Friday, May 23, 2008

Experimenting with Salsa

It seems to me that salsa is one of the most diverse foods that can be made. You can put so many combinations together to great a great tasting salsa!
Case in point 1: Last night I made salsa with 3 ingredients, but the combination of ingredients was delightful! The ingredients were tomatoes (diced), pineapple chunks, and cheese cubes. Some of it I ate with chips and some of it I ate with a fork. All in all, it was very enjoyable.
Case in point 2: This morning I put together another salsa that I had never even though of before, but to my utter surprise is very good. The ingredients are cheese cubes (of course...I think all of my salsas have cheese in them), diced onions, canned black beans (you have to rinse them with water, maybe through a strainer or just use your hands or else the whole dish will taste like black beans), smashed up avocado, seasoned with black pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic salt. It is so good! I'm eating it right this minute and just cannot get enough. I don't think I would eat this without chips because the onions are kind of strong, but it is still good.
If you want to tell me of any of your salsa creations I would be happy to hear about them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Garrison Kiellor, I am truly obsessed with you.

Garrison Kiellor was introduced to me on the 20 hour and 55 minute drive from 60 Pinello Road Queensbury, NY to Vero Beach, Florida every February or April for a few years in high school. When I wasn't listening to Les Miserables on my portable cd player while laying in the back of the red mini-van because there were four people taking up a 7 passenger van and two of them were sitting in the front, I was listening to the cd's of Garrison Kiellor (the first vehicle I was in with a cd player). At first I thought it was boring, but the more and more I listened to it, the more I grew attached to the characters and enjoyed listening to the stories about them. Since then I haven't had been able to find out who it was, but I recently referenced "Lake Wobegon," but only to myself, never thinking anyone else would know what I was talking about. To my delight, a boy in our group did, and I finally found out what the name behind the voice was!
I also found out what he looks like, which is what Dwight will look like in 20 years. How perfect.


I wanted to have plants in my apartment where I'm living all by myself so I could have something to take care of, so I bought two window boxes from Walmart and bought seeds and planting soil. It was fun to do, but to be honest I was surprised when I watered them the first time and didn't see little plants shoot up out of the ground. However, they finally have! The scattered plants are blue stars, and the group of plants are basil. You're only supposed to have one plant in one section for the basil, so I'll probably have to rip out some of them in order for a good sized plant to grow. I also planted daisies which shot up yesterday (a little bit...only 4 or 5 little shoots), but I'm hoping the rest of the plants that haven't gotten above ground yet are just late bloomers. I also planted mint, lavender, and some kind of flower, but I can't remember what it is. I hope it makes my apartment smell much nicer than it does. I realized that the person before me also smoked but the smell of cat covered it up--until now. So, I've had the windows open non-stop so that I'm not breathing that in, and hopefully the plants will help.


This last weekend I got to go to Portland for the North Western Section APS Research Conference. It was really fun. Well, everything that wasn't the conference was really fun. The conference itself (except for my presentation) was super boring, and so I skipped the whole first half of the last day to go to the Saturday Market in Portland instead of sitting and being super bored.
To start off, as soon as we flew in we had about an hour to burn before we had to go get our nametags, etc., so we went to the Portland Temple. Of course it was absolutely beautiful. They have the most stunning flowers of all time there. I would live in Portland for a millisecond just because it's so beautiful.

Having been in Idaho for such a long period of time and having only attended one college, I forgot what it was like to be surrounded by trees. The campus that we were at for the conference was the most beautiful campus I've ever seen. Even more beautiful than Harvard which was by far my favorite prior to this trip.

As I said before, I went to the Saturday Market in Portland with Ladie, which was full of hippie happiness and lots of fun. There was a bunch of artwork I really liked, but this is the only one I could get away with taking a picture of, and there were also a bunch of hippies playing music on buckets which was really neat, actually. The buildings of the city are also pretty preserved so there was a lot of beautiful architecture that added to the whole experience.

Here is a picture of when I presented. I was supposed to go for 10 minutes, but then I saw on the schedule that I was scheduled for 36 minutes so I had to redo my whole presentation and make note-cards so that I wouldn't forget anything. All in all, it's the best presentation of that information I've ever done so I was proud of myself, and I took up 28 out of the 36 minutes which is sufficient in my opinion, but I'm glad I'm done telling people about that research. I'm sick of it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now It's Gahbage!

I love key lime pie. I do. I can't help it. It's the perfect mixture of tart and sweet (especially with the spectacular whipped cream on the top), and it never has crappy crust. I bought one last night. I thought I'd sit down and eat some of it, to treat myself. Nope, I didn't eat it last night. I ate half of it this morning. I came home to eat lunch, and ran out of time. So, I decided to bring it to work with me. What a great idea! A little bit of happiness in a place with no windows and a lot of foreigners. It was a great idea until this happened:

This was all I could think of as soon as it happened:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Run #2

So, I decided I had to start making a major effort to start running longer distances if I was going to run the Teton Dam Marathon in June, so yesterday I ran 10 miles. I've never run 10 miles before. It would have been hard no matter what, because 10 miles is a long way. But, then, this, this, and this was part of my run also. I did however, learn that listening to Harry Potter 5 on tape is the way to go. Listening to the stories and being able to focus on them makes it feel like I'm not running, just listening. It's nice.

The only thing that's sore today is the muscles right below my knees on the outside of my legs. It's a weird feeling, but I guess I don't use those very often.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What else should I bring into the movie theater?


Zooey Deschanel is the girl from Elf, which is an awesome movie, let's just put that out there. I loved her voice from the second she started singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in the shower at the toy store. She now has an album called "She and Him." The album itself has a lot of music that is a little more twangy than I like it. But the twang reminds me of Johnny Cash a little, so I don't hate it that much. I hope Zooey's next album has more "less country" sounds to it, but I'll have to wait for it. They're going to be in San Fran in a couple weeks, but the concert is on a Sunday, so I can't even suggest that anyone goes to it. Hopefully they'll go to Salt Lake or Boise sometime because then I could go.
Anyway, that's the music that's playing on my blog right now.


This is the route I ran yesterday. I haven't run in a long time, and I ran differently than I ever have before. Usually I run for speed, but I want to start going for distance. So, instead of running fast, I just ran like I was Forrest Gump and was never going to stop. It took me 24 minutes, and it was enfuriating. I wanted to be running for like, an hour...nope...24 minutes, and it's only just under 3 miles. I just get so bored. I'm going to get Harry Potter and put it on my ipod so that I can just go and not be bored. Sigh...

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Apartment

I decorated my apartment just like I like it because I don't have to worry about Jordan not liking it. He told me to get the "hippy crap" out of my system, so there are a lot of pieces of fabric on the walls, and fabric on the couch, etc., that Jordan thinks is retarded, but it's my house, so he can't do anything about it. We'll have it be his way after this.

I learned today that I live 3 blocks away from the city library. So, I went and got a library card and got Harry Potter 6. LOVE IT.
I also joined a book club and got the book "Housekeeping." They made a movie out of it like, 20 years ago, and I watched a video of it and it looks weird, but it doesn't look inappropriate so yay!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Last Little While, Now, and Later

It certainly is warmer today! After J's nap we'll go for a walk. I might go earlier, without him, too.
There was a man that came into our ward today who everyone called "Elder Hammond," but they never said the beginning of his name, so I don't know which one it is. Is there a place with all the pictures of all the Seventies so I could find him? I would really like to know who it was. He was majestic. A man with small build, but average height, as soon as he came in the room, everything changed. When he spoke it was so familiar, like someone who you had been astranged from for a long time, and then called you one day---that's how it felt. He was majestic, and a beautiful man who without a doubt had the Spirit of the Lord. It was a beautiful part of my day.
Church was great today. I bore my testimony about how I knew that there is a huge difference between being good and being super good, and that I am thankful for The Commandments so I can be happy, and therefore, not afraid when I'm in my apartment.
I had to work on a computer program this week to measure the efficiency of our neutron detector (pretty much to see how many neutrons we can capture), and I finished it on Friday. It was a good beginning project, and I'm glad to have been able to get aquainted with the experiments we'll be doing while I'm here. I have another project to use the program I built and graph the efficiency verses the thickness of the plastic we'll be using to catch them to see what the best thickness is.
Yesterday J and I went hiking in Kelly Canyon (the Kelly Canyon link is the Google map page of where we hiked) with our friends Steve and Brittany Keller. They're great people. Steve is a person who you feel good to be around all the time and never lets you feel embarrassed, even when you should feel like the biggest idiot. Brittany and I are kindred spirits. We have different strengths and boost each other up--I love her. They're the only couple we've walked out of a movie theater with, and I think it's so awesome. While on the hike we saw at least thirty-head of deer (they are so beautiful), and two moose. J went chasing after them to see where they were going, and actually, I don't know whatever happened when he did that. I just know he was gone for a long time and we were happy when he got back. There wasn't a whole lot of snow, but the snow that was there we could walk on top of. It was neat. After we went hiking with them, we went to the store and got hot dogs and frozen curly fries, which is what we barbequed outside for dinner. We then watched the first Indiana Jones movie (Raiders of the Lost Ark), which I really liked. J and I had watched the third one (The Last Crusade) last weekend, so we were excited to watch another one.
It's been weird to live in Pocatello without J but I'm getting more and more used to it. We talk everyday on the phone, and we've decided the best way for us to be able to read our scriptures together is to do it in the morning, since we go to work at the same time. We also have The Magician's Nephew we read together on the phone at night, but sometimes that doesn't happen because of homework or movies, so we want a time where there definitely won't be any chance of interruptions.
I saw The Spiderwick Chronicles this week at the dollar theater in Pocatello. It was a good movie, although I had to pretend I had never seen any of the Harry Potter movies because the characters and special effects were a lot the same. This week I plan on going to Horton Hears a Who because that just got to the dollar theater. I really like Dr. Seuss, and so I'm excited to see it.
I'm reading President Hunter's biography right now. It's really interesting and good to hear about him. Each time I read a biography on a general authority I pull something different out of it, but it's always something that stays with me. Elder Nelsons's wife never got mad at her children one time. I'm working on that. Elder McConkie, while on his mission made a list of things he needed to change about himself, and they were all things that were on my list; every single thing. It was nice to have hope that I might end up making it.
J and I, I think, are going camping next weekend. We found some people who will go with us (Steve and Brittany being two of them), and I think we'll be able to get two other couples from our ward to go with us. We really like being outside and having adventures.
May 15th-18th I'll be in Portland for a research conference that I'm presenting some research at. I'm nervous about it, but it'll be the fourth time I'll've presented this information so it should be alright. What I'm worried about is that I only have 10 minutes to talk, and I have about 13 minutes worth of material. I'll have to cut it down, but I really don't want to. I'll be staying with Ladie Kay while I'm there (she'll be there visiting her family for three weeks), and it'll be good to see her.
That same weekend J will be in Los Angeles to see one of his best friends graduate from law school. I think he's missing home a lot, and missing his family. Last semester he had 18.5 credits and worked 30 hour weeks. This semester he is relieved to only have 15 credits (which is still a substantial amount), but still working between 30 & 35 hour weeks. I would say he definitely deserves a break. He's, however, excited to graduate in July and start earning what he calls "real money."
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