Wednesday, March 30, 2011

# 83 Birthday Celebrations, AutoZone and Quincy...

Well, I'm finally back! Did you miss me? I've been gone so long, I've nearly forgotten what its like to blog!

Here are some things going on in my life:

-- Still no update on when I will be starting the job. I keep hearing April 1, but thats mostly because I keep saying "Maybe it will be April 1st" to myself (quietly when I'm in public, obviously). So I think I might have started that rumor myself.

-- I've been in Laurel the past few days and have really enjoyed being home! I also worked in Decatur yesterday and it was super hard to say goodbye to everyone up there. I also broke down in tears Monday night at Mi Casita, thinking about how much fun I was having with my Aunt, my Mom and my Em, and how I couldn't just have random dinner time fun with them as often as I do now. It was embarrassing and probably everyone in Mi Casita thought I was crazy!

-- I'm thinking about getting a mani/pedi tomorrow. I'll take pictures cause I know you will all want to see. Despite my mom's pure hatred for any unique colors like black, navy, gray, etc., I love those colors-- I think they are fun and modern and since I've had a boring, conservative job the last few years and I've strived (stiven?) to make myself look older, more mature and more intelligent, I've stayed away from anything except the occasional clear polish (I know, I'm a wild one!). But now that I'm in between jobs, and when I do finally start the job, I will be mostly training and its a very casual job, I think I'll try a new color. Saw this one in a magazine today and LOVE it!!

Its called Chinchilly from Essie! Love it!!

So last week was my birthday-- did anyone know that? Probably not, I'm a bit shy about it! And my super cool friend Sonji offered to cook a birthday dinner for me Saturday night and I, of course, jumped at the chance-- Sonji's a great cook and I adore her family!

The night was a total blast-- I thought it was just going to be me, Sonji, Clay and the kids, but it turned out my friend Becky and her boyfriend Chad were there as well as one of my favorite people ever-- Dr. Adam! Adam is our doctor friend who lives in North Alabama and he and Clay and Sonji are great friends and are so fun to hang around!! Those three are really funny! Sonji cooked a good meal, as always, for me, and it was topped off with some homemade strawberry cake and homemade icing-- YUM! I got some super cute gifts (I'll take pictures later!) and, to end the night on a high, I got my car fixed! Its a one-stop shop there, at the Rose House!!

My headlight had been out for a week or so, and I tried to get the guy at Advanced Auto in Newton to change it, but he apparently didn't do it correctly. So I'm telling this story, of how the guy, Whitney was his name, tried to change the light at night, but dropped the screws and it it took forever to find them in the dark, etc. And Adam says he can fix it. So, they head outside and come back in a few minutes with the little lightbulb. They tell me and Sonji to head to Newton and buy a replacement bulb.

Now Adam is a doctor, and he is obviously quite smart. And Clay is super clever and smart about vehicles, and outdoor stuff and buildings, etc. But, those two guys were obviously not thinking. They sent ME and SONJI to buy something. At AUTO ZONE. There was no way this wasn't ending badly.

But me and Sonji are up for the challenge. We head into town and get a chance to catch up on some stuff, which was nice. And we arrive at AutoZone and it looks really dark, but there are a couple cars and one man outside, smoking. So, I roll down the window and ask if they are still open. He tells me yes, obviously thinking I'm an idiot. So we head in and proudly announce to the clerk that we need another one of "these" bulbs, which is a headlight for a 2006 Altima. He looks on the computer to see if it is in stock and says they don't have it, but can order it. Its $99.00. WHAT? I paid $7.00 the week before at Advanced Auto Parts. Now, granted, the light didn't work. But still. So we decide there must be a problem and he suggests we go back to Advanced Auto Parts, and so we do. But it has already closed. So, we call Clay and he tells us to go back to AutoZone and ask for Quincy-- a guy he does a lot of business with there.

Tentatively, we do so, knowing, we look like total idiots now, not just the somewhat idiots we looked like before. And we try to explain to Quincy what the situation is. And he tells us that we are wrong, that the light we had was a FOG light, and not a HEAD light, which explains the price difference. We call Adam and try to explain to him. He thinks we are chuckling. He tries to explain it to us. We decide that perhaps it was a mistake, sending us to do this job. Perhaps? Most definitely.

We finally decide to get the cheap bulb, ignoring Quincy's dubious looks, and with the promise that if it doesn't fit, Adam will pay me back for the $7.99 bulb. We head home, triumphant.

It fits. I can now see both sides of the road. The light bulb might only last a week, but so far so good. I'm happy. Sonji's happy. Adam and Clay are happy. They've learned a valuable lesson. Never sent me or Sonji to buy anything at AutoZone. Or anywhere other than the Belk shoe department!

Here are some pictures of the night!

Adam is a bit camera shy and wanted to "minimize his internet presence" and thus didn't really want to be on the blog. But I'm nothing if not persistent!

Sonji and Bentley-- one of the sweetest, most beautiful kids! I love her! I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of Gatlin that night, but I'll get one another time!

Sonji and her extensive collection of flyswatters-- in such pretty colors. Not sure why she's chosen to collect these, instead of say, pottery or picture frames, etc! Ha ha! Just kidding!

The headlight whisperers-- Clay, Adam and Bentley! I think it was right before this picture that Adam said it wasn't that impressive of him to change a headlight-- after all he'd "built a car from scratch!" But I was impressed! And thankful!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

# 82 Continuing to settle in....

Even though I am back in South Mississippi for a couple days, I've got internet so I will use this opportunity to post some more pictures of mine and Parker's first few days in Cleveland!

Monday was a fun day! We woke up late and we went outside to let Parker go to the bathroom. Since I still didn't have any water, I did not have the same luxury! However, the good thing about not having water? All the usual hygienic morning routines weren't necessary. So instead of brushing my teeth, washing my face, showering, washing hair, etc., I just walked out the door. I didn't even change out of my yoga pants/t-shirt pajamas. At least I wasn't wearing my zebra print ones!!

Now, I'd been told Cleveland is serious about their water and I'd learned that first hand last week when I couldn't get my water turned on over the phone/fax as I'd previously been told since the supervisor was "out on Spring Break". But the water lady was super nice, and graciously allowed me to use their bathroom, while she was working on my paperwork. But I found another serious aspect to the Cleveland Water-- they don't like late bills. Bill is due on the 10th of each month. If its not paid then, they assess a $25.00 fee. If the entire amount isn't paid by the 20th, even if the 20th falls on a weekend, they assess a $30.00 fee and immediately turn the water off. Yep, they are serious. As my landlady says, you can "get electricity turned on in Bangladesh easier than getting water in Cleveland". But, we finally worked it out and BONUS-- they gave me a big old roll of trash bags-- since they handle the trash as well. And every April and October they pass out another roll! Sweet!

I ran a couple other errands and hurried home to be there when the water guy arrived because the lady told me I needed to be there. So, imagine my concern when I turned on to Victoria Avenue and realized, several blocks away (its a long road!) that the water guy was parked in front of my house. I was super worried that he was about to drive away before I could get there. As soon as I got close, I started honking my horn to get his attention and I flew into the driveway, jumped out and started waving my arms at the water man, who was sitting in the driver's seat of his vehicle on the street. He looked at my like the madwoman I am, and rolled down his window. Out of breath, I explain to him that I was there, and please don't leave without turning on the water and I'm sorry I wasn't there when he got there. And he calmly says "It's ok ma'am, your water is turned on. You didn't have to be here." Yeah, so I looked like an idiot! But yay! I had water!

However, my elation over hot water was short-lived when I realized that gas had not yet been turned on so my water wasn't HOT! Still no shower for Jess. It was getting ugly.

In the meantime, and in an effort to get my mind of my dirtiness, Parker and I explored the backyard. Its super cute with a little bench and an area where a fountain used to be. Parker loved it.

We met this little guy on the empty baker's rack beside the back door. Suggestions for names?

Then we went back inside and kept on unpacking boxes. We also unloaded all the stuff I'd bought at Wal-Mart the previous night (the ridiculously long line didn't even bother me as I met a very nice lady in the checkout who told me all about Cleveland and wished me luck when she was leaving!). I bought this super cool party people iHome for my iPod-- it changes colors and everything! This is the blue color but it also has purple, pink, orange and green. Its going to be awesome for all my rocking house parties. With all my new friends I'm gonna make!!!

Since all good stories must come to an end, you will be glad to know the gas finally got turned on and I finally got a hot shower! Which was wonderful! And then, to make the day even better, my sweet Betsy came arrived in town right before dinner. Now, that's an entire other post...

# 81 Happy birthday to me...

So I know I've been a bit lax on the blogging here lately, and I apologize. I didn't have internet for a while there, and, even though Sunday night I was able to steal internet, that didn't really work again whenever I tried to get on the computer. Wednesday the cable guy came to install but he didn't install my internet himself, instead promising that "it was super easy, and you just turn the computer on and the website will take you through three easy steps." Yeah, thanks Robert. Cause it didn't work. And that was late Wednesday afternoon and when I realized the issue, it was too late to call back and I left Thursday to come back to Newton County. So you angry mob blog readers can fuss at Robert from Tuscaloosa.

But don't fuss at me-- I'm too nice of a person! And yesterday was my birthday! That's right, folks, I'm the BIG 2-5. Or somewhere along those lines. I lied about my age for a while and then I decided to be honest about it, and those couple years weren't great for me, so I've decided to go back to lying.

Anyway, my birthday was absolutely fabulous! Parker and I headed home yesterday afternoon, arrived in Newton to little fanfare (that's ok though, we like to keep things low-key!) and then headed to the big town of Sebastopol. Yes, you heard that right. I like to roll in style. Mom, Betsy, Aunt Ju, Em and Lori met us in Forest and we went to eat at Lee's Steakhouse. It was fabulous! I've never been before, but everyone in Newton and the surrounding areas love it. Mom and Dad and their group of friends (The Fun Bunch) go a lot. But I was a bit nervous making everyone drive from Laurel and worried it wouldn't be that great. My worried were unfounded because it was SO good! Steaks were fantastic and I'm kicking myself for leaving my leftovers in my the backseat of my dad's car. They brought me cheesecake and sang (so embarrassing!) and it was such good cheesecake! Betsy refused to order any cheesecake because she's headed to the beach this weekend and has to fit into her bathing suit. However, her vanity didn't stop her from finishing half of my piece. Or half of Aunt Ju's piece. Or the rest of Lori's piece. Her vanity, however, did allow her to fuss at us for "making her eat the cheesecake".

It was a really good night and I had lots of birthday well-wishers which is always nice-- makes you feel loved! Facebook is super great about that-- people who you wouldn't normally talk to or see or people who wouldn't even know it was your birthday are able to say "Happy Birthday!". A couple people even told my dad to tell me Happy Birthday! Makes a girl feel loved!

Confession. A few weeks ago, I did some Facebook stalking on an ex-boyfriend's page. Now, I don't want him back. I don't even really miss him. And I'd not looked at his page in many months, probably since the summer. But, I was curious and checked it out. He's married now, and they are expecting sometime soon. And I noticed that her birthday was the week or so prior to when I was doing my stalking. And I counted that she had approximately 75 people tell her Happy Birthday. Now, here is the real confession part. I'm super happy without this guy and I am genuinely glad he seems to be happy and all-- he'd always wanted a family so I'm glad he's getting one. But in the back of my mind, since I'd seen those Birthday posts, I'd hoped that I would get more than 75 posts. Just 76 would have been fine.

And I did. Now, if that makes me a bad, selfish, obnoxious person, that's ok. Cause more than 76 people think I'm cool enough to say "Happy Birthday" to! Actually quite a few more than 76 which is nice! Its like that LeAnn Womack song--

I heard he was gonna marry some girl from Denver
Then my sister came over, had the Sunday paper with her
There was the girl on the social page
Lookin' in love and all engaged
We decided she don't take a very good picture

It may be my family's redneck nature
Rubbin' off, bringin' out unlady-like behavior
It sure ain't Christian to judge a stranger
But I don't like her
She may be a stranger who spends all winter
Bringin' the homeless blankets and dinner
A regular Nobel Peace Prize winner
But I really hate her
I'll think of a reason later

I drew horns and blacked out her tooth with a marker
Childish, yes, but she made such a thin little target
I couldn't be happier on my own
But I've got the slightest of a jealous bone
And seein' her with him tends to enlarge it

It may be my family's redneck nature
Rubbin' off, bringin' out unlady-like behavior
It sure ain't Christian to judge a stranger
But I don't like her
She may be a stranger who spends all winter
Bringin' the homeless blankets and dinner
A regular Nobel Peace Prize winner
But I really hate her
I'll think of a reason later

Inside her head may lay all the answers
For curin' diseases from baldness to cancer
Salt of the earth and a real good dancer
But I really hate her
I'll think of a reason later

(Spoken) Well, it was just one tooth
Did I mention I don't particularly care for her?
She makes me sick...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

# 80 Wow...

It might be hard to see this in the picture, but I'm in line at Walmart in Cleveland- there are 14 people with buggies in front of me. This is the shortest line!
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

# 79 Moving Day, Part Two...

Well, folks, I'm here. Parker and I are officially Delta residents. Or, I'm a Delta Dawn (Jessica Dawn) and Parker's a Delta Dog! Yesterday went pretty smoothly and mom and I, with the assistance of Robert and Larry, were able to load most everything up and last night I did my obligatory drive around Laurel listening to some good music and reminiscing/crying/praying/laughing/etc. about my life in Laurel. I even drove out to where my maternal grandparents are buried, but unfortunately, despite the ridiculously bright moon, I was too scared to actually walk into the cemetery. Its the thought that counts.

This morning, Dad headed down to Laurel and we hit the road. About an hour later than I'd hoped, but we made it! My landlady had forgotten to drop off the key, so we spent a few minutes on the porch waiting for her, and as soon as she arrived and met the family, we hit up a Cleveland hotspot-- BackYard Burgers. Thats right, folks, the Carr family don't play when we come to town. Also, there was a bathroom there so we were all about to wash our hands, etc., since the water isn't turned on at my house yet!

Then comes the unloading. Let me say this-- my family is AWESOME! My sweet brother, and avid reader/commenter, Nicholas, was willing, with little to no arm twisting, to skip an Ole Miss baseball game to come over and unload all my stuff from the Uhaul. Isn't he the best? He really deserves another blog post, but he just got one, so it will have to wait.

The weather is really nice today, so it wasn't too bad unloading everything. Parker had to stay in the kitchen, which did not make her happy, as evidenced by the "happy" she left us in the laundry room. That's my girl, already marking her territory!!

There was one, um, uncomfortable moment about two-thirds of the way through with the unloading. The Mayor lost his shirt. Literally. He took his shirt off because he was so hot and sweaty. Now, I don't know about you guys, but that's not really the first impression I wanted to make upon moving to a new town. At least one person nearly ran off the road. Presumably from the blinding white skin. I hope that most of the good citizens of Cleveland weren't driving down South Victoria Street around 3 p.m. today. I'll never get rid of the hangers-on wanting to be my friends.

Now we are unloaded, and the family has left. Parker and I sat outside for a while enjoying the pretty day (and shedding minimal tears!). Then we got back inside and got to work. Cleaning, unpacking, etc. And more importantly, finding my chapsticks. Now that the most necessary stuff is out of the way, we got out the computer in hopes of putting on some music (television won't be installed until Wednesday!), and, lucky us, we found some free internet! Thanks linksys lha!

And you should thank linksys lha because now you can enjoy some of the pictures we've taken already!

My room!

The kitchen-- if you look to the back left side, you will see the pillow where we made Parker stay while we were unloading.

Dining room-- this is where most of the stuff went that we didn't know where else to put. Also, as my dad pointed out, there were a heck of a lot of boxes of books-- and, if we were moving Betsy, it would have been much easier, no books. More clothes, however!

Living room-- sorta already looking homey, right?

Front porch-- you can see Parker watching me! I love the glass screen door-- its open and lets in a lot of light and Parker likes to look outside and see what is going on-- she is super nosy! She's already barked at lots of neighbors.

A fabulous surprise-- I've Got Mail! I already had mail when I arrived today! Thanks to my super cool and thoughtful Aunt Jane, an avid reader and commenter of this blog! It was a birthday card and a housewarming card! I love getting mail and my Aunt Jane has a super gift of being welcoming and encouraging and thoughtful like that! She sends beautiful cards and has the most beautiful handwriting as well! Thanks Aunt Jane! Love it!

One of the top things on the To Do list-- get a wreath for this door! Its a really pretty red-orange color and it needs a Spring wreath!

Second on the To Do list-- find a new mirror for the bathroom-- this one is hideous! Its like this odd primary colored splatter-painted silver frame.

Parker, as usual, doesn't even bother to pretend to help. At least she could go, like, into the kitchen and pretend to be unloading boxes in there, where no one can see.

Traveling injury-- small piece of wood on this pink chair (its my mom's!) broke off, but I think it can be fixed!

And finally, the World's Best Going Away Gift-- from my mom:

Its Wyatt Waters and its signed! But, even better, its Waffle House! I'm sad to say that Cleveland doesn't have a Waffle House. Which might be ok-- I mean, no Waffle House will ever mean as much to me as the Laurel Waffle House. I love going there with my mom, my Aunt Ju and my cousin Em. We've spent many a random meal there, laughing and being silly. We've even started planning a sitcom based on Waffle House. I don't trust you readers enough to share the fantastic title we came up with, or any of the many plot lines we've personally witnessed. But, it will be a great mockumentary, a la The Office, and maybe one day I will tell you about it! For now, I'm headed to WalMart! Got stuff to buy! Also, need to go to the bathroom.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

# 78 Moving Day, Part One!

Its moving day! Things are going nicely and we are almost loaded up. I am lucky enough to have Robert and Larry to help me load up- they have done a fabulous job! I'm kinda dreading unloading tomorrow but unloading is usually easier than loading! This picture is of my new favorite vehicle, the Uhaul! I drove I back from Blackwells where I rented it and its a lot nicer than previous Uhauls I've driven. Still no automatic windows though! The seat also doesn't move so I had to sit on the edge just to reach the pedal! But tomorrow my dads driving, so no sweat off my back! Anyone want to come help unload tomorrow in Cleveland??!!
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Friday, March 18, 2011

# 77 Pokemon anyone?

I'll be honest. I've not kept up a whole lot with the situation (heh, the Situation) in Japan. I know, it makes me a terrible person. I'm not sure what I was doing when the earthquake happened, but I haven't been on the computer a whole lot recently, and I never watch the news, so I've not read much about it. Regardless, I KNOW its an awful, awful tragedy and I've found that awful tragedies bring out the best in people (another post for another day). And I just saw this article here, that reminds us what is really important-- giving to people who have less than us. And, right now, most of Japan has less than us. And while I'm all for giving (even now when I'm a bit of a financial charity case myself, I try to give lots of time and energy since I have no money to give!), and I encourage you to donate to the Red Cross (you can click here to give!), what actually caught my eye about the article wasn't the giving, it was who was giving. Ichiro Suzuki, specifically.

Now, I've decided, after looking at these pictures, that Ichiro is a pretty good looking guy, and he seems, after reading some of these articles about him, to be very successful, humble and hard-working. All good things. But the point of this blog isn't to go on and on about this man, its to tell you a story.

Picture it, Meridian, Summer of 2002. Bonita Lakes Mall. Kiosk near food court. Sideline Sports. Owner, David Carr. Worker, Jessica Carr.

I spent many an hour at this kiosk selling college memorabillia and t-shirts and hats and baseball cards and Pokemon figures, etc. I did this for my dad, who is better to me than I ever deserve. He raised me to know a fair amount about sports. I believe I am in the top percentile when it comes to knowledge of sports by girls. Partially because I do love sports and I care and I pay attention, and partially because Nicholas and my dad discuss all sorts of useless aspects of sports and I sometimes get stuck listening.

Regardless, I like to hold myself out as a sports lover and, while I might not be a fanatic, I get the gist of most sports conversations and can hold my own. So, this story is particularly embarrassing for me. And probably for Ichiro as well.

This Ichiro guy has hit the big time-- he's playing the MLB and his name is everywhere.

Similarly, there is another Asian phenomenon that has hit America-- Pokemon.

A young kid walks over to the kiosk. I'm basically ignoring him, watching the clock, waiting for 8 p.m. when I can pull down the little chain wall and head on home. Its been a long day. I've only gotten to go to the bathroom once when I could convince the lady at the arcade next door to watch the merchandise. I've had bratty kids bothering me all day-- looking at stuff and then walking away because they didn't really have any money to begin with. Another kid walks up, and asks, "Hey- do y'all have any Ichiro cards?" I ignore him. He asks again. Finally, I point him in the direction of the front card case. He looks for a second and comes back over to me. Asks for "Ichiro cards" again.

I sign and say, "Pokemon cards are right there." He looks at me funny and walks away.

It wasn't until later than night when I told my dad the story did I realize that Ichiro does not equal Pokemon. I'm sure that's racist or something. But I don't see any articles about how any Pokemon characters have donated money to Japan.

# 76 Spring has Sprung!!!

Thoughts on my new background (called Spring has Sprung from!)??

Also, thanks for helping me get above 4000 posts yesterday! I'm so proud of you, dear readers! If you were here with me, I'd give you a big hug! Next goal? 5000 before Easter!!!

# 75 A weekend to look forward to...

Last week was a weekend to remember-- this one is going to be a weekend to forget. Its moving time! I am so very excited about moving and about building a new life in a new place-- its exactly what I need at this point in my life. However, moving is a pain! Its messy, its hot (regardless of the actual weather), its frustrating and its tiring. In a way, moving is kind of a metaphor for my life lately-- I've got to get through the packing of the boxes and the moving of the stuff and the destroying of my pretty little home and the messiness of the situation, in order to get into my new life-- the ugliness comes before the prettiness. Totally my life-- my life's gotten a bit ugly here recently and I've got to get through a bunch of obstacles before I'm happy with it and myself again. I'm at the last obstacle-- actually moving my stuff!!!

I've spent all week trying to get work stuff finished, pack boxes, move boxes around, find a U-haul, find people to help me move, get my utilities turned on, etc. Oh yeah, and remember that great conference resort place I went to last weekend? I was able to bring home an additional souvenir-- some form of bed bugs. So this week I also got to go to the doctor (a horrible experience for someone with no insurance!), get medicines, take medicines, be super drowsy from said medicine, and clean, vacuum and wash all sorts of stuff in an effort to get rid of my new friends. I think I managed. I've not bothered to take pictures of the bites on my arms, but they looked really bad for a while, but are finally looking better. And they no longer really itch that much, so that's good!

Moving is never very fun and I'm lucky that for this particular move, I will have a "second chance"-- meaning, I will be home next week so if i forget anything or don't have room, I can pick it up then. Thank goodness!! The U-haul will be picked up tomorrow before noon and the guys helping me move will arrive at 2. So, I've got lots to do before tomorrow! Parker and I will head out with Mom and Dad on Sunday, arriving in Cleveland after lunch! One minor problem-- water won't be turned on till Monday! So don't come by to use my bathroom! I think we will be ok though!

Now, I know you will fuss at me for what I'm about to say, but here it is-- expect sporadic posts from now until next Wednesday when I get my internet. I know, I know-- its shocking- I've NEVER missed a blog post, ever. Come rain shine, bed bugs, strep throat, vacation, sleeping in, Gala, boredom, blogger's block, etc. NEVER. I'm reliable like that, but I hope you can understand that I will probably not have much of a chance to blog for the next couple days. I also hope you will understand my sarcasm in the previous sentences- I KNOW I'm not so great at blogging every day, despite my promises to do so. I'm continuing to work on that! I will try to blog via email on my phone, but please don't be sending me any of those harassing texts wherein you fuss at me for not blogging!

Ok, I must get back to work-- I've got lots to do today and I've already done a ton of stuff! I'm tired!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

# 74 I'm breaking all my goals...

On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, I hit a huge milestone-- 3000 viewers! I was so very excited and super proud of myself and this blog and my avid readers-- it really really makes me happy to have someone tell me that they read and enjoyed my blog! I won't even mention the losers in my life who don't read my blog and how that makes me feel inside-- that's something more for my therapist, you know (Ahem, I'm not naming names but rhymes with Pant Su).

And today, I check my blog and I see that we are only about 50 views from the Big 4000!! So, readers, let's hit this today! Read my blog, then click to another website (perhaps to see my wishlist for my birthday? Or ebay to look for those dang Anthropologie plates from a previous blog? Or to to book a flight to come visit me in the Delta?) and then come back to my blog so I will have even more views! I'm so proud of you, dear readers!

My goal is to get this blog to hit the big time. Well at least, the local bigtime! When Penny and Emilee and I went hit the town in New Orleans back at Christmas time, we ran into some interesting characters-- a large group of people dressed in obnoxious Christmas outfits-- there was Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation and several elves and ugly Santas, etc. One particular guy was a total showboat and I enticed him to take a picture with Em and Penny by telling him it was for a "Travel blog" that gets over 3000 hits a day! And I was doing a piece on New Orleans. He obviously believed me as he let me take the picture! Or else he was just drunk!

So, let's not prove me a liar to this idiot Christmas elf, ok? Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your dentist and let's get lots of readers! I'm just kidding! I don't care if this Christmas elf thinks I'm a moron-- I just want people to enjoy this blog and if that's one person, that's all that matters!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

# 73 A weekend in review...

This weekend I was super lucky to get to go to the Daddy's Girl Weekend in Ocean Springs. For those of you not cool enough to be in the know, the term "Daddy's Girl" refers to a sorority-girl-type of woman who has her daddy's money and her momma's good looks and is the subject of many a piece of gossip! The books I've been reading recently, the Bones Series, by Carolyn Haines (see previous blog posts!) are all about Sarah Booth Delaney, a disgraced "Daddy's Girl" turned private investigator. And this weekend, Carolyn Haines, the author of the Bones series as well as numerous other books, threw a "Daddy's Girl Weekend" down in Ocean Springs for readers and writers alike. Several authors, including Haines herself, were there and we had all sorts of sessions about characters and writing and books and ideas, etc. It was amazing. I love to read. Love it. I could fall into a good book and not look up for hours. The last few years, especially since law school, I've done little to no reading. But, the last couple months, in direct response to everything that's been going on, I've picked up lots of books-- some old favorites (Anne of Green Gables) and some new favorites (anything Carolyn Haines!)-- in short, I've rediscovered my love of a good book.

And this weekend was an amazing exclamation point to my rediscovered love of reading! Do you know how awesome it is to sit in a room with other women (and a few men) and talk about books? Your favorites? Your childhood favorites? Books that changed your life and why? What you want to read? What you hated reading? To sit and talk about all these questions is just plain great. There aren't words to describe how wonderful it felt to be sitting in a room with total strangers and feel like these women were as close as sisters to me. I loved it.

Plus, there was a whole lot of crazy fun in between talking about all these books! There was a "Big Daddy" contest where three extremely brave men vied for the title of "Big Daddy"-- they gave toasts and wrote haikus, danced a jig and tried to bribe the "mascot" Schoochie, and generally groveled for our votes! I had a blast getting to know some really cool women, and spending time with my friend, Melinda, who was my partner-in-crime for the weekend! But the coolest woman of all was Carolyn herself-- she was so fun and so interesting and so accessible-- not many authors would throw together a weekend so they could meet their fans and have a great time! She was really cool, and I hope you will pick up one of her books-- in fact, call me- you can borrow some of mine when I get done-- I bought a bunch this weekend!!!

Here are some pictures of the weekend!

Two new friends- Renee and Sylvia (or should I saw Pursy Hominy and Scarlett Magnolia) at the Big Daddy Crowning-- wearing their piegnors. They looked so fabulous-- I'm ashamed to say I wore boring old pajamas. There once was a time when I would have been all up in this dressing up thing-- see any time in law school when I wore whatever I wanted-- but the past few months have been tough on me and I must say I just didn't have it in me to plan a cute wardrobe for the weekend (and it takes planning!). I believe a move to the Delta is exactly what I need to get me back into my old-self-lifestyle, so I do believe that next year, I will be all over wearing such a fabulous outfit!)

Scarlett's DIY fabulous shoes-- a Daddy's Girl makes do with what she's got!

The hotel where we stayed in Ocean Springs

One of the first sessions I went to-- I nearly turned 400 shades of red the first time I had to speak up about what books I was reading-- thoughts were racing through my mind-- thinking I wouldn't be reading anything interesting or literary enough for these people, wondering what these people would think of me, what they would think of my book choices, etc. But, it was so relaxed and inviting that those thoughts quickly faded away-- I'm working on not being so worried about what everyone else is thinking about me, and I tried to work on that this weekend-- I quickly realized that everyone has their own book choices and no one was judging me for mine! These ladies were open and inviting and I loved them!!!

Dean James, a Southern author, leading the discussions-- I'll post more about Dean another day-- he's written all kinds of books, two of which I bought this weekend and hope to start soon, and he was lots of fun! Also, he was crowned Big Daddy!

Our room-- also, another post on this particular room is forthcoming!!

Several of us ladies eating lunch Saturday-- you can see avid blog reader Melinda in the back right!

There was a huge kayak contest going on while we were there this weekend-- it actually started from our hotel, so there were lots of athletic kayakers around all weekend. It started off with a bang, literally, a cannon bang, and this is a picture I snapped while we were eating at a local restaurant-- these were some of the racers.

# 72 A sad goodbye...

Thursday night I had dinner with a couple of my friends from Laurel Junior Auxiliary at Mi Casita-- it was a goodbye dinner! I'm going to miss them so incredibly much! There were a couple other people there but these are all the pictures I was able to take!

Me with Lisa Bergin and Jill Myers, two of the girls in my class-- they are two of the nicest people you will ever meet and I'm truly lucky to have met them-- I hope we can stay in touch (and they've promised to sneak me into the Gala next year!)

With Allison Travis-- my dear friend! I love Allison-- we've been to Disney and the beach together, worked at church and through JA and the Museum together, cried, laughed, and made it through some tough times. I love this girl!

I'm going to miss LJA-- its been such a good organization to be a part of. I've been able to really help some people in our community through Project Destination, Salvation Army, and Very Special Arts Festival. My mom was in Junior Auxiliary and she worked really hard as a member, and she also gained a lot of useful skills-- fundraising, writing, publicity, and other social skills. I am glad to be part of an organization that she was a part of-- I do hate that I won't be able to continue being a LJA member when I move! But I know God has other things for me!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

# 71 When in Rome...

I'm at a Carolyn Haines Daddys Girl weekend in Ocean Springs, MS, with my friend Melinda! We are having a fabulous time despite the fact that I don't feel so great. The sessions are for readers and writers and we've met some cool writers and gotten to discuss books and characters and stuff like that for two days! Its so cool to get to go to lunch with a bunch of ladies and exchange favorite books and authors- its just neat, and rare! I love it! This picture is a pile of books I bought while here this weekend- all of whome are written by authors who attended or led a session!
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Friday, March 11, 2011

# 70 R.I.P. Rufus Briggs

Most of you know how much I adore my Parker. She's the sweetest girl. But, many of you don't know that there was a dog that I adored prior to Parker-- the sweetest boy-- Rufus Briggs. Rufus belonged to my dear friend Katherine Briggs Collier, and he went through law school with us and then was there was we transitioned into being "adults" and trying to figure out what we were doing, where we wanted to be, who we wanted to be, etc. But, no matter where we lived, or what party we were throwing, or what drama we were dealing with, Rufus was the mascot of my group of friends. I'm not sure there is a better description than mascot-- he really was-- he was our symbol and he was always there for us, and allowed us to love on him, step over him, laugh at him, dress him up, even ignore him if necessary. He was the sweetest dog with quite possibly the largest head I've ever seen on a dog that size. He was also a total man-magnet for whoever might be walking him-- many a day did Rufus attract a huge crowd while walking at Double Decker or in the Grove or around Oxford. And while he was entirely large enough to drag whoever might be "walking" him, he was kind enough to let the walker always feel in control.

I've never been a dog fan. I didn't really grow up with dogs and the few dogs we've had over the years usually met with a pretty rough fate. There was Eli, Archie, Rebels One and Two, and Helow. Probably some others I don't recall. These dogs died in various ways-- one was hit with a BB gun, a couple were "dognapped" and one had a liver problem or something. Regardless, I'd never really bonded with a dog before, and to be honest, I was a bit scared of them, especially big dogs. So I was a bit concerned when Rufus arrived. But it just so happened that Rufus was the kindest Rottweiler that ever lived. He was incredibly well-mannered, and you didn't have to worry about him accidentally biting off your hand while trying to give him a treat. He would rest at your feet, or sometimes, try to get on top of you when he'd forget he was a big dog!

I immediately decided that Rufus wasn't a threat, and eventually, we even became friends. He was there at many wonderful (and some not-so-wonderful) points of my life-- law school, parties with my friends, moments crying on the couch, Sex and the City watching parties, the Collier wedding, many karaoke songs, playing Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit (and usually losing-- my friends are smart!), the Grove, the Bar, and lots of other times.

Here are some of the pictures I have of him:

This is Rufus watching me on my birthday-- this was my Pajama Sleepover Party at Katherine's house-- 2nd year of law school, 2005

Penny and Rufus in the Grove for a concert!

Rufus always allowed us to dress him up for various occasions which was quite nice of him considering he could have totally bitten our hands! This was for our Back-to-School Luau Cookout at Carey Corlew's house-- August 2005

Valentine's Brunch at Katherine's House-- February, 2005

This was a karaoke night, and I believe it was the night of Shannon's birthday, October 2005-- I think he really enjoyed our singing.

This is just a funny picture! At Katherine's house with Amy Tolliver

I've often told Parker about her "Uncle Rufus" who is the reason I love her so dearly. She's never met "Uncle Rufus", mostly because I love Rufus dearly and I figured Parker can be a bit wild sometimes and he probably didn't really want to put up with that at his age! A couple weeks ago, I got to stay with Katherine, and the next morning, after she left for work, I stayed later to get ready and I was able to talk to Rufus and hang out with him. He didn't seem that impressed with me, but I was glad to get to see him. I'm even gladder that I gave him a big hug when I left and kissed him! He's the best dog and he will truly be missed-- I'm crying while writing this blog! I love him!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

# 69 More info than you ever cared to know...

I love getting emails. I also love getting comments on here, but most of you slackers are really letting me down on that front (except Aunt Jane-she's the best!). But I love getting emails too and I even like getting those random email forwards where people fill out answers to the questions and you get to know people even better. So, I've decide to do that on here!!


Jessica Dawn Carr




Depends- who is asking? Jason Bateman? Single. Sean Penn? Taken. Ryan Gosling? Single. Charlie Sheen? Way taken. Colin Firth? Single.


March 24-- that's coming up soon, so everyone better finish reading this blog and get to buying me some gifts! See previous blog posts for some ideas!!








Right now I live in Laurel-- in two weeks, I'll be living in Cleveland, Ms.




Filling out this quiz on my blog.


Typed "Filling out this quiz on my blog." Prior to filling out this quiz, I read a fax I'd just received.


Mailing supplies


Yesterday I picked up Hibachi from Newton for me and Carol, but we ate at the office, so that doesn't count.


I'd be a book.






Very rainy.


Betsy- yesterday.


Nicholas, this morning






Blue shirt and khaki pants


No, but I'm wearing reading glasses right now.


Parker is my best girl, everyone else is a tie for second!


I have no idea.




Yes. I've won lots of awards-- Star Student, Miss Mississippi Junior National Teenager, academic awards, Scholar-Athlete, Miss Hospitality, etc. I'm very special!


Go home and get ready for my last night at FBC church!




Love Actually or You've Got Mail.


The Eagle.


I have no idea.


Chanel No. 5 and Happy by Clinique


Yes. Are you going to ask me to dance?


Um, yes.




Today? Or ever? Ever would be moving to Laurel and starting my own law practice!


Anything but scary movies.






The amount in my bank account.


I sleep in t-shirt and yoga pants, so all different colors. Last night, gray pants, blue shirt.


Pink or red. I don't remember!




being depressed


Where is Parker?




No set amount-- just when I can get to it. Unless I decide not to answer. I'm shady.


Billy Graham


Work for a Chamber of Commerce type business where you promote your area or interior designer, I guess. I'd prefer not to work and just do lots of volunteer work.


Half full






Dr. Pepper. Root Beer is disgusting.


Is this a real question?


Never done either.























Wednesday, March 9, 2011

# 68 Girls in Action...

So tonight is my last night teaching GA's on Wednesday night at FBC, Laurel. I love my GA girls. Love them. Over the years, I've taught many different groups at various churches-- at FBC, Newton, I've taught Bible School, some years as a helper and some years as the only teacher; FBC, Oxford, Rebekah and I taught Mission Friends, which was super fun and mostly consisted of going into the craft closet and trying to figure out what type craft we could make with glue, feathers, sequins and pipe cleaners (Rebekah has a knack for figuring things like that out!), at Springfield Baptist Church in Morton and Bay Springs Baptist Church in Bay Springs, I spent an entire summer teaching youth on Sunday and Wednesday nights.

A few years ago, after I'd been in Laurel for a couple months, I decided I needed to get back involved in church, and so, one Wednesday night, I went to prayer meeting. And it was... boring. Sorry Bro. Randy. I was the youngest there by 15 years and I quickly realized that if I was going to continue to come to church on Wednesday night, I'd need to find something else to do. So, the next week, I was talking with a friend at supper on Wednesday night, and mentioned that I'd love to help with the nursery, Mission Friends, etc., if I was needed. It just so happened that I was sitting right beside the new children's minister, Joan, and she quickly assigned me to help with the 4-6 grade GA's. I'd been involved in GA's at FBC many years ago, so it was nice to come full circle.

And I love love love my GA girls. Now the girls who started out in 4th grade when I started teaching are now in the youth group, but I love all of them-- its probably one of the saddest things about leaving Laurel. Not to sound awful or anything, but I'm not a huge support of Missions-- I mean, I love missions and think they are so important to a church and to Christians everywhere, but there are plenty of people who have a much more passionate heart for missions than I do. But I have a passionate heart for my girls-- I want them to be happy, healthy, whole young girls who grow up to be happy, healthy, whole women. I'm so proud of them and I think they are so sweet and so smart and so fun and interesting and cool. I just want wonderful things for them! I hope that with Facebook and the internet and such, I will be able to stay in touch with them! I'd love to go into detail about how unique and fun and cool each one of the girls is, but I'm afraid it will just make me cry at this point. I've taken some pictures the last couple weeks of church and I'm posting them here for you all to see my sweet girls!!! This isn't all of the girls, but its most of them! Tonight will be my last night and we are having ice cream sundaes to celebrate!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

# 67 I want it, I need it, I have to have it...

In direct response to my excellent rummage sale showing this weekend, I've spent the last couple days thinking of exactly how I want my new house to look-- if I had tons of money and tons of time! I love thinking about decorating and I love reading magazines about design- its my hobby. Unfortunately, I won't be able to afford any or even some of these new things, but I can keep dreaming...

anthropologie nammoura dessert plates--

I am devastated about these-- I just saw them in a magazine from December and now that I finally have enough money to buy, I see that they are all sold out. No where to be found.

If there is anyone who has access to an Anthropologie and would be willing to go buy these for me, I would be forever grateful. I promise to pay you back, or, if you are especially nice, you can give them to me as a birthday present! Or housewarming! I REALLY want these plates! So pretty!

A green couch-- I think this will look fabulous in my new living room. I'm going to be using a chair I found on the side of the road and recovered in a taupe-green-purple-pink flowered pattern in the living room and this couch will look fabulous. I plan on taking the old pink sleeper sofa that's been with me most my life but I'd love to have it recovered some day and a green would be perfect!!

White Square Shelving-- for the dining room area- which I'm actually going to be using as an office

All my books and pictures will look fabulous on this shelf! Ikea, here I come....