Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ben Corner: Decemberists

I went to a Decemberists concert last night at the Moore Theater. The Decemberists are apparently an "indie" rock band from Portland who like singing about historical topics. I have all their songs on my iPod. NPR loves them. I've included an image to help you image what this band might sound like. To help describe how cool they are I'm including the following virtual string of consciousness section. Note: I'm wearing my Greek fisherman hat in the audience.

"Crane Wife" minute 1: Wow the lead singer sound greats. He plays guitar too. And this isn't Johnny Cash strum-along, he's playing the thing. This is a great song hopefully they'll play the all three movements...

"Crane Wife" minute 5: Yup, flawless transition into the second movement. Nice steel guitar action; a truly underutilized instrument in rock music. I never would have imaged the back up singer was the drummer. With how high the harmony is I assumed it was the female keyboardist...

"Crane Wife" minute 12: Whoa, the lead singer just switched to another instrument for the third movement. What the heck is it? It has eight strings like a mandolin but it's the size of a guitar and a different shape... A mandocello? Sounds great, whatever it is. Four more minutes or so to go in this one...

"Eli the Barrow boy" minute 2: Nice simple song with nice boy-girl harmony. Very sad. Oh my gosh. The auxiliary string player just pulled out a hurdy-gurdy. Are you kidding me?

"The Chimbly sweep" minute 7: This song started out well. He claimed it was autobiographical then went off talking about being an orphan chimney sweep. Somewhere along the way it got off course. During the guitar solo he got the crowd doing group calisthenics. What the heck? We want less weird, more sailors getting swallowed by whales!

"Culling the Fold" minute 2: This song somehow didn't make it onto my iPod. The main line is "It's gonna break your Heart to have to break his bones, but someone gotta do it! Culling the fold; you gotta cut him up girl!" if I didn’t know what "cull" meant I'd be less freaked out by this song.

End of encore: Good times. They sounded amazing live; I'd say even better than their studio recordings. There was probably 20 minutes worth of feedback crap at the end of songs they could have cut out. They could have fit in three more songs. Too bad some of my favorite songs apparently aren't the "fan favorites":
"Mariner's Revenge", "California Wine", and "The Island".

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bri Corner

These really are fun!!! Enjoy!

What were you doing 10 Years ago:

I was in my freshman year at West Linn High School. Eating French Fries and Kit Kat bars for lunch (thats all, isnt that gross?). Hanging out with my cool girls wearing shoes that I wouldnt wear today EVER. Check out my lameness! Thats me in the blue dress. P.S. nobody should ever cut their hair that short!

5 things on my to-do list today:

1.Empty Diswasher
2.Load whats in the sink
3.Finish typing up recipes for my recipe binder (one of my many things on my "Nesting" list)
4.Try to go to Enrichment with my sister in law and go to Stake Council Mtg.
5. Eat, Eat, Eat some more

Things I would do if I was suddenly made a billionaire:

1. Buy a new wardrobe (well when I am normal sized again)
2. Move into a house Ben and I desgined
3. Give some gifts
4. Invest
5. Travel because its my turn to go to Africa and South American Ben!
6. Pay for my kids college
7. Give to a great cause like AUTISM

Three of My Bad Habits:

1. spending too much time on the computer
2. Being lazy or unproductive
3. I dunno, mess around with my imperfections in the mirror

Five Places I have Lived:

1. Bountiful, UT
2. Tualatin, OR
3. West Linn, OR
4. Snoqulamie, WA
5. Seattle, WA

5 Jobs I have had:

1. Babysitter
2. Reconveyance specialist
3. Nanny

4. Apartment Manager
5. MOM

Things people don't know about me:

1.My ring finger was cut off when I was 2 at Godfather pizza in the bathroom door. I dont eat there. EVER.
2. I secretly like girly things... pink, butterflies, etc...
3. I dont cook dinner... Ben does hes awesome.
4. I get lonely at home at about 3pm every day hoping Ginny will wake up or Ben will come home. or someone will stop buy.
5. I can be really nasty to people now that I've been Managing Apartments for so long.

I tag.....EVERYONE WHO READS THIS. YOU BETTER DO IT!! I mean, you know, if you want to, it would be... cool.


Check me out I'm Elizabeth Bennett. I was gonna say I was Emma, but you know how quizes go.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Wilsons do Boston, Brazilian Style

Brazilian 1: O, olha esta cada aqui. Esta cada e portugues?

Brazilian 2: Nao, ele e Americano mesmo.

Brazilian 1: Entao por que ele fala assim, meio chato?

Brazilian 2: Parece que ele aprendeu Portugues em Portugal.

Brazilian 3: Vamos comer mandioca...

If you understood this, you now know what this trip to Boston was like for Ben. If you caught a word or two, you know what it was like to be Bri on this trip. If you don't know what language this is, you're like 95% of Americans.

We flew to Boston for Bri's friend's wedding betweeen December 27th and January 1st. She has known Ashley since she was 4 years old. It just so happened that Ashley was marrying a Brazilian and about half the wedding party spoke little or no english (they spoke Portuguese for those of you keeping score at home). On top of that, the trip also coincided with our 3rd anniversary. The Stage was set for on epic vacation.

So we were put up, at our own expense, in a nice hotel overlooking the Charles River. Bri's mom Nori, and little sister Lily, age 7, were sharing our suite. We coaxed Nori into watching Ginny for an afternoon while we tried to make the most of our anniversary before the rehearsel dinner that evening. We took a shuttle to Harvard square. We poked around Harvard a bit then went to lunch at a Brazilian restaurant in Cambridge. Thoughts on Harvard campus: small and brick. We chose the restaurant because they claimed to have Brazilian "Cuisine". Brazilian and cuisine are two words not generally used in the same sentence because Brazilians are all about sticking to what works best: rice, beans, and beef. We thought we'd check it out. Bri wolfed down a very generous steak with fries, rice, beans, topped with a fried egg. Not bad for a late lunch.

The wedding was fun. The whole ceremony was done in english and portuguese. Bri was a "reader" and read the bride's poem in english during the ceremony. After the ceremony and dinner (thank you butternut squash bisque) they busted out the dancing. The show was stolen by the Brazilians who kind of hijacked the dance. But we did our own share of wowing the onlookers by busting out some salsa moves. People were especially amazed by Bri's ability to endure all the spinning and twirling with such a high center of gravity (she managed not to pop a single seam of that dress she made).

After the wedding we stayed two nights with the bride and groom at their house in Brockton. They had been on their honeymoon before the wedding. For Ben it was a mission flashback, being surrounded by Brazilians in tight quarters (there are lots of Brazilians in Portugal). The TV was alway on and turned to "Globo", there was always meat cooking somewhere, and all sorts of people were coming and going throughout the day without knocking. We toured Boston for New Years eve, went to the science museum and saw fireworks, but didn't stay out too late with Ginny, it was cold! We played a lot of games, ate a lot of home-cooked food and watched a lot of Globo. Thanks to the bride and groom, Ashley and Eldo!

Thoughts on Boston: Everything is made out of brick. People on the street are about 5 times meaner than Seattle or any other city we've been in in the western US... or Europe,... or the middle east,... or South America,... or Africa.

Virginia in Boston with a balloon giraffee
Us on our way to the main event
Ashley and Bri
Exploring the science museum

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Meet the Wilsons

Sure you've heard the name. Your interest has been peaked. But who are the Wilsons anyway? Here's a brief intro...

"The Wilson family is the product of middle-class, grassroots, hard-working America; a group of ordinary people united under extraordinary circumstances and proving- both to themselves and the world- that the American dream is alive and well." -Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News*

Let's start at the top. Ben Wilson is the charismatic father and husband of the family. A PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UW, Ben researches things like the "Opto-Plasmonic Tweezer", and "Avalanche Concentration Annealing and Deposition" in the photonics lab. Ben was raised on the barren steppes of Eastern Washington and served a mission in Lisbon, Portugal.

Next comes Bri, that sweet hometown girl from Snoqualmie (and Portland), the beloved wife, mother, and social coordinator of the Wilson family. But there is much more to this lady then those croucheted hats, home sewn outfits, chocolate desserts, and other impeccable crafts. Bri graduated from UW with a BA in English Creative Writing in winter 2005. Her focus was poetry and short story composition.

Ben and Bri met at the Seattle Institute of Religion. They were engaged three months after they started dating and were married within eleven months of the first time their eyes met. This marriage ultimately gave rise to the next Wilson on our list, that lovable toddler Virginia.

Ginny, as she is commonly known, is almost two. She spends most of her day talking about frogs, giraffes, other animals, coloring, food, whatever is going on, or just repeating whatever you're saying. She likes drawing, dancing, singing, reading, arranging, cleaning, dressing up, talking on the phone, and taking her shoes and socks off in the car. Ginny is currently looking forward to getting off whole milk, learning calculus, and someday potty training.

Finally there is the keystone of the Wilson family: Baby-Sister. Baby-Sister is a lovable child who spends most of her time sleeping, hogging lap space, and kicking Mom. We're all looking forward to meeting her when she makes her grand debut sometime in mid-March.

We hope you'll enjoy our periodic updates on how life is going. Coming soon: the Wilsons do Boston, Brazilian style.

*This was not actually said on the Nightly News, nor did Brian Williams say it.