Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pizza -- And Why Jason Will Never Play Rugby

 This week we went to Pizzeria 712. Oh yes we did.

I know many of you think taking pictures of food is at least as annoying as McDonald's commercials on your Pandora station, and at most as annoying as the car in front of you who completely misses the green arrow during rush hour.

But this is just a concept I don't understand. Why wouldn't people want to look at good food? Why do you have to feel shameful when you instagram your food? In fact, I think I would like instagram better if it were devoted solely to food. And puppies. Because, come on. Every picture is better with a puppy in it.

Eating pizza faster, apparently, than the speed of light.

That being said, there is some food that doesn't deserve the limelight as much as others. Like a half-eaten container of Arby's french fries. NOT the curly ones. They probably don't warrant a picture. But this crostini with pork confit, arugula, and whole grain mustard? I was this close to calling my wedding photographer.

Not only was the food supreme but we get to go with some of our favorite people -- the Hutchisons.

And when I'm so full of pizza that I delude myself into thinking I am some sort of art critic, I sit back and commentate on the local art Pizzeria 712 has for sale.

"The fruit must represent the future that the girl/boy and the mother/father have in store... And the lack of modeling must mean that there is tension in the relationship."

Like I said. Not an art critic. I can't even get the genders right. But if I eat enough pizza, I may critique in an Italian accent.

But we didn't just eat pizza. We also went to the BYU rugby game to watch Braden, my cousin's boyfriend, play full-grown men on the New York Athletic Club team. Semi-professionals! The medium-time!

Rugby is always fun/terrifying to watch. Seeing them launch each other up to catch the ball makes me wish that we could have stunted like that in cheer. Why mess with dirty shoes when you can just grab spandex and pull? I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that a wedgie was just as efficient as a fulcrum and a lever.

Just in case you hadn't tired of booty shots.

Braden Bair himself!

That's Braden wrapped around the other man's leg.

And as much fun as we were having talking, instagramming, gossipping, and intermittently cheering, I realized why I will never let Jason play rugby. 

Seriously. One of our boys went down hard after getting hit by friendly fire. Already sad. And then everyone just left him lying there until one of the New York players went and checked on him and realized this kid was really not okay. 

The commentator just kept saying that they were just taking precautions and that the player was "responsive" and is going to be fine. Responsive. That was the most positive adjective he could come up with. 

I really hope he is fine. And that Jason will never play rugby. Ever. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Party like the Oscars

If anyone knows anything about me, it's that I like to party.
And by party, I mean eat fancy food, wear fancy clothes, be with cool people, eat more fancy food, spill fancy food on your fancy clothes, and wrap it all up by midnight.

I know. I'm pretty hardcore.

So when my invitation to the Oscars went missing (somehow I think it is related to sequestration...) I thought we had to bring the Oscars to Provo. After all, the only thing better than beautiful celebrities in all their fineries is a bunch of Mormons in old prom dresses chowing down after a long day of fasting.

The best thing about living in my dad's basement -- besides the free rent and reliable heat -- is a TV with plenty of seating. In our last house we had our TV in what we called "The Dark Room," because it had no windows. But it was also small enough that when we put our couch facing the TV there was not enough room to play the Kinect. And since you know I've got to get my Dance Central on, that just wasn't an option.

Poor Jason realizing we didn't have enough room  by breaking the light fixture. With his head. On our second night in the house.

So, we did the only other sensible thing and we positioned our couch so it faced a blank wall. While that left us room to shake our groove thang, it meant we had to do all of our TV watching from pillows on the ground. Even though this set an awesome, ethnic mood, we had a max capacity of about 4 people for TV-watching unless you weren't afraid of non-spousal-spooning.

But to get back to our Oscars party... my dad's basement not only has enough room for classic family room fixtures like an air hockey table, darts, and something that involves basketballs, but also plenty of people to enjoy the Oscars without bursting their personal boundary bubbles. There's even room for defunct exercise equipment! Yay!

We took advantage of all this space and invited some of our favorite people to watch the festivities with us in their black-tie-finest. To make sure they didn't feel out of place in their haberdashery we laid out the red carpet and set the celeb mood.



Seriously. I dare US Weekly to pick a worst dressed from these people. They are all pretty stunning.

Apart from sparkling conversation, my favorite part of any party is the food. Initially I wanted to take this opportunity to make only food that is fancy and really hard to pronounce, but since no one likes to eat that kind of food except me, I stuck with more traditional appetizers and just tried to fancy pants them up.

I made buffalo chicken strips with blue cheese dressings and celery shavings, fried chicken and waffles, smoked BBQ pork sliders on brioche buns, garlic parmesan popcorn, pear and pecan gorgonzola salad, brie and peach crostinis, chocolate peanut butter cake balls, and white chocolate marionberry cake balls. We also had delicious homemade oreo cookies, brownies, and a full mocktail spread brought by delightful guests.

Since the Oscars can be kind of boring, especially when you are on the media slow track and waiting for movies to come to the dollar theater, we had bingo sheets to keep people interested. Congrats to Hanna for winning the illustrious $10 iTunes gift card for getting the first bingo!

Jason always stresses out when I tell him about the parties I'm planning because he knows that there will be at least one or two freak-outs in the ensuing days when I clean the house from top to bottom in the middle of the night. Or I will spend hours cutting and taping logos to make a backdrop. Or dipping and breading endless chicken pieces. Or jumbling words for bingo.

But he has now realized that he can't fight it any longer. I only have two speeds: turbo or hibernation.

So thank you everyone who made this Oscars party unforgettable.

Monday, March 4, 2013

9 Years Later

Hey mom,

A great day for hair in the Thomas household

Wow. It has been a long time since we last talked. Nine years, right? Only nine years… It feels like an eternity to me. Does it feel that long to you? I’m sure you’re busy, but I like to think you have days that feel like they’ll never end because you just need to talk to me. You know that feeling you get behind your belly button that yanks down hard and lets you know you need something more? Maybe you don’t, but I know I do.

Things are going pretty great here. Work is still work, but at least it pays well and I have an end in sight. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you! I will be going to BYU Law this fall. The same law school you went to so many years ago. Pretty soon my picture will be posted in the same hallway yours is.

Too bad no one will know that Alexandra Sandvik was raised by the curly-haired blonde who graduated in ’80. I remember you told me that you were recognized as a Featherstone descendant at a family reunion once just by your unique nose. No one will ever recognize me as your daughter by any physical trait you gave me, but maybe I will be recognized in different ways.

Like remember how we both like the same books? The whole time you were with me I don’t think I ever read a book that you didn’t read too. And since I devoured the entire juvenile fiction section at the Provo library, that was quite a feat for you.

You would read ones from the Scholastic Book Club like Maniac Magee and Whatever Happened to Janie. Then I would read your grown up book club books with you like Angela’s Ashes and the Color Purple. A lot of times those books scared me but I never told you that. I can’t wait to tell you about some of the new books I’ve read.  

I’ve also inherited something from you that I didn’t anticipate. Remember all those vacations we would take with early morning hikes and long drives? How I would complain the whole way? Well, it turns out I love nature’s bounty just as much as you now. 

Once the outdoors couldn’t offer me anything better than a sturdy tree to climb and a body of water to swim in. I’ve since turned to oohing and ahhing over things like sedimentary rock formations and dark clouds rumbling over mountain tops. But I have to admit I'm not as interested in bugs. I'll keep my animals furry and slobbery.

For a long time I was afraid to talk about you. Afraid to use the past-tense. So I would just avoid ever mentioning you; pretending you didn’t ever exist because that was easier than accepting the fact that you were once my best friend and are now inexplicably gone.

But what I didn’t realize is that I was killing you all over again. By refusing to accept the pain of the memories I had of you I was throwing away the only piece of you I had left.

I promise I won’t do that anymore, mom. I want to revive your memory so that I can feel you right by my side again. I might not get to introduce you to Jason – or do you know him already? I don’t know how things work up there – but I can make sure he knows you as well as anyone can through stories. And when the time comes to having kids I want to make sure their grandma is more than a name and a face.

So until we can all sit at a big table around a fabulous meal, I’ll try to keep in touch!

Love you mom.