Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fall Semester

This is my first semester of no generals. That is a happy thought, and on that note, here's just how interesting my classes are.

Urban Growth Management: This is the numbers side of Planning. So far, I've learned that soon enough condos, town homes, apartments, etc., will out-value single family homes. Now, before you cry out in disbelief, consider this. We, as a human race, are living longer. As such, we only have children for one-third of our adult life, approximately 25 years, instead of having children and then just dying. Once people are finished rearing children, they don't want to live in the suburbs, far from the city where they could easily access theaters, restaurants, and other such places of cultural association. Anyway, to add onto this, there is a shortage of multi-unit dwellings and an over supply of single-family homes. So, according to my professor, it would be wise to move closer into the city and invest in condos.

LEAP I: This is an architecture class where we've discussed everything from the allegory of the cave, to Vitruvius, to Gaudi. Mostly we've just been looking at pictures of amazing architecture, which is very interesting.

Shaping Urban America: Today we spoke about New Orleans, and "harvesting" within cities. In New Orleans, any house with 36 inches or more of water was condemned to be bulldozed and everything sent to the landfill. We talked about how there is embodied energy in all materials, the energy it took to make them and ship them, and that we can salvage these materials and the energy in them by re-using them.

Planning Processes and Methods: Taught by the former planner for Park City, I'm not entirely sure how this class is going to turn out. More to come on that.

Maybe this all sounds boring, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

big day

Today was a really big day. It was the first day of fall semester, and it was so nice not to feel like the new kid on campus as I strolled from trax to the architecture building for my urban growth management class. All my classes are planning (or architecture) this semester, no generals, hooray! So that was nice, to go to school and enjoy it. But on top of the whole first day of school think, I booked a vacation this morning, for this weekend. Crazy! We decided last night in bed, as we discussed our impending anniversary, numero uno, this upcoming Sunday, to go to DISNEYLAND! Freak! So, we're leaving Thursday night, spending 3 days at Disneyland, and the other day at the beach and maybe Universal Studios, and coming back Monday night. So perfect, because the shop (where A works) is closed Saturday (for once) as well as on Monday, and I don't have class on Friday or Monday, so A just has to take off one day for our lovely four day trip! So this weekend, the two happiest people on earth will be at the happiest place on earth.
Also today, on a side note, I watched episode four of My so-called Life. I started an addiction with 30 Rock of watching TV online. The obnoxious thing is that to watch legally, you have to sit through about five 30-second commercials, and they are usually the same commercial over and over again. Anyway, so my family always called Claire Daines "My so-called Life," but I'd never actually watched the show, so I came across it in my search for Ugly Betty, and am now addicted. I'm just dying to know what will happen with Jordan Catalano and with Angela's parents...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

30 Rock

I've been watching 30 Rock on Hulu, and there is something about it that I find so clever and SO funny. Maybe I just like Tina Fey, thinking back to weekend update on SNL. The occasional Walmart commercials are a bit obnoxious, but I think the show is well worth it.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I never reported on our DC trip. It was loads of fun. If you want to see all the pictures, check out my facebook page. Nevertheless, here is one of my favorite pics from the trip. The night we got there, we went to see the DC temple. It was dark and humid, and so beautiful. This is in our rented PT cruiser. Being silly.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Primary Olympics!

A and I have been tuning in to the Beijing Olympics almost daily. (Note: it is pronounced bay-jing, with a hard j sound, not to be slurred like the sound in leisure...)Then, at my family reunion in Paris, Idaho, my cousin J, who is the primary chorister in her ward, told me about this idea she had used before and was planning on doing again this year. She made an Olympic torch and had the kids pass it around until the song ended, then that kid had to do something embarrassing in front of the primary. I took this idea and adapted it. I had a torch, made from a paper towel roll covered in red paper, and stuffed with orangey-yellow tissue paper, and had the kids sit in a circle on a blanket on the floor to pass. When the song ended, whoever was holding the torch got to choose the next song from a list I made of a combination of "fun" songs and primary program songs. It was pretty fun, and then I told the kids that this was just the start of our Primary Olympics. This week, we had "training," where I told the kids the primary president wouldn't let me bring my Olympic-sized pool, my uneven bars, and my volleyball net, so we'd just have to play differently. I had pictures taped up all over the room representing different Olympic sports, some well known like gymnastics, some unusual like sailing and judo. I drew the name of a child (I have popsicle sticks with their names written on one end, the other end painted either green or yellow, depending if they are in junior or senior primary) and that child went and found a picture, and then we sang a corresponding song. I didn't plan enough to make them actually correspond, I just had a list of songs, and some ideas of games to play with them, and I just made a choice of what we'd do. One of the funny things I did with Jr. and Sr. primary was the three-headed primary singer. I chose 3 people who claimed they knew the song pretty well, and had them try to say the words, the first person saying the first word, the second person the next word, and so on. Sr. primary was pretty good, Jr. was struggling, so I had them sit down and send up their four teachers. This was even funnier, because the teachers should know them better than the kids. Another game we did was to test their volume abilities was "hide in plain sight," as my family always called it, the kids know it as "find the note." I don't have a note for them to hide, I have cartoons of a little boy or little girl. Probably the funniest game was one I did with the Jr. kids. Someone picked the picture for swimming, so I had them sing "underwater." Usually, in primary, if I ask the little kids to do something funny like whistle or sing underwater, it's a huge struggle for me to not laugh and actually get through the song. This time, I did well till about the last line of the song, when I looked at the sunbeam teacher, who was laughing uncontrollably herself. I lost it. Those kids are so adorable! Next time we're going to have the real games, we three special-guest judges (probably the ward music guy, the bishop, and a funny parent) who will award the kids either a gold, silver, or bronze medal for each song, depending how well they do on volume, words, and tune. So far it has been boatloads of fun, I can't wait for next time!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I went to The Dark Knight on the 24th of July (happy pioneer day!) and yesterday, I went to a municipal forestry luncheon. Did you know that communities with more trees have less crime? Have you noticed that Gotham City has NO TREES?!

A has decided he likes the name Eloise, or Eloisa. This is good for me, since for Christmas in 1999 my brother J gave me the great children's book Eloise, written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight,and I've loved everything about it since (who wouldn't want a pug named Weenie, to live in the plaza hotel, to use the word botto, and to wear an egg cup as a hat?)

Anyone want some zuccini or cucumbers? We've got produce coming out of our ears. Here's one of the things I've done with it...

Fried Zuccini:
1 overgrown zuccini, ask your neighbor if you don't have your own. Mine was 2-3 inches in diameter.
1 egg, beaten
1 package Ritz Crackers
Shredded Parmesan
Garlic Salt
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Cut the zuccini into 1/4 inch slices. Dip in flour, then egg, then a mixure of the Ritz crackers crushed up and the parmesan. Then sprinkle with the salts and pepper. Once all your zucc has been breaded, heat up butter and olive oil in a frying pan (I just estimated). Once it is hot, which you can test by flicking a few drops of water in it and seeing if it sizzles, decrease the heat to medium-medium low, and add the squash. I just cooked until they were golden on both sides, and you want to keep the heat around medium or lower so that the squash gets cooked all the way through. These were yummy, even A liked them.
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