Friday, May 22, 2009

Utah Trip

For my graduation from BYU, and to pick up Lindsay from school, we drove to Utah last month. All of us. In one car. It was glorious. No seriously, we had a lot of fun. We watched a bunch of movies, nobody got really carsick, and we enjoyed the forced bonding. While we were there, we ate super delicious food (Costa Vida- which we decided was way better than Cafe Rio, sorry!- Old Spaghetti Factory and Kneader's), sat on uncomfortable seats for way too long, got up really early for convocation (who wants to walk at 8 in the morning?!), visited with family and saw some amazing things.

Amazing thing #1:
While driving through BYU campus, we had to stop for a family of ducks. They were trying to get to one of the many ponds on campus and we all just died watching them. I got some pretty great pictures from inside the car. We could not believe how many ducklings this mom had! Talk about a handful! They had to jump the curb to get to the pond, and we weren't sure they were going to make it because the first duckling kept missing it. Luckily, they made it, and dad duckling was anxiously awaiting them just on the other side. Tender, really.

Amazing Thing #2:
Friday night we took a mini-trip up to Salt Lake to walk around Temple Square and find something to eat. The girls had never been, so it was fun to look at everything. We got to talk to some wonderful sister missionaries from cool places and guess where they were from based on the flags on their nametags.

Afterwards, I decided since we were in SLC, we needed to stop at one of America's most famous high schools. (Thanks, Shan, for the prompt address look-up.)

When we got to East High, it started pouring and mom and dad wouldn't get out of the car. It doesn't mean as much to them, I guess. It was up to us girls to get a good picture. We walked around to the back where you could look in from huge floor-to-ceiling windows. A woman was leaving right as we walked up and I'm still kicking myself that I didn't stick my toe in the door and get in. Didn't want to risk the jail time. These were the best pictures I could get, and we all had a moment of silence and awe to be standing where Zac Efron once stood. Just so you can compare, here's pictures that I took of the cafeteria and then some from the movie.

Amazing Thing #3:
While walking around Salt Lake, we stumbled upon this amazing house. We all decided we would move in on the spot and it would be amazing. Anybody know how much something like this costs? I'm sure we could swing it, if everyone pooled their allowances. That is, if we even got allowances.

pictures of actual graduation to come soon

Monday, May 18, 2009

Movie Review

Star Trek

People keep saying how they didn't expect Star Trek to be good but were pleasantly surprised. I actually expected a lot from the movie, and I thought it was pretty great. J.J. Abrams, the director and producer, is the mastermind behind shows like Felicity, Alias, and LOST. I knew he was going to make Star Trek relevant and yet still appeal to hard-core fans. I loved how he snuck in favorite actors like Greg Gunberg, Amanda Foreman, and Jennifer Morrison. I was also so excited to see Zachary Quinto in such a big role. I've loved him since day one on Heroes, even though he was a super bad guy. Chris Pine was also great, and I think he does really well in the leading man role. I'm now very intrigued with the whole Star Trek franchise and want to see some old episodes and compare.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Since I missed Wicked the first time it came into Portland, I was so excited to hear it would be coming again this Spring. We managed to get pretty good seats for all six of us (Lindsay was still at school, although she saw it on Broadway) and even though it was way too expensive, it was so worth it.

Once the original cast finished their run, I made up my mind that the other performers couldn't possibly be as good. Idina and Kristin are pretty much the best, in my opinion, so I honestly didn't have high expectations, but I was blown away! I was moved to tears probably three or four times. The staging was amazing, the ladies who played Galinda and Elphaba were phenomenal, and I loved finally learning how the story and the songs fit together. I hope the trend of turning musicals into movies continues with Wicked.

on a side note, was anyone else loving seeing Idina and husband Taye Diggs together on Private Practice? with fellow Broadway alum Audra McDonald as a series regular, I was a little disappointed they didn't break into song!

Book Review

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

While I was in D.C., some of my students were reading The Lightning Thief for a book group. I loved the idea of introducing students to mythology through a fiction series and a well-written one at that. I started in on the series as soon as I got back home, and am now on the fourth. They are intended for young teens, but they are interesting enough for adults. I have learned so much about Greek mythology and really enjoy Percy's adventures. Check them out!