Music Playlist and a Poll
You may have noticed the playlist that starts playing when you read my blog (if you want to turn it off, its on the bottom of the right column.) UPDATE! It no longer starts automatically, you have to hit play. I add tracks and rearrange this playlist often, in order to reflect my current mood. I love music and I love to share good songs I happen to come across, so check out my playlist often if you are in need of new music.

For example, if you are into World of Warcraft, take a listen to "It's Warcraft!" by Merlando, it's HILARIOUS.

I have added a poll and would love all of you to contribute! And yes, I am serious. It's in the right column above the playlist.
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X-Files: I Want To Believe

I started watching The X-Files when I was 13 years old. I watched it obsessively for the next 8 years, taping every episode onto a specially labeled VHS tape and bleeping out all the commercials. My junior high and high school lockers were completely plastered with pictures printed off the internet of Mulder and Scully; my bedroom was covered in XF posters, pictures and framed art; even my college dorm had its own XF Wall. I bought every magazine with XF on the cover and even bought an extra copy just to rip the pictures out of so the first copy would be kept in pristine condition. I owned every XFiles soundtrack, every poster, every action figure (I ripped them out of the box, I'm not lame enough to keep them in.) I had an entire binder full of XF fan fiction that I printed off various websites and message boards back in the day. My high school nickname was Scully but it was in college that I got my first Scully haircut. Anytime I need a login name/screenname/etc, you can bet the numbers "3 6 92", "10 13" or "11 21" are involved. (Pop quiz: what are ALL the meanings behind those numbers?) I was also a member of both X-Philes Anonymous (XPA) and X-Phile Relationshippers Anonymous (XPRA)....hello, my name is Jenny and I have a problem....

I ramble because it has been difficult in the past several years since XF went off the air to explain to people just how obsessed I was/am. This show has been a HUGE part of me for over half of my life. I also ramble because it was for us, the obsessed fans that have stayed obsessed over the years, that this movie was made. Chris Carter said they made this film with us in mind first, while striving to introduce a new audience to the franchise second. That brings me to my thoughts on the movie.

I, an obsessed X-Phile relationshipper, loved the movie. It was different: it felt different, it looked different. DD and GA have been saying in interviews that it was not easy getting back into these characters after so long, especially since the time that has lapsed in the movie parallels real time, as the movie picks up 6 years after we last saw M & S. It was the same for me; it took about 15 minutes to get back into the X-Phile groove and that only happened after they were on screen together.


Mulder and Scully are no longer with the FBI, Scully is working as a surgeon at a Catholic children's hospital and Mulder is on the lam. The FBI comes to Scully as a means to find Mulder; an agent is missing and they think he can help with the case because it involves a potential psychic. Scully, with much longer hair, heads to a remote, snow-covered house in rural Virginia, lets herself in and finds Mulder, looking very much like a grizzled mountain man, in a room covered with clippings and pictures of paranormal phenomena...remniscent of his old FBI office. Faster than you can say "Hey, this chick showed up at my door named Samantha looking for you", M & S are on the case. Provided Mulder gets a lift to DC from a government issue black helicopter, of course (instead of being chased by one this time).

The plot that follows is classic creepy XF Monster of the Week, a la Flukeman or "Home". Two women have gone missing and the only clue is a bizarre, disgraced-by-Catholic-sex-scandal priest who claims to have seen these women in visions. A very elogant storyline pulls M & S from snow-covered fields in Virginia, to her hospital, to the home they share and back to the snow (the first movie had shloads of snow too, what's up with the snow?)

Did you catch that? They share a home. They are a couple. AND IT'S ABOUT DAMN FREAKIN TIME! The 'shipper in me squealed like a little kid given a lollipop when Scully was laying in bed and you heard Mulder say "I can feel you thinking" before he poked his head up and started cuddling with her.

The one point of the movie, music and poster I keep coming back to is how sleek and silver the whole feeling is. It was filmed in Vancouver, which explains the habitual grayness, but it had a very different, much more mature, cleaned up feeling than the previous movie or any of the episodes. It wasn't going back to what they had done before and redid it, it was something completely new and I think they totally "nailed it". Mark Snow did some wonderfully different music this time around, much more emotional on a personal level and less chasing-aliens-in-the-dark (check out "Home Again" on the soundtrack.) There is also a delicious new version of the theme played over the end credits by an artist named UNKLE (I added it to my playlist, it should be playing as you read this).

It was creepy, it was cute, it was mature, it left me wanting more. Which is what XFiles has always done, left you with more questions than answers, always leaving you unsatisfied with the meager amount you had been given. It wouldn't be The X-Files if we had seen everything and been told everything, now would it? CC & Co did not make this film for the critics, they made it for the fans and they did a damn good job. I want more.
You know, I haven't eaten since 6 o'clock this morning and all that was was half a cream cheese bagel
Sousa....Muppet Style
Tis the Season -- Part 2: Offending The Pyro God
In this post, I will present conclusive proof that I am indeed cursed or have in some way offended the pyro god. Read on.

After setting up Taylorsville, shooting it and cleaning it up, a bunch of us headed over to WestFest to clean up that show until the wee hours of the morning. Apparently the newbies assigned to WestFest did not get the memo that pyro is more heavy lifting and cleaning gigantic messes than it is glitz and glamour...*sigh* BTW, West Valley-ites, ya'll need to learn how to use a trash can. That was seriously the nastiest venue I have ever been in.

Now to the good stuff!

July 3 - Centerville - One person does not a crew make

Now I might feel flattered that my crew thinks I have a whole show handled, but seriously. NONE of my crew showed up, called, answered their phones, anything. Thanks guys! So I wired the entire show by myself (but some guys did show up for the show and cleanup.) This was after the Ogden Standard-Examiner hung out during load-in taking pictures and videoing my boss doing his dog-and-pony "this is how a firework works" show (see the resulting story and video here.) Whoever picked the picture of me that ended up splashed all over the front page of the July 4th edition really needs a lesson in exactly what photograph is worthy of the front page. Eegads.

July 4 - Magna - Those poor homeless stick lizards

To tell this story, I defer to the written stylings of ulta-conservative LDS-owned and operated thinktank The Deseret News:

A fiery encore to the Magna municipal fireworks display Friday that burned 50 acres and caused $250,000 in damage was technically the fault of the company staging the show although the firm was not negligent, according to the results of a Unified Fire Authority investigation.

UFA spokesman Ben Sharer said investigators found "hundreds" of spent fireworks casings in the field, owned by the Kennecott Co., across from Magna Park, near 8400 West and State Route 201. Sharer said that although the blaze appears to have been caused by the casings, which were apparently carried into the field by high, upper-level winds on Friday night, there is no cause to believe the display company was negligent.

The company was issued a permit for the show after passing a UFA inspection and providing proof of a $1 million liability insurance policy. Sharer said UFA fire inspectors found the company's safety preparations prior to the show had "exceeded regulations."

The fire was brought under control by UFA firefighters, with help from Rocky Mountain Raceway, Kennecott employees and nearby residents. Sharer said the lack of water access in the area required fire crews to utilize water-tender trucks to battle the blaze. Equipment was brought in by both the raceway and Kennecott to aid UFA crews.

No homes or large structures were threatened by the blaze, though a small shed and multiple power poles, all Kennecott-owned, were consumed by the fire.
--Deseret News, July 7, 2008

Here's the gist from someone who was there. It was not windy on the ground. About 5-6 minutes into the show, a really high top-wind took a crackling waterfall shell off its trajectory and blew it across SR 201 where it burst too low to the ground. The crackling tails did not burn out before they hit the ground and ignited the dry grass. I was standing behind the shooting table, spotting, when I saw it hit the ground. The fire had spread to a nearby tree by the time I had booked it to the UFA fire marshal at the other side of the field. He said "well, its already lit, might as well keep shooting unless something else heads that direction," so the show continued. I stood with the fire marshal for the rest of the show and nothing else went awry. By the time our show was done, the fire had engulfed power poles, transformers and was headed toward a small pumphouse. It was still burning when we finished cleaning up and headed back to the shop hours later.

Final tally:
6 power poles
+ 6 transformers
+ 1 pumphouse/shed
+ 50 acres of stick lizard homes
= $300,000

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Tis the Season -- Part 1b: Where I Left Off

Sorry about that diversion from the topic at hand, those who were wondering why I've offended the Pyro God. Got a little distracted back there, I apologize. Look for Part 2 of my venting about J. coming soon! Yay for you! But first, back to pyro.

Taylorsville Dayzz is always the weekend before the 4th of July, and this year it fell right on top of my 10 year high school reunion (Go Bruins!). So reminiscing with people from my teenage years was bailed in favor of our largest fireworks show of the year...sorry Class of '98....

According to NFPA federal law, after the product (fireworks) is on site, there must always be a license-holder babysitting them, even overnight. Some companies hire security, we do it ourselves. As I do every year, I took most of these two weeks off from my real job, packed up my camping stuff, threw Wyatt in the car and camped in Taylorsville for 4 days. What happened next led me to suspect that something was cursed.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT -- Midnight. Pitch black dark (the street lights in the parking lot don't work so well). Wyatt is tied to a tree, I'm in the tent, no one else is around. A car pulls up about 20 feet away from my tent, no lights on. The car turns off and just sits there. Well, I'm not sleeping with some strange car a stone's throw from my tent! I climb out and sit on the grass behind Wyatt (who you cannot see, by the way, he vanishes into the night). About 5 minutes later, a guy gets out of the car (mid-20s, Hispanic, facial hair, didn't speak English very well).

Him: "Hello."

Me: "Can I help you?"

Him: "How are you?"

Me: "I'm great. Can I help you?"

Him: "Can I park here?"

Me: "No, the park is closed and this is a closed site. You need to move your car out of the park."

Him: "Can I park here?" -- creeping closer to us (Seriously creeping!)

Me: "No, you can't. You need to leave." (sitting behind Wyatt, gripping my knife but sans was in the tent)

Him: "Why can't I park here?" -- creeping even closer

Me: "See all these racks? These are loaded with large explosives. No one can be near them. You need to leave."

(At this point he is about 10 feet away from us)

Wyatt: "Grrrrrrrrrrrr" -- very low scary growl

Him: jumps back, "Is that a dog?" (I said you can't see him in the dark)

Me: "Yep."

Him: "Is he nice?"

Me: "Nope."

Him: "So I can't park here?" -- backing up

Me: "Nope."

Wyatt: "BARK BARK BARK!! GRRRRR! BARK BARK!!" -- goes full on guard dog

Creepy guy gets in his car (4 door dark colored Lexus), drives around the parking lot twice, very slowly, then drives out and away from the park.

After having my potential episode of Dateline flash through my head ("Tonight on Dateline..what happened to the girl pyro and her dog? Why were her remains found in the canal? Who would kill over fireworks? Tune in tonight at 9.").....Wyatt and I spent the rest of the night in the car with the doors locked. Creepy guy never came back. (Yes, I told the cops the next day when they came back through.)

THURSDAY NIGHT -- 4:30 AM. All the racks are loaded and ready to be moved onto the field. Wyatt is asleep on the lawn, I'm in the tent. The sprinklers come on. Right into my tent and all over the racks. Poor Wyatt was laying right on top of one. Within half a second, everything in my tent is soaked. I'm running around in bare feet, without my glasses, trying to cover up the loaded racks with plastic. After I get them covered, I find my glasses and my phone at the bottom of about 6 inches of water in my tent. Phone is dead. (Boss bought a new one later.) Wyatt is drenched and pissed. I look like a drowned rat. Some of the paper finale mortars got wet before I was able to get them out of the water but everything else turned out to be ok (after a few hours of drying in the sun).

FRIDAY NIGHT -- A slight mishap whilst setting up the small show that shot at the end of the band Imagine yielded one freaked out boss and three very pissed off pyros. Ow. My head hurt for the rest of the night. But I did get to watch that show from a distance, which I haven't done since high school. Chuck shot an amazing show beautifully choreographed to "Hey Jude". It reminded me of watching Stadium of Fire with my high school boyfriend. It was lonely and quite sad, but still a beautiful show.

SATURDAY NIGHT -- Our largest show of the year. Murphy's Law states that the longer you spend timing the show beforehand, the more your timing will go to hell during the show. The first part was shot to the Neil Diamond impersonator performing "America". Everyone and their dog has shot to America, we shoot to it at least once a show (sometimes twice!) Now I was raised on Neil Diamond, his was the only music that both of my parents could agree on. The first concert I went to was Neil Diamond, when I was 12. I know that song very very well, so it was really cool to shoot while it was performed live. Kinda made me a little giddy.

The rest of the show was um...fine....I swear... Us four shooters had some timing issues...but we made up for it and ended the show on time. Something during the finale burst practically on the ground and flew right at the table, I got hit with several gold crossetting stars before I managed to duck (hard hats are happy things). While we were cleaning up, we found that one of those paper finale mortars that had gotten wet in the sprinklers muzzle-burst (the shell burst right before it came out of the mortar, blowing the top part of the mortar to smithereens). That is why sprinklers are BAD.

Top fireworks picture from Picture Gallery, Sugarhouse 2008 by Paul Spaullino; lower fireworks picture of Taylorsville Dayzz 2006 by Jamie Peterson

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Tis the Season -- Part 1: T-Ville & WestFest
I firmly believe that either this pyro season is cursed or that I have, in some way, offended the Pyro God. That is the only plausible explanation for the sequence of events that unfolded in the past two weeks...except for the eternal excuses of shit happens and Murphy is here to stay.

I posted the only pictures I actually took of this season thus far in a previous post (see below), but have found a wealth of pictures of our shows on the Picture Gallery website. If they had photographer names posted, I will associate their names with their pictures. I am not stealing their work, I'm giving them free publicity! :-)

These two pictures are from WestFest, taken by a Scott Strohl (who we apparently need to hire as a staff photographer). I love these pictures, especially the one with the glow sticks. Very nicely done.
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To all those lovely, non-existent people that somehow manage to wander over to my funky blog:

I hate all the packaged Blogspot templates. I have tried most of them and they all drive me nuts. (I mainly hate how they center down the middle of the page and only give you 2 columns to work with, in case you were wondering) for the next couple days, my blog template is UNDER CONSTRUCTION (like I-80!). I'm not very good or fast at HTML, so be patient. Hopefully when I'm done messing around, it will look a whole lot better.

Oh, and if anyone has any template suggestions, please throw them over as I love advice.

Thanks all!
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