Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Day 2011

In addition to Ben and Adi's engagement, our family also celebrated Thanksgiving last week.
With the rest of the family spending the day at their current (or future) in-laws, including Steve over at Summer’s family's house, my parents and I accepted an invitation from my cousin Scott and his wife, Claudia, to join them and their kids for dinner. Claudia’s parents, two of my favorite people in the world, and brother, Alberto, were among the other attendees.
We were treated to a delicious meal, with an abundance of all of the traditional trimmings included. As you can see, I was rather underdressed for the occasion, being one of the few not getting the memo about dressing up in my favorite Native American costume.
But I definitely had the best beard at the table.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's About Time!

He liked it, so he put a ring on it.
I'm excited to be getting a new sister-in-law.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Los Villancicos of Yesteryear

Over the weekend, I ran into an old friend - one I hadn't seen since we served together in the mission field.
Naty Mendoza, a native Peruvian from Arequipa, was a sister missionary I served with in the Peru Lima Central Mission . . . well, a number of years ago. We didn't know each other that well in those days, but then again, a mission companion is a mission companion. She, now a resident of Utah, invited me to the local Peruvian restaurant in Bountiful, Rico Pollo, where her group, FLAMA, performed a number of native Latin American dances and Christmas songs in Spanish. Naty founded and directs FLAMA (Folklore and Latin American Music Academy) as a means of fellowshipping Latino immigrants to Utah and also to promote cross-cultural understanding and such.
Additionally, I got to meet Naty's husband and three kids, two of who performed in the FLAMA song-and-dance presentation. I heard at least a few Christmas ditties that I recognized and that, as a result, brought back some good memories of my two Christmases spent in my adopted homeland of Peru.
While I watched the kids' performance, I enjoyed a dinner of one of my favorite Peruvian meals: pollo a la brasa (basically roasted chicken, along with French fries and a Peruvian salad). Trust me, it's delicious and much better than it sounds.
Los buenos tiempos los disfrutaron todos.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No "Mere Mortals"

I attended a mid-singles Institute talent show last night. If you were there, too, then you were one of the few who showed up. It wasn't the greatest showcase of talent I've ever seen - after all, I, too, took part - but I woke up today with this quote of C.S. Lewis on my mind:
"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses. . .
. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and
the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with
one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no
'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures,
arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life
of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and
exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that
we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that
kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who
have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no
superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love."
Last night, I saw one of my friends, who is confined to a wheelchair, perform what he called the first "sit-down comic" routine. I saw another friend, also confined to a wheelchair, dance - yes, dance - performing several routines in his wheelchair to the tune of Kenny Loggins's "Danger Zone."
Truly, these are no "mere mortals," indeed.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

TMBG and JoCo in Concert

I finally checked a big item off of my “Bucket List” last night as Ben, Pepe, and I went to see They Might Be Giants live in concert at The Depot in Salt Lake City. I have been a big TMBG fan for years and had always missed them when they were in town – but not this time!
The Depot is a rather small venue for this type of show and was uncomfortably crowded at times, but it was nevertheless good to hear some familiar tunes, including "Birdhouse in Your Soul," "Particle Man," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight/The Guitar," and "Fingertips," played live for the first time.
In addition, They Might Be Giants were joined by a talented musician named Jonathan Coulton, who opened the show for them. He played an enjoyable 45-minute set that included the very catchy "Mr. Fancy Pants," which may be stuck in my head for weeks.