(2) Sun Nov 05 2006 16:41 PST A Bachelor's Weekend:
Susie ditched me this weekend to visit the woot. I spent Saturday cleaning out the fridge and Christmas shopping. I think we got everyone's gifts, except for my mom's, which we will pick up in Utah. Very productive. And very lonely.
Church went well. I had to play. We sang "Prayer of Thanksgiving" for the opening hymn, as it is November, and we sang "Adam-ondi-ahman" for the closing hymn. No one was singing. I felt like I was playing an organ solo up on the stand. After the bishop told me "Well, they'll know it next time." Honestly, don't people get sick of singing "I believe in Christ" every week? I also have to play for a baptism tonight, last minute, and don't know what I'm playing. Well, they'll get what they pay for.
In primary I had to take on an extra class for a no-show teacher. And since Susie wasn't there the 1st counsellor had to sit in. The lesson, on service, was (as usual) a complete waste. I had to make my own. We made little coupon books with items of service the kids can do for their parents. Thanks to my sister's generosity in utilizing leftover scrapbooking mats, the coupon books were tres chic. Then we played a game: the kids had to toss a bean bag into one of three buckets, then answer a question based on the bucket number. If they answered it right, they got a skittle. I thought it was a good lesson, but the 1st counsellor didn't seem to find it conservative enough. Prediction: I won't be in primary next year.
But life is good. We leave for NYC in two weeks. Jon & Sharon are visiting us this week. The holidays are coming. I don't have to work late anymore for a while. Thanksgiving's in the air!
(6) Mon Nov 06 2006 13:18 PST For British Eyes Only:
Watched the first half of "Arrested Development: Season 3" brought to me via Netflix this weekend. I can't stop laughing thinking about the following humorous aspects:
1. Anything & Everything to do with Mrs. Featherbottom. I really should re-watch those scenes with the subtitles to see what Tobias is actually singing.
2. Is it just me, or is the narrator getting increasingly witty with his remarks? All his corrections/contradictions were hilarious.
3. The whole Steve Holt/Gob extravaganza. I didn't realize it is spelled Gob because it stands for George Oscar Bluth.
4. Maebe's job as a screen writer. "Marry me!"
5. George Senior's surrogate father.
6. Wee Britain. I especially love the US-style restaurants there, with their huge servings of extra-fattening foods. And, of course, Mary Poppins.
7. I loved the episode with the train set and the jet pack, where Tobias dressed up like a mole and attacked the city in front of the Japanese investors.
9. Anything to do with George Michael. Poor George Michael.
10. The various chicken dances performed by Gob, Lindsey, Lucielle (not to be confused with Lucielle 2) and George Senior.
That just cracks me up!
(6) Thu Nov 09 2006 09:04 PST:
Why is it that nice guys always finish last?
Fri Nov 17 2006 11:55 PST One Moment In Time:
This week has been very good to me. I was in LA the first half of the week living it up in a hotel eating out expensive food that I didn't have to pay for. The second half of the week found me not working much, and enjoying my coworkers company a lot. Nice, now I know how it works in industry. I feel like I work at the place in "The Office" now. I had better enjoy it while it lasts, cuz it won't be long.
And tomorrow I am going NYC. My coworker gave me a list of restaurants to peruse, as he lived there for five years. And we're having dinner with my old mission companion Monday night. My only dilemma is I am unsure what to pack, having never been to NYC. On the today show today, some people were in coats, others in long sleeves, and others in short sleeves. Where does that leave me for packing? Somewhere between the moon and NYC I suppose.
Sun Nov 19 2006 15:33 PST An Affair to Remember:
We apparently had to go through Atlanta to get to NYC. Our original tickets didn't say that, but no worries. Because "Lucky Susie" was with me, both of our flights landed about 30 minutes early. While waiting for our luggage, I casually commented that our luggage should be first on the belt. I felt this would be so because we were early on our flight at John Wayne, so it would have been loaded FILO method, and that means that on our ride to NYC from Atlanta it would be on the LIFO method! And it was true! Delta totally redeemed themselves yesterday.
Our first flight put us next to a screaming toddler. Pretty much, I'm sold on not taking the babe anywhere far until she can talk. I felt so bad for the parental unit. To drown her out, I watched the in-flight movie "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." It was stupid. Now let us never speak of that show again.
Next stop: Astoria. Leonard & Sumana's abode is very quaint. It reminds me a lot of our first apartment in Provo. Small & cozy, and nice & new. Today we ventured through the NW section of Central Park, and perused the Met. It is too hard to see that museum all in one day, and my poor feet paid the price. But we did it. We also brunched with Leonard, since that is apparently how it is done in NYC. I enjoyed the brunch, but my problem with brunch is that I never know when to eat lunch/dinner after.
The subway is very confusing, but since Susie and I are having a nice, leisurely trip with not too many set plans, we can get lost and not worry about the consequences. I am told that is how NYC is best experienced: by observation and attention to the journey. Thus far, it appears to be true.
(1) Mon Nov 20 2006 20:39 PST In a NY Minute:
I can't keep up with this city. Time keeps getting away from me. Today, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge. It is about 1/3 the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, I think. It was a nice jaunt that gave us a surprise view of Lady Liberty. In Brooklyn, we went to Junior's upon the recommendation of a coworker. We had a hard time finding it (contrary to popular belief, not everything can be "just over the bridge"). I had matzo, Susie had split pea, and we shared a piece of their famous cheesecake. We took the subway back to Wall St, and saw big business at its best. The NYSE and Trump Building were daunting figures, but not so much as the chapel at Trinity Square. We saw the tomb of Alexander Hamilton, laid to rest right in the middle of the downtown financial district. Obviously, his tombstone does not mention anything about RIP.
We then made our way to Union and Washington Square, including perusing NYU, which apparently has no campus. It seems to be strewn across midtown. I'm sure it's a very nice school, but I enjoyed having a college experience more excluded from the city itself. Though they would mock that I call Provo a city, so there you have it.
A lot of the trees have fences around them and grow cabbage in the dirt. I find this odd. At first thought, I decided it was a mini-victory garden. But then I noticed all the dogs going to "the met" there, so it must be for show. Which is also odd, since cabbage is not the most beautiful plant I can think of.
We had dinner in Little Italy, which was decked out for the holidays. To get there, we met my mission buddy and his wife, who walked us through Chinatown. Both Susie and my friend's wife did not care for the Chinese experience and I must say, neither did I. I guess I wasn't in the mood for the Asian equation tonight.
We had dessert at "Rice to Riches," which was very fancy. Susie and Alyssa had the rocky road rice pudding, Nate had the pecan rice pudding, and I had the pumpkin rice pudding. It was all very tasty. I also sampled the coconut pudding. I wouldn't mind going there again.
To recap, my feet are tired, my nose is cold, and my tummy is full. We're having fun!
(3) Tue Nov 21 2006 15:38 PST Three Hour Bore:
Today we did the Circle Line Tour. Three hours of history and bridges. It was really neato. We got up close and personal with Lady Liberty (which was really cool) and saw parts of NYC I would never have otherwise seen, including Harlem, the Bronx, and Yankee Stadium.
Each day on the subway someone asks us for money for meds. I guess it's good I haven't given yet, because then I'd feel bad about giving to some and not to others. On the other hand, giving is good, and next time I have more than 5 cents in change, I will give.
In the movies, NYC is always stereotyped as having loads of homeless people talking to themselves. I keep thinking I see these people, but really, I don't. Rather, a lot of people just have earphones for their cell phones.
Today we also hit Times Square, where, apparently, EY is king. Our headquarters is there, and I didn't see any of the other firms there. Our sign is not missable, as it covers the length of the entire building. I wonder where the other firms are hiding. It was cool to see, mostly cuz I didn't have to go in there. Whenever I think about moving to this cool city, I think of how much more people work on the east coast, and cancel that idea. I work enough already.
Now, about the subway. It is an awesome system, but could use some upgrades. I think paper tickets should be done away with in favor of an electronic plastic refillable ticket. I also think that the conductor narration should be done away with in place of an electronic PA system. I can't understand those guys anyhow. Other than that, I have enjoyed using the Metro. Twice Susie and I have gotten on express trains, and twice it (luckily) stopped where we needed it to. We saved a lot of time that way, actually. So I suppose I could complain about express trains, but I won't.
We also have been staying up late and sleeping in. So technically we are staying on our CA work schedules pretty well.
Lastly, delta.com sent me an email yesterday to remind me what I can/cannot take on the plane. Nice. AFTER my flight has occured. Those turkeys. Oh well, I suppose it is Thanksgiving after all.
Wed Nov 22 2006 15:50 PST Pie & the Sky:
This morning we somehow roused ourselves at 6:30 am to hit the Union Square Farmer's Market. I didn't see any amish, but I saw purple carrots. We bought loads of Thanksgiving yummers. We came home, rested up a bit, and continued back to Manhattan. We hit Saks Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center. Note to the world: that skating rink is really really tiny. The tree is there, but not yet decorated.
We went to the Top of the Rock, which is the 70th floor of Rockefeller Plaza. It's not the Empire State Building, but we liked the view better for the following reasons:
1. We got to look out AT the Empire State Building.
2. We got a better view of Central Park from the Rock.
3. We didn't have to wait in line, as our tickets were good at a certain time. The ESB ticket is good all day, so it's really hit or miss and when people will go.
4. We didn't take our chances with King Kong. Nothing happened, but still....
5. It was $.50 cheaper per person this way.
After the Rock, we wandered over to Broadway & 8th Avenue. We saw the Manhatten Temple, and wandered through Central Park with a pretzel and hot dog in hand. We bought an I Heart NY onesie for the Beet, and a Christmas present for my mom. It rained on us today, but not a lot. Just enough for it to be fall-like and Sinatra-esque. Dinner was pizza with Leonard, served by people who speak real Italian! This crazy city.
It's been pretty cold here. Usually in the 40s, the 50s if we are lucky. Rain is expected all day tomorrow, but we are resting and eating tomorrow anyhow. Lots to be thankful for. Better go give her a kiss.
Thu Nov 23 2006 19:51 PST Happy Thanksgiving!:
I am thankful for a loving wife, an upcoming Beet, yummy food (including smashed potatoes), and all the rest. All things considered, it's been a great year.
Sun Nov 26 2006 19:52 PST Random Squares:
Been thinking. I've really got to visit the Kong again. I think I've got it all wrong. I used to think everything foreign to my limited frame of reference was Chinese. Now having visited NYC, I realize that some of what I experienced in the Kong was just big city-ness and not necessarily Chinese. For example, people taking shopping carts with them to the grocery store. Also for example, total disregard for litter. Also, smoking. Also, being ok with living in small spaces. Also, good cuisine. Also, less overweight individuals. I'm sure there are more examples. But all these things I assumed were Chinese in nature are simply part of doing business in a big city. Some differences that do seem to be true include: people in NYC have more subway etiquette, and the street vendors are less regulated in the Kong.
Our flight home showed a Christmas episode of "The Office," which I found very funny. As it was NOT the British version, Susie too laughed. I should note that three of our four flights over Thanksgiving got in early, and the fourth got in on time. No luggage was lost, no long lines were had, and I actually got to sit behind people that didn't recline their chairs for once! Add a book of Sudoku to the list, and that adds up to fine holiday traveling.
When we got home, both our cars were pretty dirty, so we went and washed them. Having just returned from NYC, I thought of how lucky all those people are. They don't have cars to wash....
Lastly, church today. Once again, Elizabeth wanted to sit with us in Sacrament Meeting. Here was our conversation:
Elizabeth: Ask me if I'm playing baseball this year.
Me: OK. Are you playing baseball this year?
Elizabeth: No. Too many people died last year.
Me: Oh. Where did you get that joke?
Elizabeth: From tv. Actually, it's from "Anchorman." That show is so funny!
Later on, in Primary, the president was talking about a time she ran out of money to buy milk for her baby and then a "tithing" miracle occurred. Elizabeth turned to Susie and said "Why does she have to buy milk for the baby? I thought that's what those things on your chest were for." Honestly, she asks us every week if we are having a boy or a girl cuz she can't remember, but she remembers female anatomy quite well.
Later on, the president asked how tithing blesses us. I whispered to Matthew that we will never be poor (which maybe isn't true, but it's a simple answer I thought he could relay on). Matthew, instead, says "We will never be born." Frustrated, I whisper back to him "Not born, poor." So he yells out "I mean porn." Yikes. I think I almost got fired for that one.
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