Saturday, June 27, 2009

If We Have Time We Can See the Sphinx

I have been enjoying the fruits of community theater labor lately. Last night my oh-so-fabulous cousin, Phaedra, took Em and I to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at South Jordan Middle School (a place that was so cool inside with an impressive wall display of art and documents from the Revolutionary War--I kinda wished I went to school there!) I'll admit that I've always been a little averse to Joseph... because I've always, rather foolishly, associated it with Donny Osmond. Thankfully Phaedra knows better.

The show was, for lack of a better word, amazing. It's non-stop music from beginning to end, because when the songs are that good and fun you don't have time to trifle with dialogue. Would you expect anything less from the man who also wrote the music for Phantom of the Opera? I don't need to explain the plot to you, as most of you are familiar with it (for those not, it's based on the Bible--Jacob had twelve sons, loved Joseph the most, his brothers were jealous, sold him into slavery, Joseph becomes Pharoah's right-hand man, the brothers come to him for help, all is good again). The plot is almost inconsequential, though, and is just a means to get us into the next music number. No complaints here though.

All the different musical genres in the show was amazing. The costumes were all amazing. The set was amazing. The actors were amazing singers. I give it a a very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Watching Paint Dry

My sister bought a condo in December, and one of the joys of owning the space you live in is being able to decorate and paint and do whatever you want with it. One of the other joys is having to redecorate what the former owners thought was a good idea. Yesterday and today (and probably tomorrow, too) Em combined both those joys of homeowning by tackling the three different-colored walls in her bedroom--two walls are dark blue, one is brown, and the other is a lighter blue. Why?--we have no idea.

This is the room after she painted the first blue wall red. It's amazing how well the paint matches her bedspread.

This morning we started painting the other three walls white. I did the heavy duty rolling while Em did the small-paintbrush trim. I'm pretty sure my job was easier.

The first coat was on, we needed some more paint and some food, so we headed out...covered in paint.

Armed with full stomachs and a fresh gallon of paint we completed the second coat, which went a lot faster than the first coat. It all turned out pretty good. Next job will be painting the living room. I'll let you know when that is so y'all can help!

(Yep, I got paint on the hat, too!)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Congratulations Cat!

My friend Cat passed her boards and is officially a nurse now! To celebrate she took us out to Leatherby's for ice cream and french fries. I guess it's like when you first kiss someone you take your girlfriends out for ice cream, or when you get engaged you take them out for steak (I actually never knew this, especially not the steak one; so sorry none of my friends got ice cream after I kissed Blake Novosel in the cooler at Wendy's!)

Way to go Cat!! I'm proud of you, and not just for finishing that banana sundae!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Music in the Park

Brigham Young Historic Park in downtown Salt Lake puts on free concerts during the summer. When the weather's nice like it has been all week, there's nothing better than going to a park, sitting on a blanket, and listening to some music. Tonight the music was Show tunes, and even though I'm by no means a musical or Broadway buff, I enjoyed just being there with my sister and Cat.

Some classic tunes were sang, such as "One Day More," from Les Miserables and "Defying Gravity," from Wicked. Those were pretty much the only two I knew. It was such a beautiful night, and being there reminded me of going to Central Park and listening to the New York Philharmonic last summer. If you check it out, I'm wearing the same shirt. Oh New York, how I miss you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm in Love With a Girl Named Fred

Friday night Emily, my cousin Phaedra, and I made the trek out to Draper to experience the Draper Historical Theater's production of "Once Upon A Mattress". I was not at all familiar with the title, but soon learned from the program that it's the story of the Princess and the Pea. Set to music. With some comedy mixed in. What could be better for a night out?

Community theater is quite the experience. As long as you don't go in expecting Broadway-style theater, you'll enjoy yourself. And I certainly did. First of all, there was live accompaniment with a piano player and a flute player. Very cool. I'm always very impressed by music and those who can create it.

The story centers around Prince Dauntless and his quest to find a real Princess, who will be deemed such by his overly-talkative mother, Queen Aggravain (don't the names just put a smile to your face?). Twelve almost-princesses have already been sent away, and the entire Kingdom is anxious for a bride because no one else can marry until the Prince does. The couple most in need of a quick wedding are Sir Harry, the star Knight of the kingdom, and his lady-in-waiting love, Lady Larken, because she's pregnant and well, they're not married.

Wackiness ensues when Sir Harry comes back with Winnifred, a Princess from the swamplands. She swam the moat to get to the castle! Of course the Queen is not thrilled about this, or Fred's seemingly un-Princess-like ways. But Dauntless is smitten and wants Fred to be his wife, and thankfully the feeling is mutual. And now comes the Queen's conniving to make sure Fred won't pass the Princess test.

We of course all now what happens next, but it was fun getting there during the play. There were musical numbers, none better than the rousing, "I'm in Love With a Girl Named Fred." The real title is, "Song of Love," but mine is much more fitting; it involves that great line plus body/hand letter spelling and Fred showing off how cool she is by lifting weights and manhandling the jester. "Song of Love," doesn't quite convey the awesomeness and silliness of the song.

And nothing was as unintentionally funny as when some popcorn that had been used as a prop fell all over the stage as scenes were being changed. It wasn't cleaned up before the next scene, which involved dancing! It got trampled on, and when the lights went down for intermission, the director remarked that now would be time for snacks and for him to clean up his popcorn. It was hilarious, and could quite possibly be the reason why community theater is so fun--no pretentious airs.

Father's Day

Today my sister and I made the trek up to Brigham City to celebrate Father's Day with my dad. It just so happens that his birthday is tomorrow, June 22, so it was two celebrations in one. My dad isn't one for a lot of hype and hoopla on his birthday or holidays. Factor in the fact that he is the hardest person to buy a gift for, and you'll see why it's usually a pretty low-key affair. If it were up to me, I'd celebrate everyone's birthday for at least a week, but, well, some people just couldn't care less.

My brother was also there with his three kids, Ivy, Elliett, and Moses. Pretty cute little kids if you ask me. Here they are with Grandpa.

After dinner we went for a ride behind the mountains and checked out the poppies, the lake, some ponies, and fed the cows.

As previously mentioned, my dad is notoriously hard to buy for. After a lot of asking what he wanted/needed for Father's Day/his Birthday, he finally said he could use some pants and a shirt. This is pretty much what we buy him every year. But I like to find things that mean more and are special. I of course bought him a shirt, but I also gave him a picture frame filled with pictures of him and us kids when we were young. There was one of our trip to Yellowstone and we're standing at the Continental Divide. There was one of me when I was just born and Dad on the couch with Em and Jared holding me. There was one of us playing a game of Risk. It was nice to go through the pictures and remember my childhood. It may not have been perfect, and at times was difficult, but despite that I truly had a very good childhood. And that's what the pictures were to represent--that even though there were bad times, there were good times, too. And the only thing worth remembering is the good times. Love you, Dad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If it's broke, don't fix it

I think I might have seriously broke my pinkie toe. As evidenced by the pictures, the bruising has gotten worse. Thankfully it's not throbbing with pain--it only hurts if I put any sort of pressure on it; good thing it's just my pinkie toe! Think I could live without it? Since I can't bend it I might have to realize that I will only have one working and functional pinkie toe from here on out. If I had to choose a body part that comes in pairs to have only one part working, I could do a lot worse than my pinkie toe. Only one working eye? Only one lung that works? One arm and the other a stub? One ear while the other is a big gaping hole on the side of my head? Yeah, it could be a lot worse.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Purple Pinky Toe

My pinky toe ailment has gotten worse. The purple-ness has spread to include the side of my pinky and has moved on down the entire length of the toe to almost include the top of my foot. It actually looks quite nasty. Thankfully it's nice weather and I can get away with wearing my flip-flops; there's definitely no way I could wear regular shoes!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Status Update

After the eventful events of earlier in the day, I'm glad to say the rest of it went a little better. I feel pretty good that I've accomplished a few things from my Procrastinator's List--clearing out some boxes and setting some things aside for the D.I., looking for a job and applying for a bunch of things, not spending any money today, working on the scrapbooking of my Europe pictures, and going for a nice evening walk in the neighborhood.

And for the update on my toe--it hurts. And it's still red. And it has a small purplish bruise. And I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing strictly flip-flops for a couple days.

(Sorry, I tend to think that toes are the ugliest part of the human body--next to the armpit--but I really felt like sharing my pain!)

One of Those Days

It's only 2:00 and I already feel like it's gonna be one of those days. I think it started last night as I was trying to fall asleep. I don't know why, but for some reason all I could think about were spiders crawling all over me. Needless to say, this made it very hard to fall asleep. After sleeping fairly late (for me) I finally got up and was ready for some breakfast. The milk expired two days ago and smelled a bit rank. Then I went to curl my hair. Half way done it just stopped being hot. And to top it all off I banged my foot into the door frame and now my pinky toe is swollen and hurts when I move it.

I'm on a quest to find a job and hopefully it doesn't go the way of today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Procrastinator's List Part II

I am a terrible procrastinator. I don't know how to remedy this, I just know that I really hate this trait about me. For weeks now I've been meaning to do a bunch of things, and I'm now going to share this list with you, in hopes that making it public will be some sort of catalyst.

--finish scrapbooking the photos from my Europe trip....that I took two years ago!
--get up early and do some sort of exercising, not only because I've sadly gained 25 lbs from my thinnest state three years ago, but because it just feels good to be active
--find a job. This is not fun.
--truly settle into my room here at my sister's, which means unpacking boxes and giving my stuff their space on the walls.
--cook dinner for my sis (it's the least I can do while she's letting me live rent-free) at least three or four times a week.
--watch Gettysburg, which I bought two weeks ago at Wal-mart for the bargain price of $5.
--somehow get my white legs to be not that color.
--get into some sort of routine. Even if I don't have a job (yet) I should make some sort of stable routine so I'm not sleeping in to nine and wasting my time cruising the net and watching tv.
--save money so I can get a car, save for Turkey, and not feel so dependent on the kindness of others.

So there it is. Please feel free to ask and call me out on these things if I don't do them!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tour de Cure

I Want to Ride My Bicycle - Queen

My sister has a bike and really likes to ride it in the summer (if only the weather would be more cooperative this week). I've tried getting her do the Bike Marathon in the Salt Lake City Marathon but have sadly never been able to sway her. My dad's wife, Jana, somehow talked her into doing one yesterday. She was pretty excited for it.

The nice weather of the day before was just an anomaly, as Saturday came with gray skies, wind, and rain. I'm not sure if Em would rather have had the current weather or something really hot. Something in between would've been nice.

Anyway, despite the rain and cold, the race began at 10:00 am at Pioneer Park in Brigham City, UT. I call it a race, but that's not really what it was. The event is called Tour de Cure and is a chance to raise money and awareness for a cure for diabetes. So instead of paying a registration fee, as you do with most races, this one requires the participants to raise money as a donation to the cause. It's nice participating in an event that is less about competition and more about supporting one another.

Em did the 25-mile event; there were also 69- and 100-mile events, but I told Em she should work her way up to the longer one. And it was a good things, because for the majority of the race Emily couldn't get her gears to change and had to pedal with some extra exertion just to keep up with Jana. She finally got them to work and was able to finish the race with a little more ease.

I stood at the finish line to wait and cheer on the other riders. I know from experience that there's nothing better than having people cheering you on along the way, especially when you're so close to the end. I stood there and clapped for every rider that rode past me, and they all seemed quite touched by it. One older gentleman rider looked right at me as he rode by and said Thank-you. I must say that I got a little emotional watching these people finishing a ride for a great cause. This is Em coming down the last stretch; that's Jana in the green behind her.

This was such a great event, with all kinds of people participating--some were doing it for a family member with diabetes, others were Red Riders riding with diabetes, some were clearly experienced bike riders, while others were casual riders doing it for the cause. Some were in great shape and others were not. Some were old and some were young. But they all rode for The Cure.

Friday, June 12, 2009


It's been raining all week. But today was sunny and beautiful and hot. And what's a perfect thing to do when it's sunny and hot? Well, swimming of course. My sister has a swimming pool in her condo complex and I told the grandkids that over the course of the summer we'd have to check it out. They of course wanted to do it the very first weekend they got out of school. Luckily, as mentioned before, the weather cooperated and we were able to get wet.

Elliett and Moses are both little and too afraid to really get into the water. Neither would jump from the ledge into my arms. They would venture out with me, though, as long as I promised to not let go. I'm not normally a big water person, but I actually had a good time. It was fun swimming with Mo and Elliett and trying to get them to be more daring. Ivy loved jumping into the pool, and near the end was perfecting her cannonball. I was just glad that the swimming suit I haven't worn since going to Hawaii three year ago still fit...for the most part.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Voter Registration

A couple weeks ago I registered to vote again in the state of Utah. I take voting very seriously; registering to vote was on the top of my list of things to do when I got back to Salt Lake. Today I got my yellow-confirmation card saying that I was now registered and could exercise my right to vote during local, state, and federal elections! My precinct is 3230 and I'm registered as a Libertarian.

Yep, I registered as a Libertarian. The only other time I have registered as a particular party was when I was in New York and registered Republican simply so I could vote in the Republican Primary Election, not because I had any deep conviction to Republican ideals. (I was really hoping my single vote would ensure that Mitt Romney did not win, as I really had no qualms with the Democrats running in the primaries.)

When I've registered in the past, I've left the "Party Affiliation" box empty, as I was never quite sure what party I belonged in. I liked being able to be free and open and not beholden to any one party. But then I moved to New York, and really became aware of who I am as a person and what I believe in. And all of a sudden I felt like I wanted to identify myself with a political party; I wanted to enter that stage of adulthood--political activism.

Read the following, from the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party, it pretty much sums up my political beliefs:

"We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Tv Watching

After May, when all the shows have had their finales, the tv landscape is a veritable wasteland. I'm definitely not going to waste my summer nights on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here or anything else so atrocious. I'll take reruns of How I Met Your Mother over that type of dreck any day of the week. But I've happened upon two shows that I will admit to you as being my guilty pleasure shows. I'm even more sad to admit that they're both on ABC, a network I have officially boycotted after they canceled my beloved Pushing Daisies.

First guilty pleasure summer show--The Bachelorette. Sadly, I got hooked on the last Bachelor when I caught an episode one night. Our newest Bachelorette was the third place loser (or winner) on the last Bachelor after sadly getting the "friend" card. But, luckily, she hopped off that train just in time (on a very digressing note, I don't get all the furor and frenzy whipped up over the Bachelor finale--isn't that what we see happen in romcoms all the time and we think it's romantic. Life is definitely too short to spend your life with the wrong person, and having been in a somewhat similar situation, I can honestly say that it'll save a lot of heartache later). Jillian, the latest Bachelorette, has a lot of men to choose from, including a foot fetishist, a rageaholic, a country swooner, a breakdancer from Brooklyn, and many others in the pool of 35 initial men. Sadly, my favorite didn't make it through the first rose ceremony, but I still enjoy this very weird and sometimes awkward social experiment.

Second guilty pleasure summer show--Here Come the Newlyweds. I caught this for the first time last Monday; it comes on right after The Bachelorette and the promos looked funny so I decided to give it a chance. What I like about it is that it doesn't demean, ridicule, or try to undermine people's relationships. All the challenges are meant to strength the couples and test their "married" skills such as listening, working together, helping your spouse, and communicating. They've done a great job of casting it with some really great and interesting couples (and the token Mormon couple) to make it funny and enjoyable.

So my Monday nights are pretty much booked for the rest of the summer. Will Jillian find her soulmate? Will the already soulmates work well enough together to take home the big cash prize? Will all of it matter at the end of the summer? And, most importantly, will it lessen my hate for ABC? Probably not, but at least it'll be some fun entertainment before returning to the "real" tv shows in the fall.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lil' Kickers

My nephew Moses is in a soccer league. They're called The Lil' Kickers, three and four-year-old boys and girls doing their best to play the game of soccer. They don't always get the concept, and lots of times the kids just run off the field to their parents and don't make it back out there. And even when the kids are kicking it into the wrong goal, we still cheer because at least they're playing and kicking. It's so adorable, and little Mo is so cute in his soccer gear. Here's a video of him playing last week. (He's the cute little blond who falls down, then gets up and plays with the other kid!)

Today his team had their best game so far, actually making a few goals (even if they were at the wrong end). Mo even got into the game more than he has before and had some pretty good runs down the field.

And afterward there were treats, cuz the kids gotta have some sort of motivation for playing. Nothing rewards a game of soccer like a Twinkie and a CapriSun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goodbye Jay

After 17 years of hosting The Tonight Show, Jay Leno signed off Friday night. It feels like a huge seismic shift in the late night landscape. I watched his last show and was sad when it ended. I already miss him. I miss headlines on Monday nights. I miss Jaywalking. I miss Kevin. I miss his easy-going nature. I miss his humor. I've been watching Jay since I was a kid, not always on a regular basis, but when I'm up late at night he's the one I turn on. My friend Lindsay and I even refer to him as Jay, as if we are close friends that talk often. His last show was really great, with a beautiful acoustic performance from James Taylor, best of Jaywalking, and Jay showing off his legacy--the 68 children that have been to staffers of the Tonight Show over his 17 years!

On Monday I watched the new Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. I'm a fan of Conan's, but think he's just not the same at the earlier hour; too much of what made him funny--the quirkiness of him--seems to be gone, (although he did have a really funny bit last night about a shopping spree on Rodeo Rd, and Green Day was pretty awesome, too). So I will wait for fall when Jay has his new show, might occasionally watch Conan, and poor Jimmy Fallon will get the shaft at my house.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Mass-ive Musical Concert

I've never been to Mass, and after seeing "The Mass," Friday night with my Patroness of the Arts cousin Phaedra, all others will be completely ruined and will pale in comparison. For anyone not familiar (and I was in that boat before experiencing "Mass: The Musical" three days ago) Bernstein created Mass: A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers when Jacqueline Kennedy herself asked him to create something for the opening of the Kennedy Center. And what a thing he created.

One word to describe the experience: intense. Maybe two words, so I can also include Wow. And crazy. And amazing. And head-spinning. And Holy crap--did I just see that?! It's singers, dancers, and players, as the title suggests, and it's crazy to think how it all went down together. I will admit that I didn't love it completely, I was a little bored at the beginning, and I think it would've been better if the singers hadn't been acting out their roles, but there was a show-stopping number near the end that was incredible. There were many times I had no idea what was going on (did I mention I'm not Catholic) but luckily found where we were at in the libretto and was able to follow along.

And, on a sidenote of coincidence, Friday would've been JFK's 92nd birthday. A Jewish boy celebrating a Catholic president by putting Mass in musical/stage glory. What a great world we live in.

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