What I Learned in My Time in Nashville

“Hey, you did learn some things, right?”

“Yes, I sure did, bud.”

Here’s what I learned while spending time in Nashville most of last year.

  • Adding the suffix “-town” makes things more fun. Examples: “brattytown,” or “Clarkietown.”
  • No one wants to be the conductor on the train to brattytown.
  • St. Augustine is apparently the best summer vacation destination ever. In hindsight, I should have gone, even if it did seem way too soon and kind of crazy at the time.
  • Coffee makes almost everything better.
  • The Sylvan Park/Heights area of Nashville is pretty neat—almost enough to make me seriously consider city living.
  • Moss makes stairs very slippery, and that moss can sneak up on you when you least expect it.
  • Metro Nashville does not recycle glass, especially not Yoohoo bottles.
  • The Place That Sells Insurance is a smaller operation than you would expect, and is held together by a small group of competent and under-appreciated people.
  • The best stories end with all kinds of potholes. They’re even better when Ludacris shows up.
  • Need late-night cookie dough? Head for the Bell Meade Kroger.
  • A VW Jetta can hold three, perhaps even four dogs in the back seat.
  • McKay Used Books and the Nashville Antique Mall are little hidden gems.
  • It’s fun to watch the Preds practice at Centennial.
  • The best shaving cream is just plain old Barbasol foam.
  • The food at the Gold Rush is delicious. The brunch is awesome. I would seriously have a calorie control problem if I lived anywhere near there.
  • Woofs are real.
  • Tasti-D-Lite? Yeah, it’s actually pretty tasty.
  • There is a difference between simply being picky and actual red flags.
  • Pay attention to the red flags.
  • Man panties are not sexy, but lobster boxers are.
  • The International Market has some of the best Asian food around. Maybe it’s just the ambiance of the place, or maybe anything prepared and served by grandmothers always tastes better.
  • Generics can save you a lot of money.
  • The back way out of the Sommet is the fastest way to the car.
  • When parking downhill, wheels in. When parking uphill, wheels out.
  • Anything you want to get to in Nashville is probably right off Charlotte Avenue.
  • Risotto is delicious comfort food.
  • It’s not the “highway.” It’s the “interstate.” Get it right, country boy.
  • Hanging a door by yourself is kind of hard. Some doors are beyond hope, and need extra weight to stay shut.
  • Replacing a lock hasp? They have crazy cool special security-head screws for that now.
  • Backyard city mosquitoes are more vicious than those in the farm country woods.
  • Never leave a grill full of hamburgers unattended in the backyard with three dogs.
  • Coke Zero goes off like a grenade when left in a freezer overnight. Estimated cleanup time: Whatever time it takes dinner to finish simmering.
  • Trust yourself, and listen to your instincts.
  • The best parking for Predators games was next to Christie’s Caberet. Alas, that lot is no longer available now that the construction of the Nashville Music City Center has begun.
  • Want to lose weight? Count calories. Eat less, do more. It’s that simple. Or, you can just have some pirates that live in your belly.
  • Bobbie’s Dairy Dip is a tempting summer detour. It’s hard to drive past without stopping.
  • Somehow, getting a honey-do list via MMS message is so darn cute it makes even crap jobs like taking the garbage out at 6am kind of fun.
  • Life without access to the Interstate is a little more challenging–and it takes longer to get there.
  • You can pretty much get anything you need at a Super Target, except fence repair wire.
  • A cordless sawzall can break an upholstered chair down to fit into a herbie curbie in less than 5 minutes.
  • Frozen, microwaveable meals have come a long way. Some of them are downright tasty.
  • Sometimes the annoying buzz from a stereo speaker can be fixed by simply pulling one of the speaker wires loose.
  • Opting for the $70 full synthetic oil change is a sure-fire way to guarantee the car will die within a month.
  • Waffle House is a veritable caloric bomb. One meal is all you need for the rest of the day–or next.
  • Feathers can take a hairstyle to the next level and make a girl simply irresistible.
  • Hearing your name sung by your love is one of the sweetest things one can hear.
  • Netflix streaming is a pretty good deal–and it can make you kinda lazy if you’re not careful. There’s just so much stuff to watch!
  • Jack’s Market is a friendly little place, where you can get just about everything you might need at 10pm.
  • Dickson, TN is apparently a redneck vortex from hell.
  • The greenway system is great for long walks with dogs while getting to know someone new.
  • With some frozen vegetables, a little chicken or tofu, a wok, and a pantry full of spices, a reasonably palatable meal can be improvised on short notice.
  • The Wal-Mart Best Value “brand” isn’t half bad.
  • 40 MPH does not mean 25 MPH.
  • The best old-school car wash around is on White Bridge.
  • Starbucks makes a pretty good strawberry banana smoothie.
  • If someone tells you they want to have your babies in the euphoria after you successfully jailbreak their iPhone, take them up on it immediately.
  • If you beat someone to pay at the pump with your debit card, you win. This also applies at Target and Michaels.
  • An $8 homemade apron can bring out a million-dollar smile.
  • Star Bagel is delicious…but their breakfast stuff is a little weak. Stick with the Club or the BLT. Always get the fruit tea.
  • Some dogs behave better in a two-parent home.
  • Drunk on coffee can happen, and it’s pretty funny when it does.
  • If someone hands you their Starbucks card to pay for coffee, don’t. Reload it instead. They’ll complain, but they will secretly be thankful.
  • The Apple TV is a neat concept, but the Mac Mini trumps it. Sorry, it’s true.
  • Nothing will stop you from seeing the one you love–even if you can’t risk shutting your car off until you get there.
  • Always park downhill, in case you need to roll start a stubborn VW Jetta in the morning.
  • Season tickets are a much easier decision when you know your partner will never say “No” to “Wanna go to the game?”
  • The best Christmas presents are ones the recipient least expects, that shows the giver was paying attention. Don’t put your eye out, kid.

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