A Call to Arms

I'd like to depart from my usual reticence of talking politics (briefly) and bring an issue of great personal importance to your attention.

You know that I love the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and you know that I love libraries (especially my library). These two wonderful powers for good have joined forces to propose a Center for Story and Art (one of many proposed titles of the project that would include an auditorium with a large stage and seating for around 600, large classrooms, backstage amenities, a lobby, and offices) that would be shared between them as well as offer meeting and performance spaces to the community at large. Sadly, unscrupulous forces (boo, hiss) at work are attempting through lies and threats to destroy any chance of fruition and it would appear that the Mayor and City Council are succumbing. I refuse to be silent on the issue so I ask that you humor me for a few more minutes.

Reasons to build:

1. The library routinely puts on programs that are very well attended. These programs, in fact, are so well attended that people are sometimes actually turned away at the door or the event becomes standing room only (not ideal when the program lasts for 2 hours!!!). Clearly the library needs more space.

2. The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival
attracts more than 40,000 individuals each year to its events. It is considered one of premier Storytelling festivals in the world. It brings thousands of people into the city each year. And yet it does not have a permanent physical presence in the city. I believe it has proven that it deserves such a presence and am very excited about the further events it plans to put on if such a building is built.

3. There is currently no other venue in the city that can provide a quality space for performances and other gatherings. (And those of you who are familiar with my city do not even say the word Scera as they are not available to local performing groups and have nothing whatsoever to do with the word quality--I have strong feelings on this I tell you.) Furthermore, many local performing groups have already voiced their avid support to this proposed plan--or in other words, it would get used!

How it is to be funded:

1. By funds gathered by the existing CARE Tax (Cultural Arts and Recreation tax)--money gathered for the express purpose of arts and recreation--this means no new taxes and no increase in taxes.

2. By grant money (our blessed U.S. Congress has already set aside money for the building).

3. By private donations--private donations haven't even been officially sought yet and already 1 million dollars has been pledged.

So there you have it. I think it is an excellent idea (obviously). To this end I have started to my own campaign to get this proposal accepted.

Step One:

Get a letter to the editor published in my local newspaper. As of this morning step one is complete. Read
here to see my letter online.

Step Two:

Convince you to make a comment in support of my letter online (or even write your own letter to the editor in support of the proposed Center For Story and Art). You have to register to do so but that is what junk email addresses are for, right. Please, please, please.

Step Three:

Convince you (and lots of people) to write letters to and call the Mayor and City Council. For those of you who are think "but I don't even live in your city" I still think it is totally appropriate for you to comment, write, and call as a) we are getting Federal money--that is your money--and b) the Center will be utilized to benefit those who live beyond the boundaries of the city. So again I say please, please, please.

Write to (you can write 1 letter and they will make copies for all):

Mayor Washburn and Orem City Council
76 North State Street
Orem, Utah 84057


801 229-7035


Mayor Jerry Washburn jcwashburn@orem.org

City Council:

Margaret Black mbblack@orem.org
Carl Hernandez chernandez@orem.org
Dean Dickerson ddickerson@orem.org
Karen McCandless kamccandless@orem.org
Mark Seastrand meseastrand@orem.org
Shiree Thurston sathurston@orem.org

I am now stepping off my soapbox, ceasing all melodramatics, and looking forward to a fantastic afternoon.


Play Going

image here

I'm back from the festival. (If you've never attended the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City Utah you really must. The plays they put on are every bit as professional as any other play I have attended--and that's a lot stretching from SLC to New York to London.) With great love I must confess that I don't think that this year was one of the festival's stronger years. That said everything I saw was solidly performed--there just wasn't the buzz that usually comes along with the plays and actors at the festival. I saw Comedy of Errors (which I wish I'd skipped--too much slap stick-comedy for me--in favor of Foxfire), As You Like It, and Private Lives. Private Lives was my favorite but I'm biased toward the wit and pace of Noel Coward.

While there we found a new place for lunch (not that the Pastry Pub will ever be surpassed but just that sometimes you need a change of scenery after a couple of meals at the same place) called
The Grind. The menu isn't really very big but the specialty drinks more than make up for that.

Of course we also visited the
Pastry Pub which I am happy to report has recovered nicely from the fire that occurred earlier this summer.

One more report on the food: the tarts at the festival are bigger!!!

Now on a more serious note, I was stalked all throughout the festival by one David Ivers (far left in the photo above). I went to the Pastry Pub for lunch and he walks in and gets in line behind me. I go to the gas station and he pulls up to the pump next to me. I go to a play and he casually walks out on stage. Okay, so that last bit of stalking probably wasn't really stalking. I'm thinking of returning the favor by returning to the festival this fall to see The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged which he is directing--with some special Utah Shakespearean Festival twists.

All in all, it was as fantastic trip and I can't believe that I now have to return to real life.


Hitting the Road

I have my Swedish Fish (too hot for chocolate covered gummy bears), a new book to start (Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie), and a 10-hour play list all ready to go. Sadly, I am somehow not seeing a single Brian Vaughn play this year. Still, I've got some fabulous Shakespeare in front of me and better yet it is Shakespeare in Cedar City! (Pastry Pub anyone?)


Man Candy: Wednesday

I spent the most delicious evening last night with John Thornton (aka Richard Armitage) and (brace yourselves) I have decided that John Thornton trumps Mr. Darcy and day of the week. Scandalous, right? If you haven't seen North and South (the British one) please, please, please do so.


Jesus is my Friend

This is simply too fantastic not to pass along.


Happy Weekending.


Letterboxing Update

Here is another excellent website for letterboxing that Green Jello just turned me on to. From what I can tell it does a very good job of sorting through active letterboxes so hopefully you will not end up searching for one that no longer exists.

Please excuse me. I am feeling slightly obsessed at the moment.

Up to Interpretation

I rarely remember my dreams so when I woke up this morning with this one still spinning through my mind I knew I had to write it up and then see if anyone out there could interpret.

The dream began with me filming a music video for Britney Spears. It was very, very bad--Madonna even told me so.

Then suddenly I was at my own wedding where my parents gave me raw hamburger patties and hot dogs before introducing the program which included some unidentified bridesmaid in the most hideous dress I have ever seen.

While this was going on I looked over to where my wedding cake was on display just in time to see my cousin
Jen pick it up and drop it. Clearly this was a blessing in disguise, though, as the cake was made up of layers of angel food cake and green jello.

I was then handed a set of scriptures and an empty water bottle with the first paragraph from "A Tale of Two Cities" and the lyrics from the song "Lollipop, Lollipop" written across it. I was led to understand that someone (I vaguely think it was my husband who was absent through all this) was being held hostage and this was the first clue that would lead me to him.

This is when I woke up. Interpretations?



Have you heard about this little past time? I hadn't either until I read about it on Jenny's fab blog. It is much like geocaching (only a bit girlier). Here are the basics of how it works:

1. Get a small notebook. It is suggested you use a small sketch pad but we used a spiral bound set of 3x5 ruled index cards that we are using from back to front so as not to be bothered by the lines.

2. Pick a rubber stamp that will represent your family or group and use it to decorate the front (in our case back) of your notebook. I suppose technically you don't need to decorate your book but even in my uncraftiness it felt like I should.

3. Pick a name to represent your family or group.

4. Pull together a few necessities: your chosen stamp, ink pad, pen, wet wipes (to clean your stamp), and a compass (you won't always need the compass). We put ours in a Ziploc bag for easy storage and easy carrying.

5. Go here to search for a letterbox.

6. Follow the clues or directions given until you find the letterbox. (Be aware that occasionally the letterbox will be missing. Many of the pages giving the clues will let you know if it has been reported missing or will let you know when it was last found but not all will. My advice is to either pick a couple backup letterboxes to search for or choose a location/hike that you will enjoy regardless of whether you find the letterbox or not.)

7. Once you find the letterbox and retrieve it (without drawing the attention of any other hikers or individuals in the area), make your mark with your stamp in the notepad that has been left in the box and then using the stamp from the box place the stamp in your own notebook. Then fill out any other pertinent information such as the date and your group's name.

8. After you are finished with the letterbox replace all the items and put it back in the exact spot you found it (using stealth so as not to draw the attention of any people passing by).

9. After you return home go back to the page you got the clue and let the letterboxer know when you found their letterbox (also let them know if you didn't find it or if there was a problem with the box--a missing stamp, water damage, etc.)

Go here for more information on letterboxing (there are some short articles on getting started that I found very useful). This is the best link at that site for searching for a letterbox (or at least I think it is).

This is the first one that we tried (and didn't find).

This is the first one we found.

If you live in Salt Lake, Utah or Wasatch Counties
here is a good blog with recent letterbox clues. (Use the sidebar to find the clues)

If you live in Boston I want you to try to find
this one. You could pretend to be James Bond or Jason Bourne. Just don't get caught!


Julie and Julia

Before I went to see the film I looked through the reviews to see if anyone had said anything bad about this particular movie. You see, I had such high hopes for the movie that I was sure that I wouldn't love it as much as I wanted to. The reviews, though, seemed to be pretty good across the board. Therefore, in hopes of helping you to enjoy this movie I thought I would start out with the bad before moving on to the good:

1. It seemed long. It was long (over 2 hours) but it also seemed long.

2. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending. I'll tell you why at the end of this post but beware that in telling you why I will give away parts of the movie that you may not want given away before you see it.

3. There is a slight lack of character development. You are left to assume lots of things (especially about Julie's friends and her relationship with her husband) rather than see them work out or see them work up to the culmination that is eventually played out in the movie--that is to say you see the culmination and are left to assume the build up of emotions.

Now the good:

It is a thoroughly charming and entertaining movie. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep are both very, very good (I imagine that being on set and watching Streep work was pure joy). At times it is laugh-out-loud funny--the lobster scene that you have previewed if you have seen a trailer is even better in the movie. And then at other times it is deeply moving. Now that I have seen the movie, I feel that I must go out pick up Julia Child's cookbook and at least attempt a few of her recipes. I also now feel that I must somehow figure out how to visit Paris in the 1950s.

****Warning: do not see this movie when you are hungry.


Reasons I think I was left unsatisfied by the ending:

1. It is a Nora Ephron film. Just in case you weren't aware it is a Nora Ephron film they put it right up on the screen in big bold letters right before the film begins. That means that as this film begins you have thoughts of When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail running through your head--movies that all end with a kiss and a swelling of music. This is not one of those films. There is no swelling of music or satisfying kiss to close this one out. That is not to say that there should have been just that perhaps I was subconsciously thinking there would be and then felt at a loss when a Nora Ephron film didn't deliver it.

2. There is no conclusion about why Julia didn't like Julie. Had she read the blog? What exactly did she not like about Julie learning about French cooking and life through her own book. From everything else that is shown in the movie, it seems ridiculous that Julia should not embrace Julie. If Julia truly didn't like what Julie was doing it seems to me that there must have been a serious whitewashing of one of the characters (or both) which disappoints me just a little even though I know it is a movie and therefore is whitewashed.


Letters I'd like to Send

Dear Americans who were hiking through Iraq and stumbled into Iran,

Really? What made you think that hiking through Iraq would be a smart/fun/safe thing for Americans to be doing.

Yankee Girl


Dear President Obama,

I appreciate all the money that my local governments are receiving that allows them to to do so much roadwork. However, is it necessary that all the roads be worked on at the same time?

Yankee Girl


Dear Roadworks Individuals (and President Obama),

While what you are doing is causing me stress, I must say the finished roads look very nice.

Yankee Girl


Dear AzĂșcar,

You are right. Haagen Daz Carmelized Hazelnut Gianduja is better than any Ben and Jerry's. Also, I love you blog and I would consider watching American Idol if you were to replace Paula Abdul.

Yankee Girl


Dear Semi drivers,

We are not friends.

Yankee Girl


Dear Julia and Julie movie,

Please, please, please be good. I am coming to see you tonight.

Yankee Girl


Attention Please

I would like to announce that

I would also like to announce that Segullah invited me to be a guest blogger.

You can read my post here.*

*please feel free to comment** so as to make me feel very positive about myself as it is a well known fact that self esteem is directly related to the number of comments one gets when one blogs

**also be kind as I opened myself up quite a bit more than I am used to doing on the Internet.