Random Rant

Another cute proposal YouTube video is making the rounds, and this one, like so many others, features Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” as the main song.


I admit, it’s catchy.  In fact, part of this rant is coming from the part of my brain that is ticked off because now the song is running through my head uncontrollably.  And yes, it’s obviously an easy song to choreograph for a large flash mob, even uncoordinated people like your friends and family.

But have any of these husbands-to-be actually listened to the lyrics… beyond “I think I want to marry you…” ???

“We’re looking for something dumb to do…”

Aw, a real heart-winner right there.

But it’s this line that really warms me:

“If we wake up and you wanna break up that’s cool.
No, I won’t blame you;
It was fun, girl.”

Swoon.  Now that’s what I’m looking for in a proposal.


Good intentions

You know what’s easier than living life?  Watching everyone else live it.  I had this feeling twice today.  Once when I came home tonight after teaching tonight and started clicking on some of the blogs I read periodically.  (I have a list of blogs I read regularly and some I visit now and then.)  One of the bloggers was talking about the book they just wrote. I thought, “I want to write a book. ”

The problem is, I’ve had that thought more than once.  I want to write a book.

But I don’t do it.  I read blogs instead.

The other time was listening to my friend Matt on the radio.  I was so happy to hear him being interviewed and I get so happy when I hear about people reading his book or listening to his Lighthouse CD.  It’s fun to know someone who is really breaking out in the speaking/writing world.

He retweeted me when he was on the air (don’t worry, it was a commercial break), and I thought, “Does that make me kind of cool? That he retweeted me while he was being interviewed on satellite radio?”

And then I thought, “I want to be on satellite radio.”

I really want to have a show, but I’d settle for being interviewed.

Looks like I need to go write a book.

Enjoying life one bite at a time

Veteran readers of the blog will know that I like a good restaurant.  Veteran readers will also know that I’m blessed to have a friend here in Nashville that has a similar penchant for true dining.  We’re not epicureans by any means (we aren’t wealthy enough for that), but we appreciate the art of a talented chef and agree that we’d rather pay for one nice meal than several cookie-cutter “fast casual” meals.

Last week, Manda and I were both in need of a nice meal.  When we couldn’t get reservations at the restaurant we’ve been anxious to try, she was gracious enough to share a gift card to a restaurant we’d tried before and really liked: Flyte.

Our first time to Flyte had been for Restaurant Week last year, and it had thoroughly impressed us.  We both knew it would be worth every penny outside of Restaurant Week, although since it was happy hour, we thought it might be worth it to sit in the bar and take advantage of the specials.  But after looking at the Happy Hour specials and then looking at our surroundings, we decided we preferred the full experience and headed over to the classy side of the restaurant.  If you’re going to spend the money, you might as well have cloth tablecloths.

The menu at Flyte is succinct (short on words but not on taste), so the waitress went through each dish on the menu and described it in delectable detail.  Their menu changes daily depending on what is available, and they list on the side of the menu which farms the various components of their dishes come from that evening.

After we ordered, one of the waiters brought our first bite, compliments of the chef.  It was just a taste to get the evening started.  On a white porcelain spoon was arranged a piece of goat cheese, pickled red onion, a walnut, and a bite of Asian pear.  Just a single bite, but so delicious.

See why we abandoned the happy hour for the full experience?

For our starter, we split

baby lettuce | field peas | chevre | cucumber

When we were deciding what to split, I almost voted against the tomato salad, thinking that I had tomatoes sitting on my counter at home.  Silly me.  I didn’t have this sitting on my counter.


Since we told the waitress we were going to split it, it was plated as two salads. I don’t know why this surprised me.  Both of us eat off the same plate?  How uncouth.  Of course there would be two works of art.

I apologize for the awful quality of photos.  The lighting in a restaurant is never conducive to photo ops — at least, it shouldn’t be.  And I generally err on the side of taking the picture too quickly and from a funny angle, simply because I want to be relatively discreet.

Manda and I both ordered flytes of wine, because… well… why wouldn’t we?


For our dinner selection, Manda chose the Pork Flyte and I chose the Coulotte.  These descriptions (from their menu online) might not describe exactly what we had, but you get the idea.

farro | beet | crispy farro | baby tatsoi

Pork Flyte
smoked prok custard | Sea Island red peas | bok choy

Coulotte is also known as top sirloin cap.  It had been awhile since I had a good steak, and this was quite good.  But the reason I ordered the coulotte was for the supporting actor of the dish.  Bone marrow.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the chef scraped the bone marrow out, cooked it with carrots and something else wonderful, piped it back into the bone, then breaded and toasted it.  Or something like that.  The waitress described it much better.

Bone marrow?  When was I going to have the opportunity to eat bone marrow?  I asked Manda, the nurse, if it was good for me.  We both agreed it had to be bad … but yet surely it was full of iron or good for my immune system, or something.  I mean, bone marrow just seems powerful.


Again, sorry for the lousy picture.  My verdict?   I wouldn’t want a whole bowl of it, but it was tasty.  Rich and flavorful and helped boost the flavor of the coulotte.

Manda ordered coffee after dinner, which came in a personal little French press, and I ordered the pumpkin cheesecake.  It wasn’t the best pumpkin cheesecake I’d ever had, but it was pretty good.  I think it could have delivered a little more pumpkin punch, but maybe I’m used to fake pumpkin… eek.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
maple | pepita brittle | graham cracker


Once again, Flyte impressed.  (and it’s not just us: “Top 10 Nashville Restaurants“)  As the bill came, so did another little bite, compliments of the pastry chef – a little fig chew, dusted with sugar.
IMG_5661Yet another enjoyable evening with my dear friend Manda — enjoying the finer things in life, one restaurant at a time.

Have art, will travel

Several weeks ago, I went to one of the neatest art exhibits I’ve ever experienced.  Forget your Monets and your Manets. These works of art were a little more 3-D.


The exhibit – “Sensuous Steel” — featured a number of beautiful Art Deco automobiles (and two motorcycles).  Dating from the 1920s and 30s, they were evocatively luxurious, taking us back to that time when grace and classical notions of beauty (symmetry, simplicity) met the wealth and opulence of the machine age.

It was hard to pick a favorite, and while many would assume this guy won my heart:


It was this one that topped my list:


I don’t know what it was about it — maybe the horns, maybe the touch of red to the rich classic cream — but if I was given the keys to drive one home, I think I’d pick him.  Give me a cloche hat and Lord Peter Wimsey on my arm.

Or maybe Bertie Wooster.  It just called for a man in a three-piece suit to drive me away.

I loved the detail on so many of the cars.  Who wouldn’t want this hood ornament?



While almost all the cars were brought in to the city for the exhibit, one belonged to Nashville’s own Lane Motor Museum.  Lane is the city’s best kept secret, in my opinion.  It’s a fantastic little museum full of unique cars that are kept in great shape and that are still able to run.  This little guy is from Lane:


Tatra T97

Isn’t he cute?  Am I allowed to say that?

Some of the cars were kind of goofy looking, some were stunning, and one was even owned by my great-great-uncle Edsel Ford.  (Just kidding, he’s no relation to my Ford family members.)


IMG_5286 IMG_5291


Perhaps the most stunning car in the exhibit was this beautiful Bugatti Type 57C – formerly owned by the shah of Iran.  Pictures don’t do any of these cars justice, and it’s especially true with this one.  As my friend Dan said, it’s probably the most beautiful car in the world.




Sadly, I didn’t get my act together to go until the last week of the exhibit, and I only I wish I would have gone earlier so that I could have gone back to see all the cars again.  It was a great night with two of my favorite couples — my friends Dan & Darcy and Billy & Lori.

A huge thanks to my friend Dan – who knows more about cars than anyone I know – and who gladly answered all my dumb questions throughout the night!


the little things

Today I had a lazy, unproductive day.  Not a bad thing on a Sunday, but it was just so rainy and I felt so blah.

Then I got to talk to Jill with FaceTime.  She was holding John Paul so he could see me too, and he just smiled and smiled and smiled.

He sucked on his toes.  He used his little hands to pull out his pacifier.  And he beamed.

The little things are marvels when it comes to John Paul.

And he made my day.

An old picture, but he looks the same : )

An old picture, but he looks the same : )

Rome Sweet Rome

My latest trip to Rome was like none of the others that had come before it, mostly because I had responsibility this time around.  My office put together a trip for the Year of Faith and Day for Catechists (which included Mass with the Holy Father last Sunday), and twelve local catechists (well, with a few exceptions) came along for the adventure.  While wearing the hats of “tour guide” and “bus hailer” meant I didn’t get to galavant around the city at will, it was a good experience and definite blessings came as a result.  I love showing people Rome and all the treasures of the Eternal City.

It was also like none other because we have a new Pope.  The trip was planned last year, so I was obviously expecting to see my beloved Benedict again.  But there was another plan in store, and so I got to see Pope Francis for the first time.

IMG_0107I won’t lie – it was strange not to see Benedict and it was odd to be in St Peter’s Square at night and not see the lights of the Apostolic Palace lit.  But it was pretty incredible to see Pope Francis.  Front row seats for a Papal Mass — can’t beat that.

Highlights are forthcoming.  I won’t bore you with the day-to-day details, and most of the things that cracked me up last week aren’t going to be funny out of context (or maybe it was the lack of sleep and the wine?).  But there are at least pictures of food to share.  Because I love taking pictures of food, no matter what country I’m in.