Monthly Archives: June 2014


25 Jun

Lambert’s Folly

Posted by on June 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm

There are posts that make their way onto this blog because of their “universal” interest and stories that show up here simply because I don’t want to forget them. This is one of the later and, like most enduring tales, it’s worth remembering because it involves Jason behaving like an idiot. And yes, I do plan on repeating this account as often as possible until the day I die, maybe even longer.

Jason is a very intelligent man. His brilliance is one of the many things I love about him. That said, being brilliant doesn’t always mean that you’re terribly smart. Allow an evening at Lambert Park to illustrate my point.

It all started on a delightful Friday. Temperatures were ideal, courtesy of spring, so we decided to go mountain biking at Lambert Park, one of our favorite spots for this activity due to its proximity and utter awesomeness.

Lambert Park was striking that day. Purple, crimson, white, and yellow wildflowers dotted the landscape and lush grasses flaunted their greenest hues. The trails, as they wound through tightly-packed oak brush, were just the right combination of tricky and tempting, as always. It was the perfect setup for the perfect evening until…

At one point, I noticed that Jason had opened his bike seat pouch and that he, for unknown reasons, didn’t seem to be in any hurry to close it. I, in my boundless wisdom, suggested that he should zip it up or he was going to lose something. Pretty exceptional advice, right? After we had spent the rest of the daylight cruising Lambert’s dusty paths and had returned to our car, we discovered that my cell phone had fallen out of Jason’s pack somewhere in our travels because he hadn’t heeded my excellent guidance. Drat! Sometimes correctness is a curse.

Since twilight was rapidly approaching, it was decided that Jason would ride back the way we had come on his bike and search for my missing phone while I would take our car on an intersecting dirt road and meet up with him. This would cut out the uphill part of his retracing. Jason, keen to redeem himself, sped off in such a hurry that he forgot his helmet, forcing me to chase after him. Once he had his safety gear properly in place and was again on his way, I drove down a gravel track to unite with him as planned. Unfortunately, when I got to our rendezvous point, I found that not only had Jason had no luck locating my phone but a whizzing sound was coming from one of our tires. Yes, in keeping with the general misfortune of the evening, I had run over a nail on that primitive lane and air was leaving the puncture in an awful hurry.

Lambert Park was ideal that evening. Between agreeable weather and happy plants, our ride couldn't have been more satisfactory.

Lambert Park was ideal that evening. Between agreeable weather and happy plants, our ride couldn’t have been more satisfactory.

Because Jason was still looking for my mobile and needed to complete his hunt before it got dark, which it already nearly was, I was stuck holding my finger over the tire’s gap in a pathetic attempt to discourage deflation as he continued to rummage. My efforts didn’t seem to be too productive yet I took comfort in the fact that we had all sorts of emergency gear in our hatchback: a pump, gauge, and Fix-A-Flat for starters. Something was bound to work for this particular predicament. That’s about when a nagging recollection surfaced in my mind. Somewhere in my recent memory, I saw Jason removing our emergency kit in order to fit our bikes in our car easier but, no matter how much I prodded, my memory couldn’t conjure up an image of him returning that gear. A quick check, for which I had to take a momentary recess from my fingering, proved that my disheartening hunch was correct. Our emergency kit was hanging out, rather uselessly, back home in our garage because Jason had decided it wasn’t necessary for this specific venture. Holy Hanna! Warning: Attempting appropriate amounts of eye rolling at this juncture without warming up your eyeballs first may result in optic strain.

Jason had been calling my phone in hopes of hearing it ring as he biked along. Although he had had no luck in that regard, after nearly a dozen calls, unexpectedly, someone answered. A couple of bikers had found my mobile and had taken it with them assuming that they’d be able to locate its owner. They had already left Lambert Park but were happy to meet up with us at a gas station to hand over my Blackberry. Great news! Except…our tire only made it to the terminus of that dirt road before it went too flat to travel any further.

By this time it was completely dark but at least, even without all our convenient crisis gear that was back home instead of in the back of our car, we still had our old-fashioned jack and donut to remedy the situation. As we began the jacking process, a vehicle pulled up behind us and a man in his twenties got out. He asked if we needed assistance and, before we really got a chance to answer him, he began working on our problem. He seemed a little gung-ho but who’d argue with help? As we continued our conversation with him, his eagerness made more sense. He was a mechanic and, apparently, interceded regularly to help those with car troubles out. With both him and Jason toiling together, our tire was changed relatively swiftly, minus one hiccup. Jason forgot to put on the emergency brake so as soon as one side of the vehicle was entirely elevated by the jack, it went lurching forward, bending the jack. Sufferin’ succotash! How many things can get botched in one night?

Here I'm just minutes from discovering that my phone was dozing in the bushes somewhere instead of resting safely under Jason's fanny. Yes, that smile shortly turned into a smirk.

Here I’m just minutes from discovering that my phone was dozing in the bushes somewhere instead of resting safely under Jason’s fanny. Yes, that smile shortly turned into a smirk.

FYI, I did eventually get my phone back. It had to be left with a gas station attendant but we were able to retrieve it after we got our flat issues resolved.

Apparently, in this story Jason is sort of the rogue and the strangers that acted with honesty and kindness are the heroes. Thanks John and random biking dudes for coming to our aid. This tale might have ended much more horrendously without you.

And that’s it folks, the story of how Jason, a certified genius, made a series of mistakes in a short period of time that could have been avoided through the utilization of common sense. His errors will now be immortalized through the timelessness of the internet. After all, how could I tease him with precision about the events of that evening for the remainder of my life if I couldn’t properly remember the particulars?

And for those of you that are a little dense or that don’t know my mannerisms, all this is meant in good fun. Jason will laugh at this post not cry in the bathroom. Unless, of course, today is one of his arbitrarily selected behave-like-a-girl days. Oh double burn! And yes, I am still joking.

16 Jun

The Weird West

Posted by on June 16, 2014 at 8:45 pm

People envision a lot of weird things when they think of Utah, such as dirty old men that accumulate wives like I accumulate shoes. While Utah is not the polygamist paradise of imaginings or much like what most outsiders picture in many other regards, it does contain a lot of secluded locations with distinctive flavors worth a second take…or a double take.

Since I started attending photography classes last year, I have documented, via snapshot, a few of Utah’s strange habitats and unique quirks as I’ve come across them. Although I’m sure that this photographing will continue as I find more wacky spots, allow me to share some of the uncommonness, and bizarreness, that I’ve found within Utah’s borders thus far.

Elberta, a tiny town on the far side of Utah Lake, is a real throwback down to its vintage gas station.

Elberta, a tiny town on the far side of Utah Lake, is a real throwback down to its vintage gas station.

This shoe tree can be found out in the desert near Delta.

This shoe tree can be found out in the desert near Delta.

Delta's shoe tree is covered in everything from ski boots to Converse sneakers.

Delta’s shoe tree is covered in everything from ski boots to Converse sneakers.

Antelope Island, on the Great Salt Lake, is home to a herd of bison.

Antelope Island, on the Great Salt Lake, is home to a herd of bison.

These Antelope Island bison weren't particularly eager for human contact but they weren't too shy either.

These Antelope Island bison weren’t particularly eager for human contact but they weren’t too shy either.

We journeyed onto the Great Salt Lake via Farmington Bay last January. Talk about some serious oddballs! Spheres of puffy snow rumpled the lake's surface and dumbfounded us.

We journeyed onto the Great Salt Lake via Farmington Bay last January. Talk about some serious oddballs! Spheres of puffy snow rumpled the lake’s surface and dumbfounded us.

The Great Salt Lake doesn't freeze in winter due to its salinity but its surface ices enough for current rivers to emerge.

The Great Salt Lake doesn’t freeze in winter due to its salinity but its surface ices enough for current rivers to emerge.

The snow near the Great Salt Lake crystallizes peculiarly. Is it the presence of sodium chloride or could it be Metachlorians? You got me.

The snow near the Great Salt Lake crystallizes peculiarly. Is it the presence of sodium chloride or could it be Metachlorians? You got me.

The town of Thistle was wiped out in a landslide in 1983, the most costly landslide in U.S. history. This house has remained submerged in that ghost town's muck ever since.

The town of Thistle was wiped out in a landslide in 1983, the most costly landslide in U.S. history. This house has remained submerged in that ghost town’s muck ever since.

These bits of deteriorating stone and rotting wood are all that remain of the Thistle schoolhouse after 30 years of abandonment. It was one of the few buildings left standing when 65,000 acre-feet of water flooded the town in '83.

These bits of deteriorating stone and rotting wood are all that remain of the Thistle schoolhouse after 30 years of abandonment. It was one of the few buildings left standing when 65,000 acre-feet of water flooded the town in ’83.

Technically, I came across this conglomeration of signs just beyond Utah's boundaries but, in my opinion, it was close enough.

Technically, I came across this conglomeration of signs just beyond Utah’s boundaries but, in my opinion, it was close enough.

Yes, Utah’s got some weirdness but who’d want to live in a state devoid of eccentricity and headshake-worthy places?

10 Jun

Lucky 13 Part III: TARDIS Time

Posted by on June 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

The last in our string of celebratory anniversary activities involved going to a painting class but not just any painting class, a class to paint a blue police box. Yes, those of you with nerd cred know exactly of who I speak.

Painting with a Twist is a little place in Murray that features daily canvas tutorials of all sorts. The atmosphere is relaxed and no artistic skills are required, which is great because I have none. And, for the record, that wasn’t a faux-humble statement that I expect someone to benevolently contradict. Truly, you would have a difficult time matching something I sketched to its corresponding object in the real world. Yet, rather miraculously, my blue box spiraled through the brush-time vortex relatively undistorted.

I am a hopeless perfectionist. I was the last person in the class to finish their work.

I am a hopeless perfectionist. I was the last person in the class to finish their work.

As you would expect from something so wibbly wobbly, time in our class flew by at an unpredictable pace. Three hours came and went in what felt like minutes. You had to paint quickly to keep up with our instructor and, unfortunately, due to my perfectionistic nature, I’m generally the opposite of quick. Therefore, my TARDIS materialized slower than anyone else’s but I did manage to only finish last by a few minutes.

Both of our paintings turned out far better than we expected.

Both of our paintings turned out far better than we expected.

This unique ending to our anniversary amusements was well received and appreciated. Many thanks to my clever spouse for planning so many fine and uncommon outings in honor of our topnotch marriage. And many thanks to him also for being the best husband a girl could ask for! Thirteen definitely doesn’t deserve its villainous reputation.

4 Jun

Lucky 13 Part II: Up in Downtown

Posted by on June 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm

The following weekend, the second part of Jason’s anniversary scheme took us up to Salt Lake City again but this time to the twenty-fourth floor of The Grand America Hotel. We used that lofty vantage point as our base of operation for a couple days of downtown adventuring.

Our balcony, twenty-four floors up, provided a great view of downtown Salt Lake City.

Our balcony, twenty-four floors up, provided a great view of downtown Salt Lake City.

We ate a delicious dinner at Ruth’s Chris our first night in Salt Lake. In my unsolicited opinion, if you are celebrating an anniversary or another out-of-the-ordinary occasion, Ruth’s Chris is a great place to do it. Although we didn’t make a reservation, when the hostess learned that we were commemorating our anniversary she quickly set about creating an atmosphere of specialness for us. Our table was strewn with rose petals and we received congratulations galore from the staff. We felt pretty elite simply for successfully completing another year of marriage.

After thirteen years, Jason and I are still hopelessly thrilled about each other.

After thirteen years, Jason and I are still hopelessly thrilled about each other.

On Saturday, we ate breakfast at Gourmandise, one of the best spots to grab pastries or cakes in Salt Lake; it’s very popular with the soon-to-be-fat crowd. On a side note, although this little joint never disappoints with its decadent treats, it can be short on seats so plan on patience if you’re going to gobble there.

The Golden Poison Dart Frog is one of the most toxic animals on the planet. One of these little guys contains enough poison to kill 10 grown men.

The Golden Poison Dart Frog is one of the most toxic animals on the planet. One of these little guys contains enough poison to kill 10 grown men.

Following our leisurely breakfast, we headed to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. This aquarium only opened at its nifty new location in Draper a couple of months ago so, as you might guess, it was basically wall-to-wall people, with a few creatures strewn in. We had to wait in an enormous line to even be admitted because the building was at max capacity and patrons had to leave before more were allowed in. However, in spite of the overabundance of humanity that made the place more of a petting zoo than an aquarium, Jason and I had a nice time. The Living Planet is impressive but I would recommend waiting about six months for the crowds to dissipate a bit before you check it out. We plan on going back when we don’t have to hurdle strollers in order to access exhibits.

Arapaimas can get over 10 feet long, weigh more than 400 pounds, and breath air. Their Piranha-proof armor makes them perfect inhabitants of South America's rivers.

Arapaimas can get over 10 feet long, weigh more than 400 pounds, and breath air. Their Piranha-proof armor makes them perfect inhabitants of South America’s rivers.

After our aquatic adventures, we ate dinner at Pallet, a restaurant in downtown that opened last year. The food was fabulous and the modern industrial setting was sophisticated and romantic. I’d definitely recommend this bistro to all y’all.

We are certainly not above taking ridiculous pictures.

We are certainly not above taking ridiculous pictures.

The rest of our weekend was monopolized by relaxation, reading, and writing. We spent our final morning in Salt Lake lounging in our hotel room and stuffing ourselves with tasty room service. You can’t beat lazily eating fluffy pancakes and hearty corned beef hash, which just showed up at your doorstep, with the city and mountains spread out beneath you like the workings of a model train hobby turned mania.

What a lovely getaway to celebrate a lovely life! As per tradition, the last of our anniversary festivities will be discussed next week in more detail than necessary. But I shan’t give any of those superfluous details away just yet.