Nov 29, 2008

Royal Flush and Turkey Day

We went to play Texas Hold 'Em last week and I had to take a picture to document my getting a royal flush. No one at the game had ever seen anyone get one before, and google says the odds are 1/649,739. Even cooler was the fact that I didn't even have to bet big and scare people off, because one guy went all in on the hand. I still didn't win the game, but it was fun.

For the first time I didn't see my family on Thanksgiving, since Seth and Darleen were having their 3rd baby and my parents went out to visit them and help with the other kids while Darleen bonds with the new little one. We almost didn't go to Tim's family gathering either, because the day before they called and reported that several people were sick. The sickest people didn't end up coming though, so we headed over there and spent a fun afternoon and evening eating, playing games, and talking. I get the day after Thanksgiving off of work, so Tim took it off too and we've been enjoying a long weekend.

Nov 25, 2008

Book Review: Shadow of the Wind

My brother gave this book to me for my birthday, and it was a great choice. Good character development is a must for me in fiction I enjoy, and I'm especially a sucker for first person. This book had both.

I really enjoyed the style the book was written in. It is the type of book where each sentence is poetic and many lines make you stop and think. The descriptions of the settings were good enough that I felt like I could see them. "That year autumn blanketed Barcelona with fallen leaves that rippled through the streets like silvery scales" I loved the plentiful opinions about human nature that were observed by the characters throughout the book, Like this one: "Never trust girls who let themselves be touched right away. But even less those who need a priest for approval. Good sirloin steak-if you'll excuse the comparison-needs to be cooked until it's medium rare. Of course, if the opportunity arises, don't be prudish, go for the kill." And this one: "Television is the Antichrist, and I can assure you that after only three or four generations, people will no longer even know how to fart on their own and humans will return to living in caves, to medieval savagery, and to the general state of imbecility that slugs overcame back in the Pleistocene era."

Style aside, I was caught up in the plot from the beginning. It starts with a 10 year old boy whose father takes him to the cemetery of forgotten books, where he is told to choose one book, which he will spend the rest of his like protecting. After reading the book he selects, he wants to find more by the author, but discovers that someone is systematically destroying them. This book is about the boy growing up, about his quest to find out about the dark past of the author of The Shadow of the Wind, and about the way that the two intertwine.

One of the main points of this book is how great it is to get immersed in a book, and how sad it is that reading is enjoyed less and less as television dominates. "She says the art of reading is slowly dying, that it's an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day."

By the way, after much thought, I still have no clue what the title means. I do remember the phrase shadow of the wind is used somewhere in the book, and it partly explained it, but I can't remember exactly how it was used. So, if you do read this book, and you see that phrase, please let me know what chapter it is in so I can check it out!!

Nov 23, 2008

Coldplay Concert

Last night we went to see Coldplay, one of Tim's favorite bands. He had wanted me to go with him to see them years ago when we were first dating, and I turned him down. So, it was nice to go with him this time. I don't usually listen to much Coldplay, but I actually had a really fun time at the concert and enjoyed the music. Our seats were the furthest away possible, along the very back row of the arena. But, there were camera people there filming from all different angles and it was projected onto a huge screen so we could still see what was going on even though we were a million miles away.
There were some huge hanging spheres too that changed colors and had projections from the cameras on them sometimes. They were pretty cool. The last concert we went to, Muse, had a bunch of bright lights flashing on behind the stage that were splitting my head open the whole time, so this concert was a dream because they used lasers and things that were a lot more pleasant. Cell phones have become a big part of concerts recently, and it is cool to see everyone wave their lit up cell phones in time with the music when the lights are turned down.

Coldplay is pretty chill music most of the time, so a lot of people sat through most of the concert instead of standing and dancing, but there was this one couple who was realllly into it next to us. The guy was waving his arms around like crazy and I kept seeing his hand swiping through my peripheral vision. It kept me on my toes not being sure if I would be smacked, but it was kind of funny to see how into it they were. Even though the excitement may have been drug induced.

We took trax there and back and on the way back it was totally crammed. There was this funny group of Jr. High boys standing near us that kept us entertained on the way home. They had way too much energy and got so excited at one point that they all whipped their jackets off and tried to do more pullups on the bar near the top of the car that the handles are connected to for people who are standing to hold.

Nov 22, 2008

Movie Review: Twilight

**If you haven't read the book, don't read this before you see the movie.**

Yeah, I'm a loser, I saw Twilight last night. I was feeling pretty pessimistic about the movie, because so much of what happens in the book is internal, and without it, I feared the cheesy dialogue would be ridiculous. It turns out, the dialogue was the least of the problems. Overall, I'd say I felt like the movie was average. Not a train wreck, but it didn't live up to its potential. For reasons that you'll soon discover in my review, it is my opinion that the movie makers originally wanted Bella and her dad to be zombies, to get a little more action in the movie. But, after they were done filming, they realized it didn't work, so they took out all of the flesh eating scenes, and this is what they were left with.

Before I saw the movie, I thought the guy who was cast as Edward was going to bother me, but I ended up liking him and thought he was a good actor. Of course, he and the other vampires were supposed to be beautiful, and I only found the bad guys to be attractive, but once I got past that I didn't mind Edward at all. The only problem I had with Edward, and with many of the vampires in the movie, was that they insisted on applying heavy lipstick on the men and they went overboard on the white make up. Interestingly though, they made the bad guys look hot. James didn't have excessive chalky white make up on, or too much lipstick. I was so confused as to why the bad vampires could look sexy, but the main characters had to look ridiculous, was the make up artist an internal saboteur? One other small problem I had involving Edward was how they had him flouncing around showing off how he could jump and tear out large tree roots. Somehow he looked a little silly doing those things... maybe the effects just weren't good enough?

I was surprised to find that the girl cast as Bella is the one I had a hard time with. Overall, she did a decent job. She does capture a few of Bella's querks pretty well. She is good at acting a little clumsy and at getting cute and overwraught when she thinks Edward might leave her. My main problem was her appearance and her tone of voice, and I don't think either of those were the actresses fault. She looked very haggard. Her face was thin, cheeks sunken, face chalky, hair too dark for her face in most scenes, and she appeared to have an eating disorder. I know she isn't supposed to be beautiful, but she isn't supposed to be on the verge of death either. I've seen other pictures of her where she looks beautiful and healthy, so this is definitely partly a problem with the hair and make up again. Also, the filter used on the camera to make everything look dreary made everyone look terrible. The same effect I see on myself when I'm under flourecent lights in a ghetto bathroom. Another reason she may not have looked youthful enough is because the actress is 28. And her acting didn't help liven the character up. There was no spark to Bella, no interest, it was like she was a zombie. See how here she looks half asleep? You're thinking, yeah, but that is just bedroom eyes, passion. NO. This is how she looks the whole time.
The only time I liked her voice was in the narrated parts, where she sounded more expressive. Which leads me to believe that perhaps the actress isn't the problem.

Bella's dad was a little too smooth. Bella's dad is supposed to a little dorky, awkward, and adorable. This dad didn't really act like he had a whole lot of feeling (a zombie, like Bella?). In the part where Bella leaves he barely puts up a fight, so as he is allowing her to walk out the door Bella throws a harsh comment at him "because it is the only way he will let her go". Being halfway out the door already, and not having much protest from dad, I found this to be very stupid. In the book of course, it is necessary, her dad is putting up a fight.

The main points of the plot I can't get picky about, because they follow the book closely. The buildup as to how badass James is and how they're only safe because there are 7 of them vs. James and Victoria, and then Edward being able to dispose of him on his own in the end all happens in the book, but it does look kind of silly on screen.

The scenery is gorgeous, and it was fun to look at. Although the whole movie was shot using some kind of dreary filter, which makes it a little less gorgeous.

Other than those things, I did like most of the movie. I liked that the book was followed closely and they didn't change much. I found the movie to be entertaining and I didn't get bored at all. Even Tim thought the movie was okay, and that must be a good thing considering he hasn't read the book and isn't a girl. I think if I was a teenage girl I would have loved it, and after all, that is the target audience.

Nov 20, 2008

Exclusive: Stars Caught Without Makeup!

Now you can see that hot stars, such as Tess and Tim, look like real people when they don't have their make up on.

We snap a lot of pictures with our cell phone cameras. Most of them end up being just normal pictures, but every once in a while we look at one and exclaim, "Jackpot!" These are such pictures. Actually, I happen to remember the circumstances under which the picture of me was taken and it is they are totally worth relaying.
We live in kind of a patchy neighborhood. Mostly it is good, but there are a couple of homes where there are some fairly trashy people living. We really wanted to snap a picture of a scene outside one of these homes where there were a bunch of people out in the front yard drinking beer and smoking and of one man in particular who never wears a shirt and has this big belly. On a side note, I've seen him outside mid winter with only pj bottoms on and boots smoking and drinking. On this occasion we failed to get a good picture of them, but this one of me is awesome.
While I'm on the topic of neighbors, I do have some pretty interesting ones that we've been observing in their natural habitat for years. It is remotely possible that they could read this, and I'm sure they'd know exactly who they are... maybe I shouldn't be posting this... but, really, how could we NOT know about them, what with them always out front screaming at one another. I guess I'll just try to be vague. At first, there were two women living there and one man who would always be out in the car port without his shirt on tinkering around with a car that never actually got fixed. We never knew if he was dating one of the women. Then, later, he and one of the women disappeared and a different man moved in, he was possibly married to her when he moved in, all we know is that currently they are divorced. He can't seem to find the motivation to move out, despite the fact that his live in girlfriend frequently gets upset about how he won't move out and threatens to break up with him. She keeps coming back for more though, so maybe he is making the right moves. Meanwhile, he and his ex's son, who we believe to still be in high school, has a girlfriend living there too. Isn't that cute? Father and son both have live in girlfriends. Just to add a little more flavor to the story, the cops stop by the house frequently, but we're not sure what for, and no one ever gets arrested.
When football season started, the man moved a big screen projection television out into the car port along with a bunch of lawn chairs so he and his buddies could get wasted and watch the game without his ex getting pissed. Actually, it seems like that would piss her off, too, but I'm really not sure why else one would move a big screen tv out into the car port. Maybe he just loves to be outdoors. At one point the glare on the tv got to be too much so they hung a blanket over the front of the car port to make an outside room. The antics going on during the games were always pretty funny, men dancing around with one another barely able to stand. Ahh. We can't ever say we don't live in a colorful neighborhood. I was originally gonna post the pictures we have of the blanket covered car port, but I think I've already revealed too much. Just to even things out, I will say that the man seems to be a pretty nice guy from the few times we have talked to him. He came over to tell us when he saw someone had broken our car window out on the street. Which actually leads right into another story about our neighborhood. This is getting kind of long though, and probably none of you have the energy left to read another story. Perhaps I'll post a sequel.

Nov 19, 2008

Lazy Morning

Today I took the day off from work because my parents are going to be in town around noon and I figure it is a waste to drive to work and back for just a half day. I had told Tim probably about five times within the last week, two times just yesterday, about how I had the day off and that my parents would be here. We woke up at the usual time and I was lounging around drinking coffee talking to Tim. Then, I spread my arms out and said joyously, "I just can't decide what to do with my morning, read or draw!" A little light bulb appeared above Tim's head and he screamed, "You have the day off today?? Here I've been courteously waiting around for you to leave for work before I go to work!" He'd been wondering why I was taking so long,My poor sweet husband with fairly severe short term memory loss problems...

Nov 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

I had a hard time deciding on the title... because normally I call you mama, but that sounded kinda funny as a title, so I decided to sell out. Here is the painting that I totally couldn't keep to myself and already told you all about. I'm surprised I didn't end up showing it to you before hand. Surprises aren't my strong suit...

Thanks to you and daddy for giving me such a great childhood! I couldn't imagine a better mom and BFF.
I hope you have a great birthday!
Love you.

Nov 12, 2008

Hot Blog: Tessothy

I found out yesterday that in google if you type in h dogg my blog comes up. It also comes up if you type in snoop dogg howard. Pretty cool, huh? No? Well. I guess I'm easily entertained then. Also, I see that I have been linked to on a Jane Eyre site because I posted a book review on it. Actually, that is a little sad, because the book is awesome, and if someone is actually picking my review out of google I assume there must not be a whole lot of reviews to choose from. I did feel a little excited that someone was linking to my blog though.

Nov 11, 2008

Noises Off at Pioneer Theater

We got to use our season tickets for the second time Saturday night. We saw Noises Off and it was amazing. Seriously, absolutely hilarious. It is about a group putting on a play and it has three scenes. The first scene you see from the front of the set as they are auditioning on the eve of opening night. Some of them screw up their lines, some enter their scenes at the wrong time, and there are several actors sleeping with the playwright and with each other while one man was just divorced from his wife. All of the actors have these funny quirks. Like one woman is really into yoga and keeps contorting herself into strange positions and flashing the audience in her spare moments. One man gets nose bleeds when anything traumatic happens, like his foot being stepped on. Then he gets faint at the sight of his own blood. One man is very old and can't hear his prompts. The second scene takes place a month after opening, and you see it from behind the set. Things have gone fairly awry, and the scene is really chaotic because you are hearing the play being performed while hearing and seeing the actors fighting with each other and getting their signals all crossed trying to act out the play. The two women the playwright was sleeping with now know about each other. Everyone is angry. The third scene was the really hilarious one though. You see it from the front of the set, and the whole thing is just this hilarious disaster. Some of the actors try to improvise their lines as the things and people they are talking about fail to appear at the right time. Some of them bumble through them anyway. The whole audience was laughing so hard. I was crying it was so funny. You can see the trailer which captures the comedy pretty well at the bottom of this page. Great play!

Nov 9, 2008

Tim Regresses

Friday night we went up to Snowbird with some of Tim's friends. Tim makes fun of me when I'm talking to Laura and start to sound like an idiot as I regress back into Jr. High, but him and his friends may have even regressed back into elementary school Friday night. It was funny to watch them all turn into kids again. Here is Baker after we went out to eat.

He kept playing with his crab body parts as he was eating, and when we got into the elevator he whooped out this crab pincher, it was pretty hilarious that he kept it. The crab pincher was fully involved in all activities throughout the night. It even took a dip in the pool and hot tub with us. Then, the next day Tim opened the front door, and what should he find leaning there for us? The crab pincher. It now resides in our aquarium.
Here we all are getting ready to head down to the pool. Everyone was jealous of the bath robes that I brought for Tim and I. Notice how Tim's privacy is being violated in this picture.

The guys antics in the pool and hot tub were quite energetic. Everyone who was in the pool when we got in soon crammed into the hot tub. By the time we were ready to get out there were just two brave souls clinging to the opposite end of the pool as us, hanging on for dear life in the swirl of waves created by six grown men leaping into the pool and launching one another merrily through the air into the pool. I was mostly spared from the snowballs at least.

They cleared out the hot tub pretty quickly too. Here is one friend, who shall remain un-named just in case this individual should ever want to seek out a career in politics. He is executing a penguin slide into the hot tub, yet he is chattering like a dolphin. I call it the penphin slide. Maybe it should be spelled painphin, cuz I think he was complaining of his nipples having been sheared off when he got done. I guess he was ok though because he tried it several more times.

Nov 6, 2008

Lettuce No!

It's too greeeeen, it's too crunchy,
And the taaaaste, it's not yummy,
So, when you ask if I waaaaant some,
The answer's alwaaayyys none,
Lettuce no! lettuce no! lettuce no!

That's just a little something a whipped up a few years ago, and I sing it often all through the holiday season. I knew the snow was good for something. I think I stole the title from somewhere, but the lyrics are original. The song is especially original because instead of singing it to the tune of Let it Snow, I sing it to the tune of Walking in a Winter Wonderland. I thought I was singing to the tune of Let in Snow for a long time, but Tim informed me that I was not. Just more evidence that I have no concept of tune. It is still a lovely tune though. Let me help you along if you can't remember exactly how it would go:

It's too greeeeen, it's too crunchy, (sleigh bells ring, are you listening)
And the taaaaste, it's not yummy, (in the lane, snow is glistening)
So, when you ask if I waaaaant some, (a beautiful sight)
The answer's alwaaayyys none, (we're happy tonight)
Lettuce no! lettuce no! lettuce no! (walking in a winter wonderland)

Nov 5, 2008

Political Shomitical

I was surprised and pleased to see that two counties in Utah actually voted Obama. Salt Lake County almost did too, it was 48.9% vs. 48.4%.

I don't want to be misconstrued as saying that I'm proud to be an American, because I think proud is the wrong word for something you were born into (lucky instead?), but I am proud of America today. I prefer to be unexclusively proud of things that people are or do intentionally, and not disdainful of them for things they did not choose. I am glad that today in the eyes of the rest of the world we have begun to redeem ourselves. I feel confident that Obama will unemotionally and carefully consider the options before making decisions, and I am excited to see how the future will unfold.

By the way, I'm really proud of Sadie and Howard for being American.

Nov 1, 2008

Halloween Festivities

I had the idea that Tim should dress up as a Spartan from 300, and for some reason I thought his costume was going to be hilarious. I planned for him to wear brown tighty whiteys, a sheet for a cape, and a bike helmet with a dust broom duct taped to the top. That is as far as I got in the planning stages before about 6 p.m. on Halloween. But, after he got dressed up and we did some muscle shading and and slathered fake tan color on him, he didn't really look funny. This was a first for Tim dressing as something serious. He did look pretty good though, and he'll be the first one to tell you so, he was totally checking himself out as often as he could, it was pretty funny. The combo of us looked funny though. Here I am very unimpressed by his muscles.
And here he is unable to resist smacking my bootylicious booty. My character started out as just this trailer trash old woman who lost her cat, but she evolved into a confident sexual goddess seducing people left and right all night long, which you'll see for yourself soon enough.
Here I am threatening him with my awesome moves.
Perhaps I should back up and introduce you to my character. Here is a little series of pictures that really tell her story.
Oh, no, mah cat is missing. This here's some flahers, yah see?
Oooohhh.. uuuhhh-ohhhh... I'm losing my grip on em, they're a fallin!

(Whoops, looks like I forgot to rotate this picture, oh well.) Oh, dearie me! Lookie here I better pick these up up..

Hold the phone.. theres sompthin I don't rekon I realized before... I'm gorjus!!!
Yup, these young whopper snapper ladies think so too, lookit 'em, they caint keep their derned hands offa me! Lookit that priness Leia, her face is contorted with her lust for me.
Here's that there Leia again, all over me like white on bread. I didn't think she was really all that special looking, as you can see in my expression, but I didn't mind a little flirtin. I jes hope I didn't lead her on too much.
Leading her on would have been cruel, especially after her man, Juan Solo, showed that he clearly had a pref-rence for me.
Here are Teisha, Laura and I thinking that we are each the Last Unicorn, not realizing that all of us were unicorns. We were very sad. I didn't realize till now that my unicorn horn looks more like the loser sign.
Here we are with a zombie who wandered by. We are penguins here, who are seduced by the camera man.

Here is brave Juan, protecting Leia from the great Howard monster.

I had a fun night, my character really came out of her shell. Normally I'm a little shy around people I don't know too well, but my Halloween characters tend to be loud sexual women, and this year was no exception. Tim went to high school with Teisha, and room mates with her later, and I'd met her but never really talked to her much. She was a blast to hang out with, and I have my costume to thank for overtaking my bashful personality. I should probably dress like this every day, don't you think? I'd probably become famous.

I dressed up for work too. That was also fun, but I was devastated to learn that my costume wasn't unique. What are the odds?

We both were finalists in the costume competition, but neither of us one first or second. I think I was a little cheated, surely the crowd would've been more impressed had there just been one of my costume. The guy who won totally deserved it though, his costume was so elaborate and funny. Plus he is in the marketing department with me and on my team too, so I was glad that he won.
Here's another guy from my team, I get to take credit for the makeup.

One team dressed up like star wars with a pretty hilarious Leia.

Hope you could handle all of the pictures, I went a little crazy!
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