Saturday, December 31, 2011
Soul Surfer ++
17 Miracles ++
The Help ++
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol ++
Harry Potter Series (-2011) ++
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Sherlock Holmes: The Game of Shadows
Warrior **Note: This movie is not for kids due to its including intense drug abuse and violence**
After listening to President Thomas S. Monson give an inspiring Christmas devotional this season, Julia and I determined to read The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We took turns reading it aloud. I also insisted that Julia read the voices. I loved it and it was an excellent way to celebrate the season.
For Christmas we received a copy of The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke. I also read that this season and I agree with President Monson it is a suberp and worthwhile story. I loved the imagery and felt it was very easy to identify with the characters.
Friday, December 23, 2011
This week Julia, her sister J, and I were in a car accident on the way to work. We were very blessed to leave the car crash safely. We were traveling US 189 alongside the river and I lost control of the car--this resulted in the car bouncing between guard rails while spinning. We all walked away from the scene on our own two feet and none of us were cut up or burned worth a nickel. Multiple inspired prayers had been given for our safety prior to the crash and I believe that it was a Christmas miracle that all is well. We also enjoyed the kindness of strangers who immediately pulled over and offered to help and to let us keep warm inside their cars and who even stayed until the police had arrived. On top of that, our boss came down and picked us up and paid to have us checked out at the hospital and eat breakfast. He even took us to get some pain killer out of his very generously kind heart.
You may wonder what this post and the ginger bread house have to do with each other...my brother W fed us twice this week and invited us to make gingerbread houses together. This is our home--complete with snow topped roof, licorice brick walkway, and skittles door. All creatively cool ideas provided by Julia. I am forever grateful that she was protected during the crash. I love her.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
2. Barton Hallow - The Civil Wars
3. Long Player Late Bloomer - Ron Sexsmith
4. Christmas - Michael Buble
5. Last Night on Earth - Noah and the Whale
*Fictionist - EP - Fictionist
*So Beautiful or So What - Paul Simon
*Torches - Foster The People
*Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
And For Good Measure... 2010's BEST ALBUMS:
1. Flamingo - Brandon Flowers
2. Hell & Silence EP - Imagine Dragons
3. Anchor - Mindy Gledhill
4. My Christmas - Andrea Bocelli
5. Hoarse & Roaring - Parlor Hawk
*Egyptian - EP - Egyptian
*100 Years: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
*The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
*Let The Dog Drive Home - Teitur
*There Are Debts - David Hopkins
*I Speak Because I Can - Laura Marling
Saturday, December 17, 2011
This year Papi got to assist Santa by filling in for him during the Ward Christmas party. He was very appreciative of being on team Santa and he also appreciated that only one child cried. Although, he did say several of them had very soft little voices.
Here's a new Christmas song by a talented rock group called Fictionist who recently signed to major label Atlantic Records. I have a good memory of walking out of the BYU Wilkinson Center on a cold winter evening in 2006 or 2007 and finding the lead singer performing with his former band...I was very very impressed and immediately purchased their album and told him I loved his guitar solos. I think he and his band mates have kept the spirit of Christmas with this great song. Enjoy!
My other picks for 2011--
Christmas by Michael Buble
Glad Christmas Tidings by Mormon Tabernacle Choir feat. David Archuleta
The Cowboy Christmas Ball by The Killers
We also made efforts to be Christian and good by taking Julia's bonus gift card to Carrabba's Italian Grill and enjoying a terrific lunch with my sister E this morning before she heads off to Las Vegas without us. Fun times and a wonderful experience complete with jokes.
Last night, we stayed up with the Hardings and some friends chatting until late in the evening. Christmas times is excellent because suddenly family and friends have time to spend with each other instead of studies.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I've recently been very impressed with a three episode series BYUtv aired called "Fires of Faith." Joe and I finished watching them today and really enjoyed the educational journey the series took us on. It was a bit disheartening to see, though, that in the last part where they interviewed people on the street about whether they read the Bible or not and many said they did not or they hadn't for many years. How sad that after all those martyrs went through to get the Bible into the hands of the common people, 400 years later many have it on their shelves, but cannot be bothered with opening it and studying what is inside. I encourage everyone to watch these videos. They were very inspiring and made me very grateful to be so blessed.
You can watch the videos here.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Firstly, because he is the best suited person to take on the intense economic problems and dicey hope in America's status as frontrunner in the world's economy.
*Saved the 2002 Olympics and turned them into one of the most profitable ever.
*Successfully acted as CEO of the 2002 olympics, Massachusetts, Bain and Company, and Bain Capital. Turned around Massachusetts's budget, turned around Bain and Company and also helped create 10,000's of jobs.
Secondly, because he has lived a very successful and inspiring life.
*Actively married to the same woman for 42 years.
*Active member of the same church his entire life--served it as a missionary, Bishop, Stake President, Sunday School teacher, Home Teacher, etc.
*Active father and grandfather--all five of his sons attended prestigious universities and married.
*Graduated as valedictorian of BYU, JD/MBA program at Harvard (top 5% of his class)
*Serves his citizenry as a Senatorial candidate, Governor, 2x Presidential candidate
Thirdly, he has been as leader for most of his life...successfully.
*1 term Governor
*1x Stake President and 1x Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Fourthly, other leaders recognize he is an outstanding candidate and have faithfully endorsed him. They include but are not limited to--
*Former President and Vice President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993)
*Gov. Chis Christie (New Jersey)
*Gov. Nikki Haley (South Carolina)
*Gov. Bob McDonnell (Virginia)
*Gov. Rick Snyder (Michigan)
*Gov. Jan Brewer (Arizona)
*Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota, 2003-2011) - former 2012 presidential candidate
*Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr (Utah, 2005-2009) - former 2012 presidential candidate and former US Ambassador to China (2009-2011) and Singapore (1992-1993)
*Former Gov. Robert Ray (Iowa, 1969-1983)
*Former Gov. and White House Chief of Staff John Sununu (New Hampshire, 1983-1989)
*Former Gov. Frank Keating (Oklahoma, 1995-2003)
*Former V. Pres. Dan Quayle (1989-1993)
*Former US Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (Kansas, 1985-1996)--former GOP presidential nominee
*Former UN Ambassador Bolton (United Nations, 2005-2006)
*Former Ambassador Edelman (Turkey, 2003-2005; Finland, 1998-2001)
*Former Sec of State, Sec of the Treasury, Chief of Staff James A Baker III
*US Sen. John McCain (Arizona)
*US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)
*US Sen. John Thune (South Dakota)
*US Sen. John Hoeven (North Dakota)
*US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
*US Sen. Mark Kirk (Illinois)
*US Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah)
*Former US Sen. Connie Mack III (Florida, 1997-2001)
*Former US Sen., Ambassador to the UN John Danforth (Missouri, 1976-1995)
*Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (Florida)
*Rep. Diaz-Balart (Florida)
*Rep. Womack (Arkansas)
*Rep. McCotter (Michigan) - former 2012 presidential candidate
*CA Billionaire Donald Bren
*Washington Examiner (Conservative Washington DC newspaper comparable to the Washington Post)
*Des Moines Register (Most influential Iowa newspaper)
*Ann Coulter (TV conservative personality)
Fifthly, he has published his ideas for every American to read and learn. I've never seen a politician do such a clear and direct delivery ever.
*No Apology: Believe In America (I've read this)
*Believe In America: Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth (free download)
Sunday, December 4, 2011
What’s more American than Apple Pie? With Thanksgiving right behind us and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day coming up Julia thought she would try her hand at her first ever homemade apple pie. The recipe comes from a woman who won two blue ribbons for it at her county fair. It is the most scrumptious apple pie I’ve ever tasted.
She also made one for the Ward Christmas Party yesterday.
Recipe on Julia and my sister's food blog.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
28 And now if ye have judges, and they do not ajudge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.
29 If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.
30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.
I believe in being a registered voter and an educated person of high moral fiber. I also believe in capitalism and I am a Mitt Romney backer.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sound with their own voice
The yearnings of their soul
For if it's not spoken
The line remains broken
And silence begins to take toll.
But if we are open
There rarely is mopin'
And everything's far less dull.
So now I will say
May the rest of your year be full.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Julia cooked homemade cornbread stuffing and homemade cheesecake and she wrapped all of the family presents for my SIL's shower in addition to purchasing or at least shopping for each of them as well. She also did our laundry and rubbed my back. My wife is gracious.
We saw the always excellent The Muppet Christmas Carol as well as the new movie, The Muppets (fun yet still not quite their best work), and visited with a lot of family and friends. We also played Clue and Scrabble simultaneously (VERY tough) and chess. One of our HTA artists, Mindy Gledhill, released a Christmas album being featured on iTunes. The single "Winter Moon" has a puppet/muppet-esque music video here--
I enjoyed playing sports and telling jokes/ghost stories while the baby shower was held.
During Thanksgiving meal we enjoyed super gravy, terrific orange peel rolls, fresh Marco rolls, and plenty of other delectable fixings. Afterward, I told a young cousin several jokes until he finally peed his pants laughing. What a fun Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I am very pleased to congratulate them for signing with major label Interscope Records!
Imagine Dragons are now working on their first full length album (although they have three independently released EPs on iTunes). Grammy-winning producer Alex Da Kid (Eminem, Rhianna, T.I., Paramore, U2) is working with the guys. And they are all really nice guys.
Previously, they won 4 battles of the bands, earned "Band of the Year" accolades across Las Vegas, and were invited to perform with Weezer, Interpol, Neon Trees, The Temper Trap, Foster The People, O.A.R., Blue October, Hot Chip, and many more.
Imagine Dragons website
Imagine Dragons wikipedia (written by me)
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Recently, Julia and I have also been watching a lot of the television series MONK. We love it.
Julia is also studying American Heritage in between working out at Gold's Gym.
Saturday morning my dad and I went to the Clark County Shooting Range with the Elder's Quorum. The top shooter earned a trophy declaring him "Top Shot" and that went to Bro. McFadden.
Next, we sanded and painted a used sewing machine table that Julia and I bought on a super deal (including machine). We rounded out the evening watching Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION perform downtown near Fremont Street as part of the Vegas Music Summit. I also chatted with the attorney for the artist Prince.
Sunday, we enjoyed attending the home ward and I ran into Shane Flowers who I worked with from time to time during the summer of 2011. He was visiting because his cousin was inducted into the golfing hall of fame.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
*Flamingo - Brandon Flowers
*Sam’s Town - The Killers
*Joshua Tree - U2
*Achtung Baby - U2
*It’s Time - Imagine Dragons
*1 - The Beatles
*Parachute - Coldplay
*A Rush Of Blood To The Head - Coldplay
*Darkness On the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen
*Born In The USA - Bruce Springsteen
*Philadelphonic - G. Love & Special Sauce
*Lost and Gone Forever - Guster
*Thriller - Michael Jackson
*Nilsson Schmilsson - Harry Nilsson
*Anchor - Mindy Gledhill
*Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
*Graceland - Paul Simon
*James Taylor’s Greatest Hits - James Taylor
*Teaser and the Firecat - Cat Stevens
*Gold - Ryan Adams
*Room For Squares - John Mayer
*Tap Root Manuscript - Neil Diamond
*O - Damien Rice
*White Ladder - David Gray
*Amber & Green - David Hopkins
*Guitar Town - Steve Earle
*Harvest Moon - Neil Young
*The Stranger - Billy Joel
*The Animal Years - Josh Ritter
*Brushfire Fairytales - Jack Johnson
*In Between Dreams - Jack Johnson
*Lonelyland - Bob Schneider
*Hoarse & Roaring - Parlor Hawk
MORE CLASSICAL ALBUMS
*A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night - Harry Nilsson
*Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
*100 - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
*Showtime - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
*Romanza - Andrea Boccelli
*White Christmas - Bing Crosby
*My Christmas - Andrea Boccelli
*Joy To The World - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
*Glad Tidings Christmas - Mormon Tabernacle Choir feat. David Archuleta
I've gone ahead and linked some of the ones that I really feel strongly about.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Julia and I dressed up as Amelia Earhart and the night guard from Night at The Museum 2.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Saturday -- We went to Lagoon with Julia's brother and his wife, the wife's brothers, our good friends Megan and Melissa, and their significant others. We also ate at Chic-Fil-A. Lagoon is excellent in part because it is clean, visited by fairly nice people, and it is home of one of the coolest rides I've ever ridden--"Wicked". The ride includes a straight shoot up and then a straight drop down on the coaster. Furthermore, since we visited during the Frightmares Season we got to do two haunted houses before calling it enough. And, we rode one of the best kiddie rides I've been on--"Oddysea". It was wet, self controlled, and fun.
Finally, we ate out and I had fried zucchini at Carl's Jr. and $1 Spicy Chicken sandwiches (I always add pico de gallo from the free toppings or fry sauce). I only make note of this because those sandwiches were a source of pride amongst my former college roommates.
The whole thing probably wouldn't have been possible if not for my brother W and his wife K. They were kind enough to give us two Lagoon tickets free. Talk about brotherly/sisterly love.
Sunday -- At church the primary children sang and spoke. It was fantastic and we chuckled and listened to some of the sweet things they said in addition to enjoying the good spirit there. That evening my sister E came over and helped Julia bake an incredible pumpkin chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate ganache. We celebrated SIL K's birthday at E's home with pizza, cookies, and cake. There were several people there and it was excellent cake.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
In honor of Halloween coming up Julia made candy corn mousse. We are also reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. We are still working on costumes. Recently, we also began listening to my Halloween mix--
Curse - Imagine Dragons
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Bones - The Killers
Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Help I'm Alive - Metric
Ghost Busters - Ray Parker, Jr.
Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Zombie - The Cranberries
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Last Saturday Julia and I went for sushi at my favorite place in P-Town...Sushiya. It was Julia's first time. We ate salmon, tuna, and eel in addition to some rolls. If you've never been to Sushiya and tried the "godzilla" I recommend it.
Sunday evening we celebrated my cousin SB's birthday with a family dinner and then cake and ice cream with loads of friends.
Monday, we signed up at Gold's Gym for FHE.
On Tuesday we had a GOP debate party with some family. We bought pizza and watched the debate and commented back and forth about the results. We even had a pocket copy of the US Constitution available for reference.
Wednesday, I went to an excellent concert at The State Room in SLC. The headliner was Priscilla Ahn (Blue Note Records) and Parlor Hawk were the openers. Parlor Hawk's harmonies and duo set up was excellent and Priscilla rounded out the evening nicely. I also spoke with her and her band including Gary who, being Japanese, chatted with me in the language. Unfortunately, Julia is still just barely too young to attend.
Thursday, my mom came for a surprise visit and we all went to see my sister and my cousin play and win their championship intramural volleyball game at BYU. It was a nail biter but the Spike Girls took it home like true champions. Then we went for dinner at another favorite spot--Zuppas.
Friday, October 7, 2011
*They are seminary teachers
*Their first names rhyme
*They both used to substitute teach for school
*They are married to Mormon men (older then them) who have masters degrees in accounting
*They use corn holders shaped like corn
*They, their spouses and thus far all of their children have attended BYU campuses
*All of their sons have served full time missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
*They make peanuts covered in chocolate and give them out at Christmas time (no carmel inside the clusters)
*They love to garden and are members of the Republican party
*They love to gab on the phone with their ward and family members
*They talk to their pet animals as though they were people (knowing they are not people)
*They instituted health shakes (made of fresh ingredients) to ward away illness–both shakes taste horrible and are brown colored
*They both like to read
*They both like the bands Imagine Dragons and Egyptian
*They both are bashful swimmers
*They love Mexican food and they LOVE garlic
*They LOVE their kids unequivocally
*Their mothers remind Joe of each other
*They don’t watch rated R movies but they watch a lot of movies on dates or with family
*They always discourage sleep overs
*They expect manners and will not stand foul language
*They loved to get the insider scoop on who we (were) dating
*They love to tell other people stories about the wild things we’ve done after we do them and tell…if we tell in advance they will raise all sorts of questions about how good an idea this is…
*They go regularly to the temple–how awesomely righteous?!
*They don't watch sports except for the occasional BYU game
*Both “let” their children clean floors by riding around on sponges and rags when they were younger
*Both with tease you, laugh with you, gab with you, or just get to know you if you give them the chance. That's how they learned to behave in public.
When Julia was younger she ran a cheesecake business. One of her favorite customers paid as much as $300 for her handmade cheesecakes. She even hand dips the chocolate covered strawberries, etc. If she loves you and the cream cheese is on super sale, you may one day taste a cheesecake a la Julia.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
We bought two glazed donuts and stayed home and watched Life Is Beautiful (1997) which is an Italian film which won three Academy Awards (including best actor).
I took the LSAT at BYU. Afterward I joined Julia and her sister and husband for the General Conference of the Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and pizza.
More General Conference. More food. More time with my wife.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
1. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman (Recommend)
2. Christ And The New Covenant by Jeffery R Holland (Recommend+)
3. Super Freakonomics by Steven Leavitt & Stephen Dubner (Don't Recommend)
4. Holes by Louis Sachar (Recommend+)
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis (Recommend)
6. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (Recommend)
7. Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring by Henry J Eyring (Recommend+)
8. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Recommend)
9. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger (Recommend)
10. A Wild Sheep Chase by Murakami Haruki (Don't Recommend)
Next up for Book Club: Dracula by Bram Stoker
Our GoodReads Profiles:
Will, Kristen, Julia, and I went to Olive Garden. We enjoyed unlimited breadsticks and salad. We also finished with three different cups of gourmet moose and cake called Dolcini courtesy of Will and Kristen. The waiter was very casual to the point of near rudeness but definitely interesting (and he gave us more breadsticks with our dinner). Next, we went to the Rooftop Concert Series where we caught The Vibrant Sound and fast rising rock group Imagine Dragons. Lots more family were also there for the concert and we ran into many many good friends.
Attendance was somewhere around 3,500 people and the crowd was definitely intense. Imagine Dragons throw one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Footage of the show below:
I took a practice LSAT first thing in the morning. The Reynolds and Meservys all met up at the Farmer's Market and then visited the Latino Festival--both were being held at nearby parks. We all sort of meandered about and joked and discussed movies and books while we looked at the various booths in classic Callister fashion. We even purchased a couple undercooked empenadas from some very latino venders before taking Harry & Sarah back. My brother and his wife were the smart ones who visited El Gallo Giro for lunch.
We met up with The Reynolds and my sister Elise later to watch The Help for a second time. We really like that movie and approve of it so much we convinced them to watch it rather than some poorly critiqued scifi/horror flick. To cap things off I took Julia to eat at Five Guys Burgers for the first time since Sunday was fast Sunday.
We attended our awesome new ward in our excellent church building. Our Bishop, Bishop Rasmussen, is a wonderful man with tremendous faith. We attended a class on marriage and family relationships during sunday school after hearing some really good testimonies about Jesus Christ in sacrament meeting. In the evening we went to see Julia's sister and new husband and then attended pizza night with my sister and cousin.
Monday (Labor Day):
I convinced Julia to visit Borders Bookstore during it's last 10 days. We purchased 5 books each for between 60-80% off. Then we used our complimentary tickets to Color Me Mine. It took a very long time but Julia made a very nice red polka dot mug (despite an unfortunate paint dilemma) and I whipped up a red plate with the Hungry Tiger Agency logo on top. Next we visited friends in our old ward and purchased tickets to Winnie The Pooh for FHE. The movie was very cute and classic Winnie the Pooh. The lesson was a reading assignment from church. It was a very sweet day, I was privileged to spend with my wife.