Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Kyle's life

Doesn't Ellie look like Kyle as a baby?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No-stink Durian?

Recently, the New York Times published an article about the new genetically engineered Thai Durian fruit that has effectivly eliminated that nasty fermented fishy garbage scent native to Southeast Asia. Natural durian farmers are pretty upset because the more pungent the smell, the higher the price they can get for it. They aren't too scared though; they say it won't sell. Personally, I don't think any kind of durian should sell, but I've been wrong so far.

Natives go crazy about this stinky plague and deny that there is anything unusual about it. Soon after I got to Cambodia, my friend Anh Tuấn offered me a segment. After he convinced me to stick that disease in my mouth, he called the whole neighborhood over to watch me gag. If there wasn't anything weird about it, why was everyone so enthusiastic to watch me eat? (When I didn't finish my early-death fruit, they scavenged over the abundance I left on the table.) On subsequent and unfortunate occasions, I learned on many occasions that they hid this junk in many varieties of innocent foods: cookies, ice cream, hard candies... I'd take their notorious raw ginger root candy over durian any day.

Here are some signs I found on the internet prohibiting Durian from certain locals (like hotels and subways):
This sign from Singapore below is my favorite.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter at the Williams'

Ellie was almost as excited as I was that it was finally time to wear her beautiful new Easter dress from Grandma and Grandpa Larsen. These days she is getting quite bossy and independent, so insisted on picking out her shoes for church--she decided on Kyle's walking shoes.
The Williams' (my old roommate Michelle's parents) were generous enough to invite our whole gang over for a beautifully delicious Easter dinner and festivities, including Ellie's first Easter basket. She and Kimberley (Michelle's daughter), of course, were only interested in items from each other's baskets.
Ellie voluntarily dunced herself here, but we thought this might be a favorable alternative to "time-outs." What do you think?
There is never a dull moment for Ellie at the Williams' due to the abundant presence of felines. This one is particularly tolerant of Ellie's tugs and pokes as she chases it around the house exclaiming, "wow! whoa! wooooooow!"
Bryce, Mish, and Kyle did a fair job at hiding the eggs in the backyard, but could not outsmart our little Elle, who pleasantly filled her basket with plastic eggs until she realized there was candy in them, at which point the "hunt" was over. We came home with more jelly beans than even Ronald Reagan could handle.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Loopy Ellie Day

When we woke Ellie up from her nap, she was as loopy as a little schoolgirl sucking helium ballons at the carnival. Here are some shots:

Saturday, April 07, 2007

General Conference- Apr 07

I learned many things this General Conference, about life and about myself. Though I unfortunately can't say that I've always enjoyed GC, I feel spiritually uplifted with an increased understanding on what I can do to be a better husband, father, and human! This was probably the last session I will ever translate for, so it was sentimental for me.

In translation preparations this year, my main focus was to not only keep up with the speech, but to match the delivery style of the speakers. (We get the talks beforehand so we can practice.) I did Elder Tingey and President Monson's talks during the Saturday Afternoon session. If you want, you can listen to me by clicking here (skip to about 31 minutes or 1 hour 24 minutes).
This was the translation team Saturday Afternoon (from left to right): Hương, Minh, Me ̣(Hiệp), Joseph (Hải), Troy (Vũ), Sean (Vinh).

Friday, April 06, 2007

Keep the Monkeys Away from my Hands

This dark German techno video changed my life.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


This is a video Seth Hill showed me a couple months ago... Just to warn you, it is quite weird, and you possibly need to be younger than 35 to think that it's absurdity is even moderately entertaining. It is best viewed in groups of 2 or more. When Seth first showed me this video, my stomach hurt for an hour, but you all know how strange I am. If you push play, consider yourself warned...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Look out China--here we come!

Well, we met with a couple who just came back from Tianjin, China, this year with their three kids and have been exceedingly helpful as we've tried to materialize our own plans to live there. They live about two hours away so we met in Salt Lake at P.F. Chang's (a Chinese bistro chain so delicious and classy that you don't mind the lack of authenticity in some dishes such as "the Great Wall of Chocolate") and chatted it up deep into the evening about every angle of life in Tianjin.

They were very honest with us--we realize it will not necessarily be an easy adjustment when we move there in August-- but mostly we just feel excited and anxious to get our plans rolling! We're starting to look for jobs for Kyle, and then we'll get into travel plans, living arrangements, etc., and then we'll start reserving our tickets for the 2008 Olympics, so make sure to book yours through us and plan to pay us a visit!

Anyway, I don't blame any of you skeptics out there--we have been known as "the couple who called China" with plans falling through at least twice in the past. However, things are looking more promising than ever this time, especially since I will NOT be giving birth in China. =) Our only hesitation in going is how much we will miss seeing familiar faces. If you've ever dreamed of visiting the Great Wall, here's your perfect opportunity to get free housing and amateur tour guides while you're there!