Friday, February 20, 2015

Kpop: Goodbye PMS!

So Lizzy from Orange Caramel (one of my favorite Kpop groups) recently released this video featuring comedian Park Myung-so (PMS).  I've watched it a few times and it cracks me up every time.  There's an ad in front of it but it's worth it.



I hope you have a good weakend!  N's department at work bought a pair of nice season tickets for the Utah Jazz and it's our turn to get to use them tonight.  I'm not really that into basketball but I love going on dates with N so I'm excited.  I'm also looking forward to staying home tomorrow and catching up on the laundry situation around here which has become...dire.

See you next week!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mimi's Rainbow Cake

At the end of last month Mimi turned four.  It was a crazy time with Sundance going on and N being out of town for work but we made sure to celebrate and had a birthday dinner for her with N's parents.

I'm not sure where she saw one but when I asked her what cake she wanted Mimi immediately replied, "a rainbow cake!"  Since all our birthday cakes need to be vegan because of E's food allergies I ended up using a white cakemix with Vegg egg-replacer and then tinting the batter with food coloring.

Mimi was ecstatic to help shake on the sprinkles and had such a good time that I didn't even mind the almost constant pinging of sprinkles as they hit the kitchen floor and bounced away ;)

She was really, really excited about the cake (And lately the kids have gotten into mugging for the camera, sigh.)

Trendwatch: painting your dining room to match your children's eyes is all the rage for spring!

I'm so grateful to have this little one in our family.  She is full of joy and sweetness and sass and her laugh is the best sound in the world.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sundance Recap 1

The weekend went by in a blur but it was an interesting, happy blur.  N and I saw five movies at the Sundance Film Festival and on Sunday we celebrated Mimi's fourth birthday with N's parents.

So far I've been impressed with all the movies we've seen.  The first movie we saw was What Happened, Miss Simone?, a documentary.

Right to left: The director Liz Garbus, Nina Simone's longtime guitarist Al Schackman, crew, and a producer
Right to left: The director Liz Garbus, Nina Simone's longtime guitarist Al Schackman, crew members, and a producer.
I had heard of Nina Simone but didn't know much about her life or music. But the documentary did a great job covering her life and music and placing it in the context of the times she lived in.  It took a subject I knew little about and made it fascinating which I think is a sign of a successful documentary.

The second movie we saw on Friday was Bronze, an edgy comedy about an washed-up Olympic gymnast living in her small town milking her former glory for all it's worth. It was written by wife and husband team Melissa and Winston Rauch as a vehicle for Melissa to star in it.

They did a Q&A after the film with the director and Thomas Middleditch (whom I like from Silicon Valley on HBO ) who plays a love interest.  Melissa and Winston said that the idea for the movie sprang from a moment when Winston told Melissa, "You know, you're really short.  You could play a gymnast!"

Left to right: director Bryan Buckley, actor Thomas Middleditch, writer/actor Melissa Rauch, and her husband and co-writer Winston Rauch.
Left to right: director Bryan Buckley, actor Thomas Middleditch, writer/actor Melissa Rauch, and her husband and co-writer Winston Rauch.

The movie is very very very funny, but definitely not for the faint-of-heart.  The Q&A after was fun--it was neat to hear Melissa and Winston share about working together as a married couple and unbelievable to hear that the movie was made in just 22 days.

All of the movies we saw this weekend except for one had Q&As afterward which was great.  So far I think this might be the best year we've had at the festival.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sundance Week One

The Sundance Film Festival begins later this week and N and I have tickets to some shows!  It's a fun thing that we try to make time for every year.  This year we're going to see 10 films (in 4 days, gulp.)

Our ticket package was limited to showings in Salt Lake City and N's work schedule/our babysitters' availability limited us to movies on Fridays/Saturdays so our choice of films was somewhat constrained.  There were things we wanted to see but couldn't find a convenient showing of which was a bit of a bummer.  But I'm looking forward to seeing some movies that I normally wouldn't have the chance to see and spending a few days hanging out with N.  Here is what we're seeing this Friday and Saturday.

**The summaries are taken from the Sundance Festival Program.**

What Happened, Miss Simone?
A classically trained musical genius, chart-topping chanteuse, and Black Power icon, Nina Simone is one of the most influential, beloved, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. On stage, she was known for utterly free, rapturous performances, earning her the epithet "High Priestess of Soul." But amid the violent, day-to-day fight for civil rights, she struggled to reconcile artistic ambition with her fierce devotion to a movement. Director Liz Garbus sensitively explores the constant state of opposition that trapped and tortured Simone—as a classical pianist pigeonholed in jazz, as a professional boxed in by family life, as a black woman in racist America—and in so doing, reveals a towering figure transcending categorization and her times. The film stays true to Simone's subjectivity by mining never-before-heard tapes, rare archival footage, and interviews with close friends and family. Charting Simone’s musical inventiveness alongside the arc of her Jim Crow childhood, defining role in the Civil Rights Movement, arrival at Carnegie Hall, self-imposed exile in Liberia, and solitary life in France, this astonishingly intimate yet epic portrait becomes a non-fiction musical—lush tracks and riveting story resonating inextricably. —C.L.

The Bronze
In 2004, Hope Ann Greggory became an American hero after winning the bronze medal for the women's gymnastics team. Today, she's living in her father's basement in her small hometown—washed up, largely forgotten, and embittered. Stuck in her past glory, Hope is forced to reassess her life when a promising young gymnast who idolizes her threatens her local celebrity status. Will she mentor the adoring, hopeful protégé, take her down, or both?

In the summer of 1968, television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley, Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult—cementing their opposing political positions. Their explosive exchanges devolved into vitriolic name-calling. It was unlike anything TV had ever broadcast, and all the more shocking because it was live and unscripted. Viewers were riveted. ABC News' ratings skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born.

In early 2000, in a tiny village in one of the poorest mining valleys in Wales, Jan Vokes, the barmaid at the local men’s club, hatches a crazy plan to take on the “sport of kings” and breed a racehorse. She gathers together a group of locals who each agree to pitch in 10 pounds a week. They raise their foal on a hillside made of slag from the coal mine and nurture it to maturity. Reflecting their pride and flights of fancy, they name their horse Dream Alliance. To the astonishment of the racing elite, Dream becomes an unlikely champion, beating the finest thoroughbreds in the land. Then, in one fateful race, the horse—which embodies the plucky band of misfits’ hopes and dreams—has a near-fatal accident. Nursed back to health through the love of his owners, Dream makes a remarkable recovery, returning to the track for a heart-pounding comeback.

In 1996, shortly after the publication of his groundbreaking novel Infinite Jest, acclaimed author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) sets off on a five-day interview with Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg). As the days pass, a tenuous yet significant relationship develops between journalist and subject. Lipsky and Wallace bob and weave around each other, revealing as much in what they don’t say as what the say. They share laughs, expose hidden frailties, yet it’s never clear when or to what extent they are being truthful. The interview is never published. Five days of audio tapes are packed away in Lipsky’s closet, and the two men never meet again.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Playroom Update 1

Our house is on the smaller side but we like it.  It's our first home and while I know that we'll move eventually we don't want to do so now.  But we were bursting at the seams a bit with all the kids' stuff so we decided to finish part of basement to use as a playroom.  I'm so excited to chuck all the toys down there and clear up some space in the rest of our house.

I didn't take a picture of it before, but the hardest part was clearing the room of all the junk we had stashed in it when we moved in  Ten years of junk is a lot of junk!

Drywall going up.  I am still finding dust around the house in random places.

I found a good deal on some gray laminate flooring which helped us come in under budget which was  great.

I spent most of the day today sorting and organizing toys.  I just need to hang up things on the walls and tidy things up and then I can share pics of the finished room.

Monday, January 12, 2015

K-Pop: I'm Different

The table and chairs are assembled!  Assembly was a breeze (really just screwing on the table legs) the difficult thing has been trying to find someplace to put all the cardboard packing materials.  We let the kids have free reign with all the boxes for a day to build forts with in the living room but then we dragged it all out to the garage...where it will probably stay until spring.

Last week N gave me the Kpop mix CD he made of the best new releases from December. He has made me a new mix CD every month for almost two years now and it's the best.  The kids and I love listening to them in the car.  I'd like to figure out a way to stream each month's mix here on the blog so the 4 of you that are interested in Kpop can listen to them ;)  

For now I thought I'd share another of my favorite videos here again.  This one came out a few months ago but I like it a lot.  It is a cute collaboration called Hi Suhyun that is made up of Lee Hi (on the left in the frame below) and Lee Suhyun from Akdong Musician (on the right).

Friday, January 09, 2015

Some Assembly Required

It was nice getting back into our normal routine this week but boy, am I ready for the weekend.

Number one on my to-do list for this weekend is to assemble our dining table so we have something to eat on.  Up until now we've been using the small table we bought when we were in college. It didn't expand and it was a tight squeeze to fit any more than four people around it.  Also the chairs were wiggly and close to breaking.

I had thought about building a table in woodworking class but knew I wouldn't be able to finish one before next December (there's no class during the summer) so we've been on the lookout for one to buy.  I saw a set at Costco that was a good deal so we bit the bullet and bought it yesterday and my lovely neighbors/friends helped me schlep it home in their pickup truck.

Last night I gave away our old set so assembling the new set has a, um, certain sense of urgency.  I thought it would be easy to get rid of since we were giving it away for free and I had a lot of responses to my ad.  The first person to response told me she would be by at 8pm to pick it up so N and lugged it out to the driveway.  And then when I messaged her to let her know it was in the driveway SHE TOLD ME SHE HAD CHANGED HER MIND.  Super frustrating!  I messaged back and forth with some of the other people that had expressed interested and finally found someone who actually picked it up.  

Anyway...I hope you have a good weekend.  When you're sitting at your already-assembled dining table enjoying a meal think of me.  See you next week!


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