Friday, July 11, 2008

SLC has much potential . . .

. . . mostly in the nooks and crannies. As developers eye Salt Lake City, I want to make sure they get the message that we want community-focused businesses and we don't want to see quirky and unique businesses thrown out to make room for something, well, less interesting and more manufactured.

I like living in SLC and raising a family here. I don't want to raise my kids in a Disneylandish or artificially-cultured place. But I can see this city being turned into a place I won't want to live if stuff like this continues.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Adventuring around Salt Lake City

I try to take the Little Princess out once a week on what I like to think of as "adventuring". We go somewhere on foot or by public transportation, usually by Trax train. We've been meeting some very interesting people on the trains and at the stations.

This past Saturday while we waited for a Trax train to take us downtown, we were treated to some music by a man who had just finished using rehearsal space at the Acoustic Music building nearby. He had a guitar in a case, but what he played for us was an Irish whistle, chatting with us about the music between songs. It was a little unplanned exposure to culture on our weekly outing.

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is a great summer for movies that appeal to both kids and adults

I don't usually like going to kids' movies because I usually find them to be too simplistic or just plain stupid. My kiddie film low point had to be "Barnyard" though -- after seeing this ridiculous film, I imagined an entire generation of American children who believed that male cattle had udders and produced milk, and that bulls were a different breed of animal all together.

So I've been pleasantly surprised that 4 summer films aimed at kids were nearly equally enjoyable for both kids and adults. I've put these in order of the least to most enjoyable:

Kung Fu Panda -- the story is a little predictable, but the animation is so gorgeous and it contains enough laughs that I felt like I got my money's worth.

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian -- I read all of the Narnia books several times each as a kid and loved them dearly. I've heard the arguments about how "Christian" the Narnia stories are, but I remain blissfully unaware of it in these films or books. This film is (although not bloody or gory) a bit too violent for younger children, but it is very well put together and the story is compelling. Prince Caspian was my least favorite of the Narnia books, so I'm really looking forward to seeing the film version of my favorite (which should be coming next): The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Wall-E -- very sweet story, beautifully done. Also had enough futuristic/sci-fi-ish elements that I was interested in the story throughout the entire film. I also appreciate the reminders of what type of society we could be heading to if we don't wean ourselves off our consumption and corporate driven lifestyles.

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl -- My favorite of the 4. This is usually the type of film I don't like, one based on a toy or product. But the product is a good one, a doll company that teaches girls about history. And there really wasn't any product peddling. The story, set during the depression, was compelling, heart-warming and enjoyable, if a bit innocent. Enjoyable performances by an A list cast. I hope to see more American Girl films of this caliber.

I'm discovering that the Little Princess can be quite emotional. She was in tears at both Wall-E and Kit Kittredge.