Thursday, July 31, 2008

Red Lobster - check

One of the things on our "Bucket List" (if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read this post) was to try lobster. Now, I'm not a very big seafood fan, so I was a bit wary of this one, but heck - that lobster on all the commercials sure looked tasty, even after we read the pamphlet at the Aquarium about being sure to get fresh seafood so as not to get food poisoning, which is hard to find in Utah.

When Caryn and I went to look at some housing on Saturday, we were right by a Red Lobster. This was one of the only places we could figure had lobster - since they didn't have it at Joe's Crab Shack (yes, I know it says Crab, but we figured they might have other seafood, too, and they do, except not lobster) or any other place we'd gone like Chili's or Applebee's.

As we walked in, the first thing we saw was a GIANT tank of lobster, hanging out at the front of the restaurant. We knew we were in the right place. Caryn decided she wanted a picture in front of the lobster tank, gesturing how big of a lobster she wanted. Or had caught. Or maybe she was acting like a lobster with claws? I never really asked. They were scary-looking buggers, with giant eyes and claws.

Anyway, we finally got beyond the front and got seated. Our hostess came and brought us the fish of the day list and our menus.

"Don't get this kind," she said, pointing to one of those listed. "It's disgusting. Well, it's not disgusting, it just doesn't taste like anything."

We were like, "Thanks for your honesty. Okey dokey - we won't get that type of fish."

She took our orders for waters and left us to decide.

Dang, Gina- lobster's expensive. We looked at all the dishes with lobster, which all topped out at $24 - I might never have had lobster, but I still didn't like seafood that much and wasn't willing to risk not liking something with $24 in the mix.

We finally found the lobster and shrimp pasta, with an alfredo sauce, that wasn't outrageously expensive. Also, since we were feeling adventurous, we tried a seafood platter appetizer with bacon-wrapped mussels, fried clams, and mushrooms stuffed with crab and lobster - to give us a taste of lobster before getting our main course.

We were brought our salads with honey mustard (delicious!) and our appetizer. I was wary, but enjoyed the fried clams and mushrooms - although the mussels weren't too bad, just slimy.

Then the main course came out. I promptly gave all the shrimp to Caryn. My first bite was...interesting. It definitely tasted fishy, but it wasn't too bad. Caryn pointed out that the texture was kind of velvety, which I agree with. It's not too bad - until it gets stuck in your teeth. Ew.

The more I ate it, the more I decided that it was okay, but basically like every other kind of seafood I'd ever had - not very palatable, but edible.

My favorite part of the meal was the chocolate chip cookie filled with chocolate and topped with ice cream. I have a love affair with chocolate. Seafood's more like an acquaintance that's not particularly liked - I can deal with it when I have to, but I'd rather not.

Ah, the things we learn about ourselves.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Iiiii hate technology. But not as much as it hates me.

This is caonduty's photo, originally posted to his flickr account. You can see this picture in context and visit his flickr site here.

I was thinking this weekend and past week about how much technology gives me pain - it's everywhere I go. I pretty much can't escape it, no matter how hard I try, and I'm not trying really.

But sometimes it's frustrating to no end. I've always been of the opinion and mindset that if you tinker with something long enough, you can find what you need. Yet, no amount of tinkering gives me the results I want for some things, even when I enlist Google's help.

The ClearPlay filter my parents own is probably one of the most frustrating pieces of machinery I've ever come up against. It shouldn't be as hard as it is, in my opinion. I always think I have the filter on the CD the first time, and then load it into the DVD player only to find nothing registers. Also, I'd already downloaded a filter for The Fugitive, only to find it not loaded on there when I put the DVD in. I've spent a good hour to two hours of my life downloading and redownloading things onto CD for ClearPlay.

This photo was originally on

Another quite frustrating thing is my little brother's iPod I inherited when he went on a mission. It has the annoying habit of not appearing on any computer's desktop or in anyone's iTunes, meaning I can't manipulate the music at all - to add or delete things. I went online to several forums, but they all had different opinions, many of them with Mac commands attached. The main machine this iPod links to is a PC. So I eventually gave up with that one.

This photo was originally on

Another great headache right now is my own laptop not connecting to the internet. I share bandwidth with my parent's DSL modem, and it works on their computer but not mine. Also, when my sister tried plugging in her laptop, it worked, too. I hear it has something to do with my IP address, but I'm lost after anything beyond that. I tinkered with it for about an hour, thinking I'd fixed it several times, before finally giving up.

I guess I've finally decided that technology wins. I give up. At least, until I get my second wind and tinker some more...

Friday, July 25, 2008

For the love...of dogs and kissing people

So, I know it's unusual for me to blog like twice in one week, but stay with me people. :) I couldn't not write about this absurd ad I had to build for the paper.

Every once in awhile I get classified ads that I have to build, and they're pretty small and nice so I don't mind doing them. It said on the description that it was an announcement, and it was two columns by eight inches. Then I opened the text and pictures.

It was a dog obituary.

Yes - a dog obituary.

Not only was it a dog obituary, but the language was so flowery and glowing, you'd think it was for...I dunno, maybe a person? Some people don't even get obituaries this good.

I'm having trouble uploading the finished obituary, but it was pretty simple- just this text with some pictures of the dog:

"A Loving Farewell to Painter

On Friday, July 11th, 2008 our white, fluffy, adorable Samoyed went to heaven. After nearly 14 years in Park City, Painter had become a canine celebrity – known and loved by many. Officially named “Painter Polarmist Mover-n-Shaker Keiser,” he had the bloodline and show qualities to be a show dog. His life, however, took a much more adventurous turn — and couldn’t have been further from Westminster. From snowmobiling in Guardsman, to jet setting to Long Beach Island each summer, “P-Ball” lived a life many would envy. His publicist estimates he has appeared in this paper dozens of times, was featured on the Today Show during the Olympics as well as a segment on Extra TV.

All bragging aside, he was the most dependable man in this town we may ever know – in part, because he was a great communicator and could ask for what he wanted. He was loving and furry, and adorable with the most perfect bear face – while always looking regal. He knew how to take care of his girls, and loved a great hike, and to chill out with his mother Lauren. Often referred to by his family as “The Prince of Park City” or “The Prince of LBI” – they know he can never be replaced and say he will be missed deeply. His favorite things included string cheese, puppies and steak bones. Thank you to Dr. Barbe for helping him over the years. We know he is in a happy place now with his good doggie friends.

Painter, you will be with us always.
Painter 1994 - 2008"

Gag me with a spoon.

Now, moving to Park City meant adapting to the lifestyle. One of the things to adapt to was people and their pets up here. Spending big money on their pets is second nature to them - they're like their kids. Spending $400 on knee surgery is an obvious choice. Or taking them to be groomed every week at $100 a pop. I mean, there are people in other areas that do that, but it seems in Park City there are more of them. But a pet obituary that calls a DOG "the most dependable man in town"? Or says "You will be with us always"?

I'm not a pet hater, and I semi-understand how people can dote on them when they don't have children, or even when they do. But shouldn't the insanity stop at a burial in the backyard with a funeral?

On to other rants in the personal paragraphs page of the Park Record...we do engagement announcements and this one was of a couple, obviously, and their picture was of them kissing. Now, I'm not too adverse to PDA, and their kiss isn't that bad, as you can see from the attached picture, but when I have to arrange a page and see that picture glaring out from it as I go along every step of the production process, it kinda gets annoying. I will probably not announce my engagement in a paper, but if I do I will not have a kissing picture and I will certainly not have a kissing picture in my wedding announcement.

Who wants kissing people on their fridge? Anyone out there? I barely want them on this post. Any other annoyances with wedding announcements? A few of mine would be awkward poses to show the ring off, a hundred million pictures and no originality - or too much.

Huh - maybe I'm just picky.

Or maybe it's the end of a production day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Aquarium Adventure

Since I have two of my very best friends living close to me (Lisa and Caryn) we've decided to draw up a Bucket List of sorts to make sure we get everything done we want to do this summer. One of those things on the list was to go the Living Aquarium in Sandy, which we just did this past Saturday.

It was awesome. I know I'm 22 and maybe shouldn't be excited at going to a zoo of sorts, but it was really cool. It had exhibits of wildlife from Utah, deep ocean fish and other animals, and a petting zoo. We saw jellyfish and coral and rainbow trout and sting rays, and even a few small sharks.

This picture is from the Deseret News, Ryan Long took it.

We learned that coral are considered animals (although Caryn already knew that) and and in one aquarium in Georgia, 800 million gallons of water are cycled through every day. That was probably the most interesting part - watching the movie on people who take care of that aquarium in Georgia. Most were incredibly attached to the animals and talked about them like children, which I doubt any of them had - although I can't be positive. Favorite quote: "I don't eat my lunch or dinner until I know the animals get their lunch and dinner." Psychotic behavior?

The petting zoo was cool - although we could only touch the bat rays, not the fish. They felt like soft, squishy, semi-slimy foam. We also touched some spiky star fish and sea cucumbers. Yes, we put a bunch of hand sanitizer all over our arms afterward.

We took some awesome pictures in the little nooks and crannies of a kind of kid's playground - the best was a crab that had his claws just open enough to hold cards.

The gift shop was pretty cool as well - I got a smashed penny with the Aquarium logo and a shark on it, and a tiny dolphin I'm going to put in my car near my dashboard - to copy Caryn and her dinosaur and clown fish on her dash. They also had sea monkeys and stuffed animals and rubber animals and puzzles and balls and jewelry.

All in all it was definitely worth $8 and I would encourage everyone to visit it - and to see my slideshow of the photos we took a couple posts above this one.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

First page of pride

As I was wracking my brains for something to blog about, my coworker Sarah posted on her blog some of her fronts she's done for a publication called "Flipside" that we publish here at the Park Record every week.

I thought this was a great idea, but honestly, I've been playing catch up since I've been working here - churn out pages, no matter how they look. I haven't really put any creativity into any the process, mostly because I've had very little warning of what elements I'd have to work with. Which is understandable - when you're an editor here at The Park Record, you write most of your stories, along with edit them and decide where to put them on the page and about a million other things most editors delegate out to lesser peons down the food chain.

So, when the Scene editor Greg gave me about a week's heads-up on a layout he wanted to do for the front, I took off in a right-brained kind of way. It was of a Parachuter's Convention of sorts, where the first women parachuters met and talked about their experience. I got some super-cool old-timey photos from one lady and even a news article. Here's what came out:

I didn't get a lot of response here at work, but I think Greg liked it a lot, especially how it turned out in newsprint. The registration was actually a little off, which kind of made it look a little older than it was - perfect for the effect I was going for.

It's not amazing or my best or most creative work, but it's a starting point I hope to work off of to bigger and better things.