30 July 2007

A weekend in Jackson Hole

This weekend Spouse and I went to Jackson Hole to visit my brother and his family- more specifically, for my niece's blessing, which was on Sunday. Of course, we had an enjoyable time.

On Saturday we went to "the park" as they call it. You and I would call it Teton National Park. We hiked to Hidden Falls (which actually aren't so very hidden after all). Eric and I took a detour to Inspiration Point and then caught back up with the rest of the crew. It rained during the hike, but it was mostly pleasant and not too cold. We spent some of the rainy time hiding under trees, which worked rather effectively. The boys climbed on about every big rock they saw, which of course made the three-year-old boy also want to climb all the rocks, too. As we hiked we played the alphabet came in the following categories: animals, Harry Potter and Star Wars. It was a fun way to pass the time.

After the hike we ate a picnic lunch, and then my brother took Eric and I to see a house that his company built. (Meaning the company he works for, not his very own company). Eric and I rather liked the house- it's in the new, European style, so the hallways and stairways are narrower at one end than the others. Plus, the corners in the rooms are not usually 90-degree angles. There were windows that went from floor to ceiling throughout the house. Every bedroom had its very own bathroom with separate shower and tub. There was a media room with a large wall that will soon hold a projection screen. Plus, there were top-notch appliances throughout the house. If we don't go to New Zealand, Eric and I have decided to buy a house. We'll probably buy that one since it is only $4.5 million. (Which reminds me that I need to have a rant about people with far too much money, seeing as how the people who actually do buy that house will only use it for about a month or so every year).

Then we went to my sister-in-law's parents' house where we had lots of great food, jumped on the trampoline with the kids, and went fishing, or at least watched the kids fish. When Dave (the three-year-old) could not catch a fish, I told him the fish were asleep. He told me to wake them up.

On Sunday while everyone was getting ready for church, Dave said some very adorable things: Regarding his baby sister, "Her's not weady yet. Her's in her 'jamas." And when we were all ready for church, "Us is weady to wock'n'woll." Yeah, he's pretty cute, especially the part where he hasn't figured out the difference between subject nouns and object nouns. And that he can't say his r's. That always makes a kid cuter.

Following church, we had a delicious lunch prepared mostly by John and Nicole. We had fajitas, and YUM. I've got to get access to a grill. That's all there is to it.

It was a fun trip, and we made great timing to and fro. Most importantly, we were able to attend the baby's blessing. I had to represent my side of the family since John and I are the lone ones out here in the Mountain West.

27 July 2007

Definitely not such a good idea

Remember how I said that the ride home should be better? Well not so much. You see, I thought it would be better because the incline would be long and slow, but it was much worse. The ride to work is far better than the ride home because it's only difficult 1/3 of the way rather than 2/3 of the way. I was so tired when I got home that I could barely stand.

And yet, I think I'll continue to ride the bike to work. It is faster, and it forces me to get exercise.

26 July 2007

Maybe not such a good idea

I had the bright idea to ride my bike to my internship today. I live toward the bottom of a hill, and in order to travel to my internship, I had to travel east, which meant going uphill. Steeply uphill. And then it was a nice, smooth, downhill ride down 9th East. (By down, I mean both directionally South and downhill).

My legs still feel like Jello. The ride home should be better because the uphill part is a much slower incline than my street. Despite that, I might walk the bike home until I get to the downhill part.

25 July 2007

The End.

Well, we did it. We finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at 2 this morning. And then I had exciting/scary Harry Potter dreams all night long. The reason it took me so long to finish is because I realized right before getting the book that Eric might actually want to read this one together, and since he did not get home until about 10 on Saturday night, we were much delayed in getting started. (He was canoeing with his family for three days on the Green River and I was loooonely. Not just because we were apart for three days, but also because we had absolutely no means of communication. Not even email. Lonely.)

Anyway, we finished it, and we liked it. And I read almost the entire thing aloud because I read faster than Eric.

It's good to be done with Harry Potter. I feel like I can move on with my life now.

19 July 2007

Alli, how I love thee...in that normal-friend-sort-of-way

Have I ever told you about my friend, Alli? Well, she is cool. And here are just a couple of reasons that I think Alli is cool.

She brought me back a shopping bag from France. The kind that you take to the store over and over so that you don't have to use plastic bags, and you can save the world one plastic bag at a time. It was such a cool, simple thing. Unfortunately, I went to the grocery store about five times before I finally remembered to take my new shopping bag along with me. Today I remembered and I felt so cool asking the girl to load my bag instead of giving me fourteen different plastic bags. And then I walked out of the store with my fancy-pants, earth-friendly, Carrefour shopping bag. (Just so you know, Alli told me that Carrefour is "better than Wal-Mart" to which I replied, "Isn't everything better than Wal-Mart?").

And the second reason Alli is cool. When she ordered the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows months ago, she told me I could borrow it when she was finished. And I have been eagerly anticipating that day- the day she would be finished and we could complete the Trading of The Book. Tonight when I arrived at the lab, Alli told me that she is not allowing herself to read the book until she is finished with her classes because she has two 30-page papers due 9 August. I am sad that she is delaying her reading of The Book, and I hope nobody spoils it for her. But, I am happy because I'm going with her tomorrow night to pick up her copy and take it to my house where I will read voraciously until I fall asleep. Then I will read voraciously again until... until when? I don't know.

The point is, Alli is really cool. Not just because she brought me a shopping bag from Europe, and not just because she's letting me read her HP before she is going to read it, but because she just is.

New Books!

Monday was a good day. Not so much the part about it being Monday and the weekend being gone, but the part where the BYU Bookstore started a tent sale outside, and I was lucky enough to walk by and see that it was occurring.

I love the tent sales. Even when the merchandise is not exclusively books. I usually don’t know tent sales are going on because I never walk near the Wilkinson Center, where the tent sales inevitably occur. But, fortune was on my side on Monday, so I was near the Wilk and saw the glorious tent sale. The tent sale of books. Of books that I can read because I don’t have to do homework any more.

And there were good books, too. Not just books that nobody wants (although there was plenty of that too).

I spent $30. I got five books. That’s an average of only $6 per book. Yes, I am that awesome. Well, the tent sale is that awesome, anyway.

Because I’m certain that you are dying to know, I bought The Aeneid, by Virgil for $5, Emma by Jane Austen for $4, Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose for $8, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins for $3, and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine for $7.

There were many, many more books I wanted to buy. But I practiced financial restraint and opted out of those. Now I just need to get reading!

Good Grief

*SPOILER ALERT* I am about to tell you the ending of Bridge to Terebithia.

Last night I went to see Bridge to Terebithia with Eric. My fifth grade teacher read the book to our class, and I had read it one other time as well. So, I knew that Leslie died in the end. And I cried. Two tears fell down my face, and I was embarrassed so I made myself stop crying, which is pretty much what I always do because I’m just not a crier. I hate crying. I hate being puffy-faced. I hate people knowing that I’m sad (or happy).

In this particular movie my sadness stemmed more from Jesse’s grief than from Leslie’s death. Sure, I like Leslie, but only as much as I liked Jesse, which can only be so much considering they are both fictional characters. But grief- that’s something I can identify with. I may not know Leslie or Jess, but I’ve felt grief.

And I’ve felt annoyed when people don’t want you to grieve. Janssen wrote on this recently, and I read an article in Time about it. People don’t want you to be sad. And so they console or avoid mentioning names because they feel that reminding you would be a bad thing. But really, being reminded of someone you’ve lost (even if they are gone) is a nice feeling. Sure there may be a feeling of loneliness or sadness which accompanies the happy reminder, but I think it’s usually worth it. Forgetting a person you loved is far worse than remembering them and being sad.

Of course, I’ve been on the other side of the spectrum as well- feeling awkward or wanting to avoid mentioning a lost loved one. It has been only recently that I’ve realized it’s okay to talk about dead people. Usually the living people are pleased that you also remember the dead person and that you are acknowledging that the deceased person is worth remembering.
These are things I thought about as I watched Jesse struggle to accept that Leslie was dead and as he struggled with his feelings of guilt and loneliness.

04 July 2007


As it turns out there ARE snakes on the Snake River. Eric picked one up. I did not see any snakes, but everybody else saw at least one. I did see a variety of other wildlife, though. I saw:

· countless geese. The brown and white kind. Lots of them.

· numerous pelicans. We canoed right past a slew of them, and they promptly flew away as we canoed past.

· two river otters. They were cute and swimmy.

· two bald eagles. One in flight, and one on a perch. Very cool.

· one bison. It was standing in the trees.

· one moose. As we approached a fork in the river, we went to the left, when the forks combined again, we noticed the moose in the branch we did not go down (and wouldn’t have been able to canoe down if we had wanted to). The moose was large, like

· one wolf. Yes, I saw a wolf. At first I thought it was a very large coyote, but when we got back to the visitor’s center, I looked at pictures of wolves and coyotes, and it was definitely a wolf that I saw. I was sitting in the car in a parking lot, and the wolf just walked on by. A WOLF. Top that.

Plus, I got to see my brother, his wife, their three sons, and their brand new daughter. Here is a picture with my niece. She is the third niece for us this calendar year. She is the first one for us to meet. (Please don't laugh at me. I was wearing no make-up and had been canoeing for hours and hours and hours that day).