Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I now have stamps in my passport from Europe and Africa. I was told, however, that it good not to mention that Egypt is in Africa. It is in the Middle East. I don't know whether that is true, but I may soon (if I remember to ask).

I spent half of two days in a plane. The other half, I spent in layovers in Minneapolis and Amsterdam. I read Deception Point by Dan Brown, Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe, and much of Jane Eyre on the trip. Besides, who wants to leave the airport in....Minneapolis?!?

Amsterdam was another matter. I've never been to Europe. And if I had a ten-hour layover, I was going to take advantage of it. Ironically, I did. So, a few other passengers and I piled into the train and ventured into the great unknown of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is quite the city. I was warned before going about the *ahem* questionable activities that go on there. I'll admit, I've never seen so many people opening smoking pot in my life. We stayed away from the Red Light district and just walked around looking at the architecture and the canals.

Turning down a little alley-way, we found a quaint Indian restaurant that served some of the best falafels that I've ever had. The Indian lady (from Punjab) said that she had lived in Amsterdam for the past 24 years and really enjoyed it. While we were there, a bunch of Israelis came in who were staying in Amsterdam for New Years. I overheard one of them asking if she ever served American tourists and I looked up and said 'yes, of course'. It was rather amusing.

After lunch and looking in a few gift shops, we got back on the train and headed back to the airport before it got dark. No sense in getting lost or missing my plane when I had yet to reach my real destination.

The flight in to Cairo was fortunately uneventful and I had a pleasant ride with a taxi driver from Giza who pointed a lot of the sites of Cairo to me as we headed for Nancy and Andrew's. It was past 4 AM when I finally got in. Quite the trip.

Snowshoeing in December

Amanda invited me to go snowshoeing last Saturday with some family and friends, so we all piled in to the vehicle and away we went. Arriving at our destination way up in Provo Canyon, we noticed every vehicle in the parking lot was a 4X4 truck, jeep or SUV. Except our little two-wheel-drive mini van. We weren't intimidated at all.

It was beautiful, trekking through the snow-covered forest, admiring the breathtaking landscape, and politely disbelieving Brother Pilmer's tales of beating up bears, stalking wild animals, and (I'm assuming mildly) "true" scout stories.

We only had a couple spills. Justin decided that walking backwards in snowshoes doesn't work.

Also, I managed to knock Amanda over with my amazing fencing skills with our snowshoe/ski/walking stick thingies. We also had a drawing contest, creating a hallway of art along the trail in the middle of a field. Talk about vandalism of pristine snow landscape. Bwa hah hah!

We saw no wild animals on our trip, although we did meet up with the Peadons and had a little trouble getting out of the parking lot.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Week of Christmas

So, I've decided that this is the week of Christmas. Wednesday was the library Chrisymas party. I was on the committee of five that planned the festivities for 280 people who RSVP'd and it was quite the undertaking - especially considering the fact that the room we'd booked only holds 250. We booked a room for overflow and fortunately, enough people didn't show that we ended up not needing the overflow room after all. Which meant I got to sit in the room after all.

I'm re-reading this and I realize that this is a pretty boring post. Bah!

Needless to say, the party went well, I recited Twas' The Night Before Christmas" Voice Male style, and it was a huge success with great accolades thrown my way....with regards to the party, not the recitation....

Yesterday was the BYU ballroom social dance lab with a festive theme. I wasn't in much of a mood for dancing so I only stayed two hours.

Tonight was our department Christmas party. Dinner farm-style, including hot home-made rolls. ~dramatic reminiscence~ I also managed to get a glass Santa Claus martini glass with a handle (yes, hard time picturing it. I understand that.) as my white elephant gift. Not bad. I could've ended with the hub cap.

Tomorrow is our annual Muppet Christmas Carol movie party that Brandon (my roommate) has had since before I moved to Utah. That's a long time.

Sunday is our annual family Christmas party in Sandy.

Yes, that is five....count them....1...2...3...4...5....five parties in five days. I don't think Christmas will get this festive.

I'm going to bed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's a small world

So, about a week before going to Canada, I messaged my friend, Christine, on Facebook. I said, basically, that I have never asked anyone out on Facebook before, so I figured now would be a good time. Besides, I didn't have her phone number and I'd only be in Canada for a couple of days.

Now, don't get me wrong. This isn't something I just go and do. I've known Christine for ten years, she was my (second) cousin, Heather's, best friend, and she we had a crush on each other for a long time. Actually, she was the first girl I held hands with. Unfortunately for us, I moved to Utah a few months before she turned 16.

Fast forward to now. Laughing at my childish method of getting dates, Christine said she had never been asked out on Facebook and she'd love to go out with me. It was about time we went on a date. I mean, it has been 10 years!

So, we get to Canada and set up a date. We also visited Heather in the hospital because she just had her baby (and Sadie is really cute). Heather, in her groggy, just-had-a-baby, pain-enduring, med-imbued state, teased how Christine goes on at least three dates a week and warned me that she even has a guy up from California trying to date her. (Are you noticing the foreshadowing? No? Ok, I'll continue.

So, date night. We came up with all these elaborate plans that included dinner, volleyball, and dancing. Almost none of these came to fruition. I picked her up and we went to visit Heather and the new baby, whom Christine had never seen. We had a good visit with the whole family then went for dinner at Mr. Mike's, where my sister works (it was very good). By the time we finished though, it was well after 8 and there was no dance after all, so we just went to a movie instead. Twilight. The movie felt like the script was written by a fourteen year old. Definitely not my favorite movie - although Christine and I enjoyed heckling the movie too each other. The best part of the movie was when someone in the back yelled 'SHUT UP' to all the young, teenage girls. Priceless.

Overall, it was your typical date. Of course, she does live in Canada, so that provides a slight problem for further dates. Besides, there's this guy from California....

The next day, we visited another set of cousins in Okotoks. When they asked how our visit had been so far, I mentioned I went on a date. "Oh, with who?", they asked. My mother said that I'd gone with Christine. They kind of looked each other and laughed. You see, there's this guy, Neil, from California staying with them who seems to be trying to date her. ~Dramatic pause~ Fortunately, he wasn't home at the time. Dixie said how they were teasing him Friday night because he was home. "Where's Christine?" they ask. "Why aren't you with her?" He didn't have a clue. She was with me. Bwah hah hah.

Seriously. Who would have guessed that one cousin would warn me of a guy trying to date my friend who lived with my other cousins? Weird!

So yeah, that's my random Mormon moment. Too many connections! Of course, Christine did say I 90% convinced her to come to BYU. Hmmmmm....

My Music Horoscope

So, I saw this on Abra's blog and figured I'd try it. Hers seemed to fit pretty well, so I figured I'd have to prove that the songs have absolutely nothing to do with anything. Besides, I have a lot of music, including religious, classical, jazz, Portuguese, popular, etc. We'll see how it goes.

On Abra's blog:

"You know the rules. Put your MP3 player, iTunes, WMP, or whatever on shuffle with all the music you own on the playlist. Press play and the first song that plays is the answer."

It's fitting, considering my previous post so why not?


1) How am I feeling today?
Make You Whole : Sonja Jenson & Joel McCausland (From the New Testament seminary CD)

2) Will I get far in life?
English Fiddler - Mrs. Marriott : Dave Swarbrick (World Naxos World 2004 Sampler)

3) How do my friends see me?
O Canada (live) : Five Iron Frenzy
This totally fits. It's Ska. And it's random Canada-ness

4) Will I get married?
Snails : The Format (from the album Dog Problems - seriously)
Sad but true.

5) What is my best friend’s theme song?
Leatherwing Bat : Tony Trischka, Pete Seeger, Bruce Molsky (from A Sound Legacy: 60 Years of Folkways Records and 20 Years of Smithsonian Folkways)

6)What is the story of my life?
Caring Hands : Felicia Day - from Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog

7) What was high school like?
Shandon Bells/Haste To The Wedding : Marty Smith (from Aurora Borealis)
More true in University, but works for high school least in Utah.

8) What’s in store for this weekend?
Long As I'm Here With You : Sheryl Lee Ralph (from the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie)

9) How is my life going?
Going Down Slow : Eric Clapton
It's funny 'cause it's true.

10) How can I get ahead in life?
Free Ride: D. Hartman

11) What’s the best thing about your friends?
When Love Comes to Town : U2

12)What song will they play at my funeral?
I'm Moving On : Rascal Flatts
Very Fitting - I'm impressed.

13) How does the world see me?
My Girl : Aerosmith Unless it's the fact that all my girls end up getting married to my friends and end up their girl.

14) Do people secretly lust for me?
Kayama : ATB
I can't even find a translation for this.

15) How can I make myself happy?
Lump : The Presidents of the United States of America

16) What should I do with my life?
Bleed America : Jimmy Eat World

17) Will I ever have children?
Goodbye Alice in Wonderland : Jewel

18) What does your mom think about you?
Lean On Me : Various A Capella

19) What is your mortal enemy’s theme song?
Natural Mystic : Bob Marley

20) What is your personality like?
All About Ruprecht : David Yazbek (from the Musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)

21) What song will be played at your wedding?
Jumptown : Steve Lucky And The Rhumba Bums (Swing Song)
Probably something like this at one point, but definitely not my song.

22)Your overall theme song?
Elephant Love Medley : Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor (from Moulin Rouge)

Well, I must say, a few actually worked. Most were way off. Insights?

Monday, December 1, 2008


So, I broke down and bought a car a few weeks ago. I am now the proud owner of a 2001 Hyundai Elantra. It was about a $1000 below Kelly Blue Book price and has 94,000 miles. I figure I can probably get another 100,000 miles out of it. It's a good little car and runs smoothly. It has brand new tires and brand new brake pads even. And a clean record.

Now, I have some wheels so I can go on dates without borrowing my mother's cars. Not that I have time these next couple of weeks...