Monthly Archives: February 2010


24 Feb

The Flash at Last

Posted by on February 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Jason and I went to a Flash game last week. What’s the Flash you ask? If you live in Utah Valley and need to ask this question then you must be completely unaware of your surroundings.

The Utah Flash is a NBA team that is based in Orem; they are part of the NBA’s development league. Although this is only their third season, they received the title of division champions last year. They play at the McKay Events center at UVU and tickets for their games start at only $8. Yeah, eight dollars, it doesn’t get much cheaper than that.

Since we had never been to a Flash game I decided it was about time we attended one but I wasn’t sure if it would end up being worth the effort. Here’s what I found:

The players were surprisingly good, the game was quite entertaining, and our view was excellent! For the price, you won’t get closer seats at any decent sporting event; we were 12 rows back from the court and our tickets only cost $19 apiece. The atmosphere was very family friendly; there were kids everywhere! I would estimate that about half of the spectators were children and most of them really seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was neat to see so many kids cheering and getting into the game. It wasn’t so cool, however, to be bombarded in the back continually by children that were being improperly supervised and running up and down the aisles. This brings me to my next point and Rachel Pet Peeve #3. Parents who take their pack of kids to a public event, movie, or party and act like it’s someone else’s responsibility to keep those kids inline, or think that just because they don’t mind that their children are running amuck that no one else does, should be disqualified from procreating. Seriously people, do you not realize how annoying your kids are? If you don’t want to take care of them then, for crying out loud, don’t bring them! It isn’t someone else’s job to discipline them! Geeze! Anyway…now that I’ve gotten that off my chest let’s move on…besides the out of control youngsters, the game was a fun experience.

Although there were quite a few people at the game, you can tell from this photo that they could use a few more fans.

Although there wasn’t as much pomp accompanying this game as you would find at a Jazz one, the location was close, the tickets economical, and the match still enjoyable so I’m sure we will be going to another Flash game soon. And hopefully next time the parents that aren’t interested in watching their children will leave them at home…or at least won’t sit directly in back of us.

18 Feb

All We Need is Love

Posted by on February 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Valentine’s Day is always a treat for me because not only do I get to hang out with my most favorite person on the planet but I also usually get to eat some awesome food and do something cool. Does this make me a cheese queen? Absolutely. Am I proud of it? Absolutely. By the way, this post is oozing with cheese…consider yourself forewarned.

This is the group of friends we celebrated our marriage with.

This is the group of friends we celebrated our marriage with.

Last Friday Jas and I continued our Valentine’s Day festivities by attending “A Celebration of Marriage” with a group of our friends. This yearly happening consists of dinner and lectures on ways to improve your marriage. Sounds lame right? Well, it was actually quite interesting, thought provoking, and fun. Jason is a pretty darn perfect husband so he doesn’t need much in way of advice, but I think we both walked away from the event with a few ideas on how we could make our relationship even better. Thanks Fran for organizing our group’s attendance!

Finally! I got a decent picture of Jason taking a jump. He may not be Shaun White but he

Finally! I got a decent picture of Jason taking a jump. He may not be Shaun White but I think he's very talented.

On Valentine’s Day itself Jason and I woke up, checked the snow report at Brighton (6 new inches overnight), and decided to go boarding on a whim. It turned out to be an excellent idea. The snow was soft and the weather lovely. When Jason and I got home from our boarding expedition I quickly shifted gears and begin preparations for the romantic candlelight dinner that I had planned. I made Shrimp Scampi with Linguini, Lemon-Butter Green Beans with Pine Nuts, and a Mexican Chocolate Crème Brulee. Everything was quite tasty but the crème brulee was delectable! At the bottom was a band of creamy cinnamon syrup that was concealed beneath the rich chocolaty custard. Topping this heavenly indulgence was oven roasted brown sugar caramelized to perfection with the help of my kitchen torch. Fab-u-lous! The charm of the occasion was accentuated by twinkling tea lights and scattered rose petals…and of course great company. After all, any dinner with my best friend, who happens to be hilarious and adorable, couldn’t be anything less than amazing.

This

I set the table for a lovely private dinner.

On a side-note, I know a lot of people detest Valentine’s Day: the crowds, the mushiness, the PDA. Yes, restaurants and theaters are usually quite packed on Valentine’s Day but if you never go out among the love struck masses I think you are missing something. This year Jason and I skirted the V-Day crowds, not by design but simply because that’s how my event timing turned out, and to be honest I kind of missed the craziness. So what’s so appealing about being in the throngs of V-Day couples? When you go out on Valentine’s Day you are surrounded by people holding hands, snuggling, staring contentedly at each other. Everywhere you look there are couples on their first dates, excited but awkward, married couples that are relieved just to have a few hours away from their kids, older couples that have been together for practically their whole lives yet you get the sense as they chuckle and hold hands that those lifetimes haven’t been long enough. What’s more, you can tell that this occasion means something to all these people by the way they have dolled themselves up for their special someone even if that someone has been with them for many years and has seen them every morning with their hair askew and their face smeared with mascara.

When you go out on Valentine’s Day it’s easy to be so enthralled with your partner that you are hardly aware of what passes beyond your tiny sphere but if you take a moment to glance around you you realize that this holiday really isn’t just about the two of you and your little bubble of bliss. The multitudes of pairs dining near you are there for the same reason you are and when you see the adoration and respect you feel for the person sitting across the table from you echoed in their faces as they gaze at each other you appreciate just how much love binds us as human beings. As you glimpse at the crowds you understand that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about celebrating our partnerships, it’s about celebrating our commonalties and connections as human beings. We all need love…and maybe the Beatles were right, maybe that is all we need….well, that and perhaps some flowers, or chocolates, or expensive perfume…

10 Feb

The Perfect Pair and a Big Daddy

Posted by on February 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Valentine’s Day activity planning was my task this year. I opted for something Jason was sure to love: spending a couple days at the Canyons Resort and on the slopes. (The terrific “Pair Pass” deals the Canyons has right now made the choice a relatively easy one.)

This was one of those self taken snapshots.

This is one of those cheesy self-taken snapshots but I still like it.

Although the Canyons Resort is historically important to both of us, we haven’t boarded there in years. For Jason it represents the magnificence of his glory days. While he was in college he got season passes there every year and literally arranged his whole life, and school schedule, to optimize his time on the mountain. The Canyons for me holds significance of the bittersweet variety: my very first attempt at boarding took place there. Ah yes…the pain, the misery, the beginnings of a hobby that I now absolutely love.

I got a better picture of Jason jumping this time...at least in one sense. He looks a little like an eagle impersonator in this shot.

I decided that rather than squishing everything into Valentine’s Day weekend I would prolong the fun by taking Jason up to the Canyons the weekend before. Jason, as expected, was very excited about my Park City plan. We headed up on Thursday night and had a delightful dinner at Café Terigo. (If you ever go there I would highly recommend their bread pudding with hot butter rum sauce. It’s divine!) The next morning we woke up, put on our snow gear, walked a couple minutes to the gondola, and headed up the mountain. Ahhhhh….the simple pleasures of waking up and moseying on out to the lift. Does life get any sweeter? Hint: the correct response is “no”.

This is me on Saddleback, a run that was once my nemesis.

This is me on Saddleback, a run that was once my nemesis. We are good buddies now.

It snowed practically the entire morning as we boarded, which helped to make the runs decent, but sadly the snow was still not as excellent as it could have been. Nevertheless, we relished our chance to ride the Canyons’ seemingly infinite terrain. I also found great satisfaction in riding down Saddleback, the very first run I tried to board over a decade ago. I too vividly remember that first endeavor; it was an endless succession of falling. It took me over an hour to make it back down to the lift and my knees and butt were so bruised I could have been mistaken for a chimney sweep. That’s why I found great pleasure in riding this hill once again and not falling, not taking over an hour, and not bruising myself. Yes, the ecstasy of no longer being a beginner is astounding.

Here's Jason outside our lodge trying to look tough.

After a full day of boarding Jas and I were not done gallivanting about. We headed down to Salt Lake City to see the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy play with the Utah Symphony. Wow! I’ve always been a fan of these guys but they were even better live than I had anticipated! After the concert I got to meet the band and get their autographs. Their lead singer even graciously offered to take a picture with me. Sweet!

Here I am with Scotty Morris of the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

I must say that my Park City plans worked out quite well but, then again, planning is one of my fortes.

Although our weekend was lovely, the Valentine’s Day surprises aren’t over for Jason. Next weekend is sure to bring awesomeness! Awesomeness that will certainly be the topic of another longwinded Rachel blog.

3 Feb

The Three S’s

Posted by on February 3, 2010 at 7:59 pm

It’s that time of year again. The time when thousands of film geeks, thespians, drama queens, movie stars, and posers descend upon Utah: the Sundance Film Festival. Every year Jason and I go through the hassle of getting tickets and the annoyance of waiting in long theater lines just to be a part of the madness, but we never regret it. This year went to 4 shows over the course of 5 days. Our first film, Lovers of Hate, had a fantastic Q&A afterwards with nearly all of the cast and the writer/director. Attending our next film, Four Lions, was a truly crazy experience. We arrived half an hour early and yet the best seats available were in the far side of the third row. The theater was so packed and the staff was being so strict about not saving seats that attendees that went to the bathroom or concession stand were in real danger of losing their chairs. The best show we saw this year, Boy, was filmed in New Zealand and starred the most adorable kid. It was a charming film brimming with nostalgic innocence.

My friend David came with me and Jas to a couple shows. Here we are waiting in the cold for the Four Lions line to start moving.

My friend David came with me and Jas to a couple Sundance shows. Here we are waiting out in the cold for the Four Lions line to start moving.

We squeezed the viewing of these movies in between work, multiple family birthday parties, snowshoeing, and snowboarding…yes, all in a five day period.

I tried to get a picture of Jason taking a jump. This was my best success.

I tried to get a picture of Jason taking a jump. This was my best success.

Our day spent boarding in the midst of festival going was a delightful interlude. The snow was only mediocre but the sun and warm weather made for a fantastic time!

Yes, I am knee deep in fresh powder and I did just claim that the snow was

Yes, I am knee deep in fresh powder and I did just claim that the snow was only "mediocre". We Utah boarders are pretty spoiled when it comes to snow.

As soon as Jason and I returned home from boarding I packed up again and left for another adventure. My friend Fran had arranged for a girls’ escapade that night. A group of us ladies went snowshoeing at Sundance Resort under the guidance of the full moon. We hiked through vast fields of shimmering snow while the enormous moon drooped in the sky above us. Its glow seemed to make the whole world glisten and was only interrupted by the dappled shadows of the ghostly barren aspens that cut the skyline. Wow! It was absolutely breathtaking! After snowboarding all day and snowshoeing into the night I was completely exhausted when I returned home but very pleased with myself and what I had experienced. The following day Jason and I were back at the film festival and back into the lively cinema crowds – never a dull moment!

Isn

Isn't it gorgeous!

What an insane and fun week! We were never home and constantly tired but man did we have a blast!