Wednesday, April 25, 2007

About MA

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Executive assistant at Lawrence Berkeley Lab
2. Peon at BART-SFO extension
3. Paralegal at Farella, Braun & Martel
4. Case clerk at Freshfields, Fleet Street in London (I only did it for the address!)

B) Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. When Harry Met Sally
2. Pride and Prejudice BBC version
3. Mixed Nuts
4. When Harry Met Sally
C) Four places I have lived:
1. Provo, UT
2. Berkeley, CA
3. Piedmont, CA
4. Richmond, CA

D) Four television shows I watch:
(we don't have a TV plugged in, so this is theoretical...)
1. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
2. Divine Design
3. anything with Helen Mirren
4. um, think I'll go read a book . . .

E) Four places I have gone on vacation:
1. Berlin
2. Vienna
3. Chile
4. Hawaii

F) Four websites I visit almost daily:
1. Google search
2. friends' blogs
3. shopping sites
4. my bank

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. chocolate.
2. doener kebap (Berlin turkish food -- shaved spiced lamb in a toasted fladenbrot with tomatoes, onions, cabbage and a yogurt-garlic sauce)
3. strawberries
4. ethnic foods -- Thai, Indian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian good stuff over rice

H) Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. Monterey Dunes
2. Mendocino
3. Lietzensee, Berlin
4. Capitol Reef

I) Four people I tag:
1. Marie-Laure Oscarson
2. Saydi Shumway
3. Kathryn Baer
4. Mindy Reimer

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bowling for Best Friends

This is Sebastian with Tomas-my-best-friend-ever. Their daddies took them bowling last night at BYU. Sebastian lives for his playdates with Tomas and he talks about them all the time. Yesterday he said "Kiecoo, guess what? I go to Tomas house on Toosday." Apparently Sebi is quite a topic of conversation for Tomas too; that, and his dog, Foodles.

So bowling was no problem for the boys since they had not only the bumpers up, but also the handy-dandy ramps. Roll the ball down and watch it go! Sebastian beat Rob during the first game with a score of 111.

There were lots of exciting things at the bowling alley. Not least, the magical automatic ball return.

Then after two games where Curtis beat everyone, they had "handbergs" at the Creamery on Ninth and Sebi creeped out the adults by eating everything that had ketchup on it. I'm afraid it was just a reprise of the lunch scene that Karen and I had witnessed. Sebi thinks "keppitch" is one of the four food groups, or at least that it belongs on all four food groups.

Easter Sunday

The kids woke up at 5:00am on Easter Sunday to see what was in their baskets. Their papa woke up with them and was not so happy about it. After church and a short nap for Papa and Sebi, we drove up to Salt Lake and had dinner with Aunt Rosemary, three of her kids, four of Reed's friends (ok, a fiance is actually something separate altogether), and Karen and the grandparents Nelson. The food was so good that all of the kids ate it and had seconds.
Then we came down to the park where Rob and Karen hid easter eggs while the kids ran around. Maddie could not believe that she finally got to wear her new easter dress. The boys could not have cared less about their easter clothes. Karen and MA are happy that Karen got air in her tires and no one noticed that MA's car registration is due.

Here are Madeline, Will and Sebastian with the Grandparents Nelson: Gigi and Leo. They're in their gliders which are like mine only cooler because they have a hand brake.

Here Will is watching Kaki set up a game of Monopoly.

And Maddie gives Rosemary a hug. We also got to see Richard's invention, the Medi-fridge which holds insulin for diabetics. It is really cute and the test market has been going well in Texas. It's gone so well that now Richard is in China working on the next challenge: refrigerating breast milk.

Easter Eggs

Here is Will, a reasonable child, showing you his egg. He does one at a time, and this one is lavender because it is for Oma, and that is her favorite color.

And here is Sebastian, who has figured out birthdays, Easter and Christmas all in the last month. He's also figured out that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and he stuck four eggs into four cups of dye without our noticing (perhaps he's figured out that he's the third child too?). This was one of those years when I should have bought about eight dozen eggs to satisfy his dyeing needs.

And here are some of the results. This was managed on a day when Rob also cleaned the window wells and I made cakes, prepared a lesson, we did chores, decorated cookies and left the kids to go see the ballroom dance performance. Next year we're taking the kids -- they were phenomenal and fast and so entertaining. Plus there were pirates and baseball players and glow-in-the-dark dancers; even Sebastian would have loved it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Protesting: it's a Family Value

It was the first day of spring break. The boys wanted to go to the zoo, but Maddie wanted to participate in her first demonstration. She was disappointed that I hadn't taken her to the stroller rallies for married student housing while we lived in Berkeley. On Tuesday night Heather Armantrout and her daughter Sarah made their signs. Rob just threw his together on Wednesday morning, but as always, managed to create a stir.
He sat talking for a while to some guy sitting next to him before he realized that he was Tad Walch of the Deseret Morning News. But we knew that Rob would get attention if he showed up, and I was totally unsurprised that he was quoted. I'm relieved that no one quoted Maddie!
They did manage to get the spelling right on Voldemort eventually. Here is Maddie with several of our study abroad students, opinionated demonstrative folk that they are. When I ran into Will's friend's mother yesterday, she said "I just have one question: Is Rob really a Harry Potter fan?! I've been going to the website and counting down. I can't wait until book seven comes out!". So much for his message, right?

Here are Heather and Sarah, complete with their signs and the cell phone. They called Heather's husband, Brok and told him they were attending and he said "Have fun. Hope you have bail money!" but it was very tame and they all had a good time sitting in a circle by the JSFB, while the poor pro-Cheney rally by the Clyde building was much smaller. They handed out blue arm bands and cookies and wrote thank you notes to Cheney which just shows how little BYU understands protest culture, no?

This is our friend Mary Lee holding another of Rob's signs. This one made people really angry, because your average conservative BYU student felt [I guess] that the only way to be politically active and follow the prophet is to welcome Cheney.
The black shoulder in the corner is Alan Keele who commissioned a sign from Rob saying "Torture is not a family value" and was quoted both by the paper and in the KUER radio news piece. If you'd like to see the morning Deseret News where Rob and Alan are quoted, you can find it HERE. The evening edition can be reached here.

The spontaneous rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was begun by none other than our dearly beloved Rob and Heather, high school choir friends for years now. Some other time we'll have to detail their exploits and pranks around and about Orem High.
The story of the BYU anti-Cheney demonstration was also picked up by the Associated Press and NPR. Rob is pleased as punch that there has been a noted negative reaction at BYU to the vice president's coming visit and that it has received national attention.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Weekend to Torrey

Marie-Laure and I took off to Capitol Reef National Park for conference weekend. My father always says "you can either schedule your car maintenance, or the cosmos will schedule it for you". This was a weekend for scheduled mental maintenance in a busy semester.
We stayed in a little cottage at the Torrey Pines Inn, run by a German from Cologne and her husband. It was very cute, though we had to move quite a bit of furniture around in order to get enough room to practice yoga in the morning.
After yoga, we set off to explore the park. We hiked and hiked and took dozens of pictures of blue sky and red rock. I won't post them all here, but this is the Hickman Bridge which we did in the afternoon.

A sun petroglyph in the red rock. There were not only those carved by the ancient Fremont people, there was also a "pioneer register". Now if you carve your name in the rock, you are fined $250 -- amazing that 150 years can turn graffiti into a historical marker.

Here was sunset, after a very filling meal from a waitress named Lorraine. Absolutely perfect weather both days, and very cold and windy at night. One of my favorite parts of Capitol Reef is Fruita, the old Mormon colony along the Fremont river where they had fruit orchards right up against the red rock cliffs. The trees grew well because of the microclimate in the canyon. They were in bloom while we were there, and I hear that sometimes you can actually harvest your own fruit.

Then we went back to the cabin and watched the re-do shows on HGTV. First there were two episodes of Decorating on a Dime which was typical plywood and spray paint sort of smoke and mirrors, and then two episodes of Divine Design which impressed us a lot more. After two hours of that we fell asleep to dreams of having Candace come to our homes and re-vamping everything.
It was a great getaway, and I did manage to keep my calm and perspective for almost twenty four hours after our return. But I'm ready to go again.