-year-old-girls. You would have loved it.

Oh my and then Reba came out. Reba McEntire! You missed her wearing some tight jeans and a sleeveless black tank with black sequins on the front of it. And her RED hair. But don't worry, it wasn't Grandma-purple-from-a-box red, it's just the Reba red.

There were several large screens hanging from the ceiling, and before she came out, they ran a video montage of her music videos, tv shows and movies. You would have loved it!

So Reba came out and sang her heart out, including That's the Night That the Lights Went Out in Georgia. It was the perfect balance of old stuff, which I knew every word to, and some of the new stuff. I think you would have approved.

But you really missed her encore. The screens played a part of her Fancy music video, and then a old-time taxi rolls in the stadium, just like the one in the music video.

Then, out steps Reba in a bright red sequin dress with big red high-heels. She waltz across that stage and sang Fancy like there was no tomorrow. It was the best!!

We kept looking for you to see if you were just late, or hanging out by the bar.

But then it was time for George. Oh my. If he needs a younger girlfriend, I could fill that roll. With his tight jeans, button-down shirt, black cowboy hat and love songs, my heart melts. Seriously, I think he's WAY cute...I'm just saying. So you missed that too. Here's a nice article about the show if you want to catch up.

And, you missed Chris having his picture taken twice by strangers. Yeah. The first time, this stranger came up to him and asked if he was Ben Affleck. He seriously gets that ALL THE TIME.  So he said he wasn't, and she said, "Well, I'm going to take your picture anyway!" What can you say to that? So she took his picture.
(Note: my shiny white self is NOT to be compared to JLo. Just wanted to make that clear.)

While he was gone (getting his photo taken by a stranger) the lady sitting behind me tapped my shoulder. "Is that your husband you're here with?" she asked. "Yes," I said. "Well, he looks just like my son-in-law. Can I take his picture when he gets back?" What are you going to say to that? I said, "Ok."

You may have found this strange, but truth be told, we kinda do too.

So that's what you missed. It was a great show.

Oh, and Chris really enjoyed stretching his legs across your space, and I really enjoyed not having to crawl across you when I had to use the restroom. Thanks!!!

March 3, 2010

We're Old-School

Do you know what I call this? 

Thursday and Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Disqus for The Muddy Truth


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