Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just a small kitchen disaster...

I wasted most of the evening out running useless errands, shopping for nonessentials and such, then realized what I was supposed to be doing was baking brownies for an event tomorrow. On the way home remembered that I was low on cocoa, so I stopped at the grocery to replenish my supply. By the time I got home it was pretty late so I immediately set forth on my brownie making adventure. I put the butter in the microwave to melt, then started measuring out the dry ingredients. That's when I found I was low on sugar too. But, drats, the store was now closed. I raided the sugar bowl and still came up a tad short. So I made up the difference bit a little brown sugar. That shouldn't harm my brownies much. Measured out the last of cocoa from the can in the cupboard, then grabbed my newly purchased can to finish the job. I pulled off the plastic lid, then grabbed the metal pull tab and BOOM, cocoa explodes out the can, streaming across my kitchen counter. What a mess.... cocoa everywhere; on my appliances, my kitchen tools, all over the wall. Ugh. I guess the can was overfilled, and/or packed at lower altitude(higher pressure) so it was essentially pressurized when I opened it here at high altitude.

Physics aside, it was quite a mess.... there's no better way to spend a Friday night than wiping down walls and counters and scraping cocoa out of tile grout at midnight. I sure hope my friends enjoy the brownies tomorrow!

Friday, April 22, 2011

One more ski blog...

Over the edge

Just to make my son jealous....Perhaps my last for the season as Brighton closes on Sunday, and I don't know for sure if I'll head up this weekend or not... kind of depends on the snow report. But last weekend was another great spring ski weekend. I skied with the girlfriend who is my normal Brighton ski partner. We usually ski Sundays, but this week, because we wanted to hit the good snow, we skied Sat. Her husband is a ski patroller, and since he works Saturday we were able to hook up for a couple of runs.

One thing about ski patrollers.... they are good skiers. My friend is a quite an excellent skier. His wife, my friend, not near as good, and she has a bum knee. Of course we should be safe out with a ski patroller, right? Problem is, for a great skier everything is easy. And my friend figures if it's easy for him we should all be able to do it, and that the best way to learn is to just go for it. So he is happy to entice us to go challenging places, maybe a bit more challenging then my girl friend needs or wants. Occasionally hard for me too, so I always get a bit hesitant when he says "follow me" unless I'm sure I know what I'm getting into. It's been this way for 10 years or so... He suggests a route, and his wife gives him this look. The "are you trying to kill me" look. He responds with the "it's easy, really it's easy" look. Sometimes we follow, sometimes we say see you later. One thing for sure, it's never "easy", but varying degrees of "more difficult". I'm a decent skier, and know I can get down anything, albeit slowly if it's tough, and am usually up for anything, so I usually defer the decision to my girlfriend.

Last weekend he said lets head out to Desperado, which looked pretty decent from the chairlift. She acquiesced and we skied off... past Desperado to the resort boundary.... where "the snow was great this morning, and it's wide and smooth".
Ha, ha.... you would think after all these years we'd know better, especially my girlfriend. Wide? Ha Ha, maybe 15 feet. Smooth? Chunky spring snow. From the top it looked like the edge of the world. My patroller friend bombs right down. I follow, no problem, just slower and not nearly as elegantly. My poor girlfriend has to slowly pick her way down and manages to to take a tumble or two. Maybe cursed a little. So much for wide and smooth. I think she may have wanted to kill him. Then back to the lift, and up again, and he suggests a slightly different route... and she agrees.... and we get more of the same, although this time it is wider. I really enjoyed challenging myself a bit, but at this point I think my friend will be asking me for the number of my divorce lawyer. You'd think by now, after all these years she'd know better... LOL ... but she, bad knee and all, is a great sport. I think now I know why we usually ski on Sundays, his day off.

Funny thing, the those runs didn't prove to be the hard runs for the day... Our last run down an easy cheesy blue run was the hardest. By late afternoon the day had warmed considerably, into tricky snow. The melty spots get really slow and sticky, but the cooler spots, like where it's shady stay a little more frozen and your skis glide faster. That last run down was weird, you'd get a little speed, then hit a slow patch and your skies would nearly stop. With all the built up momentum the slow spots are killer, skis halt, and you get abruptly thrown forward. A thigh killer for sure. Fast snow, slow snow. Start, stop, nearly wreck, all the way down the mountain. I call this "Donkey skiing" because in the fast spots the voice in my head is going "Eeeee" and in the slow spots it says "Awwww".... so in my head it's Eeeee-Awwww, Eeeee-Awwww, Eeeee-Awwww just like a braying donkey, all the way down the mountain.

Challenges and weird spring snow... still a great ski day! Maybe the last for the season, maybe there will be one more... and then again Brighton may close Sunday but Snowbird will have lifts running through June,,,,

Not wide or smooth!

My friends!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Art and music

Third Friday of the month is gallery stroll night here in Salt Lake. "Stroll" is a bit of a misnomer, as gallery stroll is at various galleries all over the city, and there aren't many with in walking distance of each other. So, for the most part gallery stroll is more like gallery drive, and since there are way too many locations to peruse in 3 hours of the stroll, I have a fairly set list of favorite galleries I like to visit. One of my favorites is the Michael Berry Gallery, where I go not just for the art, but for the music. Michael has invited a great band to play for stroll nights; the Quintento Noir and I make it a point to go listen when ever I can.

The music is kind of tango style, sort of european gypsy sounding, lyrics often sung in foreign language. They also have an interesting mix of sounds: guitars, violin, bass, flutes, accordion, and vocals. Tonight they brought out some new instruments, some familiar, some new to me. A kazoo... when was the last time you heard someone in a band play the kazoo? Then there was a soprano banjo. I'd never seen such a tiny banjo before before... it looked kind or like the 'ukulele' of banjos. The there was another small unfamiliar instrument. I had to ask the musicians about this one. It was a Bolivian instrument, a charango. I really, really enjoy the Quinteto's unique style of music, stopping in to listen during gallery stroll has become an monthly addiction for me.

And for another dose of unique music...
On the way home from gallery stroll I made a quick stop at Dan's grocery. I heard music as I got out of the car and was surprised to find a band playing outside of the store. A bunch of high school kids, one on guitar, another playing harmonica, a third using wooden spoons to play percussion on a bunch of buckets and boxes, and a fourth, the most unique, was using his wooden spoons to play a longboard. I have to say, I have never seen anyone play a skateboard before. Despite their young age and unconventional choice of instruments, these kids were quite good. A really fun late night shopping treat.

Stellar Spring Snow Season!

The view down to the Salt Lake Valley from Snowbird

Well I have been a bad blogger again.... funny how time flies when you are having fun. And I have certainly been having fun. We have had a great snowy spring, and I have been having a great time out on the ski slopes... Yes, I am a very, very lucky girl. In addition to the great snow, I've also have new ski buddies, who have stolen me a way from my beloved Brighton for a few days at Deer Valley, a magnificent powder day at Park City Mountain resort and bluebird day at Snowbird. April skiing is not a given, some years April gets warm, slushy and even muddy, this year we've had constantly replenished, fresh, fluffy snow, followed by long spring days and sunshine. It could not be better!

While at Snowbird we had to take a trip through the tunnel over to Mineral Basin. After riding a chair nearly to the top of the mountain, you can ride a rubber conveyor belt through a tunnel in the mountain to the Mineral Basin side of the resort. It's kind of unique Snowbird thing, so we had to ride once. Getting on was a little weird, partially because I was paying more attention to my camera then the grip of the rubber on the bottom of skis, so I got quite off balance and momentarily had a vision of being sprawled and dragged through the tunnel. A few expletives from my friends as they embarked made me realize I was not alone in my clumsiness. Fortunately we all regained our balance before wiping out. Then, half way through the tunnel the belt stopped, lurching us forward, once again I thought it was going to be my big wipe out for the day... but again, recovered... and laughed and laughed.

Two of these stellar ski days were when my friend Joe's friend Mara flew into town for a ski vacation. Having an out of town guest turned an ordinary ski weekend into a ski vacation.... or should I say "stay-cation". Our powder day at Park City was extra special, because we got a private powder tour through the trees and powder stashes by Joe's friend Joe, a stellar skier, and Park City regular who knew all the best places. The next day we cruised all over Snowbird, and at the end of the day headed up to to spa on the roof of the Cliff Lodge, for a soak in the hot tub. The views there are beautiful and the water delightful, especially after 2 hard days of skiing. After our soak we headed downtown and met a few more friends for sushi dinner. As a "local" I usually ski and go home, getting the luxury ski/spa/dinner out treatment was a real treat for me. A total vacation! A good time was had by all... especially me!!!