If this isn’t the culmination of every cliché of every Southern women’s store in in the world, I don’t know what is. It should surprise no one that this exists in my beloved hometown of Jasper.
According to some fancy statistics, I live in a pretty smart ‘hood, y’all. I’m sooo the 1%.
Mountain Brook is the smartest mid-sized city in Alabama by a wide margin, according to a new report from on Numbers.
The report, which looked at educational attainment data for communities across the U.S., said Mountain Brook ranks No. 14 nationally with a brainpower index score of 34.
That’s nearly 10 points better than Vestavia Hills, which ranked second in Alabama, but only 130th nationally with a score of 23.9. Homewood ranked third in Alabama and No. 172 nationally with a score of 21.9.
I was on a cruise ship during the BCS Championship Game. I couldn’t watch. Literally.
The satellite feed wasn’t working, so 30 Auburn and Oregon fans all gathered round a computer (paying $0.75 per minute) to watch a bootlegged feed which froze every 30 seconds. It was like being handed a grainy photograph of an event with no explanation whatsoever about what happened before, after, or even when it happened.
I’m sure many of you didn’t mind my absence. Lord knows your Twitter feeds were a lot less full.
People always ask me who I cheer for when it comes to college football. Southern Miss is the obvious answer. Referring my following of the Golden Eagles as an “obsession” would be a major understatement. But in the state of Alabama, you are Alabama or you are Auburn. I grew up Auburn and followed them with a passion greater than many who actually attended the university. I joke that if I was married to Southern Miss, Auburn would be “the other woman”.
So, to Auburn, War Eagle! What an incredibly memorable year.
Now… let’s be honest and admit that next year you’ll be lucky to go 9-3. (luv u Newton & Fairley)
Are we all back at work yet? I hope so. I started my new job two weeks ago. It’s tough being on cloud nine while everybody around just wants to go home and enjoy Christmas. Now… we’re back at work, and I can continue to be giddy.
Some blogs produce long, detailed, drawn-out posts at the end of the year. They link to multiple blog posts and photos, highlighting their favorite moments in what certainly becomes a digital public record. And you know what? Nobody reads them.
Here’s my year in review:
If you want to view these and the rest, head over to Flickr.
Needless to say, I got lots and lots of stares as I stood in the parking lot of Oregon’s athletic department in my bright orange Auburn shirt. It was well worth it. War Eagle.
Chelsea’s car was broken into on night one. We found this out quite literally as the words “Sacramento seems like a really safe city” left my mouth. Thankfully, nothing of significant importance was taken.
In-N-Out is one of those burgers that, upon initial consumption I was never blown away by. My last few experiences have made me nothing but an obsessed devourer and blind loyalist.
So scarred by the break in, we felt the need to drive through Palm Springs for an evening at the Rancho Las Palmas.
The bartender at Rancho Las Palmas inquired if she could use us as guinea pigs for new drinks. We did could, could never be able to, consume them all.
Meteor Crater, AZ. Self explanatory and mind-blowing.
Like The Eagles, I’ve stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. That’s a flatbed Ford. Evidently the ‘girl in the flatbed Ford’ was on her lunch break.
[The last photo from Seattle taken right before we headed down Queen Anne Hill, due south. I've never seen the rain so furious.]
We’re here. Sweet home, Alabama.
…and a partridge in a pear tree.
It was a long, eventful, exciting trip. We’re home, and it feels good.
Trader Joe’s is my new Chick-fil-A. One is America’s premier non-drive thru, the other is America’s premier market. Affordable, delicious groceries and wine… ugh, I’m gonna miss you.
Chelsea looked at me during the SEC Championship Game and said, “We’re driving to Atlanta once a month to go to Trader Joe’s.” I’d argue with her if I didn’t agree.
Once-per-month trips to Trader Joe’s? Might as well swing by H&M on the way.
Trading the Space Needle for Vulcan’s magnificent buns of iron. Seriously, he is a physical specimen to admire.
I’ve accepted a job with a Birmingham-based software company. Chelsea and I will be residents by December 19.
Moving back to The South has always been a goal for Chelsea and me long before we were married. Chelsea moved to Los Angeles in 2005 right after college. I moved to Seattle in September 2006, convincing Chelsea to get her own place in Seattle in 2007 when we started dating again.
Birmingham is an amazing city and there’s never been a better time to be a resident. Home to one of the best restaurants, best pubs, and best music venues in America, it doesn’t lack in culture. An international hub for physical therapy and health care for years, it’s also home to one of the fastest growing small business/technology incubators in America.
An afternoon drive takes you to the beach or the mountains, Atlanta or Nashville, the lake or the plains. Birmingham is big enough to feel big, small enough without feeling too small, and it’s the perfect place to start our family. I absolutely love this city.
To top it off, we’re closer to many of you. At this point in our life having friends and family within arms reach seems almost a foreign concept, and that’s not ok. We like you.
So, we’re pumped. Very.
As excited as we are to move to Birmingham, we’re equally as sad to leave Seattle. Seattle will get many posts over the next few days. This city has been amazing in both the experiences it provided and the people we’ve come to call close friends. For the rest of our lives we’ll find any excuse possible to visit.
For now, we plan and pack, and listen to a Randy Newman classic. So you in three weeks.
Maybe 9 of you will appreciate this post. (Short ‘n sweet background: Phyllis Dotson raised us.)
Thanks for the video Jody Gambrell!
You’ve got to read this article.
Girl pays $20K/year to get a teaching degree from Samford. Graduates and starts a scrapyard.
For all the page-filling nonsense my hometown paper tends to resort to, this article is brilliant in that it’s interesting, inspirational, and head-scratching in the best of ways.
It’s all over Facebook and Twitter. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Jasper, Alabama now has 3G capabilities.
I think this news deserves it’s own post. God bless you, Jasper. Miss ya.
So there’s this thing in Alabama called Thursday Night Lights. I never knew about it until last week. Each Thursday during high school football season, the local My-whatever channel broadcasts a game.
The week I was home was Walker vs. Curry. Yes, the greatest rivalry in Walker County was broadcast through the majority of the greatest state in America on the only weekend I’ve been home this year.
Walker won… very easily, mind you. If you don’t want to read the article, the image above and video below pretty much sum up the game.