Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2010

Project Tracie

So a few weeks ago, I met with my Bishop for the annual Tithing Settlement.  While we were visiting, he asked if I was enjoying the ward.  I was honest with him - I told him it was fine.  How everyone is very nice, but that I don't really feel like I fit in.  I tried to let him know I wasn't complaining, but there was just no one in my same situation.  He was very kind and thanked me for the feedback. I kind of let it go, thinking that would be the end of it.  But nooooo.  The Bishop must have brought it up in a meeting or something, because the week before Christmas ended up being turned into "Project Tracie" week.  It all started the Sunday before Christmas.  There came a knock at the door, and it was my visiting teaching companion and her husband with a bunch of oranges for me (how did they know I LOVE oranges at Christmas).  I didn't think anything of it - I'd given them a few goodies too.  But Monday night came, and brought with it dozens of carolers at

Handel's Messiah

I love Christmas music, especially Handel's Messiah.  I especially love to sing the choruses.  It all started when I was in High School, and the Maquoketa Choir sang "And the Glory of the Lord".  I've never been the same since.  The first time I saw it in it's entirety was a couple of years later when I was in my first year at Rick's College.  Later, when I was on my mission, I purchased a  cassette tape of highlights from the "Messiah".  And that year, my companion and I opened our presents to the strains of the "Hallelujah" Chorus.  It was heavenly. Over the years, I kept that tape, and practically wore it out.  Well - what with my move this year, my cassette tapes finally all went to the DI.  This of course meant that my beloved Highlights went with them.  What's a girl to do?  Frankly, I didn't think much about it until I realized what it was that had been missing from my Christmas this year.  Yep - you guessed it.  So I've

Get Your Mammogram!

I read a disturbing statistic this morning.  It said that only 50% of insured women over 40 get their annual mammogram.  Now, I hate the annual boob job as much as the rest of us.  I would so much rather go to my gynecologist twice a year than go and be felt up and have what little there is smashed by some skinny tech in their 20's.   HOWEVER - I make sure I get my annual exam.  And so far, though my girls be small, they are healthy (say HALLELUJAH!). Now, lest you think that cancer can never happen to you, think again.  Just ask my friend Cynthia who is in her 40's, discovered a cancerous lump and is now a survivor because it got caught early enough.  Breast cancer is the number one cancer among women.  If you are over 40 and insured, I urge you - go and have the damn test!  It's free! And if you're not insured, go and pay to have the damn test anyway!  Either way, wouldn't you rather have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are keeping yourself healthy

Family Recipes

My Grandma Peggy passed away a few weeks ago, unexpectedly.  I miss her.  One of the items of hers that I ended up with was a 1943 edition of "The Joy of Cooking".  Where she got it, I don't know.  I don't even know if she ever used it much.  But it's been fun to look through, and it's nice to think she used it.  Some of the recipes are definitely out of style now, though.  I mean, no one makes aspics anymore, or eats braunschweiger sandwiches, or cans broccoli. Now, I myself enjoy cooking, as long as it doesn't involve any kind of dough and isn't too complicated.  I watch a lot of Food Network, and I'm always on the lookout for interesting recipes.  I'm the oldest of 7, so I definitely know how to make enough for seconds, thirds, and left-overs. However, when it came to Gramma's cooking, I mostly remember a lot of casseroles, and salads.  Whatever it was, it nearly always had celery (don't ask me why).  And there was never enough for


So last week, I looked out my front windows, and what did I see?  Sadly, it was not popcorn popping on the apricot tree.  No - it was ice.  And on the inside of the windows, dripping on to the casings.  Hmmm, no wonder it's felt like an ice box in my apartment.  That, and perhaps the lack of insulation and the temperatures more appropriate for Ice Station Zebra.  Anyway - this of course meant that a project was in store.  So come Friday, I got myself down to the hardware store (remembering of course that Ace is the Place), and returned with everything I would need to insulate my windows. Now, insulating windows is no easy task.  First, it involves a ridiculous assortment of things.  Saran Wrap, double-sided tape, scissors, hairdryers - and that's just the tip of the window iceberg.  Somehow, you've got to cut the wrap, put the tape on the windows, put the wrap on the tape, seal it on with the hair dryer, all while trying to avoid scraping your knuckles bloody while working

Star Trek Heaven

Got home from work last night and turned on the tube.  It's pretty much the first thing I do whenever I get home or whenever I get up.  Big surprise there, I'm sure. Anyway - - - - while flipping channels, imagine my joy to discover that it was Star Trek night on Biography.  They played a few different documentaries.  One was about Star Trek's influence on pop culture, and one was even a retrospective and comparison of all the different Captains (for the record, I love Picard and Janeway).  They even finished it off with William Shatner's biography. I was in Star Trek heaven. So yes, I am a big Trekkie.  Over the years, I watched every series faithfully (ok, except for "Enterprise", but hey, no one else watched it either).  I can say "Live Long and Prosper" with both hands, and I'm pretty good at the Vulcan mind meld.  I'm happy to debate the virtues of the Prime Directive, and the planet I'd most like to visit is Bajor (I totally dig th

Pinky and the Guitar God

Just when I think Pinky has gotten photos with all the big-time celebrities there are, and that there are no celebrities left for her to photo op with, she surprises once again (I'm still in speechless awe over this one).  I think you all are aware of my devotion to the world's greatest rock band, Fleetwood Mac.  Well, last week, Pink met the Guitar God himself, the artistic force behind Fleetwood Mac - Lindsey Buckingham. Frankly I'm probably more excited over this one than when she got a photo with Sidney Poitier.  I mean, it's LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM people!!  Man, the girl has got SKILLS! She says this picture was just for me, and so all I have to say to that is "Thanks Pink!"  And if you ever happen to run into Lindsey's muse, Stevie Nicks, be sure to give her a shout out from her birthday twin.

Aging Sucks

For each of the past two days, I have found a gray hair on my chair at work.  And unless some aged person is sitting at my desk at night, I can only surmise that the aforementioned hairs belong to me.  Now, I have had a few gray hairs before.  And when I found them they were immediately plucked.  But never have I found one two days in a row.  Aging is difficult enough without this being added to it.  I can't even claim that a husband or children gave them to me. Frankly, I am terribly depressed by this occurence.  I guess that being single and not having gray hair made me feel that I was still young and hip, that life was full of possibility, and that I still had plenty of time for all those things I'd never done.  And now - I'm not so sure. Man, a couple of gray hairs and I feel like a cat lady.

Birthright Citizenship

One of our esteemed State Senators this week announced his intention to seek a change to the 14th Amendment, so that you are not guaranteed citizenship in this country by virtue of being born here (what is known as "Birthright Citizenship").  This despite the courts having interpreted for 150 years that the 14th Amendment guarantees it.  Can you say "I hate people from South of the Border" any louder than that?  I'm as concerned about illegal immigration as the next person, but please.  How does he think he got his citizenship?

Mission Reunion

It's probably no secret to most of you that I didn't particularly care for my mission.  I guess I'm glad I served, but it's not something I'd be likely to repeat.  I maintained contact with a few people afterward at college, but lost contact with everyone by the time I moved to Salt Lake.  And really, I wasn't interested anyway.  Well - a few weeks ago I saw a posting in the Deseret News for a mission reunion with my second mission president, President Anderson.  To my knowledge, it's the first one they've held in years, if ever.  Normally, I would let it go by, but for some reason, this time I couldn't. Now, it seems there's a tradition in the church about mission reunions.  Most of them are posted in the Deseret News.  Usually they are held conference weekend, and somewhere in Salt Lake or Provo.  And most of the time they're on a Friday evening.  So this was a bit of a surprise because it was to be held two weeks after conference, in Hu

The Spin City Green Tour

Yesterday, the girls and I took one of our semi-regular trips up the mountain to check out the leaves and to try a new diner that several other friends had recommended to us.  Angel was off with her Sisters so was unable to join us.  But Chun Hee tagged along in her place, and we had a fun time.  Owing to Inge's recent fender bender, we had a rental car, a Toyota Prius.  Might as well be environmentally friendly while we're enjoying nature's beauties. Our first stop was in Heber at Spin Cafe.  Let's just say that despite the multiple recommendations, it was all spin.  A bit too trendy for the Dive Divas, and the food was overpriced and nothing special.  We all decided that from now on, we'll be sticking with Hub Cafe instead. From there, we headed farther in to town for a milkshake at Granny's.  Now, I realize that Spin Cafe did offer milkshakes.  But how can one go to Heber and not get a shake at Granny's?  I mean, it's tradition.  I had a chocolate

I Am Cougar Hear Me Roar!

First off, let me qualify this by saying that no, this post is not about BYU.  There.  Now, to begin...On Saturday, Angel and I still had some energy after the diabetes walk, so we decided to go cell phone shopping at the AT&T store. So off we went to the downtown store and began our browsing.  Now, one thing about the AT&T store is that it is staffed mostly by young adult males in their early 20's.  They are very nice, but let's say they are perhaps a little more technologically fluent than we are.  Our Salesman was a nice good-looking young man named Greg.  He politely answered all sorts of questions about each of the phones and the plans, but mostly let us play around with the phones without being too persistent or rolling his eyes too much.   The big question - the Blackberry or the iPhone.  I was torn and went back and forth between several different ones.  On top of that, there was a problem with being able to move from my work account, so I knew I wouldn't b

Ack! Cathy's Leaving! What Are We Gonna Do?

Word today that the classic cartoon "Cathy" will be ending it's run in newspapers after 30 plus years.  Apparently it's creator Cathy Guisewite, has decided the time has come to move on and do something else with her life.  I for one find it terribly sad.  "Cathy" has always been a fave of mine, perfectly catching the angst and complexity of the modern single woman.  As any of my single friends can probably attest, we're constantly torn - we have a love-hate relationship with men, with our careers, with exercise, and with chocolate.  Whether through her on-again off-again relationship with Irving, or her issues with her Mother, or her boss, or the sales-lady, I could always relate to Cathy. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually.  I guess readership was down (Cathy and Irving finally got married, and I guess it's just not so exciting anymore - kind of like when Harm and Mac finally got together, or Tony and Angela, etc), and as we all know, mos

Diabetes Walk

Saturday morning I joined Angel and Max for the annual walk in support of Diabetes Research.  It was held up at "This Is The Place" State Park.  There were a ton of people there, and we had a great time walking around the park and enjoying the foothills.  Brother Brigham would have been proud of our community involvement, I'm sure.

More Changes

Still in the spirit of making changes, I made another one last week.  For several years now, I've had my emergency savings in a Credit Union.  It was a branch which was recommended by a co-worker, and was close to my work, which made it very convenient.  They were always great to work with, and over the years, they even worked with me on a couple of car loans. All was well, at least so I thought, until Linda came back to the office a few weeks ago after running to the Credit Union.  Seems the recession and the scary home loans has got the better of them, and they were forced to close the branch.  Now, there's only a few branches left, none of which are very convenient to get to in a pinch.  Soooo, it was time to move on. Friday I went in to the closest of the inconveniently placed branches, withdrew my emergency funds, and switched over to a new Credit Union.  This one came highly recommended by several friends and co-workers, and has a gazillion branches all over the Wasatch

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Aside from one's family and friends (and for women perhaps their OB/GYN), there seems to be no more enduring relationship than with one's Insurance Agent.  I for one had been with mine for 8 years.  He may be difficult to get hold of, and when I finally do, he may share a little too much, but mostly it was working.  So lately, in searching for ways to save a little extra cash (because let's face it, I don't have the nerve to break up with the cable company), I called said Insurance Agent and asked to change my deductible from $100 to $500.  This in turn saved me a whopping $7 a month.  If I went for even less coverage, it would reduce my payments by a whopping $3.50.  Are you freakin' kidding me?  I'm already paying $1,100 a year, and all you're willing to go down is a lousy ten bucks?  Granted, there's not much he can do - his hands are tied by the big evil corporation ALLSTATE.  You know, the one who is being sued because they won't pay on their ob

Say Goodbye to Mannywood

Faster than you can say "It's just Manny being Manny", my man, the braided one, departed from Dodgertown and made his entrance in Chi-town with that team from the south side.  I can't say I'm surprised, or even disappointed.  A relationship that began with so much potential totally tanked once the cat, or should I say estrogen, was out of the bag (hmmm - I think there's a lesson there).  Basically, he's been a shadow of his former self ever since he came back from his suspension.  In all this, my loyalty to the boys in blue has never wavered.  Not even with the messy and scandalous divorce the team owners are going through right now.  We've had a rough year, but for a true baseball fan, there's always next year.   So farewell to the braided one and his guaranteed salary that we dumped on the White Sox. I wish him the best, and may he be able to endure the verbal abuse he's sure to receive from Ozzie Guillen.  For my boys, it's on to bigg

House of Bread

One of the great things about my new neighborhood is this yummy little bakery called "House of Bread".  I finally went there for the first time back last month, and fell in love with their scones.  Not long after that, I had to go and try their Cinnamon Apple Bread, which I have to say was divine.  Then, I had to go back again and again.  A couple of weeks ago it was a package of day-old scones.  Needless to say, I'm a bit obsessed. For weeks now I've been hearing about how good their turkey sandwiches are, so since I took today off, I figured it was a perfect day to treat myself to one of the said sandwiches.  I walked in and the owner was working the counter.  I ordered my lunch, and she said "would you like a half-price cinnamon roll to go with that?"  Um - HECK YEAH!  Got the lunch home and it was indeed as yummy as I'd heard. So I received my Community Ed catalog this week, and I see that my beloved bakery is offering Bread-making Classes next mon

Woman in Black

For several years now, I've been trying to solve a problem.  For some reason, my church wardrobe is pretty much nothing but your basic black.  Black top, and some version of a black skirt.  Frankly, I look like I'm on my way to a funeral.  My ward members must think I'm a walking dirge.  For years now, the only skirts I've been able to find that I think look even half-way cute are black.  Not that there's a total lack of color out there in the stores, but none that seems to work for me when I try it on. The other part of my dilemma is that I finally found a more colorful skirt a couple of years ago (ok, so it's brown, which is not much better, but at least it's a start), but then for the longest time, I didn't have any matching dress shoes.  And let's face it - no woman feels quite right unless properly accessorized and all matchy-matchy. So - today I finally bit the bullet.  Unable to find a more colorful skirt, I finally went and bought myself a

Road Rash

Well, it finally happened.  It was bound to, really.  Tracie went for a bike ride this morning and boy - she bit it big time. To set the scene: It was a beautiful morning, and I'd already been for a walk.  I did a few things around the house, and then thought it seemed like a nice morning for a bike ride.  Now, I've had the bike for awhile now.  But I'm not that good on it.  I still haven't figured out how or when to shift gears, and hills are a big problem for me.  It doesn't help that my neighborhood is at the top of a small hill.  So lately I've taken to loading the bike in the car, and heading over to the old neighborhood and Liberty Park.  Basically I ride around the park for a few laps, load the bike back up and then come back home. So today, it being a beautiful morning, I followed my usual process, loaded up the bike and headed over to the park.  For some reason, along the way, I thought to myself "You know, you really ought to say a quick prayer

Arts in the Park

One of the really fun things about summertime here in Salt Lake is the many outdoor concerts and events that are available.  Several of the local parks offer free concerts and/or free movie screenings, and others offer these activities for  pretty cheap cost.  This week I got to participate in two different outdoor events.  The first was at the Brigham Young Park across the street from Church Headquarters.  The Church puts on these free summer concerts as part of their Temple Square Concert Series.  Diana, Marianne and I went down to listen to a group called "The Other Three Tenors".  The music was fun, and it was neat to watch how everyone got into the show, and even the little ones were dancing on the grass, or playing alongside the creek bank. Then last evening, Marianne invited us to go and see a community theater production of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" down at Murray Park.  It was held in an outdoor amphitheater, and was really quite good.  The dancin

Hole in One

You all know of my love for golf.  But let's face it, I'm not very good at it, and the prospect of me ever getting a hole in one is nothing if not remote.  Thankfully, there's this little game called "miniature" golf.  Last evening I went with friends to a place called "Mulligan's" to play said little game.  And for some reason, I really kicked butt (sorry guys).  Not only that, but I got my first ever HOLE IN ONE!  Here's the set-up:  I approach the green.  My date says "watch this be a hole in one".  Unbeknownst to me, his brother (who we were doubling with) says the same thing at the same time from the other side of the green.  Tracie takes a breath, putts, and sinks it!  YES!  The date was good, but a hole in one, now that's memorable.

Open Letter to Will Ferrell

Dear Mr. Ferrell, Saw your new movie last night, and all I have to say is "What a load of crap!"  I can say that truthfully because just about every other word in the movie was a vulgar term for feces.  Not only that, but the rest of the time it was all raunchy sex jokes, none of which were funny.  Also, I hope you know that there is nothing about a "Pimp" that is even remotely funny.  Ask the many exploited women in the world, and I'm pretty sure they'd agree.  If I'd had the courage to do so, I would have walked out.  I rather wish I had. Now, I know you have talent.  You were brilliant in "Elf", and even better in "Stranger Than Fiction".  Those movies were intelligent, sincere, and extremely funny, plus you got rave reviews for them.  So my question is: Why waste all that talent on school-boy humor and cheap gags that are nowhere near funny?  Really, does it take talent to come up with that lame stuff?  Seriously - it's bene

The Fifth Element

"The Fifth Element" was on the other night.  For some reason I really dig this movie.  I watch it whenever it comes on.  The story's a little convoluted, the acting's not all that great, and Bruce Willis doesn't completely work as a blonde.  But the production design is awesome, and it's a fun, witty movie.  For me, it's a modern-day movie classic. 

Open Letter to Utah Concert-goers

The only downer about any concert here is this annoying habit that Utah audiences have with leaving a show early.  Unfortunately I've seen this happen at practically every show I've ever been to here.  Frankly, it's horribly rude to both the performer's and the rest of the audience.  Here's these performers singing and playing their hearts out to give the audience a few minutes of joy, all while the thoughtless masses are trekking down the mountain just to get a few minutes jump on the traffic.  For a state that prides itself on friendliness, this is really the ultimate in disrespect for other people.  For shame.

Bravo Broadway Redux

Yesterday was time once for again for what's starting to become my annual jaunt to Park City and the Deer Valley Music Festival for Bravo Broadway.  Angel, Janeen and Bridget went with me, bless them, and we all had a terrific evening.  Along the way, we stopped off at Squatter's to pick up some take-out, then made our way up to Deer Valley.  I have to say that I really enjoy the concerts there.  They're very casual, and there's a great cross-section of people who attend.  You can bring in chairs, and food and drinks, plus it's a great mountain setting. The music was absolutely awesome.  The Utah Symphony was in fabulous form, and the Three Broadway Divas (Susan Egan, Jan Horvath, and Lisa Vroman) were incredible.  And as usual, I say along at the top of my lungs.  The weather was threatening, but it never really did rain on us, which was most fortunate.  Outdoor concerts just aren't all that much fun in the rain.  We ended the evening by stopping off at a Col

My Speciality

For the most part, I enjoy cooking.  However, there are few things that I can say that I do particularly well.  The one thing I make that is usually bound to get a good reaction is my chocolate chip cookies.  It's a pretty generic recipe, but I've added a couple of my own touches.  My family really likes them, but my co-workers go crazy for them.  This past January when our colleagues were here from the UK and the Philippines, I made some for a work party.  And they loved them too.  In fact, my friend Preeti, who lives in the UK, even asked me to make some for her to take home to her husband.  Word is that he loved them, too.  So now I consider my cookies to be world-famous.  Here's a sample for you all to drool over. I should give a word of caution, though.  Preeti is now expecting, and I'm convinced that my cookies had a little something to do with it.   A little milk, and a few cookies, and well, you know...bada bing bada baby.

My New Neighbors

Some new neighbors moved in to my bushes a month or so ago.  A father, mother, and seven little ones.  We've never really chatted, mainly because they don't speak English.  That - and they're a little skittish.  Every so often they'll come out, and I'll see them in the driveway, jabbering away to each other.  But when I try to approach they all scatter.  Last night they were out, and I decided it was time to try for a picture or two.  This time they didn't run off quite so quickly. The little ones have really grown in the last few weeks.  The parents are very good with them, teaching them how to look for food, and showing them how to fly.  I think they're a welcome addition to the neighborhood.


I may live in Utah, but I'm a big fan of Boise, as in Idaho.  I've been able to spend some time there the last few years, and think it's a great city.  It also happens to be roughly half-way between here and the home town.  It also happens to have a Holiday Inn Express.  So this past weekend, I met up with my parents and two of my nieces for a little get-away.  The trip did not necessarily start out on a good footing.  What with all the construction between here and Burley, I was darn near ready to break up with Idaho.  But thankfully the rest of the drive was uneventful, so I decided I was being a bit harsh.  I arrived at the said hotel, met up with the family, and from there we all had a great time. Among the reasons for staying at the Express was that they have free breakfast (all the girls, Aunt and Grandma included, loved the cinnamon rolls), and there's an indoor pool.  The girls couldn't wait to jump in and swim.  And being the cool aunt that I am, I jumpe

Going Meat-less

So one of my goals lately is to go meat-less.  Meaning, to eat less meat.  I don't want to go all the way vegetarian, but I do believe that it's one of those foods we should eat sparingly.  So - I've been looking for other ways to get my protein.  One of my co-workers is a vegetarian, and I've been quizzing her on how to cook with tofu, and what meat-like products she recommends.  I've also been eating a lot more beans, and I even tried my hand at a tofu stir-fry yesterday (it tasted good, but fell apart and looked more like a ground beef stir-fry).  Today after work I went to the store and bought a supply of Boca Burgers and a soy product that is supposed to look and taste like ground beef.  Then I came home and made a big batch of hummus (for those concerned about the consequences of my new diet, I also purchased a generous supply of Bean-o). I know, I know, I've said before that I would never go near tofu.  But it's one of those odd things, where it turn

Fabulous 4th and 5th

The Holiday Weekend continued yesterday.  My new ward meets in the morning, and is just a 2 minute walk away, which is incredibly convenient and attractive after so many years of going in the afternoon.  I was home by noon, changed into my casual clothes by 12:15 then started working on my dish to take to our family dinner.  While I was cooking, I watched 1776 on TCM - I really love that show, and continued reading from "Founding Mothers".   By 3:30 I was on my way to my brother's.  Played with the kids (both of the kids have new beds they were excited to show me), grilled some fruit and some chicken, then went outside and helped with the fireworks.  The kids were too excited to wait until dusk, so we actually started around 6:15.  My niece got bored pretty quick, but my nephew totally loved every minute of it, and really enjoyed helping his Dad set everything up.  We had a great evening.  I left there around 8:30, and arrived home in time to watch the rest of "A Ca

Happy 3rd of July!

The nice thing about the 4th of July being on a Sunday this year, is that it turns into a 3-day weekend.  So my celebration actually started yesterday.  It began with my braving the Ward 4th of July breakfast.  I walked across the street to the church, watched the flag ceremony, listened to a musical number, then stood around feeling pretty stupid. I stood in a corner so no one would notice me, and kept my eye out for a hasty exit.  None was really forthcoming, though, and eventually the Bishopric 1st Counselor came my way and after talking for awhile, invited me to join his family.  So I stayed for breakfast and ended up having a pleasant time visiting with them and the Bishop, who sat with us. After that, I walked home, changed clothes, and loaded up the bike in the back of the car.  My objective was to drive down to Liberty Park and ride around there.  There's just a few too many hills in my neighborhood, and I'm not that good on them yet.  And Liberty Park is pretty flat. 

Sushi Dake and the Donut Prince Part 2: Live from Beautiful Downtown Burbank

We landed in LA, then made our way to Avis, where we had reserved a car.  After stopping off at a Von's to buy some snacks and water, we set off for our hotel.  I had reserved a couple of rooms at the Holiday Inn Burbank.  It seemed like a logical place - close enough to Dodger Stadium, and close to Hollywood, and in a decent neighborhood.  Burbank seems to get a bit of a bad rap, though.  After all, with a name like that, it's a given that it won't be the most exciting place.  Sounds pretty boring.  So I wasn't expecting all that much. After a rough landing, and a drive from the airport that took us through some pretty dicey neighborhoods, as well as our first experience in LA traffic, it was a comfort to come upon the Holiday Inn.  There it was, two beautiful re-launched buildings, just waiting to welcome us.  We checked in, and went up to our rooms on the 15th floor, then went to look for a bite to eat. Luckily, we were given a recommendation for a pub/grill acro

Total Eclipse

Last night was the premiere of "Twilight: Eclipse".  So there we were at 8:30 in our reserved theater for the big event.  I'm not what I would call a "Twi-hard", but I figure I'm already this far in, I might as well be there with the rest of them for the big event.  And guess what - It was a great time.  They gave away door prizes, which people on both sides of me and Inge won - what gives?  And of course, the temperature in the theater was hotter than a werewolf's chest.  But the movie was good!  Better than "Twilight" and "New Moon" combined (which really isn't saying much).  

Sushi Dake and the Donut Prince: A Memoir of my California Adventure

Part 1: An Inauspicious Beginning My departure day dawned bright and cheery. I had a good workout, then finished up with some last minute details. I met Inge and Janeen at the airport at 10:00 AM, and Operation Dream Come True was underway. I had suggested meeting at Terminal 1 because it would not be as busy. (Explanatory note: Those familiar with the Salt Lake International Airport know there are two terminals. Since it’s a Delta Hub, most traffic goes through Terminal 2, which is the Delta Terminal. This also makes it the busiest, with the longest security line. A few years ago, a TSA person suggested I go through Terminal 1 because it was a lot quicker, which it turned out to be. So I’ve used it ever since.) On this day, at 10:00 AM, Terminal 1 was the busiest I’ve ever seen. But, we still made it through security in good time, then went off to our gate to wait to board. For several years now, I’ve traveled the same way – my carry-on luggage bag, an extra bag, and my purse. I li

So Long Pinky!

Pinky, being the California Girl that she is, has decided to leave us, and move home to the land of fun, sun, stars, and surf.  Can't say that I'm thrilled by this, I mean, one would think just having me close by would be enough to sway her to stay.  But alas.  So, tonight we met Inge at our beloved Spaghetti Factory, for one last Manager's Special. So long Pink. Farewell, auf weidersehen, goodbye.  See you soon!  Ciao!

Update - Bring on the Bike

Well, the offered bike has finally arrived.  Said co-worker brought it on Thursday, but one of the tires was low, so he took that and fixed it.  I finally got the bike home yesterday, and this morning I took it out for a trial run.  I have to say that it was not without a high degree of nervousness.  I haven't been on a bike in "several" years, and it's a lot higher off the ground than I remember.  I had visions of a minor catastrophe occurring just trying to leave the driveway.  But, properly attired with a helmet, I went for it.  I survived and rode around the neighborhood for 25 minutes or so. As soon as I have someone else around, I'll share some pictures.

Operation Dream Come True - Game Night

Home now, back to work, and recovering from the Dream Come True trip.  So many adventures, that it's too much for one blog.  But I think I'm going to write it up in book form. Absent any narrative, I'll just say that the trip was great, and Dodger Stadium was all that I had hoped, except for the team's "slight" off night, losing 10-1.  Alas, you'd think they'd have known it would be bad form to lose after I'd come all that way.  Nevertheless, I've attached a few photos of the big night.  Enjoy!

Simple Living

I n case you all were not already aware, I am quite a geek. And I have to say, sometimes, there's just nothing on television as appealing as public television. As even further evidence of my geekness, sometimes I'll watch the USU extension channel. There's a particular show on that channel called "Simple Living". It's hosted by a woman named Wanda Urbanska (how's that for being one of the weirdest TV host names ever). Anyway - Her show is all about getting back to basics, cutting out the clutter of our lives, living frugally, and doing more with less.  Kind of like the depression-era phrase "Use it up, make it do, or do without". Sometimes it's a pretty appealing message. I was reading an article about her that appeared in today's Deseret News, and in that article, she provided 12 steps for Simple Living. Some of them I do currently, and some of them I'm not so good at. But in the spirit of sharing helpful information, here they are

The Countdown Begins

Like I haven't already been counting down, but in 2 days, Operation Dream Come True commences.  For then I will be in LA, and the day after that, in Dodger Stadium.  I'm too excited for words!   My Dodgers gear and my game ticket are even already packed. I've already planned what to wear, and let's just say that I will be totally decked out - hat, jersey, and courtesy of my dear mother, a Dodgers bracelet and purse for the occasion.

Wish I'd Had this in College

Saw this article online today, and was impressed.  I wish I'd had an instructor as creative as this.  Maybe communication would not be so difficult as it is for me sometimes. I did have a professor of Roman History, who had us all on a Friday night play a live version game of Rome.  It was kind of like "Survivor", but Roman Style.  We each played a real character, and had to play for control of Rome during the time of Caesar, Antony, and Octavian.  Dr. Hall would run around in character as Jupiter (King of the Roman Gods), and every time we saw him, we had to say "Ave Jupiter".  Fun, but not necessarily life-altering.

Bring on the Bike

This year, at my work at least, it seems to be all about bikes.  Several of the guys ride their bikes to and from work, and the company is officially a "bicycle friendly workplace."  They're trying to encourage everyone to take up bike riding.  So for the last little while, I've been contemplating getting a bike.  I used to love riding bikes when I was a kid.  It was my main mode of transportation.  I rode it all over the neighborhood, and we had all sorts of shortcut trails through the neighborhood to get to friends houses.  But that all pretty much stopped with the whole learning to drive thing.  And now, it's been many years since I've actually ridden a bike.  Howevuh - lately I have been thinking about getting a bike.  What with the new abode, I have a little more space to store one.  Plus, I live so close to the Park now, and I could easily ride over there and do a couple of laps.  And it would be a fun way to get some physical activity in.  Mind you, nev