Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Open Letter to Mr. Ricky Martin

Dear Ricky,

I don't think you're gay.  I think you are bored, spoiled, oversexualized, probably more than a little bit perverted, and that this is a last ditch attempt to save your floundering career.  Pretty sure you'll be back to straight once you fall into obscurity again.



(I mean, really, why do has-beens feel the need to come out when no one even cares what they're doing in their personal life?  They're not doing any favors to anyone, not even the agenda to which they currently ascribe.  Bleh.  Everyone knows they only play Ricky Martin songs on the oldies stations anymore, right Melody?)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Almost 30

Just last week we celebrated my 29th birthday.  For some reason the difference between 29 and 30 seems really pretty big.  We'll see just how big the difference feels next March.  This was my first birthday as a husband and Julie was determined to make it memorable for me (even though I always just responded ever so helpfully with shrugs and "Oh, I don't require much").  After a long day of work, at which I was able to successfully avoid anyone finding out it was my birthday, we decided we would use the coupon we received at a recent 5K for a free birthday dinner at Magleby's.  Imagine our surpreeze when Magleby's did NOT appear where it used to be, and even more when we learned they had moved to Springville...  We were hungry and time was of the essence, so we decided to save the coupon for Julie's birthday in May and go somewhere closer by.  We ended up at P.F. Chang's and went all out with the special for 2, which included an appetizer, soup, entrees and mini-desserts!

After that, we went home to watch LOST and for Julie to finish her big birthday cake, which she had planned quite carefully.  Although she asked me what flavor of cake I wanted, the decoration and theming was all a surprise, and what could have been more fitting than a homemade Disney specialty cake??

Doesn't it look so professional?  We later similarly celebrated by buying The Princess and the Frog on DVD (which also included, against my will, but necessarily if we desired the best deal and most special features, the Blu-Ray version, which I did NOT want, and which also means the casing is different so it doesn't match my expansive Disney DVD collection, and which manipulative marketing kind of annoys me), and taking our cake to Elise's house to share the delicious confection with the LOST Club after the new episode.  Just a few days later to round out the Cajun theme, we had a big party at Mom's house for me, Penny and Jonny, where we ate delicious beignets, gumbo and watched our newest Disney movie.

But I must say my shiniest and most exciting present was this:
It's so tiny!  It's so sleek!  It has a video camera and microphone!  It plays aloud when you take the headphones out!  It plays (and rewinds) the radio!  It speaks and tells me what I'm listening to on demand!  It shuffles when I shake it a certain way!  It's amazing!  I called it Helo.

Thank you, sweetheart!  Best Birthday Ever!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shamrock Shuffle 2010

Two weeks ago The Wife and I headed up to Logan with Mom and Dad to join Grandma in the annual Shamrock Shuffle!  (Thanks for Mary, from whose blog I stole the above photo.)  This marked a year from Julie's visit when we became secretly engaged, and it seemed quite fitting we should venture up to Logan as we did last year to visit Grandma and run this fun race.  After a nice evening of visiting and delicious Grandma Soup, we were able to get plenty of rest before the 10:00 am start time (and really, that is the BEST time to start a 5K, I say).  We met up with a couple of local Francis relatives there and made ready.  It's a fun, inexpensive, and pretty well-attended race, and if you wear green (as I had the wherewithal to do this year), you get a dollar off!  It wasn't quite as cold as it was last year, but the course also wasn't quite as flat and moderate as I remember it being last year.  Much to my own amazement, I reached a new PB of 20:57, placed 13th overall, and for the first time ever placed 1st in my age group!  (I am all for the 20-24 and 25-29 age groups, by the way...  20-29 is just way too big a difference.)  But I wasn't the only one!  Mom, Julie and Grandma all placed as well, and this year Dad decided to step up from his usual role of "athletic supporter" and run along with us, and he did great for his first race in many years.  Keep it up, Dad!  Every single one of us placed in our respective age groups!  What a victory!

After the race, we went to look at a display of some of Grandma's giant journals at the library and then for some free samples at the cheese factory, and after a well-deserved rest, we all went to see Alice in Wonderland and, by Grandma's recommendation, tried the new barbecue restaurant near the theater.  Ribs... *dies*

It was a great weekend, and we'll see you next March in Logan!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Okay, so The Wife signed me up on goodreads.com a couple weeks ago, so if you're on there, you can see what I'm reading and how I liked it!  That is all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

... And Hello, Penny!

Almost in the very moment I said goodbye to my old car, my youngest sister Elise and her husband Jeff welcomed to the world their firstborn, Penelope Louise Ribeira.  (Read the whole story here.)

She arrived on 3 March 2010, weighing in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. and measuring 20 inches.  She has a LOT of dark hair, nice eyebrows, beautiful long, dark eyelashes.  Penny brings the nephew/niece ratio to 8:7, so the girls are really making a run to catch up!

Mommy and baby doing great soon after delivery!


So in a matter of minutes, I lost a car and gained a niece.  I'm pretty sure we traded up this day.

Goodbye, Rameses...

On Wednesday night, after more than seven years of driving, and less than seven months of listing online and showing, a very nice young man named Mike from Salt Lake City and his friends drove off with my old Beemer, leaving me with an unexpectedly sizeable wad of cash in my hand and an equally unexpected amount of mist around my eyes.  This car has given me its share of problems, but it always had its charms (the convertible roof definitely a high point, and the stereo was pretty nice, and the seeming luxury of a "vintage" BMW), but when it needed a little fairly substantial work done before it could get registered again, we decided it may have seen its day under our ownership.

I had listed it for an estimated price (OBO) I found online for its age and condition, which may still have been a little high, but I figured it's a great car for a fun renovation project, or a first car for a kid who doesn't need or require much, so I thought I would throw out the line and see if anyone bites.  We had quite a few calls and visits about it, but in the end, they decided it wasn't exactly what they were looking for, or what they were willing to pay.  I listed it again with a slightly decreased asking price, and eventually this young man came to look at it.  He even looked it up online and was prepared to pay pretty close to what I was asking based on his research.  He is a self-proclaimed amateur when it comes to cars, but it's a hobby he likes and would like to develop, and he has connections for parts and labor and has helped with other projects, so he knew what he would be getting into.  He and his friends drove it around and tried it with the top down, and before the hour was up, the negotiating was settled, the papers were signed, the cash was handed over, the glove box and trunk were emptied, the pictures were taken and the car was gone, leaving only the dark puddles on the pavement where it had leaked who-knows-what fluids over the long winter.

Sure, there were times I wanted to drive it right off the road for the problems it gave me, but it also has been with us for a lot of good times.  How many times did Elise and I take it to Jordan Landing for Harry Potter nights?  How many times did Melody, Emily and I take it for a ride while blasting and singing along to "Crusin' "?  It even had a good run while I was on the mission by Mom and Dad.  And it was the first car Julie and I ever rode in together when I picked her up at the airport, and the first car I missed her in when I drove it home three days later and looked longingly at the empty seat next to me.  When the guys were getting ready to drive it away asked if it had a name, I told them I had originally called it Rameses (since the beloved Trooper I drove prior was called Moses, a reference to the brotherhood in The Prince of Egypt), and they loved it and waved as they drove away.  I was a little more sad than I expected, but it didn't last long, and I'm glad to know it's in good hands.  I couldn't be too sad when the money received meant a little edge on bills, student loans, rent, etc. (and um, maybe a little bit toward Disneyland...), and in the end, it's pretty much an out of sight, of of mind kind of deal, though of course we'll always have fond (and not so fond) memories.

Goodbye, Rameses...

Friday, March 5, 2010

No Snow!

Even though the title of this blogpost certainly does not apply to recent weather, I wanted to report briefly on our latest race.

On 27 February, Julie and I met up with Rolla friend Allison and her friend to run the UVU/Habitat for Humanity No Snow Indoor 5K.  There were two completely indoor routes, one with stairs and one without, and the course ran a few loops around UVU campus.  I've never done an indoor race, so we all decided to go with the stairs route for a new challenge.  We all had fun, but I suspect foul play as far as the logistics...  The organization was a little lax (they didn't distribute numbers or have an official timer at the finish line, not to mention I think I ran one of the last laps an extra time, leading to a much longer time than usual), but it was only ten dollars and they still gave us t-shirts and a pancake breakfast!  In the end, I think my adjusted time was about 24:20something, which is not as good as my regular rate, but I think I expected a little longer due to the stairs, which did make the course quite a lot more challenging, and I did finish in the top 10 overall.  I also think it might be better for your pace to run in the out of doors.

For some ridiculous reason, they decided to draw the raffle winners while everyone was still running the race (???) but they announced the winners again, you know, after everyone actually finished and stuff.  Imagine our amazement when we BOTH won something!  Sure, they were just a UVU t-shirt and hoodie, but our names are never called!  It was very exciting.

Anyway, next up:  Shamrock Shuffle in Logan!  Who's with us??