What could be better than spreading blankets near a chattering brook and genteelly consuming refined fare with distinguished friends? Why yes, wearing fashionable waistcoats and taking pony rides through tree-lined lanes would make such an occasion even finer.
The company was most agreeable at our moveable feast.
Pedestrianism, or competitive walking, was a sport in Regency times. We held a manly walking contest at the picnic. Jason’s snobby strides won.
Last month, we attended Visions of History’s Regency Picnic at Memory Grove in Salt Lake City. This affair gave us a chance to daintily partake of charcuterie, cheese, and fruit with some of our historic companions while the hum of harp and stream gently aided our digestion. It also afforded opportunities to amuse ourselves with the prettiest equipage.
This pony deserves his nickname, “The Red Rocket.” He never seemed to tire no matter how many of us he lugged around.
The distant skyscrapers belied the historical fiction fashioned by our frocks and cravats.
A miniature carriage and steed lend great distinction to an occasion.
It was an elegant and pleasing event. Thank you, Visions of History, for planning such a pleasant outing.
I was pleased to be invited to Visions of History’s Ladies Victorian Tea at The Grand America last month.
I was fully prepared for the social and genteel demands of this occasion. With my delicately-netted gloves, stiff taffeta skirt, puffed sleeves, and equally-puffed hair impeccably placed, I gracefully nibbled scones topped with clotted cream and lemon curd, macaroons, and cucumber sandwiches. I sipped tea with a perfectly-popped pinky while carrying on stylish conversations with my companions. Indeed, the tearoom was titivated by my refined presence.
My outfit was appropriately ruffled, puffed, and laced.
The Grand America provided the perfect setting for our elegant affair.
Not convinced of my overpowering poise? Okay, perhaps my charm was not quite sufficient for the fanciness of the affair. I spilled tea on my dress and had to hunch awkwardly a bit to keep from dribbling anything else. With that said, I had a splendid time chatting with my fellow history aficionados and we were the highlight of the memorable atmosphere for many of the ladies and little girls taking tea; we received a number of picture requests from these females.
It was a delightful afternoon spent in the company of fashionable foods, bygone vogues, and cultured companions.
Today, I am graciously giving you males out there some life-altering information and advice. Prepare for your world to be rocked.
My man is hot in a cravat!
Men, to 80% of the women you encounter you will never be hotter than when outfitted in Regency attire, like a Jane Austen character. Why do I feel compelled to give such random priceless wisdom? Well, frankly because you boys are a little dense.
I was tasked with creating flower arrangements for the ball again this year.
Jason and I were among the dance demonstrators at the ball.
Jason and I recently went to the Regency Romance Ball in Salt Lake City again. At this affair, attendees are carried back to the time of Jane Austen by elegant surroundings, tasteful food, period attire, and vintage dancing.
Every year I debate whether to make another outfit for the ball, I only have three after all.
This year, the ball sold out with around 300 attendees. As popular as it was, not everyone that wanted to go was able. You see, I’ve been privy to a lot of female protests over the years regarding the difficulties of securing male companions for this event. And, thus, the importance of my message emerges.
Obviously, a lot of men are wise and I’m sure they reap the rewards of their wisdom.
Jason is clever; he’s never once complained about wearing clothes that look supremely fine on him.
For I can only assume that if you blokes, being self-serving creatures, knew that attending such affairs would not only earn you an uncalculatable amount of brownie points but also elevate you from modern dud to Regency stud that you’d be all too eager to go. Therefore, I must conclude that you are grossly unaware of the facts… or were until a moment ago.
The food at the ball is elegant and tasty, another reason for you men to cease your objecting.
Men, you don’t need to understand Mr. Darcy’s appeal to benefit from it so I hope to see more of you at next year’s ball proudly pirouetting about in waistcoats and cravats while your ladies ogle you. Don’t say I never gave you nothing.
Do you live you in Utah? (If no, proceed to paragraph two.) Do you love movies? (If no, proceed to paragraph two.) Can you successfully sit for a couple hours? (If no, reflect on your unusual inability and its possible causes for a moment and then proceed to paragraph two.) If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, why don’t you go to the Sundance Film Festival? The Sundance Film Festival, unlike polygamy, is an actual perk of living in Utah so why not enjoy it?
Jason and I have been attending Sundance for many years now. Through it we have seen both obscure indies that have never been heard from again and shows that have gone on to earn Academy Award nominations. This year we saw five films, which is our typical Sundance load. They ranged from science nonfiction to science fiction but were all worthy of a watch.
Whatever your political position, you can’t deny that Al Gore is a remarkable speaker. We were thrilled to hear from him in person.
Our first festival film was Plastic China. Plastic China is a documentary that focuses on one family in a little Chinese village where thousands of small recyclers barely get by through melting down the world’s wastes. We thought it a poignant commentary on both the costs of global consumerism and the social norms in China. We attained some interesting insights from the film’s director and producers following the show.
This gang of scientists and crew members led a fascinating Q&A after Chasing Coral.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power was our second show. Yes, as the name suggests, it is a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth and has a similar theme. We quite enjoyed this cinematic call to action. As a bonus, Al Gore himself did a Q&A at the end of our screening; it was cool to hear from him personally. I have a policy against waxing political in public places so, without deviating much from that dogma, allow me to bring up one discussion point that’s been bothering me for some time: Why is there resistance in parts of the political arena to the possibility of global warming? If there is even a small chance that global warming is happening, why not embrace changes to counteract it? For if it isn’t happening and we act as if it is, what is the consequence? Cleaner air. Hmmm… cleaner air sounds okay to me. However, if we act as if it is not happening and it is, what is the consequence? A whole lot of catastrophic and horrible things… oh and, in the end, we run out of fossil fuels anyway. So why would any politician deny the possibility of global warming? Sadly, the answer is obvious. You fight against the notion of climate change if oil companies and other fossil fuel industries fund your career. And that is why I never trust politicians that proclaim global warming is irrelevant or a hoax; they either lack simple reasoning skills or they are looking out for their own best interests instead of those of the people they allegedly represent.
Danny Strong, the director and writer of Rebel in the Rye, was happy to interact with fans after his screening.
Chasing Coral was the third show we saw and our favorite film this year. It won the Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary category so we weren’t the only ones captivated by this vibrant movie. It provides a bittersweet look at the mysterious underwater forests of coral that have been dying at an unprecedented rate in recent years. (Spoiler alert: it’s global warming that’s killing them.) Chasing Coral is both a beautifully wondrous and incredibly distressing show.
Marjorie Prime, our fourth movie, won the Sloan Feature Film Prize, an award given to outstanding pictures with a science or technology focus. It offers a thought-provoking, and somewhat depressing, look at the science and science fiction of memory.
Along with fantastic films, part of the appeal of the Sundance Film Festival is hanging with friends.
The last screening we went to was for Rebel in the Rye, an excellent way to finish up the festival. This well-done film is about J.D. Salinger, the cloistered author of Catcher in the Rye. Jason and I both appreciated its themes about the process and price of creation.
The Sundance Film Festival supplied ample company, commentaries, and curiosities of thought this year. Good thing this event is for real, unlike Utahans extra wives.
Christmas is accompanied by a certain level of decorum and pomp for most but, for us, it comes with tackiness and hair.
Our Christmas party is a December tradition that went from formal and fancy to ridiculous and irreverent many years ago. Never heard of it? We keep the invitee list slim so we can actually talk to our guests, a refreshing change after our Halloween largeness. There have been almost no new additions to that list for over a decade so our attendees are pretty much the people that have known us since our rollerblades and overalls days.
Jeremy typically goes a few disgusting steps beyond an ugly sweater and completely exemplifies holiday hideousness.
This event has some holiday standards mixed with a few seasonal abnormals. Gaggy gifts, tinselly sweaters, tasteless fake fur, tasteful food, massive moustaches, ping-pong showdowns, awkward dance competitions, absurd photos, and close encounters of the Rowley kind are all part of the routine.
Yes, tacky comes standard with the Sabins.
This year we ordered food from Corner Bakery Café. The spinach salad, pesto cavatappi, hummus and veggies, bruschetta with parmesan toast, and sweets basket probably made for our favorite catering in years.
Just Dance has become a tradition at our party.
I took pictures of any of the assembled crew that wanted them for over an hour and a half at the affair. Sadly, this took more time away from busting my sweet Just Dance 2017 moves than expected but some of the resulting images are priceless… revolting, but priceless.
Boys 4 Toys is sure to become the next boy-band sensation.
The white elephant gifts were much the same as they always have been… good, bad, even worse. Man-scented candles, fry pillows, and pooping-dog calendars were just a few of the finer things that could have been mine. (Incidentally, I just got good hot chocolate and I was just fine with that.)
What an adorable couple!
Thanks loyal Christmas partiers! It’s cool to celebrate the holidays every year with a lowkey gathering where the same small group of buddies wear what they shouldn’t and shake what they definitely shouldn’t- from hind ends to hidden gifts.