Archives for October 2009

Thanks A Latte (Yes. I Did. I Went There. I’m So Sorry.)

Seriously, y’all. I have never known a beverage with more expectations attached to it than the pumpkin spice latte. I’ve actually been a little scared to go to Starbucks and try one the last couple of days because I was afraid that the PSL couldn’t take the pressure.

However, I did think about taking my laptop into my neighborhood Starbucks, showing the barista all of your comments and saying, “DO YOU SEE WHAT THE PSL HAS STARTED?”

And then: “May I have a small sample, please?”

But then I remembered that doing that would require me to discuss my blog with a stranger. So, you know, NO.

Anyway, the PSL is on my to-do list. Maybe Thursday, maybe Friday. I don’t want to overthink it (of course, I will overthink it because I overthink EVERYTHING), but I don’t want the PSL for a morning beverage because if I get one and don’t like it, then my morning coffee experience will be RURNT, I tell you. RURNT. And I know I could get a decaf in the afternoon, but I don’t really like decaf anything. Go jittery or go home is what I always say.

So, given my issues with the caffeine and the not sleeping (she types as she sips a diet Coke at 9:43 in the PM) the PSL is going to have to be a mid-morning or post-lunch treat. And you can rest assured that as soon as I try one and gather my thoughts, I’ll proceed immediately to the blog and share all of my PSL-related reactions in a not-even-a-little-bit-organized fashion. You deserve no less.

By the way: I was ASTOUNDED by the intricacy of your Starbucks orders. Especially you tea-loving people. I had no idea there were so many tea possibilities. And the Dirty Chai? How did you even know such a thing existed? Is there a class? A Starbucks 101 seminar offered online?

Another thing that astounded me: I had no idea you could get raspberry anything with coffee. But OH, now that I know? I feel empowered. Raspberry and chocolate is one of my very favorite flavor combinations, so there is definitely a raspberry mocha in my future. I for one could not be more delighted.

All that to say: your comments about coffee were not only a treat to read – they are a resource. I went back through them again today just to get some drink ideas. You, internet, have helped me to solidify my Starbucks goals for the remainder of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. I am forever grateful.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch Top Chef restaurant wars and maybe even a House Hunters. And OH! I ALMOST FORGOT THIS, MY WORD! Ree from The Pioneer Woman is in the November issue of Southern Living – there’s an absolutely beautiful feature story on her and her family and her recipes. I got my issue in the mail last week, and I saw a big stack of them on display at the grocery store a couple of days ago. If you read Ree’s blog – or even if you don’t – you’ll get such a kick out of seeing her in the pages of SL. Yay, Ree!

Even better: go get you a PSL and a SL. They’ll make for a perfect afternoon.

See y’all tomorrow!

Give A Call, We’ll Talk, No Big Whoop

Now by and large I’m pretty old school when it comes to my coffee. I make it at home most days, but if I’m at Starbucks, I usually order a grande Pike Place, and then I’ll doctor it myself with some Equal and some half and half. I like that ordering a plain cup of coffee means that I can get out of the Starbucks for only one American dollar and some change, but if I’m feeling wild and crazy I’ll order a Cafe’ Latte or a Cafe’ Americano – even though I cringe a little bit when my coffee costs more than three dollars and THEY DON’T EVEN GIVE ME A BISCUIT.

Well.

Earlier this afternoon I was checking the Twitter, and my friend Fran mentioned that she was craving a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. Since I was with my friend Leigh when she ordered a pumpkin spice latte this past weekend, Fran’s comment (I know that I’m supposed to say “tweet” – but I just. can’t.) made me Officially Curious. Because I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte, you see. And I wondered if I was missing out on some sort of coffee phenomenon.

Well.

I replied (TWEETED. WHATEVER.) to Fran and confessed the absence of the pumpkin spice latte in my life (by the way, the name of that drink gets SUPER tiresome when you’ve typed it for the fourth time), and Shannon, who’s a friend of my friend Annie (feel free to re-read that last part – interweb connections can be very, well, webby), chimed in and told me that I have not lived until I’ve tried the pumpkin spice latte.

Now I don’t know about y’all, but reading that I haven’t lived until I’ve tried something makes me feel a certain sense of urgency. An urgency that’s coupled with an unmistakable pumpkin-y craving.

I didn’t go by Starbucks after Pumpkin Spice Latte Alert ’09 because I have finally started to figure out that when I drink coffee in the afternoons, I – get a load of this – HAVE TROUBLE SLEEPING AT NIGHT, HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING. But I still spent almost all of my supper-cooking time thinking about the PSL (I WILL NOT TYPE THOSE WORDS AGAIN) and how specific our coffee preferences have become. I mean, when I was growing up and we were in a restaurant and my mama wanted a cup of coffee, do you know what she ordered?

A CUP OF COFFEE.

There was no tall-nonfat-caramel-macchiato-extra-whip-double-shot-extra-hot business. And there was certainly no trace of, you know, PUMPKIN. It was just coffee. If you were lucky the waitress would throw some of those little cream containers at you when she walked past your table.

Anyway, while I was cooking supper I also started to think about how much coffee-related minutiae I have stored in my brain, and oh my word, it’s A LOT. For example, I know that my husband is a venti Pike Place, three Equals and nonfat milk. Sister is a venti Pike OR Cafe’ Americano with just a splash of half and half. Melanie is a grande non-fat mocha latte no whip. Janie is a grande skinny vanilla latte. Approximately fourteen of my friends pledged undying devotion to the salted caramel hot chocolate last winter. And I could go on with lo, even more examples, but I’ll stop right now since I know this information is ABSOLUTELY RIVETING.

So, internet, given the fact that I haven’t tried the pumpkin spice latte (okay. I caved. I typed it again.), and given the fact that it might very well be time for me to broaden my specialty coffee drink horizons, I’m going to ask you a question of critical international importance:

What is your very favorite drink to order in a coffee shop?

(And it doesn’t have to be at Starbucks. I know that some of you are incredibly fond of your Tim Hortons coffee. Some of you love the coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Some of you favor a local place. Some of you prefer hot tea. So please know that all coffee shop vendors and their respective beverage options are welcome here.)

(I just felt like I needed to clarify.)

(What with my annoying tendency to overexplain and all.)

Love,
Pumpkin Spice Latte-less in Alabama
aka
Me

Right Now It’s 42 Degrees Outside And I Could Not Be More Delighted

Last week was one of those really fun, cuckoo weeks that no sane person would plan, so I guess it stands to reason that I’m the one who planned it because HEY! IT’S ME! WHO SOMETIMES STRUGGLES WITH THE SANITY! But between coming home from Memphis and then taking Martha back to Mississippi and then church stuff and soccer stuff and work stuff and “writing” stuff, I limped across Friday’s finish line and flopped into my chair and watched so much TV on the DVR Friday night that I should probably be ashamed only I’m not, I’M NOT AT ALL ASHAMED, IT BROUGHT ME UNTOLD VOLUMES OF JOY.

(SIDENOTE that I have to add right now or I’ll forget: tonight at church I remembered something that I’ve been meaning to link to for the last few weeks. For the last couple of months our pastor has been teaching from the book of James, and you can listen or watch online if you’re interested. It has been such a good series. Quite frankly my toes will never be the same.)

I have no idea where I was going before the sidenote. Wait a minute. Now I remember.

Saturday morning we had a soccer game, and you must believe me when I tell you that it was 45 degrees outside and not a single soul at the soccer field was happier about that than I was. I love (LOVE. LURVE. LOOOOOVE.) the first cold snap every year, and I’m always tempted to wear flip flops for the first couple of days of it just so my feet can get super cold and then I can have a small, private Happy Moment when I officially put away the flip flops and pull out the Uggs.

I know. I’m weird. WHY DO YOU LOOK SURPRISED?

After we got home from the soccer game we watched our beloved Bulldogs play MTSU (we won! we won!) on TV. Apparently MTSU’s football stadium is called “The Skillet,” and I cannot even tell you how that nickname intrigues me. Do they call it that because it’s the place where they “fry” their opponents in the manner of some crispy bacon? Because you have to know that I’m fully on board with any sort of bacon / football analogy. Are any of you MTSU fans? Can you explain? Does their stadium smell faintly of charred pork products? I need to know these things.

Anyway, the success of our rushing game against the Blue Raiders has prompted me to make a bold prediction: I think we’re going to beat Florida this Saturday. I really do. I feel it deep down in my bones. Of course, my “deep-down-bones” feelings are basically worthless, but I think we can do it, never you mind that guy named Tim Tebow and the fact that the Gators are the defending national champions. I just feel like I need to make my prediction known so that next weekend if Florida beats us 102-4 we can all meet here and then y’all can ridicule me publicly. It’ll be fun.

Also. I still haven’t written a post about my trip to Memphis last weekend, but condensing the weekend into a blog post is like trying to cram a king-sized comforter into a lunchbox. Or something like that. I’m not really that strong with similes.

But I will say this: I’ll be john brown (my Papaw Davis used to say that all the time) if, almost four years into this blog thing, the internet doesn’t continue to surprise me. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I think we need to be so careful that we don’t call this online world our “community” at the expense of plugging into our local churches and neighborhoods and investing in the lives of people we can see and touch and hear, but there is something so fun and energizing about having time to hang out with people who also love this little bloggy world. There were lots of blog friends in Memphis at Living Proof Live, and every once in awhile I’d look around and see three or four of them just TALKING LIKE CRAZY to one another, and it made me smile. A lot.

I think the internet may be here to stay, y’all. JUST LIKE THE EMAIL.

Martha had a great time in Memphis and SO enjoyed hearing Beth Moore teach. I didn’t know how she was going to respond to the whole event thing because, honestly, Martha hasn’t been in contemporary worship settings very often, and I know that our worship comfort zones are a little different. But she really did love the music, and on the way back to Mississippi last Monday she asked me if Travis had recorded any tapes that she could buy. I told her that I’d see what I could round up.

So all that to say: I’ll be working on that Memphis post. Just as soon as I finish catching up with the DVR. And staring lovingly at my comfy slippers because HEY, IT’S COLD AGAIN, I DON’T KNOW IF I MENTIONED THAT.

Hope y’all have a great Monday!

If I See ‘Em, Then They Are Already Dead

So first I watched Jim and Pam’s wedding from last week. Now I’m watching this week’s epsiode of “The Office.” I am on a roll. I think I may have just gotten my television groove back. It’s a fine feeling, my friends.

And while I think we may miss Jim and Pam this week, I have high hopes for some Dwight Schrute / Andrew Bernard shenanigans. Here’s to hoping.

– “The fundamentals of business. ‘Mental’ is a part of the word. I have underlined it. Because you’re ‘mental’ if you don’t have a good time. You have to enjoy it.”

– “What topics can you use for small talk?” // “Small things. Peas. Ball bearings. Dimes.”

– “The Fundamentals of Business by Michael Scott. Chapter 1. The businessman…”

– “Push free play to tomorrow morning.”

– “Not everything is a threat. // “MOBSTERS ARE!”

– “R is among the most menacing of sounds. That’s why they call it ‘murder’ and not ‘mukduk.'”

– “When somebody threatens you, you give in RIGHT AWAY.”

– “I think we should let the criminal use the card a little longer.”

– “I will have spaghetti with a side salad. If the salad is on top, I send it back.”

– “YOU WANNA DO THIS, JUNIOR? I didn’t think so. I’ve had a long day at the mechanics store.”

– “Are you suggesting that we surgically remove the fear center from Michael’s brain?”

– “If there’s one thing I hate more than the mafia, it’s a liar. I wish the mafia would kill all the liars.”

I got a kick out of the three stooges tonight – what did y’all think?

Up next: “30 Rock.”

Seriously. It’s an embarrassment of television riches.

Going To A Wedding

So I’m a full week late to Jim and Pam’s wedding, and I’m pretty sure that my tardiness is outside of all etiquette bounds. But there’s no way I can watch tonight’s episode without watching Jim and Pam first, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

So. Two episodes of “The Office” in one night. AND “30 Rock.”

It’s a better TV lineup than I deserve.

The wedding highlights:

– “This is a firecracker-free wedding.”

– “You’re lucky to have a grandmother. Some of us have to be our own grandmother.”

– “What happens in Niagara stays in Niagara.”

– “Two years ago she sold a mountain bike…and she had a couple of hundred dollars to spend, you know, if she was able to sell her bike.”

– “Not only is Erin really sweet and cute – she smells like my mom.”

– “We should have hired a professional to take our mental pictures.”

– “Hello. My name is Dwight Schrute. If you are listening, it’s because you are a lucky woman….”

– “Confirmation number Romeo, Tango, G, 7, 7, 4, 5.”

– “When Mary was denied a room at the inn, Jesus was born. When Michael was denied a room at the inn, we don’t know what happens because that story hasn’t been told yet.”

– “Nobody’s perfect.” // “Well, I wouldn’t care to live if I thought that.”

– “Just going to do a little freestanding comedy, and if at the end everybody wants to raise their glasses to Pam and Jim then so be it. Hey. What is the deal with the smart car? How smart is that? Those things are tiny.”

– “A lot of people told me I was crazy to wait this long for a girl that I was friends with, but I think, even then, I knew that I was waiting for my wife.”

– “My point is that I said what I wanted to say, and MeMaw, I hope you heard every word.”

– “MeMaw, I think you need to chill out…it’s not 1890 anymore.”

– Meredith and Andy dancing, MY WORD.

– “Are you pushing me off the phone? // No. Let’s talk for a long time.”

– “It’s funny, your wife loved this hat the last time she saw it.”

– KEVIN’S TOUPEE’.

– “I have taken it on myself to do something a little more special. I have painted a portrait of the two of them. From memory.”

– Jim cut his tie! THE SWEETEST EVER.

– The wedding processional. I have no words. But I laughed REALLY loudly when Dwight kicked the bridesmaid in the face.

– “The boat was actually plan C. The church was plan B. And plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Actually the day I met her.”

– “I got six numbers. One more would have been a COMPLETE telephone number.”

Well. That was perfection.

No wonder y’all loved it so much.

Hold On, Pam & Jim! I’ll Be There Soon!

So for the first time in my whole life, I just finished a real-live magazine article, something that apparently will be printed on actual, bona fide paper. And a month or so ago, when I told my husband that a very nice person had asked me to write the article, he said, “So. Does this mean you’ll call yourself a writer now?”

“OH. HEAVENS NO,” I replied.

Please remember: magazines may come and go, but a complete absence of confidence is forever.

I’m thinking of lovingly cross-stitching that last sentence on a pillow.

Anyway, the deadline has been hanging over my head for the last couple of weeks, and while I felt pretty good about finishing the article, I experienced approximately fourteen kinds of trepidation about the accompanying biography thing I had to submit.

I mean, I know that this is probably just one more thing to add to my ever-growing list of bizarro issues, but I’m generally not a fan of the serious biography that lists various achievements and qualifications and whathaveyou. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t really achieved anything, nor I am particularly qualified, unless of course we’re talking about eating fried chicken and/or watching reality television, in which case, well, ACES.

So the bottom line is that I’d prefer to condense my life into 150 words without mentioning myself at all. You can appreciate my dilemma, I’m sure. In the end I just copied and pasted the little “about me” blurb that I use at AllAccess. And in case you’re thinking, Gosh, that sure does seem like the easy way out, I would just like to say YOU BETCHA IT IS.

The good news is that now that I’m all done with the deadline-y stuff, I feel like I’m finally going to have some quality DVR time again. I’m at least two episodes behind on almost every show I watch – even three, in some cases, but I can’t talk about that because it stresses me out. It’s an UNPRECEDENTED television backlog for me, but you may rest assured that I am completely committed to tackling it. The DVR will not beat me, my friends. Of this I am certain.

I also plan to sit down at some point and chronicle the wonderfulness that was this past weekend’s trip to Memphis. Yes, there were some funny moments, but more than anything else I got to spend time with some of my closest friends who have never met each other (does that makes sense? Because what I mean, for example, is that Melanie and Emma Kate finally got to meet. And Melanie met Bubba. And Emma Kate met Travis. And Janie met Melanie. And why do I suddenly feel like I’m writing a geometry proof?).

(Because I think we all know that when I’m sitting around catching up on the DVR, I like to write geometry proofs just for kicks.)

(It’s just one of my many math-related hobbies.)

Hope y’all have a great Thursday!