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!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Forgetful Tooth Fairy

Yesterday morning E lost a tooth, his third.  We put it in a baggie and I told him he could put it under his pillow for the tooth fairy that night. 

Normally our weekday evenings are pretty routine but last night I took a friend out to dinner to celebrate her birthday and then when I got home N and I spent time picking what movies we wanted to see at the Sundance film festival so I ended going to bed a little later than normal.

And N and I totally forgot about the tooth fairy.

I didn't realize our mistake until the first thing E did when he woke up was reach under his pillow and pull out the baggie with his tooth in it.  I felt horrible. 

Trying to salvage the situation I snuck into our room, grabbed the gold dollar coin I had set aside earlier, and went back to E's room and slipped it under his pillow.  Then I suggested E double check under his pillow.  Lo and behold! 

After he found the coin I nonchalantly suggested that the tooth fairy must have dropped the tooth or forgotten to take it but that she must have realized her mistake and would come back for it tonight.  E was so excited about his dollar that he seemed unfazed about the tooth fairy missing out on her end of the bargain.


Sunday, January 04, 2015


E goes back to school tomorrow and I am really looking forward to getting back to our routine.  Christmas is still spewed all over the house and I'm itching to get things put away and to clean out the fridge and start cooking normal dinners again.  We've been living off of Christmas stocking booty and the novelty of eating cheese, summer sausage, and crackers for dinner is wearing thin and I'm craving some vegetables.

I'm setting a few goals for the coming year, nothing earth-shattering but I would like to 
  1. Blog more
  2. Cook more
  3. Read more books
  4. Quilt more
  5. Exercise more
  6. Complete the Spanish unit on DuoLingo
#5 is the only specific goal.  I would really like to be proficient at a second language and it seems like a doable way of achieving that.  Duolingo is a free language-learning app I downloaded on my phone.    I would like to improve my Korean but they didn't offer it so I went with Spanish since I took a few years of it in high school.  It's pretty fun and I think if I can just remember to use it for 10 minutes on most days I should be able to complete the unit in a year and have a pretty good grasp on things.  

Are you setting any goals for the coming year?  I'm trying to decide if it's worth fighting the crowds at the gym this week or if I should give it a little while for things to settle down ;)

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

My mom brought the kids new hanbok back from Korea a few months ago and so we took a few pictures of them for New Year's day.

Mimi loves wearing her hanbok and says she is a Korean princess (the whitest one-quarter-Korean princess ever :P)

I may have described E's hanbok as a "ninja outfit" to him to enlist his cooperation  :)

2014 had its ups and downs for us and I'm looking forward to a fresh new year...and part of that is blogging!  I'll be posting 2-3 times a week so get ready to dust off your RSS reader like it's 2008.


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