Monday, April 28, 2014

Shoes that Open Bottles

I just wanted really comfortable sandals.  That's it.  A flip-flop that supported my heel and arch for a full day at Disneyland.  So I was at Scheels trying everything they had on, and what I settled for was a sporty Reef.

I kept noticing the tag that said "Thirst Quenching Technology," but I took that as a metaphor, thinking it meant "thirst quenching comfort" or something.

But right before heading to the check out my Mom turned the shoe over and noticed the bottom: little metal things embedded in the soul of the shoe.

What in the World!!??

And then it clicked: Thirst Quenching Technology.  That girl in the picture holding a shoe in one hand and a bottle in the other.

My shoes are bottle openers!

Handy for all the times I drink Martinelli's or old fashioned root beer.

As a note: don't accidently leave two large bottles of Martinelli's in the freezer over night.  Just sayin'.  Discovered this true fact during Easter the next morning. -_-;; Shards of green glass and frozen apple goodness everywhere.

(Another note, when I realized what these shoes were for, images of college kids hanging out on the beach during Spring break came to mind.  I kinda pictured them as the target audience.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dead Sea Scrolls at The Leonardo

 This last week is the very last week the Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times was at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City.  The exhibit lasted from November 22, 2013-April 27, 2014, which is today.  I've known about this exhibit since Summer of last year, and I finally saw it.

The whole exhibit was amazing, costing $24, which seemed steep at first, but was worth every penny.

A few Dead Sea Scrolls were on display, along with over 600 artifacts from that era.

 The first room we entered into was dark with writing on the wall, the same phrase written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and English.  Suddenly the Hebrew phrase was lit, and a narration sounded throughout the room, beautiful melodic inflections.  The English phrase was read next.  I wish the Aramaic and Greek phrase were read as well, but alas, they weren't.

Then we entered a larger room with a path for everyone to walk on, sand and rocks on the side, screens with video everywhere.  Another narration sounded, this time live as a women came out and explained the pots, ending with the pots the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

 The year was 1947 near the Dead Sea.  Goat herders discovered a cave with several clay jars, inside were animal skins, papyrus, and parchments written in unfamiliar languages to the herder.  From 1947 to 1956 there were 972 documents discovered, the oldest surviving record of the Hebrew Bible, all books accounted for except the Book of Esther.

 "None of the dead can rise up and answer our questions.  But from all they have left behind, their imperishable or slowly dissolving gear, we may perhaps hear voices, which are only now able to whisper, when everything else has become silent."

~ Bjorn Kurten, Finnish Paleontologist

 There were two levels to the exhibit, and unfortunately we were only able to take pictures on the top level.  No photography whatsoever was allowed below, so this was all I was able to snap.  Old coins, tools, ceramics, oil lamps, and other neat things.

The bottom level was where the majority of the artifacts were displayed.  Usually when I go to a museum people gloss over the information listed by each object, but during the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit everybody was reading everything.  It was nice, slowing the experience down as I took everything in.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were displayed in a giant circle table, very careful light and temperature controls in place.  There was a passage about the New Jerusalem, a War Scroll, the Damascus Document, a Jubilee, Psalms, and a passage from the "Book of Watchers" to name a few.  Very interesting.  Purely amazing that they're so well intact, even through the excerpts are scattered fragments.

The very last room of the exhibit was very special.  They recreated the Western Wall from Jerusalem, with scraps of paper for everyone to write prayers on a place in the wall cracks.  And in the middle of the wall was an actual stone from the wall that, "Fell from the southwest corner of the Temple's outer wall during the fighting.  It is a remnant of the retaining wall that enclosed it, 2000 years ago." 

The stone was the only thing we could touch in the entire exhibit, and I just let my hand rest on the stone after writing and placing my prayer.  It was extraordinary.

What I wrote:

"Dear Lord, My God and King.  Help me, in these Last Days, when wrong is right and right is wrong, when the righteous shall be persecuted for thy sake.  Please bless me with strength to endure and serve thee, for I love thee with all my heart.  Patiently waiting and living in thee.  Sarah" 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tantalizing Spring


So mischievous. So, so fickle.

You tease us with warmth, then quickly grow cold again, as if you want us to remember what Winter is like, instead of causally carrying us to Summer.

"Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!"

~ Thomas Blackburn 

We've had a few nice days, warm enough to cast off our sweaters, allowing trees to blossom and flowers to spring forth.  These last few days have been cold and windy, gusty breezy.

Though, despite this, I shouldn't complain.  Our "Spring" weather doesn't seem to last long, mainly because it can snow as late as May and June, going straight into hot heat.

It's overcast and nippy right now.

A 90% chance of rain this Saturday.

"April showers bring May flowers."

I do so love the rain :0)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Symbols of Easter

 Several weeks ago I was in the grocery store and found these pre-colored eggs.  What fun is that!!??  One of the joys of Easter is dying your fingers different colors as you create egg masterpieces.

 Then at IKEA I found this, a drink bottle labeled "Swedish Festive Drink."  Under the ingredients there's something called "HOPS FLAVOR."  I don't trust a dink with "hops flavor" when there are pictures of bunnies on the label.

Bunnies and eggs aside, we can't forget the true meaning of Easter: Remembering in reverence the atonement of Christ.

A decade ago, can't believe its been that long, I was fortunate enough to perform with the Latter-Day Celebration choir from the Orem Institute of Religion.  The second year I was in the choir we performed the program "Seven Days to Glory," which is all about the Saviors last week on Earth, leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection.

It was an incredible experience, traveling and sharing my testimony of Christ around the 2004 Easter season.  This really helped me focus on Christ in a way I never had before.  I always remember and cherish those memories now, and try to focus and ponder Christ as I did then.  Such a blessing. 

Lets never forget what makes this season so special.

Let's never forget the great gift our Savior and Redeemer has given us.

Because of Him the impossible has become possible.

Friday, April 18, 2014

SLC Comic Con, Evermore Park, and Star Trek TNG

 Yesterday I visited my very first Comic Con!!!  The Salt Lake Comic Con.  Yay!

* And There Was Much Rejoicing *

Last October was the very first, drawing 75,000 attendees, making it the highest attended first year Comic Con, ever, which is amazing.  This year they're anticipating 100,000.  There's going to be ANOTHER comic con in September.

Yeah, we're a bunch of nerds.

True story: The TV show Psych had a University/College competition a few years ago, with the school who submitted the most votes getting a mention.  Brigham Young University, BYU for short, naturally won.  The "mention" we got was a couple of girls in a bar ordering drinks while wearing a "Y" shirt, which, to someone not in the know, could easily be confused with Yale.  I'm fine with that.

 We got there around 1:00, and the line was crazy!  Then someone recommended a couple of us go to the other side of the building, the other entrance, where the line was next to nothing.  Several blocks later and we were practically at the front of the line.

 It didn't take long for people to figure out the secret.

 The curtained off Photo Op area.

 The first panel my Mom and I went to was Ioan Gruffudd of Horatio Hornblower fame, Fantastic Four, Amazing Grace, etc.  He was absolutely delightful, respectful, and down to Earth.  My respect points for him went way up.

Then my Mom and I went to a panel featuring Sean Patrick Flanery, who was Indiana Jones in the Young Indiana Jones series.  Apparently he was in this movie called The Boondock Saints, which he is now known.  His vulgarity, F-bombs, immoral stories were so disgusting, my Mom and I got up within in the first 5 minutes and walked out.

I don't know if I can watch the Young Indiana Jones now without thinking of his awful speech.  It's going to be hard separating the real man from the character.  Feels like the curtain rising in Wizard of Oz.  Makes me sad, but it was absolutely horrid.

 I heard Evermore Park, a soon to be Victorian Theme park in Pleasant Grove Utah in Summer 2015, had a booth, but I didn't know they were going to have a full scale model.  I'm so excited!!!  Charles Dickens at Christmas, Jack the Ripper during Halloween, fairy festival, pirate ship, caves, 3 high end restaurants, Victorian shopping square, beautiful gardens, etc.  If they can pull this off Evermore is going to be amazing.  And everyone working there is going to be expected to act and be in character at all times.

Makes me think of a real life Austenland, but cooler.

 And I love the advertisements posed as vintage postcards.

 My Dad got a photo of himself with Adam Baldwin.

One of my Dad's friend gave him a Photo Op $30 voucher, and he tried to pass it off to one of us kids.  I'm introverted, perfectly fine watching panels, so the idea of getting a photo with a celebrity doesn't interest me.  Goodness, I went to a few performances of Alien Voices in L.A. with members of Star Trek, and even then I didn't autographs after the show.  I sat in the middle of an emptying theater, and my Mom grabbed my Midsummer Night's Dream scrip, getting me autographs from John D. Lancie, Leonard Nimoy, Roxann Dawson, and Ethan Phillips.  She said I would thank her later, and I do, but I'm just kinda like that.

And my Dad's like that, too.  I get it from him.

(My Mom still loves to tell the story of a photography convention in L.A. back in the 90's, and Leonard Nimoy was sitting at a booth by himself, showing his photography.  My Mom and Dad were walking in that direction.  My Mom stopped and had a solid, quality 15 minute conversation him him; my Dad, seeing what she was about to do, kept on walking, watching with worry from the distance.)  

When we finally made it to the photo op location, around 5:00, it was too late to get a photo op with any of the TNG cast.  But Adam Baldwin, from Firefly and Chuck, was starting at 6:15.  My Dad really respects him.  Because the Star Trek TNG panel was at 6:30, in which all but my Dad paid $25 above entry fee to see, we couldn't do the photo op.  We talked my Dad into it.

You can have up to 4 people per photo, and my brothers REALLY wanted to join my Dad, Michael particularly, but we wanted to make the panel.

Turns out the conference was running late!!!  At 6:45 my Dad finds us in line and shows us the photo, beaming, Michael bummed, and then showed the photo to another Baldwin fan in the Muppet panel line who really wanted a photo, but couldn't afford it.  So she quickly asked her friend to take a picture with my Dad holding the photo.  It was pretty funny, and my Dad was having a great time.

 And then the Star Trek TNG panel!!!!!!  What we were looking forward to the whole time.

William Shatner, a huge supporter of the SLC Comic Con, hosted the event.  And from the TNG cast Jonathan Frakes, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina SirtisBrent Spiner were there.  LeVar Burton canceled at the last minute for a film shoot, or something.

And it was announced last night that Patrick Stewart is coming on Saturday!!  I'm not going to be there, but that's cool.  Sad he wasn't there last night, but better late then never.  He's coming because of the fan outreach.

 "Riker" in the captains chair.

 It was a lot of fun!  I'm glad I went to Comic Con :0)