Wednesday, December 10, 2008

me so lame

So, i have yet to post an update to our trip...several of you (laura!) have pointed this out - i know - i know...i will get my pics organzied and up soon, i hope - but can't promise...

In the meantime, please enjoy a couple of new quotes from my kids...man, they are classic...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big 4.0 v 1

Well, we are on a bus heading for Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace) and it has already been quite the crazy adventure.  Our original plan was to land at Gatwick airport and head right up to Stratford, but while at the airport in Atlanta Lissette went to take a picture of something cool at the airport using our brand new Nikon D90 camera (woo hoo!) and it wouldn't turn on.  After some detective work we realized there wasn't a battery in it.  I'd put it on the charger the night before and it didn't get packed.

So, I sat down at the airport and looked online for a Nikon camera shop in London.  I found one that seemed like it would work, so we made note of the address and boarded the plane.

I normally LOVE flying and stock up on books, music, laptop and magazines - not to mention munchies and soda.  But, for the flight to London I was exhausted because i'd been up until 4:00 am Thursday and Friday night and Saturday night before our flight i didn't go to bed at all, but stayed at the office all night working.  Needless to say, i was beat!  The first leg, from SLC to Atlanta was fully booked and Lissette and I didn't get to sit together.  I took 14th, 3rd and then 1st place in the in-flight trivia game against other people on the plane before going into retirement :-)  Then the lady next to me spilled her water all over her and me (mostly soaking my butt)...thankfully it was just water.

So, the flight to London I was absolutely hammered, but wanted to watch Arrested Development with Lissette.  I brought season 2 with us, but couldn't make it through very many episodes (i kept nodding off), so i tried to sleep in the seats and it was the worst!  So, i laid on the floor and slept quite fitfully, dreaming people were just about to step on my feet, or worse, my head.

The original plan, as I said, was to just go to Stratford from the airport.  But because we had to buy a new battery and charger we needed to go into London.  So, we bought train tickets for the trip (80 bucks!) an umbrella since it was pouring (26 bucks!), stored our luggage at the train station (40 bucks!)  and then took a taxi to the shop (10 bucks, but the highlight of the day...they are so cool inside and why the rest of the "civilized" world hasn't caught on to having a ton of room inside a taxi is beyond me)...then we bought the battery (100 bucks!) and a charger (60 bucks!) and realized we had to wait until 6:30 for our Stratford bus, basically spending the whole day and 316 bucks!  We shan't forget our charger again, I'm sure of that!

We went to an excellent little Cafe and got the best Hot Chocolate I've ever had and some Tiramisu (that was pretty bad) and a little caramel cookie. I was still exhausted, having only slept on and off for a couple of hours, so we moved from our table to a leather couch and i laid back to rest.  I was OUT - sleeping for about an hour while Lissette read her new birthday book from Troy and Daph (The Poisonwood Bible)...so far she is loving it.  We then went to buy tickets to Paris for Wednesday on the Chunnel (train that goes under the English Channel.)

We had to RUN for our bus with all of our luggage since it took longer than expected to get the tickets in another part of town.  We are now on the bus and Lissette is out cold next to me and i'm still pretty beat!  But, we are so excited to be here.  We REALLY  miss our children though and I can't wait to send them an e-mail when we get there (if they have, as Lissette call's it "Wii-Fee" :-)  So cute!

I'm SO excited to be here, even after the detour and not having showered for over 30 hours...man, i stink!  But, this is going to be such an amazing trip - no matter what happens.

To explain the title and for those of you that don't know what we are doing here - Lissette and I are going to London and Paris for my 40th birthday present.  I love being married to Lissette and the fact that I met her while traveling through Asia was the perfect way to meet.  We both have such a love of travel (or as Tristan calls it, "field trips") and will save whatever money we can to take trips (but most of the time it fills up our credit cards).  We love traveling with our children, but there is something about going just the two of us that really "cleanses" ourselves.  I love the fact that our hobby is traveling and, although there are many less expensive hobbies to be sure, nothing brings more joy into our lives then visiting this amazing world God has created for us.  We are so blessed in our life with our family, health and job.  To be able to travel to the places we go is such an incredible blessing in and of itself, that I look at a day like today, where things didn't go anywhere near as planned, and think - who cares, I'm having a blast!  Every second is an adventure.  We have several things planned for the next two weeks and can't wait to see what going from point A to point B brings.  It isn't always the destination (a play, for example) that is the most memorable time of the day - but it might be getting lost along the way that could change you, your life and your thoughts as you look at the world - and that's the beauty of traveling.  That is why we weren't upset at having to detour through London - we were on an adventure, no matter where it took us.

London 001

Here is a shot Lissette took of the Hot Chocolate...i could go for some right now -i'm so hungry and should be sleeping right now!

 

London 004

Here is a shot looking out the Cafe window.  One Londoner apologized for the weather being so bad (isn't London historically known for being cold, wet and foggy? :-)   I told her I grew up in a state that rained a lot (Oregon) and I loved the weather.  She looked at me like I was a bit cracked...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Love of music / Love of Sigur Ros

Not sure if I've mentioned this in a previous post, but I LOVE MUSIC!  I can remember, as a child, running home from elementary school to listen to music, going to my room after dinner to listen to music and listening to music to go to sleep.  Going to sleep to music wasn't easy in the 70's, since I didn't have an iPod clock radio (like I do now).  So, i started with a black portable radio/tape player with one speaker and i would put it under my pillow at night to sleep to.  This was a bit difficult, because it wasn't small, so my head was at an angle - but i was in music heaven!  I eventually took it apart and rigged it so i could wire the speaker into a large home stereo speaker i got from somewhere and it would sound pretty good cranked up!  I spent many a night listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, etc...i was in elementary school, so this was the mid 70's...

Well, as i grew up I also found more and more bands I loved.  I would call the local radio station every day and request songs and then listen to the radio for hours hoping they would play what I requested.  They rarely did, because even then I had a little bit of a different taste in music and I loved what wasn't always mainstream.  I should post a "Found Memory" about the time I took the Pink Floyd 7" single "Another Brick in the Wall" to my 5th grade choir class in '79.  I asked the teacher to play the flip-side ("One of My Turns") instead of the A side which was on the radio every hour of every day.  It was music sharing day and everyone had brought something to play.  The class knew I brought Pink Floyd and were pretty upset I didn't want her to play the song on the radio, but I wanted to play the other side.  I remember thinking, "this is such a good song - they should all hear it".  Well, after about 30 seconds they started complaining and I finally lost hope of turning them on to anything and told the teacher to flip it over, mumbling to myself only loud enough for the teacher to hear, "let them hear the same song they've heard 100 times".

When I was about 12 I asked my brother Price if I could go with him to a youth church dance.  He DJ'd them and I wanted to help.  He let me come and I helped him carry things and setup (as much as a 12 year old could).  I was completely and totally hypnotized watching him play songs and seeing people dance to what he chose.  Watching, I knew that is what I wanted to do when I got older.  Price (being the cool brother that he is) asked me if i wanted to play the last song so he could go out and dance.  This meant I would be doing a "segue" which is tying 2 songs together without a break.  I was so nervous, but because i'd watched him all night I knew I could do it.  I remember my palms were all sweaty as i put the needle on the other album and held it - waiting for the end of the first one.  I let the 2nd one go, slid the volume from one to the other and it was perfect!  I was so excited i hadn't messed up and when I looked up and saw Price watching me he was smiling and gave me the thumbs up.  Like I said - I was hooked.

When I was 15 I was approached by a mobile DJ company to join them as one of their 2 DJ's.  It was the beginning of my DJ "career" which spanned 3 states, 2 Radio Stations, countless clubs, weddings, parties and 10 years of my life.  I loved almost all of it (except for having to play what other people wanted at dances - I still hadn't changed from being a child in choir class).  I was a Program Director for 2 different radio stations (one of them, KUNV, was the #1 College Radio station in the country while I was there as the Assistant Music Director).

So, flash forward to now (trust me - i could go on and on) and to what I experienced last weekend.  Lissette and I went to see one of the best concerts i've seen in my life.  I've never counted how many concerts I've seen, but I'd have to say I've seen several hundred bands live.  I also had the privilege of interviewing many of them on the radio as well as for local entertainment magazines, introducing them onstage before shows, partying with them, etc.

So, what made this concert so amazing?  First off, it is a band I have such a deep love for it is almost on a different plane then the other music I listen to.  They are called Sigur Ros.  Their music is completely indescribable (trust me, I tried to explain their sound to Dusty the other day and failed miserably.  I made them sound like a heavenly choir with guitars - which they aren't :-).  Their music is lifting, moving, powerful.  They are from Iceland and the lead singer sings mostly in falsetto.  Words do not do them justice.  I've loved this band for many years and have always dreamed of seeing them live.  We even planned a cruise to Iceland for our 10 year wedding anniversary 2 years ago, so we could see them, but ended up changing it to a Scandinavian Cruise when we couldn't find a good route to Reykjavik.  But each time they toured near me it didn't "line up" with when I was in town.  Well, this time it did...all i can say is - WOW!

The show was at a very cool venue called Saltair which has quite the history (built in 1893, destroyed by fire twice, etc.) and well worth the read...here is a pic of the "3rd" version of the place.

Saltair

The Saltair - the venue for the Sigur Ros show

It was a great place to see the show and out in the middle of nowhere.  We wanted to arrive early cause I really wanted to either be right up front or in a place to see the band really well.  I'd never seen a show in this venue, so i didn't know what the place would be like.

Our great friend Jackie was good enough to watch our kids so we could go and we headed up to the place, but because we also wanted to eat somewhere nice without the kids (Cheesecake Factory - yummmm) and with driving, etc. we didn't get there as early as i would have liked.  We were still early, but there were already a couple hundred people when we arrived.  Right as we walked in we realized we wouldn't be very close to the stage and started looking around for a place to see them well.  We noticed some box area's upstairs to the left of the stage that looked empty, so we went to the stairs and met the "bouncer" guy.  He said they were the VIP boxes and they normally went for $300+ a concert, but since they didn't sell out for this show he'd let us go up for $25 each.  We jumped on it (since the show was only $25 to begin with and this is one of our favorite bands - $50 for a show seemed just fine to us) and we went up to look at the room.  There wasn't anyone in the box and one corner had a perfect view of the stage.  The guy said there was someone that paid in full for the box, but that he didn't want to be in there with his girlfriend all alone and to get more people in there that would enjoy it.  So, we had our good seating and were ready.

The opening band was Parachutes, whom i LOVE and they are also from Iceland.  They sound VERY similar to Sigur Ros and there were 7 of them on stage making very cool music.  Some of them looked very very young.  Lissette pointed out that none of them were wearing shoes :-)

After they left the stage we got a call from our friend Wayne and Lissette went out to the hall to talk to him.  She looked out the window over the parking lot while talking to him and saw 3 members of Parachutes riding these cool looking, funky bikes around the parking lot - FUN!

Eventually Sigur Ros came on stage.  The show was incredible.  Our view was excellent and the music was overwhelming.  I texted my brother Eric (which i do from any concert i'm at) and told him i was in music heaven.  He told me he'd seen them the night before at Red Rocks in Colorado and that I would be blown away by the last song.  I thought he meant the last song where Parachutes joined them on stage all beating drums for a rendition of "Gobbledigook" - which was AMAZING...but, he said, "no - after the encore - you will be blown away"...

So, after they left the stage for about 3 minutes they came back and played 2 more songs...the last song was about 15 minutes and was extremely hypnotic, powerful, overwhelming and left me completely speechless...I can't describe it very well...if you know their music, you have some idea - but I know their music and I still wasn't prepared for how amazing it was...

After they left the stage it was still deafening from everyone screaming and cheering.  The band came out and did something I've never seen from my 100's of shows.  They lined up at the edge of the stage and waved at all of us, mouthing "thank you" and they looked genuinely touched.  Then they locked arms, bowed, and waved some more (even waved at me up high in my perch)...they eventually left and that was the show.

Here are a few pics from my crappy phone...below those I've also posted a few songs for you to get a feel for what their music is like.  Feel free to listen to it, love it.

Parachutes

Opening band Parachutes - a little blurry, but you get the idea...

sigur ros 1

Even though my camera on my phone SUCKS, this one turned out really cool in an "artistic" sort of way.  The lead singer Jónsi (bent over in the middle) played his guitar with a bow-string for much of the show.  The drummer (Ágúst) was wearing a crown.

sigur ros 2

Here is another shot.  I didn't alter either of these in Photoshop or anything like that.  I believe the color difference had to do with the lighting.  Both are very cool i think.  You can see the stage is COVERED with confetti.  This song was the final song of the night, but during the final song of the main set they had the girl members of Parachutes shooting confetti cannons into the crowd and tons of it was blowing out from the sides and dropping from the ceiling.  people were COVERED by it.

confetti

Here is a shot of the confetti dropping from the ceiling, being shot out by the band and other cannons.  You can't even see the band or crowd through it.

confetti 2

Here is another pic from earlier in the show when it just dropped from the ceiling.  Not nearly as much as they shot out later, but people were going pretty crazy.  This is from a different angle in the box we were in, so you can see the massive speakers in the way.

sigur ros 3

Here is another shot of the band where you can see the front of the crowd as well as some people up in the other balcony.  That side was the "bar" side and was already packed when we got there.

crowd

Here is a shot of the crowd.  It took several tries to get this because the lights were flashing and I had to get it timed perfectly.  This is only about 1/2 of the people that were there...

 

Here are some MP3's of the band.  If you love, buy an album...if you don't, delete them from your computer...you just gotta crank them up and enjoy them...this is my way of playing "DJ" from my chair and trying to get some of that feeling back when I couldn't turn my 5th grade class onto the B-Side of a Pink Floyd 7"...

SONG

ALBUM

Gobbledigook.mp3

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

Glósóli.mp3

Takk...

Við spilum endalaust.mp3

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

Sæglópur.mp3

Takk...

Svefn-g-englar.mp3

Ágætis Byrjun

Popplagið.mp3

( )

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Running @ 1/4 power

My desktop died last week!  It has taken me a while to get it going again, and I'm just working on my little ol' laptop and after having a desktop connected to 4 (!) monitors i feel like I'm running at 1/4 speed!  Here are "before and after" pics of what I'm used to and what I'm using now...

4
Here is what I'm used to using - 4 monitors on one computer

1
Here is what I've been using - one monitor on my laptop...ah, poor me :-)

I get my system back on Wednesday, so I'll be back to full speed by weeks end...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quote Props to Jackie!

I just wanted to give "props" to Jackie for giving me the idea of putting quotes on the right hand side of my blog. Her quotes are the best! And because i love Jackie, i want to be just like her :-)

Hence, my cool quotes!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Found Memory #2

Incase you don't know what Found Memory is, please see my previous post (Found Memory #1).  I will eventually move these to a site I'm setting up called, "FoundMemory.Com" - so everyone can post to it, but in the meantime - here is my next Found Memory:

Found Memory #2: Leathernose...

We  moved to  Oregon from  California  when I was 8. Each year we would drive back to California to visit my grandparents and while visiting we would go to their church. There was a girl at their church that I had a little crush on and for some reason could never bring myself to talk to her. I just admired her from afar.


When I turned 14 my friend Jeff Bennett invited me to spend a week with him and his parents in Hawaii. I spent every waking minute outside in the sun, so when I got back I was very tan.


Right after I returned from Hawaii we went to California to visit my Grandparents and I decided on the drive down that I was going to finally talk to that girl. I felt older and more mature, having been to Hawaii without my family, and knew I was ready. So, we got to church and the first part of church is Sacrament, which lasts an hour, and then Sunday School. I was waiting for Sunday School because we would both be in the same class. 


During Sacrament I could see her a few pews in front of me and I started getting nervous.  She really was very cute.  About 15 minutes before the end of Sacrament I went to the bathroom.  When I walked in and looked at myself in the mirror I knew I couldn't talk to her that day.


While I was waiting for Sacrament to be over I must have been picking the dead skin off my nose.  In the bathroom I noticed what looked like a lepers nose on my face.  I had peeled off huge chunks of very thick dead skin and underneath it was very soft, red and shiny.  The parts I hadn't peeled off yet were really dark brown and leathery looking.  I tried to peel off the rest of it, but some of it wasn't ready to be peeled off and parts started to bleed.  I stopped trying, put tissue on my nose to quell the bleeding and figured it was hopeless.


I walked out of the bathroom just after Sacrament finished and walked right into her!  She was coming out of the chapel right when I turned the corner.  She just smiled at me, said "hi" and went around me.


I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything back, I was in such a state of shock as she walked away.  I never did talk to her that day and I never saw her again.

Found Memory #1

I was thinking today about how my life (like I'm sure most of everyone's) is filled with "found memories"...those times when we had something good, bad, crazy happen and then we forgot about them until later in life...or, cool stories we haven't really told everyone...or not cool, but interesting.  You get the idea.

So, I've decided to throw in a little bit of a regular posting.  I shall call it "Found Memories" and add a numerical value to it making it that much more official.  Ah, what fun we shall have...in fact, i like the name so much i just registered foundMemory.com so i could use it in the future as its own website playground of Found Memories (hmmm, maybe i should register foundMemories.com as well?)...wow, first post and i've already gone overboard - that isn't like me at all!

So, here it is...

FOUND MEMORY #1: Supermarket BAM!

I'm  about  5 years old  and playing  "tag" in the super-market with Scottie.  My mom watches Scottie during the day and he and I find ourselves getting into trouble quite a bit.  So, we are playing a combination of "tag" and "hide and seek" all over the store while my mom shopped.  I was in isle 4a (I'm making that part up, but it will help progress the story if I have an isle number) and I had just tagged Scotty next to the spaghetti sauce.  I remember laughing and RUNNING away from him up the isle towards the milk and then turning the corner and heading down isle 5a.  I was looking behind me the whole time for him trying not to get touched and just as I turned around to see where i was going...


BAM


I ran full force into a shopping cart coming the other way, which laid me out flat.  The next thing I remember was being in the car with someone holding a towel over my forehead going to the hospital.  I don't think I blacked out or anything, but I don't remember my mom getting a towel from the manager, blood on the isle or getting into the car or any of that.


So, 5 stitches later I was back home playing with Scottie and all was well.


Oh, and the lady pushing the cart that knocked me flat and split open my forehead creating a scar still visible to this day?  That was none other than my mom.  Small world.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FINALLY...MY SHAKESPEAREAN POST ARRIVETH!

So, i find myself doing exactly what I told myself not to do...don't let yourself make excuses for not having time to post!  I've probably been more busy at work during this time of my Pro Look career than at any time before...there are several reasons for this which I wont bore you with the details, but needless to say if I'm not here at the office working late I'm at home working or trying to be a good husband/father and couch potato...the couch usually doesn't get me until late which means I'm watching something late which means I'm going to bed late which means I'm tired when I come in and start the process all over again!

SO, I saw that my last post was before our Shakespeare trip and realized I have the pictures here and throwing them up with some witty prose shouldn't take any time at all!  Alas, my witty prose isn't quite witty enough for me, but I must move on!

So, our trip...we had such high expectations of this trip.  Lissette and I have been going to the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City for nigh unto a quarter score of years and have always looked forward to it.  We did take the kids once about 3 years ago and it wasn't bad, but we do like when it is just us two (Bed and Breakfast and all)...

Well, this year we are going to London and France for my 40th birthday in November, and felt that we should take the kids to the festival since we weren't going to Mazatlan this year and haven't had a trip with them other than Colorado.

We bought our tickets last year for this years plays (you get better seats that way :-) and we had 3 plays lined up.  "Fiddler on the Roof", "Othello" and "The School for Wives".  We talked about it and thought it would be fun to have me take Paris to Fiddler (Tristan was too young) and Lissette would stay with the other two that night.

So, it started out that way.  I took Paris to Fiddler and we had the perfect night.  Paris was SO CUTE and was so excited to go.  I had bought her the music for her iPod before the play and told her to "memorize" the songs.  I am a FIRM believer that if you know the music in a play/concert it will be 500 times better.  Well, she took it literally and listened to the songs almost every waking minute before the play.  Her, Tristan and Esher all sang the songs together on the way down to Cedar.

We got to the theater and I walked her to our seats.  She was SO EXCITED that we were front row in the center.  The seats were amazing and when it started I kept sneaking glances at her.  She was so focused on what was going on and then during the songs she was singing along!  At one point during Matchmaker she turned to me and said, "Dad, she sang that part backwards.  It is supposed to be 'no dowry, no money, no family background' and she sang 'no money, no dowry, no family background' which is backwards."  After giggling at her enthusiasm (and trying to shush her for "whispering" so loud), she put her head on my shoulder and said, "Dad, I don't want this to end.  I'm having too much fun."  I felt EXACTLY the same way.

Our Night Out

Here we are before leaving.   I am a very lucky father!

To top it off, the play was INCREDIBLE!  I can't say enough about that production.  Acting: Superb. Direction: Superb. Set: Superb.  It was easily one of the best plays I've ever seen (not just at the festival, but of any stage production.)  It doesn't hurt that song for song it has the BEST music of any musical I can think of.  Every single song is perfect.

It really was the perfect evening.  But, that is where the "perfect" left our trip unfortunately.  When I got back to the room it was quite late and we went to bed shortly after that.  When we woke up Tristan had a fever and was nauseous. So, we decided to trade in the "Othello" tickets the next day and Lissette would take Paris to see "School for Wives" that night, while I stayed with the kids.  Well, Paris ended up being a TOTAL BUGGER that whole day.  She was acting very selfish, whiny and ungrateful after having such a wonderful night with me the night before and a potential wonderful night with her mom ahead of her.  So, I took back the other tickets and traded them in for next year and Lissette stayed "home" with us.

Did I mention "home" was the worst hotel I've stayed at since my honeymoon?  Our honeymoon hotel had a shattered door frame (from what looked like intruders kicking at the deadbolt) and blood stains on the frame and carpet, so it would be hard to be worse than that place.  But, this place took second for sure.  They had a "pool", so the next day when Tristan's fever was under Advil control, we went swimming.  After about 10 minutes all of our eyes were burning and it was very hard to breath.  It was a horrible mixture of water/chlorine.  Then the sun block Lissette brought but had never used caused a skin irritation of rash/itching to us.  Lissette, sadly, got it the worse on her face.

Then, to finish our "perfect" trip Esher caught the Tristan bug and threw up in our new car on the way home.  Poor guy threw up 5 times on the way home and once he didn't hit the bag but spewed on the seat.

We did take pictures of the fun times though just so when we get old and our memory goes we can look back and truly believe it was the perfect trip :-)

 Top Spot

If you have ever lived in Cedar, you will appreciate this picture.  If you haven't, let me assure you those that have will be drooling right about now.  Best sandwich this side of the Sandwich Islands (of course I'm talking about the Crews Creation).  It also has the BEST Vanilla Dr. Pepper this side of Dublin, Texas.  The place is called Top Spot and I ate there 4 times in 3 days.

 

Daddy Game Wizard

Besides good sandwiches and vanilla Dr. Pepper, i was able to teach my kids the fine art of "big" video games (not XBox, Wii type of games, but the actual large console).  I LOVE Tristan face in this picture.  By the look of her face apparently I'm "kicking ass" :-).

Candy Claw

The kids decided that the "Candy Claw" machine was more their speed.  I didn't mind them playing it because it kept grabbing at candy and dropping until you got something (unlike the "other" claw machine that is evil...see previous post.)

 

Tristan Monkey

Tristan was so cute...she is collecting these little tiny "monkeys" and wanted to buy so many of them.  When she was sick i bought her a few so she could try and complete her collection.  She kept getting the same ones over and over again, but was still all smiles.

esher and tristan playing

Here are Tristan and Esher playing Candyland with mommy while Daddy and Paris were at the play.  Esher picked up the best card in the pile his first card and ended up winning after 2 more moves.  I'm taking this kid to Vegas!

summer_2008 045 

Even though we canceled the other two plays, we still took them to the Green Show which was a fun performance before each play.

summer_2008 025

Here is one of the "wenches" before the show.  She was walking around, speaking in this terribly fake English accent and trying to sell candies.  She really was quite outgoing and I appreciated that she wasn't afraid to yell out at people.  We bought suckers for the kids and laughed at her mildly funny jokes :-)

summer_2008 026

Our really good friends Brent and Tammy Christensen just happened to be there that weekend as well, so we turned them on to Top Spot and hung with them at the Green Show.

summer_2008 027

Another Green Show group pic so Tammy can save them both after reading this.

summer_2008 053

After the Green Show we kicked it on the lawn and played Sorry.  Tristan didn't play because she wasn't feeling well and eventually fell asleep on my shoulder.  I love carrying that girl (not just because she is SO LITE but because she knows how to snuggle up against my neck.)

On our way back to the cars the kids climbed up this little entrance way to one of the buildings.  I love that they love to climb.  My mom, on that other hand, would be DYING right about now.

summer_2008 070

Speaking of climbing :-)  The last day we took a drive up to Cedar Breaks.  Even though Tristan wasn't quite done being sick, Esher was starting his illness and Paris was still being a MAJOR BUGGER, I didn't want it to ruin the whole trip :-)  So, here is a shot of the girls on the sign.

summer_2008 064 

Across the road from the sign was this AMAZING field of flowers.  Lissette wanted to get a pic and here you go.

summer_2008 065

And another...

summer_2008 068

And one of the whole Fam Damnly (as my dad says)

summer_2008 090

And one of our little "flower girl" after Lissette adorned her head with some of them.  This picture is SO STINKING CUTE.  That girl is absolutely gorgeous and totally photogenic.  Yes, I am bias - sue me!  I must not be alone because everybody that walked past her with the flowers in her hair kept stopping, telling her how cute she was and giggling with her.

summer_2008 092

Here we are at the canyon.   All the way up to the canyon I kept telling the kids how amazing and fun it was.  Cedar Breaks is pretty overwhelming. But, that didn't stop Tristan from asking, "is this it?  is this the fun?"  Esher had to parrot her like he is want to do.

summer_2008 074

A shot of the canyon.  Hard to tell how deep it is from here but take my word for it - it is deeeep.

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one more shot of the canyon.  I was going to put a picture of Esher's pile of puke which was 10 feet from where I'm standing, but decided you didn't need that visual and this was much more apropos.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

China!

I really have fallen behind with my posting and this one will be VERY brief because I'm trying to get things together here before going to Cedar City for our annual trip to the Shakespearean Festival.


So, i just wanted to QUICKLY (nowhere near my long prose) say how much i've LOVED watching the Olympics. I was up working on a computer last night until 4:00 am and didn't realize what time it was because I was watching the games.


I am especially excited because it is in China and Lissette and I LOVE China (we even named Tristan after a city in China - her middle name is Xian which is where the Terracotta Army was found). We've been there several times and really enjoy the culture, country and food. The people were wonderful and we were planning on going to the games but things didn't work out. After watching the Opening Ceremonies we were pretty bummed we didn't make a bigger effort.


I know there is some controversy because of China's human rights history and i'm not excusing that at all. We aren't perfect here in the "Promise Land" either. No country is perfect (although Brunei comes close :-), but knowing there are 1.3 billion people that are just trying to live and survive and only a very very very small fraction of those are the leaders who've made some horrible decisions (read Wild Swans - one of my favorite books - for an overview of 20th century Chinese History and Mao's government), makes me wish more people would go and visit this amazing land to meet the rest of the 1.3 billion and find that common ground.


Well, a little longer than I'd thought at the beginning, but NO WHERE NEAR what I really want to say about China. I absolutely love that country! And, i'm SO EXCITED that they got the Olympics and hopefully are showing people what a great land and culture they are.

For those of you that missed the opening ceremony i'd try and find someone that has it in High Def (come on over anytime to watch it at my place)...if you can't, then here are some highlights to show you how cool it was...these little videos don't really even come close to doing it justice, but they do show you some of the coolness of it...

These videos will probably stop working in a while. I searched for the Opening Ceremony and found a TON of them that were taken down. I was surprised to even find these...enjoy!




Man, i really wanted to be there...100 degrees and all!




Not sure how different this one is...it is hard for me to watch this small - sorry...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Old friends and losing touch

UPDATE: Thee wrote to me, so i have her information...i love this blog :-)

As against social sites as I've been in the past (HATED MySpace for the longest time - even after having my own page and junk), I've really enjoyed keeping up on everyone's lives and putting my thoughts and pics up for all to see. I'll still have a small part of my heart loathing the whole MySpace experience but that is probably because i'm too old for the kid look of it (although i did get to reunite with some great old friends on it because i have an account), but I've been really grooving on this blogging thing (still not enough pictures for my woman, but what can I do - i like to type and can pretty much type like the wind at around 100 WPM)...

This blog has totally paid off this past week since i got a comment from an old friend that i completely lost touch with. I'm a bit sad she didn't leave me any contact info and this post is partially to let her know that I'd like her to leave a comment with her e-mail address (don't worry, I'll delete it after i save it so it wont be there for all to see for too long :)

Her name is Kathy, but i always called her Thee...we were amazing friends for a VERY short time in Vegas...I had just returned from my mission and met her at a singles dance. I was instantly drawn to her because she reminded me of my friends from High School...you know the type - they look like they have the Cure going through their head on repeat, got the eyeliner on dark and the clothes even darker...her hair was dyed and she was wearing the coolest clothes, boots and i believe a hat - but I could be miss-remembering that one....This was in 1990, so she was pretty much the only person there that looked like that and it still wasn't a common look in those days, no matter how much my small circle of friends tried to show everyone how cool it looked :-) So, i went up to her and started chatting with her and we ended up hanging out a ton after that, up until she went back to Oregon. We went to the very first Lollapalooza in Arizona, road tripped to Provo and just hung out listening to good music and talking about good music...we were really close to Wayne and Ann from Vegas as well and i have great memories of that time. I even went to Oregon a couple of times to visit her after she moved back home.

So, I am glad she got a hold of me again because I've always felt a bit sad at the way we lost touch. I was not a very good friend to her the last few times we talked, and i've always felt bad about that. She was going through some difficult times and I dropped my end of the friendship relay baton. Lissette and I drove up the Oregon Coast and into Portland on a road trip before we had Paris and I called her (the last time we talked), but didn't end up going to see her. I've always felt pretty bad about that and wish I'd gone to see her and kept in touch with her.

So, I'm glad she wrote to me and I'm hoping she reads this and gets me her info...that would be great, but if not just knowing she she read my blog once makes me glad i have it...

Rock on Thee...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sundance in the Summer

We decided to try and escape some of the heat and grabbed the Pro Look Sundance passes and headed up the canyon. I was bummed it wasn't as cool as I'd been envisioning, but it was cooler than the 100+ (according to our car thermostat)...

So, we jumped on the Ski Lift and took it as far as we could. The back lift wasn't open, so we just went to the 2nd stop. We had about an hour to hike around, so we looked to the right and realized there was a little "peak" we could climb...we started up one trail that was way too steep (i was slipping) and chose the other (what would Robert Frost say???)

I gotta say, i'm FAT...i was dying on the climb...what was cute was each of the kids had their own unique style of climbing...Tristan was very cautious and worried about bee's (she got stung a few months ago and she thinks bee's are looking for her everywhere)...Paris was in the middle and pointed out steps for us and telling me, "dad - you are doing great...just a little further"...man, i gotta get in shape...Esher was the cutest - he was in front and talked the WHOLE TIME...he kept saying, "it is this way to the top...here we go...we are almost there...oh wait, here is another path...ok, lets go this way..." He didn't stop talking the whole time...SO CUTE...

We'd planned on eating sandwiches lissette made once we reached the top, but we didn't have much time (the lift stops at 7:00) so we grabbed some pics and headed down...when we met the path choices (easy or hard) i wanted to take the easy because i was slipping down the hard part on the way up...but, i was out ruled (who said a family was a Democracy? :-) So, we started down the steep part and the kids slid on their behinds most the way...Lissette and I laughed at them in between our falls...

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On the way up...3 cuties and moi

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Top of the lift before the hike...

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Little Esher showing us the way...our fearless leader!

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Here he is (mid-sentence) talking about the path and how far we have left to go...so cute!

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We've reached the top (esher, paris and tristan)

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The kids sliding down on their backsides...

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Sandwiches on the way back down (tristan, paris, esher and my love)

Friday, July 25, 2008

9 Stitches - 2 Weeks later

I'm pretty amazed at how my eye has healed.  Here is a picture of exactly 2 weeks later.  I've been putting Vitamin E on it every morning and night and it seems to be helping a lot.  Plus, the doctor the sewed me up did a great job (but the girl that unstitched it did a HORRIBLE job - it was bleeding when she was done taking out the stitches)...check it out!

scar

Is it just me or do can you count 3 chins too?  Oh, yeah - the scar is pretty small, no?

scar close up

Even close up you can tell it is getting better faster than I would have guessed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Daddy Daughter Work Day

This morning as I was leaving for work I heard crying downstairs. I could tell it was Paris, but had no idea where it was coming from. So, I ran downstairs to find her and heard it coming from the garage. I went to open the garage door, thought it was strange that it was locked, and once it was open she shot into my arms balling. I asked her how she got there and she said, "I came downstairs to surprise you. I set my iPod alarm to get up and I came down here to make a sandwich and get in your car to go to work with you. I played around for a while waiting, but then you didn't come and I locked the door to make it more realistic when you came out and I couldn't get back into the house and I didn't know if you were coming."

My heart broke! Of course I HAD to take her to work with me after all of that (she had packed a lunch, books to read and paper/pencils to draw with in a backpack). So, she is here with me this morning and her first question when we got here was if I minded that she eat her sandwich before lunch since she was starved. I told her I would take her out to lunch, so go ahead and eat it.

Then she asked if she could take out the Garbage :-) A few months ago Paris got in trouble at a play (Saturday's Warriors). We were in the front row and she took a Junior Mint and threw it on the stage where the actors were. Luckily the performers were back towards the middle of the sage and didn't really use the front 1/3 of it, so they didn't step on the mint, but we were pretty upset and disappointed with her. So, we decided her punishment would be 1 week of not staying at her best friend/cousins house (Aubree of course) and 5 days of picking up all of the trash at Daddy's office. We told her this during the intermission. She was upset, of course, and (I feel) ashamed of what she did (it was totally out of character for her). So, I told her that if she went on the stage and got the Junior Mint before the play started again I would reduce her "sentence" to 5 days of no sleep-overs and 3 days of trash. It took a little prodding (and Dad holding her hand) but she did get on the stage and get the mint.

So, the following week she came to the office and had Nikki show her what to do. Then she took out everyone's trash (bathrooms included) each day by herself. She smiled, sang and had a great time with it (which at first I was thinking wasn't proper humility for a punishment, but then thought I love that she is making even chores/punishment fun and that is the type of girl I am proud to know.) So, now when she comes to visit she wants to take out the trash and keeps asking if she can work here when she grows up - working up from trash to being a geek like me :-) I am too proud.

Paris the Trash Girl

My little trash girl

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Daddy's Little Geek with her bag of goodies she packed to "stowaway"

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Layout / Color Sceme

not done yet...still tweaking...

Friday, July 18, 2008

one of the greatest things ever!

Ok, so this little girl decided she wanted a stuffed animal from the "Claw Machine"...now, i HATE this machine and mostly because i'm so bad at it and I personally believe it is a huge scam and that claw wouldn't pick up a doll without it being super-glued to its flimsy metal tentacles!!! Like i say, i suck at it and have pumped more than a roll's worth of quarters into it in the name of "winning my girls a bear"...what a sucker!

So, I CHEERED what this little girl did to beat the machine! My favorite part is when the mom shows up and the girl doesn’t come out right away but keeps going higher for a stuffed animal! Classic...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

blog music - revisited

K - after the absolutely overwhelming response i've decided to go with my gut instinct and make it so the music doesn't auto play...so, if you want to groove to some tunes whilst browsing my blog - feel free to scroll to the bottom and hit PLAY before reading...thanks Shelene for tipping the scales with your vote :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

blog music

k - i didn't get a lot of people responding to my cut eye post (at least only one person commented - thanks Jane, i can always count on you :) so i wanted to first let people like my parents and others that don't have to have an account to post - you can post without an account if you want (but sign your name)...just click on the "comments" link at the bottom of a post to say something and choose the Name/URL choice to post…I don’t really write this thing for anyone but myself to journal my life, but it is nice to have comments once in a while…

Secondly, I wanted to ask peoples opinion…I have been pretty against having my Blog play music when it loads…I have never been a fan of My Space / Blogs playing music because I usually have music going on my computer already and it is gets all “muddy” through my speakers…but, I did throw up a song on my My Space page from one of my favorite bands (sigur ros) and had a friend thank me for turning him on to that band…I used to be a DJ and turning people on to new music is what i do, so I thought I’d find out what people thought…do you like having music on my page?


I quickly threw a few songs into a playlist and set it on random so you wouldn’t hear the same song every time – but is it distracting or do you like it? Since I love music so much, it wouldn’t be “me” without having something about music on this thing – but maybe have it not “auto-start” so you can click play if you want?

Let me know!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

9 Stitches Later

Ok, it has taken me a few days to post this but you should understand why after you are done reading it…If you want to skip all of the verboseness and go right to the pictures, feel free but BE WARNED: THEY ARE GRAPHIC (sorry Mom :-)...

If you read my post "ouch" from June 26th then you know i love playing softball, but am not the best player on the team. They moved me to 1st because my arm isn't the best but I didn't figure i wasn't very good at catching either until Wednesday night.

Wednesday is our 2nd game of our softball playoffs. We lost the first game (no surprise – we pretty much suck as a team and have only won 2 games all season) so we were in the losing bracket playing at 6:00. Paris was sick so Lissette had to stay home with her and Tristan and I went with Esher to the game. As I left I told lissette that if we won I’d see her at 9:00 and if we lost I’d be home at 7:00. She said, “see you at 7:00” – NO FAITH :-)…

I missed a couple of throws from Dusty that were so close and we figured out that I was covering the bag with my left instead of right foot (rookie mistake) and I was excited to go back out and use my right foot. So this older dude that can’t run very well hit one to shallow center where Brian (Haroldson from Pro Look) was playing. I consciously covered the bag with my right foot, setup waiting for the throw thinking that there was no way Brian would throw it since it was in the outfield. But, he took it on a hop and started running at me. It seemed like he was just about to the dirt and then he wound up and threw it (it seemed and from troy’s account) as hard as he could to get the guy out.

So, I’m standing there waiting for the thing to hit my glove and then it bounces on the dirt and I tried to adjust but it was coming so dang fast and it (according to those watching) took a very funky bounce straight up past my glove. Next thing I know my ears are ringing and I’m on the ground holding my eye (I think I fell pretty hard because my arm is all cut up from where I fell)…

So, I’m laying on the ground holding my eye. That whole part of my face went totally numb, so I couldn’t tell what was hurt or what was going on. My eyes were closed and I was afraid to open them and I kept thinking about my Sunglasses that I got for my birthday that I just spent $40 to fix a broken lens in and how they were busted (I opened my un-hit eye and saw the frames with the missing lens). I was then worried that pieces of glass broke and went into my eye. Troy ran over and told me to remove my hand so he could see if my eye was still in the socket (I guess sometimes the eye will pop out??? Man, that is gross) and I opened it a little bit, saw light and didn’t feel pain and closed it right away.

My eyes were pretty much closed the rest of the time I was on the ground (my hands were dirty and I didn’t want to get dirt in them), so I just heard voices but there was this one guy that was great. Troy said he shoved Troy aside and took over the situation. Troy thinks he was an EMT from the things he was doing (he put my head on my glove, held my arms above my head and started asking me questions and making sure I was conscious and not nauseous). He yelled up at the booth to bring ice quickly and I heard other people around me talking about it being gross and big cut under my eye.

I was just happy my eye was ok, but pissed about my glasses so the only think I said while laying there was, “I broke my frickin glasses.” They got me some Ice and a butterfly band-aid to hold the wound together and Dusty picked me up to carry me to Troy’s truck to go to the Emergency Room.

It was very surreal being carried off the field and I had so many thoughts. Mostly I was upset that we were going to lose the game because Troy and I were leaving and we didn’t have enough players to finish (we were also down by several runs)…plus, it was strange to hear the opposing team clapping as I stood up to walk off (I’ve always thought when watching sports and someone is hurt and gets up after a long time that it is cool both teams/fans clap for the guy – but being the guy getting the claps was very strange.) I was upset that I didn’t catch it and was going through the play in my head over and over to see what I did wrong (I think I even asked Dusty about the bounce while he was walking me to the car.) Mostly I was amazed that it didn’t really hurt at all. It was just numb. I knew once it stopped being numb it would hurt, but I didn’t feel any specific pain (like the cut, etc.).

Troy was surprised I was completely normal going to the ER (“dude, are you in shock? You aren’t acting like you just got slammed in the face” he kept saying.) But, I didn’t hurt and wasn’t disoriented and didn’t have a concussion. Troy kept talking about the sound it made when it hit me. He said the sound was the worst and so loud and he and Dusty raced over to get to me right away knowing it was bad from the sound of it.

So, we get to the hospital and Lissette shows up with the kids. It took a while to get into the suture room and I told them I’d feel better about an X-Ray to make sure there was no glass in my face and that I hadn’t broken any of my cheekbone. The X-Ray came back clean and it was time to stitch me up. The girl came in and gave me (according to Lissette) 30 shots to numb it. I have no problems with needles, so it didn’t bother me but Lissette was dying during that part. It did feel like they were shoving this 1” needle all the way through my cheek to pull it out slowly to put in the lydicane.

The doctor stitched me up with 9 stitches and we went on our way. And all Lissette could say the WHOLE TIME and every day since then is, “MAN, YOU USED TO BE SO HANDSOME. YOU ARE SO MESSED UP! YOUR FACE LOOKS TERRIBLE” She says it all with a smile, of course, but I know I hurt to look at.

So, without further ado – here are the pictures I’ve been promising to post for you guys...remember IT IS BLOODY:



DON'T





SAY







I







DIDN'T





WARN





YOU




Here is a shot of me when we first got to the hospital. There is a lot of blood, but it is the cut under my eye that is making all of the mess. It is a perfect cut from the bottom of my sunglasses (the glasses don't have a bottom frame - just a lense, so that is why it cut so perfectly). The doctor said that the glasses saved my eyeball because they protected it from being damaged or blinded.







Paris was very sad i got hurt, but it looks like Tristan has no problem with it. She kept wanting to see my eye and kept saying, "cool".




Still waiting...Paris still sad, Tristan still happy and Troy grossed out



Here is the nurse numbing the area with that needle...Lissette counted 30 shots around and inside the wound.




Here is a shot of the doctor sewing it up. He was very good and said that they usually put extra stitches in when it is on the face to make sure the scar is harder to see. He said it should fade and be hard to see in a year or two as long as i put a lot of suntan lotion on it when i'm out in the sun.




Here is the finished cut. You can't see all of them, but there are 9 stitches in all and my bottom eyelid is turning black (it was very black that night, but i didn't get a picture of it because the doctor said it would look worse the next day. It didn't look as black the next day so i was bummed i didn't take a picture)






Here is a picture of me the next morning when i woke up. You can see it bled while i slept and i still couldn't open my eye.







24 hours later. You can see the whole right side of my face doesn't look anything like the left side. Even my lip (behind my beard) was tweaked. I iced it all day to be able to open my eye.





Paris came up with the idea of making me a Cupcake Flower Bouquet to try to make me feel better because i got hurt. Here is a shot of her working on it and Tristan and Esher jumping in to help...they didn't help much, but never miss an opportunity for a photo and to eat batter, frosting and anything that drops within 5 feet of the chef.




Here is Paris working on it. She came up with the logistics of putting the cupcakes in two levels in the vase all on her own (Lissette and I were upstairs while she worked on it all by herself). I was VERY proud of her. She is so creative!






Here is am with my little artist!




The finished bouquet. Look how she tried to do different designs on each one and how the middle cupcakes are higher than the outside (she devised a inner-cup system to raise up the middle). And they tasted AMAZING...I almost forgot how much pain i was in!!!