No Sissy Girls Here

The Mia Maids (the young women's group I work with in Church ages 14-16) went rock climbing this week. It was a ton of fun even though I was at the bottom belaying (is that right?) everyone--caught every one of them when they fell! I hadn't planned on climbing from the beginning because I suffer from a fear of heights, but as the evening wore on I began to get tempted. I didn't actually succumb to temptation because I was wearing jeans that would have made climbing difficult and if I was going to break down after getting 5 feet off the ground I didn't want to do it in front of the girls. But I'm definitely thinking that at some time in the future I might just want to give it a try. Does anyone out there rock climb? Do you have tips for rock climbing with a fear of heights?

All of our activities next month revolve around wedding stuff (the younger girls (12-14) somehow ended up in charge of nearly the month of activities and that is what they picked). Our rock climbing girls didn't seem quite so interested in the ideas but we shall see.


Oscar Recap and other misc.

So I got 11 out of 24 correct--not too bad if we make it a baseball stat but pretty miserable if we give it a letter grade. I thought Hugh did a decent job (loved when he serenaded Kate Winslet about swimming through excrement for her and Anne Hathaway was very funny as Richard Nixon) and I thought the new format of having a group of previous actress/actor winners present this years winner was rather touching. Overall, though, I was a bit bored. Maybe some year they could skip the presenting of awards and the "I never expected this" speeches. Don't worry too much if you missed it though because like so much of what Hollywood does (whether it be a certain grade of movie or the behaviour of those in it) it was pretty much missable--perhaps I watched too many award shows this year--except for Hugh and maybe Tina Fey and Steve Martin too, oh, and Ben Stiller doing Joaquin Phoenix.

Speaking of missable Hollywood, have you seen "He's Just Not That Into You" yet? I saw it a couple of weeks ago and while I didn't love it (at all--way too many characters that don't get developed nearly enough. They should have limited it to 3 couples. Also to Scarlett's character I would like to say: what kind of a woman purposely pursues a married man and then is shocked when he cheats on her? But the engagement scene with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston was very cute and Ginnifer Goodwin was fantastic). Anyway, speaking of Ginnifer Goodwin, I love her hair. And since seeing the movie I've noticed several other actresses in commercials sporting the style and it makes me want it. Only I've been trying to grow my hair out and I probably couldn't pull it off anyway (I've got thin, straight hair).

Or here she is with it straightened (I might be able to do this). Bethany, I'll be calling you.


Oscar Update

So I've been noticing a trend with the Oscar picks that are being discussed on TV and in the newspaper: My picks and their picks are not the same (except Heath whose sympathy vote makes it a foregone conclusion). I'm not going to change my picks though. Instead I'm crossing my fingers that the votes for Penn and Rourke cancel each other out and that guy I voted for wins.

Win or lose, though, the night (for me) isn't really going to be about the slumdogs or dark knights. It will be all about one of my pretend boyfriends:

Pictures (It's about time, right?)

So here he his. My sweet, adorable, little nephew.

This one was taken about 5 hours after he was born:

And here he is one week later modeling the cute hat and blanket that I crocheted for him:

Isn't he so cute? And he smells good too.

Here is his big sister in the elevator on her way to meet him for the first time:

And here she is with her mom the moment her life changed forever:

And here she is again a few days later when they brought her new little brother home and she realized that her life had changed forever:

(In case you can't tell, she was having a bit of a breakdown)


My Oscar Picks

Remember back a few months ago when I wrote about how much I enjoyed the movie "Australia?" And how I thought it might get an Oscar nod and that Nicole Kidman should get some consideration for an Oscar as well? Only as it turns out the movie didn't get much of a nod and Kidman is embarrassed by her performance. Keeping all of this in mind, here are my Oscar picks:

Actor in a leading role: Frank Langella (it will probably be Mickey Rourke but on account of his general inability to put words together and his apparent need to publicly grope women giving him awards I just can't bring myself to vote for him)

Actor in a supporting role: Heath Ledger

Actress in a leading role: Kate Winslet

Actress in a supporting role: Penelope Cruz

Animated feature film: WALL-E

Art Direction: Revolutionary Road

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire

Costume Design: Australia (I just had to vote for it)

Directing: Slumdog Millionaire

Documentary feature: The Betrayal

Documentary short: Smile Pinki

Film Editing: The Dark Knight (cause just maybe Slumdog won't win it all)

Foreign Language Film: Departures

Makeup: The Dark Knight

Music (Score): Defiance

Music (Song): "Down to Earth" WALL-E

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Short Film (animated): This Way Up

Short Film (live action): Spielzeugland

Sound Editing: Iron Man

Sound Mixing: WALL-E

Visual Effects: Iron Man

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Slumdog Millionaire

Writing (Original Screenplay): In Bruges

One other reason not to trust my picks too much: I've only seen 4 of these movies: Australia, Kung Fu Panda (all though I don't think I saw the entire movie), The Dark Knight, and Iron Man.

What/Who are some of your picks?


It's A Boy!!!

This is a very significant event for our family as the last time a boy was born into our family was the 1940s. More to come in the form of pictures later. Mom (Jillian) and baby are doing fine.


Grammy Fashion

Okay, so this post is a few days late, but I wanted to just take a minute to say something about the fashion choices of some at the Grammy Awards.

Did you catch the show? I didn't catch any of the red carpet so I can't speak much to what the celebs whore to the show, but I would have to say that much of what was worn on stage was a bit disturbing.

For example, starting things off for the night was Bono wearing some strange over-sized moon boots. Then there was the disturbing number of men trying to bring back Michael Jackson's one-glove theme. Most of these men were music artists that I wouldn't recognize, but one was Morgan Freeman. And while Morgan Freeman isn't exactly a fashion icon, he is old enough to know better. Kate Beckinsale's dress was a bit dramatic--more Oscar-like--for the Grammy Awards and apparently no one told her that she would need to climb up some stairs which she couldn't do in her dress without pulling it up around her thighs. And then to top it all off we had the artist M.I.A sporting this look:

Kudos to her for being able to move around the stage 9 months pregnant like she did, but the dress was ALL wrong--especially since the four men she performed with (Jay-Z and others apparently of his caliber--I mean no disrespect by not knowing who the others were, but that is just not my musical scene) all looked fabulous in tuxes.

So who do I think looked stunning? Like I said I didn't catch the red carpet so I don't really know what people were wearing, but from what I saw I like Adele, Jennifer Hudson and Taylor Swift. Of course I can't find any good pictures of what they wore so you will just have to take my word for it that I liked them.



My friend Allyson posted this on her blog and it was just so sweet and happy that I thought I'd pass it along:


Midwinter Storytelling

So I should have told you about this a week ago, but I forgot about it until yesterday late afternoon. The Timpanogos Midwinter Storytelling event is now underway. This year the event features Elizabeth Ellis, Syd Lieberman (whose voice I could listen to for hours and hours--to say nothing of his fabulous Jewish home life stories or his historic tellings), and Bill Harley (who brought us such classics as "There's a Pea on my Plate" and "Monsters in the Bathroom" that both you and your kids will love). Go here for more information on dates, locations, and prices if you live in my area.

And just as a general (gentle) reminder, the Monday night performance by Syd Lieberman of "Abraham and Issac: Sacrifice at Gettysburg" is probably not young kid appropriate much like last night's performance by Noa Baum of "A Land Twice Promised" was not young kid appropriate because, like the conflict in Palestine/Israel, the Civil War wasn't actually all rainbows and butterflies--I know surprising--so you might want to leave the kiddies at home this time.

In the meantime, and for those of you who haven't the slightest idea what I'm talking about, enjoy:


The Curious Case of Forrest Gump

I haven't gotten around to seeing the Curious Case of Benjamin Button so I don't know how true the following is, but it sure is funny. (I hope the clip stays available to you).

OK, so I can't get the clip to work, but if you go here you should be able to view it--and it is worth it.

The Superbowl (as interpreted by the BBC)

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I switched on the radio and caught the final moments of the BBC News top of the hour report. They were finishing up with a report on the American Superbowl. The report went something like this (in part):

...thrilling match....the Pittsburgh Steelers only regained the lead in the closing stages...

I am glad I caught the report because I hadn't no idea how cuddly and dignified American football is (thrilling match!!! Love it).

In addition to catching the BBC report I also watched the real thing--which was thrilling--only I watched mostly for the commercials--except I kept forgetting I was watching for the commercial and so missed about half of them. From the ones that I did catch, well, I've got to say none of them caught my fancy. Which one's did you like?

In lieu of a favorite from this year, here is my all-time favorite Superbowl commercial: