Friday, July 29, 2011

A Post in Pictures

We promised J a Great American Roadtrip during her visit.  So here we go, us girls on the road.
Day One of our vacation - 5am wake-up, on the road by 5:50
Itinerary - Zion National Park then on to Las Vegas

5:50am - must have coffee

Beggar Squirrels at Zion National Park

Zion National Park
The View from our Room - New York New York Hotel - Vegas

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Anonymous

I took down my post about the documentary Tabloid.  I am not a journalist and made a mistake in saying in my review that Ms. McKinney was on parole in England.  The documentary led the audience to believe that she was somehow released out of jail in England but awaiting some follow-up legal action and fled the country in disguise.  So I guess if they use the same legal jargon I should have said she was out on bail (?)  Nevertheless, no matter what I think about the entire situation, from the beginning to the end of the documentary I never thought she harmed that missionary in any way and I am certainly not and never will be a member of the LDS church.

So anonymous, I was shocked to get this comment on my blog post:

NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE: Consider this official notice that your article has been turned over to Ms. McKinney's libel attorneys and that you are going to be sued for the false and defamatory comments you made about her as well as for Reckless Disregard for Truth, a facet of her libel actions toward you and others who contune to spread the Mormon press hoax. First of all, as a Christian girl with high moral standards, SHE WAS NEVER CHARGED AND THUS NOT CONVICTED OF RAPING A 300 pound 6'5 inch Mormon! And since she was never even convicted, she is certainly not "on parole", as you LIED in saying! What a dishonest ignorant person you are! You have commited Criminal Libel and can actually be arrested for what as well as a civil suit lodged against you, which we plan to do. And by the way, are you a member of the Mormon CULT yourself? Hundreds of books and ex-Mormons KNOW they are a cult, are you really that stupid that you think they are a "religion?"

Since my review is no longer posted, here's a link to what Roger Ebert had to say as well as what the Salt Lake Tribune said about the screening that I saw.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

J Arrives

The Music Never Stopped at Red Butte Garden

A’s best friend from England arrived on Monday night.  She’ll be with us until the first week of August when they both fly to meet J’s family in Singapore.  It’s been great to see her again, she’s such a funny kid.  This week we went to an outdoor screening of a Sundance film at Red Butte Garden which was a beautiful setting although we were freezing.  We also went to see The Decemberists Thursday night.  I liked them better when it was the 80s and they were called R.E.M.   That was part of the free summer concert series in SLC.  Yesterday they went to an amusement/water park all day. 

J’s only observation when we’ve been riding in the car…”there are a lot of fast food restaurants here”.
The Decemberists

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One of the Scariest Experiences Ever

So far I am loving the Screenwriter's Project.  I've met with my mentor once and she gave me some great tips.  It has got to be one of the best feelings in the world when you write something and someone describes what they took away from it and it is EXACTLY what you wanted to convey. 

We had our first peer group meeting.  We've been broken up into smaller groups of 10 to meet on a monthly basis and have what we've written so far read aloud to the group.  Act One outlines are what we are currently working on.  First off, I loved hearing everyone's ideas.  There were a few that just by hearing the Act One outline I'd so buy a ticket to see.  My outline was the last to be read and I stared at my shoes the whole time.  The feedback was so helpful and it inspired me to re-work a few things.  One of my peers said they didn't know where the story was going to go and she was excited to hear the rest.  Of course because I'm slightly OCD that night I dreamt about that like it was the biggest pressure of my life.

Can't wait for next month's meeting! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This Kicks a Cupcake's Ass

We’re having a bit of a staycation while A is in St. Louis. Today while H was doing homework I ran a few errands and then went to a matinee to see Beginners. I was in the same part of town as Mrs. Backer’s Bakery and stopped in for this delicious treat. If you like the frosting piece of a layer cake this one is for you. All sides of the triangle are covered in buttercream and then toasted pecans are pressed into the buttercream. It’s topped with chocolate buttercream and the center is german chocolate cake with the traditional coconut pecan frosting in the middle. As my friend B would say, “It’s so good it’ll make you want to stand up and slap your mama”.

Eating this last night compelled me to exercise this early afternoon in the 100 degree heat, but it was worth it.

Flying in the U.S. of A.

A. travelled to St. Louis last weekend to babysit for our friend RB and on the weekends she’ll get to see her bestie. Her flight was at 7am so we headed to the airport at 5am and I realize now I looked like a homeless person with my hair in a messy bun, sweatpants and flip flops and a t-shirt that I’d slept in that was a subscriber’s gift from Entertainment Weekly that says “I love Jake Ryan” with a picture of the guy from Sixteen Candles. But literally I thought this would be a walk her in, make sure she gets checked in okay and then walk out, 10 minutes tops. Well, the state of U.S. airports and airlines made this trip a bit different. They’d cancelled her flight for who knows what reason and were going to book her on an 11am flight until I asked the only airline employee around, a woman at the platinum counter (which pissed off the actual platinum customers) and they re-routed her to another airline on a 7:15am flight.

The line to the other airline was super long and now that you have to pay for checked baggage, it looks like for this airline at least, the only self-check terminals were for carry-on only. It was very stressful for everyone involved and I found myself at the airport for over an hour getting her sorted. Oh, and the airport was SUPER BUSY. I expect that on a Sunday afternoon but I was surprised at 6am.

I consider myself a seasoned traveler and even I was confused about where to be for this flight check-in. The use of self check-in sometimes means there is just one person at an airline’s counter to handle everything else which makes things highly inefficient. Couple that with the non-seasoned travelers and in the case of Sunday morning non-English speakers and it’s a recipe for disaster. When one of the airline staff came out in the crowd to ask if anyone had a boarding pass already and I got her attention to just ask her if we were in the right line because we’d been re-routed from another airline she literally just walked away from me without even acknowledging that I was talking to her. In the middle of this stressful experience, this woman, looked like a business traveler around my age tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I love your shirt” with such sincerity. I could picture her as a teenager, swooning over Jake, LOL.

So while A is now in St. Louis safe and sound and having a grand time, I REALLY feel for my business travelling friends more than ever. It’s a jungle out there. Pack your noise-cancelling headphones and some meditation music because I think you probably need it once you board the plane.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Scuba Certified

A. needed her open water scuba diving certification for her trip to Singapore this summer so I enrolled her in a course. Until I had to look for one I hadn’t noticed how many dive shops there were which puzzles H. Why are there so many when we are nowhere near a place to scuba dive?

I have never wanted to scuba dive and watching this course progress I wanted to do it even less. It was a two-week course that had book work and then practice in a swimming pool and then they were doing an actual dive to get the sign off on their certification. Where in Utah would this happen? Read on.

First after I signed her up at this dive shop I was told (I swear!) that class began Tuesday night at 7pm but to get there about 15 minutes early because there was paperwork. Well, I misjudged traffic and got her there promptly at 7 which I was a bit embarrassed about until A told me that class actually began at 6:30 meaning we were 45 minutes late. Then I was humiliated. The second night I was told by the instructor to pick her up at 9:45 only to arrive then and A tell me that class had been over for 25 minutes. I hadn’t even looked at my phone. Great, I’d become that parent. The next week I asked H to take her because I just couldn’t face the instructor.

I don’t think people are meant to go underwater and breathe. Here’s why, A would come home and say I need to get my fillings checked because my instructor says if there are air pockets in them my teeth could crack from pressure during the dive, or my ears won’t clear and that’s a bad thing. My eardrums could be affected. Suddenly, we need a full body scan to uncover her health issues for a recreational activity?
So it came time to do the actual dive which takes place at The Crater about 45 minutes away. Really cool. It’s also a place for mineral baths and the resort around it really reminded me of Germany. Funny, Europeans always make fun of Americans for going to McDonalds when they are abroad or looking for other American things. They are just as bad! I heard lots of foreign accents and languages at The Crater. In fact, as I was sitting in the car reading waiting for A to finish, I looked back to the entrance of the crater and there was a man and woman walking out of the crater as if they’d just finished a mineral soak. The man took off his towel and was walking in the resort completely naked. Something tells me he wasn’t American.

In the end, she’s certified and I’m glad I won’t be there to witness her doing this in a real life setting because it scares the heck out of me.