Monday, April 30, 2007

My Favorite Author

Jonathan Stroud is an amazing author. Specializing in fantastical writing, he combines humor, mystery, intrigue in a captivating fashion, not to mention giving the reader plenty of vocab words to look up each day. His books leave you fully satisfied, yet you want to keep reading more. I was so excited when I found today that there are more books!
I have only read his three books in the Bartimaeus Trilogy and absolutely loved them. I came across the first one, The Amulet of Samarkand, on CD in one of the SF Libraries. The books are similar in genre to the Harry Potter series, but I have to admit that I like this trilogy twice as much, if not thrice. They currently rank as my favorite books!

Wherefore, I was so excited today when I googled my favorite author and found his website. I had visited one of his other websites before,, but hadn't come across his own yet,

I was wicked excited to find out that he has three other books not in the series. I immediately looked them all up on the RI library system and all three are currently underway to our library!

When you start the Trilogy, and I implore you to do so quite soon, I suggest getting the first on audio CD. The narrator is fabulous and the humor and flow of the writing is vivid and fun to listen too. Plus, it helps to have a British accent as well as know how Stroud intended names, places, etc. to be pronounced.

While surfing his site I saw that one of his other books, Buried Fire, had just been released in Germany and an except of the audio book was available online. I really like the German narrator!

I can't wait until my next trip to the Library!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why can't a woman be more like a man!?

"Let's Go" she calls down stairs. We are planning to go garage sale-ing on a beautiful sunny Saturday. I suggested she take a shower before we head out so she'll feel a little better during the day's activities, but it took 20 minutes longer then I expected. So I called "OK" back up the stairs and a few minutes later carried Sam upstairs to get him cleaned off. When to my surprise I found out that "Let's Go" doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Mentally I run though a few different languages to see if I understood the phrase correctly: gehen wir! vamanos! (confirmed with Dora!) So at least in German and Spanish it seems to imply leaving the house very soon/I'm ready now after a long shower.

Why then is the said woman not even dressed at the time of saying Vamanos? I can't explain it. No, meow meow meow meow was going through my mind when spoken to, I didn't miss anything. It must just get lost in translation from the female to the male. Even the many Der Die Das/masculine feminine neuters of the German language is nothing compared to understanding the complexity of the female language. Unfortunately, once this is posted I will be a Das Mann instead of a Der Mann.

This brought to mind a most noble and truth telling song from My Fair Lady: A Hymn to Him.

Here are a few of the Lyrics:

Women are irrational, that's all there is to that! There heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags! They're nothing but exasperating, irritating,vacillating, calculating, agitating, Maddening and infuriating hags!

[To Pickering]Pickering, why can't a woman be more like a man?


HIGGINS:Yes... Why can't a woman be more like a man? Men are so honest, so thoroughly square; Eternally noble, historic'ly fair; Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat. Well, why can't a woman be like that? Why does ev'ryone do what the others do? Can't a woman learn to use her head? Why do they do ev'rything their mothers do? Why don't they grow up- well, like their father instead? Why can't a woman take after a man? Men are so pleasant, so easy to please; Whenever you are with them, you're always at ease.

Anyways, we did make it to two garage sells and got some excellent deals, including two dolphin squirt guns for a dime!!!!

Patriot's Day in Kent County

Thursday I took the boys on a Library trip to the East Greenwich Free Library. As we got out of the car and headed toward the library our ears were met by the colonial sound of the fife and drum! It was patriot's day and the Kentish Guard was performing their annual reenactment of the March on Lexington. (I love living out here!) We had just missed the beginning of their march so we hung out in front of the library while they circled around a few blocks and ended next door to the Library at the Kentish Guard (1774).

The boys were loving it. Max got to see some real SWORDS and guns. He kept running ahead to keep up with their march. Both were standing and marching along the library's wall trying to keep time with the drumming and Sam kept asking "Dose Piyets" (Are those Pirates?)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Breakfast Cook Off

~6 and 3/4 years ago Em told me she would cook eggs benedict for me. I, @ the time, had never had Egg's B before. (Subsequently, I have had it twice at The Beach Chalet and Chou Chou, both in San Francisco). So this morning she decided she was ready to give it a go.

As she began she wanted me to look up how to poach an egg (neither of us has ever attempted to poach an egg, we thought Mormons weren't supposed to) and pulled out her outdated lame cook book, "How To Cook Everything." I then went to my cooking bible for advice, "The New Best Recipe," from Cook's Illustrated. (Everything I have ever made therefrom has turned out excellent.) Thus began the cook off to see who could make the best poached egg!

I had great faith in my book and its editor Christopher Kimball, my cooking god. Fast forward a few minutes and lots of trash talking and we had a wonderful creation. To be honest with all involved, Em's eggs did end up looking better and I had to eat my words, as well as the eggs! I was slightly disappointed* with my eggs shape (the taste was exquisite though), as it had a little too much feathering.
(Mine is the one on the egg's right, Em's is on the left)

It was a supper yummy breakfast and my wife rocks!

*At which point she told me I shouldn't worship false gods! (She's funny too! sometimes)
*I still hold true that my cook book is better, I just need a bit more practice with my method.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter again-A bit of tradition

One of my favorite paintings I saw in Jerusalem was at this church on the mount of olives. It is the Russian Orthodox Church: Church of Mary Magdalene.

I searched for an hour trying to find an image of the painting, but it can't be done. (The nuns were very adamant about not letting me take a picture at the time.) Anyway it is a beautiful picture of Mary standing before Augustus Caesar holding a red egg. The story behind it is as follows:
Before the egg became closely entwined with the Christian Easter, it was honored during many rite-of-Spring festivals. The Romans, Gauls, Chinese, Egyptians and Persians all cherished the egg as a symbol of the universe, of the earth’s rebirth at springtime. With the advent of Christianity the symbolism of the egg changed to represent, not nature's rebirth, but the rebirth of man.
Christians embraced the egg symbol and likened it to the tomb from which Christ rose. Saint Augustine first described Christ’s Resurrection from the dead as a chick bursting from an egg. This symbolism was enhanced in the Christian East’s celebration of Easter. At the end of the Paschal Liturgy, the faithful exchange paschal greetings and the priest and the faithful present each other with red eggs. Wooden eggs are sometimes suspended from hanging lamps and chandeliers, and often the faithful decorate wooden eggs with icons and hang them from the vigil lights in their homes.
THE FIRST EASTER EGG-According to tradition, Saint Mary Magdalene, who had patrician rank, gained an audience in Rome with the emperor after the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. She denounced Pilate for his handling of Jesus' trial and then began to talk with Caesar about Jesus' resurrection. She picked up a hen's egg from the dinner table to illustrate her point about resurrection. Caesar was unmoved and replied that there was as much chance of a human being returning to life as there was for the egg to turn red. Immediately, the egg miraculously turned red in her hand! It is because of this tradition that Orthodox Christians exchange red eggs at Easter.

I don't know about the truth of any of this*, however, it was a magnificent painting and a great story of her witness of Christ's Resurrection.

*Michael: Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know you are getting the best possible information. (The Office Michael Scott Season 3, Episode 18: "The Negotiation")

Happy Easter

We did our secular Easter celebration on Saturday: some toys, Easter candy, egg hunt all followed by a gourmet Ebelskiver breakfast. This was in hopes of turning a little more focus onto Christ and the Resurrection on Sunday, but I'm not sure if that worked. It at least extended our celebration an extra day.

Emily rose again to new heights in preparing a wicked awesome dinner for us and the Montoya's (minus Diane and Jaren who were still in the hospital following the latter's birth). An awesome ham, au gratin potatoes, rolls, homemade strawberry jam, (I made great sweet potatoes). All prepared with one oven, served hot and on time!!! It was a great Easter and we even attended a baptism.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Question and Answer

Last night Max asked mom "Why is daddy so angry tonight?"

Well the answer is that I am standing in the bathroom picking up a clump of poo that just fell out of your brother's pants and I don't want you in here to step in it!!! I'm not angry I was just firm about you not coming in the bathroom while I cared for poopy pants. Plus, I have woken up at 5am the last two day to work in the OR and then go back to the clinic until 6 pm. So I'm a little tired and a slight edgy, but I do love you and don't want you to step in the poop. =]

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fools!!!

At my childhood home we had an enormous oak tree in the back yard. One year, when I was about 6 or 7 or 8ish, it became infested with caterpillars and their associated cocoons. By infested I mean millions on the tree and on the ground. So one day my friend Rachael and I decided to collect a pail full. What does one do with a pail full of caterpillars on april fool's day? Well we decided to place them in the bed of my sister who is visually impaired. We thought this was a great idea, however, luckily for Fris mom went into turn down her bed before she went in to nap. So mom ruined our joke but looking back on that now it may have been for the best. (
Caterpillers do make a mess when left by themselves under the covers).

Other good April 1 ideas:

If your wife can sleep all morning (which I assume most could) let her. Then turn all the clocks forward 4 hours and wake her up in sync with the second general conference session so she thinks she missed the first one. (This provided only a few minutes of disorientation since I didn't get to change one clock in the bedroom when she woke up.)

If your wife is OCD and needs her IKEA plates in rainbow order (which I assume not many do) as well as her clothes. Turn all her shirts inside out and mix up the color order. (I couldn't bring myself to do this one this year since she had just got her closet "in order," and didn't want to waste a week of her hard work. Maybe next year.)