Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Heart-Shaped Box

Besides being one of my very favorite songs by Nirvana, I am excited to've borrowed "Heart-Shaped Box" from the library last night, when I was tutoring my adult learner.

Does this mean I have finished "In The Company Of The Courtesan?" No, that is not what it means. I am enjoying the book but am really taking my time with it. Does it mean I also didn't borrow Greg Iles' "Pure Evil?" If you think I didn't, you're wrong!

Greg Iles writes page-turners, and as I will be taking Amtrak to New Orleans again for Labor Day weekend, I am going to hold out reading it until then. Iles lives in Natchez, Mississippi, so his books often incorporate local settings (my favorite book of his is called "Mortal Fear," and is based in New Orleans) which I really enjoy.

I am not a thriller purist by any means - I like a range and variety when it comes to my literature - but I do rather enjoy the genre. I guess it's that same element that prompts me to really enjoy gangster/mob movies too. I could watch The Godfather, Casino, or Goodfellas, on a continuous loop.

What's everyone else reading this summer?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bills Bills Bills



I absolutely hate paying bills.

Even though it's 20 times easier now that I do it online, through my bank portal, it still just irks the piss out of me.

I always thought this was a very ghetto-fabulous song and video. Enjoy this Monday!

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Here And Now

No, this is not my boudoir. it is a lovely image I found online of a Zen bed frame.

I have the itch to update my bedroom, and I really like the low-to-the-ground bed frame, and the general sense of calm that a room like this communicates.

What I do not like, however, is something that's done on a full-scale "theme." I like to blend heavily inspired elements with other modern, or eclectic pieces to define a more balanced, contemporary look. Everyone must now be going, "God, he should work for HGTV." To which I say, "I know, right?"

I have been thinking of upgrading when I find a permanent residence, but a conversation with a vendor yesterday, in which we discussed living in the moment, has changed my mind. We were talking about the common thread between elderly individuals who leave behind a lot of high-quality, unused goods when they decease. My grandmother, for example, had all of these really nice bath towels stored, yet the towels she had in rotation were somewhat ratty. My vendor shared that his wife's parents had both died in the same year a few years back, and had left similar items behind.

He said to me, "We are members of a supper club and tonight is our night to host. 3 years ago we'd have never broken out the crystal, china, and silver, but now, it's exactly what we use - why have it if you're not going to use it?"

And with this thought in mind I say, "Rock on! Who cares if I live in a rented space or have a mortgage? What matters is that I sleep in an oasis!"

Stay tuned for shopping updates.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Damn Shame ...

In the South, a popular expression of perplexed disdain is "a damn shame."

Por ejemplo:

You know your cousin's husband is unfaithful - you've known for at least 3 years - and when she learns this and confides in you, your appropriate response is, "Well now that's a damn shame."

And do you know what another damn shame is? (Thanks for the image www.perezhilton.com.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Conceited ...

Thanks to my buddy Brittshake (shout out Big D!), this is my new very favorite song. And it's on my new cardio playlist and, can I just say, I need to be my ass on the elliptical machine? God, I've gained 5 pounds during my recent bout of inactivity. I need songs like this to inspire me. I mean, as Remy Ma says, "OK, I gotta little fat but, my Shorty says he like it like that." Except I have more than a little fat and, you know, no Shorty. So, enjoy! (Warning: some language but it's hip-hop, and don't act like you've never heard it because you know you have.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Feliz Lunes! Walk, Cat, Walk!

An interesting weekend it was, indeed!

I tend to travel pretty much 2-3 weekends per month. Not because I'm in hate with where I live, but because I have to spread the Robby around. We like living here because we're 3-4 hours from all kinds of places and with Banzai's rad efficiency, we can scoot all over the Southeast with minimal effort.

I had a private session on the Cadillac at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. I love doing private pilates sessions, especially first thing in the morning, as they really set the tone for the day. On Saturday, my instructor was talking to me about the importance of moving as much like a cat as I could through a specific sequence of movements. She said Joseph Pilates used to keep cats in his studio as live demonstrations of how flexible a spine could be.

So fast forward to Saturday night, when after hanging out Corona Light style poolside with my neighbor Josh, I accepted an invitation to a birthday party, got myself all did up, and was engaged in a lively chat with the party's version of Karen Walker (loved her), and, totally unprompted, she just said, "You're so graceful, you move like a cat."

Coincidence? You decide!

I was mad flattered because I wasn't even trying to be all catlike. So obviously something is working. I'm not sure I'm ready to test out leaping from 4 stories and landing upright without even breaking a bone, especially considering that whilst scrubbing the bathtub on Saturday mid-day I slipped from a seated position on the side of the tub, and did this slow-motion fall right onto my back and became soaked with Dow chemical bubbles ... ah karma!

I got a lot done this weekend, met some new fun people, and got to squeeze in a 45-minute visit at Starbucks with Angel, my sounding board. I'm all geared up for an exciting week. Hope everyone else is too!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Me and Aveda

Everyone should know by this point that Robby Johnson doesn't happen without Aveda. It's like the lifeblood that courses through these ridiculously shallow veins.

I have been an Aveda whore for probably 20 years - way before they sold to Estee Lauder and, can I just say, that's one of the few times you'll ever hear me boast about 20 years anything ... I am still mortified that I've been doing anything for 20 years - and over the weekend I visited their store in The Summit in nearby Birmingham.

My very new favorite thing ever is getting personalized fragrance. You get to select what you like from the essential oils and then they turn it into a spray scent for you. Not surprisingly my favorite oil is comprehensive and represents all four of the elements: fire, water, air, earth.

Also, you need Blue Oil. It's the Aveda version of Ben Gay. Fantastic for stress relief. Put some on your temples, light up a little, then enjoy that crisp, clean, focused feeling.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm Bringing Pilates Back ...

Behold! It's me, on the downside of Teaser, on the Cadillac machine. Teaser is like, a way hard Pilates movement, and thank God I have Tammy to help me with it. I must say, however, that IT REALLY WORKS!!

Here's a story we got placed in today's Tuscaloosa News on Pilates. I must say after sitting through the interviews, I am glad to be this involved at my relatively young age of 36. Mesdames Bishop and Woodson, mentioned in the story, are so graceful and elegant now and they are both nearing 80 years old! If it can make a radical change to someone late in life, just imagine what it can do for you now.

I am hoping to go through training to teach Pilates on the Reformer machine (not pictured here but it's the foundation machine that has a sliding carriage - yesterday at Reformer class we did an exercise called "hydrant" that is essentially like lifting your leg to pee on a hydrant, except you have the rope and pulley over your foot and you're pulling your body weight as you lift your leg ... if you think my butt wasn't barking, you're wrong!) this autumn.

Maybe one day Roblates will be a reality! Enjoy the story. There's supposed to be video somewhere on the site too.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Western Pleasure

As many of you know, I spent my last - and best - year in Arkansas (which is saying a lot since I lived there nearly 10 years) living the the apartment at the horse barn where my big horse Rhodes lived. It was the most awesome place to live; a perfect blend of aesthetics, good living, and amazing people.

My friend who owns the farm and I would drink red wine on the front porch every night, and just soak up the joy of living in such a fairy tale setting. Her daughter, Mattie, was very dear to me. She is as headstrong as a bull, brave as a lion, and precocious as the day is long. To say I love her is a significant understatement. She would say the most funny things and, let's face it, she made me sit in the rocking chair while she took the hairbrush to my follicly-challenged pate and pretended to "braid my hair," and you wouldn't believe how fun it can be to pretend to have hair two glasses into a bottle of Merlot ...

Apparently Mattie has taken up riding. And surprisingly, she's not interested in riding English like her mother and me, but is rocking her Western Pleasure/cowgirl thing. This is a picture of her from her first show. As a first grader, she's also learning to write. Her mother called me to tell me about this picture and that when Mattie got it back she insisted on sending it to me. She also wrote me a heartfelt note that I will cherish forever. I had to share it with the world.

Kids. They're just so, well, they just have a magic way of affecting you as an adult. It's difficult to describe but heart-warming at the same time.

Illin'

Ugh.

I have that dry scratchy feeling in my throat and am a bit hoarse. The onset was Friday night so I did spend the weekend a wee bit under the weather. But it's tolerable when you're rockin' it with your crew in a fun city.

Now that I'm back home, I'm drinking Chinese herbal cold tea (it's asstastic in taste, but my cousin introduced it to me years ago from her doctor of Asian medicine, and it really does work) and talking myself out of the elliptical because I'm also having bouts of hacking cough. Nice.

I did have a supa-fly dream last night, however. I was in a dance-off contest with this really old but very famous black woman as my partner. We were doing pretty good on the ballroom floor, and this older ballerina-like man in all black comes in and starts busting it out on pointe and shizz, then his neck got all sideways and he had to bow-out right before he overtook my dance partner. And I was like, "I have some Advil in my office," and he said, "That would be great."

See, it's all about paying it forward.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Weekend Homework Assignment

OK, now that I'm clearly back on a DVD binge - and by binge I mean I've watched 3 in the past 2 weeks which is 3 more than I've watched in the past 2 months so, yes, that's a binge ... my God, what is it ... addiction? - I feel as though I must recommend really good movies.

And I know this is charting into subjective territory - my "Dirty Pretty Things" might be your "Austin Powers" - but if you don't enjoy "Notes On A Scandal," I will be highly disappointed.

Cate Blanchett does no wrong as far as I'm concerned. I thought she was awesome in "The Gift," even. And that had Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes AND Keanu Reeves in it. I mean, she was doing all she could with not much to work with and still - still - I cannot drive through South Carolina without getting this eerie feeling that someone is going to drown.

And Judy Dench? Yeah! Even as an Elemental in that Vin Diesel movie (don't act like you don't love Vin Diesel movies because, well, OK, even I don't love Vin Diesel movies but I do love that series where he's a space traveler and it might be called Ridley something but the point is it's Vin Diesel in dark cinematography and he wears sunglasses all of the time) she was hot.

I give this un pelicula 20 simian thumbs-up.

I'm off to the ATL this evening to hang out with my buddy Jon Jon from Nashville, and the ATL crew of supa-fly guys. Am going to see an exhibit tomorrow at a museum there that I'm very excited about. Hopefully I can get some blog fodder with my International Spy Size digital camera. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How To Make An Entrance

I have to thank Harmonica for this little jewel that he emailed out yesterday, effectively cracking my face in half and giving me perma-grin.

Thursday Thursday is almost Friday! Woot! I had a rockin' Wednesday night with my A-list peeps. Life is good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ignorance Strikes Again!

Behold! Another gem from the Tuscaloosa News!

I am particularly taken with the fact that pitfalls of persecution in the name of God - the most famous example of this being, of course, Jesus Christ who, as you recall, was crucified - is completely lost on this individual.

Who is spreading this rumor that a federal hate-crimes bill will allow pastors who preach against homosexuality to be arrested? I believe we all have First Amendment rights, and I believe we all have Freedom of Religion in the United States of America.

Once again, simpleton, hate crimes and hate speech are two very different things. I don't think any pastor who is worth his salt as an interpreter of religious doctrine is at risk of committing either.

Monday, July 09, 2007

And so it goes ...

This picture should be way bigger but it's not and the simple truth is that I'm OK with it. Because the picture doesn't matter as much as your ACTION matters, and if you think I'm talking about Pilates, you're right. Because I heart me some Pilates. Really, I do. Like, whoa.

And as part of my commitment to Pilates, I feel compelled to tell you that if someone at your gym teaches Pilates, they're probably not teaching you The Method. There are many things that go together. Right off the bat I think of chocolate and peanut butter. Vodka and tonic. Burger King and Pepsi. But Pilates and the gym? No. No, those are not a match.

If you are contemplating taking up Pilates, and I think you should - a universal sweeping general statement that I firmly support - you must visit the Pilates Method Alliance, which is a membership association for properly trained Pilates instructors. You can quickly identify a certified instructor in your area, and not worry that Tiffany from the gym who got certified during a wild and crazy weekend in Atlanta, is going to break your spine in half.

OK, enough about that. A quick update: I went water-skiing for the first time in 16 years this weekend and it was totally good times, despite my poor body feeling like it's been jumped in by a street gang. It's nothing 800 mg of Advil a day for 3-4 days won't cure. Ahhh, aging. It's good stuff.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is my birthday.

Today is Birthday Eve.

I love Google Images. This hooker showed up as the first image option for "birthday eve" and I full-on loved her.

I am having a really not-fun time with turning 36. Sure sure sure, I am happy to be alive. Don't get my wrong, I'm actually very thankful for it. But 36 is the beginning of the downside of the 30's, and I must say this has been the best decade of my life. I don't want it to end!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thievery

So, I subscribe to The Tuscaloosa News. Riveting, I know.

And apparently there is a newspaper thief amongst us here at lovely Rivermont. Earlier this week I let Maddie out and my paper was on the doormat. For whatever reason I didn't pick it up, as I normally do, and thought, "Oh, I'll get it when I leave."

Except someone else apparently had the same idea. Can I just say how pissed off I was? So pissed. Don't be stealing my shit. I would be happy to give it to you after I'm done with it, but if you are into the grab-and-go, I will shiv your ass.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Independence Day

Let freedom ring
Let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong
Let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away let the guilty pay it's independence day ...

OK, so I had to toss in a little Martina McBride to get the day going. I love that song and if you think it's not on a playlist I have called "Hokey Music I Love" you're wrong.

Our independence is upon us! And the good news is that you don't even have to burn your abusive husband alive in his bed to celebrate it! Click here to read a neat little summary of the events leading up to the American Revolution and the holiday that would come to be known as Independence Day.

Over the years I've been really lucky to commemorate the holiday is some cool places - New York City and Boston are the two most memorable - though it's family tradition to gather at my aunt's house for a reunion. I had to miss it this year (sorry y'all) due to the somewhat sucktastic midweek date.

Oh well, we're all alive and we're all free and despite the Positively Moronic No-Moral-Character Goon who leads our country - and when I say leads what I really mean is abuses power - we have some brave forefathers to remember this week. Enjoy the holiday tomorrow!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Million Dollar Baby

I am like, the world's best Netflix customer. I'm not even kidding when I say I am sure they have a special demographic named for me, and it's probably called something like The Robby Johnson Road To Hell Paved With Good Intentions subscriber. You see, for $15 per month, I should be trying to watch two DVD's per week. But the reality is I've had two out - Akeelah and The Bee and Million Dollar Baby - since late March.

I watched Akeelah about 3 weekends ago (very good) and yesterday watched Million Dollar Baby. Y'all. Ohmigod. I was totally not prepared for how good it was, despite being like mad somber and shizz. I was just thankful that my pilates instructor cum new bff was available to meet me at Pepito's for a vegetarian chile poblano relleno afterward. And even still I was still sorta "Me so sad, why did it end that way?"

Yesterday I ran out at lunch to do some errands and wound up having an OCD moment when I passed Blockbuster and decided to go in and rent a DVD. Because I'm so prompt with my Netflix and all, I just knew renting one that had a due-back-by date would be even smarter. I've been wanting to see "The Queen," so hopefully I'll accomplish that by Saturday. The other Netflix I have here to watch is "Syriana" with George Clooney.

If you want to join my movie recommendation "friends" section at Netflix, my user name is Robby Johnson - though I think Netflix has renamed me to RJ 1710286. Which seems very convict like but, as you all know, that's the new me. Total convict.