Monday, June 30, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When pondering what would be blog-worthy from my weekend, I decided that my lazy unassuming weekend that can be defined into three distinct groups: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: Pixar's WALL-E.
I saw it twice this weekend (not only of my own free will but of my demanding desire). This movie is pure happiness. I cried (both times I saw it) simply because it was too sweet. In order to express my bursting heart, I had two options: I could have 1. Burst into song (usually frowned upon in movie theaters) or 2. cried buckets. I chose the latter. It seemed less of a social faux pas. I urge you, go see it. Even if you aren't into sweet animated movies, you can at least appreciate the sheer beauty of the animation (besides, I think everyone can use a little more happiness in his/her life, don't you?).

The Bad: The Salt Lake Arts Festival
OK. I should have taken a hint from the festival two years ago. It's not my scene. I know people who put a lot of work into the festival (well done, friends) but apparently I lack the artistic gene which one needs to enjoy a festival of this caliber. First of all, I tend to panic when there are so many people that I get separated from my party and pushed to the nearest 'clearing'. I was at the festival for 1 hour and in that hour, I experienced a lot of un-washed people, cigarette smoke, and brown paper bags fashioned to look like a hat with lots of glitter and sequins. I saw some cool art, unfortunately it was surrounded by a lot of hemp purses. Overall, I was quite underwhelmed by the whole ordeal.

The Ugly: 16-year-olds have taken over the coffee scene in the greater Salt Lake Valley. Andy and I have just about had it with seemingly competent coffee establishments being thwarted by retarded high schoolers who have obviously never had a warm caffinated beverage in their lives. "What can I get for you?" asks a peppy 16- year-old while she is visibly texting her best friend (whose name no doubt rhymes with "Calli"), cowing her gum and shows no intention of listening to our order. Andy repeats his order of a large coffee. The girl kind of mumbles an "OK" impressively enough without making the hard 'k' sound. A teenage boy emerges and whispers something to the girl which causes her to shriek (perhaps too passionately) with laughter. As they laugh about his brilliant comment they attempt to work this strange machine called the 'coffee maker.' As they push buttons it makes strange gurgling sounds that make them laugh even harder. A good five minutes are wasted on this alien machine, they are finally able to control their laughter and the pubescent boy thrusts Andy's coffee at him. We leave praising the Lord that the children figured out the new toy. Andy takes a sip. "This is cold," He says. Andy proceeds to chuck the failed coffee into the garbage rather than deal with the workers again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm Bringing Sexy Back

Hilary began this workout regime with a motto: "I'm bringing sexy back." This has been our mantra whether running a few miles, lifting weights, cutting back on calories, playing tennis, or swimming laps.
My friend Mandee sent me this little cartoon (which turned out to me more of an encouragement than anything else). Thanks, Mandee!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The difficulty of opening doors

I have witnessed a few behaviors concerning doors that have made me laugh; behaviors that are lazy, senseless, and all together, entertaining.

A family of six people (all of walking age) are seen strolling toward the entrance of Target. They are talking among themselves and not really paying attention. One of the younger girls in this group begins opening the manual door. The five others are right behind her waiting for the door to be pushed completely ajar. An older gentlemen of the group looks over at the automatic door and suggests that the group go through that door instead. The girl who already has the door open, closes it, and joins the others through the automatic door.

A man is waiting for TRAX (salt lake city's rail system). As the train glides to a stop in front of him he stands patiently waiting for the door to open for him. He notices other doors opening all along the train and continues to wait his turn. The bells chime that the train is about to leave when he begins running to an open door. Apparently pushing the little 'open' button was just too difficult for him.

Monday, June 9, 2008

In for the long haul

It is officially hiking season!
Although Andy and I are not experienced hikers, we decided to hold our church session in the beauty and quiet of the great outdoors. Last year we hiked to "Hidden Springs" and noticed another trail head nearby. As we weren't prepared for a longer hike that day we vowed to go back and tackle the Mill B North trail.

We packed a lunch, donned comfy clothes and started our way to Big Cottonwood canyon. We didn't do our homework and had no idea how long or difficult this hike would be. More confident than we probably should have been, we began our way up the stairs leading to the first of the switchbacks.
We walked for about 45 seconds and were winded...a bad start. We laughed at ourselves and pressed on. Thankfully, the first few minutes were more challenging than the mile to follow. We soon found ourseleves in a forest reminiscent of ET. The creek was high, the air was cool; this was a very nice nature walk in comparison to our vigorous start.

About an hour and a half later, Andy and I were wondering where exactly we were headed. We tackled switchback after switchback and steadily climbed the mountain. The Salt Lake valley was increasing in size as we gained altitude. Half way through every switchback we oohed and ahhed over the breathtaking sight.
We decided to sit and have a sip of water while we re-grouped and decide our plan of action. I consulted my pedometer which told me that we had walked over 6000 steps. We discussed calling it good and going home as we had no idea if we had 1 mile left or 30. Andy looked up and had a revelation! "I bet this trail ends at the top of those rocks," said Andy with a new found ambition! Hence, we decided to keep going.
We followed the trail up and up, past the aforementioned rocks and around a ridge. We continued through more lovely switchbacks and more steep climbing. The switchbacks grew shorter but much steeper. 45 minutes later, we concluded that we simply could not go any further.

We stood, torn by what we should do. We had come so far. Soon, a jovial British man happened along our path.
"Excuse me," said Andy. "Where does this path go?"
"Well," said the jovial British man, "this path goes to Mt. Raymond, but in another ten minutes of walking you will run into snow. And I wouldn't go any further unless you have mountaineering equipment!" He chuckled gaily to himself and continued on his way.

Andy and I looked at each other and decided that another 10 minutes wouldn't hurt. We thanked the man and continued on our way. We reached another ridge that overlooked a lovely valley with a beautiful waterfall. It was here that we decided to eat our lunch and call it a day.
We devoured our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and decended the mountain. It took half the time to get down than get up. What an accomplishment it was to clip along the switchbacks and feel sorry for the people who were just beginning the hike!
When all was said and done, it took us 2 1/2 hours to hike up the mountain and one hour to hike down. We took over 16000 steps and travelled almost 14 kilometers. We looked up the hike on the computer and found out we were about 1/4 mile to the end of the trail...even though we couldn't get there, anyway. We decided to wait a month and try this hike again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Little Ducky That Could

The sun is out, the flowers are in bloom, and the ducks are quacking.
This can only mean one thing:

My apartment complex is the home of twenty-somethings who are not yet at the stage of 'home buying', newly divorced mid-life crisis victims, and a plethora of ducks, geese, and various birds native to northern Utah.

I take it upon my self to feed and protect the less fortunate looking ducks. These ducks wait for me every morning because they know I will bring a piece of bread on my way to work. When I get home from work, they greet me, running at full sprint quacking and flapping their wings.
I understand they just want more bread, but it sure does make me happy to be greeted by that everyday.

Yesterday I noticed that one of my ducks was missing when I was on my way to work. I looked around hoping that I wouldn't find the pretty white duck dead somewhere. I looked behind the building, down by the creek, under the stair case...
the duck was nowhere to be found. Sadly, I gave up, realizing that I had to leave for work.
As I walked toward my car I heard a familiar quacking. I stopped and followed the quacking to a near by bush. I called the duck out and saw a little white head with a yellow bill emerge from the bush. Her mouth was wide open and she was quacking louder than I had ever heard her quack. I started throwing her small pieces of bread (which she devoured very gratefully). As she started edging toward me, I caught a glimpse of her three beautiful baby chicks keeping close to her. Here are some pictures of my sweet ducks and the darling babies. Enjoy!