Saturday, February 28, 2009

LU Philosophy Club Presents:

"Progress and Corruption in the Commercial Age"

a lecture by Matthew B. Arbo
PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh

March 5 at 7pm 
Religion Hall

Hosted by Phi Sigma Tau, Zeta Chapter

Friday, February 27, 2009

Are You Jealous?

Lynchburg is fab. Second time around is even better than the first. Not only am I lunching with my mom at marvy places like Machu Pichu, a Peruvian restaurant, but I also am living only a short five minutes away from J.Crew headquarters. Bliss!  If I didn't already have five cold-weather coats, I could have scored an additional cute red one for the low, low price of $45. Can you even believe the prices? Now, don't get me wrong, not all garments are priced so low .... but still.... the hunt for the bargains is fun, too! Now only if I could find this dress for $45! 

* Picture Courtesy of

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that governments may accept permanent religious monuments in public parks without violating the rights of others who are denied a chance to to have a different religious icon sharing park space? 

This rule of law was codified in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, released from the Supreme Court just this morning, and was a unanimous decision. 

You can read the case here.  
"The lover of truth has no truer friend than an intelligent critic." - O. O'Donovan

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm currently with my husband and good friend Jalvis sipping a cup of coffee at the White Hart in Lynchburg, doing a bit of work, and listening to the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire (which is good).  As a good friend said to me earlier today, I've come along way since dinner at the Waffle House last week....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Question of the Day

Why do vitamins have to smell so bad??? 

I mean, for those of us who have sensitive gag reflexes, the smell can trigger slightly embarrassing episodes. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This Is Nashville

Good news: UPS tracking indicates that my husband won't need to be labeled as an illegal alien. The passport seems to be progressing overseas nicely. 

More good news: I made up for last night's cancelled dinner by having lunch today with Heather. Nothing like a little CPK with a bestie to make things better. 

As we were walking out, these nice men held the door for me. And then, one of them asked me if I was famous. What??? 

{Clearly, I am not famous}. 

I respond with: "No. Are you famous?" 

Does this happen anywhere but in Nashville??? Hil saw Josh Hartnett this past weekend in her new neighborhood in NYC. Josh did not ask Hilary if she was famous. Clearly, she would have said yes ... but I digress. Maybe Josh Hartnett is just too sophisticated to be asking people whether or not they are famous ..... 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Seriously, Seriously

I wake up this morning to an email informing me that our visas have been officially refused by the British Consulate and that they've been UPS'd to my parents old address. FYI: you can change a forwarding address with the U.S. Postal Service but UPS is not notified. The British Consulate does not accept phone calls. I faxed them a change of address. Apparently, they don't accept faxes either. So, I called my parent's real estate agent and emailed all three of her posted email addresses and asked her to contact the buyers, explain the problem, maybe get the package when it comes to their door so I could internationally overnight the package to my husband because if he doesn't leave the U.K. by this Saturday, he will be considered an ILLEGAL ALIEN. What the heck???? 

Well, by 2 pm I had not heard from the real estate agent. So ... I was definitely that former resident who shows up on the new owners porch asking for a favor. Thankfully, my parents' buyer was super nice and told me that she hadn't recognized the name 'Arbo' so she turned UPS away. AWAY! She didn't tell them how to find us .... didn't send them to the back door neighbor who had been the real estate agent .... didn't write down a tracking number for the package ..... nothing. Just sent them away. This was problematic. The British Consulate is like a black hole .... things go in and never come out ....... or if they come out, it could be months before you see it again. Ayayay!

Long story short: I call 411 and ask for the UPS distribution center. 411 doesn't know which location is the distribution center. I kindly let them know that I didn't want to be connected to one of 41 UPS options in Nashville. Thankfully dad beeps in and suggests he call his friend who is a former UPS Exec and who might could help us. (Meanwhile I'm thinking: Why can't the British Consulate just let us know a tracking number???? I mean, I seriously doubt the U.S.'s immigration is all that better .... but still!) So I decide to just drive to where I think the UPS distribution center might be because I don't know what else to do. If I didn't ship my husband's passport today, then it wouldn't make it to him to get out of the country before he is an illegal alien. 

Meanwhile ... I don't really know where the distribution center is.  Thankfully, former UPS Exec beeps in to save the day. They had made a few calls and instruct me to call a certain number and ask for a certain person. UPS Exec also instructs me to be persistent and if need be call the district manager. Oh my. Apparently, district managers have a lot of power or something. So I call. So I'm zealously advocating for someone to help locate my package even if I don't know my tracking number. The certain person says they need the tracking number. I explain that the sender doesn't give out tracking numbers. The certain person then tells me that I should call the sender. I tell the certain person that the sender doesn't accept phone calls. The certain person then sarcastically replies that the sender is so helpful. I tell him that the sender is such a joy

Then a miracle happened. 

The certain person decides to be helpful. They locate the package by the address and not a tracking number. They tell the driver of the truck to return it to the distribution center. They even tell me that the driver should be back at 5:30 but just to be on the safe side to get to the distribution center at 6:30. Fine. I ask for the certain persons name, write the tracking number down ... I get all my ducks in a row. 

Meanwhile, I made dinner plans with one of the most fabulous girls I know. My friend Heather is in town for business and we had made plans to dine at Sperry's at 7:30. My timeline was going to work out well. Pick up package at 6:30 and have it shipped overnight to hubby. Hop in the car. Make a drop off and roll into Belle Meade at 7:30. 

Until ....

I show up at the distribution center. After the supervisor does a bit of looking,  I'm told they likely wouldn't have the package till 7:30. Uuuugghhhh. No more dinner with Heather. 

Hence, the picture of Waffle House. Because where else could one possibly eat at in the industrial/shipping neighborhood in town when waiting for a rejected visa application from the British Consulate??? By that time of the day, I needed something smothered and covered ...... it gave me the energy to return to the distribution center and face this dilemma one more time. And when I returned, I only had to wait 15 more minutes. The new supervisor called me first. He let me open my package and sort through all my "refusal" papers (there's nothing like being rejected from entering a country). I sifted through everything. Found Matt's passport. Stuffed it into a new envelope. I was about to seal it up and thought that maybe I should include a note to my husband who I haven't seen in ages. The supervisor goes into the back and returns with a red marker. He insists I draw little red hearts on the piece of paper I'm including with Matt's passport. And I mean insisted. I pretended like I didn't hear his suggestion the first time. 

And that my friends is a true story. 

The end. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fruit Tea

There's just nothing like it!  And it is most definitely a Nashville specialty -- whether it's Bread & Co., Calypso, or Puffy Muffin -- Nashville is the place for fruit tea. Yum!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Any Takers?

I am very much a jogger .... not so much a competitive runner ..... but for all of my marathoner friends out there, maybe you should try this race in Edinburgh next. You've still got 108 days to train. 
"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed." - Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Congratulations Hilary!

Congratulations Hilary!  I am so proud of you for landing your first theater gig in NYC!  You rock and deserve all the best life has to offer!!! I am so thrilled for you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that at the peak of Enron's deception, they were following the regulations codified in Sarbanes-Oxley? 

Unbelievable .... but actually true.  

Lesson = Regulations Don't Necessarily Work

One super smart guy affirms the above lesson. His name is Professor Roubini, and he predicted this recession. Read more about his thoughts here

PS - If any of my friends out there are ever contestants on The Bachelor, please do not cry to the eligible fellow, nor cry on camera. Please.

Life Together

"The sin of respectable people reveals itself in flight from responsibility." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Friday, February 6, 2009

Living in Crazyville

This week I have been living in Crazyville! I have packed and labeled all childhood mementos, high school photographs, and wedding gifts. Piles of donations have been shipped off to my favorite charities. I directed the movers like an air traffic-controller on a snow day. Did I mention that it was a high of 19 on moving day? And the movers had both of the front doors wide open!!!

Then, in the midst of it all, I attended a Continuing Legal Education six-hour course on Corporate Governance of Non-Profits. It was so fascinating! Although, I was a bit out of my league as the other attenders were in-house counsel for nationally known tire companies, hospitals, and record companies. Do you need to know about joint ventures of non-profits and for-profits? Or about applying Sarbanes-Oxley to the non-profit sector? Or about how to file a 990? Then ask me. I'm ready. Bring. It. On. 

Plus ..........

The British Consulate is hanging on to my visa/passport. Lovely eh? No leaving the country till the passport with newly issued visa is returned. So ....... I wish I was returning to my husband and home. But alas -- the British Consulate and I are not getting along well. Thus, I'm trapped living in Crazyville. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Notes and Observations from this Mover

So, I'm in the process of helping my parents move ... which is as much my move as it is theirs. As I'm sorting through all my childhood belongings, high school photos, college mementos, wedding gifts, etc. etc. etc. (too much etcetera!), I thought I ought to share some observations:

1. Throw away notes you took in class after the semester ends. No one wants to read those, and you will likely never re-read them. However, you should hold on to meaningful note and cards you receive. Re-reading a thoughtful, encouraging note -- especially ones that mark an occasion --mean the world. 

2. I won the Science Fair in 8th Grade. What, pray you, was my project? Well, glad you asked. G418 vs. Ovarian Cancer. My brainy partner and I killed cancer cells at a research lab at Vanderbilt. To this day, I have no idea why Vandy research docs helped us with our science fair project. Other kids were killing mold with Tide, and we were killing cancer cells in petri dishes with G418. Observation: Some things in life make no sense. 

3. I found my "Wild Ideas List" from 1998 (similar to a list of goals -- what an adjective I chose!). A few things on my list included:
- Being able to paint
- Fluently speaking Spanish
- Traveling abroad
- Becoming a doctor 
- Owning a business
- Building by own home (or just buying)
- Have little body fat (what was I thinking back then???)
- Receiving a scholarship to college
- Volunteering
- Becoming more cultured. 

This list makes me laugh. It obviously was before I shadowed a nephrologist at Vandy and nearly passed out. Furthermore, what was a 14 year old doing thinking of buying/owning a house??? Over a decade later, I still do not own my own house. But, I would hope I'm becoming "more cultured" as I live abroad. Haha.....

4. Observation: purging stuff is good. 

5. Sean Paul's Get Busy is great packing music. 

6. I took a bunch of motivational quotes on 3 x 5 cards to Junior Miss Tennessee (such inspiration!). Some of my favorites:

"Life is like the movies. We produce our own show!" - Mike Todd (who is that??)

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean." - Goethe (If only I could recall why I thought that was motivational for a pageant!)

Observation: what you think is motivational at age 17 will likely change. 

7. Life Lesson: When moving, buy more moving boxes than you think you need. You will use them all and probably have to go back to Home Depot to buy at least 27 more. Also, give yourself much more time than you expect to pack. It's scary how little headway you can make -- even when working all day. Can anyone out there relate??? 
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