Take A Picture

I have a Droid so Instagram is pretty new to me; I downloaded the app a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been on a crazy mission to make up for lost time. I love playing around with the filters on my old pictures! So much fun! 😀

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You can follow me @alley_kat88.

It’s Been A While

Who thought the Kings were going to eliminate the Canucks in 5 games? Not me!

Who thought Penner and Stolly would get GWGs? Not me!

It’s not that I’m not a die hard fan. I’m a cautious and guarded fan. Memories from the past 15 years have haunted me, made me numb and redefined the word, hope.

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Great atmosphere @ LA Live for Game 3

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When I arrived to watch Game 3 at Staples, I was excited yet nervous. The Kings were up 2-0 in the series! Why would that make me nervous? Oh right, because just the year before, I was at Staples Center watching the Kings blow a 4-0 lead to lose Game 3 in OT. Yup, it ain’t easy being an LA Kings fan.

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Light it up!!

The Canucks dominating the first two periods did nothing to calm my nerves, even though at that point, it was still a scoreless game. I called it early on that it would be a 1-0 game and I was right; Brownie scored in the 3rd and Quick came through with a shutout.

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After the game, fans gathered outside Staples and chanted “sweep”. To be honest, I didn’t know how to feel about being up 3-0 in a series. This was the first time that the Kings have ever been ahead 3-0, like EVER. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to deal with the situation. When Game 4 came around, I couldn’t bring myself to watch and I used work as an excuse to avoid it. Too much pressure for the Kings? Pshh, too much pressure for me!

So the Kings weren’t able to close the series out in Game 4 and I’m actually glad for this because the Kings needed to be brought down to reality. TOO MUCH confidence is not necessarily a good thing. And besides, eliminating the Canucks in Vancouver is SO. MUCH. SWEETER. #revenge

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IT FEELS DAMN GOOD

Now that we’re moving on to the 2nd round FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2001, I think the most important takeaway for the Kings is that there will be games in which they will battle hard and statistically should win, but don’t (ie. Game 4). As in Game 5, I hope the Kings do not get discouraged and focus on the game at hand. One game at a time, boys.

4 down. 12 to go. GO KINGS GO!

Music For My Soul

Since everybody and their moms was at Coachella last weekend (and more of the same this weekend), I thought I’d dedicate a post to music.

I love music. And I appreciate all genres.

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I started my relationship with music at age 4 when I learned to play the piano. My mom has told me a bajillion times that when I was born, she looked at my tiny little fingers and declared that I had “piano fingers”. Um, right, whatever that means. For the better part of a decade, I truly enjoyed playing the piano and learning music theory (I passed the CA Certificate of Merit, Level 9). But practicing 3 hours a day for so many years took it’s toll and turned something I thought was fun into something I HATED with a passion and resented since it didn’t allow me the time to do the other things I wanted to do… like, um, hang out with friends and watch TV. So, I quit.

But after a little while, I realized I couldn’t give up music completely, so I picked up the violin. I had an easier time than everyone else (that was learning) since I had a musical background and was already able to read sheet music. For a couple of years, I excelled in my school orchestra, even battling for 1st chair. Then, I gave this up too because I wanted to be a cheerleader instead. Yup. Priorities.

Quitting both the piano and violin were some of my biggest regrets in life. If I could go back in time and slap myself, I would. Today, my piano is a source of comfort. When I get stressed, sad, mad, or even just bored, I sit down and play my favorite piece: Carl Czerny’s “The Art of Finger Dexterity” Op. 740, Book 2, No. 13.

So, what kind of music do I listen to? Well, even though everybody seems to hate the 80’s, I LOVRRREEEE IT. 80’s ballads, 80’s rock, 80’s pop, whatever, any 80’s will put a smile on my face. I listen to classical when I want to relax, country or R&B when I want to sing, and hip-hop when I want dance. During my high school raver days, I was a house head. At the end of high school and throughout college, I went through a punk/pop/emo phase, as did many others around me. NFG, TBS, NOFX, The Starting Line, The Used, My Chem, Rufio, MxPx were on repeat. There’s definitely some residual musical preferences from this part of my life today.

My favorite song of all time?
It’s pretty much a tie between The Cure – Pictures of You and Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence

My favorite concert?
I also have two picks!

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AFI, Long Beach, 2006
We were sooooooooooo close to Davey Havok

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The Cure, SD, 2008
Robert Smith does not get enough recognition for being a great guitarist!

I had tickets to Depeche Mode, but my concert date was cancelled. I am patiently waiting for their next US tour….

LA Kings Women’s Workshop

So I’ve always wanted to learn to play hockey. It’s on THE list.

Having watched hockey since I was in junior high, I can say that I understand the game fairly well, but actually playing the game, as I’ve recently learned, is completely different. Let’s just say, from now on, I’ll think twice about yelling obscenities at the TV (or at Staples) when players turn the puck over, fall, fan on a shot or shoot the puck high and wide.

I was on FB this past Valentine’s Day and saw this flyer from the LA Kings:

And I thought to myself… even though I won’t know anyone there and I’ve only ice skated twice in my entire life, why the hell not?

When I met the other girls at the gear fitting, I was relieved to find out that 95% did not have any hockey experience. The fitting was enlightening because I had no idea how much shit ice hockey players had to put on. I also had no idea how anything was supposed to fit, but Hillary and Ashley from the LA Kings Org and the guys at Hockey Tron were very helpful. I left with a hockey bag stuffed with a full set of gear: caged helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin guards, hockey pants and socks, gloves, skates, jersey with my last name and random #, stick, green tape/green laces/green blade cover/jill strap (additional $).

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It wouldn’t be me without the green! 😀

Having only ice skated twice in my life, I’m actually not too bad at going forward. I can generate some speed and more importantly, not wobble or fall. My problem is stopping. I don’t have to crash into the boards or anything in order to stop, I just slow down and ease my way into stopping. I do think that this workshop has gotten me to a point where I can almost do a full hockey stop. Almost.

The first two sessions of the workshop were held at the LA Kings Valley Ice Center. We worked on skating and puck handling basics. My favorite drills were Superman/Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman with a twist. SO FUN! BTW, falling on the ice wasn’t so bad because of all the gear we had on.

“Oh, that’s not bad.” Yea, thanks, guys. 😛

Our third practice was at STAPLES CENTER. This experience alone was well worth the cost of the workshop.

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As expected, Staples Center ice > LA Kings Valley Ice Center ice

The final session was the official “Game Day”. Family and friends were invited to watch 😀

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People outside the hockey world who think couple minute shifts are easy just have no idea. I was seriously gassed after every shift. GASSED. Legs could not move anymore!

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Do you see the huge smile on my face in this blurry picture?

I am SO glad I took part in this workshop. It was such a blast and I learned a lot in a short matter of time! To continue my progression and also in preparation for the LA Kings Women’s Intermediate Workshop in the summer, I’m considering taking an adult learn to play hockey class at the Toyota Sports Center (I work 5 minutes away). SO. EXCITED.

Special thanks to Daryl Evans and Hillary Hodding!

Utah, Day 7: Time Flies

The Bird had been good to us so that’s where we spent our last full day in Utah.

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We knew we weren’t going to take the tram so we parked at Creekside (parking lot 1) instead of parking near Snowbird Center (parking lot 2).

The conditions had become spring-like as the week progressed so we stuck to the top half of the mountain where the snow wasn’t completely slush. In fact, there were still great stashes of powder in upper Gad Valley and Mineral Basin. For the first part of the day, we were in search of fresh lines in upper Gad Valley, which proved to be difficult because of the rocks that were in the way.

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Little Cloud Lift

After a quick lunch at the Birdfeeder, we took Peruvian Express lift up and then took the Peruvian Tunnel to Mineral Basin. Yes, I said tunnel. SNOWBIRD HAS A TUNNEL.

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Awesome, right?!?!?! 😀

It took about 4 minutes to go through the tunnel. We spent the rest of the day in Mineral Basin.

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I tried to get a picture of Henry jumping over rocks, but I didn’t bring my DSLR and my phone camera is too slow. FAIL.

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Even though it was another great day at the Bird, I started getting bummed out because I knew we would be going home the next day. Time flies when you’re having fun.

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Our last dinner in Utah was at The Copper Onion.

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I was nervous because we didn’t have a reservation, but there happened to be two spots available at the counter when we arrived. I love watching chefs in action so I thought we lucked out. An interesting thing I noted was the number of gloves the chefs blew through during our time there. One of the chefs wore a glove over a glove and kept changing the top glove after prepping certain foods. Is this standard food safety protocol?

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Looking over the menu, I saw bone marrow, pork belly and mussels offered as appetizers; three of my favorite things! How could I say no?

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Pleasant Creek Ranch Wagyu Bone Marrow: Parsley, Caper, Fennel salad, Charred baguette, $13

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Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnip, Preserved Cherries, $11

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Mussels: Creamy Black Pepper Sauce, Toast Points, $15

The bone marrow and pork belly were AMAZING, probably the best I’ve ever had. The mussels were perfectly cooked, but the pepper sauce was a little overwhelming.

We decided not to be complete fat asses this time around and only ordered one entree. 😀 It was tough because I was really interested in the poutine!

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Lamb Riblets: Warm Cauliflower and Potato Salad, $18

The riblets were fall off the bone tender and less gamy than I’ve experienced elsewhere. I really enjoyed the side salad.

For the first time in a long while, we actually had room for dessert. Usually our buttons are popping off and still, we would order dessert.

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Special of the Day: Strawberry, Grapefruit and Basil Sorbet, $3

The sorbet was definitely light and refreshing. I first tasted the strawberry and the slight bitterness of the grapefruit came through at the end.

After dinner we went on a night walk around the State Capitol Building, which is just a few blocks away from our condo.

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If you look closely, you’ll see people sitting on the front steps and on the surrounding wall. I guess it was prom night or something because we saw lots of kids in fancy dresses and tuxes. Damn, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I graduated high school. 😥

After a week in Utah, Henry said he still prefers Colorado. Given how horrible this season has been, I don’t think a fair comparison can be made. I really do hope this season is an anomaly and I’ll get a chance to come back and fully experience why Utah has “the greatest snow on earth”. So for now, I’ll just say that I ♥ Utah as much as I ♥ Colorado.

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SLC Eats (+our verdict):
The Copper Onion, 4/5