Monthly Archives: November 2011

30 Nov

Up ‘Til Breaking Dawn

Posted by on November 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I’m a Twilight fan. I admit it and I even willingly add my giggles to the screams of teenagers and rabid moms every time another bit of the saga debuts on the big screen.

My friend Wendy and I have gone to midnight showings of the last two Twilight films and we decided this was a tradition we wanted to continue with the new flick, Breaking Dawn Part I. Jason happily tagged along with us ladies for some “Romance in Rio” amid the fabricated rainforests of The Mayan restaurant before the movie premier. We hung out in artificial treetops and ate plenty of counterfeit Mexican food while awaiting the arrival of the midnight hour and our screen-sized monster babes.

The movie itself was entertaining but it did have some rough spots. The soundtrack for the first 15 minutes was way too cheesy. It seemed more appropriate for a religious propaganda film where Jimmy finds his morals than for a pop movie involving vampires and werewolves. And the scene where the wolves read each other’s minds? I dare you not to laugh.

We still had a great time though. How can you not have a blast when surrounded by the earsplitting ambiance of middle-aged women shrieking over their favorite supernatural heartthrobs?

The excellent company, extreme fans, sleep deprivation, first-rate cheese, and plethora of moody bloodsuckers combined perfectly to form the finest of memories.

23 Nov

The Dice of Paradise

Posted by on November 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm

It was my turn to host bunco this month and I decided, since it seems like Utah has already had more than its share of winter, that a little tropical escape was in order. So I planned a bunco luau and we ladies rolled the dice island style.

The exotic foodstuffs were in no short supply: coconut cupcakes, fresh mango and pineapple wedges, hand-squeezed strawberry guava lemonade, luau pork, Jamaican jerk chicken, and chips with pineapple salsa.

Making the setting properly exotic was a relatively easy task. I’m a party girl so I had quite a few decorations from previous island themed gatherings. And believe me, nothing says paradise like some fake tropical blooms and plastic Hawaiian gods. Jason even lit tiki torches out in our front yard to spark the mood as the girls approached.

Most of the ladies dressed in their island best. We were a throng of sarongs, bikinis, and leis. I chose to break out my summer attire and wear something very similar to what I dressed in last time I was in Hawaii.

The refreshments were perhaps not completely authentic but they were tasty and plentiful. I made coconut cupcakes from scratch and fresh squeezed strawberry guava lemonade. The rest of the grub was provided by Rumbi Island Grill. Their luau pork and Jamaican jerk rice bowls were delish.

I think the sweet pineapple and relaxing Hawaiian melodies successfully soothed the 30 degree weather and eminent snowfall from the minds of my guests, at least until the subarctic winter night blasted them with a frigid reminder that Utah ain’t no temperate paradise.

16 Nov

A Cornucopia of Fall Festivities

Posted by on November 16, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Even though our party is a huge time sucker, Jason and I love Halloween too much to let the seasonal festivities stop there. Here’s a little of what else we squished into our October to make it merrily scary:

Corn that tall is automatically ominous.

The two of us spent an evening at Hee Haw Farms misplacing ourselves in the endless circling paths of their corn maze, eating scrumptious freshly made donuts, and racing down the potato sack slide. Hee Haw truly does have the best corn maze around. They must grow mutant plants because those stalks are menacingly high.

What a bunch of manly men sitting on their pumpkin friends.

The bigger the group the longer the lost. We definitely lost it for a while in the corn maze.

Children of the corn or just some corny kids?

Those bucks are at least 20 pointers.

We let our juvenile tendencies run amuck on our annual outing to Cornbelly’s. While the corn at this maze looks a little short and stumpy compared to Hee Haw’s long creepy stems, the courtyard activities at Cornbelly’s are second to none. Our group of friends sampled many of those courtyard attractions including the ones that aren’t necessarily meant for kiddies our size. We played a whole lot of cornball, which is pretty much volleyball except with a ball so huge I can barely grasp it in my stubby arms. We also got spooked in the chaos castle, jostled around on a bumpy hayride, and bloodied on the slides as we competed for speediest descent.

We may have wandered around in the stalks for much longer than is customary but we did finally emerge victorious!

I blended right in with all the other pumpkin heads.

We graceful ladies squashed those pumpkins.

Although All Hallows’ Eve arrived less than 48 hours after our massive party, and we had definitely not recovered yet, we still couldn’t pass on brewing up some uncanny cuisine for our Halloween dinner. We made spider web trap, which is a yummy but disgusting looking combination of spaghetti squash and gnocchi, along with cheddar eyeballs and chocolate spider clusters. It was all disturbingly delicious!

These cute spiders were messy to make but tasty to eat.

Yes, I’d say we adequately celebrated our favorite holiday. We may be busier than a bat at a blood bank during October but Halloween just isn’t Halloween without some terrifyingly corny traditions.

10 Nov

Mr. Darcy Likes to Party!

Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

That creepy time of year was just here and another Halloween meant another Sabin Halloween party. We did it again and it was just as much work and amusement as always.

This year it was my turn to decide our costumes. I have long wanted to go as characters from one of my favorite books, Pride and Prejudice, so that’s what I chose.

My hairdresser did my Bennet do. She’s a big Austen fan so I knew my strands were in good hands.

Jason looked yummy dressed as Mr. Darcy. Good thing because his costume was quite the pain to sew. Most of its components were made from actual 1800’s patterns since they were my only option. I basically had to create my own modern instructions for these antique designs.

We had a great turnout of friends and family. They all came clad in their best disguises ready to flaunt their haunt.

Making the same decorations look different each year is always a challenge. I guess we succeeded this time because several of our guests commented on all the “new” items we had bought.

Jason turned our basement ceiling into a billowing tapestry of festive lights.

My recipe for creepy: skulls, crows, spiders, moss, and crispy dead flowers. 

Bingo was popular once again with both adults and children. We played enough rounds that those who walked away with a prize or two outnumbered the luckless.

Jeremy took home the prize for best dressed with his energetic portrayal of the Nyan Cat. 

The beaten and disemboweled pinata somehow ended up on Matt’s head.

Lauren came as Buddy, my favorite elf. She won 3rd place in the costume contest so obviously others favor that north pole homeboy as well. 

The kiddies were as eager to bat the piñata as ever. I don’t think there is a child out there that doesn’t enjoy smacking something with a stick until its insides gush out.

The Ashleys depicted Tobias from Arrested Development with an assortment of peculiar outfits.

This year our skeletons painted the cemetery red with their spooky spirits and party hats.

Our nephew Jadon rocked his DJ Lance Rock outfit.

The costume contest was pretty cutthroat this year. I was very impressed with the fabulous and creative attire concocted by many of our guests. In the end Jeremy Rowley took home the prize for best dressed with his original and disturbing portrayal of the Nyan Cat but there were a lot of other contestants that gave him a run for his rainbow.

Our talking harvester may be a little too scary for the average youngster so we made sure there was plenty of distance between him and our door.

We converted our living room into the halls of Hogwarts. The little kids thought the transformation was charming.

I gave our front room a ghostly wash with a monochromatic palette.

It was a fun night that only took months of prep work to put together and, if all goes well, in a few weeks our house may be nearly back to normal.

Who says beards and heels aren’t a perfect combo? Penny’s costume won 2nd place so I guess they nearly are.

Carley and James came as a comedic duo: a banana and a whoopee cushion.

This sinister scene set the mood as guests entered our spooked-out home.

Many thanks to all of you who rocked our get-together. We love giving our friends, and ourselves, an excuse to dress up and celebrate the scary.

Matt and Tabatha survived the zombie apocalypse only to be defeated in the best group category by one vote.

The Kreepy Klubhouse was meant for the tiny kiddies but it became “the party house” after half a dozen adults sardined themselves into it.

So come on Darcy let’s go party!

4 Nov

The Glitz and Glamour of Science

Posted by on November 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm

If there is a word that means “beyond famous” you can look that word up in the dictionary and see a picture of me.

I’ve been giving lectures, along with various other SCC board members, to chemistry students at universities around the state. The latest of these presentations was at BYU in honor of national chemistry week.

Somehow this lecture landed me and Ryan, my co-presenter, an invitation to appear on a live talk show called Insight with Jon Du Pre that is broadcasted on BYUTV. Yes, I did say “live” as in lots of opportunities for blurting out baffling responses that cannot be edited into coherency.

Jon Du Pre was a very friendly fellow. I guess talk show hosts do need to be easy to talk to.

Ryan and I agreed to be on this program without really knowing what to expect. Apparently we should have counted on some nerves, a little mayhem, and a whole lot of blush.

As soon as I arrived at the studio I was whisked into makeup. My look was glamorized, or depastified rather, with seemingly endless layers of foundation and eye shadow. It was a lot more than I would normally wear; it was probably a lot more than the average hooker would wear. And I wasn’t the only one that got obligatorily prettied up, Ryan was powdered and primped too.

Becoming pretty took a while. One of my friends told me I looked like a geisha with my makeover. I'm still not sure if that was meant as a compliment or an insult.

After our beautification we did have a little time to prep for the interview while waiting in a holding room but most of what was discussed during that wait didn’t make it into the program. So much for being ready. I’m sure you’d never guess watching our segment, which was brimming with witty technical repartee, that we were totally winging it. Never.

We discussed some cosmetic products in "the green room" while waiting for showtime.

The trickiest part of being on live TV was pretending that you weren’t on live TV. Ignoring all the teleprompters, the cameras focused on you from every possible angle, and the multitude of timing apparatuses while trying to quickly give intelligible responses was a little daunting. We pulled it off pretty well though. I didn’t fall off my stool or start spouting incomprehensible Rachel blabber. The fool I made of myself was not complete so I’d say my expectations were exceeded.

The studio was a little cramped with cameras swinging all over the place but there was enough room for all of the guests, plus Jason, to huddle in a corner and watch the filming.

If you want to witness my attempt to sound scientific, but not too scientific, while encased in a nearly impervious makeup shell check out this link: