Thursday, July 31, 2008

Memories, light the corners of my mind

Today is my birthday. It is not just any birthday....oh, no, I turn 30 today. I have just entered into another decade of life. On days like this, it is good to reflect on what shaped you to be the person you are now. So here goes my list (in no particular order) of defining moments that molded my character and enhanced my life:

  • Moved to New York City - Sept. 2002
  • Traveled in Europe with Netter (Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Rome, Florence and soon London)
  • Graduated from BYU - August 2001
  • Welcomed two fabulous women into the family as my sisters-in-law - Oct. 1998 & July 2004
  • DVR was invented and brought into my home - Sept. 2003
  • Became an aunt 5 times over (soon to be 6) - July 2001, August 2003, April 2006, May 2006 & July 2008
  • Paid off 7 credit cards
  • Bought my first iPod (have since bought 2 more) - can't remember when i got the first one
  • Met amazing friends in New York - Sept. 2002 to the present
  • Saw "Wicked" on Broadway with Doc - May 2004
  • Got my own apartment - July 2006
  • Broke my ankle - February 2008
  • Worked with and met retired NBA Players - Sept. 2002-June 2005
  • Went to Jamaica for work with Joani - 2004
  • Taught Sunday School in Church - January to December 2006

I am sure I am missing some additional seminal moments of my young life that should appear on this list. The thing is that in essence all of my choices and adventures have shaped me into the person I am. It is quite exciting to think about the next ten years of experiences and events that will continue the molding process.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Movie Review - Mamma Mia!

"SKIP IT" - Last Friday night Netter and I decided to grab some good eats from a local diner and head to Kips Bay theater to catch a showing of the newest Broadway musical to hit theaters, Mamma Mia! As Netter would say it was so terrible, it was great. It truly was a disastrous movie that made me giggle the whole time and not because it was funny.

For perspective, my favorite part of the "movie" was the two older ladies in the movie theater about to throw down and rumble over a seat behind us BEFORE the movie even began. I have stated before how much I love New York interactive movie audiences but these two older women fighting it out over a chair and spilled dinner was truly a classic cinematic moment that didn't make it on film. That being said, it was all downhill once the movie actually started.

One small little piece of advice - never cast Pierce Brosnan in a role where he is required to sing MULTIPLE times. I give props to Colin Firth (a.k.a. Mr. Darcy) and Stellan Skaarsgard for some decent vocal chops; but poor sweet Pierce should have hired a doppleganger who could actually produce melodic sounds.

The overall movie hit the best part at the end during the credits when the director brilliantly dressed up his/her cast in the bejewelled ensembles of Elvis Presley performances past and made them sing on a glittery stage while trying to employ rhythm. It proved they didn't have it, but they looked like they had a good time attempting the impossible.

So what have we learned from this latest go 'round of Broadway hitting the silver screen?? That acting professionals with no vocal or musical talent should not be cast in musical roles. It generally just won't work and get to the theater early in case there is a rumble between two old ladies. Oh the joy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stone Cold Brigham Young University

Brigham Young would be so proud of his namesake educational institution. Today the Princeton Review unveiled their college/university rankings on a plethora of categories. My alma mater Brigham Young University held strong for like the 15th straight year (I'm guessing) as the #1 Stone Cold Sober School and Most Religious Students in the nation.

The Provo campus also took home:

#3 Don't Inhale (purest air in the West),

#6 Best College Library (wish I had more years studying in that library instead of watching it being built or dug up),

#10 Alternative Lifestyles not a Lifestyle (not sure how I feel about this one - but makes sense for Provo) and

#18 Everyone Plays Intramural Sports (those competitive juices flow freely at the Y)

It is nice to know that many years out of college that not much has changed. I remember President Hinckley praising the students for their #1 rankings. For some reason the continuity of BYU as the Stone Cold Sober school gives me hope for a better tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Movie Review - The Dark Knight

"SEE IT" - I love me some Christian Bale as Batman and was eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the revamped series. Claire, Netter and I bought tickets for a Saturday afternoon showing and along with about 300 other people crunching on their popcorn enjoyed this movie.

By now it is impossible to get away from all the critics accolades for Heath Ledger, Christopher Nolan and his dark, character driven vehicle of the superhero genre. I tried to put all of that "stuff" out of my mind when we reached our seats in the packed theater.

This movie simply put is fantastic in all areas of filmmaking. The sets, costumes, lighting, editing, music, locations, but most importantly actors were superb. I go partly for the Christian Bale eye candy but was completely enraptured by Heath Ledger as the Joker and by Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. Ultimately this is a story about characters that just happens to have cool gadgets and stunts. I found that I cared about the motivation behind the actions of our main characters. Normally when going to see a superhero movie I just want to see the stunts and CGI fight sequences and could care less about the character.

Go see this movie and the more you see it, the more it will make sense. Still a little lost on aspects of the story. Thank you to Christopher Nolan who didn't take the violence over the edge because that would have been a bit too gruesome for my pretty brown eyes to handle.

Debt Free

I really have one main goal in my life right live debt free (in my mind student loans don't count). I think some would be surprised that my main goal isn't to get married, birth babies, own a home, travel around the world in 30 days, cure cancer, or run a marathon. Instead it really is to get out of debt. I pull myself out of bed every morning and go to a job that I enjoy to work hard and earn money to pay for things that I already bought and have now cost me probably double their value. thanks interest.

While in college I got into some bad habits and have spent literally the last 8 years paying for those mistakes at very high interest. My brother Big Lug uses me as the example of what "not" to do when addressing his incoming freshman class. Stupid Citibank and Discover snared me when I had the most time to travel and could use the excuse for not working as "i'm a student".

Now about 7 years after my college graduation I am still wrestling with the boulder sized pressure of being in debt. I want so desperately to get out of debt and begin some kind of long term saving project...maybe for an apartment, a car, grand safari in Africa, diamonds, etc.

It is amazing to me how much more you value money when it is entirely up to you how you use it. Don't get me wrong I still travel (i.e. Hawaii & London this year) but I save to be able to afford to travel. Hopefully I will be able to continue on the right path and stop paying interest on that skirt I bought from Banana Republic like 3 years ago. I don't even think that skirt is still hanging in my closet. Oh the travesty.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Restaurant Week - here I come

New York is wonderful for many reasons.  One of those reasons is because the amazing food found in fantastic restaurants.  This week is Restaurant Week where some of the best restaurants set up a prix fix menu for lunch and dinner.  It is fantastic because you get some great meals for a reasonable price.  

This week, myself, Netter and Dancing Queen are heading to Butter and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.  It is so good to enjoy a three course meal with friends knowing exactly what you will be spending.

Thank goodness for Restaurant Week because otherwise I wouldn't be heading to these fantastic restaurants to enjoy some really good eats.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Thurmans

Need to welcome my friends Sue-Belle & Spencer to the blogger world. Granted they have been blogging since a year ago...I'm a little slow on the inclusion.

Sue-Belle was my roomie in college at the great and terrible BYU while Spencer was her main squeeze from high school who returned from his mission to win her hand. They are a wonderful family with two adorable little boys. Can't wait to meet Parker.

Check out their lives living in Texas.

Sue & Spencer -- Let me know when you've lined up some men for me to go out with and I will hop on the next plane to Texas. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 4 & 5 - Beach & Dolphins

After the heat of the Polynesian Cultural Center Day 3 all we wanted to do was be in water. So days 4 & 5 consisted of ocean, pool, and dolphin discovery. Day 4 we literally played cards for hours, went swimming in both water sources and ate some yummy food prepared by Joani.  We all were in "chillax" mode.

Day 5 was all about the Mooch's birthday. We got up and ate some yummy breakfast then surprised the Mooch with Swimming with Dolphins. Since Mooch was very little she has always been obsessed with dolphins. Her ultimate career goal was to be a marine biologist. So getting up close and personal with this mammal was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The best part was that I had to be really mean to her and tell her she wasn't allowed to celebrate her birthday on MY BIRTHDAY vacation. She totally bought it so it meant more when we celebrated in the such a huge way.

Here's another slideshow of particular attention to the splash contest between my siblings and I. Who do you think won?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Day 3 - Polynesian Cultural Center & Temple

We had a great morning driving up to the North Shore to spend the day at the Temple and Polynesian Cultural Center. It was fun to see the island and learn a little something about polynesian cultures. The best part was when Sunshine and Flex were picked out of the crowd to perform with the Fiji warriors. It was priceless.

The day ended with time spent at the beach. Pookie and Flex did some boogie boarding and Sunshine and I did some wave dancing. Such a great day!

Hawaii Day 1 & 2

The best trip ever!  It all started on Saturday June 28th with arrival, celebrating Flex's big birthday and going to bed really early.  Day 2 consisted of early awakening and spending the day at Pearl Harbor on the USS Arizona, USS Missouri & USS Bowfin with a quick Honolulu city tour along the way.