Steve Azar

Way back when I was too young to date, but certainly old enough to be interested in boys, there wasn’t a lot that you could do in my small town of Greenville, MS if you didn’t yet have a driver’s license. There were a couple of options. You could go to the Cinema 1 & 82 to see a movie, but that was a little dangerous when you’re weren’t quite sure how the whole “kissing” thing was supposed to work, or you could go roller skating. For timid yet eager pre-teens, this was the perfect opportunity to “date” without worrying about the logistics of it all. Our venue of choice was the Skate-O-Rama, and man, do I have some great memories of that place. You really weren’t anyone in the skating crowd unless you had a boy to hold hands with as you went round and round and round.  And if you got to skate with that boy when the lights dimmed and a cheesy song played, that meant you were “going together”.

One summer, when I was around 12 years old, I had the good fortune to catch the eye of a boy named Steve Azar, and we held hands and skated together for (get this) TWO SATURDAYS IN A ROW! But alas…I had to go out of town with my parents one weekend, and when I returned to the Skate-O-Rama, I discovered that my place in Steve’s heart had been usurped by another girl. A blond girl (oh yes, I remember). I was inconsolable as only a young girl can be…for about a week, until I found a new skating partner. Life did indeed go on after Steve, although I’m quite sure he regretted his decision to replace me for a really long time. (What? You think he doesn’t even remember me? No way!)

While still in high school, Steve formed The Steve Azar Band, which was THE local band of choice for several years. Because of his exceptional talent, extreme dedication to his craft, and a burning drive to succeed, Steve is now a recording artist living and working in Nashville, TN. Steve has worked with some of the greatest musicians around, such as Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Bob Seger, Hootie & The Blowfish, and Montgomery Gentry, just to name a few. His latest album is called “Slide on Over Here” and features a song I just never seem to get tired of, called “Sunshine”. Have a listen:

In addition to catching one of Steve’s live shows, you can also see him on television, co-starring on The Golf Channel series Playing Lessons. Golf Digest ranks him as one the top-five golfing musicians, along with entertainers Rudy Gatlin, Marty Roe (Diamond Rio), Vince Gill, and saxophonist Kenny G. Learn more about Steve here (and check out some more great videos and photos, because the guy is definitely HOT).

Road No. 1

In my first post on this blog I mentioned my love for Korean dramas, so I’d like to tell you about a new one starting this week that I’ve really been looking forward to. It takes place during the Korean War, and the title “Road No. 1” refers to the road that served as the main passageway from North Korea into Seoul, and from Seoul into Pyeongyang, during the war in 1950.

The story centers around three main characters; two friends, Lee Jang-woo (played by So Ji-sub, uber hottie), Shin Tae-ho (played by Yoon Kye-sang, another cutie pie), and the woman they both love, Kim Soo-yeon (played by Kim Haneul).

Here’s the trailer:

This is the reason I love Korean dramas, because American television seldom gives us anything like this any more. Back in the 70’s and 80’s American television was all about the epic historical miniseries such as Shogun, Lonesome Dove, North and South, The Thorn Birds, or the granddad of all miniseries, Roots. There were wonderfully trashy ones like Lace, Master of the Game, and Rich Man, Poor Man, along with ones adapted from every Judith Krantz book ever written. We devoted hours of our lives to grand, sweeping sagas and characters we could love to hate (or hate to love), and they were so good that we couldn’t wait to talk about them the next day at work or school (and no one thought we were crazy, which I get a lot).

More recent offerings such as HBO’s Band of Brothers or John Adams are brilliant, but sporadic. What if you’d really like to watch this type of series all the time, rather than just once a year or so, having to fill your evenings in the meantime with inane reality shows or formulaic/episodic crime dramas? Just imagine my delight to find that my favorite kind of television programming is alive and well and becoming more and more mainstream every day! Don’t believe me? Check out this recent article in the Chicago Tribune.

So often when I try to convince someone to watch a foreign film or drama, their chief complaint is subtitles. The fact is that after about 10 minutes (maybe less), you don’t even realize you’re reading. It’s pretty effortless, and before you know it you’re engrossed in a compelling story, an hour (or six) have flown by, and you lose sleep because you’re thinking “Oh, just one more episode won’t hurt!”

Y’all can thank me later. 🙂

2010 North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic (via North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic)

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via North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic (Blue Mother Tupelo will be playing this event on June 25!)

A Beautiful Thing To Do

Lindsey from A Great Full Day is donating 100% of the proceeds of her gorgeous seashell print to the Audubon Society to help with the Gulf oil crisis. Lindsey is a lifelong resident of Louisiana, and as a Mississippian I share her heartbreak over what has happened to our coastlines.

There is no effort too small, even in a crisis of this magnitude. This is a beautiful photograph and an extremely worthy cause.

It’s Nate Berkus Day!

Who WOULDN’T want this cutie to come give you a few helpful interior design tips, right? Well, the Moggit Girls have designated today as Nate Day (fantastic idea)! Hundreds of blogs are featuring Nate today because he is branching out with his own show, premiering on September 13. You can check out a few of them here (I made the list)! I’ve enjoyed watching him tackle design projects both large and small, and he always manages to infuse them with humor and a lot of heart. I admire Nate’s philosophy that you should love how you live (and live how you love).

Speaking of love…I love this bedroom.

World Cup Fever!

It has begun!

I will try to post now and again while the World Cup is in progress, but no promises. Just so everyone is clear, in today’s US vs England match, we are pulling for the US to win. 1-0 will be fine. The US has not defeated England since 1950, and we are DUE. My favorite teams are the US (naturally), England (because they pay me), and South Korea (because they are awesome).

In case you can’t tell, I am very excited about the World Cup. And I love this commercial:

Blue Mother Tupelo

I love happy accidents. A couple of years ago my baby sister celebrated her 30th birthday at a great place in Merigold MS called Crawdad’s. Crawdad’s has a party loft with its own private bar which is where our festivities were held, and it’s open to the restaurant and stage below. In the midst of our celebration music began to play, and everyone at the party stopped in mid-sentence, then gathered at the railing to get a better look. As it happened, we were lucky enough to have the party on the same night that Blue Mother Tupelo were playing. I’d never heard of them before, but now I’m a fan for life. BMT is made up of a husband and wife duo, Ricky and Micol Davis. Ricky’s slide guitar mastery and Micol’s angelic voice blend together in such perfect harmony…well, just listen for yourself. No description of mine could ever do them justice. This video was shot in a stairwell; no special effects, no fancy camera work (in fact, you can often hear movement around them). Just Ricky and Micol, sitting on the stairs, singing a song. But as soon as the song begins, you’re in another place entirely. A very happy place.

Learn more about Blue Mother Tupelo here. They’ll be playing this Thursday night June 10 at The Pickled Okra in Cleveland MS. Maybe I’ll see y’all there!