Sunday, January 28, 2007

Should I Inhale?

I mean, I can't even see the mountains right now. And from what I remember, they're huge, and not that far away. On the news the other night they were talking about the cities across the nation that currently have the poorest air quality. The top five were:
  1. Ogden, UT
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
  3. Provo, UT
  4. Logan, UT
  5. Bakersfield, CA
I wonder if this has anything to do with the perpetual headache I've had for the last couple of weeks...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Joy of Sunflower Seeds

I never knew how great sunflower seeds are. I'm not sure why. I just never tried one. I mean, I remember someone giving me some sunflower seeds when I was younger, and telling me not to eat the outside. But in my confusion about how to get the inside out without eating the outside, I simply sucked the salt off and went on with my life.

I was driving to Grand Teton National Park in July with my dear friend Nicholas, who picked up a bag of sunflower seeds for the ride. I was kind of hungry, so I asked, "What do I do? How do I eat this?" Nick said, "You've never eaten a sunflower seed? I feel like I don't even know you!" Once he got over the initial shock, he explained how you gently ease the shell open with your teeth, work the seed out of the shell with your tongue, and then remove the shell from your mouth before chewing and swallowing the itty-bitty seed.

At first it seemed like an extraneous amount of work for one little snack, but now I'm hooked. I can enjoy the salty satisfaction literally all day, for only one Weight Watcher point. Brilliant!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sundance Your Ass Off

I've lived in Utah for 15 Sundance Film Festivals, but aside from the occasional collection of short films, I haven't done anything too Sundance-y. Until yesterday.

All you had to say was "Ozomatli" and "free", and I was all sorts of ready to brave the crowds and the weather. I bundled up in three layers of clothes (including three pairs of socks) and met up with some friends to head to the Park City Mountain Resort. We had a P-Diddy sighting almost immediately - he was like 10 feet from us! We also spied Keanu Reeves from afar. And a couple outside of the restrooms spotted Nick and said, "I can't remember his name, but he's somebody."

The Ozo show was phenomenal, as per usual! These boys from L.A. can put on an incredibly energetic show, even in below freezing temperatures.

But my favorite part was finally getting that picture with Asdru I was too shy to ask for on the Jam Cruise two years ago...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Triumphant Return to the Library

Those of you who regularly discuss books with me know that I shop on because of the late fees I owe to the Salt Lake County Library System. After probably a year of avoidance, I finally decided it was time to face those fees.

I shamefully approached the cute, faux-hawked boy at the desk and explained, "I haven't been here in a while because I owe an embarrassing amount of money." I asked if it would be okay to chip away at my debt a few dollars at a time, and he agreed. He even let me check out TWO books, and with an adorable smile and a hearty, "Welcome back to the library!", sent me on my way.

I guess this means I have no excuse for not reading what my book club decides on.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I Heart Jam Cruise

Could there possibly be a better vacation than being on a boat full of fun-loving hippies and rock stars visiting tropical locations? This was my third Jam Cruise and it has gotten so much better every year! This time around we stopped by the Turks & Caicos Islands and Cayo Levantado with the Derek Trucks Band, Umphrey's McGee, Galactic, the Greyboy Allstars, Garage a Benevento, Burning Spear, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Railroad Earth, Deep Banana Blackout, Perpetual Groove, Los Amigos Invisibles, Ivan Neville's Dumpstafunk, ALO, Hot Buttered Rum, New Mastersounds, the Stanton Moore Trio, Luther Dickinson, JJ Grey, Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr., Oteil Burbridge, Tea Leaf Green, and Jeff Austin.

Here's my Jam Cruise 5 Top Ten:

10. Spending days on the Pool Deck. The last two Jam Cruises had two or three stages going all day long, so we were always bouncing around. This year the only music during the day was on the pool deck, so our two days at sea were spent lounging and sun bathing, being shmoozed by presidential candidates, listening to great music, and people watching. I loved every second of it.

9. This conversation~
me: I never thought I'd be in Turks & Caicos, on a horse on a beach next to Eric Krasno.
Eric Krasno: What's your name?
me: Jessica.
Eric Krasno: I never thought I'd be on a horse on a beach next to Jessica.

8. Cayo Levantado, a private island off the Dominican Republic, was the gorgeous, lush, warm, sunny tropical paradise I've always wanted to visit. We Jam Cruisers had it all to ourselves, complete with a set by Hot Buttered Rum. Heaven.

7. JJ Grey, Luther Dickinson, and Stanton Moore playing a great set of southern rock together. Not to mention the eye candy.

6. New Mastersounds are my favorite find from the line-up. So funky!

5. The sit-ins! Its so amazing to have so many musicians in such a confined space. I couldn't begin to list them all, but here are a few of my faves. Karl D. with New Mastersounds. Susan Tedeschi and Oteil Burbridge with the Derek Trucks Band. Eric Krasno with Dumpstafunk rocking James Brown's Super Bad. Jeff Austin playing Waiting for Jaden with ALO. George Porter Jr. with the Stanton Moore Trio.

4. Galactic's set on the last night put me into a rock coma! Wow!

3. 1:00 a.m. on the Pool Deck. Diet Coke in my hand. Refreshing ocean breeze on my face. Perpetual Groove on stage. Life does not get better than this.

2. Galactic on the Pool Deck on night 2 with Mike D. on percussion, JJ Grey on vocals, Karl Denson and Robert Walter, Skerik, an amazing Kashmir cover right as it started to rain, Ivan Neville, George Porter Jr., and members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Seriously, I love Jam Cruise.

1. Garage a Benevento on the Pool Deck. This set was like the epitome of why I love live music so much. The music itself is kind of crazy, I don't really know how to describe it. But watching it happen - the chemistry among Mike D., Stanton, Skerik, and Marco Benevento - is so amazing! You know they're making it up as they go from the way they're communicating with their facial expressions, but you can't really believe it. I can't even explain it. All I can say is, if you ever have a chance to see these four play together, DO NOT MISS IT!

Check out my pictures!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Story of my Snowshoes

I acquired two pairs of snowshoes - one men's, one women's - in a divorce. Not my divorce. An ex-coworkers divorce. She wanted to purge her new life of anything that reminded her of old life, including said snowshoes, still in the box.

Now that I think about it, that was three or four years ago.

My dad and I finally decided to take them out of their boxes and give them a go on New Year's Eve. Mom joined along with a rental pair.

We quickly - like two minutes into the hike - discovered that our brand new snowshoes were pieces of poo. The straps kept slipping off of our toes and our heals, and when we tugged on the straps to tighten them, the (I don't know the technical term for this...) parts of the shoes where the straps were laced through started to rip. Dad made it about half an hour before strapping his snowshoes to his backpack. I lasted maybe 15 minutes more. Luckily we were at the top of Millcreek Canyon, on the road, where the snow was hard packed. Or I would have been one whiney girl.

At least it was beautiful. And we had wine and hershey kisses. Here are a few pictures.

New Year's Resolution

To become a blogger.