Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the great 'wich hunt: firehouse subs

i have come to the conclusion that one of the few meals i am always in the mood for is that great american institution, the sandwich. so, in the vein of other similar pursuits found elsewhere, i will attempt to chronicle and rate the sandwiches i encounter. maybe someday i will find the best.

but for today: firehouse subs. it opened a few months ago in the strip mall across from the actual mall, and it is right next to some of my favorite places in provo (smashburger, yogurtland, and rubio's), so i had high hopes for firehouse.

i finally went one day by myself because the people i usually go to lunch with don't have the same affinity for subs. the chain has a firefighting theme, complete with dalmation-print tabletops and red plastic helmets for the kids. when i walked in, some of the employees called out "welcome to firehouse," which i think is nice but also a little cheesy. anyway, i hate going to a new place without anyone who has ever been there, because i tend to get confused by new menus. and this time was no exception. luckily, my choice was good.
this is the smokehouse beef and cheddar brisket (tm)(the sandwich name includes the tm, so i guess i should include it here, too). it is one of firehouse's hot specialty subs, and it is exceedingly delicious. all of the subs come with a cold dill pickle spear, and the pickles make my mouth water. the brisket has been "smoked for 10+ hours," and i believe it because it is so tender and juicy. the cheese is melted and not annoyingly stringy or chewy, and the combination of barbecue sauce and mayo adds just the right flavor. this is a simple yet satisfying sandwich.

firehouse subs (all scores out of 10):
taste: 9
establishment: 8
price: 6 (about $8 for a combo, $5-6ish for the sandwich only)
crave factor: 8
menu readability: 5
total: 36

visit firehouse and let me know what you think: 538 east university parkway (across from university mall), orem, ut 84097, 801.705.8500

Friday, January 27, 2012

i feel a road trip coming on...

i just (as in, about a minute ago) read this post and i think what i need, to solve some of my problems and remember what is really important, is a road trip. doesn't have to be a cross-country road trip (though i am in the midst of planning one of those), doesn't even have to be a week long. i just need some time to get out on the road and think about life. it's about time for a break from the world.

who's up for  road trip sometime soon?

good day

some days i feel bad.

i stress about teaching, thesis, dating, friends, living situation, looks, THE FUTURE/what the heck i'm going to do with my life. all of that good stuff that women of a certain age in master's programs might worry about on a fairly consistent basis.

today i feel good.

if i were (was? my training tells me to use the subjunctive, but my ear tells me to give it up and stop acting so pretentious.) one of those cool fashion bloggers, i might post a picture of my outfit today. because i look pretty good. and looking good usually makes me feel good.

my class went well this morning, and i have no reason to think my later class won't go well. and good classes usually make me feel good.

today is friday, and even though i don't have anything epic planned (though i guess not having epic plans doesn't necessarily mean epic things won't happen. the weekend before last, the weekend of night games, haunted insane asylum, yoga, hot springs, amazing incredible fort, rousing game of fill-in-the-blank, southern-style cooking, dance party, and cool runnings, didn't really require any prior planning. and it was EPIC.), the weekend means relaxation and fun. and good friends and good fun usually make me feel good.

so, i feel good. life is good. and here's a song to brighten your day, too.

(this song plays in the last scene of one of my favorite favorite movies, ramona and beezus. have you seen it? if not, you should. it is great and is sure to make you feel good.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

the real joy of living

as i was reading president monson's biography (which is awesome, by the way) the other night, this quote from president david o. mckay stood out to me:
"the true end of life is not mere existence. the true purpose of life is the perfection of humanity through individual effort, under the guidance of God's inspiration. real like is response to the best within us. to be alive only to appetite, pleasure, pride, money-making, and not to goodness and kindness, purity and love, poetry, music, flowers, stars, God and eternal hopes, is to deprive one's self of the real joy of living."
how beautiful! and what a lovely reminder that i need to recognize where true joy resides.

doesn't this look like a man who knows what true happiness is all about? i think so.

the wonder of facial hair

i have always been very anti-facial hair.

i was one of those girls who, when the age-old "beard card" question emerged at byu, silently agreed that guys should just deal with shaving and buck up about their beards and mustaches. i've recently come to feel a little differently, though.

girls don't ever have to think about facial hair, for the most part at least. i don't have to get up everyday and grumble about having to put a sharp razor to my face in case i need to take a test or in case the honor code police comes down on me. but guys do. and they don't like to put that sharp razor to their face, not to mention the possible razor burn or the lack of warmth due to lack of hair.

so this year i gained some appreciation for facial hair. i guess i put myself in the man's shoes and realized that it would be a bummer to have to worry so constantly about the little hairs growing out of one's face. also, these boys became my good friends right at the start of no shave november:

and then this was the christmas card they sent around. so i'm pretty much okay with mustaches these days, though i don't know how i feel about them long term. we'll see about that.

and how could i not love mustaches when they are so cute?

handlebar mustache. get it? from urban outfitters.

and i can't wait for the second annual mustache party in honor of casimir pulaski day. that was a magical party.

mustaches for everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

reminiscinces of london: the globe

my one class this semester is "english renaissance drama." if you recall, my specialty is not english renaissance drama. however, i have a love for such things, and the description of the course said it would be worth my time.

anyway. it is already proving to be interesting, especially since the other day we started talking about renaissance london and the experience of going to the theater. as brother young was describing the globe theater, from its thatched roof to its thrust stage and the yard where the groundlings would stand for the production, i was in london once again, with my great friends, having the time of my life.

when we were in london in the summer of 2009, we saw two plays at the globe: as you like it and troilus and cressida, both shakespeare, but of decidedly different quality. i shall tell you about them now, if you like.

we saw as you like it fairly soon after we arrived in london. we had a full day, including class and a trip to the falconry demonstration at the british library. so by the time we got to the globe i was already somewhat fatigued. therefore, i was skeptical (i maybe whined a little to myself) of standing for the duration of the play, as those with the cheapest tickets do. but i was (still am) determined to make london part of me, and this seemed the right way to do it. by some lucky circumstance, i was right up against the stage, which gave my legs some respite while also providing the best view of the action.

at one point, celia's blue dress brushed my head and it was one of the great moments in my life. basically, my first experience at the globe was magical, and i couldn't wait to go back.

one of my views during as you like it.

on our last weekend in london, we got tickets to another show at the globe, troilus and cressida. romeo and juliet, the other big show that summer, was sold out (disappointed), but we couldn't get enough of that renaissance feeling, so we went anyway. that friday morning, will, julianne, and i went to the globe exhibition, where you learn more about the history of the theater itself and the tradition of drama that emerged out of the period. we took a tour, led by one of the players, where we sat in one of the boxes and watched the stage crew setting up for helen of troy, an upcoming production. it was awesome and was a perfect thing to do on my last friday morning in london town.

that night we headed down to bankside once again for the performance. we had tried to figure out the plot of the play the night before, but the details were still a little hazy. it didn't get much clearer as the show progressed, but the atmosphere, being down in the yard right up against the stage, close to the other spectators, friends and strangers alike, was delightful. we joked about the ridiculousness that was troilus and cressida, i swooned over the cute actor who played one of the characters, whose name i can't quite recall now, and i chuckled at the airplanes that would occasionally pass by overhead.

this looks scandalous, which is maybe appropriate, because the play was rather scandalous. but i think (if i'm remembering correctly...) this is troilus and cressida  with cressida's uncle, pandarus.

what also made that night magical was meeting, rather fortuitously, two lds siblings on vacation, one recently returned from a mission and soon returning to byu, who were standing next to us during the show. we bonded at intermission and realized they weren't staying that far away from our flats. this of course led to frolicking over the millennium bridge, possible rapping and beatboxing of some sort, and revelry on the tube. altogether a lovely, lovely night.

all of this is to say that i miss london. still. everyday. i have so many amazing memories from those weeks in the summer of '09, and i will cherish them always.

and i'm thinking of buying some tickets to performances at the globe this summer. that way i have to go back to london, right? who wants to meet me to see taming of the shrew in july?

on the lookout

if i want to actually have the style that my "stylish" board on pinterest declares that i love, there are a few things i need to be acquiring, albeit slowly (in order to spare my bank account):
  • t-strap and/or mary jane heels
  • tailored, brightly colored coats
  • statement necklaces
  • pleated skirts
  • blazers
  • blouses
  • tastefully sparkly things
  • vintage-y dresses
so, this is my quest. any helpful hints or bargains would be appreciated.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

new year's eve fesitivities

usually, i celebrate the coming of a new year with a quiet night at home, often playing apples to apples and watching the ball drop. then everyone goes to bed. it's generally a good time, since we (the family) love being together.

but this year i had friends who actually stayed in utah for the christmas break. so i spent the last night of 2011 with good friends. and this is what we did.

first: every night of partying should start with a good meal. naturally, the troops chose cafe rio. while crammed around our cozy table, the eight of us shared memorable moments from 2011. mine? the lovely days of FORT. meredith's? that whirlwind trip we took to disneyland in april.

next: we got done with dinner a little earlier than we planned, but we decided to drive to our next destination anyway. we had heard the new year's eve dance at the university of utah institute was a pretty good time, and, even though we got there half an hour before everyone else and even though there weren't bounce houses as there (supposedly) were last year, it was fun. we had the dance floor almost to ourselves when the dance started, which allowed the boys to show of all of their best and craziest moves with no restrictions. and, i was in definite need of a good dance party.

then: though we lost jesse along the way, the final stage of the plan was to go back to our house and let off floating lanterns into the universe, but not before we wrote our hopes and dreams for the new year. before we prepared the lanterns, we counted down and watched the ball drop, then ran out into the street with pots and pans, making a ruckus that perhaps annoyed the neighbors. but it was a delightful way to ring in the new year.

finally: lanterns.this has been on my bucket list since i saw tangled.

it's a real thing, and i guess it's actually part of thai new year's tradition. look how cool it is!

it was a little cold and windy, and it took a little bit longer to light the lanterns than we were expecting, which made the release less dramatic than the above scene, but it was still magical. the lanterns i got were huge and looked so beautiful rising toward the dark sky.

a lot of the pictures didn't turn out so awesome, which just means that we have to do it again, maybe in the summer. and then we will know what to expect and have teams assigned to each lantern. but it was peaceful watching our wishes float off into the distance.

altogether, it was a great night, spent with some great people. here's to an amazing new year!

Monday, January 2, 2012

favorite quote of 2011 (and what i hope my 2012 is like)

i wanted to make this a post of a bunch of favorite quotes from this year, but i couldn't think of anything that tops this one (though one of my teachers talking about how, in writing essays, we put the "fun" in "proFUNdity" is right up there). so, without further ado, my favorite quote of 2011:

for those who don't know, these are reportedly steve jobs' last words. his sister, mona simpson, gave a beautiful eulogy for jobs, and apparently this was his final utterance. and, in the eulogy, the quote is printed in all caps. which is incredibly awesome. in fact, this is quite possibly the most awesome thing i have ever heard in my life.

what was he seeing there at the end? what could have warranted a triple OH WOW in all caps? i hope the last few moments of my life are like that--so cool that nothing can say it better than three OH WOW. the thought of it makes me giggle every time, as my roommates and family can attest.

so i'm hoping to make this an OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW. year. if i can do that, i think i'll be okay.