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Thanksgiving

We had Thanksgiving with some of Tim’s fellow math students at Becky & Mami’s place.  It was different, but traditional in some ways (there was too much food, the turkey took longer to cook than expected).  I made a vegetarian strudel to substitute for the Turkey. Mmm.

Here are some pictures from the card games.  There’s not really any of us because Tim was the one shooting and he was sitting next to me.

 

Mami (math student) and her boyfriend Tom (visiting from North Carolina)

Mami (math student from Japan) and her boyfriend Tom (visiting from North Carolina)

 

Becky (math student from Alaska)

Becky (math student from Alaska)

 t5

 

(don't know how to spell his name, math student from China)

(Jah-Yung? -don't know how to spell his name, math student from China)

 t4

 

My Uno cards

My Uno cards

 

Becky -pensive

Becky -pensive

 

Chieh-Cheh? -also don't know how to spell his name, math student from Taiwan

(Cheih-Cheh? -also don't know how to spell his name, math student from Taiwan)

 

Seeta (math student, who will not reveal where he is from) playing Beck's guitar

Seeta (math student, who will not reveal where he is from) playing Becky's guitar

 t12

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So I finally got my photo-op. at East High.  They had a carnival on Monday to celebrate the opening of the 3rd movie, and I have to say I think we had way too much fun for college graduates at a high school carnival.

 

Standing in the parking lot paw print

Standing in the parking lot paw print

 

Posing with the lockers

Posing with the lockers

 

Brendan trying to slide down the hallway like Troy

Brendan trying to slide down the hallway like Troy

 

Brendan at Troys locker

Brendan at Troy's locker

 

Posing at Gabriella's balcony

Posing at Gabriella's balcony

 

Sharpay's *fabulous* lockers

Sharpay's *fabulous* lockers

 

Some of the students did a dance performance in the auditorium.

Some of the students did a dance performance in the auditorium.

 

Brendan being a bad student and using his cell in Ms. Darbis classroom

Brendan being a bad student and using his cell in Ms. Darbis's classroom

 

In shop class

In shop class

 

Getting their heads in the game.

Getting their heads in the game.

 

Dancing on the cafeteria tables.

Dancing on the cafeteria tables.

Nooo, no no no, stick to the status quo
“Nooo, no no no, stick to the status quo”

 

 

Brendan supporting the math club with pin-the-tail on the Wildcat

Brendan supporting the math club with pin-the-tail on the Wildcat

 

In the stands

In the stands

 

On the court

On the court

 

Posing with the cheerleaders

Posing with the cheerleaders

 

Jumping for the ball with a basketball player.

Jumping for the ball with a basketball player.

 

The money shot

The money shot

 

We couldn't resist the chance to sing "The Start of Something New" in karaoke

We couldn't resist the chance to sing "The Start of Something New" in karaoke.

 

So dorky

So dorky

Mom Visits!

Before she arrived I found this at my door…

2 inch praying mantis on my door -even the bugs here are pious ;)

2 inch praying mantis on my door -even the bugs here are pious 😉

 

She made it just in time for the first snow of the season.  It didn’t really stick but it sure was cold, especially since our furnace wasn’t working yet.  Thankfully it’s working now!  I did make her walk to the library in the snow though!  We also went to see the U of U campus.  Here are some pictures:

Roses in the snow

Roses in the snow

 

I tried to get the snowy mountains in the picture

I tried to get the snowy mountains in the picture

 

After the first day the snow melted and it warmed up pretty quickly.  Today it was actually around 70 degrees.  I don’t think we get in-between seasons here. Winter and summer seem to be the only options.

We took the train downtown to go on a tour of temple square.  Two sweet girls from Korea and Sweden showed us around the grounds and talked about their religion.  More pix..

The Tabernacle with the giant pipe organ

The Tabernacle with the giant pipe organ

 

Jesus statue in the universe room

Jesus statue in the universe room

 This room was pretty cool, it had a spiral staircase going up to it that was also painted with outer space.  The effect actually reminded me of the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot center, very different message though.

Mom with Joseph and Hyrum Smith

Mom with Joseph and Hyrum Smith

 

Close-up of Joseph Smith

Close-up of Joseph Smith

The temple

The temple

More temple

More temple

 

Garden by the temple

Garden by the temple

 

Brigham Young pioneer statue

Brigham Young pioneer statue

 

I took Mom over to Liberty Park.  It’s an enormous city park that’s pretty close to us.

 

 

Geese!

Geese!

 

Lots of geese

Lots of geese

 

Inside the gazebo

Inside the gazebo

 

 

I also had to take her over to Salt Lake City East High School, because like me she is totally in love with the High School Musical movies and that is where they filmed most of them.

It didn’t quite look that peppy, especially since it was closed that day.

 

Salt Lake City East High

Salt Lake City East High

 

Wildcat paw

Wildcat paw

 

I still plan to sneak inside one of these days to get a picture of me dancing in the cafeteria!

 

Not in the pictures: we also did a lot of shopping at Smith’s, Sears, the Gateway Mall, and Trolley Square.  She got me lots of new appliances.  Thank you Mommy!  Now I don’t feel quite as destitute!

Come back and visit me again soon, and bring everyone else with you!

Fossil Hunt Adventure

Last weekend we had a real Utah style adventure.  Tim and I went with some of his math buddies to central Utah to dig for fossils.  The place was called U-Dig-Fossils.  It took about 2 hours to get there on the freeway (minus the time we took making stops along the way).  Then it was about a 20 mile ride on a very interesting gravel road up into these hills.  When we got there there was a little shack where an old man who spoke with a drawl gave us buckets and hammers and set us loose in a rock pit with a bunch of broken up shale pieces, and we got to hacking.  The fossils were trilobites and they were surprisingly easy to find, so the challenge became finding the biggest and most in tact ones.  We got to keep everything we found, which was a decent amount, so everyone back home should be expecting fossils for x-mas!  

That was only part of the adventure though.  Sarah, whose idea it was and who graciously volunteered to drive, apparently had old tires on her van.  This did not fare well on the 20 mile gravel road.  So on the way in, once we had parked and were getting out, we noticed one of her tires was hissing and would soon be flat.  So on the way out they changed it with her spare.  But oh no, the tire saga doesn’t end there.  About an hour to an hour and a half away from Salt Lake City she blew another tire on the free way! So now what right?  We already used the spare.  Luckily she had AAA and they got a tow-truck to us in about 15 minutes!  Plus they drove all 5 of us all the way back to Salt Lake.  We were very impressed.  We ended the night at The Pie pizza restaurant near campus, which I think was well deserved.

 

Pictures:

 

Sarah with her cool Indiana Jones hat that I'm jealous of

Sarah with her cool Indiana Jones hat that I'm jealous of

 

Ben

Ben

Mike with me in the background

Mike with me in the background

 

 

Me studying my find

Me studying my find

 

Sarah

Sarah

 

 

Unrelated, I’ve been working on my cooking.  My new favorite thing is vegetarian fake meat.  I think I actually like it better than real meat because it tastes the same but doesn’t have any of the fatty parts and inconsistencies.

 

My veggie meat tacos turned out really good

My veggie meat tacos turned out really good

 

)

...Tim agreed 🙂 We are also happy to have the plates Catie gave us!

 

Lentil stew! mmm

Lentil stew! mmm

First Weekend in Utah

  I arrived Friday…at 3am!  It was a long, long drive.  But thank you to Tim’s parents for letting me hobo along with them with all my stuff!  It was nice to have a three day weekend to try to get some basic stuff out of the way.  We were only really successful though in getting me a wardrobe.  Macy’s denied us the mattress that is rightfully ours…or rather they denied us the credit card discount until they can send us some form in the mail.  😦   Anyways, so I’ve been getting adjusted and so has Eek Eek (Tim’s turtle).  Saturday we stopped by the farmer’s market downtown.  That was neat, there wasn’t much produce, it was mostly craft booths.  It basically felt a lot like salmon days only twice as big and they have it every weekend in the summer.  I also got to see the downtown mall, which was nice.  It looks a lot like Redmond Town Center.   Monday was Ikea day.  It was super crowded but we managed to pick out the wardrobe I wanted and then just barely squeeze it into Tim’s Jetta.  It took the rest of the day (after the disappointing afternoon at Macy’s) to put it together.  Tim did most of it and I helped when needed.  Thank you Tim for making me a closet! Pictures:  

Tim and parents at his desk at school

Tim and parents at his desk at school

We almost didn’t make it into this building.  For some reason his keys weren’t working but there is some special magic touch you can do to trick the door into unlocking, but it took some doing.  

Me and Tim by his desk

Me and Tim by his desk

Start of wardrobe building

Start of wardrobe building

The finished product

The finished product

I got to custom pick out what kind of shelves and stuff I wanted…so that was nifty.  It doesn’t have any doors because we weren’t sure it would fit very well with everything else we want in the room.  I like it anyways though and it will force me to keep it neat (maybe).  

...with all my stuff (it just barely all fits)

...with all my stuff (it just barely fits)

Unrelated….here are some pictures of a recent trip I took with Weve to Snoqualmie Falls  

Weve in front of rock and waterfall friend

Weve in front of rock and waterfall friend

 

Me next to this rock jenga stack someone made

Me next to this rock jenga stack someone made

 

Falls

Falls

 

Looking up at the observation tower

Looking up at the observation tower

 

Weve and I wanted to cross these rocks to get to the other side..but out survival instincts kicked in and we decided not to

Weve and I wanted to cross these rocks to get to the other side..but out survival instincts kicked in and we decided not to

 

Weve...much like an agile mountain goat on the rocks

Weve...much like an agile mountain goat on the rocks

And now I’m back in Salt Lake. Along the way I visited some sights. Pictured below is the Teapot Dome Service Station, which is in the registry of national historic sights. Its story is absurd, and can be found in the Wikipedia. Here’s a picture I took of it:

In Zillah, WA

In Zillah, WA

Once I made it into Utah, I decided to stop by the Golden Spike. There was lots to do there, and I didn’t have time, so it was only a brief visit. On the way back to the freeway, I found some salt flats:

Near the Golden Spike

Near the Golden Spike

Near the Golden Spike

Near the Golden Spike

Once I was back at my place, I unpacked, did some shopping, and decided it was time for dinner and a movie. Dinner? Pasta, cooked in beer since I forgot to buy cooking wine. Movie? Pirates, because I’m still holding a candle for the first film. Here’s how pathetic the scene was:

First meal in my new home

First meal in my new home

First movie in my new home

First movie in my new home

The next day I decided to build a desk. It’s made of generic construction lumber, and topped with a beautiful sheet of tempered glass. I’m quite pleased with the effect:

Here\'s how things looked once I was done building the surface.  It all fit together!  So proud.

Here's how things looked once I was done building the surface. It all fit together! So proud.

With everything built, it was time to see how it all looked put together.

With everything built, it was time to see how it all looked put together.

Indeed, it looks quite nice by the bay windows in the livingroom.

Indeed, it looks quite nice by the bay windows in the livingroom.

And now it’s Thursday night and I’ve got little else to do. Since the budget is kinda tight, I’ve decided to cancel my trip to DEFCON at the last minute (so sad). I’d take a shower, but I haven’t been able to make it into the basement to light the pilot for my water heater (the gas is turned off, of course). I might try picking the locks again, since there’s nothing shady about a sweaty man picking a lock…

On the plus side, Clone has decided to use his vacation days to visit me this weekend, and so will be driving here tomorrow. Undoubtedly some will be annoyed that he picked SALT LAKE CITY over LAS VEGAS, but I won’t be among them.

Welcome to Florida

We just returned from a vacation to Disney World with our good friends Monica and Chris aka Clone.  We had a great time -favorite moments were probably going on the Mt. Everest ride and the safari ride in Animal Kingdom, going on the Aerosmith roller coaster in Hollywood Studios, relaxing in the pool, and eating at the Moroccan restaurant in Epcot.  I have many pix but I will just post a few of my favorites.

 

Port Orleans French Quarter resort

Port Orleans French Quarter resort

Here’s a picture of our resort.  It was themed like the French Quarter of New Orleans complete with river boat transportation to Downtown Disney.

It was inspired by Fantasia.  Here’s Monica and I goofing off with some of the statues.

 

Here's the pool dragon.

Here's the pool serpent.

 

 

We ended up taking one of the boats to Downtown Disney and eating at an Irish restaurant there.

 

River boat shot from inside the boat.

River boat shot from inside the boat.

 

Candid of Tim and Clone inside the restaurant.

Candid of Tim and Clone inside the restaurant.

 

 

I couldn’t afford to travel the world like I wanted to, so I had to do some pretending at Epcot.

 

Giant golf ball in the background to remind you your at a resort.

Giant golf ball in the background to remind you you are at a resort

 

In the UK

In the UK

 

"'ello!"  "Did you say hello?" "No I said 'ello, but that's close enough!"

"'ello!" "Did you say hello?" "No I said 'ello, but that's close enough!"

 

My tourist action shot in Morocco

My tourist action shot in Morocco

 

Eating at the Moroccan restaurant.

Eating at the Moroccan restaurant.

 

Paris, but of course.

Paris, but of course.

 

Germany

Germany

 

 

Then we went to Africa and Asia…and Dinoland in Animal Kingdom.

 

Got to see a cool bird show.

Got to see a cool bird show.

 

And then we were bad and fed the wild birds, but look how cool they are!

And then we were bad and fed the wild birds, but look how cool they are!

 

Monica in front of the awesome Mt. Everest coaster.

Monica in front of the awesome Mt. Everest coaster.

 

Tim befriending a turtle lamp post.

Tim befriending a turtle lamp post.

 

 

Hollywood was neat, it rained on us a little when we were there.

 

So we were singin' in the rain!

So we were singin' in the rain!

 

Just singin' in the rain!

Just singin' in the rain!

 

Posing in front of the High School Musical show doing the Wildcat dance.

Posing in front of the High School Musical show doing the Wildcat dance.

 

 

And finally…the Magic Kingdom.

 

Me with my pineapple ice cream from Adventure Land.

Me with my pineapple ice cream from Adventure Land.

Small Monica, big castle.

Small Monica, big castle.

 

On Tom Sawyer Island with the Haunted Mansion in the background.

On Tom Sawyer Island with the Haunted Mansion in the background.

 We ended up going on Splash Mountain while it was raining…that was odd.  I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

Clone and Monica pre-Splash Mountain plunge.

Clone and Monica pre-Splash Mountain plunge.

 

Ominous night time castle shot.

Ominous night time castle shot.

 Overall it was a blast.  The resort was so nice.  It’s certainly a different experience from the California parks.  There is so much to do and so much walking we all got pretty worn out -especially my feet!  The resorts are also kind of far from the parks so it felt like there was a lot of time spent on transportation.  I think we had a lot of really good dinners at the Italian and Moroccan restaurants in Epcot, the Irish one in Downtown Disney, and this neat Sci-Fi Drive-in movie inspired restaurant in Hollywood.  Finding vegetarian food especially for lunch was quite a struggle.  We saw a lot of shows on this trip too.  There was two stunt shows in Hollywood (Car stunts and Indiana Jones), the “Flights of Wonder” show in Animal Kingdom, “Fantasmic” at Hollywood, and the two firework shows at the Magic Kingdom and the amazing one at Epcot.  Tim got to fulfill one of his dreams of riding on the “Carousel of Progress.”  I did some things I hadn’t done before like ride on the steam boat and see “The Hall of Presidents.”  So yay for another Disney vacation.  Time to get back to reality!