Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dear Mr. President

I went to the library last night to return The Secret Life of Bees and found myself perusing the 2 1/2 aisles of books on cds section looking for something new to listen to. I bypassed the Clive Cussler and Jodi Piccoult novels and hesistated in front of Dickens but moved on. Here is what I ended up coming home with:

Team of Rivals - about Abraham Lincoln's brain trust (is that what it's called?)
Sense and Sensibility - I've seen the movie, now I will listen to the book while I drive
King Lear - I don't know what possessed me other than I saw "Kenneth Branagh" on the cover and decided "what the heck? I could use more culture in my life"
Tunnels - young adult suspense I think
Dreams from my Father - narrated by the author, Barack Obama

I am admittedly uninformed about the current presidency. I just don't follow current events or politics or sports or anything that normal people my age who are literate probably follow. That is sort of shameful to admit, but its the truth. In my defense, I don't read People or Perez Hilton or any other celebrity gossip stuff either, so I think I balance out in a neutral, uniformed, jello-ish sort of middle.

At various times in my life I have made conscientious efforts to be up to speed on current events, but it is so easy for me to slack off. I'm lucky if I read the headlines on each day, let alone click through to an article. There are only two topics that really capture my imagination: 1) interesting legal cases and 2) international articles about places that capture my imagination - doesn't have to be travel necessarily as long as it is about an interesting place that strikes my fancy.

So anyway, back to the President, when I was debating which book to start in on first, his book was the one I reached for. I don't hate him, I don't love him - frankly I don't feel like I know him or much about him or his policies. And I want to know him. Isn't it a God-given trait for every american to want to know who is supposedly leading them and their country? He wrote this book back when he was in law school and that makes me feel like I have some sort of a connection with him. It is not some pompous thing he wrote after ascending to office to tout his success or anything, so that also helps me feel a little more kindly toward the book. I'm looking forward to getting to know a younger, less experienced Obama through the words he captured when he was maybe more at my age and stage of life.

So far I'm enjoying Dreams from my Father. The writing is descriptive and almost fanciful at times - the settings of Kansas, Hawaii and Indonesia and the time period of the 1930's and 1960's all lend to interesting depictions of people and circumstances - and the stories have a rich chewy kind of quality to them that makes me want to stop the cd and ponder what I just heard.  Like a good cookie makes me want to chew a bite a little bit longer before swallowing and taking the next bite. 

I also think it is healthy for me to taking a break from all of the fiction I've been indulging in.  Maybe reading/listening to this book will inspire me to be more politically minded and socially conscious. 

Barack, I'm looking forward to learning more about you.  Let's you and me be friends, m'kay?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mt. Madonna with the Millers

Our friends Jason and Ginny invited us to go camping with them this weekend at Mt. Madonna, which is about forty-five minutes south of San Jose.  Paul packed everything on Friday while I was at work and we headed out as soon as I got home.  Friday night was foggy and chilly, but that only made it nicer for sitting around the campfire to stay warm.  (Okay, so I basically froze my tush off, but it was still wonderful).  Btw, I took these photos and am pretty proud of catching the sparks in this first one. 

Jason exhibited masterful fire-making skills, even if the fire didn't light with just one match. 

Paul and I pitched our tent under the stars, but Jason and Ginny set theirs up in a circle of redwood trees.  Because of the fog which condensed on the needles, their tent was dripped on all night long and it sounded like rain even from our tent.  Paul says that the redwood's ability to collect fog means that they have a steady source of water year-round which is why they grow so tall.

Paul and I made s'mores - a camping must for us.  Toasting the marshmallows is really my favorite part.  And yes, there are six squares of chocolate on this s'more.  I use half a Hershey bar for every s'more.  So I'm a glutton, but it's a rare treat, okay?  (Also, do you say schmore or suh-more or smore?) 

Paul and I made breakfast for the Millers on Saturday morning - pancakes, bacon, eggs, orange juice, milk, hot chocolate and fresh fruit.  In a lot of ways, camping is all about the food.

We played games like Mastermind, Scrabble and Password, and spent time just hanging out around camp chatting.

I made friends with this little guy who has one of the cutest voices ever.

This picture is for his mom - I think this was just after his nap.

We also went for a morning hike through the beautiful trees where we saw at least 20 banana slugs.  Everybody took turns carrying Ollie, but I'll admit that I would have carried him the whole way if he would have let me. 

We had to head out earlier than we would have liked on Saturday because I had work that needed to get done, otherwise we would have stayed another night.  But it was such a wonderful weekend break and a reminder about how much I enjoy the outdoors. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

His Birthday

I'm not overly sentimental about posting lovey-doveyness on the internets, so I won't really go there today.  But I will say that I feel unbelievably lucky/blessed/fortunate to be married to Paul.  He is such a wonderful person who lifts me up when I'm stressed or blue and makes me laugh every day without even trying.  And it doesn't hurt that I think he is handsome and smart either. 

Paul and I are kind of in love with our birthdays.  We have conversations sometimes about why June 23 or October 17 are the best days of the year and why June and October are the two best months of the year.  These are actually really funny conversations (to us) where we pretend to be all superior about when we were born as though the seasons had arranged themselves around us. 

And the inbetween time - June to October - is the golden time of summer and hiking and celebrations and fresh peaches and changing colors.  It is also the time of year that we are both the same age, which is kind of ridiculously magical itself.  Neither of us really cares that I am eight months older than Paul, but the fact is that I have been 29-facing-30 for the last eight months and it is kind of nice that Paul joins me in that today.  I will tend to pipe up and offer that we are BOTH 29 more frequently than when there is a difference in the number.  And come October 17 Paul is going to make a big deal about how he loves my birthday because it means he is growing young again for the next eight months.  Silly, I know, but it is kind of a game we play. 

We were trying to think the other day about what birthday presents we have given each other over the past six years of marriage, but were mostly unsuccesful at bringing up the recollection.  Mostly I remember the olive oil and vinegar jars I bought for Paul on the island of Capri when we were in Italy for his birthday and the dirndl that he secretly shipped home from Germany to surprise me with in October. 

Anyway, I just wanted to mark the day as being special on our blog which we have a lot of fun with.  I admire and respect and love him, and I'm so grateful to have him in my life.  Happy Birthday Paul!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Congratulations John and Angelica!

Last weekend Amy and I went to Utah for my little brother John's wedding. He and Angelica got married on Saturday, June 12th at the Mt. Timpanogos temple in Highland, Utah.  Here's my dad, my younger brother Dave and his wife Deborah, and my older brother Robert.

John and Angelica coming out from the temple.

Angelica's family and bridesmaids, in front of the Mt. Timpanogos temple.

Here's my beautiful mom anxiously waiting for John and Angelica.

Our cute niece Elizabeth (Robert and Holly's daughter) and Amy.

Here's what the groomsmen's ties and boutonnieres looked like. They chose "peacock" as a wedding theme.

This is my Grandpa Robertson hanging out at the luncheon. It was at my parents's house and was catered by Diego's - a Mexican restaurant in Provo.

Here's another adorable shot of Elizabeth.

My dad giving a speech about John and Angelica at the luncheon.

My little brother Dave enjoying chips and salsa.

Grandpa and Grandma Robertson at the luncheon.

My uncle Bill and my dad waiting for John and Angelica.

Chiara, Bill's oldest daughter.

The four Nash boys (me, John, Robert, and Dave).

Chiara, Madison, Valeria, Jade, Sophie, Bill and Emi.

The happy couple.

My parents, John and Angelica.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flight Etiquette

Last night at 6:30 Paul and I boarded a flight from San Jose to Salt Lake City, changing planes in Las Vegas.  I have just a few observations:

  • What is it with people and Vegas?  The short flight from San Jose to Sin City was like being on the Party Plane.  When we landed several rowdy men/boys started clapping and cheering "Vegas!  Alright!", then bantering with anyone who would pay them any attention (like the Captain admonishing the cabin passengers to behave themselves if this was their final destination) or just spouting off in general about what a great time they were going to have. I got a tragic, pitying feeling sitting in the Las Vegas airport waiting to board our second flight from watching too-old-to-pull-it-off-but-its-Vegas-so-no-one-will-know women strut their stuff off arriving airplanes on inappropriately tall heels paired with their ill-fitting attire.  Who wears those kinds of clothes for plane flights?  I mean, really?  And I feel awful for the old people sitting at the slot machines that line the walls of the terminals in the airport tossing away resources a quarter at a time.
  • It is never appropriate to eat cornnuts on an airplane.  In fact, nobody but fourth-graders eat cornnuts anymore people.  I kid you not, that salty snackfood has the most overpowering, lingering odor that wafted through the entire cabin within seconds of tearing open the metallic packaging.  I noticed the foul stink almost immediately and sat there gagging the rest of the flight.  So much is already banned on flights, why not add cornnuts to the list?  Is that so much to ask?
  • Seat kickers should be sent to timeout and fined.  One of the rowdy "Vegas BABY!" guys sat behind Paul on our first flight and made his life miserable until Paul turned around in his seat and asked the guy to knock it off.  (As a sidenote, I think it is super-attractive when Paul gets all confrontational with other people.  This might be a huge character flaw on my part.)  There is no leg room for anyone on those planes, so people who fail to recognize that they are knocking their knees into the seat in front of them with their incessant readjusting should have their legs shackled to the floor. 
  • If your flight is already an hour delayed in its departure, there is no excuse for holding up a plane full of people anxious to finish their last leg to Salt Lake City because you are late.  You should have been at the gate an hour ago anyway!  We sat at the gate, fully loaded, waiting for one woman to show up.  While I have to credit the airline for being so considerate and accomodating to the individual, I was pretty peeved at the time on behalf of all the other passengers on the plane.  When the tardy woman finally showed up, she didn't even have the decency to look ashamed or regretful for causing everyone else to wait.
Well, there's a rant for you, eh?  Oh, and we are only here in Utah for the weekend because Paul's brother John is getting married on Saturday.  I am loathe to type this on this blog, but for the sake of authenticity - "Cafe Rio here we come!"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Season

Last season Paul and I watched The Bachelor for the first time.  We kind of did it on a lark when Paul watched one episode on his own while I was working late one night, and then decided that it was hilarious and talked me into watching it with him.  (Don't let him tell you any different, this is totally how the whole thing went down).  After it ended though we decided "no more" and that we would not watch this summer's The Bachelorette

But the other night there was nothing else on TV and the season premiere was playing for a second time, so we ended up watching.  And is it just me, or does this show remind you of shows you have seen on Discovery Channel or Animal Planet?  Something about all those males contending to be the one to win the girl.  I didn't get the same feeling with The Bachelor.  I would post video from YouTube of big-horned sheep butting heads while the female watches (or in many cases doesn't even care about watching) on the sides, but I'm too lazy to look it up.  Use your imagination.

Also, is anyone else out there as excited as I am to watch the first episode of Wipeout tonight?  I've already been cracking up about it and so far I've only seen the previews highlighted on commercials. 

Help me - I am a TV addict.