Monthly Archives: October 2015


30 Oct

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

Posted by on October 30, 2015 at 11:16 am

I do not appreciate heights. They don’t bake you dinner or have a cute cousin they can set you up with. They really serve no purpose other than to make you feel queasy and wimpy. However, in recent years, heights have gone from intimidating to insignificant for me, which is good news because the story I’m about to relay might be a whole lot wetter otherwise.

Jason's never met a height he didn't like.

Jason’s never met a height he didn’t like.

One of my birthday gifts from Jason this year was a zip tour at Sundance Resort. Finally, months after my birthday, we made it to Sundance to enjoy this present on a perfect fall day. And, may I boast, my previous elevation anxieties did not blight our pleasant experience in the least.

The lady in line ahead of us nearly had a panic attack here at the top of Bishop's.

The lady in line ahead of us nearly had a panic attack here at the top of Bishop’s.

With 2,100 feet of vertical drop, Sundance brings it down more than any other group of zip lines in the United States. They have four spans including Flathead, which runs 500 feet above the ground, and Outlaw, the sixth longest zip line in the United States at 3,871 feet. Notwithstanding those impressive stats, my favorite section might possibly have been Bishop’s because its view is even more impressive than its dive.

That is the face of fun not the face of fear.

That is the face of fun not the face of fear.

Zip lines are aptly named. Sundance’s fastest span, Outlaw, averages speeds around 80 MPH and can hurl riders over 100 MPH. Frankly though, you don’t realize just how fast you’re going until whole clumps of trees vanish behind you in an instant.

Outlaws don't scare me.

Outlaws don’t scare me.

Despite these speeds and spans, I didn’t hesitate at any point or have to muster my courage. I just pulled on that handle and shot down the mountain like a string of snot on a waterslide. So why the change in valor? It really comes down to exposure not guts. The first time I took on a zip line I was a little terrified but I did it anyway. (Thanks stubborn streak!) A whole bunch of zips and ropes courses later, I could jump off a five-foot bridge and not notice. Yay!

What an ideal day to travel two miles dangling hundreds of feet in the air. Thanks Jason for the present and thanks Rachel for doing the things that freak you out until you no longer find them freaky.

20 Oct

A Strike for Dad

Posted by on October 20, 2015 at 11:09 am

A pleasant memory is much more valuable than another golf shirt or the latest Grisham novel. And, clearly, a memory involving me is sure to be pleasant. Hence, I decided that the best thing to give my dad and brothers this year for Father’s Day was an incredible night out with their coolest relative… and some of the rest of the family. My mom and several siblings hopped onboard with this plan quickly. Yup, they know a genius idea when they hear one.

Although Father’s Day was months ago, this exceptional scheme was only recently carried out. Fourteen of my family members assembled for dinner at India Palace followed by an hour of bowling. Andrew was the unlikely winner of our match, trailed closely by Jason. Those turkeys were so far behind initially that no one even heard their gobbles coming.

These bowlers supported and harassed each other in equal parts, just as family should.

These bowlers supported and harassed each other in equal parts, just as family should.

The heckling opportunities, which were as plentiful as the pins in our lanes, continued with a couple rounds of laser tag. Unfortunately for my critics, my tagging skills are inconsequentially mediocre and not even taunt worthy.

The boys in my family got a heap of togetherness that night along with a large helping of Indian bowling pizazz. Perhaps a golf shirt is sounding pretty good to you about now.

9 Oct

A Comic Education

Posted by on October 9, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Jason and I are steadfast nerds so there’s no need to consult Professor X about whether we ended up at Salt Lake Comic Con again this year.

This looks like a family portrait.

This looks like a family portrait.

Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie, surprisingly, didn't make me feel like a shrimp.

Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie, surprisingly, didn’t make me feel like a shrimp.

Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 proceeded very much like its predecessors. We went to panels featuring Felicia Day, James and Oliver Phelps, John Barrowman, Anthony Daniels, Walter Koenig, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Studio C, Ian Somerhalder, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie.

Every Doctor needs some Time and Relative Dimensions in Space.

Every Doctor needs some Time and Relative Dimensions in Space.

Ian Somerhalder surprised me when he squeezed in for a real hug instead of the customary celebrity hold.

Ian Somerhalder surprised me when he squeezed in for a real hug instead of the customary celebrity hold.

Those panels were more amusing than Darth Vader on a rollercoaster but we didn’t limit ourselves to just chanting like Ewoks for Anthony Daniels or giggling at John Barrowman’s lethal plane-fart stories. We also spent plenty of time on the exhibit floor snuggling with screen hotties like Ian Somerhalder and purchasing inevitable collectables.

You never know what diversions you will discover as you wander the exhibit hall.

You never know what diversions you will discover as you wander the exhibit hall.

Fashion demanded I pose with this AT-AT.

Fashion demanded I pose with this AT-AT.

Furthermore, we amassed something at comic con even more essential than Totoro truffles and lightsaber earrings. Yes, like Mario stashes coins, we gathered crucial trivia and tips. Here’s a bit of what we added to our memory engrams thanks to SLCC:

  1. Although they played the Weasley twins very gingerly, James and Oliver Phelps are in fact brunettes. For the record, they are also about a foot taller than me.
  2. Anthony Daniels originally thought playing a robot in a B sci-fi was beneath his Shakespearean roots. He’s a classy droid.
  3. John Barrowman sings like a diva and welcomes anything during his fan photo shoots except kissing on the lips… and I do mean anything.
  4. Ian Somerhalder may play an immortal that doesn’t give a crap but he does actually care about stuff and, more importantly, gives great hugs.
  5. After waiting in a bathroom line longer than pi, don’t expect the luxury of toilet paper.
  6. Chris Evans isn’t as imposing in person as he is on the big screen.
  7. The Emperor likes my Hoth dress. It’s true, just ask him.
  8. Walter Koenig’s lovely locks in The Original Series are real. Shatner’s are not.
  9. The Utah Symphony puts on one spectacular Sci-Fi Spectacular.
  10. Felicia Day is not afraid of a poop joke… or ten.
This Clockwork Man clocked me.

This Clockwork Man clocked me.

The Phelps twins even made Jason look stunted.

The Phelps twins even made Jason look stunted.

Salt Lake Comic Con, as always, was both a trial and triumph. The chaotic crowds on Saturday, by far the busiest day, made me feel a little like a bewildered Borg drone in an Icheb-infected cube. Still, widened aisles, RFID wristbands and an expanded ballroom made shuffling through the masses of superheroes and stormtroopers easier than in the past. An adequate supply of toilet paper in the bathrooms would have been nice though; I’m just saying.