Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've Been Busy Getting Married

I haven't had time to blog because I got married last Saturday. September 25, 2010. Hitched. So much family, so many friends - coming together - to share in our commitment and our public gesture and our love. I am glad we did it the way we did it, even if it did mean bleeding money left and right and a lot of work. It was one heck of a party. And beautiful.

It didn't really sink in until the following day. I am married. And so incredibly happy. And now on a dream honeymoon. It may suck getting a lot of ways. But its nice to be old enough to have the money and the experience to throw a kick ass party and organize a cool honeymoon. 

I will be writing about the trip so stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Juggalo

A friend just sent me this fascinating Village Voice piece about the big Juggalo gathering. Its long, but really interesting and disturbing. I found it worth the read. Things like this are so far from my reality. It disturbs me to hear about young people who feel so disenfranchised and disconnected and persecuted and angry. And to hear about people who have kids and abuse drugs and expose them to all of this weirdness that really should not be shared with kids. :(

I had a photo posted here and I decided to remove it because I don't want to see it. I hate clowns. They freak me out. So messed up violent people in clown make up is just not an image I want to see when I visit my blog. 

And this will be my last posting on Juggalos. This is more than enough time and energy into this topic. Driving down the Scenic Byway we gotta just keep on moving. I just thought I would share it because it is fascinating to me and it is a piece of Americana it or not.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Tonight, while discussing our upcoming nuptials, my soon to be brother in law, who will be marrying us on Saturday courtesy of the Universal Life Ministry, introduced me to a new cultural phenomenon - Juggalos. We are planning a night out in downtown SLC Friday night with all the wedding people in town and he said we had to watch out for the Juggalos. Not gigilos...juggalos. A visit to Wikipedia and a whole new world is introduced to the byway...

Juggalo or Juggalette (the latter being feminine) is a name given to fans of Insane Clown Posse or any other Psychopathic Records hip hop group....The term originated during a live performance by Insane Clown Posse. During the song "The Juggla", Joseph Bruce addressed the audience as Juggalos, and the positive response resulted in Bruce and Joseph Utsler using the word thereafter to refer to themselves and their friends, family, and fans, including other Psychopathic Records artists.[2] Juggalos have compared themselves to a family.[3][4] Common characteristics include drinking the inexpensive soft drink Faygo and wearing face paint.[3] They view the lyrics of Psychopathic Records artists (which are often violent in nature) as a catharsis for aggression.[5][6] 

I especially like the section on "Juggalo related crime."

"There have been numerous incidents of Juggalos committing violent acts including murderkidnappingassault, and arson[22][23][24][25] (though studies have noted a lack of evidence linking music with violence or crime).[26] Although Juggalos have denied any connection to gang activity[4], authorities have classified them as a gang in Utah,[27] Arizona,[4] Monroe County, Pennsylvania[28][29]and Modesto, California.[30] Because of this, some schools have prohibited students from wearing Insane Clown Posse related paraphernalia

Apparently they are big in Utah. My new home state. Also in Monroe, Pennsylvania. My original home state. I had to look that one up. Near Scranton. The only thing I know about the Insane Clown Posse is that my best friend from my home town partied with them one night a few years ago in some random hotel in Virginia - and you know who you are! I bet you didn't know about Juggalos.

Chocolate Covered Heaven

I just tried my first chocolate covered grape. Well actually I think I tried about 7. Paul insisted I try it as this has been his mom's favorite (thanks Evie xo!). This chocolate shop rocks. And chocolate covered grapes are really good. They make them fresh every morning. I see many visits to this SLC chocolate shop in my future. I can't wait to try their other treats. If you have a good chocolate shop in your area, see if they make freshly dipped grapes.


Guess where the hoarder lives?

Just Now

Me (staring off in space)
Paul: What are you thinking about?
Me: Processed foods.
Paul: Is it fun being you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Utah State Fair

My question: why does the State Fair only last for 10 days? Something this good should be around longer. 

Who does not love a good fair? I love it. I grew up in the country (until I was around 12 and moved into "town," which for all purposes was still the country, just with McDonalds, 7-11s and shopping plazas with delights such as K-Mart, Fashion Bug and pizza places) and I looooved the fair. As a young girl I was all about the cotton candy, candy apples and the rides. As I became a tween it was about tight jeans, feathered hair, and ogling boys...also in tight jeans and feathered hair. That was around 1978 and 1979 so use your imagination. Oh the memories! Cool end of summer air. Night time. The lights and the sounds...

I went to the Utah State Fair yesterday - the last day of the fair. I am so glad I went. Great people watching. Great photo opportunities. AND I attended my first Demolition Derby! One more thing to mark off the bucket list, right?...well, at least to mark off the list of "things I can say I've experienced." It was a lot of fun. I would go again. 

Seeing cars smash into each other is fun. It made me want to try it. The same way I fantasize about smashing all of my dishes and glass ware on the kitchen floor - just once...just for the hell of it...just to see what it would feel like. The thrill of destruction.

My friend "Shake It" iPhone application (if you don't have this you should) helped me capture the moment...another great moment on the Byway...

Who Doesn't Love Chickens?!?

Muppet Chicken
Lady Gaga Chicken
Sad Chicken with very long legs

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Recently I posted something on FB about how I was giving up my very thick passport - 10 years of a lot of travel resulting in a weathered book with many extra pages - for a new sad, thin one. My passport is expiring so I had no choice. I had to get a new one so I can go on my honeymoon in October.

I did not realize how emotional it would make me to give up that little blue book. Thank the universe they allow you to keep it! If I had to turn it in, I swear to you I was going to photocopy every tattered page before I did so.

Anyway, a friend posted back saying she could empathize with me because when she got married and changed her name and had to get a new passport, traveling with it for the first time she was embarrassed that people would think she had never traveled before. I realized she hit the nail on the head for me. I had those same fears! I was giving up a piece of my identity. I have always been viewed as someone who is a frequent traveler - just look at the fat passport. But now I was going to look like someone who hasn't traveled. Nooooo!

It may sound weird to some, but this passport brings up powerful feelings and memories for me and it has been a huge symbol of my identity. This passport that I just gave up is a symbol of ME and certainly a big piece of My Scenic Byway. That little book represents TEN YEARS of my life and my travels. International travel has been important to me since I first traveled to Kenya at the age of 16 as an exchange student. That adventure changed my life and made me who I am. So did the last 13 years of a tremendous amount of travel for work. Each one of those visa stamps is a symbol of a time, place, people and events that were my life. Every single one intertwined together to bring me to the here and now.

I recall laying in hotel rooms thumbing through the pages, remembering the trips that were associated with various visa stamps. I remember feeling special when people would see my passport and comment appreciatively on how much I have traveled. I remember feeling a thrill when immigration officials would spend extra time checking out my passport and asking me questions because of all the travel I had done. "You certainly travel a lot. What is it you do? Why were you traveling so often to Sri Lanka?" For awhile there they used to stop me in Amsterdam every time before I would board the plane back to the US and always ask me about Sri Lanka. I found that fascinating.

This act of getting a new passport has been an interesting opportunity for me to reflect on all of this - the power and the symbolism of this little book. Think about if you could not have a passport - think about what it would do to limit your freedom. Many years ago on a business trip in the Philippines I had my purse stolen with all of my identification. It is so frightening to be in another country with no ID and no money. Thankfully I had a US business colleague with me who could vouch for my identity and thankfully this was long before 9/11 which made immigration issues much tougher. I was able to get a new passport in two days and it was a huge relief.

So...yes it has been emotional to let go of this book that has traveled with me for 10 years. This little book has been my passport to a lot of beautiful places and people, a lot of good times and a lot of not so good times either. And love. I met my fiance on a trip to Tbilisi, Georgia. You could say that passport led me to him and this new life I have now. Now I have this new passport and this new love and this new life and I am so incredibly excited for the next 10 years of filling and weathering those pages.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jackie OMG

"Jackie Kennedy would not have camel toe." - Tim Gunn

I love Project Runway.

Haters Gonna Hate

I think I am generally a very nice person. But I can be a hater too. If something really riles me up - the word hate just pours out of my mouth to describe it. Paul, with his calmness and positive nature, works on trying to make me less of a dramatic hater. I tell him that vocalizing it is my way of dealing with it and moving past it. I can be a bit dramatic...but fortunately it is usually very short lived.

Right now...I HATE COMCAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pity the Girl...

With big calves. Not the baby cow kind. The leg kind. 

Yeah I guess I love my calves - they are strong and shapely. I could have no calf definition and that would look dumb. I can't believe people pay for calf augmentation. Take some of mine! 

But a girl with big calves has a hell of a time trying to find boots that will zip up around that giant muscle...and look right, and also feel like your blood circulation isn't being cut off.

Those two gorgeous pairs of boots I researched and ordered from Zappos? They don't work. :( But! They actually did fit around my calves! Although as you can see from the picture - it was a bit of a struggle to get that puppy zipped up. That in itself is an accomplishment. This time I found boots that fit my massive calves...but they were too long. Because in addition to having muscular calves...I have kind of short ones...

The boot search continues...

25th HS Reunion

Tonight is my 25th High School reunion. I can't go because I live on the other side of the country now and its a week before my wedding. I actually wanted to go. It would be interesting to see people after so long. 

25 years?? Seriously? That freaks me out.

I googled "25th high school reunion" and there are numerous funny and melancholy writings about people's experiences. See, if I was going I could probably get a sweet blog entry out of the journey. What better fodder for My Scenic Byway? 

But that isn't happening for me this go around. Guess there is always the promise of the 30th...

From my google search here is one of the reads I enjoyed:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This reminds me that I still have to finish writing my wedding vows...NINE DAYS.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Best Gas Station Petting Zoo - Charlotte Would Be Proud

About 2 hours south of Salt Lake City, down Route 15, you will pass a town called Scipio. Right off of Rt 15 there is a gas station stop - Eagles Landing Scipio Chevron. Choose that for your pit stop because it has A PETTING ZOO!

We stumbled upon this place on our way to Bryce Canyon. Magical. Alpaca, goats, little sheep, giant rabbits and chickens all together in a big pen - sleeping together, eating together, playing together.

The best part of all was when one of the owners, a sweet older farmer looking guy, said, "yep, they all live together just like Charlotte's Web." This place made my day...

Shoe Love - Zappos - Great Customer Service


I have known about them for years - knew they were great for shoes - but never managed to check them out. A friend recently recommended that I check it out. She has had a good experience with them. You can order and then return anything and everything free of charge if you want - which is great, because buying shoes on line scares me. How do you know if they are going to fit or look right? You don't. Until you try them on. So, there is a good chance you might be sending a lot back. But hey, there is a lot better selection there than any stores I can find around here.

Shoes. Ahhhh. Shoes and handbags. Some people spend their money on gambling, liquor and drugs. In my past, my addiction has been shoes and handbags. In this new life out here in Utah, telecommuting from home in my sweatpants and t-shirts, my desire and need for shoes and handbags has seriously waned. I just don't want and need them like I used to in my younger days running around DC trying to look good and be in style.

But now I really do need shoes and boots for our upcoming honeymoon. 3 weeks in Europe, running around, with a need to look chic and be comfortable. Plus not overpack. I dream of these perfect shoes - fantastic looking and super comfortable. I did hours and hours and hours of research on line looking for this perfect footwear. I found them on Zappos and they promised to deliver them to me in 3 days for $7. Not bad.

Today I get a message that there is a problem - my shipment has been delayed. Because I made two orders back to back on their site using two different bank accounts there was concern about fraud. Cool that they caught that and checked, but not cool that my footwear is delayed! But, the sales guy was super nice, offered to ship in one day, waive the $7, and make me a VIP member, typically reserved for frequent customers (this is my first purchase). For all future orders I will get my items delivered in one day, no charge. Now that is customer service! It works. I will most definitely be buying from them again.

So, next time you are looking for shoes, or clothes, I recommend:

I am hoping these Paul Green beauties will be the magic ticket for me.


Yes, that is a picture of my tooth. That was pulled out of my mouth. A few hours ago. Professionally. No, no crazy stories about getting a tooth knocked out or anything exciting like that. Just my second (!) extraction and implant. In one year!! What sucks the most is the cost. $2,400 today. Yes, $2,400. And none of it covered by my dental insurance because I already used up all of my dental insurance $ for this year with the FIRST implant. Two in one year? Not fair. I am thankful I have the money to do the work.

I asked to keep this tooth. I wanted to look at it. Because I am weird like that. Seriously, I haven't seen one of my teeth out of my mouth since I was a child losing baby teeth. Wouldn't you be curious to see yours too? That got me thinking - first about boxing and what it might be like to get punched and have your tooth and blood come flying out of your mouth. I see it happening in slow in the movies. Sweat flying, tooth flying, blood flying. And my second thought was - did my mother ever save any of my baby teeth? Will I find one somewhere in a little box in the attic of my parents home? I can still remember believing in the tooth fairy.

I had a great dentist in Washington, DC who I really loved. Used him for more than 10 years and recommended him to many people, but I have to say I am really impressed with the dental services I've experienced out here in the Salt Lake area so far. This periodontist who did the extraction and implant...nice guy. Turns out he is my neighbor - that just feels so Utah. 

But what really impressed me was: 

a) They had blankets! I always get chilly at the dentist so having a cozy little blanket was awesome. 

b) They offer headphones to listen to satellite radio! I never had that before. It was great to have beautiful loud classical music covering the sounds of them working in my mouth.

 c) They gave me laughing gas! I used to get that all the time as a child and I remember the floating spinning giddy feeling. I used to feel like I was doing flips in space. No one has ever offered me that since I was a child. And man oh man it still works. I was so relaxed and high during the whole procedure (2.5 hours) that I didn't care what they were doing to me. I kept falling asleep in between having deep epiphanies about life and love. 

Not bad Utah. Not bad.

Fantasy Bridal

I am getting married in 10 DAYS. 

Picked up the dress yesterday. I can't believe I got my wedding dress at a place called Fantasy Bridal. Really? Fantasy Bridal?

Being new to Utah, I had not realized that it was such a hotbed for weddings. I should have known because many Mormons marry young and marriage is important so this means a lot of big weddings all the time. The wedding industry THRIVES here in Utah. And it is a land of young brides. I am a 43 year old bride in a sea of babies. Many of them could have been my babies. That is strange to me. I do not feel like I could have a 20 year old kid, but I could have.

When I called around to the bridal shops they would ask me if I was looking for a "modest" wedding dress. At first I thought maybe this was just a typical bridal thing...then I realized they were asking me this because if I was getting married in a Mormon temple, I would want a "modest" dress. 

I will not be wearing a "modest" dress. But I did buy it at Fantasy Bridal. Ha!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Utah Beauty

I am a newcomer to the West. I was born, raised and lived 43 years on the east coast, the last 21 in Washington, DC. In May of this year I sold my house, quit my job, packed all my belongings in a huge Penske truck and drove to settle in Salt Lake City with my love. 

Utah. So different from the world I've known. 

We aren't sure how long we will stay here, but I am in no rush to leave. I am so blown away by all of the natural beauty there is to see here in Utah that I worry I won’t be around long enough to see it all.

I just visited Bryce Canyon for the first time and I was blown away by its beauty, size and strangeness. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen...and I have traveled to quite a few places in the US and around the world. Our trip was short, so we only drove around the rim, but I can’t wait to return and hike down into this!

Bryce Canyon, Utah