I hope we get to see Harrison Ford

3 Jun

I was recently invited to spend Memorial weekend in Driggs, ID with my oldest friend Rachel. Rachel now lives with my old roommates, who were also going on the trip, along with a bunch of their friends. The weather was cold and wet and sometimes blizzard-y, but we managed to have a great time anyway. We spent one day visiting Jackson Hole, WY and another in Yellowstone. (I can’t believe Ashlee had never been before!) We played games and ate junk food and tried on a variety of cowboy paraphernalia. More importantly, I got to eat my favorite huckleberry ice cream. On the drive home with Becca, we even managed to hit 4 states in one day. A worthwhile adventure for sure. Unfortunately for us, Harrison Ford was out of town shooting a movie. One of these times I’ll spot him…

Chopped: Something’s got me puzzled

24 May

So I was watching Food Network’s Chopped tonight and was struck again by an annoyance that has always plagued me while watching the show. Have you ever noticed that as each freshly chopped chef exits the kitchen, he/she walks down a hallway as an automatic sliding glass door closes in front of them. Very dramatic. However, the door seems to have no purpose. The chefs don’t walk through the door. Just past it.

It begs the question, why is the door open in the first place, only to close before someone has the chance to go through it? Is it one final humiliation for the defeated chefs? Sorry buddy, you lost and we’re going to make you go out through the losers’ exit. One that’s not glass and automatic and emblazoned with the fancy Chopped logo. Another thing, if it’s an automatic door, why don’t we see it opening as the chefs approach? I can’t wrap my head around the mechanics of this mysterious door. How does it operate? Where does it lead? These sort of questions that eat away at me every time I watch television. Or read a book. Or walk into a supermarket. Or basically do anything in life.

If you’ve never noticed this enigma, here’s a clip from the show. You’ll see that strange door around the 45 second mark.

I love words

11 May

Today I heard someone use the word bailiwick. Awesome right? Of course I had no idea what it meant.  No matter though. I immediately fell in love with both the word and the person who used it — because really, how could you not love a person who uses the word bailiwick?

bail·i·wick [bey-luh-wik]

noun

1. the district within which a bailie or bailiff has jurisdiction.
2. a person’s area of skill, knowledge, authority, or work: to confine suggestions to one’s own bailiwick.
Words are great.

Empire Review

15 Apr

EmpireEmpire by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan of the Ender series, which predisposes me to love pretty much anything Orson Scott Card writes. However, I was curious to see how he would manage in a more contemporary and realistic setting rather than his usual futuristic sci-fi. I think it holds up pretty well. The pacing of the book was nice. Thrilling, but with some natural ebbs and flows in the story. It was compelling throughout, but I wasn’t forced to read it in one sitting due to cliffhanger chapters and never-ending plot twists.

As in most of Card’s work, I really enjoyed the political themes the book explores. It’s obvious that the book leans to the right, but not in a way that offended or annoyed me at all. I think both sides of the political spectrum were painted fairly and accurately, though in their most extreme forms.

Most of all, I enjoyed the afterward. Although it was written in 2006, I think most of what Card writes is 100% true to the current political climate. A few choice quotes from the afterward:

“A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure anyone who opposes them must be either stupid and deceived or have some ulterior motive. We are today a nation where almost everyone in the public eye displays fanaticism with every utterance…we have become a nation of insane people able to see the madness only in the other side.”

“We live in a time when moderates are treated worse than extremists, being punished as if they were more fanatical than the actual fanatics.”

“…maybe, we can just calm down and stop thinking that our own ideas are so precious that we must never give an inch to accommodate the heartfelt beliefs of others.”

All in all, not Card’s best work, but a solid, entertaining and thought-provoking thriller that shows a disturbing picture of where the current trend of political polarism and hateful rhetoric could lead.

View all my reviews

Easter Egg-stravaganza

6 Apr

When I saw this blog post I couldn’t wait to “tie”-dye my own Easter eggs. Excitedly, my roommate Jaime and I headed out to the thrift store today to pick up some suitable ties (they have to be 100% silk to work). Here were our selections. My pictures aren’t nearly as classy as in the original post. But you get the gist.

Next, we cut up the ties and wrapped them tightly around the uncooked eggs, securing them with twist-ties. Make sure that the front side of the silk is against the egg.

Then, we wrapped the eggs again with fabric from an old sheet.

We boiled them in water and a third a cup of white vinegar for about 20 minutes. It was so much fun to unwrap each one. Almost as good as presents on Christmas. Some of them turned out amazing, others weren’t as good as we anticipated. I’m amazed at the level of detail that transferred from the fabric. Here are a few of our favorites.

A bed big enough for two

31 Mar

I won’t lie. It’s been kind of intense lately. The sum total of food in my house will tell you that I’ve been too busy with homework to do much else. Of course, probably two thirds of that time was wasted on simply worrying about homework rather than getting anything done. And if you were curious, here is the sum total of food at my house, excluding condiments and spices: one egg, a sleeve of saltine crackers, 2 strips of fruit leather, one packet of Oregon Chai instant latte powder, 4 carrots, a package of frozen cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, one mini-bag of microwave popcorn, half a bag of chocolate chips, and 3 onions.

Apparently, according to Molly, I’ve been pretty incognito as well. “I don’t call…I don’t text…” So I wanted to check in on the blog and let you all know I’m alive.

I’m entering my last week of classes–EEK! I can’t believe I’m almost halfway done with graduate school. That’s just seems so preposterous to me. Slowly, but surely, I am checking things off my homework list and beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Easter is coming up, which I couldn’t be more excited about. It’s not my favorite holiday, but it does have my favorite holiday candy. I am hosting Easter brunch at my house for (so far) 14 people, with hopes that they won’t mind sitting on the floor next to our golden retriever Mackenzie. The forecast predicts sun and, wait for it, 0% chance of rain! I didn’t think that was possible in Vancouver. Here’s the photo if you want proof. (51 Fahrenheit = 10.5 Celsius)

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After school ends I will be doing a two-week practicum at the Vancouver Public Library. I am super excited to get my first real library work experience. Although I’m not sure they’re going to let me do much besides watch. At any rate, I’m stoked.

In other news, I bought a bed today. I’m marginally creeped out that I got it off craigslist, but I’m dealing with it. I was assured it comes from a clean, bed-bug-free home*. I’m looking forward to both a more comfortable mattress, and a big enough bed to have someone sleep with me. That sounds so dirty! What I mean is that when people come to visit, they can either stay with me, or in the case of a couple, they can share the bed and I’ll sleep on the couch. My first visitor will be my dear friend Angela, who is coming to stay for a few days and then make the long drive back to SLC with me. She has already told me she’s looking forward to our upcoming snuggle parties.

I’m doing my best to savor (or savour if I’m being Canadian–aka wannabe British) my last few weeks here. I’m thrilled to be going home to my beloved mountains, family and friends. However, I’ll be sad to leave this beautiful place. One thing I’ll miss is the crazy cheap insurance. I’ve been dealing with a mysterious back injury these last few weeks. Basically I couldn’t stand up at all for 2 days, and not straight for more than a week. Luckily, at only $10 a visit, I’ve become great friends with my new chiropractor, and I’m about to order my custom orthodics (a $300 value!) for free. While I remember all too well the torture of waiting for hours with Molly at the emergency room, the healthcare system here does have it’s benefits.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this photo I stumbled across today that I’m just in love with. Here’s the link to the original blog. I’ve always been a fan of this painted wall, and if I remember correctly, it is located in SLC in the courtyard behind Sam Wellers books.

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*Do we have bed bugs in Utah? Until I moved to Vancouver, I had never even considered the possibility of anything being tainted with the vile little things. Even the library books here are infested.

She’s a maniac!

29 Feb

I had all these ambitions to blog the whole time I was on vacation in Florida. However, as with most of my lofty goals, it never happened. Turns out theme parking is a lot of work. I was tired by the end of the day. And my guilt over not doing any homework was simply exhausting.

I posted all the pics on facebook, so I won’t post them again. I will give you something even better though. Please enjoy this short clip of Molly dancing like a mad women at the Diana Ross concert at Universal Studios. She was amazing by the way. Diana Ross that is, although Molly was pretty stellar herself. I can only hope I’m still rocking out when I’m her age.