Kick Like a Girl

I don't have HBO and most of the time I couldn't care less. But this weekend I'm mourning having access to what seems like a great local documentary film, Kick Like a Girl. My friend and team mate Nico Noir worked on this film. Read the compelling story of film maker, Jenny Mackenzie here.

Plus, you know how much I love some girl power action and this movie seems ripe with it. I'm going to see if Nico can score a DVD of the film for me. Let me know if you'd like to come over for a screening.

Ripping Audiobook CDs to an iPod

Last year, I made the switch to an iPod and for the most part, I really like it, although I'm not a big fan of iTunes. I've lamented before about the demise of my Creative mp3 players and the freedom that I had to choose from several different media players. There are some things that I can't do with the iPod that I could do with my Creative players.

Ripping audiobook CDs onto my player is one of those tasks. Being an avid library patron, *geek alert* I know my library card number by heart, I was excited to see this tutorial come up on CNET. I've got a quick out of town trip coming up next month so I will try this out before I go so I don't have to schlep a book with me.

Derby Girls On Demand!

Calling all roller derby fans! Salt City Derby Girls' May 9th bout (Bomber Babes vs Sisters of No Mercy) highlights are now available on Comcast Channel 1 On Demand.

To access go to:
Channel 1 (or push the On Demand button on your remote)
Utah One Demand
Derby Girls (this is on the second page)

Tell everyone you know that uses Comcast to go watch it, over and over and over again. The more hits it gets the more likely is that we'll continue to get coverage.
(image via Aaron Farmer)

Summer Concerts

I know people have been complaining about the sudden onset of heat in Salt Lake this week but all it makes me think about is summer concerts. I look forward to these shows on all those long, dark days of winter. I've attempted to compile a list of venues and their offerings so that you can fill out your calendar now and not miss a single, awesome show.

The best place to see shows is at the Red Butte Gardens Concert Series. This is the most beautiful venue and you can bring in your own picnics. I'm going to five shows and contemplating a couple more. Many of the shows have sold out so if you want to go you'd better check the schedule and order now.

Another favorite is the Twilight Concert Series at Gallivan. This one is free! Unfortunately for me, they are on Thursday nights and I have roller derby practice on Thursdays. I sometimes get resentful about this. I did skip practice one night last year to see Neko Case (she's playing Red Butte this summer).

While not an outdoor venue, the Peppermill Concert Hall in Wendover is a pretty good venue and has some interesting acts. Lyle Lovett skips his outdoor visit to Salt Lake this year to play Wendover on Friday night. Also, the B-52s and Pat Benatar will make stops in Wendover this summer. Stop snickering. I saw Pat Benatar there two summers ago and she killed it! The lady has pipes. Still.

I will find any excuse to get up to Snowbird and Live Music at Snowbird is just another reason to get a room at the Lodge and enjoy the spectacular scenery and some good tunes.

I missed this one last year but hope not too again. The Park City Jazz Festival is a great time. If you've got some extra cash, I'd recommend splurging for the VIP passes. You get killer seats and access to snacks and drinks all day (yes, those kind of drinks). The VIP passes are absolutely worth the money.

A victim of the economic downturn and budget cuts, the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival won't be free this year but I'm willing to throw down for killer jazz at Washington Square. Are you?

I'm sure that there are venues that I'm missing. If you know of any please let me know and I'll add them to the list. Until then, I'll be busy planning dynamite picnic menus to wow my friends.

Wanna Be a Derby Girl?

Been thinking about playing roller derby for a while now? Salt City Derby Girls are looking for some fresh meat. Click here for all the information and get out there and skate!

Bad Mother

Last Sunday was Mother's Day, when we celebrate all things maternal. The Salt Lake Tribune ran a book review in paper that day of a new book called 'Bad Mother'. Ayelet Waldman's essay, originally published in the New York Times' series 'Modern Love', caused a ruckus because she stated the unthinkable. Waldman had the audacity to challenge the sanctimonious institution of motherhood. In her essay, she stated that she loved her husband more than her children. Her essay outraged mothers. Or perhaps she dared to state something that they'd felt but dared not speak.

I haven't read the book yet, but I will. Issues surrounding motherhood fascinate me. So much is left unsaid. Women and society fear the sentiments that sometimes motherhood is a pain in the ass. Mothers are made to feel like outcasts if they express even the tiniest amount of dissatisfaction.

I will read Bad Mother and post a review. In the meantime, you can read the Salt Lake Tribune review here or the New York Times review here.

Happy Mother's Day JT Style

I didn't think that they could ever top D*ck in a Box but this may have done it.

Chicks Who Rule: Martha Ellis

When I started this blog, one of the ideas that I had was to occasionally spotlight amazing women in our community. I think I did one post in the 'series' eight months ago and nothing since. A review of my archive shows that I actually never did that first post. It lives only in mind. Sigh. Today, I rectify that.

I am fortunate to have so many incredible women in my life, one of whom is Martha Ellis. Yesterday, Martha, a firefighter, was promoted to Division Chief of Salt Lake City Fire Department. She is the first woman to hold this position. You can read the Salt Lake Tribune's story here or see KSL's video clip here. The photo above is from the Salt Lake Tribune article.

But I wanted to give you the rest of the story. Martha is so full of life that you can't help but be drawn to her. Her quick wit and laughter makes you feel completely comfortable, this in spite of her formidable presence at 6’ tall with blond locks and piercing blue eyes. She’s a pizza loving, champagne-swilling kind of friend that would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it or just for the fun of it.

Oh, did I mention that she could totally kick your ass? Martha is a five-time world champion in the Firefighter Combat Challenge and a triathlete. She and her hubby (also a firefighter and Firefighter Combat Challenge champion) write a fitness column in a Fire & Rescue magazine. Click here to check out one of their columns.

Additionally, she is a terrific Mom to an amazing little girl with an incredible whiskey voice (for a seven year old). Martha manages a challenging career and family with humor and grace. She’s both a mentor and inspiration to me and I’m sure she would be to you too.

Book Review: That Went Well

That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for My Sister That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was recommended to me by one of the health professionals that sees Ryan. She assured me that our situation was quite different that the one described in the memoir but she thought that I might enjoying reading the book nonetheless. The author, Dougan, is a Salt Lake native who describes her experiences growing up with a mentally disabled sister and later becoming her caregiver.

She shares the joy and pain of trying to carve out the best life possible for her sister. She tells a sometimes humorous and other times heartbreaking tale which occasionally hit close to home. Dougan was a columnist for the Deseret News for over a decade and her writing style is easy and conversational. Although, at times the memoir jumped around as if some chapters were compilations of past pieces that she'd written.

View all my reviews.

Ryan is 18

On Friday, my baby turned 18. Even saying it out loud doesn't make it any less incredible. It is inconceivable to me that 18 years have passed since he was born. Another reminder of how quickly life passes by.

It is an exciting and anxiety-inducing time for Ryan (and his parents!) as we ponder where his path will take him. His impending adulthood has had him stressed out for months. Lauren sent him an insightful note about her experience turning 18. I think her words comforted him greatly.

We are busy trying to explore all options that might be available for him. We've been very fortunate to meet amazing people in the last few months who are helping us open doors for him. But, most importantly, I hope he knows how much he is loved and how proud we are of all that he has accomplished.