Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Trip 2015

My trip to Utah and Idaho was pretty fantastic. My days consisted of family, friends, food and not a care in the world.

Pedicures with my mom for her Mother's Day gift. 


 Sno-cones with the fam on Pioneer Day (which also included a parade and fireworks).

Family reunion in Idaho with my mom's family.

Visiting with my dear friend Holli, whom I met when I was 16 when I started working at Wendy's.

Time with Lindsay-loo and baby Sydney. 

Bowling with the fam bam. 

A visit with Pammy.
Ummm, I didn't take a photo....
Hanging out in downtown SLC.

Dinner with Audrey. 

Family pics and a final meal. 

It was a great time and I'm so glad I have such great family and friends. I'm so glad my trip overlapped with Ivy, Elliett and Mo visiting from Seattle and Josue from California. I try to squeeze in seeing a lot of people, and sometimes it just doesn't work out. Maybe in December I can see more!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Post-Vacation Transition

I am back in Denton after being in Utah and Idaho for the past week. I will blog about that trip soon. Right now I am tired and steeling myself for returning to work in the morning.

It's always a weird transition back into regular life after being on vacation. My days the past week consisted of coordinating who I was going to meet up with, where I was going to eat, and how late I could sleep in. I didn't check my work email at all. I just enjoyed being back home.

Now I have to think about grocery shopping, and unpacking, and going back to work. I'm alone (except for Biscuit, of course). It's just a bit jarring for me when I have to make the transition.

Also a tough transition: the heat and humidity here in Texas. No, it's not like it's a brand new thing, but I "adapt" rather quickly to the dry heat of Salt Lake. It actually cools down at night. I can be outside at 8 am and not be covered in moisture. I don't have to worry about my hair going flat. I had to use a lot more lotion and my nose was super dry. But it was worth it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Double Indemnity

My local Cinemark theater is participating in the TCM screenings of classics on the big screen. So far I've seen The Sound of Music and Jaws. This past Monday it was Double Indemnity, the Billy Wilder film noir classic. It almost wrote the book on film noir and femme fatales.

I was telling my boss about this when he asked me if I had seen any good films lately. He didn't know what a femme fatale was, or really even film noir. And I fear I did a less than adequate job at explaining them. If you want to know, you can look them up on Wikipedia (I sent my boss the links to both those entries).

Or you could just watch Double Indemnity. Barbara Stanwyck is THE femme fatale.

I'll admit that I didn't really know what this film was about before seeing it. Which I guess is sort of nice. It lets me enjoy without lots of expectations.

It definitely deserves the title of "classic". I only with it had won Best Picture (it was nominated but lost to Going My Way starring Bing Crosby) so I could mark it off my list for 35 by 35.

I'm looking forward to the next round of classics to be announced.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Another Weekend in Kansas

I spent a very quick weekend in Kansas. I am so glad that I live close enough that I can visit my friends. It is hard living away from them.

My friend Kate is leaving Kansas for a new job in Bellingham, Washington, and this weekend was a bit of a "last hurrah" with the group of friends there.

 Kate, Paige, J. Hall, Rachel, Jess, me, and Janae

I was also able to see Amber before I headed out on Sunday. We laughed and cried and ate hamburgers. She's the best.

I love the people in my life. And they love me. I know this because we actually said those words to each other. "I love you." Those words are important, and I'm glad that I have so many people to say it to and hear it from.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pluto, This Is Your Moment

Nine years ago, NASA sent a rocket out into space. That rocket finally reached Pluto and has sent back photos of the mass that we used to call a planet (maybe it is a planet again now....or is it a dwarf planet?). The rocket traveled 3 billion miles in 9 years. Nine years!!!

This is amazing. Like for real. The rocket left Cape Canaveral, reached Jupiter in a year, then used the propulsion from Jupiter's gravity to "sling-shot" it's trajectory to Pluto.

Prior to take-off, the New Horizons team worked for ten years to plan the trip!

I thought I was past the time when I was amazed by things going on in space. But I'm not. This is pretty darn amazing.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

35 By 35

I have made a list of things to complete by the time I turn 35, which will be April 24, 2018. This list has 35 things on it (well, it's supposed to; I'm having trouble getting the last ones. I guess I will keep it open in case something changes....). I have made this list because I have a few friends who have made 30 by 30 lists.

You can check out the list here. You'll see that some of them are simple, like "Make jam" or "Kiss in the rain" (perhaps that's not so simple...). Some will require a decent amount of effort, like "Make a t-shirt quilt" or "Make a piece of furniture". Some are general and don't really have a specific item, like "Perform more random acts of kindness." The ones that involve travel will take money, which will require me to plan ahead and save.

Also, I made this list last summer. That's why I put "Attend an NFL game" and "Attend a MLB playoff game", because I had already done those two!

Thing is, though, I'm not naturally a list maker. It's not a part of my personality. What is a part of my personality: procrastinating. Hopefully having the list will help make me less of a procrastinator....

Friday, July 10, 2015

Old Foto Friday

Jeanne, Lindsay and I before heading to Lagoon. This is likely the summer before our senior year. The car is Jeanne's; we loved her white Honda.

I like that Lindsay is clearly dressed for a summer day, and Jeanne and I are wearing pants and tennis shoes. What's that about?! My shirt has a line of VW slug bugs on it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Box of Memories

I've been at my new job for almost six months now. Today I realized it was high time I decorated it. Like put pictures on the walls and all that. I have some pictures already sitting on top of the credenza (is that what it's called?), and I have a large map of the bike network staring down at me. But my bookshelf is mocking me with five measly books on it.

So tonight I pulled out some boxes from under my bed (because I was looking for knick-knacks that I used to buy a they could clutter up my office instead of my home). I boxed up everything I own six months ago; most of it was unpacked. But these boxes have just been sitting under my bed, so clearly they weren't all that important. I opened one and was surprised that it was filled with photos.

Everyone takes photos now, because we all have smartphones with cameras. But that wasn't always the case. I was the random person who took their camera to everything and snapped photos. Then I got a digital camera, and instead of printing out rolls I'd download the photos to my computer. Cameras and photos have always been important to me, so I literally have boxes of photos in those envelopes you'd get when you developed your film.

I also came across a box that was used to deliver my undergraduate Graduation Announcements. Yes, it contained some announcements and envolopes and address stickers. I graduated with my Bachelors in 2007. The box also contained cards sent to me from people I love, mostly from the time frame when I lived in NYC. It was a nice little stroll down memory lane. I literally keep every card that is sent to me. I need to figure out what to do with them....

I also found an old Peter Brienholt cd. I am listening to it right now, and I feel like it is 2008. I am even sitting on my bed while I type this, just like I used to do when I lived in NYC and in Sugarhouse. I'm a sentimental fool.

I used to blog a lot. It was a good way to get my thoughts out into the universe, and to keep family and friends up to date on what was going on in my life. With the increase of social media to stay in touch, blogs have kind of gone by the wayside. I miss blogging, though. For me it has been a good way to sort out my thoughts, instead of just posting a photo on Instagram. I feel like my writing skills have severely been affected by blogging less.

No one likely reads this anymore (except for my awesome cousin Phaedra, because she also still blogs), but I'm going to keep posting!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Three Movies in One Week

It's summertime, which means there a lot of movies hitting theaters. There is a new film opening every weekend, and unlike during non-summertime or Oscar-bait months, these are all BIG films. Big stars! Big effects! Big sequels!

Last week I saw three movies. First up was the Magic Mike sequel. Just like when I saw the first one, I went with a bunch of friends from work. Unlike the first one, it was not a good movie. The first one had a story and an indy-vibe to it. It had something to say. It didn't waste a ton of time on the secondary characters. The sequel, Magic Mike XXL, unfortunately fell under the trap of giving the audience what they supposedly wanted (this is never a good choice; it's how we got Juan Pablo as a Bachelor and 157 seasons of American Idol). Apparently the public wanted not only the side characters to now have stories and things to do, but they wanted more of them! And they wanted a road trip movie! And they wanted unnecessary dancing! Don't get me wrong, Tatum is a legit dancer, however this time around there was far less "magic".

I've already discussed Terminator: Genisys.

On the Fourth I saw Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It's one of those film-y movies that I really like. It is a film that just looks nice; the director clearly spent time planning his shots. Also, I want to live in a house and neighborhood exactly like the one Earl and Rachel live in. That is exactly my style. The film premiered at Sundance and won the Audience Award, and it' well-deserved.

It's now the middle point of the Summer Movie Season. There are still a lot of big releases left; some I am excited for and others I am indifferent about. 
---Mission: Impossible 5 - slightly interested. Since I no longer subscribe to Entertainment Weekly magazine, I had no idea this movie even existed until I saw a trailer during the Super Bowl. Tom Cruise doesn't exactly excite me anymore, but it could be fun.
---Minions: no. Just no.
---Ant-man: not really.
---Trainwreck: interested. It could be the perfect antithesis to the "Big Summer Blockbuster"
---Southpaw: hmm. Interested.
---Pixels: no. I'm a film snob.
---Fantastic Four: not really.

It might be a slow second half of summer. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

First Fourth in Texas

The Fourth of July is my most favorite holiday. It's a birthday celebration (which I also love) on the national level - Happy Birthday, America! It isn't stressful like Christmas, where you have/feel obligated to buy presents for others, or question if you are keeping "Christ in Christmas." It really is Food, Fun, Family, Friends and Fireworks!

I started my Fourth off with the Liberty Run 5k at North Lakes Park. Now, I've ran 5ks before, however I still chose to wear cotton. Heavy cotton. I was not a happy camper. Also, I have not run since April. And I'm  not nearly in the shape I used to be in when that wasn't really a problem. So a disproportionate amount of my time was spent walking. However, when one of my favorite songs came up in my playlist I was motivated. I really just wanted to start dancing.

I got home just in time for the parade, which goes right through downtown (I happen to live downtown). I spent many Fourths in Moroni, UT with my grandma and grandpa and extended family. The parade there always included floats with the "royalty" from the surrounding towns; I even had cousins who were on those floats. In Denton, we get "Frackula" and Texas pride (every event is an event to show your pride for Texas).



I love Denton so much. 

I then hit up a movie (which I will write about later), and then took a nap before heading to Frisco to meet up with friends from work for dinner and an FC Dallas soccer game. It was my first live soccer game. It was fun, but I was really just there for the after-game fireworks. Which were amazing.

It was a really great day. However, I always tend to miss my family most on holidays. Good thing I'll be with them in Salt Lake City on Pioneer Day.

Friday, July 3, 2015

He's Back, Baby

When I first heard about Terminator: Genisys I was slightly annoyed, because I had liked Terminator: Salvation and it seemed like this was not going to be playing off of that (Christian Bale was not involved). I then saw a preview and was mildly intrigued. Then I saw the preview that decided to show what the film was really going to be about: an alternate timeline where 1984 Sarah Connor is awesome and waiting for Kyle Reese to show up. I was intrigued. (I thankfully missed the other trailer that decided to give out all the twists. That is super lame.)

I liked the film. Like really liked it. Which surprised me, especially after my lukewarm reaction to Jurassic World. I think it's because T:G was having fun. Unlike Jurassic World, which I felt was just telling the same story from Jurassic Park but with everything bigger, T:G  gets out of that rut and tells a new story. Well, I guess it's not an entirely new story. But it worked for me. Sometimes I have no idea why some things do and some things don't.

I'm not going to spoil any of the surprises and twists in the film, as they are quite fun to see unspool. Suffice it to say, I didn't see some of them coming (especially because I had not seen the last "official" trailer released for the film). I literally gasped.

Jason Clarke plays John Connor, and he's an actor I've liked since he did a short-lived show on FOX. I thought he was terribly underrated in Zero Dark Thirty. Emilia Clark was great as the young Sarah Connor, channeling the iconic Sarah Connor created by Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I was concerned that Jai Courtney would be the weak link, as he had not impressed me as the bad guy in the Divergent movies, but he surprised me. He and Clarke played well opposite each other, and their simple romance was nice.

The original Terminator was a low budget, sci-fi/horror film set in 1984. It was limited by the effects of its day, and yet it is still a great film. A lot of that is due to James Cameron. I imagine when James Cameron made The Terminator in 1984 he did not expect it to spawn four sequels (the second being the last one he was involved in). I certainly didn't expect it after Terminator: Rise of the Machines and certainly not after Terminator: Salvation. The story has become quite convoluted and intricate now (read this article for a very serious discussion of the timelines) and it really fascinates me.

So put this one squarely in the "Pleasantly surprised" column.

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