Monday, July 30, 2007

Deathly Hallows

Have you finished yet? Have you? I finished Saturday and I gotta say. . . I loved it. I think Ms. Rowling did create a bit of a bloodbath, despite her reassurance that it wouldn't be one. . . but I loved the way it ended. It was perfect.

Agree? Disagree?

Friday, July 27, 2007

San Diego, part 2

Monday we decided to try our hand at Sea World. We spend some time there on our last trip to San Diego and had a great time. . . Tiff & the girls were planning to get season passes, so they decided they'd join us part way through the day.

This is where we spent a good chunk of our day. . . again. For some reason, this guy totally fascinates us:

When the girls showed up, we saw a couple of shows before retiring for the day. These are the 3 girls, and Ben, at the Sea Lion show:

Ben with Madison

Lily & Kate

Ben and I then joined some friends for one of our favorite out of town treats. . . Cheesecake Factory. WHY is there not on in Utah, I ask you? WHY?! And while we're on the subject. . . Trader Joes. WHY are you not in Utah? Don't you know you could make a killing here? I'm just saying. . .

Tuesday we took off from San Diego and went up to LA. Our friends Rob & Michelle were kind enough to let us stay with them, as we had tickets to another theatrical experience that night. As an anniversary surprise, Ben had gotten tickets to see Wicked.

What an AMAZING show. I had such a fantastic time. It was so brilliantly done. The cast was awesome. The set was gorgeous, and the theater (The Pantages) was SO cool. Best anniversary present EVER.

The drive home was meant to be rather uneventful. We left LA at 10:30 am, figuring we'd get back to Springville around dark. No problem. I nodded off while Ben drove and all was going fine, until about 40 miles past Barstow. There was suddenly a clicking noise in the front passenger wheel well. It was weird, and a little disturbing, so we pulled off the road to look. Nothing appeared wrong, so we kept driving, and it started clicking again. So we pulled off the road again, and I pulled the car forward slowly while Ben watched the tire. . . at which point he saw a stringy thing hanging off of it. We decided to go up the road about a mile to the rest stop and take the tire off and check it out. . . turns out, the tread on the inside of the tire was coming off.

The short version of the story is this: we had to call a tow truck, rather than drive on a tire that was losing tread or a tiny donut on the freeway. We had to be towed back to Barstow, because there was no tire store in Baker. And, in the end, we had to replace 3 tires (the other was replaced a couple of months ago) 5 hours after the time we'd gone through Barstow the first time, we left it again. Hot, tired, and ready to be done. After a day of stress like that, it's no wonder I started having contractions. . . And let's just say this baby is SO not ready to be born yet. SO we decided to be smart and stay in Mesquite again, at the same hotel, so I could lay down and rest and hope the contractions would stop. Luckily they did.

In the end, it was a very exciting trip. And expensive trip, but an exciting one. And we're really glad we did that one last time before the baby makes travelling a whole new adventure!

San Diego, part 1

So, the trip is over. We're back in Utah and I'm back at work today. What a bummer. It was so nice to be away for a while. We got a rocky start on Friday, meaning to leave by about 1 pm and not actually leaving our house until about 7:45. It was midnight by the time we made it to Mesquite and our hotel. I was exhausted, and that was precisely the way I didn't want to start the trip. . . But the hotel was clean and nice, and that helped.

We finished the drive the next day, without incident. Ben had gone over to Walmart as soon as he woke up to buy Harry Potter. H
e read the first 5 chapters to me while I drove.

Once in San Diego, we went with our gracious hosts, Ben's sister Tiffany and her family, to a birthday dinner for their oldest daughter Madison. She turned 8 on Sunday, and we celebrated with a "Kim Possible" ice cream cake.

We went up to Ramona to visit some high school friends, and visit Ben's favorite Mexican food. Followed by a matinee of West Side Story. . . Some day. SOME day, we will learn our lesson about community theatre. It's just so very hard to watch sometimes. . .

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We're Back

And boy, do I have some stories to tell. . . after I take a nap.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Public Service Announcement.

Spread the word.

NEVER. Under any circumstances. No matter HOW tempted you are to do so, Do business with Ken Garff Saab in Salt Lake City.

They charged us extra for a warranty that costs a RIDICULOUS amount of money to maintain. They promised us an extra key and manual for the car we bought that they have NEVER provided, or even attempted to provide.

And the "service" provided by they "Service Dept." is a piece of crap. NEVER believe the price quote they give you over the phone. NEVER believe that "Making an appointment" (which they require) will promise you that your car will be serviced at that time. And NEVER trust that it will take the amount of time they promise it will take for ROUTINE maintenance.

Can you tell I'm angry? Is it possibly because they told Ben to bring his car in for it's 30,000 mile service at 10 this morning, telling us it would take 2.5 hours, charging us $600 for said service when there is NOTHING WRONG with the car, and it is now 4:00 pm and they STILL aren't done? Is it possibly because I am stuck at work 3 hours longer than expected without a car, without a way to go get lunch, having eaten a HOT POCKET from the VENDING MACHINE for lunch. Pregnant women need to EAT!!! REAL FOOD!! (OK, granted, it was rather naive of me to trust anyone who services cars for a living to stick remotely to what they say, but COME ON!! I know I should have just driven my own self. I know that if I had, I could be home napping right now, having already turned in vacation hours for this afternoon. So I'm naive. . .)

Spread they word. Far and wide. Ken Garff Saab is a poorly run business that is not to be trusted.

The End.

San Diego

We're off for a much needed vacation in San Diego.

There will be some Sea World, and there will be a day of the Zoo. There will be tasty Mexican food and probably more walking than will be comfortable for my pregnant self. There will be an awesome anniversary celebration with some great theatre.

There will also be 75-80 degree days and 65 degree nights. Holy CRAP I'm excited for that!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Prank Calls

"Hello, This is Melanie"

"Melanie, is your apartments still for rent?" answers a very young boy's voice, possibly 10 or so. . .

"I'm sorry, I think you have the wrong number"

"NO I don't!" the voice gets gravelly, like he's trying to sound a little fierce.

"who is this?"

"Why does it matter?!" even louder.

I hung up on him. I probably could have had a little more fun with him, but not with my co-workers listening.

He called back, but I didn't pick up. And now I'm curious as to who he was.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hurley & Hardees

I can't help but love this commercial. We all know how much I love Lost. & I have a special place in my heart for Hurley. . .

Check out some of his early work:

Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekend Update

Logic says that the higher your altitude, the cooler the air. This is generally true no matter what time of year you are in, which is why that snow stays on the tops of the mountains longer than it stays in the valleys. It's also why Park City was a great place for our honeymoon. It was warm, but not the 100+ degrees it was at our house. . .

The same logic should have been able to be applied to the cabin my grandparents have up in Logan canyon. It's pretty far up there, and in my past experience, I've never been overly warm up there.

Apparently I've never been there in July.

The evenings were wonderful and comfortable. Luckily there were fans. But seriously, Saturday I didn't think I would ever cool off again. Thank heaven mom had a rare forgetful moment and neglected to bring the hamburger for dinner. We were all thrilled to take a trip down to Logan and spend a glorious hour or so in McDonalds, eating deep fried food and soaking up the air conditioning.

I think, in the end, the kids barely noticed the heat. They're resilient.

Grandpa took the boys on a "snake hunt" after a little basic training, and it was the highlight of the very hot day for them.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter

We are Harry Potter fans in our house. I'm not afraid to admit that. We have all the books, we've read all the books, and we love them. We are also fans of the movies. I've been impressed with the way that different directors have put their own spin on the stories while still remaining true to the ideas established in the books. As the series has gone on, it has become more and more necessary to narrow the amount of detail included in each movie, for the sake of length. Those books are LONG! Each time they do it, I get more and more nervous about the things they'll cut and if the story will be as satisfactory as the book. . .

Truthfully, I don't think we really intended to see the 5th movie right when it opened. The older I get the more claustrophobic I get in crowds. And pregnant, much worse. . . But last night, on a whim, Ben decided he wanted to see the movie because we'll be in the mountains this weekend and wouldn't have a chance to see it until next week.

All of our favorite theaters were long since sold out, of course, so he headed south in search of tickets. We (along with 7 others) ended up seeing Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix in beautiful Payson. Which isn't a huge deal for us. It's not much further than Orem for us. . . but Nick & Jules and the rest had to drive back to American Fork at midnight! Now that's devotion.

I had heard some mixed reviews of this one, so I didn't go in with my hopes especially high, I will admit. But I must say, I really really liked what this new director (David Yates -- a British TV director) did with book 5, and I'm excited that he will also helm the 6th movie. There was very little exposition, very little spoon feeding, and a LOT more subtext than has ever been in a Harry Potter movie before it. There were some surprisingly good performances from the kids, and some great choices made for advancing the plot without leaving too much out. This is definitely one of my favorites in the series. . . Go see it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I may not be a high stress pregnant woman. (I honestly believe I spend a lot less time worrying about every little thing I do than your average first time mommy)

But I was still relieved on a level that didn't know was possible when the doctor went through our ultrasound results yesterday morning and pronounced the findings "unremarkable". He then said we were "very lucky" and sent us on our way.

I've never heard better news in my life. I've never been so happy not to be "special".

Monday, July 09, 2007

Movie Weekend

Finally, a nice movie weekend to do some catching up on the stuff we have wanted to see. . .

First was Transformers.

Let me just say that although my brothers (and even my dad) were into these toys as kids, I never really followed the story line. I had no idea what to expect. But Ben did, and he was kind enough to clue me in on a few things along the way.

I don't generally love Michael Bay as a director. I have been impressed with very few things that he's done over the years, but this one was great. The special effects were awesome, but not too much. The script was surprisingly good and even funny. . . and Shia LaBeouf. That kid is awesome. I was wholly impressed. The only weak link, ironically, was John Turturro. He was so ridiculously over the top that he made me cringe every time he was on screen. Very unlike his usual actor self. . .

Second movie of the weekend was Ratatouille.

I am a big Pixar fan. I have loved pretty much everything they've ever done, on some level. This was a great choice for them. The voice talent was great, while not distractingly familiar (if that makes any sense) and the animation is, once again, beautiful. I loved it.

Friday, July 06, 2007

New Toys

This past week we considered, for several days, replacing the TV in our family room with something much bigger and fancier than the TV we have now. We had money saved up that we could have used, and the tech geeks within us really loved the idea of a huge flat screen TV. Heaven knows we'll be staying home and watching TV a LOT more in a couple more months, and we were rationalizing it all over the place. . .

In the long run, though, we decided
against it. We decided to splurge in a much smaller way, on something much more reasonably priced, and put the rest of the money away in a college fund for the wee one.

For our specia
l treat, we went to Williams Sonoma (surprise, surprise) and bought something we really didn't need, but that we totally love. We had seen it reviewed all over the place, raves all around. We have 2 other ice cream makers, one of the old ice and salt kind, one that you have to freeze the canister for at least 8 hours before hand. Being the poor planners we sometimes are, we never think to put the canister in the freezer. And the ice and salt way is just messy and annoying. This one. . . holy cow is it an improvement. We made 2 batches of yummy vanilla at my parent's house this weekend and it was both super easy and super yummy. I can't wait to try some sorbet!

We also got aprons

this DARLING bug cake pan (yeah, just what I need)

And all for a SMALL fraction of the price of that TV.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

It's True. . .

I really am pregnant.

And here's your proof, in case you were at all skeptical.

I finally made Ben take a belly picture so I could capture the madness for posterity, and as a tool for future child torture. "See what you put me through?!"

Or maybe just so I can look back on 23 weeks with fondness when I'm 37 weeks and want to die even more than I do right now. I know it's possible, but I'm trying not to imagine it right now. . . I think it's best that way.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Private Practice

I can't decide how to feel about the change in casting on the Grey's Anatomy spinoff Private Practice. On the one hand, I have loved Merrin Dungey since the first season of Alias, and I was so sad when she was no longer on the show. And I was THRILLED when I found out she'd be on this show, which was sure to be watched, at least for a while, by the gazillions of Grey's Anatomy fans out there (myself included).

But seriously, how can I argue with the replacement they've chosen for her?

Audra McDonald. The woman for whom I wrecked my car a couple of years ago (OK, that wasn't totally a choice, but it is a coincidence) She has made the jump to Hollywood several times, and it's never stuck. I'm rooting for her this time. Even if Merrin had to be ousted for her to get cast.