Wednesday, December 31, 2008

holiday-time fun

brian and i had an enjoyable christmas break. last saturday, we went snowshoeing up rock canyon. it was our first time and was a lot of fun. we got a really good workout and didn't have to wear our big coats on the way up. but, as soon as we started back we had to put on our coats because all of the sudden the cold hit us. the snow and mountains were really beautiful. we even saw a mountain goat.

last sunday we made chiles en nogada, which are chiles stuffed with a pork/fruit/ spice mixture. and then they're topped with the nogada, which is a walnut/cheese/sour cream/spice/sugar sauce. then the pomogranate seeds go on top of that. brian made the nogada sauce this time and added a little extra sugar, and boy it was good. the whole dish was delicious. we've been enjoying eating that for the past few days.

on monday we went on a DI tour and hit 5 or 6 DIs in salt lake/american fork. we found some cool things and enjoyed our time rummaging through all those great DIs. one thing we found out is that books are cheaper in slc. we were at one place where the paperbacks were 3/$1. i haven't seen book prices that cheap since i used to get them for 4/$1 at the salvation army in oregon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

a good weekend and year end business

we had a very nice weekend. we saw eagle eye, which was purely entertaining. we also had our first full-blown snow storm. there's still snow lingering, although not too much now. it was pretty fun to just stay close to home and watch it fall. and, of course, it looks really nice on the mountains. saturday night we made some indonesian food (nasi goren (fried rice) and chicken rendang). it was really good. then on sunday we had some friends over who made navajo tacos. those were our first navajo tacos. if you've never had them it's worth figuring out how you can get some. the fry bread was very nice.

sunday night we decided it was time to do our year-end list of favorites. below is what we came up with.

favorite book: the thing's they carried by o'brien (norma) and the fugitive by pramoedya (brian)

favorite album: the historical conquests of josh ritter by josh ritter (norma) and give up by the postal service (brian)

favorite place: london (norma) and his office (brian--he has a great view of the mountains)

favorite food: the indonesian feast in dc (norma and brian)

favorite article of clothing: knitted orange scarf (norma) and vintage leather jacket (brian)

favorite movie: john adams (norma) and a streetcar named desire (brian)

favorite song: the greatest man that ever lived by weezer (norma) and the district sleeps tonight by the postal service (brian)

favorite fruit: zapote (norma) and peaches from my aunt/uncle's house (brian)

favorite event: obama winning (norma) and finishing his phd (brian)

Monday, December 8, 2008


so i got back from my london trip last thursday night. below are some of my thoughts about the trip and the highlights.

airports aren't super fun to hang out in (neither are airplanes). the only part though that was really bad was the 9.5 hour flight from london to atlanta. that was long.

i walked along the south bank of the thames (and some of the surrounding area). so i got to the see houses of parliment and westminster abbey again. i also enjoyed seeing the tower bridge (ie the iconic london bridge), the tate modern (they had some really great paintings there), st paul's cathedral, and the tower of london.

i got to go in and see a little of the victoria albert museum collection. mostly just their sculptures, but that was pretty cool.

i went into a couple cathedrals (which is something i always enjoy doing). i one i got to listen to a children's choir singing in latin. that was really cool. their voices sounded amazing, and they really filled the entire cathedral.

i went to camden and strolled around the markets there. i always enjoy seeing what wares are for sale.

i found my way over to harrod's and enjoyed looking at some of the store (it's really big). it's extremely posh with very expensive items (i saw the hugest diamond necklace). my favorite part was wandering through the food sections. i liked seeing what they had--fancy cheeses, exotic fruits (mangosteens that would have made brian's mouth water), ect. after wandering around for awhile i got to the exit, and was really surprised to see that they had a krispy kreme counter. i couldn't believe that they would have such a common american thing like krispy kreme donuts for sale at such a hoidy-toidy place.

on my last night i made my way over to a little indian restaurant, and enjoyed some really good saag and mango lassi. not much beats good indian food.

the rest of my time was spent with work stuff and trying to stay warm (it's cold there in the winter). i don't know if i'll ever make it back to london, but it sure is a cool city. and, even though it was cold there, december is a neat time to be there. they get really into christmas there. i was surprised at how many trees and lights there were.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

best song of the 90s

ok, so i got sucked into watching some of vh1's top 100 songs of the 90s (which is all fine except for the fact that i've already watched it--all 4 or 5 hours of it). i just can't help myself. the 90s were my decade...when i came of age. anyway, so here's a question for all of you out there who actually read this: what do you think is the best song of the 90s? if you can't think of just one, it's ok to name a few. there are so many good ones to choose from.

you can see some of the music i liked (at various stages of my life/of the 90s). i'll have to think more about what my absolute favorite song was.

Monday, November 17, 2008

how the grinch stole christmas

i love how the grinch stole christmas. it was a favorite of mine (the book and movie) when i was a kid. i can't quite put my finger on what i love so much about it...but it's just so classic. the story is absurd and fun and colorful and christmas-y.

i mentioned the other day that i love the movie. and brian, being the great guy that he is, bought the movie for me! so we watched it last night. obviously we'll have to watch it again...when we're a little closer to christmas. but it's good to start getting into the holiday spirit of things.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

it's official

i've finally found out for sure that i'll be going to london for a work conference. i know, i know, it's for work, right--but i'll take a trip to london however i can get it. i really enjoyed it when brian and i went there a few years ago. i foresee...good food (indian perhaps?) and the hustle and bustle of a wonderful city in the winter. i'll have to figure out a good london book (preferably one set in the winter) to read to get me mentally prepped. does anyone have any good suggestions?

it's a wonderful day

well last night was perfect. i'm so relieved and so excited that obama will be our next president. i don't live under the illusion that he'll be perfect or that i'll love everything he does (he's a politician afterall), but i really think he's what we need. and i think we'll finally be able to make good progress. i loved his speech last night...and i really enjoy that he calls all americans to serve and sacrifice to make this a better country. i feel like that's something we've been missing.

i am happy to say that oregon and virginia went obama's way (way to go virginia!). utah clearly didn't go for him. but we weren't the most mccain state as brian pointed out to me today. i saw that utah county only had like 18% of the voters chose obama. hmmmm.

well onto other news (although what's bigger than the election results!)'s snowing here now in earnest. i've posted some pictures. it's fun to work by the window and watch the snow. i do enjoy seeing snow. the mountains are obscured with clouds so i couldn't get a get shot of those...but you can only imagine how lovely they are.

Monday, November 3, 2008

the ups and downs of a halloween weekend

our weekend was pretty surprising. let me just jump right in...

we went and voted on friday afternoon...which was actually quite fun. it was a long line, but it moved quickly, and it feels good to vote. we then got dressed up to go to our halloween dinner party and went out. the party was nice (you can see our costumes above) and we had a good time. we left and came back home to change back into our civilian clothes and head out to the international cinema to catch the orphanage. on our way to the movie we noticed that our obama sign had been stolen from our front yard (note this is the low part of the weekend)! we were shocked and mad. no one else's political yard signs had been stolen. we were the only ones with an obama sign (the rest of them are for a republican delegate who's running). arg...i think it's so dumb to steal political yard signs. you don't see me liking all the candidates but i don't steal people's have to let people think the way they want to think. and it's sad because we had wanted to keep the sign and always remember the year that obama won (oh please please he needs to win). the only bright side after that was that the movie was scary and good.

then saturday we had a chance to go to a latino market in orem. we hadn't been there yet...and were so surprised and delighted to see that they sell mamey licuados (ie zapote batidas...the absolutely delicious smoothie-type drink we found in the dominican republic). i never thought i would see those for sell in the us. so of course we had one of those...and then we found that they sell fresh zapotes in the market there. unfortunately it's still quite cross your fingers that it will ripen up soon (the picture of the potato-like thing is the zapote).

then that night we went out to osaka with some friends...and enjoyed such a nice, cheap dinner. i haven't eaten much japanese food in my life, but the teriyaki salmon was so good. and we had such improving conversation too. it's always so nice to meet and spend time with interesting people.

then just one more thing: it rained all day sunday. that was perfectly wonderful.

Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween

one of my personal halloween traditions is to watch the thriller video. it's always fun, always creepy (vicent price has the quintessentially creepy-man voice), and the dancing's great.

brian and i are also going to party tonight. brian will be a 90s grunge boy and i'll be a 50s housewife. we'll see if we can take some pictures. i think it'll be fun. i always like getting dressed up. then we'll go see a movie at the international cinema that looks really scary to me...the orphanage. we'll see if it's really as scary as the previews made it seem.

Monday, October 27, 2008

how often do you see nb in the news?

so i noticed on cnn the other day an article about the sand dunes outside north bend. and they actually mentioned north bend! if you aren't from a small town (that isn't close to a city and isn't really known for anything) then you might not understand.

i really want to go back sometime. it's been almost 7 years since i've been there. i miss the beaches, trees, rain, and small-townness. perhaps sometime soon i'll get back...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

it's that time of year again...

when the leaves are changing, there's a crispness in the air, and it's brian's birthday!

we first celebrated brian's birthday together in 1999 when we were both at ricks college. we had only known eachother for about 3 weeks. i don't remember all the details of that day, but it was a saturday, and i know i walked up to his apartment to give him some presents.

it's hard to comprehend sometimes that we've known eachother over 9 years. it seems like a long time and a short time all at the same time. i am so glad that we are together and best friends. happy birthday brian!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

how nice is that

an old man in our neighborhood gave me a call today saying he wanted to bring over some flowers to welcome us to the neighborhood. awhile later he walked over carrying a fairly heavy bucket full of dahlias. some of the dahlia blossoms are bigger than my hand...they're huge and beautiful.

how nice is that for him to walk over and bring us such lovely flowers.

Monday, September 29, 2008

sego fest

we had been excitedly anticipating the sego fest for a few weeks (ever since i saw the first flyer) when we finished watching the presidential debate friday night we headed downtown to catch the first installment. it was a beautiful night and we got in a little dancing. the band we caught--st sebastian--was pretty good. there were some technical problems but it was fun.

on saturday we went to the rock castle amphitheater to catch the main event. they had two stages with bands playing when you didn't like the one you could check out the other. and it was fun. the music was really very good and we got in a lot of serious dancing. more dancing than we've done in a long long time. we particularly liked eden express (brians' favorite--the main guy had on angel wings and blue face paint) and the elizabethan report and shark speed (my favorites). but there were other good acts too. it was so nice to hear good local music. i hate to talk bad about cville, but this stuff was hands down better than the local acts we heard there. so, although we don't get wilco or modest mouse to come here, there's no shortage of good music.

it's such a relief to know that i can listen and dance to good music here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

T-shirt Update

I'm sure that many of you (if not all) have been agonizing over when you would hear about the natural conclusion to the narrative involving the t-shirt and the game boy. The shirt's now been delivered to my bro and being worn. You can see for yourself at a site elsewhere in the blogosphere:"

a wild and wonderful weekend

no we weren't in west virginia (unfortunately) but we did have a wild and wonderful weekend. friday night we went camping up in the mountains by springville. it was beautiful up there. we camped right along hobble creek (which will be a future fishing spot for sure). the trees were changing, the creek was great, and we saw our first belted kingfisher since arriving in utah. we also caught a garter snake, saw trout and the tracks of a moose and (we think) a coyote.

then, we finally got around to turning our flowering quinces (we have a flowering quince tree in our yard) into something useful. it turned into what i like to call spiced quince butter. it has a nice spicy, yet slightly tart flavor. a good autumn taste. this can't really replace paw paws or persimmons or cranberries, but it's something...

on sunday we also discovered what is commonly called the lawyer's wig or ink cap mushroom in our yard. they quite like our yard, and we quite like them since they're edible. we enjoyed eating them covered in garlic and curry. i didn't realize there would be so many mushrooms here, but there are quite a few varieties that we've seen just in our neighborhood. cross your fingers that we'll find more of these delectible edibles.

oh, and i can't help's now raining and gray. i love seeing, hearing, and smelling the rain. it's appealing to all of my senses.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

opening pandora's box

i just had a friend tell me about pandora (, which is a cool site that let's you select the type of music you like and then it plays you songs that fit in with your preferred style. and since most of us are a bit all over the place, musically speaking, you can set up one "radio station" or many "radio stations". so far, i've only set up one based on my love for built to spill...but i can foresee others coming soon.

check it out for yourself if you're interested.

Monday, September 8, 2008

provo's first fridays

so one cool thing that we just found out is that provo has a first fridays similar to charlottesville's. the art museums/stores in downtown provo stay open late the first friday of every month for your perusal. we enjoyed going downtown this friday and seeing the displays...we also saw a few new (new in the past five years) restaurants that seem fun. we walked inside a korean place to look at the menu and it smelled really really good. we'll definitely have to check that out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

a good family weekend

we had a nice labor day weekend. brian's mom and sister came into town. so we went all around--hiking in the canyon, eating lots of mexican/salvadorenian food, going to the latino festival, hitting ikea and the farmer's market, having a cookout in our firepit. they both got to try maple bars for the first time and loved them (they really are so good).

brian also received his phd diploma, which was fun to see. since he didn't get to have an actual graduation ceremony (since he finished in august) we had a mock one for him: we all hummed the pomp and circumstance song while brian pomped around the room. it was good fun.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

beautiful beautiful buhos

i can't believe that brian and i were just in south carolina a few months ago and we didn't know about this super cool place: we could have seen so many cool birds of prey--but especially my beloved owls! alas i don't think we'll make it there again anytime soon. but if you happen to be going down to the palmetto state i'd recommend checking this place out. and be sure to take pictures to share with me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

inside out

so finally some pics of other parts of our house...

you can see the firepit on the side of our house. we still have yet to fire it up, but i have a hunch that will happen very soon.

the other outdoor pic is actually our backyard. as you can see we don't have one. it's just a walkway flanked with trees. we love that...since it means there is less lawn to take care of. and we like those trees because you can see birds in them from time-to-time. we'll have to get a bird feeder sometime (perhaps a hummingbird feeder!).

the inside pics are of our kitchen, which is quite large (so much bigger than our condo's) and the living room fireplace.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the walkmen

i just found out about the walkmen...which is a band that's been around for a little while...but sometimes it takes me awhile. their new album is really very good (you & me). i've been listening to it for the past few days and am digging it. so if you feel so inclined i'd recommend checking it out.

Monday, August 18, 2008


well, we signed all the papers on friday and officially bought our new house! of course the bank still owns most of it, but just give us 30 years and then we'll see who owns it outright.

so, here are the highlights...

friday we signed the papers and cleaned it up a bit. we also brought over a little stuff.

saturday we got up early to get our budget moving van and then loaded all our stuff from mom's place onto the van. thankfully a few of mom's neighbors were willing to help us out. we got it all on the truck in about an hour, which isn't too shabby. brian did a great job driving the huge 24 foot-long truck to our new place. we then had some great helpers assist us in the unloading process. once we got everything in we had to do a few errands (like take the truck back to american fork), but we spent most of saturday afternoon/evening unpacking and getting settled in. brian went out and bought our new push lawn mower and moved the lawn. we--particulary brian--learned the importance of staying on top of your lawn. it's a lot easier to mow when it's not long. we finished the day very tired and very sore. i have sore muscles that i haven't felt in a really long time. some i'm sure i've never felt before.

sunday we did more settling in and went to our new ward. our building is right across the street from the temple, which seems pretty strange, but this is utah. it's a big ward, but it seems interesting and like it will work out well for us. brian even scored us an invite to a pool party/bbq tonight. after church it was more unpacking, moving furniture, ect. i'm pretty proud of our place...we've done a good job of getting things pretty set up...especially considering that we've only been there a few days. once things are in a little better shape we'll send some pictures.

so, anyway that's about it. we'll get our internet set up tomorrow so i can start working from our home, which will be nice. it wasn't super fun driving to mom's this morning. it's much nicer just to roll out of bed and jump on the computer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

chair dancing

so one thing i've found since i've shifted to working at home is that i do a whole lot more chair dancing. before, i would be at work sitting in my cube, listening to my trusty itunes and bopping a bit...but now there really isn't any need for restraint. no one will look at me and think i'm weird.

although the chair is a little restrictive, i can still move pretty well. so just chalk this up as another benefit to working at home.

in case you want to know some of the songs i really got down to this morning, they are "upon this tidal wave of young blood" by clap your hands say yeah and "mansford roof" by vampire weekend.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

it's official...we're getting a house!

we arrived in utah on july 6th and have worked dilligently since then to find the right house for us. we were really quite picky. below are some of the things we wanted.

* to live within 3 miles of campus.
* a slightly older home that had some funky element.
* a place with a small yard.
* a 4 bedroom/3 bathroom house.

with that in mind, we put in an offer on a really funky house--but that offer was rejected. we then decided to put in an offer on a place (actually the house that was brian's first choice when we moved to utah), and it wasn't rejected! it really meet most everything we wanted, and there are a few bonuses (it has a firepit in the backyard, it has a basement apartment we can rent out, and it is only a 12-minute walk to brian's office).

so after going back and forth with the seller for a few weeks on price and other issues...we finally have it under contract and are excited about it. we hope to close on friday the 15th and then start moving in on the 16th. in this buying process, we discovered a few things.

* it really helps to have a good agent. thanks peter!
* it's good to know what you want.
* nothing beats buying a place from a contractor. our seller is so handy. he replaced the family room asbestos ceiling in 1/2 a day. he's replaced all the showers in the house, he replaced the roof, ect, ect.

without further adieu, below are some pics (the second is the view of the mountains from our place). we'll send more once we're in. yea!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

So blessed, seriously.

We were so blessed to have had so many excellent suggestions on the gift we're preparing for my youngest brother. Seriously, we wish we had found a dozen VIP BUDDY shirts so we could have implemented each and every thought-provoking suggestion.

But alas it's only one shirt, and tonight when we got home we were feeling very decisive. One thing we decided in our fit of decisiveness: to take advantage of the fact that the word VIP is contained in the word MR.

Behold, Mister Buddy, your Mr Buddy shirt.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Darson Robellier

Recently a high schooler from Canada has called this youtube channel an undiscovered treasure. If I didn't know better, I'd think the guy who makes these videos might be the son or nephew of Marty Stouffer (of Wild America fame):


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Help! Your Input Needed

Years ago, now, my youngest brother and I started calling each other "Buddy." This moniker turned into "Mister Buddy." And the intonation we use while calling each other "Mister Buddy": that of an overly pious church man.

This history becomes relevant because last night at the DI, N and I found a shirt that says "VIP Buddy" on the front of it and "For Love of the Game on the Back." Given his nickname, this shirt seemed like a likely present for my youngest brother. So we bought it.

On the way home, we decided that the front of the shirt seemed immediatly relevant. But the back--"For Love of the Game"--seemed like a non-sequiter. After all, my youngest brother doesn't like sports. But, we remembered, he does like video games--a lot. So we decided that before giving the shirt to my brother, we could use a permanent marker to alter the back of the shirt so it says one of the following two phrases: 1) "For Love of the Video Game" or 2) "For Love of the Gameboy."

But we can't decide on which phrase to use and we need the help of our Gentle Readers, whether they happen to know my youngest brother or not. We're looking for campy, Gentle Readers. What seems more campy to you?

Friday, August 1, 2008

oh those summer fruits

i had a honeydew this morning--and it was so good. one of my favorite things about summer is the amazing fresh fruit you can get (not to mention the vegetables). but i have to say i'm especially partial to fruit.

the first time i had a honeydew i thought it was disgusting--but i think it must have been really over ripe. anyway now i think they're just heavenly. and they're so unassuming from the outside--they don't have that immediate zing that a pineapple or mango has.

if you haven't had one in a while i would strongly recommend that you pick one up.