An Evening With the Derby Girls

On Saturday N and I went with our friend Erica to our first roller derby bout. We had a great time!

Our home team, The Molly Morbids (love the name!), was playing a visiting team, the Nevada East Roller Girls. The wife of one of N’s coworkers is on The Molly Morbids (her derby name is Pain In The Nikki) so we had a lot of fun cheering for her and the rest of the girls on our home team.

The little knowledge I had about roller derby came from watching the movie Whip It a few years ago so I was a little unclear on the rules but after we watched a few jams (plays) it was easy to catch on to the gist of things. The finer points of some jams still eluded me sometimes but it was easy to know when to cheer.

Basically one girl from each team (the “Jammer”) tries to lap the other plays on the rink. The Jammer that gets out in front first becomes the Lead Jammer and scores points for every member of the other team she passes. Her teammates try and help her get past the other team while the other team tries to block her or knock her down.

Legal blocks include hitting anywhere from the other player’s shoulder to their upper thigh (so no smashing them in the face or tripping) and you can hit with your hips, torso, and arm and shoulder (but not elbow).

Besides the exciting plays there are other fun aspects to roller derby: the girls wear fishnets and little spanky shorts and have punny names like Chiquita Wa-bam Ya and Beat-Her Venkman. There’s a lot of entertaining showmanship. But make no mistake, the girls are in great shape and amazingly tough. And you also see women of all shapes and sizes playing this athletic game.

Things were pretty clean the first half of the game but in the second half the blocks were flying. When the girls get knocked down as they’re whipping around the rink it can get pretty brutal, as you can imagine. It was really exciting and I found myself whooping and hollering whenever we scored.

The local league plays most of its games down at an old Food 4 Less in Spanish Fork, which is a long drive for us, but if they come back to Orem I’m totally there.

For more information, see the Happy Valley Derby Darlins site.

So You Think You Can Dance?” Tour

For my birthday N gave me tickets to the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour. The performance was on Wednesday night and it was AMAZING. Those kids are incredible athletes. It was a really fun night out with N and was the highlight of what has been kind of a hard week for us.

During intermission we were chatting and I asked N why so many Mormon kids are really into dance (we were seated in the middle of a big crowd wearing “Team Caitlyn” shirts). His face got that lawyer-ish look it gets when he’s getting ready to launch into a long explanation of something.

“Well,” he said. “It goes back to the 60s and 70s. There was this bishop in Lehi who was against dancing…” I interrupted him by smacking him in the arm.

He had me right up until “in Lehi.” (Ha-ha, I love this guy.)

(By the way, the mill is only 10 minutes from our house and you should check it out if you’re ever in town. The cookie, pancake, and cake mixes they sell in their gift shop are supposed to be super yummy.)

I hope you have a nice weekend. N and I are gearing up for a whirlwind visit to Seattle for his grandpa’s funeral on Saturday. We leave the house at 6am, fly to SEA, go straight to the funeral and a family lunch, and then leave for the airport to fly back to SLC. It’s going to be a crazy 14 hours.

State Fair

We had an especially lovely day on Saturday.

We like to visit the state fair every year and so on Saturday we packed the kids into the car and drove up to Salt Lake. Since we were so close by we first stopped for lunch at Red Iguana 2.

This second location is just blocks away from the original and has the same fantastic food but is less crowded and more kid-friendly. After a lunch of the best Mexican food around (Seriously, if you haven’t been, you need to go and try one of the moles!) we drove over a couple of blocks, parked for free on the little street where we usually park and went to the fair.

We looked at the folk art (check out that amazing Dear Jane quilt in the middle photo), pet the livestock, rode some rides, got E some cotton candy and a balloon animal, and left ten minutes before the little guy reached his limit and melted down. And during all of that Mimi chilled in her stroller like a champ.

The fair runs through September 18th and you can buy discount tickets at Smith’s or online.

Last Minute Fun

I know this is kind of last minute, but if you’re looking for something to do this weekend can I suggest catching a comedy show?
Jenna Kim Jones is hilarious; N and I try to catch her shows whenever she’s in town. (She’s a family friend but we would go see her even if she wasn’t–honest!) Jenna lives in New York where she works for The Daily Show but does a few shows in Utah every year, so don’t miss your chance to catch her live!

Jenna Kim Jones at Wiseguys Trolley Square
July 8-9
7:30 and 10 PM each night
$10 Tickets (2-for-1 coupons available here.)

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

Last week one of N’s friends at work took him to L&L Hawaiian Barbecue for lunch and N liked it a lot. So on Friday we made the drive to Provo to eat there for dinner–worth it!

I’ve never been to Hawaii and I had never heard of this chain before. But I have eaten a lot of Hawaiian and Korean food (Korean BBQ is a big influence with Hawaiian BBQ) and I thought the food was good. The service was unfriendly (bordering on surly) like it is at some small places but all the food we tried (ribs, chicken, pork) was super tasty. And the portions are HUGE; we had enough leftovers for lunch the next day. We will definitely be going back. If you decide to go, go hungry and early (they close at 8pm).

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
W. 1230 North & N. Freedom Blvd.
Windsor Park Shopping Ctr.
158 W. 1230 North
Provo, UT

There’s also a Salt Lake location:
(S. 700 East & University Blvd.)
358 S. 700 East

Tracy Aviary

Thank you for all the supportive comments here and on Facebook! You guys are seriously the best. I’m out of my slump and feeling more upbeat about the whole food-allergy thing.

I wanted to post these pictures from when I took the kids to the Tracy Aviary a couple of weeks ago. We went with N’s sister Miranda and my cousin Youngshin and her daughter who are visiting from Korea.

The highlight of the visit was feeding the conures. You can buy tickets ($3) and go right into the birds’ cage and feed them apples from your hand.

E was very excited about the prospect of feeding the birds but, predictably, once we were inside it was a little much for him.

The aviary was doing a lot of construction when we were there in preparation for the summer crowds which was a bit of a hassle to deal with. But all of the exhibits were open and it was nice seeing the birds. Hand-feeding the conures was definitely my favorite part. If you want to feed the birds you need to purchase tickets at the front gate when you come in.

Book Party!

A few years ago I took a few photography classes from Nicole Hill, a local professional photographer, before she moved to San Francisco. In Utah there are more “professional” photographers than you can shake a stick at, but Nicole is the real deal: she’s Brooks Institute-trained and her work appears in magazines and national ad campaigns. I enjoyed her classes and picked up some good tips. Since then Nicole has been busy building her own photo/design teaching empire and has created online classes and textbooks.

I’ve been wanting to try out their Illustrator textbook but the price was too steep for me. So when I saw that they were having a book party at a local design store and that books would be $20 I marked my calendar.

If you’re interested in going, let me know and let’s try and meet up!

Yay for the weekend!

My quarterly report for work is finally finished which means that I can stop and just breathe for the first while since we got back from Korea. Not having any pressing work deadlines means that I’ve emerged from my stressed-out stupor, looked around my house and realized “Er, I should really clean this place up.” However, that’s what tomorrow is for.

Today I’m treating myself for finishing my report and I’m getting a start on holiday gift-shopping. After I drop E off at preschool I’m heading down to Provo to check out the Bijou Market, a craft fair that usually has some really cool things. And then depending on time I may treat myself to lunch at a local Korean place.

Last night N and I went out to dinner and saw the new Harry Potter movie. N’s company rented out a theater and so we got to see the movie at 6:45 pm instead of midnight. (I’m still not sure how we got to see it before midnight, though. Maybe there weren’t the same time restrictions on private screenings?) As we were walking into the theater there was already a long line of teenagers camped outside the theater (some in tents). The security was pretty crazy. When I left my seat to go to the restroom I had to show my ticket at least three times to get back to my seat.

But it was really fun to hang out with N and chat with the people from his office. I thought the movie did a pretty good job. The first part of the book is not really my favorite part and the movie alternates between long scenes of Harry, Hermione, and Ron wandering the picturesque countryside and frenetic fight scenes.

The movie definitely feels like the first half of a longer film; I found myself checking my watch to see how likely it was that they would be able to wrap up the movie in a satisfying conclusion. But they don’t even really try: there were groans from the audience when the movie ended abruptly. But the movie was fun to watch and the actors did a great job, particularly the A-list supporting cast and Emma Watson. It’s worth seeing; I just wish I could have seen part two immediately following it. (Oh, and if you go I would recommend sitting pretty far back: the camera work during some of the fight scenes is pretty close. (But maybe that’s just because I’m getting old)).

Going on a Train Ride

I’ve had a vague urge to cram in some fun outings for E before the weather turns cold and we’re stuck inside for months. Hence visiting the state fair two weeks ago and taking a ride on the Heber Valley Railroad this last Saturday.

We went on the 90-minute ride and E loved it. It was a lot more crowded than last time we went and we couldn’t get seats in the open car. So we sat in one of the restored cars and E had a blast craning his head out the window like a dog in a pickup truck. (We insisted on keeping a firm grip on his pants which annoyed him to no end.)

The whole outing was a bit of a production (it takes almost an hour to drive up the canyon to the train station and then home again) but it was fun. I don’t know if we’ll go again next year since since you have to buy 3 year-olds their own tickets and the cost adds up quickly.

N and I haven’t been out on a date in a while so that evening we got a sitter and went to dinner and to see The Town. I was pretty wiped out from our train adventure and was worried I’d fall asleep during the movie but once it started I forgot how tired I was. It was well-paced and in general the cast was very good.

State Fair

I took a stab at freshening up my template over the weekend. I mostly wanted the main column to be a bit wider for posting photos. I’m still tinkering, but we’ll see.

N and I took E to the state fair on Saturday. We crammed in all the hits: petting livestock, looking at folk art, going on rides, and eating fair food (a Navajo taco, a smoked turkey leg, fresh cut french fries, and Hawaiian pulled pork).

E’s favorite part were the rides. He especially loved the Ferris wheel. We were only there for about two hours but by the end he was pooped. He fell asleep within minutes of being buckled in his car seat.