Thursday, March 29, 2007

Save Studio 60

For those of you that love Studio 60 as much as I did (and I know you're out there)

E!online has a vote going on for viewers to vote for the show that is in danger of being cancelled that they'd most like to save. Apparently 5 of the last 6 years the show that won ended up staying on the air.
So go vote!!

Car Problems

I am a Subaru loyalist. I have been for years. I love the all wheel drive when the weather is nasty. I am really uncomfortable with snow driving, so the extra help is very nice. I have had 2 Subarus in the last 10 years. I had a 1997 legacy which I traded in for a 2002 model 5 years ago.

The reason I traded the first one in was because of an overheating problem at about 85,000/90,000 miles. We ended up having to replace the radiator on that one. I figured it was just a fluke because we were told a mchanic had left the fans unplugged and that's why it had overheated. I believed that until 3 days ago.

Coming back from lunch on Monday, out of the blue, my car overheated. By the time I reached the XanGo parking lot, it was steaming. I let it cool down and then drove it to Maverick, poured in some coolant and then started a ridiculous trip to Jiffy Lube, followed by the Subaru dealership, to try to solve the problem.

Apparently my radiator was totally plugged up and needed a major cleaning job. Luckily, the head gaskets were still OK, but now that they have done $400 worth of work on it, they still say to watch it because the head gaskets could still blow.

I hate that story.

AND one of the brake calipers I had replaced a year ago was leaking as well. What that meant was, I have spent most of the day waiting for Big O to replace that caliper so my brakes wouldn't go out while driving.

Sometimes, car ownership blows. And I'm starting to question my loyalty to the Subaru brand.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


It's been almost a year since I stage managed. With the unfortunate closure of Provo Theatre this season, I have been at a loss for opportunities, and even more at a loss for opportunities that would pay. It has been pretty depressing to sit home watching TV every night, while Ben runs around like crazy with all of his work and class responsibilities.

Ben and I were talking on Monday night about ways we might put some money in our savings account for a time when we may need it. A "rainy day" fund, so to speak. Ben suggested maybe calling the SCERA to see if they might need an SM for one of their summer shows. I have had good experiences and bad at that theater, but I decided it would be worth a try.

I called, and it turns out they desperately need a stage manager for their first show of the summer, Ragtime. It will audition in April and go up in June. A nice short commitment. A show I've never done before and don't really know that well. . . And a pay check. The perfect solution.
Things are going to get busy for me the next few months.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More Pictures

Jason sent along some pictures of Aubrey with her family I just had to share:

Aubrey with her big brothers, Ethan and Carter

Who looks that good after delivering a baby?
Superwoman, I tell you. . .

The proud daddy has a little chat with his new addition.
He's an old pro by now

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm An Aunt Again!

Little Miss Aubrey Jean joined the Hackett family today just before 1pm.

She weighed 8 lbs and was 20 inches long.

We're all so excited to have a girl baby in the family!
I think even her brothers are happy to have her here.

Congrats Nat & Jason! I love you guys!

Friday, March 23, 2007

5 Reasons Why Today is a Better Work Day Than Yesterday

#1-- No more foul odor.

#2-- I don't feel like I may cough up one of my lungs at any moment. Only occasionally.

#3-- It's pay day Friday.

#4-- Bagels, courtesy of Westwind Litho and Einstien Brothers. Tasty.

#5-- No Headphones Friday! My boss Matt has started a tradition, every other Friday, of staging no headphones Fridays. He acts as DJ and takes requests from anyone who chooses to send one, and plays his speakers for all to hear. It's amazing the different atmosphere it adds to our rows of cubicles. Normally, everyone has headphones on and we fall into a depressing tendency to IM each other rather than talk. It's pretty stupid, because we all like each other, but it's just easy not to remove your headphones and walk to someone's desk. . . Not on No Headphones Friday. It's a brilliant tradition.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Yesterday, Thursday, was a very odd day at work.

When we arrived there was a nasty smell, similar to burning rubber, or asphalt, or something equally noxious, wafting heavily up the stairwell. It was pretty light once you made it inside the office door, but as the morning wore on, it grew worse and worse.

Our little department (Creative Strategy) had a meeting with our CMO and our VP of marketing, so we left, running as quickly down the stairwell as we could and trying not to breathe as we went. When we returned, the smell was worse. It was overwhelming. Choking. Half of the marketing department had already left, for fear of poison (though we were assured it wasn't toxic) and without the ability to breathe properly.
We quickly followed their lead. Only 4 or 5 brave souls remained. & I'm not even sure why they did.

I'm still not sure what the smell was, but I'm sure glad it's gone today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


We saw this movie at Sundance., and Nick pointed out to me today that the trailer was up. I'm pretty excited it's getting released, although it's artsy enough that it probably won't show up in every theater. I think I may go see it again, though, just for fun. (If it comes to Utah)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Little Women

Ben and I go to our fair share of plays. Mostly we can fill our calendar pretty easily by attending shows starring (on some level) friends we've made in other productions. We seldom see a show full of strangers. We just don't have time. Most of our friends do plays in Utah Valley. It's just a pain to drive much further. But occasionally one ventures outside. . .

I have never been to the Hale's theater in West Valley. It's a bit of a jaunt, the tickets are expensive, and despite all of the great word of mouth I've heard about how cool the place is, I just never managed to make it up there to a show. Mostly because I don't have a lot of friends in their shows.

This weekend, that came to an end.

Our dear friend Cecily was in a show at the WV Hale. Cecily was our Lily in the production of The Secret Garden that we did at Provo Theatre Company last spring. She made the long drive from Bountiful every day to be a part of that show, and we came to appreciate both her AMAZING vocal talents and her wonderful, sweet, and hilarious personality.

The show was Little Women, which is one of my favorite musicals at the moment for several reasons. A) I LOVE the story. What girl doesn't read that book and get sucked in? It's a great story. B) The music is great. OK, like most shows, there are a few songs that I LOVE, and a few that kind of bug me, but overall it's got great songs. C) Sutton Foster as Jo March. On the Broadway cast recording that woman can SING. She's amazing. It didn't run for very long on Broadway, but it's a fun show.

Cecily was playing Jo, and though we knew that she was an amazing classical singer, we weren't sure how she'd be as a belter. Many a classical singer has stumbled trying to make that transition, so we were bracing ourselves for having to give her compliments that were half-hearted.

SO not necessary.

The male cast members ranged in talent from so-so to downright awful, but the March sisters were all great! Luckily, the sisters make up the majority of the show. Cecily was brilliant. Jo is on stage for a huge portion of the show, and she had a LOT to do. She was wonderful.

We have a few friends in our lives that I honestly believe are going to make it big in the world of theatre. Cecily is one of them. If she chooses to pursue theatre as a career, she WILL make it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Grilled Cheese

Last night I went up to BYU to help Ben finish folding, stuffing, and getting invitations for the big dance out to all of the residents of DT and Heritage. We finished up at the Morris Center, and I was pretty hungry. The grill was still open in the cougar cove, so I went in to get a snack.

When I was a freshman at BYU, Bonnie and Jason and I would eat lunch in the Cougareat (the old school one with the orange and yellow booths, before they renovated it). Jason and I had dining plus, which was very convenient. I would buy grilled cheese and fries for Bonnie and I, and we would sit and eat while we did the crossword puzzle.
Grilled cheese is one of the few things I really miss about my freshman year at BYU. I'm not sure what it is about their grills, or their butter. . . they are just VERY tasty sandwiches.

Yes, between that and the large number of Granny Bs sugar cookies I ate my freshman year, I should have gained 50 lbs. But I was walking everywhere! I think I actually lost 5 lbs, in the end. Leave it to an 18 year old metabolism and a change in exercise habits to keep off the freshman 15.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stupid Cold

I have been nursing a really nasty cold the past few days.

Yesterday, I believe I was awake for a total of 2 hours between the time Ben left for work and 5:30 pm when he came home.

Forgive me while I awaken from the haze and try to get my head on straight again. . .

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

How It's Made

I have found my new favorite TV show.

Am I alone in having loved the part of Mr. Rogers where he went to factories to show how things were made? The one Mr. Rogers episode I remember with perfect clarity was the one where he showed how crayons were made. It went through the process step by step, from melting the wax, to coloring it, to shaping it, to wrapping and packaging the final product. It was fascinating to me.

Today, I found the closest equivilant to this that I've ever come across.

How It's Made. It's on the Discovery Channel, and so far today I've learned about how candles, personal water craft, wine, press board furniture, and ice skates are made. It's amazing!

If you thought the Discovery Channel was cool before, what with Dirty Jobs and Myth Busters, this is just one more great thing about this channel. They don't waste time teasing you with what's coming up next. They just tell it like it is. It's fast paced and interesting.

Watch it! Set your TiVo! You won't regret it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Baby Shower

The baby shower went very well, despite my brainless rushing around that morning. Our family showed up first and most of Natalie's friends showed up about 11, which was kind of nice. It made it so that no one was there surrounded by people the didn't know.

The following are a couple of pictures from the party:

Cupcakes with cool whip/pudding frosting. They were awesomely light. Perfect for a brunchy shower. I'm going to use this frosting recipe again. It was yummy.

The favors: candy sticks with little tags tied around them. Pretty simple, but that was all I had in me.

The guest of honor, my little sister Natalie. She'll have her third baby in a couple of weeks. She's amazing.

Friday, March 09, 2007

American Idol

Before the weekend begins, I have to express my frustration on this. . .

Who the crap voted for Sanjaya or Haley?! How on EARTH are those two still there and Sundance and Sabrina are not.

Don't get me wrong. Sundance would have gone in the next couple of weeks anyway, but it's RIDICULOUS that Sanjaya stayed on longer. And Sabrina was a VERY talented singer. Stronger than Haley by far.

Where is the justice?

If Sanjaya makes it through more than the first week of the top 12, it will only prove that only 13 year old girls are voting for this show, and it's become a popularity contest about who the teenagers think is the hottest, not the best singers. . .

The fact that Taylor Hicks won last year was bad enough, can we PLEASE kick off those that are awkward and gawky on stage and will never win. . . OY!!

(yes, I have just made obvious my guilty pleasure of watching American Idol. So SUE ME)

The Weekend of Insanity

My brain is barely functioning at the moment. . . It has been such a crazy week trying to get ready for this weekend, and even now I'm not sure I have remembered everything I'm supposed to bring with me. I better have remembered the important stuff, though, because it's too late now to do anything about it.

This is what the weekend looks like:

Fri. night
5 pm: Ben meets me at work and we make a mad dash northward
7 pm: Katie performs in Carousel!

Sat. morning
10am-12 noon: Natalie's baby shower/open house (before which I have to wrap her present, finish the favors, make apple pizza, frost the cupcakes, slice fruit and bake the quiche. . . not by myself, of course, my mom will help)

Sat. evening
up to Ogden to have dinner and play with Kim and her family

Sun. morning
10am-12 noon: Stake conference with my parents

Sun. evening
7:30 pm: stop in Salt Lake to see Cecliy's senior recital at the U of U.

It's going to be a whirlwind. I will try to take lots of pictures along the way.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Today is the one year anniversary of the day of the big layoff of the Nu Skin creative group. One year ago today, at about 10:30 AM I got the phone call to go to the conference room. At the time, to be honest, I was actually a little bit relieved. By the time they called me in, I wanted to be laid off. They had started with the managers, and after 10 or 15 people, I was pretty sure that the department as I knew it would no longer be the family it had always been for me. I knew that it would be a depressing place to work without all of those lovely people surrounding me. We were all praying to get that call so as not to deal with the aftermath.

Don't get me wrong. . . I was scared. It was the only real, grown up job I had ever had. I had started the same week I graduated from college and was there for 7 years. There was a big part of me that wondered if anyone else would ever hire me. I had fallen into the job at Nu Skin almost by accident and it turned out to be something I really liked doing. And better than that, it was something that I was good at. . . but could I translate that skill set to another job? Were there really job openings out there for people like me? Were there Digital Asset managers in other companies? And most importantly, were there jobs like that in Utah, in close enough proximity that I wouldn't have to sell the house I had so recently purchased? What would happen next?

If you've never been laid off, it's impossible to describe the feeling of suddenly being set free on the world with nothing to do. I had spent 7 full years getting up in the morning and going to work. It had become such a habit that I didn't know what to do with myself without it. For the first week or two I still had a play to do in the evenings, but I found myself wandering pretty aimlessly during the day. I had no idea what to do with myself. Nu Skin had been very generous with our severance packages, so I wasn't in a state of panic about finding a job just yet, although it tugged at the back of my mind when I'd stop for a minute. I felt simultaneously like the slightly guilty kid skipping school and someone without any purpose at all.

A few days after the lay offs, we got together for breakfast. In all, around 35 of us had lost our jobs that day. There were only 6 or 7 left in the whole department. I don't think there were more than 3 or 4 missing from that big group that first day. We overflowed the Village Inn while we ate and talked and swapped information so that we never lost contact. We had lunch a week later, and then two weeks. . .

It has become a tradition that happens slightly less often now. Most everyone has found other work, moved on. . . some to other states, so our group is smaller when we get together. But we still find each other. We still swap Christmas cards and emails and wedding announcements. We still keep in touch with that family.

Today, we gathered for an anniversary lunch, and the crowd was bigger than it's been in a long time. There were a few noteable exceptions, but almost everyone was there. We filled two long tables at Thai Chili Garden and talked and laughed together as if it hadn't been a year. We filled each other in on our lives as they are now, swapped business cards, and family stories. It was a great time.

As much as I like my current job and my co-workers, I miss that crowd every day. I will always consider them family, no matter how many of these anniversary lunches pass.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hooked On The West Wing

As a trade for sending her copies of Heroes that we record, Melissa is lending us The West Wing series a little at a time. We are just about done with season one, and I have a couple of things to say:

#1-- Aaron Sorkin is a genius. I don't care what kind of drugs he was on when he was writing this, or if he's still on drugs while writing Studio 60, he's a freaking genius.

#2-- We are hooked. And we didn't really need another TV series to be hooked on. . . although it helps that this one is no longer on, so there's no real catching up to do before a new season.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Baby Shower Invites

My sister is having her third baby in the next month or so. She has two little boys, and this one will be a girl. Little Aubrey (assuming they decide they still want to call her that once she's born) has been itching to get into the world already, but we're hoping she will hold out another week so that we can throw a baby shower for her.

I spent most of my weekend, while not sleeping, making invites for said shower. And I must say, I am darn impressed with how well they turned out. I made 30, so it took a while. I couldn't find all one card for the front, so I made 3 different ones.

Here's a sneak peak:

Now to decide what the food will be. . . it's going to be a crazy week.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I Will Only Eat Fake Mashed Potatoes That Come From KFC

I have a great fondness for mashed potatoes. Always have. But I'm also pretty picky. They have to be the real thing. None of those instant, from a box, kind. YUCK. I like the texture of real potatoes. I like 'em smooth, but not too smooth. I like a lump here and there to remind me they are real. I banned the fake kind from my diet a long time ago, a time that curiously corresponded with my time living in Deseret Towers at BYU. I just couldn't handle the fake cafeteria potatoes.

The only exception to this rule has always been KFC. In combination with the gravy and the chicken and the biscuits, I could somehow ignore the fact that there weren't really potatoes in there at all, just some sort of mix. . . I would eat them, but they weren't my most favorite part of the meal.

That is, until the mashed potato bowl came to be. . .

If you have never had this monster of a meal in a bowl, may I please suggest that you try it? It goes like this: a bowl of mashed potatoes topped with popcorn chicken, corn, gravy and cheese. That's all there is to it, and it is SO good. It's always a little too hot. I always burn my tongue a little trying to eat it. But I love love love it. . . And not just because I have been craving mashed potatoes lately. I loved it before that.

But don't eat too many. They are very very bad for you. I try to limit myself to one a month, for the sake of the waist line, but they are totally worth it.

Even if they are fake.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


OK, I'm not Catholic, and I probably have no more right celebrating Lent than I do celebrating Hanukkah, but I'm doing it anyway. It's better than a New Year's resolution, in that there is an end in sight, but once you get to the end of 40 days, haven't you already created a new habit, and therefore possibly changed something that you really wanted to change?

In any case, I have given up Coke for Lent. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, it has been a full week since I have had a single sip of Coke. I am pretty dang proud of myself, I must tell you. I only lasted 8 days last time, as I got laid off on the 9th and Ben & I fell off the wagon together by way of celebration. This time, I'm making it all 40.

You heard it here first.