Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vintage Tees

I ♥ vintage tee shirts. I have like eighteen of them or something and when I see them I always want them. My sister has several as well, and I'm not really sure how it all started. I don't actually own any honest to goodness tee shirts from the 80s, I just love the style. Maybe its partly because I have to be dressed up for work every day that on the weekends I just want to throw on some jeans and a vintage tee. A few of the tees I have are:

Oh, and there are many, many more I want. I even had a vintage style tee shirt made for my beloved LOST. Yep, that big of a dork I am. If you understand the phrase I put on the LOST tee then you are a true fan and I am bursting with pride that we are friends (If you can't tell from the horrible quality cell phone pic, it says- Wanna be my Constant?):

My favorite place to get vintage tees that has the largest selection is, and my favorite brand of vintage tees is Junk Food because they are the perfect fit- they are a little longer than some of the others and are a 50/50 cotton/poly blend that gives the tees the thinness like they really are 20 or 30 years old, aka, vintage. You can also find vintage tees (also referred to as screens) at some clothing shops like:

There are also some other sites that have semi-vintage tees, but not as authentic- they are more funny phrases and more contemporary shows and bands in a vintage-esque style, like:

I'm thinking that one day I will just be a crazy dog lady with a vintage tee for every day of the year. Will you guys still be friends with me if that happens? Maybe I should start a poll for that question. Haha, er, (nervous chuckle), perhaps it's best that I don't.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Cruisin' Music

The summer is drawing to a close, but here is some of the music that got me through it- as it has in summers past and will for summers to come:

The Eagles:
This is another group that I remember growing up listening to. My Dad's theme song forever was Desperado. My parents got married seven days before my Dad turned 31, which was a lot older then it is now for a Mormon boy. (Or girl for that matter, ahem.) One of my favorite things is the look on my Dad's face when he is really feeling it listening to Desperado. It's my ring tone for him ;)

I am fairly OCD about the organization of my media, as anyone who knows me thoroughly can attest, and my iPod is meticulously labelled and organized into folders so that I can scroll through as conveniently as possible. Occasionally I will feel like listening to a specific person or group, but usually I am just in the mood for a particular genre (rock, jazz, opera...) This is where the perfection of The Eagles lies for me. They are a fusion of rock, country & folksy with a pinch of Latin, and since they are not really contemporary for me, I can also lump them into my vintage/oldies category. So, if I don't really know what I feel like, and just need some familiar cruising music, The Eagles are my fallback. They don't fail to make me smile. When I get into a boat and hook in my iPod to the radio, The Eagles are the group I automatically put on first. If you just need to drive and unwind, there is no better option than the live, long-guitar-solo-intro acoustic version of Hotel California:

Some of my other favorite summertime music:

Steve Miller Band:

The Joker

Jungle Love

Credence Clearwater Revival:

Bad Moon Rising

Fortunate Son


Killer Queen

Bicycle Race

Van Morrison:

Brown Eyed Girl

And, of course, my beloved Journey:

Any Way You Want It

Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'

When I am going to California or to the ocean, the only possible option is The Beach Boys, but, alas, I have not had the right excuse for them this summer:

Wouldn't It Be Nice

California Girls

Sigh. Goodbye soon Summer! It's been a good one. I hope I get to listen to The Beach Boys next year. (Or sooner. You never know).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Movie Mania!

So brother Bug was in town this weekend and what we like to do when we get together is go to movies. He really came down because we have tickets to The Scarlet Pimpernel musical at Hale for tonight and we figured he may as well make a weekend of it. We've had a theater movie marathon a couple of times before, depending on having a free day when we happen to see each other and depending on there being several movies out at the same time that we are interested in seeing. Our previous full day movie-going goals had never before been as lofty as they were this weekend... and they may never be again.

On Friday night we drove down to Provo because Bug has been staying at our brother Logan and his new wife Sara's house down there. I will henceforth be referring to them as 'Logra,' to save time, whether they like it or not. (I rather think they do not, but I like it and I think it sounds like a name from Thundercats or something, which makes it extra cool). So we met up with Logra in Provo and grilled burgers and then went to the GI Joe movie. Yeah, we all went into it assuming the absolute worst, and decided to just have a sense of humor about it. We had to go though, for sentimental reasons, because as kids we were HUGE into the cartoon and had a bunch of the action figures and would role play on the trampoline. The movie was, well, it wasn't Batman & Robin level of unbearable or anything, but it was pretty bad. Not only was there hokey CGI and action sequences, but even worse, it was full of hokey dialogue. It was almost so bad it was good though- I haven't laughed that hard in a movie for a while. After the first few minutes of goofy dialogue and awkwardness, we were pretty much gone ;) They set it up for a sequel and part of me almost hopes for it, just to see what other silliness will ensue. After the movie we went back to Logra's and had a slumber party. We watched Condorman. Oh. My. Classic ;)

For Saturday Bug and I started out with great aspirations to hit four (and if we could handle it, get really crazy and try for five) movies. We had a whole schedule planned out. We left Logra's at about 9:15am aiming to hit a 10:10am movie in Jordan, which should have gotten us there in plenty of time, but because of stormy weather and, surprise, surprise, road construction, we didn't get to the Jordan exit until 10:30am. Original plan aborted. So, we quickly reworked our plans, thinking we could still work it all in, just on a tighter schedule, and we headed to Century 16 to see an 11:25am showing of (500) Days of Summer. Twenty-five minutes into the movie, I kid you not, a telephone pole right outside the theater split in half and the power went out. We all stood in a long line and received coupons good to come back whenever. Plan foiled again.

Things went smoother after this. We headed up to the Gateway for a double feature, starting with a 1:40pm viewing of The Time Traveler's Wife, a trailer that I posted when I raved about the book that the movie is based on: I read the book fairly recently, which isn't usually a good idea right before you go to a movie, but I thought they did a beautiful job and did the story justice. Everything that was in the movie pretty much really does happen in the book as well, they just had to cut a lot out because the book is pretty long. There is just so much more in the novel that I would still very much recommend reading it. The movie was very good though- very emotional. I totally bawled, and when I wasn't, I felt on the verge. Some sad tears, some sweet tears, some frustrated tears. I hope this isn't talking you out of it ;) Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana are both so great.

After that we went straight into a 3:45pm viewing of Julie & Julia, the movie that jumps back and forth between the true stories of famous chef Julia Childs (played by Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams), the bored woman who decided to cook all of the recipes in Childs' book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, blogged about it, became hugely popular, and got a book deal- Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: I had heard good things about this movie before I went to it, from reviews and friends alike, and I wasn't disappointed. It was charmingly filmed and Meryl Streep was amazing and very funny.

After watching all of that beautiful food it was a good thing that it was time for dinner! We went to Mimi's Cafe, which I love. Everything there is good and is artistically prepared and they have the best spinach and artichoke dip ever- its really cheesy and has sun dried tomatoes in it. Mmmmmm.

Then, at long last, we went back to Century 16 to use our coupons and made our second, and much more successful, attempt to see (500) Days of Summer starring Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon Levitt: First of all, it had an awesome soundtrack which Zooey sings a song on and that is a little reminiscent of the soundtrack from last summer's Indie darling Juno. As I said, I have been waiting for this movie for a while and went into it knowing that it wasn't going to be a traditional RomCom like a Sleepless in Seattle or Runaway Bride or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days happily-ever-after kind of a movie. I'm so okay with that. I didn't love it as much as I wanted too- a little too much crassness, but I did really like it a lot. I love the unconventional perspective of a romance and they did some very creative things filming-wise.

After this we technically would have had time to go to one more, but it had been a pretty long day. The other one we wanted to go to is called Paper Heart, which is only playing at the artsy Broadway Cinemas downtown. This is another movie, like (500) Days of Summer, that Bug and I wanted to go and see at Sundance last February but couldn't work it in. It's sort of a half documentary/half fictional movie starring real-life couple comedians Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi: The story is basically Yi, who doesn't believe in love, going around and interviewing people about what they think about love, and falling for Cera in the process. The story is very simple, but looks very funny and very adorable.

Well, my next crazy movie adventure will be Sundance if Bug comes up for that again. Always a good time ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Ode to Zooey Deschanel

Though this is technically a post about music along with a movie review, it is also an ode to Zooey Deschanel in general. She's just so dang cool. You have probably heard her sing before as she has done it in more than one of the movies she has been in (Elf, Yes Man...) but you may not know that she has an album out and tours around and loves singing even more than acting. She made the album with M. Ward, a great singer/songwriter on his own, though his part in this album is mainly producing and co-writing a couple of the songs with Deschanel. As far as singing is concerned you really only hear him doing background on a few of them.

When I bought the album I had no idea what the sound would be- I wasn't really familiar with Ward at that point and all I know was that I loved Zooey's deep, smooth tone and subtle vibrato when I had heard her sing in movies. I should have known better than to expect some trendy, pop type of album when Zooey is an edgy, Indie movie princess. The style is really sort of 50s and is even recorded in a way to make it sound like a vintage recording. You can read more about the inspirations for the music and the recording method here. Its like Patsy Kline/The Ronettes fused together in an Indie Rock way. Listen to a couple of songs and you will understand what I mean. At first I was a little taken aback, but it has really, really grown on me:

I Thought I Saw Your Face Today

I Was Made For You

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here

There are plenty of other reasons I love Zooey as well. For instance, her big sister is actress Emily Deschanel from the Fox television drama Bones, who I also love, and they live together in real life. I am really close to my big sister and we lived together for a while in college and so sisters make me happy:

They are both great actresses. Zooey has the best deadpan comedic timing, and she just can't seem to help being ridiculously adorable and likable in every role. Zooey even, musicals being dear to my heart, was in a TV Disney movie of Once Upon a Mattress a few years ago with Matthew Morrison (more on him in the Fall when Glee starts up on Fox, oh yes):

Also, I love her wardrobe style:

She is the closest thing to a real life Chuck from my beloved Pushing Daisies who's wardrobe is my dream:

I think Zooey would be really fun to hear live- along with her own music she does some fun cover songs:

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Hello Dolly

She's even completely adorable in a Cotton commercial for goodness sake:

July 17th a movie called (500) Days of Summer came out starring Zooey and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who was in that music video with her above). I have been looking forward to this since last February when I couldn't get tickets to it at Sundance and it received so much acclaim. The preview itself clearly states that it isn't going to be your typical love story, so I am going to go into it not expecting them to ride off into the sunset. I am finally going this weekend- I was waiting for brother Bug to come to town to go with me.

So, Zooey, thanks for being funky and charming and unique and exactly what I would suppose somebody named Zooey to be.

Trailer for (500) Days of Summer

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lagoon & More Doxey's

As previously mentioned, I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I have been sky diving and bungee jumping, I'm scuba certified and I really want to go down in a shark cage… anything that puts the wind blowing in my face or that cringy feeling in my stomach, I absolutely adore. Things like this:

(Sorry the quality isn't great and sorry you have to tilt your head to the left to watch it- it wouldn't let me rotate it)

That was a bungee swing at Oribi Gorge near Durban, South Africa. So fun. I went twice. The best thing around here for giving me that feeling, without also being too ridiculously expensive, is the the Catapult ride at Lagoon. The below pictures aren't of the one at Lagoon, but it's the same ride:

It's one of the rides you have to pay extra for, which is lame, but I love it. Lagoon is most definitely not the most impressive amusement park in the world, but it's the best/closest we've got and it has at least been cleaned up a bit and added several rides in the last decade.

Lauren, the youngest daughter of my good friends the Doxey's from St. George (they have four girls), has been working at Lagoon this summer as one of the performers in their Broadway show. Isn't she a doll?

My very good friend Jess, the eldest Doxey, and her husband Scooter, have been at Oxford the past year for his grad school and barely came home a couple of weeks ago and went practically straight to Kansas City where Scooter is starting medical school. So, Lauren has seen them for about five minutes in the past eleven months. I luckily got a chance to see them for two weeks this past March when we went on a trip to Italy. Yesterday Jess came to Salt Lake, just for the day, to go to Lagoon and see Lauren's show, and then we all went out to dinner. I'm not sure when I'll see Jess next, sad story. I mean, I hear everything's up to date in Kansas City and they've gone about as far as they can go (wink, wink), but it's still not on my, fairly long, places-to-go list. Maybe we'll just have to pick a fun city somewhere and meet in the middle. Sigh.

(What a very pastel bouquet we make)

Friday, August 7, 2009


Well, the results are in, and this is how I feel about it:

YAY, congratulations Jeanine!

Kayla was great but didn't have as much charisma, Evan, the sweetheart, just wouldn't have deserved it, and Brandon I just never totally warmed up to. This year I was sadly just mostly indifferent about the guys, unlike last year with the wonderful Joshua and Twitch or the year before with the amazing Danny and Neil. I am pleased. Also, as ridiculous and as I felt at the time, now that my girl Jeanine won, I feel justified in giving in and calling like twenty times for her ;) It's gratifying to have the person I wanted to win the most and have loved since the beginning actually win. It is so embarrassing how nervous I was watching and waiting! I was watching at my friend Kirsten's house on their beautiful flat screen with their wonderful DVR that allowed us to skip commercials and some of the shows wasting time nonsense. Also, Kirst seemed to have quite a laugh taking those pictures of me after. I'm not really sure why... (Elisabeth, I'm sure you can appreciate them, my leaping friend :)

They spent most of the show with encore performances of the judges favorite routines from the season- all of my favorites of those I have already posted. It was fun to see everyone back and to see the dances on a new stage and from new angles, but as my friend Jess would say, oh my hannah! - they do drag it out!

Since they are switching the time slot for the show to the fall, it will be fun because the new season is starting in just five weeks (on Wednesday, September 9th, just before the Glee premiere, double yay!) I guess that is sort of a rip off for Jeanine because she will only get to be America's Favorite Dancer for like four months instead of a year. Also, torn feelings about the change because I will miss it in the summer- I dabble in The Bachelorette a bit, but SYTYCD is the only summertime show I really consistently watch. I guess I could try getting a life next summer with the 3-4 extra hours of free time I will now have each week ;) Well, I'll be back with more SYTYCD posts with Season 6 in a couple months!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Wow, snazzy new set at the Kodak Theatre. Also, I'm glad it was Adam Shankman (director & choreographer of the Hairspray movie) back as the guest judge, I love that guy. He is almost always excited about every routine. Jazz hands!

Top 4 Group Routine- Pop Jazz

By Wade Robson: Two football jocks hitting on two cheerleaders who turn out to be more than they can handle- entertaining.

Jeanine & Evan- Jazz

By Sonya Tayeh: Guy is trying to keep his girl but she really doesn't care about the relationship anymore- very lively and fun and Jeanine stole the show (that's my girl!)

Solo- Brandon: Brandon's voice sounds like Mickael Jackson. Also, his neck is the same fatness as his head. Can you see that I don't really know why I don't like him more and am trying to justify it with pettiness? He is such a beautiful dancer I wish I could connect with his personality more. The judges just adore him though.

Kayla & Brandon- Broadway

By Tyce Diorio: To the song Bye Bye Love from All that Jazz. Super sassy number and technically Kayla & Brandon are both flawless as usual, but even though there were a couple of impressively challenging moves, I wasn't quite as captivated as I expected to be. The judges raved.

Solo- Jeanine: I have always really liked Jeanine's solos. They are more soft spoken than, say, Brandon's whose are all loud music and athletic brilliance, but I always find hers so creative and she just has personality coming out her ears. I also loved seeing Travis Wall giving her a standing ovation and I loved and totally agreed with the judges critiques of her. (Do I sound partial?)

Brandon & Evan- Pop Jazz

By Laurieann Gibson: The theme is literally that the boys are in a battle to win this. (Danced to Janet Jackson's Nasty, no less). The boys-only dances are always entertaining for how athletic they are. Good not great. Poor Evan, he really is too sweet to play nasty. And though it was true, eeeew, I did NOT like Brandon's face up there as he was trying to hide his smugness while the judges were telling Evan that Brandon out-danced him.

Jeanine & Kayla- Contemporary

By Mia Michaels: Theme is they are on a journey and every step they shed a layer of what they have been through (literally tearing pieces off of their multi-layered skirts). I really loved it- gorgeous and powerful. PS, Nigel! Quit leering at Jeanine like you leered at Courtney last year, and Anya the year before!

Solo- Evan: He really is adorable (Too adorable? ;) and it is amazing that he is a Broadway dancer in the Finale. His solos are so fun and sentimental in their ode to old musicals, but he only has so many moves and his solos are all too similar. I hope he doesn't get a bunch of sympathy votes.

Kayla & Evan- Jive

By Tony & Melanie: Wow, its to country music! That doesn't happen much on this show. Some very impressive moves, but Evan is just too short for Kayla and his footwork wasn't fast enough for me (since I have so much expertise in these matters ;). Kayla looked awesome.

Solo- Kayla: I do think that if she had been showing her personality more this whole season little miss White Lightning could have been a shoe-in. She really is so good and so consistent, but she doesn't always have the right charisma. Brandon and Jeanine were definitely the stand-out solos of the night.

Jeanine & Brandon- Paso Doble

By Louis Van Amstel: At first I was super nervous about the risky choice of this style for the finale because it can often be the kiss of death, but ... Oh. My. Intense. Fast-paced. High-energy. Smokin'. Hotness. It is soooo coming down to Brandon or Jeanine. Yet again, Nigel! Why are such a perv?!

I hate how they ask the judges who they think will win (though I totally love the host Cat, haha!) I'm such a doofus (even a bigger one than I originally thought since I just used the word doofus)- I totally broke down and voted for the first time this season. It's the finale! It took me a couple of hours to even get past the busy signal, which pleases me. The way they do the finale is they announce the bottom person, then wait awhile and announce the next bottom person, and then its just the last two standing when they announce the winner in the very end. Who I think it should be is Evan first, then Kayla, then Brandon and then Jeanine takes the win. Evan has such a following though, and people love to sympathy vote, so, we'll see!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Here are the group dances from this season:
Top 20

Top 18

Top 16

Top 14

Top 12

Top 5 Guys

Top 5 Girls

Top 8- 1

Top 8 - 2

Top 6


I didn't start blogging Season 5 of SYTYCD until it was the Top 8 because there were just too many names and too many dances, but now that it is finale week, here is a refresher of my favorite dances that I haven't already posted- from the Top 20 down to the Top 10:

Ashley & Kupono- Jazz
(I am not usually a huge fan of numbers that are too off-the-wall or have too much face makeup because I find it distracting and think it takes away from the movement, but I was totally captivated by this crash test dummy routine. Choreographed by the brilliantly eccentric Wade Robson)

Janette & Brandon- Argentine Tango

Janette & Brandon- Disco

Janette & Brandon- Jazz

(Another playful Wade Robson piece- they are bandits and I love some of the 60s-esque movements)

Jeanine & Jason- Contemporary

(I love this- choreographed by Travis Wall, the 1st runner up from season 2. The premise is two friends who, at first fearfully, take that next step to becoming more)

Jeanine & Philip- Hip Hop I

(I love this routine as well. It was in Top 20 week and this was when Jeanine first became my favorite girl. I was always indifferent about hip hop until last year when choreographers Tabitha & Napoleon joined the show. They always tell great stories with their dances. The theme of this one is: never go to bed angry)

Jeanine & Philip- Hip Hop II

(Another Tab/Nap routine, theme: ball and chain- you may grumble, but do you really want out?)

Kayla & Maxim- Samba

Kayla & Kupono- Contemporary I

Kayla & Kupono- Contemporary II

(If I had to pick one single favorite routine of the season this one would probably be it. Choreographed by the genius that is Mia Michaels and so well danced and acted, the theme is that he is an addiction that won't let her go)

Melissa & Ade- Contemporary

Melissa & Ade- Rumba

Melissa & Ade- Pas de Deux

(Melissa is the first ballet-style-only contestant they have ever had on the show, and this is the only full-on ballet routine they have ever done)

Randi & Evan- Jazz

(I really enjoyed this piece in the Top 20 week and it made me love Evan right off the bat. I'm still not so sure that he should be in the Top 4 though)

Randi & Evan- Contemporary

Randi & Evan- Hip Hop

Good luck this week to Brandon, Jeanine, Evan & Kayla! (But mostly Jeanine ;)

*To view videos from the Top 8 and Top 6 weeks, click on the SYTYCD label at the bottom of this post. *

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mann Family Reunion 2009

Yep, it's official, I really am a Mann after all!
I just got back from my Mann Family Reunion. Every summer we have family reunion in McCall, Idaho - the first one was thirty-one years ago, the year my parents were engaged. McCall is two hours into the mountain from Boise and is on Payette Lake. It's not as big as say, Sun Valley, but I guess you would call it a resort town like that. It gets really crowded with snow skiers in the winter and with boaters in the summer. We had a cabin there for several years and some of my fondest memories are of this place. We've watched it change and grow over the years but it still has some of its staple places like this great little diner with a Jukebox called My Father's Place with the best fry sauce and milkshakes of my life. Also, every February they have the McCall Winter Carnival with ice sculptures. Payette Lake even has it's very own 'sea' monster, which I was proud to discover was on Wikipedia, named Sharlie.

On a side note about Sharlie, I remember when I was like five or six, and we all had hotel rooms at Shore Lodge and they had this sort of parade float looking rendition of Sharlie out in the water floating by the hotel boat dock with lights shining on it at night. One of the nights of reunion we were all crammed into one of the rooms watching Frankenstein on TV (thinking back, it was probably the Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, but to a kid you don't get the comedy of that, its just creepy). I had to go and get something from the other room and I think I made my sister Torry and my cousin Heather come with me, but they left before me and I found myself alone in this dark room, unable to find the light or get the door open, listening to the groans of Frankenstein coming through the wall and looking at this (real-looking to me) float of Sharlie out on the dark waters. It seems so silly now, but that is still one of the most poignant and terrifying moments in my memory!

, family reunion...
Our favorite cliff jumping spot- me jumping in the yellow:
Swimming around rock islands:
Getting back on the tube after a tumble:
Brother Bug and I enjoying some delicious treats at Ice Cream Alley:
One of the random shots that my cousin's little girl Elle took while playing with my camera:
Mill Park Condominiums where we have stayed the last few years:
Shore Lodge hotel where we used to stay when I was a little kid and still go to for breakfast sometimes:
One last fond farewell to the lake until next year:
A few hours at my Grandma's farm before heading home:
So fun. My family is so great. We ski, we tube, we eat, we cliff jump, we jet ski, we eat, we hike, we play games, we watch movies, we enjoy each others company and, wait for it... we eat. Being on the water though, I just ache for it. I don't know if there is anything I love better than being on a boat, be it a speed boat, sailboat, houseboat or even a jet ski- there is nothing that compares with the spray of the water and the wind in my face. Another item that made the weekend enjoyable was the comments I kept receiving from my doting grandmother such as, 'what an attractive figure you have,' and, 'what a pretty girl you are.' Mind you, in her day what constituted an 'attractive figure' was far more shapely than is the current fashion, and also, her vision is not what it used to be. I appreciate the sentiments all the same though ;) What I am really excited for is next summer when my immediate family will all be there because my parents and two youngest brothers have missed it the last three years in a row while in South Africa (My brother Logan and my sister Torry and her family have been missing it as well, with not nearly as good of excuses, ahem, but they have all sworn to come next year). It'll be a good one. Sigh. Another beautiful summer weekend, come and gone.