Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just cool Your Japanese Jets!

I enjoyed some fantastic home made sushi this weekend. My friend Emily had a dinner party at her place where we all chipped in and made sushi. It was delicious! I've always wanted to make my own sushi, and now I know how.
I tried to document this thoroughly so I can remember the steps. You first have to lay down soy paper or rice and start patting it into a rectangle.
You should only have 3 items in your sushi roll or else your taste buds will become overwhelmed.
Once you have everything laid out you start rolling it in the bamboo mat.
My first ever sushi roll! I was so proud of myself and everyone laughed at how many pictures I took during this process!
Here's us slicing our rolls! My roll is the one on the right - the less perfect roll. Brian's master piece is on the left.
Emily at one point couldn't handle the stress in the kitchen. Don't worry, we got the knife away before anything happened.
A huge thanks to Mark & Rendy for bringing the soy paper, cooking the tempura veggies and shrimp and being our experts. Also thanks to Brian for making the sticky rice and tackling the hornets nest (that story is below). Thanks to Holly for making the delicious veggie rolls for her boyfriend Jer, even though Jer didn't really like them - he preferred the ones with fish. And a ginormous thanks to Emily and Cailen for hosting a great party and letting us stay at their house all night.
I should mention that before the sushi making started, Emily's husband Cailen and their friend Brian, decided that they needed to get rid of a bees nest. I had to document this event! The hive was sitting at the top of their roof and they were going to spray it, and then knock it down with a stick. It went fairly well and was far more dramatic in person. Emily and I just watched as Brian climbed up on the ladder and blasted the nest with the spray and then jabbed it with the pole. The best part was when the nest flew off and landed on Brian's car. I have video of this, but I haven't figured out how to post video yet.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

When There's Nothing Left to Burn, You Have to Set Yourself on Fire

*UPDATE - So you can all cool your Japanese jets (Stacy), I've finally added the pictures*
And so begins the theme song to my 4th of July adventure –Your Ex-Lover is Dead, by Stars. For the 4th of July, I headed south and east to Blanding with my friend Nicole. Nicole grew up in Blanding and a lot of her family still lives there. We left Thursday night and began the 5 hour drive around 7:00 pm. Nicole brought along her dog Bella, an imperial shitzu, which translates to “a pain in the ass”. Picture a chicken nugget with legs – this is Nicole’s dog. Now Bella isn’t disobedient, she just hates me and I hate her. Bella loves to bark and when she barks, she spits – I refer to it as sparking. I was sparked on all weekend – not my favorite thing. Well, Nicole and I finally arrived in Blanding around midnight and the town was alive and buzzing. Every 3rd of July they start a softball game that lasts until 3 or 4 am. Nicole and I didn’t play, but the entire town was there, it was great.The next morning we got up and headed for the parade. Nicole’s dad owns the local hardware store that sits on the main road so we already had a spot saved for us. The parade’s theme was “Stand Up for America”. The float designs and slogans were so clever. My favorite one was for the senior citizens of the town that read “We’ve stood up for 80 years, now we sit down.”!!! I loved it! When the fire truck came, the kids were all jumping up and down to get sprayed by the hose – little did they know what was about to happen. The truck turned its hose almost all the way up and the water shot everywhere – knocking kids and pets down to the ground. It was hysterical!Another great highlight of the parade was when one of Nicole’s nephews brought over this prize that he got at the parade. It was round and shiny and upon closer examination I informed him that it was the lid to a glass beer bottle. He thought he had found this great toy! The best part was when Nicole’s brother told him to lick the lid – he didn’t’ thank heavens!After the parade we headed over to the carnival to grab some lunch and take in the sights. We got in line for some Filipino food and waited with Stacy and Taylor (Stacy is another local Blanding-ite but now lives in Salt Lake) for almost an hour – this food looked worth the wait. We go to the front of the line and found out there were sold out of their plates and only had kabobs of meat left. I kind of felt like Shrek eating this meat – but it was delicious. The picture below is of me and Stacy enjoying some delicious meat on a stick. 
After our meat we decided to head back home and hang out until the night festivities began. We walked through the carnival and my eyes were treated to two more great sites. First – a band playing. These boys were probably about 15-17 years old and the only people there to watch them were a bunch of 12 year old boys. The band members didn’t look too thrilled – “Damn! Where are all the hot chicks to scream for us?!” Just past this was a pole climbing competition. If you could climb this 12 foot pole, maybe higher, and ring the bell, you got $10. Simple enough right? Nope – they greased the pole before each kid climbed it. You could just see these kids holding on for dear life trying to inch there way up, but constantly sliding back down. To the best of my memory, I didn’t see any padding at the bottom of the pole in case a kid fell.Back at the house, Nicole and I just lounged around, celebrated two of her nephew’s birthdays and then decided to go to the Melo Drama. I love melo dramas! I don’t get to see them that often, but they are always a crowd pleaser – and now a great place to find potential husbands. This melo drama featured a great guy, whose name I can’t remember, so we’ll call him Handsome. Well Handsome is a strong contender for an Oscar nod in a leading dramatic role. It was his fine acting that encouraged me to talk to him after the show and set him up with Nicole. He’s a bit younger than Nicole, but she’ll get over it. I’ll have their engagement photo posted soon, but here's a picture of Handsome.
After the play we made our way to the fireworks show. Boy, were they impressive! I honestly was amazed at their firework show. It was great and non-stop fun. They even had a live band playing before the show to get the crowd ready. The next morning we headed out for breakfast in Bluff, Utah where Nicole’s brother, Dallin, introduced me to the rocks affectionately called – Double D’s. You can imagine what they are shaped like – and one of them is pretty accurate. After breakfast we decided to run a few errands – one of them involved stopping at Nicole’s dad’s store. Nicole and Dallin had been telling me how there’s a real skull in the basement of this place. No one knows how it got there or how long it’s been there. I had to see this for myself and sure enough when you come down the stairs – there it is, just perched on the shelf with a few teeth still intact. I’ve included a photo below for those who don’t believe me.
After running errands, we packed up, ate lunch, said our goodbyes and began the drive back home. It was a short trip, but it was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go back. I stand up for America and for Blanding!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Hands that Rocked the Cradle (or should still be in it)

A few of my friends know about a complex of mine. I've always been aware and ashamed of my small hands. I'm 5' 8" and have the hands of a small child. I can barely hold a basketball, I drop things all the time and most winter gloves are too big for me.

Well, a friend of mine, Emily, became friends with a kid who I knew from school. We were never friends, but just knew each other since elementary and through high school. This kid and I have never even had a real conversation. When Emily and I discovered this little fact, Emily asked the kid if he remembered me and he was reponse was "Isn't she the girl with small hands?" Emily just laughed and said "Why yes, yes she is."

Emily knows very well about this complex and couldnt' wait to tell me what had happened. We decided to take pictures to show just how petite my hands are. The photos will be up soon, and once they are, you'll finally see just how small they are.