"The only man pursuing me is Father Time."

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Cherie's Christmas Cookie Party

On Sunday evening Kate, Perry and I attended Cherie's Christmas cookie party at her place in Reston. Although she has been hosting this party for three years this was the first year I had received a personal invitation. I was thrilled and had a terrific time getting to know new people and spending the evening with good friends. Cherie has a lovely apartment and her Christmas tree, pictured in the photo above, was the perfect backdrop for the party.
These lovely ladies are Sharon, hope I spelled that right, and Cherie, our hostess. Cherie provided cookies, hot chocolate and milk. After the majority of her guests arrived we began singing Christmas carols. I was introduced to songs I have never heard of before like "What Do You Get a Wookie for Christmas?" "Will Santy Visit Shanty Town?" and "The Little Boy Santa Forgot." Do not listen to the lyrics of the latter. They are horribly depressing and not meant for those intent on having a "merry" Christmas.

Early in the evening I was introduced to Sharon's brother, J. Nielsen. Preferring his last name I dubbed him Nielsen for the evening. Although he didn't admit it, I think he rather enjoyed my teasing and taunting.

This photo was taken after we finished singing carols. As you can see, Cherie had a full house.
I had such a nice time I hope I am invited to attend next year, should I be living in Washington. If not, I will always have fond memories of Cherie's Christmas cookie party and discovering Christmas classics about Wookies and Santa's occassional memory loss.

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Friday Surprise

On Friday I walked into work to find Bond waiting at my desk, and not just one Bond but seven Bonds! Steve, one of my co-workers, has these cards that he places in a "card holder" for lack of a better word. These cards have brief messages, exactly like those on the cards above, that explain his absence.
Everyone in the office, until Friday, coveted Steve's cards. So, for Christmas, Steve created a set for each person in our department. As you can see they were fashioned to appeal to our interests.
I can't think of anyone I would prefer gazing at during the workday, except Indiana Jones, and I already have a nice sized photo of him located behind my phone. With the addition of James my cubicle haven is complete. Thanks Steve and Rhonda Lulu for giving me one of the best Christmas presents yet!

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Our Best Photo Yet

On Friday, after months of planning and anticipation we celebrated the holidays at Texas deBrazil in the Fair Oaks shopping mall. Not only was the atmosphere shishi, the food was impressive. It is one of the better restaurants I have tried in the DC metro area. Matt, visiting from school, joined us for lunch and took this photo of Kate and I before we gorged ourselves on fixins' from the salad bar and meat galore. This is the best photo we have ever taken together and we have taken a few. Nothing that rivals Steph and I but close. Needless to say we were both pleased by the result, thank you Matt, and I couldn't go another moment without posting the photo and officially introducing our readers to Kate from work.
Kate occupies the neighboring cube at work and accompanies me each morning for my ice runs. I must have ice with my coke or is it the other way around? She patiently listens to my problems offering advice and encouragment at every turn. An absolute God-send, I love my officemate Kate!

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Festuvus for the Restuvus/Cajun Christmas 2007

Seinfeld fans everywhere will appreciate the title of this blog. Why? Because they know about "Festuvus for the Restuvus;" a holiday created by George's father in response to the commercialism associated with the Christmas holiday season. A few "Festuvus" traditions are the "Airing of Grievances" and the "Feats of Strength." The photo above was taken just before the "Airing of Grievances" began. Doesn't Dare Bear look good? I coached him in posing for the photo.
In addition to celebrating "Festuvus," Melissa made gumbo and jambalaya. Slade, a native son of Louisiana and the guest of honor, felt right at home chowing down on Cajun cuisine and listening to zydeco music. The only thing missing was turdunken which Stephanie swears is amazing. Perhaps next year?

After we had our fill of gumbo we began the "Feats of Strength." Since I am not one for wrestling, especially men I don't really know, I opted to thumb wrestle Dan. Never a thumb wrestling champ I lost after a few minutes in the "ring." I think I was distracted by his shirt. It's so green and then the message is rather ridiculous as well. Sorry Dan.
My extremely talented roommate, usually wowing us with her guitar vodoo, broke out her accordian and played us a tune. It was perfect for Cajun Christmas! I often ask myself, is there anything this woman can not do?
At one point in the evening Slade informed me that we had not taken a photo together. So we sat down to do just that. At the last moment I grabed his hat, because I thought it would be cute if I were wearing it instead of him. Darin snapped this photo of Slade turning to look for me. All you can see is my legs in the background. I'm not complaining though because it is one of the few photos of my legs that I actually like. I am wearing skinny jeans from Gap, just in case anyone was wondering.
Here we are. Don't you love his hat? Although we fight like cats and dogs we actually photograph rather well together. Merry Cajun Christmas all y'all and a Happy New Year!

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And You Wonder Why I Read My Horoscope


June 21 - July 21

December 13th

"Plans for a trip could go awry today, dear Cancer, because of circumstances beyond your control. A postponement might be necessary. This might prove very frustrating for you because you've been anxious to get going. However, don't question the workings of the Universe, and above all, don't make yourself crazy over it. Whatever setbacks you suffer today might, in the long run, prove to be blessings in disguise."

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Dr. Longstreth's Holiday Party

A long-standing American Studies tradition is attending Dr. Longstreth's annual holiday party at his home. These holiday parties are legendary! My first year in graduate school I was so bummed because I wasn't able to attend. By my second year in graduate school I was so stoked about attending this party I even made a Derby pie for the event.
This year Dr. Longstreth, pictured above, entertained us with stories from the past, while I took a few photos of my friends.
Meet Amber Wiley, the other, and now only Amber in the American Studies program. Although we have a few things in common, we are both cool, she is more educated and speaks more languages than I do. An absolute catch for all you men out there.

This is my artsy, photogenic friend Camille, who formerly dated an architect but is now "seeing" a hottie Jewish law student. Why can't I do that? For the record, Jewish men are hot! Don't believe me? Jonathan Netanyahu. N'ough said.
I met Camille at her house so we could walk to Longstreth's together. Her place is so cute and is close to Meridian Park, a new discovery for wha-la. I am dying to go back during the day to avoid the rumored crack whores so I can take photos.
During my two and a half years of graduate school I never could have convinced Dr. Longstreth to pose for a photo with me. Sunday I had the pleasure of posing for a photo with Longstreth and I couldn't believe he agreed to it. Me with the paragon of preservation. Imagine that. Maybe one day his greatness will rub off and I will actually find a full-time position in my field.

I call this photo Richard's angels. Gorgeous, confident, capable, intelligent women, that's what we are. We are fortunate to be associated with him but it goes both ways. He is equally fortunate in my estimation.
Either way, it was splendid seeing my friends again and I will be sad when I am no longer around to hear about their classes or to see them progress professionally. No matter where life may lead us, I am confident none of us will forget our infamous director and the memories we made together.

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Photo Shoot Friday

On Friday Dave and Victoria organized a photo shoot for our business unit. Afterwards we received an email with this attached. I have no idea why Lucy's face from the Peanuts was attached to my body. I think I would have made a better Daphne but what do I know? This begs the question however, if I am Lucy where is my George?

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6 months to go until...

...we find out what happened after this!

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Big Naughty Debut

A few months ago, while standing at Erin's desk I noticed a picture of a beautiful cat set in a gold frame. I believe that cats are unique creatures with definite personalities that vary from feline to feline. The photo from Erin's desk is not posted here but allow me to describe it to you.
Imagine, if you will, the personality and facial expressions of a famous rapper who's pimp with the ladies and knows it. Now imagine a "hey baby," facial expression on a cat and you have BIG Naughty or the Notorious BIG of felines.
"Naughty," as he is sometimes referred to, is an abbreviation of his formal name, Nautical. The photos posted here were selected from his extensive portfolio to demonstrate his complex persona.
The first photo I have titled, "Playing Innocent," because Big Naughty is anything but Innocent.
The next three shots may be considered a little should we say, naughty? The photo above reveals Naughty's true physique, which the ladies love, while the one below suggests his sensitivity and willingness to cuddle in bed. Meee-YOW!

Naughty realizes that sleep and a "healthy" diet are essential to sustain his bad boy image. These three photos are just a small sample of Naughty's nocturnal photo shoot. This is their first public release.
Naughty dreams naughty because he is naughty! He's not smiling because he's resting...ladies. Naughty has a brain that doesn't quit.

Although Naughty prefers to screen his public photos, he also has a sense of humor and realizes many people are out to tarnish his naughty image. However, Naughty is ah'right with it because Big Naughty has to eat big to stay big! Ahhh yeah! Big Naughty.

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An open letter to online daters who are MARRIED.

Dear Donkeys:

You. Are. Married. That means no more dating. No more flirting or asking girls to dinner. No more promises of developing a relationship. No! MORE! Know why? Because you chose to be MARRIED. Married. I think you need to keep reading it. How you're attached until death (usually) to the woman you decided you loved enough to stop all the crap you're talking about now.

Is it boring for you? Oh. Poor babies. I don't care. Not my problem. Buy a book. Buy a movie. Take her to Tahiti. Just leave me out of it.

And while we're on the subject, it's not helping that you're lying and spending time on the computer while "trying to fix things." I don't care that "she doesn't understand" you. When I asked you at the beginning of the conversation "Are you married?" and you said, "No. I'm divorced." or "No. I'm single." you exhibited the very behavior that made her stop trying.

Here's an idea--it's not her that's not understanding. It's you. You're not understanding her need for fidelity and trust. You're not understanding that the more you stare at porn or some chick on the screen that you're intimidating her. You! You're the one setting up the crazy ideals and inflicting the problems. You!

Because you know what?! She believed that you loved her enough to stay true. That you were the one. And she trusted you to keep it that way. To hold her above all others and treat her like a queen. So when you log onto wherever and look at Jenna spread-eagled and moaning her brains out, you're breaking a sacred trust. And the silly this is that she's still trying? How do I know? BECAUSE YOU'RE STILL MARRIED. If she'd stopped trying, you'd be divorced.

Beyond that, you're pissing me off. I asked. I did my due diligence. And then to find out later that it was all lies doesn't build a great basis for our "friendship" or our "honest attraction."

Screw you and stay away from me. Lose my screen name. Lose my first name. Just erase me from your memory because you creep me out and I don't. date. married. guys.

I don't chat with them. I don't entertain friendships that aren't offshoot, casual friendships based on a close one with YOUR WIFE. I don't fantasize. I. do. not. entertain. the. idea. of. cheating! NO! So just stop, married guys. Get of the dating websites. Get out of the online flirting game. Get out of the "single and looking" rooms. You're not welcome there. Know why? You're married.



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Last night we hosted Family Home Evening or FHE as we refer to it, at the townhouse. Our FHE group is quite large and a lot of fun to hang out with especially when the activity is making gingerbread houses. The photo above is a representation of how advanced and intricate these gingerbread creations were. If the gingerbread house above was real I would totally live there. I mean a pool with a zip-line above it is amazing! Who wouldn't want to live in a house like that?
In addition to making gingerbread houses, we had fun decorating faces as well. Slade's face was decorated by Mary also responsible for smearing Darin's face below with frosting before she kissed him. I loved it. It reminded me of things Stephanie would do if she were in our FHE group. Sometimes I look around and think, many of the new kids in our Ward have never met Steph. This thought is usually followed by hopes that one day they will because everyone needs a little bit of Steph in their lives. I honestly don't know why I am so blessed to have her as a friend and not just a friend but a close friend.
This, in my opinion was the best photo of the night. Darin looks so happy and why wouldn't he be? A cute woman smearing his face with frosting. Any man would be thrilled, right?

Of all the entries, and the competition was intense, ours was the Victor, with a capital V, of course. A single-wide trailer fit with a satellite dish, a pink flamingo, a car on cinder blocks, Dale Earnhardt and Dixie flags, a UFO half-buried in the back yard and Big Mamma in the front yard. Pure genius. We knew we had it in the bag. Next week Reed is going to give us our prize. I am all excitement to see what it is. Until then the first place gingerbread single-wide is on display in our living room where we can bask in all its white-trash glory.

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Friday night I attended Melissa, she will always be Sue to me, and Chris's wedding reception. Since moving to Washington Melissa and I have not spent a lot of time together. I was busy with graduate school and her house was not metro accessible. We occasionally saw each other at showers or parties but they were few and far between. Needless to say, she's changed. She's not the Melissa I knew at BYU. She's always been cute but Friday night she looked really beautiful. They say love has the ability to transform people and I believe that. She really was a radiant bride.
Another observation I made was how natural their relationship seemed to be. Their conversations were easy and "real." There was no pretense or false excitement. You could sense they knew each other in a real way and they were confident in their decision. An element I find absent too frequently when observing newlyweds during their receptions.
Serving a mission on Temple Square I saw thousands of brides. Since my mission I have attended numerous wedding receptions. Even working as a guide at the Decatur House, every Saturday I watch and occasionally assist caterers and wedding planners set-up for a wedding or reception. One of my favorite things about a wedding is the cake. The wedding cake can be a medium for artistic creativity if the couple desires or has the money to spend to make it so. Although elegant this cake is pretty standard. Very appropriate for the reception but it doesn't say very much about the couple. I enjoy seeing cakes that vary from the norm. Something that will dazzle and tempt folks to grab their cameras to take pictures so they can show their friends. A cake that will have people talking about it long after the honeymoon is over. If I ever get married, that is what I want; a creative cake.

As I mentioned in a previous post, perhaps several, Chris's sister Kim was my mission companion on Temple Square. Although we have been in touch since I moved to Washington we have not seen each other since I was a student at BYU (2003). Since then, Kim has not only married but had two babies. She has also allowed her hair to grow long, which I absolutely love! Although she was a cute missionary, she is a gorgeous wife and mother. I've decided missions don't really enhance a woman's physical beauty. Everyones' looks seem to improve afterwards. I know mine did but not much because comparing my photos with Melissa's and Kimmy's (Kim is younger) I just looked old and too soft. I'm not complaining but simply sharing a feeling I have. At 29, I just think I have missed or am missing something. I haven't determined what that is but I know there's something more to life than what I have now. I guess that is what life is about. An eternal quest to obtain what it is you are missing, i.e. knowledge, wisdom, charity, etc.
Perhaps that will be my new goal for 2008. Finding what's missing while I continually strive to "keep it real." I think I like it.

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