Sunday, October 25, 2009

Twenty Questions, Weekend Edition

1) Why does soup in a breadbowl come with extra bread?

broccoli cheddar, breadbowl, F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'm sure the reason is that Panera has an "all soups come with bread" policy, but if you're paying the extra charge to have your soup served inside an entire loaf of bread, why would you need more? When I ordered, she asked if I wanted crusty french, and I assumed that meant the breadbowl would be crusty french. I'm not complaining, as I enjoy dunking bread in my soup, but it just seems odd that when you order the breadbowl they don't ask if you want more bread or offer to swap it for a cookie or something.

2) Why is Tender is the Night such a slow read?

Normally I fly through F. Scott Fitzgerald, who is my literary crush (sometimes I daydream that he and I are best friends, and we drink and listen to jazz and sometimes make out; shut up, it's totally normal), but I've been slogging through that book for a week and it just kind of creeps along. I read it through my entire dinner at Panera before meeting people at the movies, and I think I only made it through five pages.

3) Why can't the people who put the letters on the shopping plaza sign spell correctly?


Beautful? Really? Normally I wouldn't call them out, but this is the third time I've spotted mistakes in the same place:


all sorts of trouble

Even if the guy getting paid to put the letters up doesn't catch it, shouldn't the store managers?

4) Did the building on the Wall Avenue corner of Market Square, which has been boarded up and under renovation for three years now, always have faces on the front panels?

face panels

If it did, why didn't I notice them before? I'm down there probably every two weeks, if not more, and the faces are pretty striking:

face panel (1)

face panel (2)

They look kind of like Clive Barker's drawings, but I doubt he was here in Knoxville marking up buildings.

5) What does this mean?

Speaking of Clive Barker, this looked and sounded just like something out of Imajica or Everville:


Poetry? Doodle? Message from beyond? If I were actually in one of those books, then reading the poem and taking the picture would ensnare me in a magical adventure which I may or may not survive, so if I vanish suddenly everyone will know where to start looking: somewhere in the beyond.

6) Would you park your car here?

Pryor Brown Garage

I realize it is expensive to build parking garages, but I've said before and will say again that it does little good to revitalize and refurbish downtown if the places where you have to park to go there look like the places where Batman's parents got shot.

7) Is it true that there is beauty in distortion?

I think there is. I've heard people say it before, and I agree even if I can't articulate exactly why. There's something noble about ruins, a sense of history and loss and things that are gone, and contemplating that can be beautiful:

United Shoe Repair

A friend said once that I take too many pictures of boarded up windows and rusty doors and signs with the letters falling off, but these things speak to me. Everything ends, entropy will claim us all, and you can't ignore that by not looking at the effects of it. Tarot card dealers always tell me that Death is a card of change, and change isn't always a bad thing. Decay can give you hope, and it can teach us things about ourselves that we otherwise wouldn't have known or considered.

8) Who is Dr. John Mason Boyd?

I've noticed his monument on the courthouse lawn many times but never gave it any thought before yesterday, when I went for a walk down there:

Dr. John Mason Boyd monument

The monument is pretty scant on information, other than that it was a gift from a grateful public. It turns out that he was a surgeon in the Confederate Army, but I didn't find much else on him online. I'll keep my eyes open for information next time I tour a Civil War exhibit.

9) Did you know that Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee?

first capital

I didn't. Based on that marker, it was also the capital again a couple of times after that.

10) Did you know the first governor of Tennessee, John Sevier, is buried on the courthouse lawn with his wife?

Gov. Sevier monument

Their original tombstones are also set into the wall of the courthouse:

original tombstones

I'm not sure how I went to the courthouse to renew my driver's license and didn't notice any of this then or any of the other times I've been down there, but I guess I learned something. Also, I always thought this statue, which I've only glanced at from the road, was some kind of Civil War monument:

Spanish American War Veterans Memorial

but it turned out to be for the Spanish American War. It's amazing what you pick up when you actually read things.

11) Why haven't I ever seen a movie at the Bijou?

There are two renovated movie houses downtown that show vintage movies, and even though I've been to the Tennessee Theatre about a dozen times I've never gone to the Bijou Theatre, which is only a block away:

the Bijou Theatre

I need to get out of my shell more, and break out of my routine of going to the same old places for the same old stuff, so I'm going to see at least one movie there. Also, it is listed on several websites as one of the city's haunted places, so there's always the chance that I could get some really good pictures.

12) Does Lyle Lovett have another, smaller band?

Lyle Lovett's large band

Or is his band so large that it's famous just for its size?

13) Did you do anything this month to fight breast cancer?

Reruns' Breast Cancer window

I donated at the grocery store, and got a nice t-shirt from the American Cancer Society.

14) Is campus close enough to the restaurant for the Cafe 4 delivery cart?

Cafe 4 lunch cart

I'm betting our office is too far away, which is sad because the grilled cheese and tomato bisque that I had yesterday for dinner was really, really good:

grilled cheese dipper

I don't normally like tomato soup, but the cream in tomato bisque cuts into that acidic tomato flavor and makes it tolerable. I didn't really taste the squiggle of cilantro cream across the top, but I'll take Cafe 4's word for it that it contributes to the dish. Personally, I thought it was way too subtle and easily overpowered by the soup's flavor.

15) How can something fun also be sad?

Yesterday was the first ever international bout for the Hard Knox Rollergirls, as they took on the New Skids on the Block from Montreal, Canada, after an opening bout against Athens, Georgia's Classic City Rollergirls:

derby poster

It was sad because it was the last home bout of the season, and I probably won't see our girls again until spring. It's odd that with college sports and the local baseball and hockey teams nearby that the team I feel most like a loyal fan of is our roller derby league, but derby is awesome. It's less commercial, a little more rowdy, and easier to get more involved because you are sitting right on the track. Girls crash into you if you're in the wrong seat, and it's part of the fun. A lot of people look at derby and don't see a real sport, but those girls practice hard, and they take a lot of pride in what they do. I'm happy to support them.

Last night was also sad because my favorite skater, Lady Pain, was sidelined last night and couldn't skate. I saw her between bouts and she explained that she's bruised her knee pretty badly and is not allowed to skate for a month, but will be back next season. Unfortunately Bruisey Quatro will not be, as last night was her last bout with the Hard Knox Rollergirls, and she took an emotional final lap around the track to the cheers of the audience. We wish her the best.

16) When did it become acceptable not to take your hat off during the playing of the national anthem?


This is not ok. I know society has become lax on things like white shoes after Labor Day and it suddenly being acceptable to wear track suits and pants with the word "Juicy" stitched across the butt pretty much anywhere, but keeping your hat during the national anthem is disrespectful and unacceptable.

Taking photographs during the national anthem, on the other hand, is hopefully ok.

17) What happened to our old mascot?

We still have Sphere This, our mascot, but suddenly she's no longer a she, and is instead played by a man:

the new Sphere This

It's hard to tell from that picture, but it's a large man, and he needed a shave. Where did our old girl go, and is she coming back?

sphere this

18) Who is this?


Momcore is not in the program, and I don't recall seeing her skate before. Where did she come from? Why isn't she listed? At least she did a good job of knocking those girls from Georgia down, whoever she was.

19) Aren't Canadians supposed to be tree-hugging pacifists or something like that?

How did girls in bright, cheery colors:

New Skids on the Block

who skate their intro to the New Kids on the Block's "Hangin' Tough":

Hangin' Tough

end up kicking our asses? They were fast and rough, and their blockers were an impenetrable wall that our jammers barely got through:

tough pack

Our girls fought for every point they got, but the Montreal girls were like some kind of genetically engineered uber skating team that danced around us like we weren't there.

Also, their coach was kind of scary, and looked like a mid-80's member of Duran Duran. You wouldn't think that would be frightening, but it somehow was.

20) Why do I only have 19 questions?

I don't know, but Nineteen Questions is kind of a dumb name for an entry.


strong cookie. said...

I like how you (mostly) answered all your own questions.

Liz said...

In the six-degrees department, a friend of John's plays roller derby on a women's team in Montreal. They wouldn't have fielded her because she's still training. Maybe next season.

Knoxville looks like quite a pretty place.