Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm A Slacker But I Do Still Love My Fiance

So Dan's birthday was on April 15th. I know, that's almost a week ago. It was a crazy week. And I thought it better to actually spend time with him instead of writing about him to the Internet.

Anyway, I still want to do a "Ten Things." So to change things up a bit, I thought I'd do a "My Favorite Quirky and Random and Frivolous-in-their-Importance Things About Dan" instead of just a normal "Ten Things I Love About Dan." Because clearly I think he's brilliant and cute and hard-working, etc. etc. but I think it's about time the world knew that I'm really marrying him because of his ability to raise his un-crooked pinky fingers straight up in the air without the aid of his ring fingers.

1) He has this uncanny ability to remember things (conversations, TV shows, lectures) word-for-word. Seriously, after watching an episode of The Office, I'll have a general idea of the plot and the fact that it was funny, and I'll attempt to recreate jokes and instead end up stepping on them and pulling them in between my toes. He, on the other hand, will repeat an entire lengthy conversation between Jim and Dwight verbatim after hearing it once.

2) He humors me when I talk about how much I love the skirt/shoes/headband/toe nail polish that I'm currently sporting. He also humors me when I mention 47 times a day how much I love springtime. In fact, he humors me in a lot of things. (Our conversations tend to go something like this.)

3) He thinks Edward Monkton is funny.

4) He's in a deadlock tie for the title of Best Whistler Whose Feet Have Ever Graced Planet Earth.

5) Sometimes during prayers in church he'll try to tickle me and scratch my head to make me laugh. At home, he regularly peeks so he can ask for forgiveness of my soul when I accidentally take a sip of water because it was in my hand and I just FORGOT dangit.

6) He likes to talk about how cool his bike is for approximately 62% of each day. It's a pretty cool bike.

7) He is likely the best dancer I know. And he gets me to dance. And stop being self-conscious. In fact, I never really fast danced at a school dance EVER until the dance we attended together. He also enjoys having random dance parties.

8) He rarely falls asleep in church/class/etc. anymore, but he used to do this regularly early on in college when he was way too busy doing nice things for me to make time for sleep. He has this really cool ability to start to doze to an eye-drooping, head-nodding point, but his pen will still be writing across the page. Then, as he starts to wake up, his pen hand will start moving, and then his head will jerk up and his eyes will open. I really hope he's retained this ability. It would be cool if it were passed on to our children.

9) He starts running towards Wawa for a milkshake and can eat ice cream at any given time or place and sometimes has random cravings for French fries.

10) Finally, I love how he is handsome, unbelievably intelligent, hysterically witty, and hard-working. (For those of you who don't know yet, he applied for a Wharton venture competition and just found out he's one of three winners. That's including MBAs and grad students. For the best and most-executable new idea, complete with a monetarily large grant to work on it over the summer. Yeah, he's amazing.) He is proactive and if he sees something that needs change or improvement or help, he doesn't wait for someone else to do it. H loves his family (including me and my family) more than anything, and gets along with each one of them famously. He is without question the kindest person I know with a heart closest to God. He loves people like no one I've ever met, and has a knack for touching souls.

Love you, Bookee.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Priya, Part II

Priya: My friend Val and her friend Laura went to penn this weekend! for spring fling or whatever. they're from nicaragua! (that is unrelated, but cool.) anyway. she loved it. she said she stayed with her friend in lower quad and i was like aw! my sister lived in upper quad! cute! but yeah, she loved it, especially the diversity. :)

Me: Yay for penn being 98.7% minorities.

P: Wow! That's impressive!

M: The percentage may have been slightly inflated.

P: hahah oh i totally believed the 98.7%. I was like wow, she really knows her numbers!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tudo passa... Até uva passa!

Dan and I have been best friends since high school. Nerdily enough, we started to become really close when we would go to our chem labs at the University of Utah together. We had many a Tuesday evening in which we'd twirl our safety goggle straps and gaze into one another's eyeballs and talk until 11pm and my family would wonder how my chemistry lab could possibly take so long. Let's just say I was extraordinarily studious.

Since then, we've gone through periods of time in which we were totally into each other, totally actively not into each other, into other people, pretending to not be into each other, etc. Some time after we had begun dating again (early last October), we took a trip to Utah. We had begun to contemplate marriage. We went to the temple in Salt Lake and it was wonderful, and began to confirm what we were feeling.

But it wasn't until the flight home to Philly that I knew for sure I wanted to marry this guy. We were sitting and chatting the entire way (Really, I absolutely adore traveling with him. It's one of my favorite things to do. We're fortunate that we enjoy doing that, even when traveling can be stressful.) and then for some reason he started telling me about this random Brazilian phrase, "Tudo passa... Até uva passa!" He said it and I am not even kidding, started giggling like a schoolgirl. He just thought it was the funniest thing in the world. He tried to explain it to me, (Something about how everything passes with time, even grapes...). I think it has to do with some sort of Portuguese wordplay involving the process by which grapes become raisins. I still don't totally get it, and I only lauged because he was SO amused by it.

Before Dan left on his mission, but after he'd gotten his call to Brasil, he was in this stage of knowing what was going to happen next and just wanting it to be there already, but having to wait still. That's kind of how we both feel right now. We love school and work and being engaged and Relief Society and all kinds of other wonderful things right now. But we're also sort of ready for the wedding to be here and to move on with this next exciting and wonderful stage of our lives and be done with presentations and exams and conferences and other great and fun things. So, Danny, just remember, "Tudo passa... Até uva passa!" I'm excited for the next 6 weeks, and forever after.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

And the Trick Candle Goes To...

Happy birthday, Daddy! I'm apparently getting good at writing these a day late. Better late than never, I say. Which is ironic considering he invented the phrase, "The early bird gets the worm."

10 cool things about him:

1) As previously mentioned, he's ALWAYS on time. Actually, on time would be late. 30 minutes early would be an understatement. I think this stems from his unfailing devotion to the "principle of the matter." For him, it's only honest and right to be on time.

2) He's perhaps the best whistler I've ever met. They say you marry someone like your father; Dan's the only one I've known to rival my dad's whistling skills. (Speaking of, my dad and Dan are alike in many wonderful ways.) He also has one of the best laughs I've ever heard - big and booming and real.

3) He's always concerned for our comfort and likes to manifest this through organization. Whenever we go home and/or someone comes to visit, he's the first to make sure the beds are made up, extra blankets are brought out, towels are hung, etc. All of these are always perfectly folded down to the very corners.

4) My dad is extraordinarily meticulous about how he folds his socks. Not only must they be perfectly aligned before he can roll them, but one end must be sticking out just the right amount. It was only a little under a year ago that I was finally allowed the privilege of helping him fold them.

5) He collects anything and everything and somehow makes it all seem cool. He has giant collections of the normal things such as stamps, pens, music, and photos (he organizes them all into albums after perfectly arranging his camera for 5 minutes before each picture). He also has a few unique collections, however, such as bathroom supplies (he always has toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner - the regular and travel sizes, and shaving cream on hand should anyone need any), clothing, chairs, etc. He's done a remarkable job of cleaning much of it out lately. All of it is always meticulously organized and labeled. He is absolutely, without question the reason I collected over 300 Nancy Drew books as a child, and the reason my closet is organized by color within each category now.

6) Speaking of collections, my dad has probably literally over 300 ties. Because of this, I never ventured to give him any for birthday or Christmas gifts. A couple of years ago, however, I decided to give it a whirl considering I'd never given him one before. I've literally not seen him wear one other tie in the time since.

7) Dad is one of the most curious people I've met. He loves learning about people and places and things. He enjoys travel and learning about personality draws (we've bonded over Myers-Briggs), and starts virtually every sentence with, "I was reading this article and..." Perhaps this is one of the reasons that growing up, he was a total Grammar Nazi and has turned me into the same. (Thanks, Dad!) He also enjoys wit and clever wordplays and jokes.

8) He's in phenomenal shape. I've literally never heard anyone guess his age correctly (they're typically off by anywhere from 15-25 years). Perhaps it has to do with the fact that last week he played tennis 5 times. I think I maybe worked out once.

9) He is a wonderfully hard worker. He pretty much can't sit still and is always doing something, even on vacation. He could probably never fathom writing a blog entry when taking a break from work.

10) He is fiercely loving and loyal to his family. My sister and I grew up with our parents always reiterating that family was the most important thing, and hearing how we needed to spend sufficient time with family, and not always with friends. (I'm so grateful for this now.) He believes strongly in quantity of time paired with quality time, and always made a strong effort to be home on time, attend various recitals and events, and pretty much just adores us. :) Especially when he was younger, he was extremely protective of his sisters, and facilitated much of his family coming to the US. He didn't just focus on his life, but made sure that what he did positively impacted his family members, as well. When he does get upset, he may vent, but then lets things go - rarely does he hold a grudge, and he's totally a softie at heart (even though his voice might naturally be loud sometimes!). A recent email from him included the following, "As a family unit, Love has always been and will be unconditional- It is eternal."

(As a side note, my mom is equally phenomenal - it just isn't her birthday today. However, I find it impossible to think of my parents independent of one another. They are both remarkable. Stay tuned for September!)

I love you, Dad, and Mom.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

"It's like High School all over again" isn't usually such a good thing

As I near to rest my head after one more beautiful day of life, I cannot shake from my memory the image of Preethi's goodnight tonight. " I miss you" she told me, before she had even left my presence, with all the earnestness of a squirrel coveting the cashews you're holding, and my mind flooded with this unshakable memory of our life every other night in high school when parting was similarly sweet sorrow. But now, with each night, 7 years and 2 months after we first met, that love is deeper, richer, starker than it was then, like the whole moon absconding an ever more reflective pool of clear, stilled nightwater. And so I thank my God, Preethi, for the blessing of knowing you. I miss you too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008



Love this: "It's a lesson that dogs can be raised to be familiar and compatible with wildlife, you just have to teach them right from wrong.

"It's a credit to the owners, who have taught him to be tolerant of the kangaroos, echidnas and other animals that regularly come through their property."

Glad to know right and wrong still exist. Also, I want a German shorthaired/wirehaired pointer cross-breed.

Thanks, Dooce.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My Sister is Smart

Ashleigh, to Priya:

"i was listening to backstreet boys today and i remembered when we were in the car on the way to philly and you were like 'Seriously, EVERY SINGLE song was a hit for them' and then like 30 minutes later was like, "priya, you're soooo right. every single one of these songs was a hit" and then you took out the CD. and what was it entitled? 'Backstreet Boys Greatest Hits'"


Joke's On You

Yesterday, several of my co-workers the next aisle over decided to pull an April Fool's Joke on one of the managers on that team. They saved the image of the desktop and pasted it into a Power Point slide, and found a way to pause the slide. In that case, the person would come back to her desk and find what she thought was her desktop (since the freeze-frame it looked just like that) and tried to click on things, but, obviously, nothing worked. It was pretty clever.

Also, I tried to create an original recipe last night. I decided to make stuffed tomatoes. I cooked a spaghetti squash and mixed it with broccoli pesto, which I stuffed in tomatoes and baked them, and served with couscous. Problem was, the couscous was just the plain kind (I'd run out of the flavored stuff) so it was kinda boring, and the broccoli pesto had too much lime zest in it. But when I called it lime pesto instead of broccoli pesto, Dan's rating of it went up from an 85 to an 88, largely due to positive associations of lime with Brazil and managing taste expectations. It's all in the positioning.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Grounds, Philly, & S'mac

This weekend was crazy, CRAZY FUN! And crazy crazy. Friday Dan was very sweet and took the train up to where I work and so we could have lunch together (at Taqueria La Morana). It was decidedly less good than Tortillas, where we went a couple of weeks before. Apparently we've decided to check out every seemingly authentic Mexican restaurant in a 10 mile radius of my office.

Dan hung out and got some work done in the library for the afternoon, and then we took off to drive down to Virginia. Rather, stand still in traffic for an hour on the 476, and then drive. We stopped off at my parents' house in NoVa to have a yummy Indian dinner which my mom extraordinarily graciously and spontaneously prepared when we said we were hungry, despite having "closed the kitchen" several hours before. My sweet dad was particularly concerned about us continuing the drive so late at night (it was 9:30pm by the time we departed) but we decided to tough it out since our time at UVA was already going to be so short.

Luckily, traffic around those southern Virginia parts is slim to none, and virtually the only time we slowed to the speed limit was when a cop was driving several hundred yards in front of us. I really dislike driving around cops, it makes me nervous and antsy and I keep looking at them to see if they're looking at me. I can't bring myself to pass them, even if they're driving under the speed limit. So I hung back and another more courageous car pulled up even and slowly passed the cop, going at most 5 miles over. I was starting to get seriously annoyed with the cop who was just cruising along, and I was starting to wonder how long I'd have to endure the unspeakable pain of going the speed limit when all of a sudden, he pulled the other guy over. Yikes. I felt bad for the dude since he really wasn't going fast, anyway, but I was somewhat unkindly happy for the fact that the cop would no longer prevent me from going any speed I darn well pleased.

So we arrived at UVA at around 11:30 and set up shop and promptly went to sleep. Mmm sleep. For a long time. We finally woke up the next morning and got ready at an excessively leisurely pace and went to eat breakfast/brunch/lunch at Cafe Europa. Mmm yummy sandwich and tomato basil soup. Then we went to downtown Charlottesville and walked around and window shopped in little antique shops and bought giraffe scissors and "hankies" and patronized a closing Crabtree & Evelyn. We then hurried back to "grounds" for a quick dinner at Lemongrass, some of the best Thai food I've eaten. I'm sad to admit that their lemongrass curry and buckwheat noodles kicked Pattaya Grill and Thai Singha's trash.

Then on to sadly missing Priya's friend's show due to the fact that we couldn't find the theatre until 10 minutes after the start time. Presented with the fact that there was no late seating (due to the fact that the entrance opens onto the stage...uh??? who had that idea?) and no intermission, we went back and watched The Office. Oh how I can't wait until April 10th.

Sunday morning, we drove back up to Philly (4 hours!) and had lunch with two of my old suitemates, Meg and Liz. Both were back in town briefly, so we caught them before they headed to Boston/Miami and NYC, respectively. Then church for 3 hours, during which Dan organized a lesson, and then we departed for New York City for our friend Nastya's birthday at the restaurant S'mac. Who would've ever thought there could be a whole entire restaurant wholly devoted to macaroni & cheese? It was glorious - goat cheese, gruyere, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower...magnificent.

Then we drove home. And went to sleep. Apparently I'm still not alert enough to come up with a clever ending. So, the end.