Monday, April 26, 2010

seven kinds of happy.

Listening To: Save Me by Elenowen
Line Obsession: "I suppose you can never tell right off who might have a piece of Prince Charming deep down inside." - from Savvy by Ingrid Law

Happy Monday, friends! There is a good chance this blog will be full of mistakes. I'm trying to watch Castle while I blog, which is not easy. This is probably not a good time to try multi-tasking. But that Rick Castle is such a charmer, no?

Happy #1: New Faces
I've noticed the blog has been getting some new visitors lately. This time the visits seem legit. The last time several new peeps happened by all at once, it was because the word "boob" was in the post. But this time the hits are staying consistent, even without anatomy talk.

Also, I noticed a few new gorgeous faces in the subscriber section. (You people are seriously too pretty for words.) (Hopefully any male subscribers will not be offended at being called pretty ... :). New faces make me smile. Welcome to those of you who are new to our little corner of the webby world. Feel free to kick off your flip-flops and look around. Or read some old entries. Or gush over the cute furball that is my assistant/associate/crit partner/super secret spy-dog. If you were really here, I would offer you pink Starburst and yummy coffee. And smiley face stickers. And PEZ dispensers shaped like Yoda. Marvelous things! However, it's probably better that you aren't actually here. This way you won't even have to pretend to laugh at my stupid jokes. (Seriously though, thanks so much for reading. I hope you'll leave a comment sometime and let me know what's happening in your world too.)

Happy #2: Biscuit.
I took Biscuit for a bath and nail trim last week. I give her a bath every now and then - but considering the hyper spazztastic nature of my dog, I'm pretty sure I don't always do the best job. So once in awhile, we go see Andria at PetSmart. I always try to convince Biscuit this is a spa day, but she's mostly not into smelling clean. Her favorite thing to do after a bath is run into the backyard and roll in the dirt. After this bath, Andria brushed Biscuit's hair out and made her look so puffy and adorable. And she put a little pink bow in her hair. Adorbs! It looked so cute and girly. I took a picture as soon as we got home. I followed her through the yard with the camera saying, "Biscuit! Look at the camera so I can see your cute bow! ... No, no, no don't get in the mud yet! Let me take a picture first!" She finally turned, sat down, and posed. And the look on her face ...

is what really cracks me up. I think the caption would be something like, "I'm about to tell you exactly what you can do with this stupid bow ..."

Happy #3: Elenowen
The Sara Watkins concert was fantastic! She's such a talented musician and it was fun to hear her solo work. I knew she would be great but there were two other equally great surprises that night: one was the truffle fries. Oh, truffle fries. How I miss thee.

Sarah and I shared an order of these fries and they were delicious. They sprinkle them with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese and then something green. Parsley? That's green, yes? And they bring them out with this delightful creamy dipping sauce. We walked around downtown after the concert but I'm pretty sure it would take days to walk off the calories in those things. That's how good they were. Yum.

A bigger surprise than even the truffle fries, however, was the opening band - Elenowen. Elenowen is a duo out of Nashville who has a country/alternative/sometimes pop sound. They remind me of eastmountainsouth. Sarah thinks they sound like The Coors, which I can totally hear as well. Their CD is good, but their live show is incredible. The lyrics were so pretty, I kept leaning forward just to hear what would come next. What really got me was the way they harmonized. His voice is a little bit alt-rock. Her voice is clear and strong, like a classic country songbird. One never overpowered the other; their just voices twisted around each other and blended together and soared to one beautiful finale after another. Toward the end of their set, they did this acoustic cover of "Tell Me Whatcha Want" by the Spice Girls. Those of us who thrived in the late 90's laughed and cheered and sang along. I think Posh would have approved. She would have called it may-jah.

They had CD's on sale for $5 that night (!) so I picked up one for me and one for my brother. I would highly recommend you give their music a listen! If you have some iTunes bucks you're aching to use, try their songs "Save Me" and "Cripple Me". Those were my favorites, but they were all great. And if you're ever in Knoxville, check to see who's playing The Square Room. They get so many great musicians there (for way cheap). Also, the restaurant attached (also called The Square Room) is home of the notorious truffle fries.

Happy #4: The Project Runway finale.
... I so would have bet an order of truffle fries on Emilio. I didn't want him to win, because I think his ego could fill a thousand tents at Bryant Park. Plus, I don't like it when designers get hateful with Papa Gunn. Despite that, I was sure he would win. He really did make some great clothes (besides the silly-string bikini). I was chatting with my bffMelanie about Emilio, and we both decided that his fashion show was not a good representation of the work he'd done throughout the season. I don't know that I even would have looked at those clothes and thought it was him. Intriguing.

It was nice to see the crown go to Seth Aaron though. I wasn't particularly crazy over any of the collections, but I know zip to the zilch about high-end fashion. The reunion show, however, ruffled my feathers because did you hear Jay's nasty comment to that gorgeous Irish model? "That's why we don't pick models with thick thighs and bad teeth." Are you kidding me?! Did you guys ever think he had it in him to be so mean? That's the kind of spirit that makes me loathe a show, and not want to watch it another season. You're walking a fine line now, PR. Me and my mall jeans are about to walk out on you and pick a different favorite show. (What's your favorite TV show? I seriously do need something new now that PR has ended :) (When does Top Chef start?!)

Did you catch the finale? Your thoughts?

Happy #5: Late night chats with old friends.
Two people I love dearly came up to visit this weekend. We did the usual: ate a lot, sat outside in the rocking chairs and reminisced, watched movies, walked through the market, drank coffee. Sometimes we laughed so hard my face started hurting :). Sometimes we were quiet. But the best part is that we were together. They're the sort of friends I pretty much just love being in a room with. Getting to that point where you can say one word that triggers a random inside joke is pretty awesome.

Happy #6: Sara and Charity
As I mentioned last post, April is National Poetry Month. After writing about that on the blog, I got the coolest email from blog reader Sara Scott. After reading Sara's email, I promptly asked her if I could share some of it with you. Sara (and her cousin, Charity!) were all for it.

Necessary backstory: Sara actually wrote to tell me about her Aunt Ruthy, an incredible woman who has battled some serious health issues for years (I'm talking like years and years). Despite so many setbacks, Ruthy is still fun and inspiring. This is what Sara said about her aunt:
She always puts everyone before herself. When our whole family (I'm talking aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, her) goes and eats at grandma and grandpa's house, she's the last one to sit down to eat and the first one to be done. She always makes sure everyone has enough of everything. When we were little and she would call me and my sister she would always say "If you ever need anything, you can always call me" before we said goodbye. She is just an amazing person who always gives of her time and self for others.

I love that. Sara's cousin, Charity, wrote a poem about the experience that Sara shared in the email. I asked if I could share the poem with you, and she and Charity were cool with it. This is her poem:
The Untitled Poem by Charity Kostedt
Life Hurts
Full of Pain
Makes Me Feel I've Gone Insane
Life Hurts
Full of Grief
Seems To Be No Relief
Life Hurts
God's my Crutch
Makes the Pain Not Hurt So Much

My favorite thing about poetry (this will sound strange, so work with me ;) is that it's broken. I like how poems look fractured and pieced together. I like how sometimes they have a pattern, and sometimes they don't. Even the best ones are a little bit messy. In that way, I think they accurately reflect the human heart. I like poetry because it doesn't have to make sense. And I also like it because, as Charity demonstrates, it can make total sense. I like how she says something so beautiful, and so honest, in so few words. Thanks for letting me share your story, girls! (BTW - My cousin Melanie is my bff too, so when I read about how much you guys are leaning on each other through the tough places, it made me get all kinds of sappy.)

Have I mentioned that you people amaze me with your talent? Because you truly do.

Before I leave: I've been getting several emails lately asking some of the same questions. (I love reading your emails, btw!). Since some of the questions are repeating, I thought I might do a Q&A post sometime soon. So if you have a question about something I might be able to answer (ie: non-math related questions ...), then send me an email or leave it in the comments. I'll keep you anon if I post your question. And if you have a few funny questions that I could use to break up some of the serious, that would be swell :) (FYI - I don't think you'll ask anyway, but I don't like to talk politics up in here. So non-math and non-political questions.) (And probably no questions about raw meat because that grosses me out.)

Hope you guys had a great weekend :) I would love to hear what's new in your world!


  1. I love this! Its a very good idea. Mind if I do 7 kinds of happy on my blog?
    I know I haven't commented in awhile but I have been reading!
    With Love and Blessings,
    Bleah Briann

  2. I was pretty sure Emilio was going to win as well but am glad Seth Aaron won even if he reminded me of Anthony (was that his name?) who won Season 3 and was accused of cheating...?

    PR, Top Chef, HIMYM, Ace of Cakes and LA Ink are a few of my faves. I'm definetely a Bravo, TLC and Food Network type of girl. Oh, and I'm ashamed to say Millionaire Matchmaker too is a fave...

  3. Is Elenowen a Christian group? I love their name :)
    I'm trying to load part of that music video you posted, but my computer/internet moves like a snail, so I can never load very much. :)
    I completely agree with your thoughts on poetry... I love how beautiful and flowy it is, yet, like you said, it's broken. "Broken" poetry is my favorite to write :)
    Thanks for writing this! I'm one of your new "followers" though I don't blog myself. You can thank Jenny B Jones for sending me here :) I just love your style of writing... it's very flowly and sweet :)
    And your dog is adorable! I've always wanted a little fuzzy dog, but instead I have a black lab and some really cute cats :)

  4. So my question for you is about beef....sorry, I mean, quadratic, maybe I should come back when I have an actual question. And have, like, thought about it and stuff.

    Biscuit is sooo cute. You just know she won't put up with nonsense. (Don't tell anyone I told you this ...) I'm not much of a dog person, but I think she is simply adorable.

    That was a fantastic poem. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Biscuit is adorable! Even though she looks like she's glaring at you. =)

    Nice post. I'm supposed to be doing homework right now (ugh...if I can make it through this week!), but I just had to stop by when I saw you had a new post, LOL. Blogs have made me the queen of procrastinators.


  6. You are so awesome! I totally love reading your blog and I promise I'll stay until the aliens invade and steal away my computer:) Hmmmm...favorite shows. I love Ace of Cakes and since I'm a dancer, So You Think You Can Dance. That's exactly how I feel about poetry, but I've never been able to put into words. I just want to say again that I love your blog, and even though this is sappy (and I try really hard not to be sappy because I kind of hate it.) You inspire me. Thanks.

  7. Every single time I read something you wrote, I totally want to copy it all! Absolutely love your blog! :)

    That poem is beautiful. I don't read poetry very often anymore, but this one feels real and raw and painful. I think that poetry is always better when it comes from a real emotion and the reader can understand and relate because they've felt that way too. "Broken" captures it perfectly. I like how she titled it "The Untitled Poem" So many times I have something that I want to say or want to write but I don't because I can't think of a good way to start, when sometimes it just feels untitled.

    And also, Biscuit is very cute. I don't really care for little dogs but she's adorable! :)

  8. I absolutely LOVE your dog! This picture is proof that dogs have thoughts, and their own language haha.

    Totally cool to be featured on a blog :)

  9. BleahBriann, you can do as many kinds of happy as you want on your blog! I look forward to reading it!

    Bethany, I can't WAIT for Top Chef! Those people blow my mind. Also, Millionaire Matchmaker is weirdly interesting. The guys are all jerks and the whole concept seems really silly ... but it sucks me in too :) I'm weirdly addicted to shows with no plot, point, or purpose. (I used to watch The Hills before Lauren left.)

    Leah, I'm so glad you enjoy the blog! Thanks for reading :) Jenny B. Jones is awesome. I'm an obsessive follower of her blog. As for Elenowen: They aren't out with a Christian label and I haven't head a song (yet) with any kind of overt message. But I've heard a few lyrics in their songs that make me think they're people of faith. (There's this one where she sings about the trees praising the one who made them, etc.). I really like the name too - she said the did the band name after two family members who influenced their music.

    Sarah, your confession is safe with me. I wasn't a dog person either until I got her. When I told people I had her they didn't believe me. :)

    Kristin, blogs are my nemesis too. Everytime I try to work I have to force myself not to check google reader for updates. It's a losing battle. (And with this awesome series you're doing, I'm constantly looking forward to updates! :)

    Little Fairy, you are so sweet! I hope the aliens never, ever take your computer away because I would dearly miss your comments. :)

    Thank you Katie! I love what you said about the title of this poem. I feel the same way sometimes. I agree this poem definitely feels real. I'm pretty sure you would love Biscuit if you met her. She's small (20lbs) but in her mind, she's a big ferocious dog. She growls at animals on TV all the time. She's a tough little puff-ball.

  10. I am really still in shock anyone LIKED my poem!! Reading them made me happy. And yes, Sara Bear is deffinatly one of my best friends, I will love her forever and always, she is a beautiful example of a heart earnestly seeking the Lord!
    Thank ya'll!

  11. Sara, your comment magically appeared while I was writing :) Thank you (& Charity!) so much for allowing me to share your story.

  12. Just gotta say, I love those one word inside jokes. Those are the best! My friends and I could seriously start our own language with all the things we have going :)

  13. Natalie!!
    I love coming home from work to a new blog post by you.Love it!

    So I am now a big fan of Elenowen. Their music is beautiful and so unique.Thank you so much for the post about it. Cripple Me is now in my iTunes :)

    Your dog is co cute; that picture made me laugh. :)

    Nothing new here..finals are coming up, thankfully. I am so done with Spring semester. Lol. I am ready for the pool, good books, and easy classes. Can't wait. But that's about it. I hope you are doing fabulous!!


  14. Still remember the day I found out Nickel Creek was splitting up.

    All well said, as usual, Miss Natalie. Happy Monday!


  15. as always your blog post made me smile! :) I loved that picture of Biscuit; she is the cutest!

    and i'll think of some questions for you soon! happy tuesday!

  16. Luvin your blog Natalie =]
    Puppy is looking cute LOL and that poem was amazing even for how short it was =] Charity has talent.

    And yes, rick castle is a charmer =]

  17. Natalie,

    Biscuit is soo cute - our dog despises PetSmart as well, and she gets all jittery and tries to bolt out the door. (And she's a little more than half my weight so it's really tough to keep her under control!)

    haha I have some qs for you as well....

  18. Charity, your poem is fabulous. So glad I got to share it!

    Ashley, at the church I attended on Sunday, the pastor was talking about how many groups of friends he knew that had their own "language" based on movie quotes. I think an inside joke applies too. It's crazy how that kind of thing binds a little group of people together.

    Steffanie, you totally deserve a summer full of pool days and great books! I remember always feeling so burned out by the time spring came around too. I hope your Pioneer Woman cooking extravaganza went well! :)

    Katie, it was a sad, sad day for us all. One of those events that marks you for life. :) Have you heard the live concert they did for NPR (I think it was their last one?). It was a free download as a podcast and it was so good. They did a fun interview in the end too.

    Courtney, so glad I made you smile! Hit me with your questions anytime.

    Haylie, I've just started watching Castle and I'm nuts about it. My only dislike is that it's kind of gory in the beginning and sometimes gory stuff makes it hard for me to sleep at night. I'm a total weenie. But the chemistry between him and Beckett is so awesome! Such a fun show. (Love your hat, btw!)

    Michelle, picturing you trying to wrangle a dog back in PetSmart made me smile :) Biscuit loves people but she absolutely hates getting a bath and getting her nails trimmed. Sometimes, once we get there, she poops in the floor and looks at me like, "That's what I think of spa days!" :) Send me those q's whenever you want.

  19. Hmmm...I think Biscuit and I have the same feelings about pink bows in our hair...:)