Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Olaf Cat Tries to Smile

These first three pictures my brother Steven took and later shared with me.  I thought this was too precious not to share!  The Olaf Cat trying to smile, at least we think that's what he was trying to accomplish.

During a bout of cleaning Olaf was hanging out next to the trash.

 Olaf begins to turn towards to the camera.

And he smiles!!

Of course you may not think so, but look at the right side of his mouth, our left, slightly rising.  Honestly, I've personally never seen him make this sort of expression, so I think it's legit.  He was smiling for the camera.

A few days later I found The Olaf Cat chillaxing on the only table he's aloud to be on.  It's one of his new favorite places to hang out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Don't You Quit

 "Don't you quit.  You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead.  Some blessings come soon.  Some come late.  Some don't come until heaven.  But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.  It will be alright in the end.  Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come."

~Jeffrey R. Holland

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spring Cleaning, all this Warmness and Neverland

 It's been abnormally warm where I live.  So warm that the tulips and daffodils have started budding up out of the ground.  It's too soon, and I'm a little worried about the local crops.  But all that aside, sweater weather has me longing for Spring, so much so that I'm starting my Spring Cleaning today.  I'm getting my surroundings all nice and fresh, and I'm going through all the notes and creative ideas I've jotted down but forgot.  Get them all nice and organized   A folder for song ideas.  Another for story ideas.  Another for my musicals.  It's going to be quite the task.  But now is as good a time as any, and I feel I'm waking up with the flowers. 

It's hard for me to think of Spring Cleaning without thinking of Peter Pan.  It's at the end of the book when Wendy decides to leave him, and Peter Pan agrees to come and get her during Spring Cleaning time.  "You won't forget me, Peter, will you, before spring cleaning time comes?"  He visits her the next year, skips a year, and then came the next.  But time means little to a child.  They don't understand the meaning between months, years, and tomorrows, so Peter doesn't come again until Wendy is all grown.

Even though I'm grown I haven't stopped thinking about Neverland.  I don't think any of us should give up on Neverland and the idea of flying.

So I'm going to Spring Clean and dream of that magical island.  I'm going to dream of mermaids, pirates, and fairies.  It keeps me young :0)

Friday, February 20, 2015

McFarland USA, Movie Review

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 Stars

Sport movies seem to be a dime a dozen, and both Disney and , who helm this new underdog true story, are familiar faces in the sports genre. We've seen baseball and football stories done over and over again.  Hockey with Mighty Ducks and Miracle.  Ice Skating in Ice Castles and Blades of Glory.  Horse racing in Secretariat and Seabiscuit. A delightful movie about rugby in Forever Strong.  Etc.  And now, in McFarland USA, we have a sports movie about a cross country running team.  (Side note, do you ever think they'll be a movie about Curling?  That would make a fantastic comedy.)

There's nothing wrong with having a new sports movie.  It's hard to complain when we're constantly receiving book-to-screen adaptations, romantic comedies, action, and the ongoing Marvel vs. D.C. battle.  The problem with sport pics is that they are typically based on true stories about winning teams, because no one is going to do a movie based on a sports team who fails.  In short, sport movies tend to be incredibly formulaic and predictable.  These two traits are hard to avoid.

In McFarland USA, despite the formulaic sports plot, there's still new material drawn upon that is seldom shown on the big screen: the sport of Cross Country running and agricultural life in southern Central California.

It shows the side of California most people outside of California don't think about or realize, unless you've lived there.

McFarland CA is located between Bakersfield and Visalia, 1 1/2 hours south of Fresno, and 33 miles from Porterville, where I grew up.  A town nestled amongst orange groves, cotton fields, and walnut groves.

It's the Fall of 1987 when recently fired football coach Jim White, Costner, suddenly finds himself moving his family to McFarland, an impoverished Hispanic community.  When they first drive through the town White's younger daughter asks "Are we in Mexico?"  McFarland is nothing like Boise Idaho, where they are from, and suddenly the White's are in culture shock.

Circumstances don't improve when Jim White, as assistant football coach, clashes with the coach, and suddenly White is without a team, teaching only life science and physical education at the High School.  During P.E. class White discovers some of his students running really fast, and the idea of coaching cross country, of which he has no experience, is born.

It's through coaching these students that White begins to appreciate McFarland.  These students work hard, picking crops morning and night between school and training, running all the way.

Sure, McFarland USA is a cookie cutter Disney family film which comfortably stays within its PG rating.  (For the record we need more family friendly PG flicks).  Many of the conflicts and resolutions are predictable.  But this movie has heart, and if a movie can make me feel something, then I can forgive the formula.  I was totally crying at the end.

The legacy of Jim White is quite remarkable. 

MPAA: PG for thematic material, some violence and language.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Find Your Inner Disney

In case you needed a reason to smile today.

From the Disney Parks Youtube Page: "See what happens when Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Ana, Elsa, Olaf, Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear and other Disney Characters magically surprise unsuspecting shoppers with their Disney Side. How do you show your Disney Side?"

And now I want to go to Disneyland!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Indifferent Looking Disney Store Cinderella Prince Doll

Over the weekend I went to the Disney Store to peruse any new items they may have received, and I was excited to find new merchandise for the Cinderella movie coming out in less then a month.

I'm so excited!

Last night I was watching Ever After.  I'm such a huge fan of that movie (saw it in the movie theater 5 times back in the day), and, even though Cinderella looks gorgeous, it's going to have stiff competition in comparison.

Ever After is Epic.

It's always fun looking at Disney Store merchandise, trying to gleam any spoilers or sneak peaks when new movies are about to be released.

 Though, after looking at the dolls I was pretty amused and shocked to see how Prince Charming was modeled.

He does not look happy!

Here he is, getting married (spoilers for those that don't know the story!) . . . (really, does anyone not know how Cinderella ends?), and he looks seriously indifferent, as if this is an arranged marriage or something.  As if he's counting down the minutes in his brain until he can get away from his new princess and go off to do whatever Princes enjoy doing.

It's not romantic.

 Unlike the picture on the back of the box which is clearly romantic.

 There are three other dolls in the series.

 I'm somewhat mixed on how the Cinderella doll came out.  She's beautiful, but they didn't quite get her face right.  There's a whimsicalness the actress processes, as evident in Downton Abbey and the Cinderella trailers, that this doll is missing.

 Now the evil stepmother Lady Tremaine, Cate Blanchett, doll is absolutely stunning.

Seriously, she's gorgeous.

The best doll modeling I've seen in a very longtime.

 And the doll for the Fairy Godmother is very fun.

I liked her so much I got her for my Renaissance doll collection.

She fits!  Even though she doesn't look like a barbie clone.  Heh.

 Here's an image of more Cinderella merchandise the Disney Store is selling.

I'm getting excited for March 13! :0)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Valentine's Guide for the Single Among Us

(Picture I took from an Apple Farm, San Luis Obispo, bumper sticker.)

Here is a list of things I've learned while being single on Valentine's Day.

1. Valentine's to some is considered "Single Awareness Day."  I've fallen into this trap many times, bemoaning and crying woe.  Some years are easier then others, but singleness is a state of mind.  Is being in a relationship nice?  Sure.  Is being single bad?  Only if you want to think it is.  We are each on a journey.  We are each walking different paths that are meant specifically for each of us.  My path expects me to wait.  My path is teaching me patience.  But I would rather wait and find the right special someone, then rush into love for the sake of love, only to be miserable.  Singlehood isn't bad.  In many ways it can be a blessing.

2.  As what I stated in my first point, not all relationships are good.  There are happy couples.  There are unhappy couples.  It would be nice to be in a happy relationship, but I would rather be happy single then be in a bad marriage or a bad relationship.  No marriage is perfect.  No marriage is really great.  Marriage is a whole lot of work.  I would love to be married and have children.  At 32 my maternal years are ticking by, and time isn't worth squandering.  But if I can't be happy single, I'll never be happy married.  Happiness is a choice.  Being happy in situations you can't control will prepare you for all situations, that which is in your control and that which is not.

3.  Choose to be happy.  This is a day for love!  Not all "love" has to be romantic.  There are so many varying degrees.  Don't focus on the love you don't have, focus on the love you do have.  Family and friendship.  Great siblings.  Wonderful parents and grandparents.  I have two adorable nieces and a nephew.  I definitely love them.  Celebrate love today in all its wonderful, beautiful shades and colors.

4.  You don't have to have a romantic partner to eat chocolate on Valentine's Day.  No sign, anywhere, states that on February 14th only those in a relationship are allowed to eat yummy chocolate morsels of goodness.  Go buy chocolate and devour it whole!  Go buy chocolate for the person you thought of while reading point #4.  Or wait until February 15th to buy chocolate, which brings me to point #5.

5. On February 15th all the sad, forlorn Valentine trinkets and chocolate boxes of goodness which was not purchased beforehand will now be on sale!  Fantastic deals abound!  Which means all that money you saved by not spending it on a significant other can all go towards discounted chocolate.  Awesome, right?  Enjoy!

6.  Remember, as sad and lonely as you may feel, the World is filled with many sad and lonely people.  Meaning, there's a lot of single people out there, young and old.  Those who have never been afforded love, or those who have lost love through time.  When feeling pain it's easy to forget that others are feeling pain as well.  Some feel their pain silently, some are vocal, but it's all the same.

7. The greatest joy in life is found through giving, not receiving.  You may not receive a Valentine's Day card or flowers today.  You may start to feel forgotten, but today you can be the person who brings joy to someone else.  You can be the one who will reach out to a sad brother or sister, friend, widowed Grandmother, lonely Mom, etc, and bring them happiness.  Through giving love you receive it.  That's the wonderful thing about love.  It grows and multiplies.  Love is beautiful like that.

Happy Valentines Day from one "lonely" person to another.  But we're not so lonely anymore, are we?  I refuse to feel lonely today.  I'm loved.  Sure, there won't be loads of kissing and so forth, but I'm loved just the same, and I'm thankful for all of it.  Find someone today you can give love.

"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other."
~ Audrey Hepburn 

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Most Romantic Sonnet Ever Written

Shakespeare's Sonnet 130

"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun,
Coral is far more red, than her lips red,
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun:
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head:
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
And in some perfumes is there more delight,
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know,
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet by heaven I think my love as rare,
As any she belied with false compare."

This gets me every time!

And though this may seem like a joke, and some critics have taken this sonnet to be a parody of the time, Shakespeare simply mocking other poets from his era, I side with others that claim Sonnet 130, though seemingly filled with insults, is overwhelmingly a compliment of the highest degree.

The key is found in the final couplet.

Don't we all deserve to be loved for who we truly are?  Don't we deserve to be truly seen?  No false pretenses.  Nothing erroneous.

True Love.

True Passion.

Fully in reality, aware of faults, but fully loved regardless.

That's what I want :0)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Saddest Love Story Ever Told

This Valentines I present!

The Saddest Love Story Ever Told.

Snape X Lilly


Because unrequited love is the most painful.

"'I've found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said 'Journeys end in lovers meeting.' What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said 'love is blind'. Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space!" 

~ Iris from "The Holiday"

I full of all sorts of cheer this Valentines! :P

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Lull before the Valentine Storm

I always seem to go into a comatose state during Valentines and Mother's Day.

At least during Mother's Day week there's a bounteous amount of birthday festivities in my family to keep me distracted.  Lots of presents are handed out during that time.  3 birthdays in a 6 day period.  All that cake.  Cake and ice-cream.  Yum :0)

And then there's Valentines.

Back in Elementary I loved Valentines: Make a shoebox mailbox, paint it red and pink with hearts all over, slap my name on it, set it under the window with all the other boxes, make sure I bring enough Valentines for everyone, and everyone, in turn, must bring one for me.

As a kid Valentines was awesome.

As an Adult you must actually be loved to receive a Valentine.

This day is either wonderful or a painful reminder of your day-to-day loneliness.

Unless you like being lonely and single, and thus find this day filled with empowerment, first pump in the air, celebrating singlehood in a sea of kissing couples and hand holding.

As for me?

I feel like Charlie Brown, opening the mailbox only to find a beagle sticking his nose out at me.

(Actually, I would really like to see that.  It would be pretty amusing.)

This is the week New Years resolutions truly go down the drain, if they haven't already.  Stores put Valentine candy out right after Christmas, a month + reminder of upcoming festivities of the red/pink/cupid variety.

Loneliness and Chocolate seem to go hand and hand, so shelves filled with heart shaped boxes, row after row of chocolate morsels, mocking the unloved, serve as constant taunting.

I haven't bought myself a box of chocolate, mainly because there's a bag of sea-salt chocolate covered almonds sitting on the counter and they're amazing, but on Monday,


All those unloved boxes of Chocolate will be on sale, 50% off, and I shell claim one.

"Forget love — I'd rather fall in chocolate!"
~Sandra J. Dykes

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 2015 POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review

 POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly subscription lifestyle box for gals.  The cost is $39.95 a month, free shipping, but it's cheaper when you subscribe with a 3, 6, or 12 months subscription.  On any month you can receive goodies for home, a book, fitness, snack, makeup, pampering, fashion, etc.  You never know what you're going to get, only that it will be fun and worth around $100, give or take a little.

BTW, the February box is all sold out, which is crazy!  Sold out before any spoilers were posted.  So the March 2015 box is currently on sale.  If you like this box you can sign up and request to be put on the wait list and cross your fingers.  Coupon code REFER5 saves you $5!

 The Reveal!

Each month Popsugar Must Have provides a really nice pamphlet describing each item.

 Figs & Rouge 100% Natural Balm, $8.

There were flavor variations for this balm.  The other two I've seen are Cherry and Pomegranate.  I'm so glad I got Lemon Berry!  It's what I wanted, and it's lovely.  It's been such a long time since I've used a balm! 

Acme Party Box Company Bamboo Heart, $32 ($24 on their site)

This was supposed to be a Popsugar exclusive, but if you go to their site there's a version without the ACME logo on it for $24, and the wood looks a little nicer in the picture.  I'm ambivalent about this item.  I like cheese, but I tend to stick with cheddar and pepper jack cheese.  Fancy cheese is fun for a special occasion, so I'm putting it away for who knows how long, unless someone gets married, then this will be a wedding gift.

 BaubleBar Mini Arrow Pendant Necklace, $32.

This necklace came in gold and silver.  I like silver, but personally I was hoping for gold.  Luckily silver still looks good on my skin tone.  (I guess I just have so much silver, that I need a little more gold for variety :0)  But it's cute, dainty, and tiny.  The chain is about 16 inches, I think, so it sits right at the base of the neck.

Chuao Chocolatier Ravishing Rocky Road Bar, $6.

I'm surprised I haven't ripped into this!!!!!  It looks yummy.  Will it last the night?  Will it last?  Heh, nope.

U.S. Apothecary Rose Water Bubble Bath, $30.

I love the idea of bubble bath, and the bottle is super fancy and cute.  So cute!  But I sadly have the standard of standard tubs, and taking a bath is more uncomfortable then relaxing.  Maybe this will work nicely as a shower gel.  The Rose Water smell is so nice.  I can't believe bubble bath can cost $30.  Boy.  This will be a treat.

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush, $26.

Tarte!  I actually don't own any Tarte cosmetics.  Last Christmas I was thinking of getting a Tarte makeup set, but then I talked myself out of it in the spirit of restraint and practicality.  It's a nice shade, so I'm glad to have it.

Sally Beauty FingerPaints Nail Color, $5.50.

The bonus item, which also came in a few shades.  I was hoping for light pink, but got the bright red.  It will look nice on my toes.  And we got a "buy one get one free nail polish" at Sally Beauty.  Usually I don't use the coupons we get, but I'm going to use this one.

Overall a lovely box.  Very Valentines, yet the items stand on their own and can last the whole year.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Jupiter Ascending: Movie Review

 Rating: 2.75 out of 5 Stars

A couple weeks ago Jupiter Ascending, the new Space-Opera by Lana and Andy Wachowski, staring and , was revealed to be the surprise entry to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah.  This was not a wise choice.  News reports came out that some of the invited attendees got up and walked out of the movie before it was ever finished.  Not a good omen.  But then who shows science-fiction to a bunch of people who celebrate art house movies and independent films?  Clearly the wrong audience.

This news followed the fact that the original July 18, 2014 release date was pushed seven months back to February 6, 2015, allowing time to finish special effects.  Hindsight is better then foresight, because it would have been better if Jupiter Ascending was released before surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which came out August 1st. Any science fiction based movie, Star Trek and Star Wars excluded, will have a hard time competing against Guardians, and with a $6.39 million 1-day total, for a movie with a budget around $150 million, Jupiter is falling behind.  I'd be amazed if we see any sequels.  It's a shame.  A sequel with these now established characters would be better then what we see in this installment.

Jupiter Ascending follows Jupiter Jones (Mila), the perfect reincarnate of the late Mrs. Abrasax, mother of the royal space dynasty, with a great inheritance worth fighting for.  It is this inheritance, the ownership of Earth, that Jupiter Jones now has claim.  Planets are piddly objects worth owning, unless the population is ripe for harvesting.  Earth is ripe, thus making it quite valuable in the scheme of the Universe, and Jupiter Jones is now standing in the way of the Abrasax siblings fortune. The solution?  A death order.  And who better then stop said death? A handsome bounty hunter (Tatum) who is destined for romance, because that's how it goes.

Jupiter Ascending is a mess of a movie.  The first half is convoluted, plot points jumping around, information skipped for a later "big reveal."  Honestly, establishing certain plot points early would have saved the film from some confusion and lack of fluidity.  I would have liked to know why the planet shown early in the movie was harvested.  But then maybe that wouldn't have saved Jupiter Ascending.  The editing is rough. The World building hard to swallow.

Instead of taking some scenes seriously, I found myself furrowing my eyebrows, removed more then engaged.  Maybe it's this World we're shown, which I couldn't fully immerse myself into.  Which I couldn't fully accept.  If these alien Worlds were better presented, I could have bought it more easily.  As crazy as Dr. Who is at times, I have no problem accepting their reality.  Yet I couldn't quite accept the reality presented in Jupiter Ascending.  Too bad, because there's promise.  The bureaucracy scene in the middle of the movie was actually quite amusing.

One of the great aspects to this film is Jupiter Jones: she's someone who values family, hard work, and ethics.  She's a fantastic heroine.  I really love her character.

And those special effects that apparently delayed production for so many months?  Their dazzling.  Visually this movie is gorgeous.

Though I had a hard time staying fully engaged with Jupiter Ascending, I do wish for a continuation.  I want to know what happens to Jupiter Jones, because there's got to be more.  I'm sad that this is what we got.  I'm sad that this is what we're given.

This movie could have been great.

Don't watch with high expectations.

And be careful showing this movie to kids.  the PG-13 rating is warranted. 

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Planning a Trip to Japan

I'm going to Japan!

That's the plan, later this year in Autumn.  It's something I've been wanting for a very long time, but because of expense it hasn't been possible.  A couple weeks ago everything started to fall into place, and I've started planning this trip with my brother Steven.  Just the two of us are going, and we're getting the places we want to stay lined up.

At the start of this year I didn't even think Japan was a possibility.  I bought a Japanese woodblock desk calender as inspiration, to help me visualize.  It's apart of my New Years resolution to "Believe."  Thanks to my Mom this is happening.  A part of me wants it so bad that I'm still having a hard time believing it's actually going to happen.  I'm afraid something is going to change, or prevent us, and I'm afraid of the disappointment.  The fact that I'm visiting Japan and things are starting to line up hasn't quite clicked in my brain.  And then I won't really believe it until I'm on the plane flying there.  (I've got a long way to go in this whole "believing" thing that I'm working towards.)

Of course Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea is on the list!  Yeah, I'm going to Japan, and that's near the top of things I want to do.  Tokyo Disney Sea has 2 Jules Verne rides!  And they look like a lot of fun.  Totally Steam Punk.  So I've been exploring the English website, picking up the differences between Disneyland Anaheim and Tokyo.  Tokyo has Cinderella Castle, no Main Street USA or New Orleans Square,  but they still have Country Bear Playhouse, Swiss family Robinson tree house, and the white rockets in front of Tomorrow Land.  Stitch pops up in the Enchanted Tiki Room show.  (Stitch is a really popular character in Japan.)  There's a lot of different restaurants.  Oh, and the Haunted Mansion is pink and found in Fantasyland.

Tokyo Disney Sea will be so much fun exploring.

And of course I want to visit Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower, visit Shibuya, see shrines and temples, Japanese castles, ride the Pirate ship and the sky bubble thingy in Hakone, etc.  And after Tokyo Steven and I are spending a couple weeks in Kyoto and surrounding areas.  Steven served his mission in the Japan Kobe mission, and spent 6 months in Osaka, so we're definitely going there.  And Nara!  I can't wait to visit Nara Park and walk around all the friendly deer.

I want to experience a little bit of everything, and Japan has so much.  Ocean and Mountains.  Caves.  The dense, bustling city mixed with tradition and culture.  Skyscrapers and shrines.  The Old and the New.  A respect for past and future.

And now I'm wishing I studied all those Japanese books I've collected this last decade and little more intensely.  I honestly could be fluent right now if I had remained diligent, but as it stands I'm still a beginner.  Ah well!  Can't worry about that!  I have many months of studying and planning ahead.

And it's going to be fun riding all those trains :0)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Inspirational Narnia Deception?

(I found this on Facebook, so I don't know who authored this image)

I have awesome Facebook friends.  They're always sharing inspirational quotes with glorious images.  So my FB homepage is a mix of uplifting whatnot's, silly one liners, and depressing news stories.

But this image my friend Alison shared got me thinking.

 "The Greatest Part of Life is Simply Enjoying It"  . . . even if it's snowing.  That's what this inspirational image is Really trying to say.  Enjoy life, despite the snow, through the "Snow Storms Of Life," etc.  Because, as I've gotten older, I've learned to despise cold white fluff.  Cold, wet, white fluff.

So. Cold.

Or is this Narnia??!!

(See the Lamp post?)
Enjoy life and you just might find yourself in Narnia?

I like this message.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Amazing Virgin River Gorge, I-15

 With ALL the times I've traveled along the I-15 from UT to CA in the last many years, it's easy to get bored of the scenery.  But one marvelous view I will never tire of seeing is found while driving through the Virgin River Gorge from St. George UT to Mesquite NV.  This stretch is technically in Arizona.

It's like driving through a National Park, but for free.

 This is a quick One minute video showing the trip through Virgin River Gorge, Southbound, which is my favorite direction to travel through the pass.  It's sped up, but shows how much fun it is to drive through.

 Last September there was a lot of rain fall, which caused a lot of waterfalls and flooding through Virgin River Gorge.  I passed through here a few days later, after all the waterfalls had stopped, and now I'm wishing the trip allowed the chance to see this, because it would have been amazing.  (Though there is a danger planning a trip with the hope of seeing the water swells after much rain, because the road is typically closed at such times, and then you're stuck in either St. George UT or Mesquite NV, with no way through/around.)