Saturday, August 30, 2008

Welcome Home!

My sister came to visit for the weekend. We sat around eating popcorn and watching Meet Joe Black last night. (Ok, I was watching Meet Joe Black. She was mostly chatting with Jill and Connie.) I think she's wonderful and funny and insightful and very very kind and I'm glad to see her.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Launch Party

I'd like to direct your attention to a new blog I opened. Food E (was I so enamored with the title of my previous post that I just had to figure out a way to utilize it more fully? Indeed I was.) Maybe it won't work. Maybe I'll lose interest. So far so good.

To celebrate, a treat from the archives:

In my experience there are three realms of sushi. The first is supermarket sushi—specializing in California rolls, heavy on rice, it is best for car-bound lunches paired with Diet Coke.
The second revolves around lower end sushi spots. The variety surpasses the supermarket, the miso soup is free flowing, but the sushi rice is sometimes undercooked and the sashimi is risky.
Your Happy Sumos and Takashis* produce sushi of the third realm. They’re pricey, they’re chic, I’m not convinced that they’re 100% authentic (a little over-fond of flashy, dripping rolls with quirky names), but their sushi is fully capable of inducing culinary euphoria.
In my most secret dreams I imagine a fourth realm—sushi made by master chefs in Japanese seaports, where the sashimi is still quivering and the specialty rolls inspire men to lead better lives…but, alas, I live in an arid landlocked suburb and so will take what I can get.

I visited Yamato (1074 S State St, Orem) doing reconnaissance on the expanding Utah Valley sushi scene. I wasn’t surprised to find a second-realm experience. The interior was nice—redone with paper lanterns and slate tile. The service was the high point: friendly and attentive and eager to help. The extras were ok, but the sushi wasn’t great. The rolls were small and understuffed and the California roll featured a mayonnaise-heavy crab salad, a supermarket skimp. Most unfortunately, the food was just pricey enough to make me wistful for the hipsters on Center. On a 1 to 10 scale, Yamato gets a meh.

*Since writing this (first appeared in Mungo Magazine, Fall 07) I've been to Takashi and wouldn't be so quick to clump it with Happy Sumo. That is, it's the hands-down best sushi I've had in Utah.)

Food E


Laughing Cow
Diced onions
Smoked salmon

Toasted whole wheat bagel

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Look what I can do

I just got back from my first ever fieldtrip. I planned it, passed out permission slips (and collected and sorted and alphabetized them...), printed out nametags (mail merge is a genius), coordinated parent volunteers (with lists and nametags and their insurance info), hired the bus driver (this morning). I also spent first and second periods sorting and checking and listing. We ran around frantically trying to get a couple of students permissed and paid for. I decided to drive last minute (so I could beat the bus up to be able to pay the admission fee...), which worked beautifully. At the end of the day, though, everyone was on the bus. Miraculously. I closed the door, patted the bus affectionately and they were off. Home in time for seventh.
What am I some kind of adult? :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Blogstalking a bit and found this post which lead me, of course, because how could I resist a celebrity look-alike quiz, here: They have a face recognition program that tells you which celebrity you most nearly resemble. I used this picture (well, one very similar but slightly less adorable). They matched me with Janene Garafalo (understandable) and Scarlett Johanson (hmmmm).
Interesting choices, I was pretty close to sold until I kept scrolling and found Eugene Levy and Ozzy Osborne on my list. Really? Eugene Levy? Ozzy? And it's science so it must be true! Ouch.

Thanks My Heritage. Ruin my already sleepless night for me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Passion

So my theory on "bridle all your passions that ye may be filled with love" as of late.
a) that passions have less physical/healthy/acceptable counterparts. So love is akin to but different from lust, anger is akin to but different from righteous indignation, etc. When we're asked to bridle our passions, we're not asked to become an unmoved being, but to focus on the healthy and necessary counterparts of the drives that motivate us.
b) because passions are physical, you can feel them in your body. So lust is pretty obvious, but does anyone else feel jealous in their gut? Literally feel the longing and anger up through their abdomen and attached solidly to the muscle of your neck and upper back?
c) that love (and I'm thinking charity) is a kind of skittish creature. Once our bodies (unfettered) get in the way, we can't feel it.
So jealousy. The selfish evil twin sister of, what, admiration? I think a passion we don't often think of as such. How do we bridle this fellow? Any ideas?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of family lately. One of my conclusions: family helps you be who you are. There is something very centering about hanging out with people who have always known you (though this can feel repressive at times I've found it recently to be wildly reassuring).
Last week we got together to barbecue. After our diet cokes were finished we enjoyed some vicious black licorice (Turkish Pepper Drops--a.m.a.z.i.n.g.) and headed over to the old SLC library where my dad is setting up for Body Worlds which is opening up in couple of weeks here. We walked through the building and he told us what the next steps were going to be and how the crowds were going to flow through the exhibit (which he'd planned entirely) and we complimented his mustard-colored paint job (which looks incredible through the windows and against the building's cement facade).
As my brothers-in-law grew visibly more worn I had a flash: I belong to this family. I enjoy the walking and the planning and the diet coke and the black licorice. I felt like an Evans girl (a term hardly accurate anymore) and so a deep contentment of belonging. Reassuring.

Scrambled Eggs and Toast

So it's Sunday morning and I just found out I have nothing to do until 1 this afternoon: oh free time and the plaintive call of the blogosphere.

First, some catch up. Things I've found and I love during my break:

1. Quaker Oatmeal Squares: great crunch, not as sweet (but just as flavorful) as, say, Cinnamon Toast Crunch (the last cold cereal I ate with any regularity), and they have like 5 grams of fiber per serving. A fantastic compromise between Fruity Pebbles and All-Bran.

2. "You Don't Know Me." Ben Folds and Regina Spector? Are you kidding me? Plus it's pop magic. If it came out only a little earlier I think it could've been this summer's defining tune. (On the other hand, maybe it's good it didn't...I'm about ready to kick "Viva la Vida" in the kneecap.)

3. Ice water. So, not a particularly original discovery (though I did have a stomach-sinking revelation at one point--that if the end ever comes and electricity fails us there will be no [pebbled] ice. I shudder involuntarily every time I dwell on this eventuality) but as I tend toward compulsion, an influential one. I invested in a real water bottle (BPA free) earlier this month, found out that most gas stations and Target don't mind if you borrow their ice, and have been sipping pretty ever since. One of my healthier twitches, if I do say so myself.

Otherwise, many things have changed: I moved. I live in a quiet little neighborhood near Baskin Robins in Orem. Still adjusting, but this morning with my blinds open and my fan going I feel very content.

Also, school started. The first week was simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. The panic I'm feeling right now is that I don't have anything to teach anyone and couldn't if I tried. In calmer moments I remember that I'm pretty ok at this. I had a good talk with my boss (the Headmaster, yes) and he thinks I can pull it off. I also was chatting with a woman who teaches the class I teach but part time and that was enlightening as well--that is, she had some of the same issues I had, and I had some advice to give. And she's been teaching for years.

This is the most fascinating discovery for me: my classes have totally different personalities. My first period class digs auditory/visual learning and is fairly well sedated by the 7:30 meeting time. It is going to take a lot of thought and creativity on my part to make sure that each class gets the same kind of high quality education that our school expects.

But things are going well. More later. :)