10 digit dialing

Are you opposed to the new area code that'll be added to the Wasatch Front? Do you feel it will be a big hassle to dial 10 digits for local calls? One Utah legislature is sponsoring a bill to change up what the Public Service Commission has been planning on since July 2007. You can read the Salt Lake Tribune article here.
Given the dire economic climate do you think this ought to be a priority for legislature? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Come On Over!

Today, I did a guest post about Sundance Film Festival for Hilarye's (aka TravelGirl) Dotting the Map blog. Come on over and check it out. Also, be sure to read about TravelGirl's adventures on her lively travel blog. Her focus for 2009 will be budget honeymoons, bed & breakfasts, cruises, and if everything goes as planned, some international travel!

What *Do* Women Want?

(photo from www.nytimes.com)

The New York Times magazine published an interesting article yesterday on women and sexual desire. The in-depth article offers several theories put forth by prominent researchers in the field including Lisa Diamond from the University of Utah. Researchers have long been interested in what turns men and women on and some of the findings in the article might surprise you. Emotional intimacy may not be the key to understanding women's desire as has long been believed.

Sundance - Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Alright, I've been putting off writing my thoughts on this movie largely because I was so looking forward to seeing it and as so often happens, it was a big let down. So, I'm just going to move on and say don't bother seeing it if it comes out in the theaters because it's a stinker. The best part of the show was getting to meet some twitter friends in person after the show.

Sundance - The Queen and I

The Queen and I is a documentary by exiled Iranian filmmaker, Nahid Persson Sarvestani, about Farah, the wife of the shah of Iran. The shah and his family were run out of Iran by the revolution and Khomeini’s rise to power in 1979. At the time, Sarvestani was a supporter of Khomeini's and when he imposed more violent measures than the shah had she was forced to flee Iran. Sarvestani's objectivity and expectations are shaken as she and the queen become unlikely friends. The movie was quite moving and an interesting glimpse into the lives of both women.

Sundance - Arlen Faber

Arlen Faber is the first film I've seen this festival from the Dramatic competition genre (as I've mentioned before I love documentaries). Let's face it, some of the documentaries can be a bit on the depressing side so Arlen Faber was a welcome break. Jeff Daniels plays a reclusive author whose best seller is approaching its 20th anniversary. There were a few laugh out loud moments and I suspect that the film will get picked up by a distributor and have widespread release. We saw the film at the Tower theater in Salt Lake so unfortunately there was no question and answer session and not a celebrity in sight. Check out the clip below.

1.20.2009 - What a Day!

Wasn't Inauguration Day amazing?

In addition to all the presidential activities, some friends of mine decided to get married on Inauguration Day. They were high school sweethearts whose paths went different ways and now twenty years later they rekindled their relationship and yesterday made it official. Here is a photo of them at a high school dance. The 'new beginnings' theme that the entire country is embracing works for a romantic wedding day too, right?

Finally, I also stopped by the special SLC/Sundance 'tweetup' at the Beehive Tea House where director, Ondi Timoner, spoke about her documentary 'We Live in Public'. I enjoyed hearing Ondi and Josh Harris, the subject of the film, speak about the role that technology plays in shaping our lives. Also, it was great to meet some of the people I follow on twitter face to face!

Gift Card Shopping Spree

Given the dire economic times and news reports that 25% of retailers will fold this year, I decided I'd better use up all the gift cards that I've been given before the stores go out of business and I'm left with nothing. I also have a tendency to hoard gift cards. I don't know why I do this, but I do. I'm always sure that there is something super awesome that I'm going to want and that I should save the cards for those items. The other issue is that I pretty much hate shopping and will put off the task until I desperately need something.

Anyhow, B and I loaded our wallets with gift cards and headed down to TJ Maxx. I managed to gather a cart load of items and ended up leaving with a new pair of jeans, a cashmere sweater, a fleece hoodie, a set of steak knives, and an iPod charger. Score!

Next, we headed to Nordstrom Rack. I looked at some beautiful handbags but they were way too expensive and really, do I need another handbag? I have been looking for a black pencil skirt but got blanked on that hunt.

I'd had my fill of shopping by this time and aborted the plan before we hit Target so I'm hopeful that Target will remain flush until I can get out there to use my gift card.

Have any of you used holiday gift cards to buy yourself something awesome? I'd love to hear about it....

Sundance - Afghan Star

Each year, one or two Sundance movies really stand out in my mind as exceptional and Afghan Star may just be one of those films. Film-maker Havana Marking traveled to Afghanistan accompanied only by a camera man, a translator, and an armed body guard. She followed four contestants on the television program, Afghan Star (similar to American Idol). Viewers vote for their favorite contestants via SMS and for many of the young people this is their first experience with a democratic process, eleven million Afghans (one third of the population) voted in the finale. Two thousand contests started the contest, of those, only 3 were women. These women braved public scorn and in some cases death threats against them for the 'inappropriate behavior' of singing in public.

The film maker and host of Afghan Star were both on hand in the theater for a question and answer session after the film. We learned that the second season of Afghan Star is now airing and that this season 15 women made the cut (a five fold increase). The most poignant moment came when an Afghan woman in the audience spoke to the film maker and show host to say that this movie has given her a glimmer of hope. The media portrayals of a war torn country have given way to a country full of young people whose hope and dreams for the future are so much more than what we as Americans tend to see in our news coverage.

Sundance - Big River Man

Big River Man is a documentary about Martin Strel, a Slovenian long distance swimmer. Strel, an overweight, middle-aged man, who proclaims to drink two bottles of wine a day, is an unlikely athlete. But, Strel has swam the length of the Mississipi, the Yangtze, and the Danube before attempting to swim the Amazon in 2007, all in the name of highlighting the pollution of our rivers. The Amazon is 1,000 miles longer than his previous world record of swimming the Yangtze.

The movie is narrated by Strel's son who also serves as his manager, PR person, and caretaker. The beginning of the story is told with levity ("Slovenia is shaped like a chicken") as we follow Strel in his attempt to swim the Amazon but the tone grows more serious as each passing day finds Strel losing his grip on reality and ultimately risking his physical and mental health to accomplish his goal.

Sundance - The Glass House

I attended today's Sundance screening of The Glass House. This documentary follows victimized teenage females in Tehran, Iran for 18 months. The girls have found sanctuary in a center where they have access to social and practical skills to help them navigate as self-sufficent women in a culture that doesn't always support such endeavors.

In a society which forbids alcohol I was surprised to see the role that illicit drugs played in the lives of some of the girls. Below is the 2 minute trailer for The Glass House. There are four more screening at Sundance so try to check this movie out. It's part of the World Documentary competition.

Sundance Package Procured

Sundance Film Festival tickets. Check. Festival Credential. Check. Game plan for tomorrow (still working on that). Movies begin tomorrow in Park City. Wahoo!

Sundance Film Festival: Wise Ax Style

Sundance Film Festival kicks off later this week and I'm very excited about the movies this year. I always order a locals package and this year is no exception. Although in previous years my movies have all been in Salt Lake City, this year I have the option of seeing screenings in Park City and Salt Lake. I'll bring my new camera up to the Park City Screening and hopefully will get some blogerrazzi action to share with you.

Here is a list of the movies that I've selected this year. I rarely go for movies in the previews category because most of those films will eventually come out in theaters so I select movies that I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to see otherwise. Also, I love documentaries so you'll notice that my movies are skewed that direction.

The Glass House
Big River Man
Afghan Star
Arlen Faber
The Queen and I
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

I'll post updates throughout the festival so be sure to check back often!

Interested in Playing Roller Derby?

Salt City Derby Girls are holding try-outs for the 2009 season this Saturday, January 17, at 8:00am at Classic Skating in Sandy. Click here for more information!

iTunes + iPod

I held out for a really, really long time before I bought an iPod. I'd had Creative mp3 players and been satisfied with them. But, a series of misfortunes including, a house break-in, a basement flood, and one that just crapped out resulted in my recent purchase of an iPod.

I have to admit that I fell in love with the sexy exterior as soon as it arrived. I downloaded iTunes and started adding music from my library. I also loved the podcast feature and enjoyed several episodes of This American Life while on a recent road trip. My little love affair was going along swimmingly until 3 weeks ago when my laptop was infected with a virus.

I finally have my laptop back and have reinstalled iTunes. I plugged the iPod in and figured that I could transfer the files on the iPod back into iTunes. I was able to do this with my Creative players. But, apparently that is not the case with iTunes.

I'm already kicking myself for not backing up the iTunes library so don't bother with that suggestion. I've added more regular back ups to my list of new year's resolutions. I can't believe that some smarty pants hasn't already figured out a way to do this. I'm about to start researching. If you know how to do this with some 3rd party software let me know!

My Dream Bathroom...

Would be covered entirely in tile and have a drain in the corner. Overhead dispensers would release cleanser with the flip of a switch and I would just hose down the whole mess once a week! Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Au revoir, Lauren

Well, she's off! Lauren left on New Year's Day for a semester abroad in Grenoble, France. Her adventure began with an extra day in San Francisco as her flight out of here was delayed because of fog and she missed her flight to Europe. Alas, she is there now, safe and sound and she met her host family today.

Lauren is keeping a travel journal which you can find here. She's posted some photos of Grenoble already.

We miss her already but are so excited that she's taken advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Below is a photo with her brother Ryan as she was heading to the airport on Thursday.

I'm planning to visit her in the spring so I need to start boning up on my French!