Monthly Archives: March 2008


30 Mar

Mountains of Mashed Potatoes

Posted by on March 30, 2008 at 7:40 pm

On Thursday Jason, Jeremy Sabin, Aaron Blakely, and I went snowboarding at Sundance Resort. Novell had arranged for their employees to get super cheap lift tickets so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity even though we weren’t sure how good the snow would be this late in the season.

I also really wanted to go one more time before the season was over to improve my toe carving and cement it in a little more so next season I wouldn’t feel like I was starting all over again. I even got my physical therapist to approve this outing. After five weeks of therapy he thought boarding would be a good test to see how much my ankle had improved.

When we first got to Sundance we rode the Arrowhead lift all the way to the top. This proved to be a less than wonderful idea. The snow at the top, due to melting and refreezing, was basically like a solid sheet of ice. It was extremely difficult for me, a boarding novice, to control my board well. Even the boys had some spills due to the hard surface. You only had to fall once to realize just how compact that snow was. It was like falling on concrete; the bruises on my knees attest to the fact.

After one trip down we decided that we needed to come up with a new plan to avoid having to do anymore ice boarding. We opted to eat an early lunch at the Bearclaw cabin at the top and then ride down to the lower regions. Our hope was that by the time we finished our lunch the snow would have warmed up and become a little slushier and that down in the lower areas of the mountain it would be slushier still. This plan worked splendidly. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and the snow the rest of the day was slushy and soft.

Sundance

Sundance

In the nice slushy snow, referred to as “mashed potatoes” by Aaron, I practiced my toe carving. I am absolutely thrilled to report that I got the hang of it. I could still use some more practice to become a little more graceful, but I was actually doing real toe carving! This may not seem like much of a feat but it has been many years in the making and for me it is a major accomplishment. I have to say that boarding is a much different experience when you are able to carve and link carves. I’ve always enjoyed this sport but it is so much more fun now! Wow! What a difference!

The boys already have my boarding plan mapped out for me. Toe carving was first-next is supersonic speed, and then wicked mad tricks.

Thanks boys for cheering me on Thursday! Maybe someday I’ll actually be able to keep up with you…maybe.

Also as a side note-for any of you considering going boarding or skiing one more time this year-there is still plenty of snow. We only noticed a couple patches where the ground was exposed, so if you hurry you can get one more time in. I’m actually very tempted to try to go one more time in the next few weeks-but I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull it off.

29 Mar

Making the World in Miniature

Posted by on March 29, 2008 at 6:12 am

My niece, Madison, got an American Girl doll for Christmas. For those of you who were never little girls and do not have little girls, you may not be familiar with the American Girl dolls. The American Girl dolls are believed by many to be the epitome of what a doll should be. They are 18” tall and pricier than most dolls (about $90). You can buy just about any accessory for them imaginable; you can even buy matching outfits for your little girl and her doll. There are also several shrines to American Girls located randomly throughout the country. The closest one is in California.

Sewing AG clothes with Madison

Sewing AG clothes with Madison

It seems all little girls love American Girl dolls and easily get sucked into their cute miniature world. Madison has definitely been obsessed with American Girls since she got her doll, Felicity. She has now added Josephina to her collection as well.

Tiny parts to a tiny dress

Tiny parts to a tiny dress

 

Since the little outfits for these dolls run about $30 apiece, I decided to offer my sewing services to Madison. Thus far I have sewed 4 outfits for her dolls. For those of you who are thinking that sewing little doll clothes would be a cheap and simple task, let me bring you back to reality. Although the outfits I have made have virtually cost me nothing since I used scraps of fabric from other sewing projects, the time involved in making these miniature clothes is much more than you would expect.

American Girl Princess Dress

American Girl Princess Dress

 

I have been sewing for many years and have undertaken numerous complicated and time intensive sewing projects, such as a civil war period dress reproduction. So I was expecting sewing these doll clothes to take very little buy lasix from uk time, a common error amongst sewing enthusiasts. However, when you are used to working with a 5/8” seam, a ¼” seam can be quite frustrating. I have learned that you have to be much more exact with doll clothes and that that precision takes time. So if you are tempted by the cheap price tag to try sewing clothes for an American Girl doll just remember to give yourself plenty of time, and don’t expect it to be an easy task.

Another AG dress

Another AG dress

 

With that said, my niece loves the outfits I have made and I have promised to make a couple more before I retire from tailoring these tiny clothes.

Yet another dress

Yet another dress

 

I have also learned from Madison that while clothes are nice, dolls need more than just outfits, they need somewhere to rest their heads. Last Saturday my friend Robyn, who is an expert seamstress, invited me and Madison over to her house for an American Girl party and sewing extravaganza. Madison was all over this. Robyn’s girls, Rebecca and Nicole, have all sorts of American Girl clothes, furniture, and accessories; Madison was in heaven. Another friend of mine, David, brought his two little girls and so, while Robyn and I sewed, the girls went crazy with their dolls, 8 dolls in total. The dolls even had a picnic with American Girl sized grilled cheese sandwiches and cupcakes while their larger counterparts ate their lunch.

An AG picnic with Quinci and Madison

An AG picnic with Quinci and Madison

 

Robyn and I were able to make mattresses, bedspreads, and pillows for each of their dolls while the girls played.

All the dolls with their beds

All the dolls with their beds

 

Those little ladies are already plotting to have another American Girl party sometime in the near future.

26 Mar

The Brain Collective

Posted by on March 26, 2008 at 5:05 am

Jason attended Brainshare last week. For some of you, the word “Brainshare” may conjure up images of something resembling the Borg collective. But no, Brainshare is Novell’s geek-a-thon convention held every year at the Salt Palace. Although the arrival of Brainshare means Jason will have to work long hours and will be sharing very little of his brain with me, there is one good thing about it-the Brainshare concert.

As part of their geek celebration each year Novell has a concert at the Energy Solutions Arena just for Brainshare attendees and Novell employees. Jas and I quite enjoy these concerts; they actually bring in some quality talent for this event. The concerts typically consist of a comedian as an opening act and then some form of musical entertainment. Bands that have been part of the show in the past include Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows, and Train.

The comedian this year was Frank Caliendo. I had never heard of him before but he was hilarious. His impersonations were impressive and quite entertaining.

The band performing this year was Collective Soul. I am a fan of Collective Soul and have been to their show once before. They didn’t disappoint.

Our Rock and Roll Posse

Our Rock and Roll Posse

Based off the quantity of geeks at this event, and the anti-social nature of the typical geek, one would expect the audience to be rather blasé, but they were not. This may have been due to the amount of alcohol most of them had consumed rather than any inherent social skills. Either way, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one enjoying myself.

Jason was able to procure enough tickets to the concert for us to invite Jim and Cindy Brown, and Tom and Aimee Brown (yes, they are brothers) to join us. My sister Kristen and her boyfriend Johnny were also able to attend, so we had our own little concert posse to chill with. It rocked!

21 Mar

Practically a Patty?

Posted by on March 21, 2008 at 4:22 am

St Patrick’s Day: the day we celebrate gold-hoarding miniature men and mutant clover plants. St Patty’s day is celebrated here in American by those of Irish and not-so-Irish descent, a great tribute to the melting pot that is our culture. Why all the bother when we aren’t living in Ireland and most of us aren’t even Irish? Who knows? But hey, it’s an excuse to turn things unnaturally green and annoy everyone by pinching them incessantly, so why not?

Rae with loot

Rae with loot

Jason decided that although he isn’t a tad bit Irish, and I am most likely not either, that we needed to do a little St Patrick’s Day celebrating. So he bought me various food items that had absolutely nothing Irish about them, but were in green packaging, which, as far as he was concerned, counted. One of these items was a six-pack of non-alcoholic malted beverage, or O’Doul’s. Yummy! Not only were the bottles green, there’s that “O” in the name, so he considered them doubly Irish. He also bought me Irish Springs soap…maybe I stink. The crowning achievement of his St. Patty’s day cleverness was buying me a Green Day CD. He still laughs periodically and tells me, “Green Day…get it?” to remind me of just how enormously funny he is.

So there you have it, you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but apparently having a silly husband helps.

17 Mar

The Secret Life of a Bunko Player

Posted by on March 17, 2008 at 4:32 am

Most of you ladies are part of it, and most of you men wonder why- I am speaking of the bunko phenomenon. We women get together once a month to roll dice for a couple hours and you men just can’t fathom how this would be entertaining.

Well, since I too belong to a bunko group let me enlighten you and invite you into the secret world of women-and bunko.

Acting silly at bunko

Acting silly at bunko

First of all, we don’t talk about you much; you’re really not that interesting. Secondly, bunko doesn’t turn into an episode of Dr. Phill or a Girls Gone Wild video. Sorry boys, I know I just ruined most of your bunko fantasies.

The ladies of bunko

The ladies of bunko

So what DOES go on at bunko? Well, you already know that the game itself is simply rolling dice and trying to get certain numbers on certain rounds. This may seem uninteresting, but the truth is that the game is secondary to what else we are doing while we are playing it. And no, what else we are doing does not involve making a voodoo doll of your mom. What are we doing? We are trash talking each other and joking around about things that have nothing to do with anything important at all. You see boys, we use bunko as a way of letting the things that we worry about constantly (and as women I can assure you there are things we worry about constantly) out of our minds for a couple hours. We forget that we have a big deadline coming up at work or that we need to take our kids to ballet and soccer practice tomorrow. Whatever it is that overloads us is temporary forgotten and we are just a bunch of friends giving each other a hard time and laughing at the sometimes absurd things we do.

Rollin and Chillin

Rollin and Chillin

The great thing about bunko is that after every round you switch partners (I mean this in a strictly non Girls Gone Wild way). This gives you a chance to catch up with all your old friends and get to know soon-to-be friends as you are sitting across the table from each other.

So there you have it boys, the uninteresting truth. We girls get silly, bash each other, say things verging on ridiculous, catch up on each other’s lives, and laugh a lot at bunko. Now you know the secrets of bunko, of course the secrets of women are a whole other matter…and I guarantee you will never figure those out.