Thursday, July 19, 2012


This summer, I haven't had a whole lot to do. Because I have some spare time on my hands, I'm asked to babysit my little niece and nephew. And I love it! They are just so much fun and I love them so much. I can't imagine how much their parents love them. I'm pretty excited for that some day.

One day, I got to watch my little niece. 

She is so cute. This adorable look that she gives just pulls right at the heart strings.

We were playing out in the front yard and she just wanted to explore everywhere. She especially wanted to run down the hill into our neighbors back yard but that probably wasn't to great of an idea. I did have to return her to her parents in one piece. So I showed her the garden hose and she quickly forgot about the hill until she saw it again a few minutes later.

I got her to say "cheese" for the camera.

She is growing up so fast. I still remember the first time I got to hold her. She was so small. Now she is running around, climbing on things and speaking in all sorts of baby tongue. I wish I understood what she was saying. I'm sure it's pretty interesting.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Had I not gone on the Vienna Study Abroad, I probably would have never never met the beautiful and wonderful Grace. Grace and I had a lovely time in Vienna. She quickly became notorious for being in front of my camera at just the wrong time, but that made our friendship grow and blossom. Well, I liked her more because of it. I'm pretty sure she hated me for a while because of the pictures. She is so fun, energetic and full of life, and here's the proof of all of that. 

Grace wanted some close ups one day waiting for an U-Bahn train. I think she just got so excited that she jumped right into my camera lens.

She had to get her little mustache on. I loved these little mirrors. 

All happy and cozy on the train to Italy. I think she just met Prince Charming in her dream.
By that expression on her face, he must be pretty dreamy.


I love, love, love how her personality just shines through in all of her pictures. How could a person not want to be around her? 

Still one of my favorite photos is the kebap shot. It just says so much. First, you're drawn in by her stunning eyes, then her beautiful, fair complexion, followed by her flowing, curly hair. You're thinking to yourself, "dang, she's gorgeous. She's a model!" Then she's like, "yeah. That's right. And I'm working all that while downing a kebap."

Now, it wasn't all goofy pictures for Grace. She also was the subject of some of my best shots from Europe. Here's the proof. She just looks so pretty in this picture and there's an awesome reflection in the glass. 

One of my favorite pictures of all-time to come out of my camera is the next one. I can't stop looking at it. Doesn't she just look absolutely gorgeous? I think so and I think you'll agree.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fajitas and More Tilapia

One of my favorite foods on the face of this planet is fajitas. I love just having a tortilla, slapping down some sour cream, then filling it with delicious chicken and sautéed peppers and onions. Sprinkle in a little cheese, a bit of lettuce and diced tomato, and I'm the happiest person in the room.

I usually want to get fajitas at any restaurant that I go to but they are usually one of the most expensive things on the menu. I don't understand that. It's super cheap to make. So whenever I want fajitas, I just whip it up myself and it's just as good, if not better than what the restaurants provide.

I also experimented the other day with salsa and tilapia. I give to you, Salsa Tilapia. Original, I know. I just put some salsa on the tilapia, seasoned it with a little extra pepper and cayenne pepper (I like it spicy) and baked it in the oven. It turned out delicious and so easy.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Becca and Adriana

Let me tell you a little about Becca and Adriana. The first thing you should know is that I love them to death. I had so much fun with these two over in Vienna. It's impossible not to have fun with them.

The second thing you should know is that I'm pretty sure they were best friends way before this life on earth. They always are happy and smiling and that infects everyone around them. We would always have a grand time whenever they were around.

The third thing you should know is that they nearly convinced me to drive a Ferrari. Now, I could easily convince myself, but in Milan, there was quite a huge price to pay to drive it for ten minutes. They were still good sports even though I didn't do it. They had fun trying to rationalize the decision and probably would have loved to see me spend money that I didn't have. :)

Lastly, I think they are secretly in love with me. Here's why I think this. One night in Vienna, I was getting ready for bed and i got a text. I opened it up and found this. Oh, how I miss Vienna.

:: Warning ::
While Becca and Adriana have the spotlight this time around, I still have plans to put others on the hot seat.
I have some good ones coming up.
I may not be as nice as I was in this one...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Well, this was the best part of my day. I'm really digging Handel lately. I never really gave him much credit for his amazing music.

Thank you Friday the 13th for living up to your reputation. It's a good thing that tomorrow is a new day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

String Quartet

I just recently found a recording of my String Quartet #1 that I thought I never had. It was performed a while ago at a student composition recital on November 3, 2010, probably the most stressful recital for me ever. My senior recital wasn't even this stressful.

The day before, I knew that my piece was being performed at the recital. The main problem was that I still wasn't sure who was going to be playing it. I had been through more than ten different string players in the previous weeks trying to get ready for the recital and watched them all disappear like rain drops in a river. I finally managed to nail down four string players the day of that weren't going to back out on me.

I rehearsed with them most of the day. I became frustrated to no end and was sure that I was going to pull my piece from the program. Part of it was my fault. The piece was quite difficult, especially the first movement. There is so much independence of line and tight counterpoint that it was practically impossible to put together hours before the recital. However, my players came through and did the best that anyone could have done in their situation.

If you'd like to take a listen, head over to the 'compositions' tab to the right and enjoy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Night Photos

There aren't too many waffle nights to occupy my fridays anymore, so I decided to head up to campus and do a little composing. I also brought my camera, just in case I was feeling like an adventure.

As I was driving, I realized that my friend had just put up his BFA show and was having the opening tonight. So I decided I would go to that. On my way to the show, I remembered that there was another show out between the Harris Fine Arts Center and the Museum of Art: The 8-bit sculptures. I checked those out before heading into the HFAC to see my friend's BFA show.

I finally made it to the BFA show and it was really nice. It was an exhibit of photographs of modern Provo and he made white ghost drawings of buildings that used to stand in those places. It was really cool to see a bunch of buildings that I remember that have been torn down.

Afterwards, I decided to head back to my car. I had spent a lot of my time talking to my friend. It was really good to see him and catch up on the awesome things that he has done and has in store for himself in the future.

I was walking back to my car and saw a picture that I really wanted to get.

It was a beautiful night. Peaceful. Calming. Quiet. Something I so desperately needed.

I pressed on a little more and took a few shots of the street that I so frequently drive on.

Finally, I arrived at my car and felt that I should make one more stop. I headed just up the road until I reached the Provo Temple. I took a few shots, but mostly just sat there and looked. Thought. Pondered.

I love this place.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tilapia Dish

I have been trying my hand lately at cooking fish. I got my hands on some tilapia and salmon. It is a little more difficult to handle and prepare than beef, chicken or turkey. It's so delicate. It needs to be cooked just right or the texture is weird or it's too dry or so many other things. It really likes to be handled with care. 

Tilapia is a white fish that is a lot like halibut. Halibut is one of my favorite fishes, but it is extremely expensive right now. Sad. After today's cooking adventure, I can say that I'm not as sad as I used to be. Tilapia is very delicious. Take for instance my baked parmesan tilapia with avocado. It turned out just splendid!

I have a couple of reasons for wanting to get more fish in my diet. Fish is very high in protein and this protein is very, very lean. It takes a long time for your body to break down this protein which leaves one feeling fuller, longer as well as boosting the metabolism to break down all of the protein. I have been kicking up the intensity of my workouts lately and need the protein to rebuild my muscles and help me recover faster so that I can continue to push harder as the week goes on.

Fish is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. This has several benefits. One is that it, too, helps to boost the metabolism. The greatest benefits of omega-3 is that it helps lower triglycerides, cholesterol and helps promote cardiovascular and heart health. 

I'm hoping to really cut and shred some stubborn fat and build some strong, lean muscle in the next two months. We'll see how effective fish will be in reaching this goal. It would make the "summer of the 6-pack" a huge success if it does what it is claimed to do. Despite what happens, it is delicious and I'm enjoying learning how to cook new things.