27 April 2009

A Passover Seder to Remember

On Thursday, a woman in our department sent out an email saying she needed to sell her tickets to a Passover Seder feast sponsored by BYU. I am all about new cultural experiences, especially ones that have to do with religion. I think my world religions course from BYU-Idaho really lit a fire in me to understand more about the practices of other religions and how they relate to my own. This sort of opportunity is one that I cannot pass up and tend to drag Scott along to, like India Fest at the Spanish Fork Krishna Temple.

When we arrived at dinner we sat at a table for eight with a family of four and another couple. We quickly bonded with one another over the various traditional celebrations. Each table in the banquet hall was to act as if they were separate families, guided under the direction of an Old Testament professor in the BYU religion faculty. So the oldest man at our table was designated as our patriarch, and his task was to lead our family through the prayers and activities.

One of the first activities we participated in was the blessing of the matzah and eating of the bitter herbs. There are three required foods to be eaten during Passover: the unleavened bread or matzah, bitter herbs (or the harshest horseradish you've ever smelled/tasted), and a sacrifice. We didn't have a sacrifice... we just ate chicken. Sacrifices have not been offered for Passover since the temple was destroyed in Jerusalem. But there was a roasted egg on the table with the roasted shank bone to represent the sacrificial lamb.

Other traditions have crept into the Passover Seder as well, according to this BYU professor. One of these traditions was the other bowled substance included on our table. It was a minced apple, raisin mixture that was to represent the mud used as mortar to build the pyramids of Egypt. We used this mortar as part of eating the bitter herbs. To this day if I smell anything remotely smelling like horseradish I have a burning sensation in my nose!

Probably one of the most memorable experiences during this Seder meal, besides being engulfed by the bitter herbs and the redemption of the afikomen; was when the professor described how this service would have been replicated by Jesus Christ throughout his life.

A most educational and culturally stimulating experience!

17 April 2009

God Bless The Parents Who Drugged Us

While the last sentence could totally be taken out of context and sound frightening, I feel like the message of this editorial (which was forwarded to me via email) is something that is needed in the world today. Kids these days, Right?!

You can click on the editorial to view a larger image.

02 April 2009

Procrastinating Great Stories - Part 4/4

Pasta, Pistols, and Passion

It was... Mrs. White, with the revolver, in the study!

Now imagine that being said in an Italian, Nacho Libre accent and you'll have a glimpse of our murder mystery dinner night held March 7 at our place.

My brother, Matt, and his family had gifted me the murder mystery dinner set called Pasta, Pistols, and Passion as a Christmas present. I had been to one murder mystery party before in high school when Casey Di Gennaro had invited a group of eight drama and music friends over to his house for the evening. Yet, I had never done a live clue event myself until now.

And that's really the best way to describe a murder mystery dinner party - it's a live game of clue. Everyone invited is a suspect in the murder of another absent character. Everyone has a motive, and through scripts and revealed clues you can attempt to piece together who the murderer REALLY was.

I invited some of my bestest friends in the Provo area (slash bestest friends EVER) to dress up in slightly scandalous European outfits. Maura and Cole portrayed an engaged couple, daughter of the deceased and and French wine maker, business man. Ashley and Ryan also played an engaged couple, brother of the deceased and his anxious mistress. They brought along their own Asian Assassin (baby Zachary), which was not part of the script but a welcomed addition! Scott was the soccer lovin' son, and I was the grieving widow. I made beautiful Italian food (for reals!), and we partied.

(Scott as Marco Roni, contemplating his future soccor career)

(Me as Mama Rosa, mourning my dead husband and pile of dirty dishes he left)

AND as the epitome of my procrastination, I forgot to grab our camera to take pictures of these beautiful couples. *tear* We were able to snap a few shots of the scene after everyone left and I realized my massive mistake, but really, that doesn't cut it. I guess I was just caught up in the passion and drama! Capiche?!

(What the party looked like when we had Scott's family over)

01 April 2009

Time for Ch-Ch-Changes

Recently I took Adobe Creative Suite classes through BYU Office of IT in order to help my department create a new website design for employers. The hope is that through Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign I will have the tools I need to redesign the website. Little did they know that I would be practicing my new found skills on my blog!!

The one thing I learned in these classes, though, is that I am not as creative as some graphic designers, but I am a darn good copier! These artsy geniuses in my class could mix color combinations and freehand crazy beautiful images. I on the other hand have mastered the art of finding something I like, tracing it, and then adding anything that may be missing.

So here you have my new idea for a blog design. I was thinking about how all minivans in Utah have those stick figure families to show off. So I thought I would copy in a sense by recreating the rear window of my matrix, and drawing stick people... which turned into a family portrait including both our autos and our plant Spike. Yes, I drew all those. Then I created a backdrop from vintage wallpaper.

This could be very fun, especially with my next class - Flash!