Sunday, January 28, 2007

Glad to Be Back

Hello, there! I'm back. Some of you may not have known that I was gone, and it may be true that I never really left. How is that all possible? Well, let me try to explain. You see, Megs and I live in a town that is home to just over 7,000 people. During the ski season, our town can hold another 17,000 visitors in hotels and rented homes. During the busiest ski weekend (this past year it was New Year's weekend), Park City had about 25,000 people on the slopes, streets, and in the restaurants. While having three-and-a-half times your normal population may seem like a big increase for one weekend, New Year's is nothing compared to what happens beginning on the third Thursday of every January in this little town. It's called the Sundance Film Festival. This year was the twenty-fourth anniversary of the festival which celebrates (for better or worse) the making of independent films. During Sundance, Park City becomes inundated with over 100,000 people every day for eleven days. That is a lot of people to accommodate on the frozen roads of this city. What would normally be a one minute drive from one end of Main Street to the other (there is only one stop sign at the intersection with Heber Avenue) becomes sometimes an hour-long ordeal. So why does this all matter to me when I am far from being a filmmaker? Try working at the only TV station in town.
Disclaimer: I avoid posting about work so as to not be "deuced." If you don't know what that is, you should start Googling. I love doing what I do. I love having the opportunity to use different skills and try new things. I don't want this in any way to seem as though I don't enjoy my job. Most of the time I do. These eleven days are just a bit stressful. Trust me, this is not a post worthy of deucing over.
Every year, our station triples in size just like the city. We team with the Sundance Channel to give the best coverage available about the festival. We add new programs to our lineup that focus on the filmmakers, directors, producers, technology, distribution, and other fun festival stories (i.e., parties). Luckily, this year I was spared the pains of 2006 when I was working nearly twenty hours a day. I was not alone in that daily schedule. There were probably half-a-dozen of us who were doomed to the same fate. After what is currently referred to in the business world as "corporate restructuring," schedules were changed quite a bit for the 2007 festival. The head of sales for the station was gone. One of our imported evening hosts was not invited back. We've been through three different office managers (and are currently back to the one who was here when I started). One of the shows we add to our lineup also had a new host. Things on the Sundance Channel side of the equation had changed quite a bit as well as they added a number of people to their staff for the festival.
FLASHBACK: Before marrying Megan, I made her aware of the fact that she would likely become a Sundance widow during the month of January. Though Megs was less than thrilled at the situation, she said she would still marry me. END FLASHBACK
The boss told all of us at the station that we would not be working more than twelve hours on any given day. While most of us were happy for the good intentions shown by that statement, none of us was caught holding a breath for more than a second. Fortunately, I am happy to say that I only worked more than twelve hours less than half of the time. I think I managed seven hours of sleep on most nights. That is quite a feat when compared to the three or four I was getting on the station couch last year.
Overall, I think things went smoothly. I am still feeling exhausted, but I had a much better time in 2007 than in 2006. It was good to get the bitter taste out of my mouth. In my morning show, I had predicted that two movies could be the winners of the big awards--Manda Bala and Padre Nuestro. When predictions were published in the local paper that did not include those two movies (which I admit to not having even seen!), I was slightly bummed. Still, I was content with my choices. Last night my predictions were validated with both movies winning Grand Jury prizes for best documentary and best drama. I doubt that either will find a large audience in big theaters across the country, but I look forward to perhaps seeing them this summer at the Park City Film Series.
Tomorrow it will be back to the normal world of snow and skiing being the top stories of interest at the station. Sundance is gone for another 354 more days. Park City will lose 80,000 visitors and seemingly as many cars. And most importantly, Megs and I will be able to find a parking spot at the grocery store--speaking of which, are we out of Advil? Until next year, goodbye, Sundance.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Banana pancakes in the ER?

So this last week has been pretty interesting. Ryan was working a lot because of Sundance...and I got sick! I started having really bad pains in my stomach and my chest, and it hurt to breathe, walk, stand up, hiccup, etc. That day Ryan had interviewed Mandy Moore on the morning show. He said that after the show she heard I was sick and asked if there was anything she could do. Of course Ryan said no, but I told him he should have said, "Yes, actually. I have a show to do. Could you and your portable beauty salon go pick my wife up and take her to the hospital?" Hehe. Not likely. So Ryan took me to the doctor, who then sent me to the ER because it sounded like something serious. The nurse who took care of us there was very nice! His name was Chris. They did some routine tests, then came the part I hate. The needles part. Chris began the process of putting an IV in my arm. First he took some blood with a pretty large needle, and that hurt BAD! So after that he told me that the needle for the IV was much smaller and wouldn't hurt as bad. Well, it didn't hurt AS bad, but worse was when I heard him say "oops." That's when I knew he would have to stick me again! So, I asked my husband to sing to me so I wouldn't pay attention to it. He suggested Jack Johnson, and Chris said he loves Jack Johnson, so they sang me Banana Pancakes while he was sticking the IV in:

"This song is meant to keep you...he's going to poke me any second now....waking up too early, maybe we could sleep... ouch, the tourniquet hurts! ...make you banana pancakes, pretend like it's the weekend...Owwwww!!!...When the whole world fits inside of your arms, do you really need to pay attention to the nurse with the big needle?"

It still hurt, but it was so sweet of them to sing to me! I have such a wonderful best friend! He sat with me the whole time, and then had fun listening to me ramble incoherences when they put me on morphine. My dad was there too. I remember him asking me questions...I just don't remember my answers.

By the way, they didn't find anything at all out of the ordinary in the tests and the ultrasound so they sent me home with some drugs, and I'm all better now. I'm very glad it wasn't anything serious! No more needles for me!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Megan's Book Corner

I love to read! I've read so many genuinely good books in my life, and I decided I want to start sharing some of my favorites every once in a while. My ABSOLUTE favorites are The Count of Monte Cristo, Pride and Prejudice, and the Anne of Green Gables series. Some of my favorite authors include Mary Higgins Clark, Clive Cussler (the Dirk Pitt novels), John Grisham, and Nicholas Sparks. There are also innumerable books by LDS authors that I have really enjoyed. Last year, I branched out a little bit and read a couple of political biographies including one about our president, George W. Bush.

About a year ago, I was in a bookstore and picked up a few random books that looked pretty good. I didn't actually read any of them until last week when I found Letters for Emily in a box I was going through. This is a great book!

Harry Whitney is dying. He has Alzheimer's disease, and he knows his "good" time is dwindling. So he compiles a book of poems for his favorite granddaughter, Emily, hoping that his words of hard-won wisdom will heal the old wounds that are tearing his family apart. But Harry's poems contain much more than meets the eye--clues and riddles that lead to an extraordinary cache of letters and a promise of hidden gold. As Emily and her family uncover Harry's secrets one by one, they learn unforgettable lessons about romance, forgiveness and hope that might hold them all together.

In one of the letters Harry is writing about being stung by a wasp, and then wasting hours trying to kill all the wasps and realizing that was a bad idea. Then he relates that experience to life.
Life is the same. There will be times when you are minding your own business, hurting no one. Then someone will come along and sting you. You have two choices. One is to get angry and waste days of your life swatting at anyone who looks threatening; if you do, you'll find when you're through, you've accomplished nothing. The better path is to protect yourself the best you can, and then enjoy your garden. When you get stung, it will hurt; you may cry and wonder what you have done to deserve such treatment. Let it end there. Take a deep breath, place a dab of wet mud on the sting, wipe your tears, and put a smile back on your face. Turn back on your garden and enjoy the beauty before you. I hope this makes sense. Now, go tend to your garden and enjoy it immensely.

Grandpa Harry

There are great lessons in every letter. When I finished the book and read that the author is a BYU graduate, that made me like it even more! Not that I'm biased or anything! :) So next time you're at a bookstore or a library, pick up Letters for Emily by Camron Wright. It's very uplifting! Happy Reading!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Holiday 2006

This was Ryan's and my first Christmas together! It was great! Although, Christmas break when you're a grownup working a normal job isn't as good as Christmas break from school when you get three weeks off! We had a lot of fun in the days leading up to Christmas making cookies and a gingerbread house, and decorating our tree (which died about 5 days after we put it up, but it was fun to have one anyway).

This is our first Christmas ornament. We got it in Hawaii! This is how I would prefer to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. In shorts and flower leis because it's warm outside!

We made personalized cookies for the three sister missionaries in our ward. Sister Rochester (on the left) is from Texas, so she got a cowgirl. Sister Alvarez and Sister Hartford are from California and Hawaii and so they got palm trees.

The best and the worst of our sugar cookies! As I was taking pictures of the sister missionaries and their cute cookies, Ryan was in the kitchen opening windows and trying to keep all the smoke from making the smoke detectors and sprinklers go off. I was completely oblivious until they left and I got back in the kitchen and saw the burnt cookies and saw all the windows open. My husband almost burned our apartment down! ;)

The making of our gingerbread house! No pre-prepared kits here! Ryan designed a great house out of graham crackers. The roof is life savers, the christmas lights are Kissables (which are sooo good, for anyone who hasn't tried them), the pathway in the front is red licorice, and the fence is made of gumdrops. Ryan took it to work to put on the shows for Gingerbread House Day!

The Jensen Christmas party on the 22nd. Unfortunately, we realized that we hadn't taken many pictures. So if anyone has more they want to send us, that would be great!!

Christmas morning in apartment 112! Yay for Santa Claus!