Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Rhythm & Brews

There are so many places on my Chattanooga "I can't believe I've never been there" list.  Rhythm & Brews was very close to the top of that list.  They are in a perfect location, right downtown next to the Aquarium, there is plenty of parking (most of which you have to pay for, but it's not bad), and there is a back entrance from Big River Brewery.  My only defense of not going checking out Rhythm & Brews sooner is that when I lived in Chattanooga before, I just wasn't that into live music.  That has changed since I've moved back, and I'm glad I got a group together for Perpetual Groove last weekend.

A friend of mine took this picture 1/21/12

The venue seems a little smaller than I expected, but I think the capacity it a bit deceiving since the balcony area is a lot larger than meets the eye.  The long balcony is cool because it creates a few different environments in the venue. You've got the standard open space by the stage and more chill section near the bar.  You've also got a low ceiling space under the balcony that, depending on the show, can be standing room overflow for the main space, or even small group type seating.  The balcony is great because there is plenty of room to dance and keep a few cocktail tables.   For my South Carolina friends, Rhythm & Brews has some of the same acts as the Handlebar in Greenville, but with a more intimate feel.

The best pleasant surprise was how awesome the cocktail waitresses were.  We hung out upstairs, and had a cocktail waitress that kept us happy all night.  It was pretty nice not having to fight the line downstairs (not that the bartenders were slow, it was just busy) and she was quick.  I was impressed.  Cocktail waitresses are almost non-existent in Clemson, or at most shows I've been to in SC.

Another pleasant surprise is that Rhythm & Brews is a smoke free venue.  Sorry smokers, but this is a small-ish venue, and it was really nice not to have to wash my hair when I got home.  The sidewalk is huge, so there was plenty of room outside to smoke, and the bouncers were cool with people going in and out.

The only reason I don't think I'll spend a ton of time at Rhythm and Brews is I feel like they book a lot of "tribute" bands.  I am excited about seeing 'Who's Bad' (Micheal Jackson) because of the recommendation by a friend, but personally, I'd rather see original music live.  I get what they're doing though, it's a lot more cost effective and logistically feasable to book a tribute band over the real thing.  And hey, you gotta give the people what they want.  Rhythm and Brews has obviously done that, because I feel like they were The venue in Chattanooga while I was gone.  It will be interesting to see if their booking strategy changes with the addition of Track 29 in the Chattanooga Music Scene.  Either way, I have a feeling they are here to stay, and I'll be watching their calendar for new show announcements.

Rhythm & Brews
221 Market Street  Chattanooga, TN 37402
Phone: 423.267.4644
Website - Facebook - @RnBChatt- Schedule

Side note:  Rhythm & Brews does a great job promoting on Facebook & twitter, and tickets are always available in advance online.  I'm an internet junkie, so this works really well for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

pretty pictures of my yard

It stopped raining yesterday! It has rained A LOT this month. So far we're at 5.49" of rain, 1.54" above normal for this point in the month, and actually a freckle above the normal total for the month. It's been warm too, which is a mixed blessing because I had to unclog the pond drain yesterday afternoon. Wadding out into the overflowing pond would not have been fun if it had been any colder.

I took advantage of the fact our days are getting longer to take some pictures of the pond and my new yard. I hope you enjoy them :)

Looking up from the pond, you can see my house sitting up on a small hill surrounded by lots of trees.  A project for this winter/early spring is to clear out the underbrush.  This should give the larger trees room to grow, and enhance the view of the pond from the front porch.  I plan on spending quite a bit of time on the front porch this summer :)

This HUGE Magnolia needs more space
It's hard to see, but this tree lost it's top
 The driveway starts beside the pond, and winds around the hill to the back of the house.  This old rock wall lines the driveway beside the house, and there are quite a few hollowed out tree stumps lining the driveway at the rear of the house.  I like them, but I haven't decided if I'll keep them there or move them.  It probably depends on how heavy/sturdy they are.

A few years ago one of the tenants "helped" with the landscape and cut the box woods back to nothing.  They're coming back, but are in need of some TLC this year.  Any suggestions?
There are are two more sad looking boxwoods at the front of the house, along with some empty beds.  I know my Grandmother & Great Grandmother didn't keep them empty, so we'll have to wait and see what comes up this spring.  I have a feeling that there are bulbs in the bed at the side of the house, and that mulch/soil amending will be a top priority this spring.

Yes my Christmas lights are still up, but I haven't turned them back on.
These last two pictures are a testament to how unseasonably warm it has been. These poor little daffodils are barely blooming, and I've got bulbs coming up in one of the tree stumps with a pansy tag still in it.

I hope you enjoyed my walk around the yard.  I haven't shown pictures of the hosta bed at the entrance of my front walkway, the raised bed in what may be my only sunny spot, the empty beds by my garage, or the garden at the center of my circular drive.  This post was getting a little long, so I hope you can forgive me for holding those for another day!

NOTE  I had a version of this post written earlier today, but blogger's website and app do not get along.  I hope the second version is as good as the first.  I had to take a time out before I felt like writing again. 

Weather data from Weather Underground. 1/24/12.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

one sentence Saturday

I have a new favorite 'Blog Party' concept. I'm breaking the rules by giving this introduction, but I wanted to share why I like 'One Sentence Saturday' at so much. 'Blog Parties' are a great way to find new blogs, and meet other bloggers. Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is the one I participate in the most frequently, but it's a lot of work to put together pictures, and look up botanical names. It's very obvious when you forget, and put something together last minute. 'One Sentence Saturday' is a quick post I can do from bed saturday morning if I need to. It can be anything, and most of all it's one sentence. You all know I like to ramble, so I think this will be a good & much needed exercise for me. So without further ado, here's my sentence:

Rain on a metal roof is the best way to start the lazy Saturday that begins my birthday week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Is piracy bad?  Yes

Should something be done?  Yes

Are SOPA or PIPA the answer? NO

Our government was founded on the principle of Checks and Balances, principles that appear to be lost in my review of these bills.  I do not have the answer, and frankly it's not my job, BUT I do know that SOPA and PIPA are not the answer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

tangerine orange & me

Growing up in Tennessee and then spending 10 years in Clemson, orange has always been in my life.  It was a favorite bathing suit color as a kid (neon orange can actually make you look more tan - who knew), and as a sports fan, I've enjoyed wearing both Tennessee and Clemson Orange.

I like orange so much that I've planned to use it as an accent color in my kitchen.  Yellow and green are the primary colors, but I like orange as an accent.

Not too bad, right?  I like Fiestaware, and have hand me down white and blue sets.  I want to expand my collection, so for Christmas I asked for more - so I can start phasing out the blue.  One of the colors I got was tangerine orange...which today I learned happens to be very close to Pantone's 2012 color of the year! How trendy of me! (You're allowed to laugh out loud, I am)

Chatt. Times Free Press Photo by Dan Henry, 1/16/12

 This should make finding gameday clothes much easier this year!

**Photos from World unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Bloom Day

There's not a lot blooming at my new house right now, but there is a lot of planning going on :)

I haven't participated in Garden Blogger's Bloom day in a few months because I've been so busy with my move into my Great Grandmother's cottage house.  If you're reading this post from Carol's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day links, the property is 8 acres with a pond, has been in the family for about 80 years, but has been a rental property for the last 10.  I'm so excited to be the new tenant! I think my grandmother has enjoyed being able to spend more time at the house, and with the property. It's been nice that I started my move in November, because I've been able to focus on the inside of the house this winter, and I should be ready to start working outside when spring rolls around. 

I can't wait to see what comes up this spring, and what/where I can add.  I'm located in Chattanooga, TN (Zone 7) and can't wait to get started in this garden.  GBBD has opened my eyes to some great zone 7 garden blogs, and I've been doing a lot of reading and planning.  In my first year I'm going to try and be patient and see what comes up, rather than buy a ton of plants, but we'll see, haha.

Sorry for the lack of photos and blooms, but there will be a lot more in the coming months!  Trust me I'm back when it comes to bloom day posts :)

Here's a link to my pinterest board with my must haves and dreams for my garden :)

*edited 1/16/11

Friday, January 13, 2012

my two wishes

After Clemson's embarrassing, horrible, horrible loss to a better executing West Virginia in the Orange Bowl, I wrote this post on what it means to 'Clemson yourself' - a phrase which has since been added to the urban dictionary.  At the end of the post I made 2 wishes:
  1. Dabo Swinney takes a lesson from Chad Morris and becomes a hard ass.  This means firing a few people, enacting a no twitter/cell phones on gameday rule, and putting his team through the toughest spring training known to man.
  2. Derek Dooley does NOT hire Kevin Steele.
It's only been 8 days, but it looks like 1.5 wishes have already come true!

Derek Dooley at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville hired Sal Sunseri from the University of Alabama and NOT Kevin Steele as their new Defensive Coordinator.  That truly is a wish come true.


Dabo Swinney has become a bit more of a hard ass.  Not a Chad Morris hard ass, but he got rid of Kevin Steele, our horrible defensive coordinator.  There's a $1.3 million question re: if he was fired or left on his own, but that's not for me to worry about.  I'm going to take this as half a wish come true, and I'm hoping Dabo will step up to the plate this spring and become a full fledged hard ass.

Not a bad way to roll into the weekend :)

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Imax 3D Theater

You don't know how excited I am to be crossing things off my list!

Sunday was my first trip to Chattanooga's Imax Theater, and let me first say that Sundays are my Favorite days to do anything touristy downtown.  I have vivid memories as a kid of field trip & family reunion size crowds downtown, but I never have had anything but a leisurely experience on a Sunday afternoon.  So take my advice remember Sundays are the days to be a (local) tourist in Chattanooga.

Back to the Imax.  Chattanooga's Imax 3D Theater is right downtown, about a block from the Tennessee Aquarium.  Discounts are available if you visit both the Aquarium and Imax in the same day.  The Chattanooga Imax 3D Theater focuses on educational and family films rather than your typical 1st run imax movies. The Chattanooga Aquarium's new building is home to 2 species of penguins (one of them being Macaroni, no kidding) so last month the Imax showed Happy Feet 2!

Any Imax is going to be a good experience, and Chattanooga's is nice.  The lobby is clean, open, and family friendly.  I thought it was pretty nifty that they had a step stool by the sinks in the bathroom for little kids. It doesn't sound like much, but I'm sure parents appreciate not having to hoist toddlers up to the sinks.  There is also a gift shop with toys and such for all ages, so be careful, the theater is designed so you have to walk through the gift shop on your way out.

The theater itself is pretty great.  You get giant, photo worthy, 3D glasses when you go in, and the screen and sound are top notch.  Happy Feet 2 was great with all of the music, and 3D underwater scenes.  I'm not going to review the movie in full, but if you know me then you'll know, when a movie starts with Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" and ends with David Bowie's "Under Pressure" - I'm going to be happy.

The downtown Imax is not on my "Must See in Chattanooga" list, but brunch with friends followed by Happy Feet 2 and a trip to see real penguins is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon downtown, and probably a nice way to break up a long day when you're out with kids.

Chattanooga Imax Theater
The TN Aquarium and Imax are open every day except Thanksgiving & Christmas Day
Ticket Prices | map & directions | website

*Photo from the TN Aquarium Website, Image Link. 1/13/12

**Edit 4/29/13: Due to an excessive amount of spam, comments for this post have been turned off.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Sushi Nabe

I'm publishing this post today in honor of the 2012 BCS National Championship game tonight. You'll understand why by the end of the post.

Sushi Nabe is known for having the best sushi in Chattanooga. But growing up here, sushi just wasn't on my radar. Luckily living in South Carolina for 10 years (not a landlocked state) exposed me to a lot of fresh fish, and also sushi.

I was both excited and nervous to try Sushi Nabe.  They've been making sushi in Chattanooga since 1990, so that's exciting.  Any restaurant that has been in business that long has food worth coming back to.  What made me nervous is that Tennessee is a landlocked state, and fresh ingredients are key when it comes to sushi, and like it or not, the logistics are just harder here.

I have been to Sushi Nabe twice since I moved to Chattanooga.  The first time was this summer, and I ordered two different shrimp rolls. One was $4-$5, and the other was $8-$9.  The sad thing is that at the end of the meal, I couldn't tell you which roll was which, and neither roll was great.  Not going to lie, I expect to be able to taste the difference when one roll is twice as expensive as the other.  I was not impressed.

I'm so glad I went back to try the sushi again.

I went back to Sushi Nabe this fall, and they had a few specialty, football themed rolls.  I thought this was a fun idea, and tried the Roll Tide Roll ($10-$11).  It was AWESOME.

Not only does it look pretty - I don't even like wasabi, but that football is pretty cute - it tasted great.  I love the extra crunchy stuff and the sauce that is the goal post was exactly the perfect compliment to the roll. Don't get me wrong, the roll was great on it's own, but the sauce really took it to another level of tasty.

I will be cheering for LSU tonight in the National Championship game, but when my friend Phats asked me to pick the winner (and a few bowl games)...well, all I have to say is "Roll Tide, Roll"

Sushi Nabe:
110 River Street Chattanooga, TN 37405-4006
(423) 634-0171 | website:
  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 9:30pm
  • Wednesday: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 9:30pm
  • Thursday: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 9:30pm
  • Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Sunday: 12:00pm - 9:00pm

Sushi Nabe of Kyoto on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 5, 2012

what it means to 'Clemson' yourself

But this one – this one was a monumental fail, even by Clemson’s standards. ~ Heather Dinich, ESPN
Everyone wants to love Clemson.  Everyone wants them to do well. If you've ever been to Clemson, if you've ever  been to a game in Death Valley, you want each team to be as special as the place itself.  There is always so much potential....and there are always so many disappointing, stupid, mistakes.  Great wins, followed by seemingly inexcusable losses.  (I say seemingly inexcusable, bc inevitably I will make excuses by the end of this post.) Clemson is well known for beating the odds, but also loosing the games they are supposed to win.

Last night was no exception.  Clemson was a 3.5 point favorite in it's very first Orange Bowl.  Well, you know what happened.

The most points allowed in a bowl game. Ever. Since the beginning of time.

Roller coaster seasons.  Ups and downs.  I have said it before, being a Clemson fan will take years off your life.  This was so hard to watch because the team gave up.  They stood dumbfounded asking 'how could this happen to me' rather than making a tackle and stopping abuse.  Like most Clemson fans, I blame the coaches.  I blame Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele for not being able to to do his job in an "x and o" basic sort of way. I also blame him for developing a defensive that was soft on fundamentals, and weak mentally.  I blame Dabo Swinney for not recognizing the problem before the game, and not taking over and rallying his players during the game.  The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year couldn't get his team to focus and execute. Epic fail does not begin to describe how this game went.

The silver lining, if there is one, is that this Clemson team - even with this horrible, horrible loss - exceeded expectations.  This was a team that most predicted to be 7-5 at best.  This is a young team (both players and coaches).  This is a brand new offensive scheme that only 65% installed, worked wonders.  This is a team that won the ACC for the first time that I can remember.  This is a team that took down the defending SEC & BCS National Champs, as well as the defending Sun Belt, SoCon, & ACC champs.

I have 2 wishes coming out of this game.
  1. Dabo Swinney takes a lesson from Chad Morris and becomes a hard ass.  This means firing a few people, enacting a no twitter/cell phones on gameday rule, and putting his team through the toughest spring training known to man.
  2. Derek Dooley does NOT hire Kevin Steele.
 It would rock my world for these wishes to come true.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

1 year back in chattanooga

Happy New Year everybody!  I made it 1 whole year blogging on a more consistent basis.  I know I have been crazy late to the blogger party, and it's not as trendy as the newer social media platforms, but this is one of my spaces online, and I've enjoyed my time here.  I've met some cool people, enjoyed sharing some of my adventures around Chattanooga and the planning and progress of my new to me cottage house.  My topics are still random and sporadic, but it does give you an idea as to what I'm thinking about or doing at any certain phase of my life...and yes I really am this all over the place.

When I moved back to Chattanooga last year I made a to-do list of things I wanted to do, see, or try.  I've gotten pretty sidetracked by other things, but this is where I stand on this list, and a few additions for 2012.  The original text is plain, and I've added strikethroughs and additional comments in italics.

The List:
  1. Hunter Museum, -This is a kinda, I went to the Hunter for the River Rocks light show, but didn't go inside.  It stays on the list.
  2. Chattanooga Zoo - baby snow leopards - They're probably not babies anymore, but I'm sure they're still cute
  3. Rembrandt's - I used to love this place
  4. TN Aquarium - penguins!!! I've posted once, but I've been at least 6 times : )
  5. Rock City Garden of Lights I might get to it this year, but time is running out.
  6. Ruby Falls - never been I misssed a chance to go to their Christmas event this year, but I was waiting on company so I'm not complaining
  7. Imax I think I'm going to go see Happy Feet 2, it's playing through January 8th
  8. Rhythm & Brews
  9. 3 Bridges Art Festival
  10. The new Mudpie - aka Hill City Pizza
  11. Chattanooga Billiards Club East I actually get lunch from here a couple times a month.
  12. Market Street Tavern
  13. Loopies in East Brainerd So good.  During restaurant week I found out they use local ingredients
  14. Typhoon - Ahhhh-mayzing
  15. Blue Plate Another one I've been to more than once this year
  16. St Johns Meeting Place
  17. Rib & Loin - BBQ STUFFED BAKED POTATO  How have I only picked up reg BBQ once this year
  18. Yacoubian Tailors I finally went to check it out, maybe if Ani takes a picture of the holiday display I will have incentive to write my post!
  19. Riverbend - Such a good time!  I ate gator tail
  20. bonnaroo?
It looks like I haven't blogged about some of these places, and done a lot more than what was on this list.   Click on the (Re)Discover Chattanooga tag at the end of this post, or on my sidebar to read about some of the other Chattanooga things I have found and experienced.
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