Friday, October 26, 2007

Surprise B-day for my boss!!!!

Okay, so I took a pretty big risk and helped plan a surprise bday party for my boss. The reason it was so risky, is because my boss has a reputation for being a little "gruff" and so we absolutely had no idea how he might take it, but he was turning 50 and, well, it was something we had to do. We were smart about it though and enlisted the help of his wife and a few other professors...however, I still gave 3-1 odds that he would not take it very well.
To my great surprise, he absolutely loved it. We had about 50 people from the dept show up and had a professor lure him into room where we were waiting. Two other grad students and myself prepared a gentle "roast" of "how to think like mike gelb." We included such things as quotes from the undergraduate classes that he teaches ("It's only five points, it's not gonna mess up your life. And if it does, your life is messed up already") to funny emails that we have received.
We then had some cake for him and enjoyed a few minutes chatting. He was extremely delighted and said he was surprised that anyone would do something like this for him. It was a risk well taken. With that said, lets just hope that I don't come in tommorrow and find all my stuff in a box outside my office...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Uncle Kelly's Wedding Reception

My Uncle Kelly (the less handsome of the two in the pic above) got married the beginning of Sept. and had a reception this past weekend in the small, but beautiful town of Dunsmuir, Ca. I wasn't going to miss this event for the world. Kelly is one of my best friends and one of those kind of people that would give you the shirt of their back. It was great to see him and his awesome wife Jasmine. We are excited to have her in our family!

The reception was great, I spent a good deal of my time interviewing people at the wedding on camera to get advice for the newly weds. Also, there was some fun dancing that went. I was also exposed to the art of burning sage. Now, if you have never smelled burning sage, it smells an awful lot like marijuana, so for a while I thought I was at a hemp fest and I started to worry about getting a contact high and my future in my church, until someone told me later that it was sage. I thought they were lying until I looked it up on wikipedia. I guess sage is to marijuana what O'doul's is to beer!

I spent most of the time with my mom (in glasses) and aunt (black shirt). They are a lot of fun and made the whole trip great. They even bought me new clothes to wear because they didn't like what I was wearing. Eventhough I am 26, my ego isn't big enough yet to let my mom and aunt buy clothes for me (or maybe its because I am a broke grad student). Unfortunately, my wife was not able to attend the festivities due to work and school, but she was there in spirit.

Congrats again Jasmine and Kelly!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Visit from Dad and Kelly

My dad and is girlfriend/fiance came and visited the beginning of this month. We went to different areas around the city and also showed them where we went to school. It was a lot of fun having them around. After seeing our apartment they decided that we were is great need of a BBQ and so we got an early Christmas present! We are waiting for the shipment to come in and until them I keep fantisizing on what would have to me the first thing we grill...
Now that all of our visitors have come and gone Rob and I are focusing on work, school, and grilled steak... Thanks for coming Dad and Kelly

Sunday, September 9, 2007

U-DUB WINS!!! Jen and I went to yesterday's game against Boise State. It was a lot of fun. Brian Turner (our hometeacher) gave us his tickets which were great seats (50 yard line). I told Bro. Turner that the tickets are worth at least 12 months of hometeaching visits...

It was a great game. Its especially nice to see Coach Tyrone off to a great start. Their schedule is hard, so who knows what will turn out the rest of the season...but we had a blast watching them win.

I might as well throw in here how much I love college football. Unlike the NFL which seems mostly about contracts and who gets paid more (plus its on sundays), college football is a little bit more about the game and about coaching. You are constantly losing players each year, so recruiting is important, as is team chemistry. I love the fact that a walk on can become a star, or a Boise State can beat Oklahoma. Its a fun game with a lot of energy and if I could only get my wife to feel the same!

The video is pretty crappy, I admit. I had another video that was much better, but apparently I didn't save it to the phone...but this gives you a little idea of what 70,000 plus fans at Husky Stadium feels like.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


We got 'er did!!! 18 stops, 197 miles, 15 honey bucket stops(8 in the dark), less than an hour of sleep totals up to one crazy adventure. It was unlike any other race that I have performed in previously in that it is very team oriented (obviously). We were a 12 person team divided into two groups. Here I am with my team (van 1) at the start with Mount Hood right behind us. I ran 3 legs at 9:45pm, 4:30am, and 1:20pm respectively. They were very challenging as I treated each one as a race (not smart considering that I didn't train very well). I averaged 6:30 pace for the first 6 mile leg, 6:12 pace for the next 5.8 mile leg, and 7:00 for the last 6 mile leg (in case anyone really cares...I am putting it here so I don't forget.)

This was taken on my last leg at the top of a very steep 4 mile incline (luckily I had 2 miles of a steep downhill to the finish). My team was awesome! Aside from cheering me on with make shift finish lines like the one above, we would frequently stop to cheer each other on. We were named the "underpants gnomes" which apparently is from South park which I have never watched so I didn't really get it, but people who saw our name would laugh along the way. In fact someone evenly left a fresh pair of whitie tighties on our front windshield which he proudly taped to the back of our van. We finished 24th out of 292 teams in our division (it took us 24 hours and 41 minutes, which is about 7:30 pace).
Before I finish this little blog, I would like to thank my amazing wife for supporting me and motivating me to get out and train. What really made my day was when I got home after the race and saw she had bought me both Fruit Loops (an outlawed cereal in our home) and tillamook ice cream, two huge favorites of mine, to celebrate. Can it get any better than that? I submit to you that it cannot!
...Now its on to college football season!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Family and Friends Blitz

My Parents came into town last weekend and I guess the question is "What didn't we do?" From riding a seaplane around Seattle (one of the coolest things I have ever done) to visiting our Cannuck neighbors to the North, to watching the Mariners barely lose to the Red Sox at Safeco field, I came away from this "vacation" more exhausted than I went into it. It was great to see my parents, we caught up on current events and I played tour guide and showed them around.

My dad I went fishing on the Sound and caught us some coho salmon. Well, he did most of the catching. What I thought was a fish was really a jelly fish on the line. When I brought it up, I was going to keep it to at least walk away with something, but the skipper of the boat wouldn't let me (he said they don't make good eatin'). We also went up to Hurricane Ridge on a clear day...looks like a scene straight out of "The Sound of Music". In fact I was waiting for Julie Andrews to walk into the scene a bust a few notes.

It was a great break! In fact, I was able to see more of my wife during this time. Lately she has been working nights at supersupplements, so when she gets home I am usually asleep. There is a plus side to her working at supersupplements though, because now we get all these free samples. From cod liver to glucosamine to "natural gum", we are getting the hook ups. I have been begging her to get us some polyjuice that harry potter uses.

Before my parent came, my good buddy Andy Dixon and his wife and son came to visit. It was a good time. We went canoing, and we took them to one of our favorite restaurants (Tutta Bella). Watching them with their son doesn't make having kids so recently we ordered our kid off of ebay, but the little tiger hasn't come in yet. Apparently, he got caught up in customs. Oh well...until then I will continue to be Jen's big boy.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Gittin' her Potter on

Let me first start out by saying my wife if a huge Potter fan. This picture was taken at 1:30 am on Saturday morning as we returned from the Barnes and Noble (hereafter refered to as "B and N") midnight magic party where Jen got her Potter book (she stayed up till almost 4:30am reading it!!!). While I definitely admire Rowling and her writing skills, I have not taken the time to read her books yet until this one came out (I was able to use wikipedia for the other books and catch up on all the details :)). Sadly, I only had time for the last five chapters which were some of the best modern writing I have laid eyes on (some of you may think I don't read enough...but if you were to read all the boring science papers that I trudge through, I am certain you would agree with me). I wish there were more creative writers like her living in this world.
The Potter book did not come without a sacrifice. Jen went Friday morning to line up and get her reserved bracelet at B and N so she would be one of the first in line when the book came out. It turns out that the line was too long and she couldn't get it. So Jen appointed me as the bracelet retriever. That required me running to B and N in the pouring ran (close to 1.5 miles), waiting in line soaking wet (I got a lot of stares), and then running back in the pouring rain protecting the little bracelet as if it was one of Voldemort's horcruxes. I would like to see Rowling try and crystalize that heroic event on paper. Come to think of it, I am the real hero of this blog.
I hope everyone reading this is doing well and that they are enjoying their Potter books as well!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Party in Seattle with the Family

The fun keeps on coming this Summer, my Mom and two younger brothers (Justin and Jared) came and spent a week in Seattle. It was a blast showing them around to all the sites and showing them where we live. There were some intense nights playing a board game called Settlers of Catan, no matter what happened my mom always ended up winning! We also went through quite a bit of ice-cream, Rob and I introduced them to Tillamook ice-cream and my brothers were determined to try as many different flavors as possible. I have never had so much ice-cream... I think Rob felt like he was in heaven.
It was a lot of fun and we will miss having them around. The apartment will be a lot quieter.
Now it is off to work until the next visitors come at the end of the month.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happy 50th Mom

Jen and I went to Vegas this past weekend to surprise my mom for her 50th Birthday. It turned out to be quite the surprise. She didn't know it, but my brother (only showing his face in this picture) and his family and my aunt (green shirt) showed up to surprise my mom at a restaurant in Lake Las Vegas (unlike Seattle that has natural lakes, we make our own lakes in Las Vegas). While in Vegas, we also cruised the strip at one in the morning (That was acutally Jens idea believe it or not), we went to the Temple (so pretty), did some swimming, some bbqing and of course lit off some early fireworks. It was a great time, but the best part was definitely the look on my moms face when she saw us all there at the table.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I just realized that the whole month of May went along and we did not post a lame of us!!! Come to think of it, not much is really going on. Jen is extremely busy in school and finishes in a few weeks. I am just plugging away doing chemistry. Oh yeah, I am now training to run the HOOD TO COAST relay from Mt. HOOD to Seaside Oregon. 200 miles...(of course I will be part of a 12 person relay team). Thats about 17 miles a person (spread out over 3 different legs). So here I am dusting the local competition in Seattle.

Be on the lookout for some up and coming blogs from us this summer. Jens Mom and two younger brothers Justin and Jared are visiting us, my Parents visit us, and Jen's Dad and girlfriend Kelly are visiting us. We are really excited to have family see us and we absolutely have a blast when they do. I am sure we have you all on the edge of your seats waiting for the next blog.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Finally...I am out of the dog house!!!!

Exactly one year later I made good on my promise to take Jen to the tulip festival. As you can see by the picture Jen looks happy. Its too bad that you can't see the relief-filled smile on my face as I take the picture.
In hindsight, I should not have rainchecked Jen's desire to go to the Tulip Festival in 2006. Think about it for a minute, that was one full year in the dog house. When I didn't feel like doing the dishes or taking out the trash, and especially when I was engaged in a college football game, Jen would use the Tulip festival card...until now.
It was very pretty, and I wish we would have went last year. The tulip festival is only about 1.2 hours from our house. My favorite part of the excursion was the pit stop at the factory stores. Banana Repulic has killer deals. If anything, come visit us for the deals they have at this factory outlet.

Trip to Canon Beach

Recently Jen and I went to Cannon Beach, Oregon on a two day get away. That part of the Pacific Coast is absolutely amazing. Its a little different than the SoCal beaches Jen and I are most used to. There is a constant flux of waves coming in and there are interesting monoliths like the one pictured behind us called "Haystack."

All in all, the trip was fabulous! We went on a rain soaked bike ride, took nice walks along the beach, and saw a play (a surprise I did for Jen). If you haven't been, you should make a point to go there once (if you have extra room, you can even take us). We uploaded a video onto youtube ( of the rain soaked bike ride in case this post and accompanying picture aren't enough.