Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Promise of Adventure

Adventures are coming. I sadly feel like my blog has become adventure-less. I blame it on no longer living in a city that doesn't sleep. And no longer being a short walk or subway ride away from adventure. But before this gets to be too much of a pity party and I dwell too much on how much I miss New York, let me assure you that there are adventures coming. Right around the corner. I can't publicly announce the specifics as yet, since I don't like announcing anything until it's definite and secure, so I'm going to be one of those annoying people who drops hints about something but never actually says it. But I will. Soon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catalog in the Mail


Today I got a J. Crew catalog in the mail. Even though I worked there for over a year I somehow managed to not get on the catalog mailing list. I am by no means a fashionista or style maven, and have on more than one occasion shared my dislike for working in the clothing chain, but I was actually excited when I saw it and eagerly flipped through it to see what the latest styles and trends were. It was nice to feel like I was in the loop and knew what my friends would be trying to sell to clients at our store on Fifth Avenue.

And even though I sadly no longer have the employee discount, there were a few things that I thought I should save up for...

Snail Killer

This morning I ended the life of a snail. I'm always so careful about walking on the sidewalk, making sure to sidestep the little snails that cruise along after the sprinklers have gone off. But this morning, in my rush to check if I could see some in the wet dirt by the porch, I heard a crunch sound. It was gone just like that under the bottom of my shoe. I know it seems silly to even care about it, but for some reason I do. Tonight, as I was walking up the sidewalk to the door, I was extra careful of the two snails hanging out. One was posted at the remains of the snail I had crushed earlier in the day. I like to think they were mourning.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rejection Mail

Remember the days when getting mail was exciting? I remember when I was at Snow College we would wait every day for the mail hoping for a letter from a family member or something equally exciting. I guess now with the internet and e-mail, all our letters are sent electronically and the only things that come in the mail now are bills and credit card offers. Well, you can now get rejection in the mail. I had applied for two jobs awhile ago, and having not ever heard anything from many of the jobs I had applied for, and sometimes getting an automatic e-mail response saying the job had been filled and not with me, I was just assuming that I hadn't got them. But then I got two letters in one day saying that I had not gotten the jobs. It was quite disheartening. If I hadn't received a letter earlier in the week with really good news I might have seriously considered never looking at the mail again. Regardless, I'll still get those pesky credit card offers, and my Entertainment Weekly, which is reason enough for me to get the mail at least on Fridays.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pioneer Day

In Utah we get to celebrate two Fourths: the Fourth of July and the Twenty-Fourth of July. One we celebrate for gaining independence from Britain with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the other we celebrate the pioneers who crossed the plains to escape religious persecution. I'm very thankful for both and am glad that they both get such recognition.

I'm also glad that they both get parades, (I've been working downtown at the Salt Palace the last four days and got to see all the floats getting ready for the parade...)





















and firework displays.

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AMAZING!!!
The finale was Spectacular and I dare say even better than the ones on the Fourth. Thank you, Pioneers, for enduring hardships, trials, and death across the plains to create this wonderful city and state. And for the fireworks that commemorate your trek.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sneak Preview (Please leave your cell phones and camera at the door)

This post is dedicatied to Pambelina.

My lovely friend Mary gave me her Free Preview tickets for the new flick, Julie and Julia, because she couldn't go. I of course wanted to see the movie, for several reasons, including the fact that my name was in the title (and I'm quite in love with my name) and I adore Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, and Stanley Tucci if you really must know. So Tuesday night my sister and I made the trek over to Sandy to see a move for free before it had been released. Man, did I feel cool.

I've been to one other Free Screening before. It was in New York for The Incredible Hulk. The movie was pretty forgettable, even with Edward Norton, and the only reason it even registers in my memory is because I sat next to a very attractive man who I talked with a little bit before the movie; our arms brushed against each other during the movie and once it ended I got up and left and regretted the whole way home not talking to him more. Anyway, with it being a special screening they checked everyone's bag to make sure they didn't have cameras or cell phones--no one wants their not-yet-released movie to make its way to the internet before the big screen; look what happened to X-Men Wolverine. I had not brought either though, as the Free Screening Ticket said they would not be allowed and should just be left at home.

Even with this prior knowledge I went into the movie theater with my huge bag carrying my cell phone and my friend's camera. Emily also had her cell phone and camera. The workers at the ticket counter said they would hold them for us in a drawer. One checkpoint completed. Then it was high security, as we were wanded (I had to show what was in my pocket--a bobby pin and an Excedrin, keys in the other) and had our bags checked with a flashlight (I looked ready to leave the country, the inspector joked, as I had my passport and a "religious book"). After passing the second checkpoint we made it into the theater, and after being the last people admitted in for the Free Screening, were unfortunately left with nothing but the front or second row to choose from. Not the best way to see a movie, but when you're seeing it for free it's hard to complain too much.

In spite of all the hoop jumping and bad seating, I really loved the movie. So many movies with female leads are of the Romantic Comedy, Chick Flick mode, and while I am a big fan, it's rather refreshing to see a film with two female leads and neither is put into ridiculous situations to get the guy; neither is a horrible shrew addicted to her job; neither is the put-upon wife who plays second fiddle to her male counterpart; neither involves montages of getting ready for a big date/interview. Again, not that there's anything wrong with that in a movie (I'm a firm fan of the RomCom), but it's great to watch a film with women who are smart and driven and love their husbands and have flaws and are real people. Both take incredible journeys that they choose to make themselves happy, and find happiness based on achieving what they set out to do. And while the males in their lives are there to love and support them (as should be the case in any normal, real relationship, not what Hollywood normally throws at us) they're happiness isn't based on them. I think this is one of the truest depictions of people in the real world.

When we left the theater there was a person outside writing down peoples' reactions. He looked at me and asked, "What did you think of the movie?" I looked at him with a great big smile, put my thumb in the up position, and said, "It was great!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Movie Outside

I love summertime for the sheer fact that I get to watch movies outside on the grass downtown. After experiencing it in New York and falling in love with it, I knew it had to be something I continued doing even if I wasn't in New York. There are tons of Movies in the Park all over the valley, but most of them show family films. And while I'm certainly not one to disparage family films, there's something romantic and lovely about watching an old classic in the park.

Thankfully there's the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake, which plays host to many, many free things throughout the summer, and this month was celebrating the auteur filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. For anyone that was a film major, all of Hitchcock's films are classics and masterpieces. Monday night Phaedra, Emily and I were treated to Vertigo, one that I'd never seen. It stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak (in the blond role) as a retired detective and the friend's wife who is possibly having her body inhabited by a dead lady. Never mind the entire scene where she wakes up in a strangers house and is not at all weirded out by it, or the fact that they fall in love after having spent ten minutes together, or the fact that poor Midge gets the shaft. It's still a great film from the master of suspense. There were moments when I was truly shocked and felt moments of anxiety for the characters, despite the way-over-the-top music that told you what was happening and what you should be feeling.










I loved the feeling I had while sitting there with snacks and my sister and cousin, with the sun going down and city lights coming on, and feeling like I was in New York.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Piano Men: A Concert Outside

The Venue

The company

The music


And it was Awesome! My cousin Karen and I have been anticipating this event for two months, and Saturday night it all went down. First off, our seats were awesome. And despite the heat at first and feeling a bit sticky, the sun eventually went down and the portentous rain clouds were nothing but a figure in the sky. And when you're listening to Jack's Mannequin and The Fray, who really cares about the heat or the almost rain?!

Jack's was the opening act, and they played for almost an hour. Andy, who Karen and I affectionately refer to as Jack, is a maniac (and I mean that in the best, most endearing way, because it was great) on stage; he's the lead singer, pianist, and songwriter of the band. You can just feel the music coming out of him when he gets behind his piano and starts singing.

Here are a couple clips of two of my favorite songs by them, "Spinning," and "Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby)." For a band that I just discovered six months ago, I'm completely in love with their music and can't wait for more.

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After about thirty minutes to change the stage (Jack's is surprisingly very low-key when it comes to their stage crap; it's pretty much just their instruments), The Fray came on. By this time it was dark and their stage lights were an amazing aspect of the show. If you check out their two disc covers, you can see that light is a theme for them:


I discovered The Fray about four years ago when their song, "Over My Head (Cable Car)," was getting a lot of radio play. I instantly loved it and got their first cd for Christmas that year. I've been a fan ever since.

One of the coolest parts of their stage show was the video with four different screens showing each of the members in their element. After experiencing Rock Band and Guitar Hero, I get how music can transform you while you're performing; you're whole body gets into it and you really are in the moment. This is a picture of Isaac as he's doin' his piano thing.



Although I do think he might've had an off night performing as I'm pretty sure there were some high notes that he wasn't exactly singing/hitting. He's completely adorable though, and if not married I'd want to fly out to Denver (where they're from, as is my cousin Karen, so hence cool things come out of Denver) and track him down. Here they are singing their latest radio hit, "You Found Me."

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They sang songs from both their cds, and finished it up with an encore of an acoustic version of Kanye West's, "Heartless," and then their album ending, "Happiness." After all the excitement and anticipation it sucks that it all ends so quickly. I guess there's always the next one to look forward to.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Distraction

This morning I got up to go for a jog/run, and an hour (or so) after I had initially planned to go I was out the door with my running shoes on. I rounded the corner and when the track at Taylorsville High came into view I saw a bunch of guys, presumably getting ready for football season, on the track. No way was I going to run with a bunch of highschool boys!

I sat on my porch to weigh my options--run in the neighborhood, or make my way down to the path along the river--when I got distracted by a potato bug. It was stuck on its back so I kindly rolled it over to its legs side. I was then fascinated by this little bug and continued watching it. Once more it got wrong-side up and I turned it right-side down. By this point my motivation for running was pretty much gone.

So not only am I an extreme procrastinator when it comes to exercising (always saying I'll eat better and start my routine the next day, or week...) but I'm also like a six-year old and very easily distracted. My body and disposition are working against me! In the words of Stephanie Tanner, "How Rude!".

Not Coming Home

Yesterday I saw a dead cat in the road. It happened in the short hour between me getting home and leaving again. It made me sad. So sad that I almost cried. Over a dead cat I didn't know. But some family that night would be wondering why their cat wasn't coming home. I've unfortunately experienced that before and wouldn't wish it on anyone. So I mourn for the cat and its family that had to lose it so tragically.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inspiration




These are some of my favorite billboards. They're from the Foundation for a Better Life. So much of advertising is telling us what we need to be better, thinner, prettier, happier. Which is why these ads are so refreshing. Yes, sometimes they're just simple platitudes, but they're based on real people (minus Kermit) who did extraordinary things and succeeded. It's advertising that makes you feel better, like you can do anything.

This one I always found interesting, but never knew the story behind it:


Here's their story in images:




I learned about their story for the first time on Sunday when I saw a video about them. I couldn't control my emotions as I watched father and son cross the finish line together. It truly is an amazing inspiration.

When ordinary people do extraordinary things it makes me feel like I Can, too.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lost Ring

I lost my favorite ring. I was taking it off when I dropped it into my laundry basket full of clothes. I dumped out the clothes. No ring. I searched each piece of clothing. No ring. I searched under my bed. No ring. I searched anywhere and everywhere in the vicinity of my laundry basket. No ring. Five weeks later, and I'm still upset that I lost the ring. I don't remember where I even got it, but I've had it since high school and it's been with me everywhere: (check out my right hand, the ring's there in every pic)


Unfortunately I don't have any pictures older than two years (when I got my digital camera) but this ring survived working at Wendy's (in highschool) and Walmart (in college), I took this ring to Europe and New York, and I lose it in my very own bedroom in my laundry basket!!! I don't know where it is, but, ring who was oh-so-perfect for me--not flashy but simple and understated--I mourn your loss.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A River Runs Through It

This



+

=

FUN!


Last Friday was my first foray into rubber tubin' down a river. The water was cold, the river rocky and shallow, the tube left a burn on my inner thigh, and at one point I thought I was going to drown as a rope choked me. But it was so much fun that Cat and I went three times and screamed each and every ride down.




Monday, July 6, 2009

The Star-Spangled Banner

Every year I look forward to the Sunday near the Fourth of July because it means we'll sing The Star-Spangled Banner in sacrament. Today did not disappoint. After the congregation not being quite sure about standing, my friend Nicki got everyone else to stand when she took a stand and stood. The song was beautiful as always and there were more than a few wet eyes and sniffles going around. I admit that I got emotional, too. I sang as loud as I could, even though I'm rather tone deaf and flat, and didn't care one bit because it was in love for my country. Happy Birthday America!

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Floats, Food and Fireworks--Happy Fourth of July!!

I should also add the word Fun. The Fourth started bright and early with the Murray City parade down state street. Candy was thrown, which means of course the kids had a good time. I did too, as I ran out into the street to grab a piece of candy Ivy was too scared to get and was honked at, in good fun, by the approaching truck and jumped high enough for the entire crowd to get a good laugh. Ivy made sure everyone knew she was the only one who caught two necklaces, was handed a water bottle, and caught a bag of Doritos. I was just happy to see this float:

In case you can't tell, it's a float that encourages recycling. My brother laughed at me as I took the picture.

After a rousing game of Phase 10, while cranky Mo took a nap and Ivy and Elliett played, I came out victorious and we had food. My potato salad still isn't quite perfect (anybody want to share their recipe with me?), but we ate it with our hamburgers and hot dogs and it was all good. While our food settled the kids rode their scooters and I supervised, making sure no one went farther than the second bush. We even got in a little bit of swim time, where the one floaty donut was fought over and elicited more than a few tears from having to share.

All was forgotten, though, when we were on our way to Sugarhouse Park for some pretty darn spectacular fireworks. The people were many and the fireworks more so. I laid on my back there in the park, with Ivy right next to me (covering her ears) and the rest of my family near, and had these amazing fireworks going off right over my head and was happy. Pictures don't nearly do it justice, but I'll post some anyway. And the finale--Wow!


Happy Fourth of July! I love America and am grateful to live here. I have very happy and wonderful memories of spending the Fourth in Moroni with my grandma and grandpa and lots of aunts and uncles, and of my first and only Fourth in New York last year. Almost anything is better than the year I was stuck working til midnight and didn't get to see one single firework.

Also want to wish a Happy First Birthday to Dutch, my friend Pam's little guy. He was born last year on this great holiday and now every year on his birthday he gets the day off AND fireworks!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Walk to the Movie

I get a bit stir-crazy during the day. I don't have a job (yet) and I don't have a car. Today I decided to not let either bother me and head out to the dollar theater. I chose to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and even though the movie was less than stellar (thank goodness I waited to see it when I only had to shell out a dollar) the real joy came from my mode of transportation: walking. It's something I used to do on a daily basis in New York but now I rarely do (unless you count walking to the car, which I don't). And I realized that I really miss walking.

The dollar theater I went to is really close to where my sister lives. I'd guess it's as far away as my apartment was from the nearest subway stop, maybe a titch farther. Here's the map; it's .9 miles but is actually less because I short-cutted through the back going left when the map goes right to 1470 West.


View Larger Map

Not only do I miss walking, but I miss New York--the City. One of my favorite things to do in the City was going to the movie theater at 68th and Broadway--the Lincoln Center AMC Theater--and exiting to the wonders of the city. On more than one occasion I'd walk out and be hit with, "Wow! I live in New York City!" I still have moments of incredulity when I think, "Wow! I lived in New York City!" So as I walked out of the movie theater today, and instead of skyscrapers and taxis was bombarded with mountains and endless sky (and cars), I thought how nice it is to be able to have experienced both. I love New York and will forever be grateful and amazed that I lived there.

Cousin Craft Night

Craft night. The paper, glue gun, and red circles went from this:



To this:



Thanks to our cousin-in-law Erica in Denver for the idea. I love the Fourth of July, and one of the funnest parts of craft night was reminiscing with Phaedra and Emily about Fourths spent at Grandma and Grandpa's in Moroni. It used to be quite the tradition. Maybe now with these pinwheels we'll start our own craft tradition--our capabilities and ideas have become much loftier!
 

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