Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's a Wrap!

The Back of the Producer J. World Tour 2006 T-shirt would list the following tour stops:

Washington D.C.

St. Maarten
St. Thomas

Locations in Bold had multiple visits

Thanks for taking the journey with me. :-) I've enjoyed this blog so much!

Stay Tuned - the 2007 World Tour has destinations in the Southern Hemisphere!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wall Bling

Last night a friend and I took our girls to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which has been running out at the Grand Ole Opry House. The girls all loved seeing the Rockettes dance. I consider myself to be fairly limber, but I hurt just watching those ladies do those high kicks!

The Opry moves downtown to the Ryman Auditorium for a couple of months each year when the Rockettes come to town. There was an ad in the program for a Christmas dinner show with Pam Tillis that was running out at the Opryland Hotel that I hadn't heard a thing about.

At any rate, my friend and her husband run Lofton Creek Records, and she brought me some wall bling for my office. :-) Although I have to admit, I had no idea that USA Today did a chart.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Programming Note

Artist Confidential: Dixie Chicks airs today at Noon Eastern on Highway 16.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My 2007 Resolutions

1. Everyone has the diet thing on their list, so I might as well get it out of the way first. There needs to be a few pounds less of me.

2. Update my resume and make a resume tape.

3. Change my expectations of others. If I've learned ANYTHING over the past year, it's that a leopard doesn't change it's spots. At least not for me. Or maybe especially not for me.

4. Scrapbooking. *sigh* Let's not expound upon how far behind I am here, ok?

5. Home improvements in 2007 = Home for sale in 2008


7. Volunteer more. I'm a slacker of a webmistress and I really miss working with Room in the Inn.

8. Stress less. Accomplishing 1-6 above will help that a lot.

9. Run a 5k. I'm walking one next month with Delaynie, but that doesn't count. I expect the humiliation of my 46 year old husband doing one first is going to be good motivation.

10. Find Michele. I miss her.

Your turn.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Mail call!
The cool thing about having your mail held while you're out of town is that you come home to all kinds of goodies. And some not so goodies. The latest stash includes chocolate chip cookies from Brooks & Dunn (seriously, doesn't anyone send fruit baskets anymore?) a Christmas card from Dakota and Avery, and this beautiful scarf from Sandi, who wouldn't let me steal hers. Oh yeah... and a DVD from what's his name. Check out B&D's Christmas card. The inside says "From our herd to yours..." And Kix and Ronnie both signed it - unlike every other artist card that was pre-printed.

Roll call!
Ha! I have outed another lurker... this one a friend in Columbus, OH. Yay! Now I want to hear from the California contingency. San Jose, Rancho Cuca-something-or-another, and my hubby's birthplace of Glendale have all shown up this week. Who are you?

Phone calls!
We got rid of our home phone a couple of weeks ago, and added an additional cell phone line. (But are NOT calling it Delaynie's phone.) It saves us $25 a month, but I've yet to decide if it was a good decision. Has anyone done this? Feedback?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Belated Merry Christmas

Hope everyone had a great Christmas - thanks for keeping the party going here! I appreciate the e-cards and emails too, as usual, I'm a slacker and didn't manage to send out any such niceties.

I had every intention of blogging from the cornfields, however, I wound up being highly distracted by these two cuties. Y'all will forgive me, I know.

US Country is back - it made for a very nice drive home. (When I didn't loose control of the radio to ESPN Radio or Radio Disney.) I'm curious to see tomorrow if we've gotten any hate mail for not leaving the Christmas music playing longer. For those who haven't gotten their fill of the eggnog yet, Holly, XM 103, is staying Christmas for another week or so.

So... what did Santa bring you?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ask and Ye Shall Receive..

Christmas cards from Trisha and Alan - neither of which came through my mailbox. Photo courtesy of Paula.

Cool things that have come through my mailbox lately - food! I got a box of these amazing brownies from one record label, and today, a honey baked ham and a pecan pie from another! OMG I just LOVE Honeybaked Ham!

Massachussetts once again tops the states on my blog counter. The thing I love about my MA readers it they come from cities with cool names. Randolph, Marblehead, West Springfield and Braintree (I've gotta know the story behind that city's name!) all represented today.

The MA contingency, however, does not get credit for the coolest city name to show up on my statcounter. That, far and away, goes to the visitor from Kyonggi-do, Republic of Korea. Awesome!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Countdown Begins...

... I know y'all have been counting down the days on your calendars... palm pilots... paperlink chains... advent calendars...

... and I know that what you're REALLY excited about, has nothing to do with the fat guy in the red suit, or the mysterious boxes under the tree that rattle...

Let's face it. You're counting down the hours until US Country comes back!

I scheduled the first US Country log today. Since I don't expect y'all to stay up until Midnight PACIFIC time Tuesday (3am Eastern) when the channel change happens, allow me to tell you that the last song to play on Music City Holiday will be MG's Merry Christmas From the Family. And the first song to play on US Country? Why FILP of course!

Speaking of his Garth-ness, I'm sure many of you have already realized this, but the man is cheap these days. My Walmart has a big bin of his CD's for $5.50, and they've marked the DVD set down to $15! Yikes. And there's still plenty of them left. Instead of being worried that the ebay'ers would grab up the "limited" number of set and jack the price up, they should have worried about whether they could sell a million of them. I did my part, I bought three. Two of them are wrapped and under the tree... I wish I had the receipt so I could return them and re-buy them, saving myself $20. Maybe over Christmas break I'll get around to watching mine.

On a much brighter note, I keep forgetting to congratulate Mr. & Mrs. B for their Grammy nomination for "Love Will Always Win." I know a bunch of you heard it for the first time on Highway 16... I'm glad that whole experience turned out to be worth something.

Thanks to all of you for posting your locations below, and a special welcome to all those we drew out of the woodwork! I love connecting with country music fans from all over the world, the internet has been very good to me in that respect over the past 7 years. Special shout out to Cathy in Canada who remembers my CountryCool days. It's very nice to meet y'all... I hope you'll come out and play more often.

Those of you who have been here in the past 24 hours but haven't posted your location for everyone else to see... well quite honestly, I wonder what you've got to hide. ;-)

Y'all can quit bugging me about the photos... I get the message. I *may* share my headshot choice here tomorrow now that Sandi has fixed my hair (how's that for a great hairdresser? She colors it in real life and cuts it in cyberspace!) There's a couple more things I want to tweak if I can figure out how.

I'm contemplating blackmailing Kyle and Jon...there are a couple of really goofy ones where they're talking. It might take some serious chocolate for me not to share them with the XM Nation.

In the meantime, I'll share a slightly larger version of my own goofy one, which some of you astutely noticed is my new profile pic. Although probably not for long.

Taken, for those who don't recognize it, in the Rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. The mural behind me is the "Benton Mural" and the lower rectangle on the wall on the right is George Strait's plaque.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Christmas Card Dilemma - Part 1

It must be tough to be a country star. The simplest decisions, like which Christmas card to send, can be mindboggling. How best to convey the message of the season?

Do you pick out a favorite photo of yourself, so that your adoring public doesn't forget what you look like in this season full of jolly fat men wearing red? Because seriously... that baby in the manger is getting way too much face time.

Or is it better to show you and your favorite four-legged creature, to spread that warm fuzzy holiday feeling? (Seriously Josh... we'd much rather have seen the baby!)
L-R those pooches are Gibson and Moses, should you be wondering.... they both "signed" the card.

Perhaps you figure people have seen enough of your face(s) over the past year, and you can find something with really cool artwork.

L-R: The CMA, Diamond Rio, and Phil Vassar.

Phil's cards always have cool piano artwork, and Rio's features a design by someone from Big Brothers / Big Sisters, along with a message about the organization.

The Christmas Card Dilemma - Part 2

If you travel a lot - even if it's for work - it's probably best to show off a family photo from somewhere exotic. Just resist the urge to sign it "Nah-nah-nah-nah-neh-na, you didn't get to go here."

It was upon opening Charlie Daniels' card that I thought about not even bothering to send cards of my own. How can you compete with the Great Wall of China? You can't.

The illuminated cacti are from my SIL in Tucson, who does not have a record deal but always sends the coolest Christmas cards.

Of course, you can completely forgo the whole "card" notion, and send something that doesn't open, so you don't have to come up with a catchy greeting or anything. I'm particularly fond of the one on the right, because I took the photo in the Bobby Brady position of Grascal Munchkin holding daddy's IBMA award.

There are some more generic - although very beautiful - Christmas cards sent out by artists and labels as well, but those won't fetch me nearly as much on ebay. ;-)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Come out, come out, whoever you are!

I have this nifty little thing on my blog that tells me cool stats on the people who visit me. It tells me that I'm getting right around 100 visitors a day, mostly, of course from across America. I smile when I see Dalton, GA, come up, because I know LeeLee has come by, and I get a cute little Canadian flag in the middle of all the Stars and Stripes when Susan comes to visit. I wonder who's hanging out from Chicago, and I wonder why MA seems to be my most popular state, and I giggle when I see an ISP from a hospital in Central IL because I know I'm entertaining my SIL at work.

However... some of y'all... just perplex me. Don't get me wrong - I *love* having you here! I've seen UK (hello Dave!) and Australia, and I got my first Ireland visit today. However... someone is visiting me daily from Norway, and I have no idea who you are. I guess I'm entertaining you, or you wouldn't be coming back, right?

So today's assignment is if you're reading this - post a comment with your city / state / country. You don't have to register with blogger, you don't even have to give me your name. Just an anonymous little post, checking in from whatever corner of the XM nation you're in. It's not like I don't know you're there. ;-) So say hello!

Grammar 101

This might just be my favorite email EVER from a subscriber.

Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 8:27 PM
To: Music City Holiday

You guys are so stupid to put christmas music hear on a country channel i enjoy and not only that, play the same christmas on 105, that is so stupid, maybe i better switch to Sirius!!!!!

Quite honestly... at this moment... I feel like the smart one in this conversation. ;-)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

* sniff * sniff *

My baby cut off 10" of hair today...

She wasn't going to go that short... we went in thinking just below the shoulders, so about 7". But if she went shorter, she could meet the 10" minimum requirement to donate her hair to Locks of Love.


Don't mind me... she was just bald until she was nearly 2, and we've grown and grown and grown her hair ever since she finally got some. *sniff*

Friday, December 15, 2006

Say Cheese

Anyone who knows me know I hate having my picture taken. It's pointless, because I'm never happy with the end result, so why bother wasting everyone's time?

Alas... the powers that be decreed that I needed to have a photo on the xm page to go with my bio. So today, with about 24 hours notice, all of the XM Nashville staff did a photo shoot.

The grief and agony caused by just THINKING about doing this was enough for me to decide 10 times over I wasn't going to do it. Guys - and I work with 3 of them - have it easy. Hmm... which shirt to wear - brown or blue? (2 brown, 1 blue on this shoot). If they really put some effort into it, they had their wife iron it for them.

For me... not so easy. I hate my hair style of the moment (although I love the color!) so there was the "Hair Up?" or "Hair Down?" Decision. (Down.) Jewlery is a tough one for me, and I spent a lot of time wrestling with "Do I wear a choker over the gash across my neck or do I photoshop it out later?" (Choker.) But most horrible was the "What in the heck do I wear?" decision.

I have been accused... of having an entire closet full of brown and black. I was determined I wasn't going to wear either for the pictures. I went to 3 different stores looking for something red that DIDN'T look like Christmas but WAS something that I'd actually wear in real life. No luck. Tried on 10 or more outfits back at home, completely tearing apart my closet.

The end result? Black. I know... you're shocked. But at least it matched my hair.

We did have some really neat settings for the pictures, which we shot at the Hall of Fame. Jon's was particularly cool. I'll let you know when they go up online - I should get them back Monday.

I have a feeling that no one but me and the photographer will ever see the ones of me. Which is good - no one will know I was wearing the same jacket I'm wearing in the picture with Vince.

The photographer, by the way, was Alan Mayor, who's shot SO many events in Country Music History - from Garth flying over Texas Stadium to Tim and Faith's wedding. There are several of his pictures (Tim, Dixie Chicks, and the famous Garth picture) blown up lifesize in the Hall of Fame. I'm confident that mine won't wind up there.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Overwhelmed? Me?

This was today's "To Do" list:

Buy Abbie's Birthday Present
Wrap Abbie's Birthday Present
Mapquest to Abbie's House
Pack Laynie for slumber party
Wrap Book Buddy gift
Upload and order pictures
Send JDC photo to Kyle
Send JMC photo to Jon

Call American Family & Equitable
Returns: WalMart and Steve & Barry's
Parent Teacher Store
Reschedule yesterday's missed Dr. appt.
Pkg. GN gifts
Mail GN gifts
Wrap Brad's presents

Mail Brad's package
Buy Giftcards: Tom, Mike, Sara, Shawn, Samantha, Stephen
Mail Barb's pkg.
Mail Diane's pkg.
Send check to Paul
Fill out expense report
Fax in receipts
Fill out ESP form - return
Fill out flex spending form - return
Next week's calendar
Email Britt
Wrap teacher presents
Christmas cards!!!!
MCH logs 12/20 - 12/25

Things in italics I actually got done. As you can see, it's going to be a long night.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rewind: Brush with Fame

I don't have any idea what made me think of this tonight, but at some point while driving to pick my daughter up from choir practice, I realized that I did not share a brush with NASCAR fame I had a couple of weeks back.

Sandi and I are at the post office on a Friday afternoon, standing in line behind a little short guy in an orange UT hat. We're both trying to apply for a passport. He's killing a good deal of his time waiting talking on a cell phone.

So once I finally get through all the forms and such, and we're just about finished, Mr. Short Guy wraps up his ordeal, and leaves. The guy behind the counter asks "Do you know who that was?"

We didn't.

"Bobby Hamilton" he states proudly.

I'm hoping at least some of you have the same blank look on your face that I did.

Ever the helpful one, Sandi pipes up "NASCAR driver."

The other lady behind the counter gets all a tither and asks if he'd gotten his autograph. The guy waiting on me tells her sure - he signed the same form the rest of us did. Not only did he have his autograph, he had his home address and phone number.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Programming Alert!

I book so many different things, I forget what I've done. LOL. Jimmy Fortune is on with Country Dan tonight on XM 10 America. I've been listening. Lots of Statlers music. :-)

Here's my kids with their Snow Woman. (Delaynie said it had to be a girl.) Notice Delaynie in her Chiefs jersey! I believe that was one of (many) Chiefs things that Annette helped me aquire. Still getting good use!

And I have to show off the decoration we got for the studio yesterday. Or should I say - 13 decorations!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Can I buy a vowel?

Had a funny moment last Friday, in the middle of Missouri. (Ok, technically I was on the edge of Missouri.) My phone rings, a number I don't recognize, and I answer it. It was someone with Wheel of Fortune, asking if we'd send a crew out to cover Country Music Week, which they were taping in Vanna's home state of South Carolina. Umm... let me get back to you on that.

Jason Michael Carroll (you can call him Jason Michael, but don't call him Jason) was in studio with us today for a session of Hwy 16 Driver's Ed. Nice young man - very well spoken, a good interview. You never know with a new artist, whether you're going to get someone who's so green they can't hold a conversation, or so arrogant that they have a record deal that you don't want to hold a conversation with them. Jason was great, and sounded fabulous live. As I was listening to him singing, I decided he is a cross between Tracy Lawrence and Trace Adkins. He reaches down low and sounds great - like Trace. But there was something about his energy and twang that reminded me a lot of a young Tracy.

At any rate - there was a point in the show that was just... beyond goosebumps. More like a punch in the gut. Show will air sometime after the first of the year - his album is in stores early February.

The XM Nation Awards were announced this morning. Keith Urban for Country Superstar, Carrie Underwood for Rookie Driver, Rhonda Vincent for Bluegrass, and Brian Burns for the Best in Texas. I was a tad disappointed that the song banished from the XM Nation was NOT "Achy Breaky Heart." That may be the first song I play when US Country comes back.

Or not.

Would you like a photo of the snowy Missouri cornfields (do they grow corn in MO?) to enjoy? Sure, I knew you would. They had lots of snow once we got south of Kansas City, in the area where my son is preaching. Delaynie loved it. The kids had a couple of snowball fights, and they built a big snowman. Blogger won't let me add another picture, or I'd show you.

Home Sweet Home

Got back into town around 10:30 last night. Sunday nights at the airport are funny, if you've never been. Coming back from Kansas City, we were on a plane full of people in Chiefs jerseys (my hubby and daughter included, although we did not go to the game.) As I'm waiting at baggage claim, in came a gaggle of people in Titans paraphenalia (sp?) - the flight from Houston had just arrived.

Hope everyone had a great weekend - a reminder that New Music Roundup airs at Noon Eastern today on XM 10. Trisha's up first!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Updated - 6:30pm CT
Just in case you think our weekend in Pigeon Forge was nothing but shopping and entertainment... I have photo evidence that Sandi actually had to do some work... yes... I trusted her with a bottle of haircoloring. And my head. The best part was when I asked her if she had done this before. Her answer was "I watch my hairdresser." Nice.

Although as you can see... I didn't end up with green hair or anything.

Sandi has a ton of photos that just... well... defy words. And laws of electricity. Seriously... the photos don't do justice to the Smoky Mountain Tackiness. If you ask her nice, she might share.

One more of my favorites though - the mantle at this BBQ place we ate at.. where I somehow managed to get a sandwich that was not in the least bit BBQ'd. Apparently there was not room for the kitchen sink up there - but everything else made it. I've added a few photos below too, including one of the MistleToe Roaster guys posing for Paula mid-show. BTW - if you remember when I first saw a preview of the show in August I commented that Santa had to go to Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve, and that I was sure this crowd could figure out why. We laughed hysterically when the punch line was delivered in the show (Langdon even commented that they had some Garth fans in the house that night.) After the show they told us we were only the 2nd ones to get the joke - Garth's brother Kelly had seen the show the night before.

I also added a picture of the promotional posters for the show. You'll see why I nearly fell down when I walked into the theatre and saw it.

Funny story posted on tonight. Click here to read it. I'll wait until you come back.

This is my favorite part of the story:
Yeah, Toby Keith was here,'' Schooner Wharf bartender Angus Cameron said. ``Came in several times with his big old security dude that weighed like 400 pounds.''

That 400lb. security dude is my buddy Jason, (who is more like 300 lbs.) who used to be the head of security for the Hall of Fame. I saw Jason just last week. He said Toby was worn out from trying to tour and be a movie star all at the same time, and was taking a couple of months off.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today... is Wednesday.

I was just informed that. After trying to make someone believe it was Thursday. I'm glad it's only Wednesday, because I'm not packed for my Friday trip.

This is my little XM radio station in my Christmas village. Blogger wouldn't let me add it to the entry where I talked about it below. I did, however, add some pics of the Illinois Cornfields at the bottom of the page. Lots more photos to come, but I need sleep.

Had a delightful lunch today with Nina Fortune, whose husband Jimmy is the only Statler Brother I've ever met. She brought me Jimmy's new Christmas album, which you'll be hearing soon on Music City Holiday.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Brushes With Fame

I'm home. And suddenly, I have all kinds of energy, despite running on very little sleep.

My first brush with fame du jour came in the XM Cafeteria this morning. I'm waiting on my scrambled eggs, and I look over and see a guy in khaki's and a sweater who looks familiar. The conversation I had in my head went something like this:

"Gosh, that guy looks like the guy... what was his name... used to see him on the news channels all the time.... James someone... worked for Clinton... James... James... married to the republican who had a name like Marlee Matlin but she's not as pretty... Carlin? Carville. James Carville. How funny. Really looks like him. Wonder what James Carville is doing now."

Umm... well genious, that would be a radio show, for some satellite company based out of the nation's capitol.

My second brush with fame was my own. Or nearly my own. I discovered that I appear in a photo with Vince on Wire Image. Captioned and everything. However... they managed to spell my name wrong. Not only wrong, but wrong in a way I've never seen it wrong before.

Allow me to introduce you to our country crew: Jay Thomas (H16) Dan Dixon (10) Jon Anthony (H16) Marty Fitzpatrick (12) Vince, Me, Kyle Cantrell (14).

For the record - we're standing in front of the couch I slept on.


Clearly, when I suggested getting on a plane Monday morning after a weekend away, I was slightly loopy.

But when I really lost my mind was when I said "I don't need a hotel room! I'm not there very long anyway. Eckington has everything I need."

Well it's true, they did. See, I was booked at this ever so slightly creepy hotel in not the best neighborhood. I have some really lousy memories of the last time I was there - not as much related to the hotel as it was the situation I was put in - but quite honestly, I have no desire to go back.

So since our massive headquarters has both of my hotel requirements (a coffee pot and a hairdryer) as well as the basic necessities (a roof, showers) and I'm usually at HQ until late at night and back early in the morning, I figured what the heck, I'll just crash on a couch.

So, the Green Room was my home for the night. Which would have been really nice - it was private, I could kill the lights, and I had my own XM system. However.. the one problem was that the couch was not at all the big comfy leather couch like I have at my house. It was more of a square, short, modern uncomfy couch. A good night sleep it was not.

However, I didn't loose time with trivial things like going to a hotel, and have gotten all kinds of things accomplished. To the point where I could probably take the rest of the week off.

And sleep.

Monday, December 04, 2006

From One Suitcase to Another

When last I blogged... I was in Pigeon Forge, TN. I'm currently in Washington D.C. During the 10 hours I was home overnight, I remembered to move my makeup case and curling iron into my next suitcase, which I'd packed before I left. Hopefully by the time I get home again mid-week, my husband will have done laundry, and I can re-pack suitcase #1 for our trip to Kansas City.

Hopefully my husband still remembers my name by then.

Lots and lots and lots to tell you about but for now I'll leave you with a couple of tidbits -

Artist Confidential with Vince Gill was awesome. He cried.

Vince and Amy have XM in the car and in their bedroom. They listen to Bluesville in the bedroom. TMI.

Dave Talbot is leaving The Grascals to go to work for Dolly.
:-( There's a banjo player out there somewhere about to get lucky.

MistleToe Roaster was awesome. Had a blast with Sandi and Paula. The show was even funnier this time - they've tweaked it since I saw it in August. And Bryan Kennedy got a new Santa suit. Had dinner in Chinatown tonight with Jon Anthony, Kyle Cantrell, and Jay Thomas. One of those men... who shall remain nameless... refuses to eat anything adventurous. So I ate in Chinatown... at Fudruckers. I had an Asian Chicken Salad, does that count?

I can't believe I finally got to Chinatown and didn't have my camera on me. It was not NEARLY as cool as NYC's Chinatown.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Las Vegas for Rednecks

It had been a while since I'd been to Pigeon Forge, so I'd forgotten just how decked out they get at Christmas time. I have dubbed it "Las Vegas for Rednecks." Sandi is completely overwhelmed. Paula and I are in pain from laughing at her so much.