Top 10 Things I Miss from Tennessee

Since moving from Knoxville to Los Angeles, I’ve certainly experienced my fair share of homesickness. While I love my new city (hey, I can lettuce wrap anything, my electric bill is about $35 per month, and buy any alcohol on Sunday!), it’s clear that some things are just better in Tennessee.

  1. Nice people

I’ve yet to experience someone being rude to me, specifically (if I’m not counting the idiot that yelled out his truck window to tell me that he hated my dog while I was walking her), but there are a lot of vocal jerks. It’s a fairly common occurrence to see someone bellowing into their phone or giving a complete stranger a piece of their mind.

  1. Measuring distance in miles instead of minutes

Depending on the direction you’re going and the time of day, going just a few miles can take half an hour. Knowing something is 20 miles away can be daunting.

  1. Leaving the poop

I hate picking up my dog’s poop. I understand why the law exists but I don’t have to like it. Carrying around that little warm baggie grosses me the hell out. (Or at least give me a place to throw it away!)

  1. Sweet tea

I need to buy a pitcher so I can start making my own.

  1. Turn lights

Turning left it is probably one of the most terrifying things in L.A. as it mostly consists of a social contract among Angelinos. When your light turns red, you turn left and pray that the oncoming traffic gives you a minute to get out of the way.

  1. Free shopping bags

It is 10 cents for every bag you get at any store. Those suckers aren’t free here.

  1. Breathing

Evie and I are both allergic to something out here. While I never dealt with allergies in Knoxville (shocker, I know), I’m definitely susceptible to something in L.A. I dislike the itchy eyes and my morning sore throat. Plus, Evie hasn’t stopped sneezing since we got off the 10.

  1. Parking

Not only is parking a struggle when you’re out and about (think expensive garages, sparse metered parking, and valet-only lots) but parking at home can be a pain, too. Each neighborhood has a district tag ( that you pay for either annually or quarterly) and you can only park in your specific area in the evenings and on weekends. Additionally, you have to move your car around at least once per week for street cleaning or get a ticket ($70 lost… already happened).

  1. Lack of honking

In Tennessee, no one honks. And if someone does, it’s because something terrible is happening. In L.A. the general population is honk-happy. It gives me a headache. There are so many great outdoor things to do in L.A. but the mood is always ruined by obnoxious people in cars.

  1. Fast food BBQ places.

I miss quick BBQ so much. What I wouldn’t give for a freakin Buddies Bar-B-Q.

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Tales of a Brand New L.A. Resident

For a while I’ve contemplated the new beginnings of a blog dedicated mostly to my experiences as a brand new Los Angeles transplant. However, as I live in the West Hollywood area, it took me a while to get past the, “Everyone’s so fit!” and “Why is everything so expensive?” stage. Well, as classic LA stereotypes, I didn’t have the urge to write about those just yet.

One thing P and I have decided to do as noobs, is try to do a couple tourist activities every month. We figured we have about a year to get them out of our system. And frankly, it would be great research for people who visit, as we would have first-hand knowledge of what is worth seeing/doing and what isn’t (Hint hint!).

I’ve also been hesitant to start this blog while planning a wedding. In addition to the normal stress that goes into putting together such an event, going out in L.A. IS expensive and we’re trying to save money. So, generally, the stuff we’ve been trying has either been free or found on a discount website. T’was a surprise, but Amazon Local has been a huge find for us.

So… here goes.

Geek Time

So, this post will probably be of little interest to those of you that merely follow me for my book review blog or grad school musings. BUT I just had to make a quick post about my seriously awesome boyfriend.

For those of you that know Patrick, he is working on his career in comic art/ storyboarding and he has been donating covers to an organization that sells comic books on ebay and then sends all the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. This is his third donation and I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite he’s done so far.

20140206-153431.jpg

You can see the bidding here:

http://m.ebay.com/itm/350989378826?nav=SEARCH&sbk=1

I’m honestly completely blown away by how talented he is and had to share. 🙂

Story Time

For one of my latest assignments I have been required to keep a ‘story journal’. The idea is that we look for stories (folk or fairy tales, etc.) write up a summery, find the ‘bones’ of the story, and explain how we would adapt them for different audiences. This has been a bit of a challenge for me as, while I love playing the actress, I’m not really a fan of being the person deciding what to perform. I’ve never been particularly great in front of a group if I’m required to ‘act’ as myself. I do much better as some assigned character. There is just something very telling and personal about an individual in what they choose. Plus, improv has never been my strong suit.

This class is originally supposed to be for library students going into school or children’s libraries, which is one area I have absolutely zero interest. I tend to lean more toward non-fiction drama, local native stories, and things that tend to be creepy.

So I guess this is me asking if anyone has read any good short stories that could be told aloud by a single individual. I’m completely open to ideas or genres.

Tennessee- SJR 127

This is a really opinionated post, so feel free to stop reading now. I might have a post like this every so often but I don’t intend to make political issues a major part of this blog.

 

This year, when you vote in Tennessee, you will also be voting for SJR 127- Abortion Specifics. Currently, in Tennessee, you have a fundamental right to an abortion. This resolution will change Tennessee’s Constitution to allow politicians (NOT doctors or medical personnel) the ability to enact restrictions on women if they want an abortion.

 

One really important thing you need to note about this potential change is that it gives absolutely zero protection to women whose pregnancies result from rape, incest, or whose life is endangered by the pregnancy. This resolution completely takes away the fundamental right to an abortion in this state. Voting for SJR 127 opens up the possibility for laws to pass that make it near impossible to obtain an abortion (or potentially outlaw the procedure altogether) even in these circumstances.

 

I know there are a lot of reasons people are against abortion. And it is important to realize that these are PERSONAL reasons. Maybe you are religious. Maybe you simply consider birth to begin at conception. You have a right to act on these beliefs and no one should take away these rights from you. However, these are beliefs that you have determined are right to you as an individual. They are an opinion. Would you want someone imposing their beliefs/opinions on you? Of course not.

 

In this same vein, there are a lot of reasons someone would want an abortion. For example, maybe the woman has cancer and in order to receive chemo she needs to have an abortion? What if she can’t obtain an abortion quickly enough due to delays and clinics closing because of new laws? Or what if fetus personhood laws go into effect? That would give the fetus a ‘right-to-life’ and she would be unable to terminate the pregnancy OR have lifesaving treatment. Shouldn’t this incredibly difficult decision be left up to the woman and her family alone?

 

I, myself, am not sure I would ever be able to have an abortion, especially at this stage in my life. BUT I fully believe that everyone should have the right to choose what they want for themselves. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. Simple. However, I see a real problem with taking away a woman and her family’s choice all together.

 

I honestly don’t understand why a stranger should have the ability to make these decisions for me. My health and what I do with my body should not be determined by my government.

 

Please take the time to read all the information. Even if you don’t agree with me it is important to be informed. Your vote will make a major impact in one way or another.

 

Senate Joint resolution 127

http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/106/Bill/SJR0127.pdf

 

How your congressman voted

http://votesmart.org/bill/13395/abortion-specifications#.UuGQ7RAo672

 

Planned Parenthood Statement

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/local-press-releases/planned-parenthood-reacts-resolution-restricting-tennessee-womens-rights-36971.htm

 

Rolling Stone- The Stealth War on Abortion

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-stealth-war-on-abortion-20140115

Well… I guess we’ll see if I get harassed for posting this.

Top Ten: Things I Wanted to be when I Grew Up

You are probably well aware that I am currently in my last semester of getting my master’s degree in Information Science. BUT it took me a while to get to here. Here are a few of the things I wanted to be while growing up.

 

10. Ballerina

I think this is quite possibly a standard among young girls that take ballet.

 

9. Musician

Another standard. I was fairly certain I was going to join a band and become famous. Duh.

 

8. Movie Director

This was short lived. As a teenager I loved putting together little movie clips with my friends. We didn’t make anything really worth showing the world but we had a lot of fun.

 

7. Journalist

I went through a period where I really thought I wanted to be a reporter. NOT making the High School Journalism/ Year Book class really killed that dream. Thanks Sequoyah, you dream crusher, you. I still hold a grudge.

 

6. Marine Biologist

I think this is the first “serious” career I wanted. It started around middle school and I loved water and animals so I guess I thought they went well together. Only, it didn’t stick. Science is not my forte.

 

5. Writer

I must admit, some small part of me thinks I’m going to publish the next great American novel.

 

4. Actress

I did a lot of acting growing up and it was always something I thought I was good at. I won the drama award in high school twice, but I didn’t think I had the luck or the look to do anything substantial. A drama teacher was certainly not something I wanted to be.

 

3. Meteorologist

This was my high school dream. If I couldn’t be an actress at least I would be on tv. Weather always intrigued me. I was that kid that, during the tornado watch, would go outside and watch the sky turn green (ok, maybe that was stupidity).

 

2. Psychologist/ Therapist

Oh college. This was a whim for a while. I was a psychology major and thought I was pretty good at counseling. Only, this was another career path that would take significantly more education and I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest so much time.

 

1. Lawyer

I wanted to be a lawyer probably the longest. I loved arguing when I was a kid, and I pride myself in being a very logical person with decent writing skills. So, naturally, this was on my radar.