Saturday, January 26, 2013

They Seek Him Here! They Seek Him There!

Last night we made our way over to Magna (about thirty minutes West of Salt Lake City) to attend a performance of The Scarlet Pimpernel at the Empress Theater. Magna seems like a little town. It has that quaint feeling, even though it looks like an extension of Salt Lake City. It reminded me of The Merc in Twisp and that small town feeling that Twisp is the embodiment of.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all time favorite stories. I remember reading it early in grade school (I think 6th grade) and falling in love with it from the start. Later, I discovered all of the film productions and then finally, four or five years ago, the musical production. It is a hidden gem, as many do not know of it, and yet the story is rather incredible.

It was Brandon's first exposure to the musical and for me there was a twinge of anxiety, the kind you get when you're introducing someone to something you very much like and hope they will like too. There is the worry that they may not like it straight out or that it may not be performed well enough to showcase how fantastic it is.

I wasn't disappointed. Initially I was a little nervous as the cast was clearly mostly of the 18-30 age range and seemed to be made up of the stereotypical slightly awkward drama types. The costuming wasn't fabulous and the dancing was ok. Not exactly a gripping start. But as the musical proceeded and the main cast were presented, I was very happy with the performance. Percy, a slightly round individual rather than the tall dashing character you expect, was excellent, portraying the character perfectly and had a wonderful voice. Marguerite, also slightly round, also did a fantastic job and had a beautiful voice. And Chauvelin completed their trio with a very strong voice. Anything I had to complain about in other details was made up in their performance. And the Prince of Wales - his subtle character acting was very humorous.

Very fun!

If I could have changed one detail, it would have been for those who were playing French characters to have dropped their French accents. At the Merc that was one detail that the director always pushed - no fake accents on a wide scale, unless they were being done to be intentionally fake. Putting on an accent sounds fun, and like it could be a good idea in an acting setting, but unless it is done remarkably well, it's just not a good idea in my opinion.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What makes a perfect gym?

As it is quite cold here in Utah, and frequently snowy, we've been looking for a gym to make our fitness home while we wait out the cold. In addition, I recently decided to run a half marathon here in Salt Lake City this April with an awesome friend (Jeanene!) and I'm badly in need of some training. Which means running. ;) Thus, more need for a gym, at least for a little while until it is bearable to go running outside.

We've currently got a limited guest pass to a gym in Murray called the Sports Mall. It's a pretty fabulous facility, but in going there and in looking at the plethora of other gyms in Salt Lake City, I've come to the conclusion that there are only a few things that I really need in a gym. Cardio Equipment. Weight lifting equipment. Shared Jacuzzi/Sauna/or Steam room. The Sports Mall comes soooo close. It has all of those things (plus fitness classes - which are always fun), but the Jacuzzi/Sauna/ and Steam room as separated, limited to those within each locker room. And while this may not seem like a problem, when Brandon and I got to the gym, spend time working out, and then want to cool down and relax together, we can't exactly do that when we're in separate locations. Which means that we limit the time we spend doing those things when we could happily be spending more than an hour in the hot tub chatting, were we together. It seems like such a small thing, but it is a failing flaw in an otherwise very nice facility. We'll see what we end up deciding on eventually.

I've also rediscovered racquetball! I'd done it before a few times (perhaps five times ever before) but when we went into the racquetball court on Friday it was essentially starting from the beginning for me. Technique, rules, everything was new. I am a highly competitive individual. I hate being bad at anything. Typically when I start new things that I'm not very good at, I either decide very quickly that I'm not very interested, or I decide very quickly that I want to be much better. Racquetball is definitely a case of the latter. As we played on Friday, I was frustrated at my lack of technique, but enjoyed myself regardless. And by Saturday morning, I just wanted to play again and work on it some more! Hooked. Hopefully we'll go in a few times this next and I'll get a chance to work on it some more.

What do you value most in a gym? What makes or breaks it for you?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More West Coast Swing....

Brandon and I have been making a regular habit of going West Coast Swing Dancing these past few weeks. So much fun! We went to a two and a half hour intensive last night and while they didn't teach us as many new moves as we would have liked, they worked on technique a great deal and I, as a dancer with a widely varied background, very much needed the technique. I have trouble staying low on my feet and grounded because I'm always wanting to go up on the balls of my feet as be as high up as I can when doing fast spins and turns. That, and for anyone who has done other forms of dance, the anchoring at the end of the West Coast pattern is very awkward. I want to use my momentum and shifting and in West Coast there has to be a stop at the end of each pattern. Of course, unless you've done this type of dance, this probably doesn't make sense, but essentially when you anchor correctly, it enables some of the key characteristics of West Coast to be present. I'll figure it out eventually.

Two songs that I particularly love dancing to are Club Thing by Yoav and Come Back (Light Therapy) by Josh Rouse. 

(Yoav - Club Thing)

(Josh Rouse - Comeback (light therapy))

Anyway, we learned that there were a lot of things between Blues Dance and West Coast Swing that were similar and related but it wasn't until last night that that idea was fully explained. Essentially, the styling of West Coast, the musicality, is heavily saturated in the same ideas that are the basis for how Blues Dance works. Feeling the music, moving to the music, communicating with your dance partner. Obviously, West Coast has more form to go along with this, more moves that are common place, but I'm happy to finally fully discover this connection between two of my favorite dance styles.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Snow and School

Tonight was my first Physics 2 class! And it actually went really well...I didn't feel totally lost at the end of the two and a half hour professor managed to use me in an example where my body was being crushed under the weight of four Volkswagens as well as telling me that somewhere in a galaxy far away in an identical classroom, my equal and opposite attraction guy was taking Physics 2 as well. I think it will be an amusing semester. And as Physics professors have gone for me in the past, he's my favorite. 

However! I almost didn't even go to class! Why? Because a nice snow storm decided to hit just an hour or so before I left for class. It had lightly started to snow before I left work, but when I cam back out to my car around 6:30, everything was coated in more than an inch of damp snow. It took me forty minutes to do a twenty minute drive. And the whole way I kept thinking, "This was probably a stupid idea." But I want to do well in this Physic class! And we only meet once a week! And I still hadn't bought my textbook (because I didn't know what it was)! Lots of good reasons to go to class. So I did. :) And then braved the storm to get home again.

But here I am now, textbook purchased ($21 total and half of that was shipping! This was managed by it being an older edition as I'll be able to access the appropriate problems via another source and the general text is all the same) and cozy in my little warm room.

Considering how unexcited I was to go to Physics tonight, things have gone pretty well. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013


The newest awesome song in my playlist. :)

(Imagine Dragons - Radioactive)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year! 2013!

Typical of today's activities, I've been looking back at last year's post about resolutions and find myself in a similar mindset, somewhat lethargic where making resolutions is concerned.

Last years resolutions included:

-Take the GRE (Coming up this week! Am I ready? No.)
-Take three more of my pre-reqs via some of the local colleges (Signed up and mostly ready to go? Check.)
-Sort out how I'd like to take my last three pre-reqs.
-Get another part time job. (Substitute teaching maybe?)
-Do shadowing hours with PTs.
-Running more (maybe a marathon).
-Traveling to a new country.

Let's see, I took the GRE, finished some more pre-reqs, signed up for three of the last four I need, now have a full time job, completed my shadowing hours, and traveled to a new country (many new countries). Not bad, considering everything.

Basing my resolutions on last years, here are the goals for this year:

-Complete last four pre-reqs (already signed up for three of them).
-Apply to grad schools starting this summer.
-I'd still like to run a marathon, so on top of running more, I'd like to make that a priority. I don't even know that I'll be doing a half this year, now that we don't live close to the Indy Mini, so I'll really have to focus on that on my own.

I may add some more to that list, but for now, that's not bad.