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Showing posts from August, 2008

MoTab Mania

I was looking around on the Church website ( this evening, and decided to see what upcoming events might be going on at Temple Square. It indicated a free concert in September, featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, Erich Kunzel (of the National Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops), Denyce Graves, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Of course I very quickly registered for tickets. Now is probably the time to mention that my friend Stephanie and I are die-hard fans of the Tabernacle Choir and The Orchestra at Temple Square. In fact, you might even consider us groupies (obsession is a good word). If we could follow them around on tour, we certainly would. (Picture it - Steph and I in our MoTab concert t-shirts, waiting outside of the Choir's hotel until the wee hours just to get Mack Wilberg's or one of the organist's autograph.) In the last 3 or 4 years, we have been fortunate to attend every concert held in the Conference Center, as well as the Tabernacle.

Park City Fun

My ward went on a trip to Lava Hot Springs over the weekend. But since I wasn't planning to attend, my friend Diana and I decided to go to Park City Saturday afternoon. And being on an Olympic kick, we went to the Olympic Park. There's lots of fun things to do there. We watched the Freestyle Ski team put on a show. Only this time, instead of landing on soft powder (it is August after all), they landed in a swimming pool. It was really cool all of the tricks they were able to show off. We also toured the 2002 Olympic Museum. That was pretty neat to see - there were uniforms from some of the athletes, as well as examples of some of the medals and exhibits about some of the different sports. Having lived in a city that has hosted an Olympic Games, I have to say it is a pretty incredible experience to have your city be the center of the world for two weeks. It's a very proud moment, seeing the best your city has to offer all be displayed for the entire world. It was
Whether you love or loathe the stories NBC does on their Olympic athletes (cue the inspirational music and Jimmy Roberts's hushed and reverent tone as he talks about the hardships suffered by whatever athlete), I really enjoyed this humorous article from Andy Borowitz of Creator's Syndicate. It's just too funny (and too true). Diver Hid Details of Intact Family A member of the U.S. Olympic diving team was disqualified from competition today when it was learned that he did not have a sufficiently compelling human storyline to exploit on the NBC telecast of the worldwide sporting event. Tracy Klujian, the expelled diver, was not raised by a single mother, never had a career-threatening injury, and did not overcome a personal tragedy of any kind before making the Olympic diving team, U.S. Olympic officials revealed today. "Had Tracy been involved in an organ donation, as either a donor or a recipient, that would have been acceptable to us," a diving team spokesman to

I'm good enough

Al Franken played a character on SNL back in the 90's called Stuart Smalley. He was a perpetually annoying character whose tagline was looking in the mirror and saying "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." I've thought about that over the years and think that (although it was intended to be cynical) there's actually a lot of truth to the statement. I think we all spend a lot of time thinking we're not good enough. We try to be competitive, and think that if we don't succeed in some tremendous way, or accomplish the grand thing, that we're failures. We tend to judge ourselves by what we think other people must feel about us. The reality is that most of us will not be Olympic athletes, or Nobel prize winners, or famous for any number of things. But we're good enough (and great enough) anyway just because we are. 'Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God' (D&C 18:10).

That's Entertainment

So I've been watching "That's Entertainment" on KBYU tonight during the Olympics commercials. It's a movie MGM did in the 70's, showing clips from most of their Golden Age musicals. I have to say there are not many things that thrill me as much as a good musical. It's all I can do to stay in my seat, and I certainly can't keep from singing along (those who went to see Mamma Mia with me - twice - can vouch for it). I feel kind of like the Man in Chair character from "The Drowsy Chaperone", who loves the musical so much that he can't contain himself from participating, and inserts himself into the show. Yes, I know that musicals are far from believable, but I can't help thinking that if people would just break out into song once in awhile, the world would be a happier place. And after watching all the old musical clips tonight, I do know one thing. The Olympics may be all about the world's best athletes, but my money would st

Weird Al and Iowa

So a couple of weeks ago while watching TV, I happened to click on an A&E Biography of "Weird Al" Yankovic. Boy - did that bring back some fun High School memories. There were interviews with Dr. Demento (Weird Al started out on his radio show"), and snippets from some true comedy classics - for instance "Eat It", "Like a Surgeon", and others. I remember my best friend Jill really being into his "Polkas on '45" album. I went to High School in Iowa (Go Hawks!), and one thing about the midwest is that someone like "Weird Al" really fits in there. It's the land of brats and beer, and polka (I mean, the Iowa marching band's favorite song is the polka classic "In Heaven There Ain't No Beer"), and people there have a sense of humor - they don't take themselves too seriously. They work hard, have a good time, and are all about community. They take care of each other. When I get to heaven, there'

2008 Olympics

Whatever you think of the Olympics these days, I watched the opening ceremonies the other night, and was simply stunned. It was incredible. The creativity and production were among the coolest things I've ever seen, especially the Cauldron lighting. If you didn't get to see it, check out the video, courtesy of NBC - Way to go Beijing!


There's a book series that has been out for a few years now, that seems to be all the rage these days. It's called "Twilight", and is a series of young adult fantasy/romance novels, written by a member of the church. Seems everyone in America has been talking about it, and the latest book launch was just about as big as any of the Harry Potter book releases. I've been putting off reading them, thinking I'd wait until things kind of calmed down and they were available at the library. But I got a couple of Barnes and Noble gift cards for my birthday, so I purchased the first two books in the series (at least I waited until they were in paperback). I started the first one on Saturday, and have to say - I am hooked. I can't wait to finish it and get started on the next one. Obviously I'm not going to have any peace until I read them all. Thankfully there's only four books in the series.

"Captain McDonald"

Monday one of my co-workers came by to ask for my assistance making a training recording. He is the curriculum developer, and we have been working on a project where we will be supporting the military. The idea was to record a call, where I would have to pretend to be in the military. He came to me to ask if I would do it. (Who knew that my almost joining the Air Force would come in handy some day?) Knowing that I have a voice that is pretty much a monotone, I figured that was why he asked me. But no, it was because I sounded like I could be pretty easy to "piss off". Really I don't think that is something I want to have a reputation for. And here I like to think of myself as fairly easy to deal with - really kind of a push-over. Truth be told, I can get irritated pretty easily, although I have been working on that for a few months now, and have improved a lot. In fact, my boss told me she had noticed significant improvement (although with room for growth), so I

Monet to Picasso

I was fortunate on Saturday to attend the Monet to Picasso exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. I seldom get to see famous materworks in person, so this was quite a treat. I particularly enjoyed Van Gogh's "Poplars at St. Remy" and Modigliani's "Portrait of a Woman". Seeing a Van Gogh up close is really something - the way he layered the paint so thick, and used such vibrant colors. The canvas just pops out at you. Modigliani is a change of pace from Van Gogh. Definitely more low-key, but there's just something peaceful and contemplative about it. There were paintings by artists such as Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Pissaro, Matisse (who I also really liked), Picasso, Dali (definitely odd); and sculptures by Rodin. Quite an extensive exhibit. Utah was fortunate to get it.

Manny Traded to Dodgers

Woo Hoo! As of last week, Manny Ramirez (my favorite baseball player) is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers (my all-time favorite baseball team). I've been forced the last couple of years to root for the Red Sox, since he was with them, but I'm now back to the Dodgers. I could never have been away from the boys in blue for too long anyway. On to the playoffs!