Friday, July 30, 2010

Tangled Teaser Poster Unveiled

And now, for something completely different...

This was released yesterday here, along with a few other official movie stills from the trailer:

So Wikipedia is reporting that it is indeed a Menken-penned musical, so it does have that going for it.  The trailer still plays like that of a Dreamworks movie, but I'll chalk that up marketing experimentation.  I'm still just excited to have a Disney animated movie to look forward to this Christmas.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ye Olde Englande, Week 2: A Lot of Moving

It's Sunday afternoon, which means it's time for another blog report.  As last week, The Wife has posted a more thorough report, which photos, on her blog at Hinkypunk Station.  She's been going to great lengths to make sure our trip is documented regularly with photos and information for all the inquiring minds at home, and it's good to know people are reading and enjoying it (and more photos are posted on facebook as well).

This first part of this week involved a lot of moving, which led to the slightest bit of stress and lugging our impedimenta all about London, but we are now settled nicely in a semi-permanent type of temporary residence situation, house-sitting for a family we met at church last week while they are in American for three weeks (I am telling you, this is a worldwide Church...  Find your local leaders wherever you are, and the Lord will provide).  We are glad to have a stable situation with an excellent internet connection for work, and a great location for the girls' commute.  We even have had a couple quietish evenings at home and caught up on our reading or watched tragic films (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas... oh my).

The event I will highlight on this blog will be this:

I fed the birds.

If you look you can see me recognizing the splendour of St. Paul's in the lower left of this photo.
(See below for a better view of my reaction.)
The Little Old Bird Woman wasn't even there, and I had my tuppence and everything!
 But we fed the birds anyway:

We just fed them our own crumbs from our Salt & Vinegar Twists instead.  I don't know why this particular landmark seemed to have so much more of an effect on me than some others, but I really enjoyed seeing it and listening to the clock tower and having a little dinner on the steps.  We didn't get to go in yet, but we'll be back again soon, I'm sure.  It was also exciting to cross the nearby Millennium Bridge, as featured on the latest Harry Potter film.  For more, visit The Wife's blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ye Olde Englande, Week 1: A Lot of Towers

Our first weekend in England has already come and gone!  We've been seeing ever so many famous things!
The queen was in, but we decided not to bother her.  Maybe we'll drop in for teatime on our next visit.
 In case you missed it in the shot, I'm pointing out Big Ben for you.
Saying goodbye to the interesting, dramatic and very old Tower of London.

I have really enjoyed running through Hyde Park in the mornings and the lovely, cool weather.  I'm a little surprised that there aren't more, you know, English people here, but maybe once we get outside of the central London tourist-type area we'll see more of them.  We're getting used to the tube system and making good use of our road map.  At the moment we're playing a sort of Musical Lodgings game, but we ought to be in a pretty good situation in just a couple of days, at least for a week (details to come).  I have decided rather than spending the time to unnecessarily blog and post pictures, I'm just going to link everyone to The Wife's blog, where she is planning to post at least every weekend to keep people up-to-date with what's going on here.  (Also, I think her blog deserves a little more traffic anyway.)  I guess if something comes up that I want to write about specially (like something that happened to me while Julie was at work), I'll do that too, but I'll at least post every week to direct you to Julie's newest post and put up a couple of pictures.  She also has been posting a lot of photos on facebook, so you can find them there.

So here it is:  Hinkypunk Station.  Enjoy!


Thursday, July 15, 2010


Here we are in London!  It's rainy and cool, just like I'd always heard London described, and I am perfectly content to stay in weather like this all summer.  Our travels were for the most part uneventful (slight flightplan adjustment, layover in Denver instead of Chicago in order to make a better connecting flight to London, leading to one very short flight and one very long one, during which we watched movies on our personal screens, read our books, were fed two-ish meals and had plenty of leg room, though not much of a window view, in the exit row), but the real fun started once we landed.  There were some minor issues with paperwork and documentation at the UK border, but once we proved that Julie and Caity (her co-worker) were indeed here to work, and that their situation had been organized by a London company, and that they were doing work that they had been trained for, we were on our way with a minor specification marked in our passports that will require we get a little more paperwork from The Wife's employer...  So we found our temporary lodgings at Pembridge Palace Hotel, settled into our tiny rooms and took a little walk around nearby Notting Hill.  There were shops all over the place, and we were all surprised at how surprised we were to see so many types of people around (London is a very international type of city after all, I guess).  We had a quick bite to eat, then thought we would come home to crash, but then decided we better try to get on the local schedule (it's strange to suddenly miss seven hours of your life!  Where did it go?), so we went back out!  We bought passes for the Underground and took a little turn on the Circle Line, ending up (where else??) at King's Cross station, where with just a little snooping we finally came across Platform 9 3/4.  Up until this point we had felt kind of like we were just in another big city.  Now at last we were in LONDON.
After that, we came home, and THEN we crashed.  Today so far we've sampled the delightful complimentary breakfast (hard-boiled eggs, toast aplenty with cheese or jam, cold cereal and fruit cocktail), settled in for work (internet is available for a nominal hourly or daily fee, and the girls are meeting for training this afternoon), and wondered why none of our kin or co-workers are online (until I realized it's close to 4 in the morning back home).  It's crazy to think we're just... here... in England.  I'm sure once we see a few more landmarks, things will start to hit home (as it were), but we are already having a great time, and things can only get better once we get a few more hours of sleep...

Monday, July 12, 2010


I guess most of those who actually read this blog probably already know this, but I decided the time had come that I better make the official announcement.

Before we were married, The Wife made me promise that one day I would take her to England.  Of course, it's always been a true desire of mine to visit the UK as well, and I had no problem making this promise (though I hesitated to agree to the stipulation that it would happen before we had any kids...).  Little did I know that within a year, SHE would be taking ME.  That's right, a temporary position in London at Julie's work opened up, and we decided she might as well apply for it, and a few weeks later (wouldn't you know it?), her MLS paid off yet again and she was chosen as one of two to do some work on location from mid-July to Labor Day.  Her ticket is paid for by the company, as well as our housing and a tidy living stipend.  I contacted my employer to ask if it's all right if I relocate (since I basically work from home as it is), and she thought it was a fantastic opportunity and a perfect time in our lives to have these kind of adventures.  And of what adventures we're planning!  We're basically taking the evenings and weekends and running ourselves ragged all over the European countryside!  (We also may or may not be determined to visit Disneyland Paris for our anniversary in August...)

So, brand-spankin' new passports in hand (which came just in time, and at dear cost...), we are heading out tomorrow evening, stopping in Chicago, and thence to London!  We'll both try to keep up with blogging now and then, and post some pictures as they come.  Wish us luck!

Friday, July 9, 2010


The Wife and I took a little trip southward all last week.  We had a family reunion to attend for the 4th of July weekend in southern Utah, so we decided to take the opportunity to spend time with some other nearby relatives.

The first leg of our journey started after work on Friday night as we drove to Moab, and stayed the night in Grandma's condo.
Julie had never visited this favorite family destination, and was duly impressed with the accommodations.  We didn't have much time to spare unfortunately, so the next morning we said goodbye to the red rocks and drove about 7 more hours until we started to see the cacti appear.

We spent about five days in Surprise, AZ with The Wife's brother Tyler and his family.  When Tyler's wife Sarah and two daughters came to visit Utah a couple weeks ago, I was determined to get four-year-old Lily (who was ever so shy of me at the wedding) to like me, and by the time she left, she was calling me her "favoritest."  This trip, my goal was to achieve the same level of acceptance from one-year-old Ivy, who is going through a Mommy- and Daddy-only phase (though for some reason she took to Julie right away).  We spent several days in Arizona spending time with Tyler and Co., staying indoors as much as possible, out of the 110-degree heat (yes, one-hundred-and-ten degrees!), shopping, getting ice cream at the local water store, going to see Toy Story 3, which caused the slightest bit of concern for Lily (and the ladies going to a midnight showing of That-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named, JUST FOR THE LOLZ!!!), visiting the local aquarium (where we met some nasty crocodile-neck turtles, a six-foot snapping turtle named Bubba and an albino crocodile), eating delicious deep-fried cheese curds at my beloved Culver's, getting better acquainted with Ivy Mae, introducing Tyler to golf on the Wii and getting slaughtered by Sarah while playing Swordplay on the Wii, eating Sarah's delicious cooking and watching a lot of The IT Crowd.  I managed to go running in the mornings, though it would already be about 90 degrees at around 9:00 am, and even was able to bring my work equipment along and get some work done in the evenings.
 Culver's!  I have missed it so!

As the holiday weekend was drawing closer, it was time to leave the land of cacti and incredible heat and head back for the land of red rocks and home!  We headed back, via Tempe, where we had a nice lunch of Cornish pasties and treacle pudding with Julie's former roommate Ann.

We met Julie's family in southern Utah (where the weather was blessedly thirty degrees cooler) and soon were involved in many family festivities.  It was really nice to see so many of Julie's relatives, some for the first time since the wedding, and some for the first time ever!  We enjoyed the very well-organized extended-family dinner in the local church building's cultural hall and took advantage of the complete reservation of the town pool, then were happy to host Wii Party Central in our hotel room for the immediate family.  The next day it was time to take part in the legendary Blanding Independence Day festivities, starting at 6:30 am for the 4th of July 5K/1-mile Fun Run!  We learned about it from flyers announcing holiday events posted around town, and Julie, Tyler and I had a really good run at a very early hour.  The turnout was pretty good (about 250), and I placed first in my age group and 20th overall (at 21:47).  I like to think we would have all placed a little higher in the overall ranking had the race not been to benefit the local high school Cross Country team, and as such featured many very young and very fast runners (the overall winner was 13 years old), but this race gave medals and a lot of great raffle prizes, including my win of a $25 gift card to a local diner and Mom's win of a coupon for a free pizza..  Then came the Fun Run, which Mom, Marci and the kids enjoyed, and the kids were so excited to receive their ribbons at the end, and went around telling everyone how they won and how they were faster than their relatives who were running just behind them.
Then we watched the parade, where the kids ran around picking up the candy and beads thrown from the passing cars, and I saw all three of the sights I was hoping to see:

1. Horses
2. Royalty
3. A band!  Best uniforms ever.  Their form was okay, but their playing was pretty good for such a small group.

They even had Indian royalty!
And tiny horses!
And missionaries!  (This is such a great idea, I have no clue why it never occurred to me in Wisconsin.)

After a visit to the park and lunch of fresh Navajo tacos, we visited the dinosaur museum, where we watched a short film about the similarities between dinosaurs and birds which SOMEONE must have realized would have been dead boring while they were recording the narration...
(You may notice that I am wearing the race shirt.  They were all out when we signed up, but they ended up with a few extra women's shirts after all.  Julie wanted one, but she doesn't really wear them out and about, and it fit me too, so I decided to wear it to celebrate my victory from the early morn.  Yeah, I'm man enough to wear a ladies' shirt.  No big deal.)
Best celebrity endorsement of a toy ever.  "...For really it is cunning."

This museum had a lot of pop culture dinosaur references from throughout the years.  Julie just loves those Jurassic Park dinosaurs.
I just love those Fantasia dinosaurs.

After a much-needed rest at the hotel, we had a nice, relaxed barbecue with the remaining family members, and later we all enjoyed the fireworks spectacular from the back of Tyler's truck in the hotel parking lot.

The next morning after attending church, we had a short lunch at Granny and Granddad's house, said goodbye and took a few more pictures, then went our separate ways.  I am happy to report that I spent a good portion of church playing with Ivy, and at one point she even reached for me, yea, while in the arms of her daddy, and I felt honored.

I was so glad to spend a lot of time with The Wife's family, whom she has been missing so dearly, and whom we hope to see again very soon!

This isn't our child.
How about a little blast from the past?  Let's relive some of our engagement photos!

It was a well-needed little break from work and life and such, but still, it's hard to deny that it's really nice to get back home after a long vacation and sleep in your own delicious bed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Linda! We Love You, Linda!"

Two weeks ago we saw Linda Eder at the Scera Shell!  She's one of my favorite artists ever!  She was so great!  She sang so many of my favorite songs!  (Man of La Mancha!  Someone Like You!  Falling Slowly!  Can't Help Falling in Love!)  She was charming and funny!  It was interesting to see her in such a casual atmosphere and such a small band (last time I saw her was at Abravanel Hall with the Utah Symphony).  The weather was perfect for an outdoor concert and we had a great picnic of Gandolfo's while we waited.

I actually brought my copy of her latest CD and decided to wait after to see if I could get a picture and maybe an autograph.  She was very clever in her escape plan, but still took literally a minute or two to greet the handful of eager and waiting fans, but announced regretfully that she didn't have time for autographs and only a few managed to get their picture with her.  I played paparazzi and took the pictures I could.  If I were a more aggressive sort of person, I might have tried a little harder to get a photo, but this was enough of a brush with any the Famous for me.  It was still the closest I've ever been (and probably will ever be) to meeting her.  It was great.

I call this one "Blurry Shot of Linda with Someone Else."
This is called "Linda Pretending to Care that This Old Man is Thanking Her for Being an Inspiration for His Daughter Who Has Been 'A Singer' for Five Years Now Thanks to Her" (I actually like this one because it's the closest I have to one of her smiling).
My proudest paparazzi moment.
This is Linda either saying "I'm sorry, I can't do any autographs tonight, my band is waiting for me!" or "Don't make me sing..."  Take your pick.
And of course, the classic celebrity get-away paparazzi shot.  People were shouting "We love you, Linda!"