Thursday, July 27, 2006

Reservoir Dogs

This weekend, the whole Parish clan (minus the notable exception of Tameka) congregated upon the American Falls Reservoir, where Brent and Karisa took us out on their boat. Despite the 100+ degree weather and the overwhelming amount of algae trying to overtake the water, we had a very enjoyable time wake boarding, tubing, skiing (even grandma!), and swimming. We began around 3pm and went practically until the sun went down. I wanted to share a couple personal highlights from the day, and then cruise on over to Deidra's blog to catch even more pictures and highlights.

If at first you don't succeed . . . I finally got up on the wakeboard, after three other unsuccessful boating trips. I guess miracles really do happen. Granted, it was only for about 7 seconds, but at least it's progress!

Here are a few pictures from the tube. Finally, something I don't have to stand up on do ride. :) As you can see from the pictures, Brent tried and tried to oust me from from the tube, but I was invincible sitting in that inflatable little donut. I think I might have a future in the ultra-lucrative Professional Tubing League. At least, a much better future than wakeboarding - that much is certain. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 24, 2006

So you think you can dance?

My nephew, Hudson, sure thought he could this weekend. We had a good time dancing until Aunt Deidra joined in. I don't think he's quite ready for her dance moves. :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Corner Market

Nikkala's last post of "bad chocolate" brought to mind the market on the corner of 3rd & F Streets NW in Washington, DC - a block away from my old apartment. How great to have a market less than a block away, right? That's what I thought when I moved in. I would go there to get paper plates, charcoal briquettes, or other last-minute items whenever I would have company over. My mistake came when I tried to actually purchase edible items there. One day, I felt like a little chocolate, so I purchased a CRUNCH bar from the corner market. Upon opening the candy bar when I got home, I noted that the chocolate was a mucher lighter hue than I remember from my previous experience with CRUNCH bars. I took a bite and was immediately sorry that I had done so. It was n..a..s..t..y! I looked on the wrapper for an expiration date, but apparently they don't print expiration dates on chocolate bars ... at least not that one. But what I did find was information about an instant winner contest that you could participate in by looking under the wrapper. Well, I didn't win anything, but as I looked closer at the rules for the game, I reallized that the contest expired over three years before I bought the candy bar . . . THREE YEARS!!! That means that the candy bar that I bought from the corner market was at least that old, if not older. I vowed then and there not to shop at the corner market anymore. And for a while, I held to my guns.

A while later, I woke up on a Saturday morning to the grumbling of my stomach. Upon checking the cabinets, I realized that I didn't have any cold cereal left. Thoughts of my previous experience at the corner market flashed through my mind and I thought: Do I dare take the chance of buying food there again? After debating it in my head, I decided that it would be a safe purchase. I mean, as long as I check the expiration date, I should be ok, right? I soon learned how wrong I was. I walked down to the market and bought a box of Honey Bunches of Oats with an expiration date well into the future. Feeling excited for my new purchase, I quickly returned home and got a bowl, spoon, and a jog of milk on the table. I opened the box of cereal and tipped it to pour into the bowl. But only a few flakes fell into the bowl. I shook the bowl, thinking that maybe they were just stuck. All of a sudden a clump of flakes fell into the bowl, wrapped together in some kind of webbing, though I wasn't about to find out if the web creator was still in the box. I quickly poured all the flakes back into the bowl a promptly threw the box of cereal in our outside garbage. I was so upset that I wrote an email to the cereal company (I believe it was General Mills, but I don't remember) explaining the disgusting situation. They very promptly returned my email and asked me to fill out a form describing the incident, the expiration date and UPC code of the bow (which I had luckily kept), and the store where it was purchased. They sent me four coupons for a free box of cereal, which I thought was fair enough. But you can bet that I stayed away from the corner market from then on.


Deidra and I were playing a game this morning where you're given a category, then each person takes turns naming things in that category. Except you have to start your item with the last letter of the previous item. So, the category was "things in the ocean" this morning. After playing for a while, it started getting tough to come up with new things. It was my turn after Deidra said "trench," and I we had already used all of the Hs that I could think of right off hand. So as I was racking my brian, all of a sudden a lightbulb went off. "Humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua‘a!" I exclaimed. Her response: "You totally made that up. I don't believe you. What is that?" Well, drawing upon the expertise what I learned at a family reunion many years ago (my mom's cousin lives in Hawaii), I knew that the humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua‘a is the state fish of Hawaii. She still didn't believe me, so ever since I have been at work, I have been emailing Deidra links about the fish - from FoxNews, to Wikapedia, and even the Sherman's Lagoon Comic Strip. So the moral of the story, is this: Point - Chris! Deidra, now it's your turn, and you've got the letter "A" baby!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sacred Naptime

Ok, I know it's kind of ridiculous, but I like my morning naptime. Our alarm goes of at 6am, which is when I get up and go downstairs to read my morning scriptures. After completing that, I usually cozy into the loveseat and take a nap until 6:45 or 7 (depending on when I need to be at work). Then I wake up, eat breakfast, go back upstairs, wake up Deidra and then get ready for my day. Now, that's not too unreasonable, is it?

Last night, Deidra pleaded with me to make sure that I help her wake up at 6am too, instead of allowing her to sleep until 7ish. I was originally defensive, stating that if she wanted to get up when the alarm went off, I was more than happy to let her do so, but I wasn't going to extend any monumental effort on my part to force her to do so. But the main reason I was really defensive was because I knew if she woke up when I did, my nap time would be gone, as she would expect me to use my morning time more "productively." but after her incessant pleading last night, I finally caved and told her I would try to wake her up in the morning. In return, she told me she would do her scripture reading, etc., upstairs in the morning, so as not to disturb my precious naptime.

So I woke up like usual this morning and made a half-hearted effort to wake Deidra up, hoping that she would roll back over and go to sleep. But after I came downstairs, I heard her stirring above me and knew that she had indeed made it out of bed. After reading President Hinckley's final comments from conference, I laid down on the loveseat and closed my eyes. Ten minutes later, Deidra comes downstairs and tells me it's time to wake up. Here's the gist of the conversation:

Deidra: "Chris, it's time to wake up now."
me: "What? It's only 7:30, I still have a good 15-20 minutes to nap."
Deidra: "No, you've slept enough. We need to get our spare bedroom cleaned up."
me: "But you told me if I woke you up, that I could still have my nap."
Deidra: "I said that if you woke me up, I would do my scripture study, etc., upstairs. And I did. But now I'm done and we have things that need to be done this morning."

Hence the end of my nap. And I am sure Deidra will attest to the fact that I was not exactly "happy." In fact, I believe she referred to me as Mr. Grumpypants. But that's what happens when you interrupt the sacred naptime in the morning. All I know is that, if Deidra wants to ruin my mornings by waking up early, she's going to have to do it without my assistance in the future. Then we'll see if her desire to interrupt my naptime in the morning is strong enough to wake her from her own precious extra sleep.

*Note: I dare say this post will not last too long without a rebuttal post and/or comment from Deidra, so keep posted for that! :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Plot #16

This picture is a close-up of the stake and sign designating our garden plot in the community garden. I don't think I have expounded enough on how much I like having a garden. We have eaten a ton of produce already, including salad, snap peas, pod peas, radishes, yellow onions, red onions, bell peppers, and zucchini. But there's still lots more to come! Our pole beans are just starting to get ripe for the picking, more lettuce, zucchini, onions, and bell peppers are waiting to be harvested, and other produce like tomatos, jalepeno peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and hopefully yellow watermelon are on their way. It's exciting, for some reason, to watch these tiny seeds grow and blossom into these amazing plants that yield fruits or vegetables in abundance. Of course, some have fared better than others. We planted and replanted leeks, to no avail. Our carrots are just starting to take form after replanting them, and our pod peas did not quite flourish as we had hoped. Both both our pole beans and snap peas have grown immensely and are yielding way more than we thought possible. So far, the only mishap was when Deidra accidentally pulled up my second crop of radishes. With her dislike for the spicy red bulbs, I sometimes question whether or not there was malicious intent. But I'll give her the benefit of the doubt... for now. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 14, 2006

Where has the time gone?

20 years ago this summer, I was playing my second year of pitching machine baseball.

15 years ago this summer, I was going on one of my first yearly week-long scout camps.

10 years ago this summer, I received a mission call to serve in the Kentucky Louisville mission.

5 years ago this summer, I was taking summer classes to help me finish my bachelors degree the following year.

Today, I am married, working a full-time salaried job, contemplating graduate school, paying off student loans, growing my own garden, and all-in-all pretending to be all grown up. Life flies by pretty quickly.

Where will I be 5, 10, 15, or 20 years from now? Only time will tell. It reminds me of a lyric from The Refreshments: "You wonder where I'll be in a year/ I'll probably be sitting right here." But hopefully I will continue to grow and find new avenues and opportunities, instead of being that stagnant. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The New York Yankee

I had a meeting in Salt Lake City yesterday for work, which was very useful and full of good information, but nothing that any of you would care anything about. What you might be interested in is the lunch. We ordered lunch to be delievered from Jake's Deli and it was way good. They have a cool online ordering system where our boss went online and created a group order ID, and then each of us went online and ordered whatever we wanted to eat (we did this earlier on in the week). Well, I am the only man working with seven women, so when the lunches showed up, I think there was a total of 4 salads, 2 soups, 1 wrap, and my big ol' sandwich. It wasn't too bad . . . until I actually opened up the sandwich wrapping and looked at the mammoth. I had ordered the "New York Yankee" which was pastrami and corned beef. As my wife knows, I am a big fan of pastrami, and I was picturing a normal-sized sandwich with a few thin slices of pastrami and corned beef. When I opened it up, I realized that it lived up to it's name more than I had anticipated. Bulging between two comparitively thin slices of rye bread and a measely slice of provolone cheese was (no exaggeration) a good eight or nine inches of thin pastrami and corned beef piled high and thick. As I opened up the sandwich, I saw everyones' eyes and mouths gape wide open as they compared my half-an-animal sandwich to their petite little soups and salads. Determined to show that I was up to the task, I opened my mouth as wide as possible (which some of you know is pretty dang wide) and began the quest with my first bite. It was SO good and I was able to finish off the entire sandwich, a pickle, pasta salad, and lemonade - to the surprise of all present (including myself). What I didn't tell my co-workers was that I was also the only pig to order dessert. Instead, I kept my chocolate turtle cheesecake concealed in the bag and took it home with me. I think they had seen enough already.

As a sidenote, by the time I got home I felt a little sick. I don't think man was meant to eat that much meat in one sitting. We had eaten lunch at about 12:30, and when my wife asked what I felt like for dinner at about 5:30, I told her I felt like I had just eaten and didn't even need dinner. I started feeling better as the evening progressed, and I later helped her eat the slice of cheesecake, but the New York Yankee was enough meat to serve me for two meals. So I highly recommend Jake's Deli, but be careful about what you order, because you could get more than you bargained for.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Produce, anyone?

I played a show at the Logan Gardeners' Market on Saturday morning. It was a lot of fun and a great environment to play in. For those of you not familiar with the market, a bunch of local gardeners, craftsman, artists, and other vendors all set up shop in a local park and then people browse through all day buying produce, bread, lemonade, flowers, clothing, pictures, artwork, etc. And they typically have some sort of musician or band playing in the background. Well, Staurday was the first time I was scheduled to play, and I had a really good time. I sold a few CDs and got a few bucks in tips, so I was happy. But on top of that, the person in charge of setting up musicians for the market, Skip Astro (what an awesome name, huh?), had mentioned to me when we set up the dates I would play at the fest that, while they couldn't pay musicians anything for playing, they "pay in produce." I knew Skip had a table at the market and I figured he meant that he would give me a couple bucks worth of lettuce or spinach or something. But when I saw him toting a big blue rubbermaid container throughout the market while I was playing, I started to wonder if he was gathering my payment of produce, which I soon found out is exactly what he was doing. So I ended up coming home with three loaves of specialty bread, two pounds of cherries, some garlic, onions, scallions, lettuce, and more beets and beet greens then I have ever seen in one place at one time (I guess beets are in season!). I mean, what exactly do you do with beets, anyway? If anyone has any ideas, please enlighten us.

And on top of the gardeners' market, we also went to our own garden on Sunday and came away with a ton of lettuce and spinach, some snap peas, and some other peas. So we have enough produce for a little while. Hopefully we can get through most of it before it starts going bad. It looks like we're eating salads every meal for the next couple of weeks at least. :-)

And one final note about playing at the gardeners' market. In between sets, I got appoached from a guy who wanted me to play at the downtown street festival this week for $25/hour. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. So if you're going to be in Logan this Friday from 1-4pm, come check it out!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I like to ride my bicycle

At least I used to like it. For the past month or so, I have been riding my bike to work and back every day. It used to be about 2.3 miles and was pretty flat for the most part. All in all, it took between 10-13 minutes to get to work, depending on the traffic. Well, since moving to the new apartment, it's gotten a little more rigorous. The distance to work is probably about a quarter-mile longer, but the big kicker is the huge hill I have to climb now. Whether I am going to or from work, I have to climb the hill near the temple, only to descend it afterward. It's a butt-kicker, for sure. But I figure at least now I can tell my kids and grandkids stories someday about how I used to have ride to work going uphill both ways. :-) I guess I'm actually getting a workout this way, but it's probably not too professional to walk into the office with sweat pouring down my face. Luckily, it's usually much cooler biking to work in the morning than it is coming home in the afternoon. I fear that our apartment is going to start smelling like a sweaty locker room. Good thing Deidra just got a couple of plug-in air fresheners ... I wonder if that was on my account.

And while we're on the subject of getting all sweaty, I went and played basketball at the church last night. There were only four guys, so we played a few games of 2-on-2, rotating teammates after every game. I thought I would be in better shape since I've started riding my bike to work, but I was huffing and puffing like a fish out of water after every game and by the end of the three games (a total of just less than an hour), I was sweating like I had just run a marathon or something. Am I really that out of shape? In my defense, the gym was uber-hot and I wasn't the only player that seemed to bolt for the water fountain between every game. Maybe at age 28, I'm just not the young buck I used to be. Next thing you know, I am going to be sprouting gray hairs, sporting a big ol' gut, and struggling to bend over and tie my shoes (and no comments about how I'm already halfway there, okay Deidra?). I guess a little extra biking workout every day can only do me some good, and maybe someday I can play a little basketball without feeling like I'm going to die when it's over. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Chillin' with the In-Laws

So, yesterday was the Fourth of July - a day synonymous with BBQ, sun, water sports, fireworks, friends, and family. Well, my wife and I woke up early in the morning with no plans whatsoever for the day. The City of Logan does their fireworks show on July 3rd and we had already gone to that with some friends, so we thought the majority of our Independence Day celebration was complete even before the 4th of July began. In fact, after going to our garden in the morning and picking about ten million snap peas, and then putting the big American flag (that we got as a gift when we got married) in our apartment window, we found ourselves at home at 11 a.m. wondering what to do for the rest of the day.

We decided to call my wife's sister in Blackfoot, ID, and find out what they were up to. Well, that started the ball rolling. Her sister called around to the rest of their family and by that afternoon my wife and I met up with her three sisters, one of their husbands, two nephews, and my wife's parents at Massacre Rock. Not too bad for a last minute family get-together, if you ask me. And despite the fact the I tried unsuccessfully for the third time to get up on the wakeboard, I had a good time spending the day with family. (For the record, I did actually have fun tubing and kneeboarding - and one day I will conquer the wakeboard as well.) There was all sorts of good food and drink (particularly the brats), and it's always entertaining to play with our two nephews, at 18 months and 6 months old. We spent more time driving to and from Massacre Rock (a total of about five hours) then we actually spent there (about four and a half hours), but I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable holiday. After hearing all the jokes and horror stories for years about in-laws, I've decided that I am a pretty lucky guy to have the in-laws that I have.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Name origins - Part II

I already got a comment from my first post - a request for another name origin, no less. I must be getting famous. Of course, it was my sister-in-law, but I'll take it.

So, the request was that I explain the origin of "chartie," the name I use to sign my comments and blog posts. Unfortunately, it's not quite as colorful of a story as GoodNed, but we'll explain it nonetheless. About 5 years ago, I moved into a three-bedroom rowhouse in DC, joining two other roommates that were already there. One of them decided he had to come up with a nickname for me. It started as "Chartwell," the first initial of my first name combined with my last name. He thought it was a great nickname, especially since I am a musician and it could have a double meaning in that sense (i.e. my music will do well on the charts, or something). Soon it came to be shortened as "Chartie," which then spread to my other roommate (and subsequent roommates) and friends in DC. And that's the story, albeit a short one, of how that name came to be.