Thursday, August 20, 2009


We may have just driven 24+ hours to get here, but we're leaving Utah once again for some wakeboarding and fun with the in-laws in Idaho.

Be back soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Operation renovation

Does it count as a renovation if you're not knocking down any walls?

As many of you already know, we're renting our sweet little townhouse from my parents. We'll stay as long as we're here in Utah, and, in the meantime, we're prepping it to sell or rent in the future.

So far, we've got a new storm door and blinds and quite the list of things to do.

Since windows are limited--not to mention the light fixtures--we decided to lighten up the room a little and repaint.

Which is why, at about 11 o'clock last night, you could find us busily painting our living room walls.

We're also getting new carpet put in next week.

Which is probably another reason we didn't mind painting so late, and why you might find splatters of Kilim Beige throughout our carpets (and probably still in my hair).

Oh, and in response to my renovation question earlier, I'd like to submit this photo:

We may not be knocking down a wall, but sometimes it feels like it...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wicked luck

I’m addicted to live theatre. Ever since my parents took me to see my first musical, Singing in the Rain, I was hooked by the magic. And it changed my life. When I was in high school, I auditioned for every play to cross that hallowed stage. I received my letterman’s jacket, not by making varsity volleyball or the cheer squad, but by becoming an Honor Thespian. I sealed the geekiness when I qualified and competed at the International Thespian Festival. In duet pantomime. If you didn’t catch the “re” spelling, let me spell it out for you this way: I was a total theatre nerd. Though somewhat suppressed in recent years, the love still lives.

When I first met Ryan, I was a bit skeptical that I could share this love with him. To every degree that I was a theatre nerd, he was a football jock. (Never would have worked had we met in high school...) But as we started dating, I discovered his artsy side. He loved painting, writing, Mozart, and, be still my soul, Shakespeare. We were going to make it.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that Wicked was coming to Austin. I went to their website, knowing full well that just two weeks prior to the show, the tickets were sure to be sold out.

2 tickets. Best available. Click.

Seconds later, it said there were two 3rd row tickets available in “PIT.” Hmm. Pit. As in “orchestra pit” or “deep, dark, pit of despair”?

When I called to clarify, I was told they had just barely released one row of seats to this previously sold-out show, and if I was lucky enough to come upon them, I should take them in a hurry.

And take them I did.

We had a great time. Turns out 3rd row really meant front row, center (they took the floor out from the first couple rows to accommodate the orchestra). Of course, at that proximity, we were privy to wig lines and head mics and saliva. (And did that spit fly!) But we could also see every facial expression, no matter how subtle. We could watch the drummer as he rocked out to a musical like an 80s rock star. We could appreciate the intricate costumes and makeup. This was Ryan’s third musical ever, and now officially his favorite.

p.s. In another grand stroke of luck, I won my first blog giveaway! Thanks to this lovely lady, I get to pick something from this lovely shop. I must be living right... :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Scary stories to tell in the dark

Remember those books from elementary school? The lady who always wore the yellow ribbon around her neck? The vindow viper? I loved those stories. Apparently they almost got banned from libraries in the 90s. But they sure made good camp-fire story fodder well into junior high.

Ready for something really scary?

Last month I went a few weeks without Internet access (Ahh!! Ok, no, that's not the scary part) when I went back up to Utah for a work conference. As I was getting ready to go, I wasn't super excited about being all alone in our townhouse. When I'm alone, before I can sleep, I always end up going through every room in the house with a large blunt object to frighten away any lurking intruders. I know, right? Really intimidating. A lady who's afraid of the shadows and carrying the Modern American Usage guide. (Don't laugh--they're heavy! Certified weapons in some states.)

Surprisingly, I only had one little scare on my trip. The big news is what happened back at the ranch.

Ryan's mom and sister came to visit (Ahh!! I kid. Scary part still on it's way) and spend some time in Houston. They saw Phantom of the Opera, lounged by the pool, explored the eats, and generally had a good time. Until the old wailing man came.


Ryan calls one night after a game of pool. They had heard a noise. A loud noise. Something that sounded like a loud groan. Or an old wailing man. They make sure to lock the front door and start checking around the house (if only they had my usage guide!). The wailing continues. Someone screams--the front door is suddenly unlocked.

I suggest they turn on the alarm. Unfortunately, I only know one way of turning on the alarm, which, unbeknownest to us all, triggers the motion detectors. So right when everyone begins to feel safe and snug, the alarm goes off, causing a sort of frenzy. Oops.

In the end, after an unnamed individual had been carrying a pool stick around the house for protection, they discovered the culprit. A tree branch. It was windy outside and when the branch brushed the window in just the right way... well, it sounded like an old wailing man had come to visit.

Sorry. I don't think you'll be able to use this one on your next camp out. I just thought it was funny. Stick to the books, and you should be fine.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good eats

Houston is full of 'em. And, after dining at a wide selection since being here, so am I. And I couldn't be happier.

If you happen to be in the area, you've got to check out some favorites below:

Red Fish Seafood Grill: Tight location, but full of flavor. The entrees look impressive, but if I were you, I'd stick with the sushi. One roll feeds five. Or one really hungry lady. (Me.)

Churrascos: Yes, Sarah, that was chimichurri sauce on top. The steaks here are numbered in the top ten best American steaks. They bring a unique South American flair to the table and earn a special place on my palate.

Dario's American Bistro: The kind of place where servers put the napkin in your lap and never let your water glass near empty. The tuna steaks (rare) are Ryan's favorite. Not that he's ever ordered anything else there, but when you find something you like, why stray?

Chipotle: They're all around the US, but mmmm. We'll miss having one down the street.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Another national player, this place has yet to appear in Utah. A guy in Ryan's mission ate 75 of these bad boys in one sitting. Now those are some good wings.

Shipleys Donuts: Forget Krispy Kremes. These are the best glazed donuts I've ever had. They make 'em fresh, no cookie cutters needed. Oh, and don't miss the kolaches, especially if you've never heard of one.

Houston may have held the Fattest City title for a few consecutive years, but at least we got that way in style. Jo etvagyat!