Saturday, November 30, 2013

First Hockey Game

Topeka has a local hockey team that is part of the NAHL, the Topeka Roadrunners. The team is made up of very young guys, some still in high school, and they live with host families in Topeka that provide them with a place to live and, I assume, with meals and whatnot. Amber has been to many games in the seven or years she's lived here. Tonight was my first not only Roadrunner game, but hockey game in general.

First off, I know nothing about hockey, except that it's a very contact sport and Canadians really like it. I had no idea how contact it was. Not five minutes into the first period a player threw off his gloves and just punching another player as if they were in a boxing ring or out on the playground. And the refs just watched it happen! I had no idea you could actually throw punches! Wow! The fans are pretty intense as well, more intense than other sports.

We had a fun time. However, I am looking forward to seeing the "big boys" play when I head to Denver in a couple weeks to see not only the Jazz play the Nuggets but the Avalanche play as well!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I've only been away from home for Thanksgiving twice before. Both those times I lived in New York. This year was my first away from home while living in Kansas. I was just in SLC a month ago, and will be going home for Christmas, so it didn't seem prudent to also go home for turkey day.

Which is totally fine. My friend Susan invited me to have it with her family. It was actually hers and two others, these three families that  have inter-married. The guest list was so large that it was held at the Institute. I was not alone, however, in the sea of family members--some of my friends from church who didn't go home either were there as well. We sat at our own table and had a good time.

And, as is my tradition, I saw a movie and wrangled a couple others to go with me. I felt this was a weak year for movie offerings on Thanksgiving and so we settled for seeing The Delivery Man. It was okay.

It was a nice day and I'm happy with who I spent it with. There is always much to be thankful for. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BYU Basketball Game

There are always BYU fans wherever you go. That's what happens when you're a member of a worldwide church that has its own university. That's why so many of my friends here are BYU alumni and therefore fans (it also helps that Payless is headquartered in Topeka and recruits heavily business students from BYU). I never went to the Y, but I have been a fan all my life.

Last night five of us made the short trek east to Kansas City to see the cougars take on Wichita State in the CBE Hall of Fame Tournament. Four of were sporting BYU shirts, while Paige had on a Shockers t-shirt because she's from Wichita. And she was in the majority! Wichita is only three hours from KC, so it was practically a home game for the Shockers. However, my friends and I were very loud and I did an obscene amount of dancing during timeouts.

The Cougars didn't end up winning, but it was a close, exciting game.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I Saw Catching Fire

Thursday night I met up with some friends in Lawrence to see Catching Fire at an 11:15 showing. We had dinner first at Five Guys, then spent two hours standing in various lines at the movie theater, playing charades with our phone, before we settle into the theater for the movie. Even if the movie ended up being awful, the night was so much fun.

But the movie wasn't awful. In fact it was amazing. I would dare say even perfect. I wasn't completely taken with the first movie. It wasn't awful by any means, but I left the theater feeling fairly unsatisfied. This one did not.

This movie goes to show how important a director is to a movie. All the actors were the same, but the director was different, and the performances feel more organic than forced. All the actors seem to be more comfortable in their roles and do great gobs. A lot of new characters are introduced in this installment, and there was some concern that Finnick wouldn't be done right. Sam Claflin nailed it. The movie has a ton of awesome, respected actors in roles--Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson.

The movies gets going and doesn't stop. A few things were rearranged from the book, but they worked well and didn't alter anything. My excitement for this movie was a bit tempered after the first one; that one had a lot of build up between my friends and I and I was underwhelmed. I went it with a lot less expectation and came out completely captivated. 

And I must say that Josh Hutcherson's performance and look of Peeta is much better. He's an attractive guy in real life, but that blonde hair does not do him any favors. He's thankfully spared any Miami Vice-like costumes or too-slicked back hair in this one. And, as my sister succinctly put it, no lame cave scenes.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Old Foto Friday

My grandma had a photo book that she kept in her home. I'd always look through it whenever I was there, even though I'd looked through it a million times and the pictures never changed. After she passed away, I took some of those pictures (because I am a picture fanatic). This picture is one of them.

I really love this one of Grandma and Grandpa holding a great-grandbaby looking at picture of who knows what. Probably a grandkid. Grandpa passed away when there was only on great-grandbaby, so I'm pretty confident that this is Max, my cousin Karlyn's baby. Max is 17 or 18 now.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Camera Loves Me

Or so my co-workers like to rib me about! I went to a public meeting about the master plan for the Parks and Recreation. I went purely as a citizen. The news was there, of course, to have a story on the event. I got on camera as a person in the audience, and the next morning my co-worker exclaimed, upon seeing me, "I saw you on the news!" That of course led to a search of the news station's webpage to pull up the video I was in. And of course just watching the video wasn't enough, my co-workers had to take a screen shot and send it out to the department.

I can take the ribbing, because I know they are all great people and teasing me because they like me. I can handle it. I'm just glad my hair was looking great that day.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Weekend at the Lake

Saturday and Sunday I spent time at Lake Wabaunsee. When I was a kid and would spend my summers in Topeka with Amber and her family, most of our time was spent at their cabin on Lake Wabaunsee. We'd swim and fish and get sun burned and row the row boat and all around just chill. It was awesome and I loved every minute of it (my family didn't have a cabin at lake and we were generally not "lake" people). A few years ago, the cabin was sold. Amber's husband's family, however, also has a cabin on Lake Wabaunsee. Right across the cove from Amber's dock. Amber and Matt didn't know each other growing up, and it's crazy to think that all those years Amber was right across the cove from her future husband.

They went to the lake this weekend and invited me to come as well. It was nice to just hang out and do nothing. We played gin rummy, watched the Olympic qualifying rounds of curling, made s'mores, and just enjoyed the free time. Even with the crazy windy weather, Amber I took a walk around the lake Saturday afternoon. The sunset was spectacular and I took a few pics (of course).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Drove to Salt Lake

A couple weeks I got in my car and drove out to Salt Lake City. I had a few reasons for this:
  • it was not only my sister's birthday but also my best friends!
  • there were things I had from my grandma's home that I couldn't take back on the airplane when I was out there for the funeral in July
  • to see my cousin and her new baby in Denver
  • to get a few days off of work
  • break in my car with a road trip
The trip was long, but it was nice to get there and spend time with family and friends. I went to Lagoon with Emily and Lindsay, saw my nieces and nephew do their Primary program, had cake and ice cream with Auntie Em, broke bread with some close friends, and enjoyed the fabulous weather. I came back with more in my car than I left with. I'll have a whole post about the things I got from my grandparents' home.

I don't think I'll drive out again any time soon, as I can fly and get there in 3 hours. Although, I am driving to Denver in December....

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Live in Kansas

I had been in New York for about two weeks when I went to a movie at the AMC Lincoln Square. I saw The Jane Austen Book Club, and when I left the theater it was twilight--that perfect time of night when the sun is almost set and everything looks so lovely. I stood outside the movie theater and looked downtown to see a bevy of cars and the New Yorker building; all the building lights were on along with car lights zooming down Broadway. The City was alive and amazing. And it hit me: I live in New York City. It was powerful and I felt alive. I'd get that same feeling every once in awhile, just random moments where it'd really hit me that I lived in New York City.

One time I left the movie theater here in Topeka, and the sun was setting and the flat landscape looked so beautiful. There wasn't a million cars and lights overloading my senses. It was quiet and lovely. And it hit me--I live in Kansas. I get that feeling every once in awhile, generally when I see the sun setting over the plains. Tonight I was driving home from Lawrence on US 40 after seeing a movie. The sun was nearly set and it was a cloudless night. The trees were silhouetted against the orange/blue/black sky and it was like I could see for miles. It was lovely.

I live in Kansas.


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