Friday, January 29, 2010

Why Blogging Rocks!

You know one of the things I love about blogs and blogging is GIVEAWAYS! I follow a hard-core Utah blogger on Twitter, and she tweeted about a local giveaway on someone else's blog. Are you following?

On the blog/website, they review Utah ice cream shops (of which there are a million), and other treat shops. This week they reviewed a place called the San Gelato Cafe, which looks soooo good. To enter their giveaway, I had to tell them the flavor that looks best. I am entered 5 times more if I tweet about the giveaway, and another 5 times if I put it as my Facebook status, AND yet another five times if I blog about it. (Hence this post.)

Bottom line, I could win a $25 gift card to the San Gelato Cafe. Seriously, look at the picture above and tell me that doesn't look totally worth it. (Hopefully doesn't mind I borrowed their picture.)

If you enter the contest and tell me your entered the contest in a comment HERE, I promise to share my winnings with you, if you also promise to share your winnings with me if you win. Deal? Deal.

You can enter until Friday, Feb. 5th.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

L.A. Harker "The Director"

We're working on some super-secret promos at KSL to air during the Olympics (since that's when all of Utah is watching our station). They're going to be AMAZING! We were shooting for three days straight, and because my boss is awesome, he let me direct the shoot for the promo I'M producing!
Most production companies use what's called a green screen. It's usually paint on a wall, but we've discovered green sheets work just as well. We used four green sheets for this shoot to make a GIANT green screen.
That's me and Kory. Kory was our camera man. He is one of the most "chill" people at KSL, and super fun to work with. "With Kory there's no stress, only success!" (I just made that up, so no stealing!)
That's Nadine Wimmer, one of our star anchors! She's the nicest T.V. anchor you'll ever meet. She's super genuine! No T.V. ego's here!
That's my boss trying to steal some of the attention. He's definitely a wacky boss, but wacky in a good way. Everyone loves him. I can't imagine anyone else giving me an opportunity like this. He the kind of person that wants you to learn and take ownership of your work. But he doesn't throw you off a cliff either. He was around during the shoot to lend a hand (and a laugh) here and there. Can you believe I can actually put "director" on my resume?? "Director L.A. Harker" I like the sound of that!
We even had a make-up lady on set! That's how you know it's the real deal!
Our audio guy, Todd. I guess he got a little bored when we weren't shooting.
Here are a few more camera secrets for you. Nadine is pretty short, so we had her stand on a box to be closer in height to Bruce. And the X's on the greet screen are for tracking.

By now you're probably sick of hearing about my job, but I'll just tell you one more time that it's TOTALLY AWESOME! Bruce and Nadine are the best anchors in Utah. They were super great to work with. My boss is awesome, my boss's boss is awesome, and needless to say, the owner of KSL is awesome. ;-P

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Winning Name

We have chosen a name for our truck. Or rather, Tom has chosen a name for our truck. He has naming rights since he's going to be the only one driving it.

But before I reveal the winner, here were all the suggestions:

Macy Gray - this was one of my favorites
The Grey Geezer - very appropriate
Suzy Q the Isuzu - Love the rhyme, but a little long
Beatrice, Harriet or Winnifred - "because she's a sturdy ol' gal who's seen her share of the world and needs a sturdy ol' name" (LOL, Thanks Ash)
Bertha - need I say more?
Zuzu or Zowie - Too girly, not enough girth!
Helga - "it kind of looks like a Viking truck."
Uzusi - Get it? It's Isuzu backwards. But I would never remember it.
Earl - LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. This will be my personal nickname for the truck.
Charlie or Henery - Helloooo, we're talking about a truck, not royalty.
Alabaster Echo - What the heck...?
Deceptive Innuendo - The person who suggested this was just bitter because he thought I was announcing a pregnancy. LOL!!
And last but not least, the Grey Goose - "It's a unisex name so should satisfy the gender question. It has alliteration so it's easy to say. The colour fits. Geese go everywhere so it suits the 4WD feature. Geese travel far so it would be a good omen for the vehicle. Geese are loyal to their mates so it should be loyal to you and give you good service." Wow, my Dad really put a lot of thought into this. (But that's why he's sooo cool!)

And the winner is...none of these!! Lame, I know, but Tom thought of a name all by himself. Remember, our last truck was named "The Golden Girl" because the car was gold and The Golden Girls (the T.V. show) were old. Along those same lines, Tom has decided to name our truck Gandolph the Grey! Tom was very proud of himself for thinking of this title.

You have my permission to call Tom a nerd.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A New Addition to the Family

This is the Golden Girl. Our 1992 Isuzu Trooper. And that's me almost three years ago. We were on our honeymoon. (Mine and Tom's honeymoon, not mine and the Golden Girl's.) We drove across the country together, bringing all my possessions from Ontario to Utah.
We've driven through rivers...
And climbed mountains...
(Can you find the KSL logo in this picture?)

The Golden Girl recently broke down...again. But this time, we've decided it's time to say goodbye. She had a good life and travelled more than 250,000 miles. Her grave site is currently our garage. (You're welcome to come pay your respects.)

With Tom in school, we realized we couldn't get by on one car. So meet the newest addition to our family: A 1992 Isuzu pick-up truck.
Yep, another 18-year-old Isuzu. Except unlike the Golden Girl, this car does NOT have power windows. It does NOT have power locks. It does NOT have a sunroof or a STEREO! And the worst part?? It's a MANUAL. Woe is me!
Yep. That's a dent. There's one on the other side too.

Why did I let Tom buy this car? Because even though it was listed at $1,500, we managed to get it for $800! And it has just over 100,000 miles. It has four-wheel drive, and it runs great! $800 was actually a steal!
Can you guess what's wrong with this picture?
I can't figure out why the owner wouldn't take 5 seconds to roll down the window!

As much as I hope I never have to drive this truck, I'm glad we bought it. The only problem now? She needs a name. Suggestions please! I think it should be a female name, but I'm open to opposition.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The "Shut Up!" Post

The other day I was at the mall when I overheard a father tell his kid to "shut up!" The kid couldn't have been over 6. And yeah, he was a little chatty, but we were in line at Chick-Fil-A, who wouldn't be excited and chatty?

I was SHOCKED! What kind of father tells his kids to "shut up"! In public! I turned around and tried not to glare. His wife just stood there as if this kind of this happens all the time. I had to seriously bite my tongue.

Like the young, hot, technology-savvy, post-teenager that I am, I picked up my phone to tweet my frustration. My Twitter message said, "Just heard a father say shut up to his kid at the mall. I just about told him to shut up."

(<------ This one's for you Dad.) This normally wouldn't turn into a blog post, but my Twitter account updates my Facebook status, and I got an interesting comment from one of my "friends". She said, "Oh Lesli... wait til you have kids... it all changes. ;)" This could have multiple meanings, but at face value, I don't like the sound of it. If that's what's in store for me when I have kids. Count me out. I don't want to turn into some disrespectful monster! So I took a little poll to find out if other people think it's okay to say "shut up" to your kids. Here are some answers.

"No, but "shut your mouth" is."

"Nope. If you say it to them, they will say it back and that is BIG trouble! (but sometimes, I have to say shut your mouth too. They seem to take that more seriously. )"

"NO! Of course it isn't. There are so many other ways to communicate and exert authority without putting them down."

"Yes. But only if you tell them they're worthless and will never amount to anything at the same time."

"Under your breath, or between ground teeth - just as long as they don't hear you. It feels good sometimes...."

"Um, no. It's not ok. But look at spandex, and that just keeps happening over and over and over..."

"As a father, like others posting, I prefer to say shut up in more interesting ways, like put a cork in it, or shut your pie hole. The kids really respond to that sort of thing."

My sister put into perspective for me. She said, it's not okay to say "shut up" to your kids, but sometimes when it's your time of the month and you're hungry on fast Sunday, AND your kids are acting out, it can slip out. You just have to apologize and make sure your kids know that you made a mistake.

I cannot remember my parents EVER saying shut up to us kids growing up, even when I'm sure I said it to them as a disrespectful teenager. So thanks Mom and Dad! You were good examples.

I also don't think it's okay to say it to your spouse. But since I started my poll, Tom's found multiple occasions where the words "shut up" have been appopriate and hilarious. I guess there are exceptions to every rule.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Julie & Julia

Tonight Tom and I watched Julie & Julia. I practically had to force Tom to watch it with me because he hates Meryl Streep. Wait, I don't think I emphasized that enough. Tom HATES Meryl Streep.

Even I have to admit, the accent she uses in this movie is sooooooo distracting. It's very hard to take her seriously. I don't care if that's how Julia Child talked. It's awful.

The movie is about Julia Child, the famous chef, and Julie Powell, a writer with a dead-end job. To spice up her life, Julie decides to make every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook and blog about it.

The main reason I wanted to watch this movie is because it also stars Amy Adams, who I love. But like Meryl Streep and her horrible voice, Amy Adams has an equally horrible haircut. Both make this movie hard to bear.

The movie had no real conflict (which was fine since I don't like conflict), but it also didn't really have a happy ending (which was not fine, it left me angry). But it did make me want to blog more... and then write a book... and then have someone make a movie based on my blog/book. Anne Hathaway would play me, and she would have an AWESOME haircut!

The best part of this movie was the preview of Sleepless in Seattle at the beginning. (Which is random, right? Didn't that movie come out, like, two decades ago?) But it reminded me I have never seen Sleepless in Seattle, and it actually looks like a cute movie. Add it to the Netflix cue!

P.S. Tom did not make it through Julie & Julia. He eventually got up and made cookies. They were delicious.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This is Utah, Where We Like to Chew our Air

Right now, Utah has the worst air in the country. Usually you'd expect this type of smog in the summer. Not here. This is the INVERSION.According to "Under an inversion, the normal vertical temperature gradient is inverted such that the air is colder near the surface of the Earth. The air becomes stiller, hence the air becomes murky because dust and pollutants are no longer lifted from the surface. This can become a problem in cities where many pollutants exist. Here the mountains, together with the inversion, bottle-caps the air in the city."

This isn't a new thing. Apparently it's been happening for years and years, even before the valley was inhabited. So why would the Pioneers settle here? They were probably tricked by the fact this is one of the most beautiful places on earth 9 months out of 12. Those suckers.Essentially, it's gross. These pictures were taken from the roof of my building in downtown Salt Lake. The only reason you can even see the mountains is because the sun barely came up. It gets worse throughout the day.

And you can notice a difference. Personally, I think you can smell, even taste the pollution. Tom thinks it's all in my head because I work in news and we do "Red Air Day" stories all the time. I've been getting headaches almost everyday too. I feel great in the morning, but by late afternoon, I'm fighting a headache. (It's either the air, or I think I'm getting a cavity. Do cavities give you headaches?)

On Red Air Days, people are told to drive less, don't exercise outside, and unfortunately, school recess gets canceled. But do people actually change the way they live on Red Air Days? Nope! Heaven forbid people leave their cars at home and take public transportation. It's pure laziness if you ask me. But then again, I grew up in Canada, where we actually care about the environment. Oooooooo, burn!

You can watch more great video of the inversion here.

From the Today Show

One of the funniest parts was AFTER this package aired. Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera were on camera, and they just looked stunned. I mean, what are they supposed to say after that? So they just talked about how both Jay Leno and Conan are "really great guys."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christmas Cruise Part 4: At Sea

This is the last travelog you'll have to put up with. Our last full day on the cruise was at sea. I'd like to say we made the best of it, but to be honest, we were pretty lazy. We ate lots, lounged lots, and ate some more.
Classic Tom when I tell him to "smile".
Watching the sunset on the deck of our cruise ship. It was chilly so I had to cuddle up close to Tom. So romantic. *sigh*
I don't like taking pictures of just scenery. There needs to be something or someone in the picture to make it interesting. In this case, it was my feet. It really was a beautiful sunset.
At dinner, you're assigned a table and you eat with the same people every night. These are a couple of the people we ate with. A real California mom, Shalon, and her son (can't remember his name). He was your typical teenage boy. He couldn't wait to get off the ship and back to his computer. He did crack me up constantly though. He was a little trouble maker.

We had a bunch of time to kill while we waiting for a show to start, hence another foot picture. This one is a little artsy though. The only color in this picture is red. Everything else is black and white. It's a function on my camera I love playing with.
The next day we got off the boat, but still had HOURS to kill before we had to catch our flight. So we went to "The Pike". It's in downtown Long Beach and consists of a few stores and restaurants.
The fact we had to carry our luggage everywhere we went limited what we could do.
We killed a couple of hours in Borders (a book store like Chapters) where we used their free wireless internet. Four days without Facebook (and Twitter) was a bit a trial for me.
I thought this picture was funny because it looked like Tom had Palm leaves coming out of his head.
To kill the next three hours we went to see Avatar in 3D. We're still wearing our 3D glasses in this picture. I'd give it three and a half stars (out of five). It was long, and the plot was lacking, but the special effects kept me entertained.

After the movie it was finally time to go to the airport. We took public transportation, of course.

It's good to be home, but a few times after the trip, I could've sworn the ground was moving. Tom got a bad case of vertigo. He's still getting dizzy spells a few weeks later. We think it's because he had a bit of a cold while we were on the cruise.

Looking back on our trip, I would definitely do it again. It's so glamorous and romantic. And it's fun to explore new places. The cruise we did was really inexpensive considering all it included, but I'd like to think of it as a starter cruise. Next time I want to do a European cruise. Or a cruise with less kids. I wouldn't mind doing an Alaskan cruise either, but mostly because it includes parts of Canada.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our trip. Don't go too far, I still have to blog about what we got for Christmas and what we did on New Years. Maybe tomorrow?? Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Cruise Part 3: Ensenada, Mexico

This was my first ever trip to Mexico! I have to admit I thought it would be nicer. I guess I'm more ignorant than I realised. I won't go into detail because it will only make me look bad...
But we still had a blast here and I have a million pictures I want to share, so bear with me.

This is how Mexico does Christmas, I guess. I think I prefer the mashed-potato Santa. (See recent post).
I have to remind myself people down south have to makeshift their own evergreen trees.
My adorable hubby showing off our cruise ship.
We rented a four-wheeler!! Believe it or not, these are legal to drive on the streets in Mexico! The salesman wanted $70 to rent the vehicle all day, but we said no way. We walked away and they chased us down the road to offer us a better deal! Turns out, I'm a pretty ruthless negotiator! We agreed on $50 for the whole day. Pretty good considering they were charging other people $25/hour.
We drove the four-wheeler all the way to La Bufadora, or "The Blowhole", about 45 min away from Ensenada. I'll explain what that is in a minute. It got pretty windy and cold along the way. Tom was going pretty fast the whole time. We don't know how fast, because the vehicle didn't have a speedometer! How these things are street legal is beyond me!
They gave me a pink helmet! How did they know!!! :-D
There's a parking lot at the blowhole, but then you have to walk through a super-long flea market to get there. There are people yelling at you and trying to sell you stuff everywhere you look...
...including prescription drugs like Viagra! Tell me this isn't the most hilarious thing you've ever seen! It's Viagra Man! I tried to stand as far away from his "package" as I could. (If his hands are any indication...) So creepy!
Here is La Bufadora, or "The Blowhole". It's a cove along the coast of Mexico that gets really narrow as the water rushes in.
And then gets even more narrow...
And then...
The water gets drawn into an underwater cave and then it explodes! Creating a geyser every minute or so. It also makes the coolest noise. Like thunder rolling across the sky and then a huge crack of lightening. This is the second-largest blowhole in the WHOLE WORLD!

The explosions vary in size and when they get really big, they splash everyone watching! These pictures made me laugh.

This was definitely one of the highlights of our cruise. I'm glad we made the long trek there and back on our sketchy four-wheeler.

When we got back into town, I wanted to see what a Mexican Wal-Mart looks like... It wasn't hard to find.
Still cool though! "Precios Bajos" means "low prices".
Sunset on the beach with our four-wheeler!
Saying goodbye to Mexico. I don't think I'll be back anytime soon, but I definitely have fond memories of our visit.

Back on the ship I got to show off a new purchase! I bought this necklace on the streets of Mexico. The salesman wanted $18 for it. I got him down to $6! Totally worth it! It's so pretty! It's one of my favorite souvenirs of the whole cruise!

This picture was taken a day later, but I'm wearing my new hat also bought in Mexico. The lady wanted $10, I paid $5. :-D I love bargaining!
(Ignore the fact I'm stuffing my face with breakfast food in this picture. The plates were for both me and Tom.)

If you got all the way through this post and you STILL want more, you're in luck. There will be one more post of our last day at sea and the day we spend in Long Beach before our flight home. Until then, Adios!