Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Celebrations

I had such a great Christmas season, first Debbie, Mimi & I invited some of our friends over to Debbie's for hot chocolate and then went and saw the Christmas lights at the Mesa Temple. Then I had my annual Christmas/Melanie's birthday lunch with my friends Melanie & Melissa.
Christmas Eve I went to Debbie & Russ's for dinner, Christmas lights & the kids and I did the Nativity. Then I headed home to wrap my presents and make a bag I had promised to Vaeh. Around 4 am I was on the phone with Mimi because she had finished the video we entered for a contest to win an Advanced Reader Copy of the book City of Glass. It is the final book of a series we can't wait to finish called The Mortal Instruments. You can see the video here and see the results of the competition here.
Christmas morning I went to my parent's along with the rest of my family for breakfast more nativities and then opening presents. It was a very special Christmas, I am so blessed to be able to spend it with my loved ones.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dancing for your pleasure

I was so excited for November and now it is December so how did it pan out? Well first was the release of two albums Travis's Ode To J. Smith & Little Joy's self titled album. Both were great, and let's be honest I had heard most of the songs before they came out anyway. But it was nice to have the whole thing legally.

A friend was asking me my thoughts on Travis's album, I am not the person to ask I love them too much to be objective. But as usual Fran said it better than I ever could..."Travis are an organic band. These records decide for themselves what they will be. They come to us out of the blue. We will always endeavor to make timeless music. My message is either get on the bus or get off because this bus is moving. Where? We don't know... But that's the best part.
All I know is that stating your taste says more about you than about us. I'm glad you enjoyed one of our records. Cherish it.
However if you can hear some difference in albums and songs then you are not listening closely enough... Since the very first song we recorded together till the last one, if you listen close enough you will hear our hearts pounding with every note played. That is what a hard core fan hears. I am happy to state this is what I am. I don't hear music any more. I hear heart and soul. I hear blood rushing.
I am the number 1 Travis fan.
Challenge me if you dare :)" - Fran Healy
Here is one I really like that I already did not blog about.

This is one of my favorite songs from Little Joy. For some reason it makes me want to watch a Doris Day & Rock Hudson film.

Quantum of Solace was not as good as Casino Royale, a car, airplane and boat chase were a little too much for me. But for an action movie it wasn't half bad but it was no Jason Bourne.

Last but not least was of course Twilight. I want to start off by saying I have heard people complain that the movie did not have this or it did not have that. Yes I know because it is impossible to cram a 500 page book into a 2 hour movie. It is like Pride & Prejudice I love the book and I love the 5 hour movie with Colin Firth that is very true to the book. But I also like the 2 hour not so close to the book adaption, because it captures the heart of the book. And truth be told if I am in the need of a little P&P hit I throw in the 2 hour version before I do the 5 hour.

My point being that although I did not think the movie was perfect I still love it because it captures the emotions I get when reading the book. If I let myself stop wishing for things that are never going to be in the movie I easily get swept up and feel the torture Edward feels, the surety Bella feels about her heart and the happiness Edward finds from that.
If you hate the books or hate the movie, I really would not waste your time trying to sell me your hate. Asking why I like Twilight is like asking why I love Jane Austen or why as a little girl I pretended to be Cinderella twirling around the ball with Prince Phillip...I don't know why like I also don't know why guys like Die Hard movies, Halo or Firefly but I have tried to be more understanding, ask Russ I watched the new Hulk with him. I would also like to say concerns are not the same thing as hate. If you would like to discuss concerns that is fine. I don't think people realize part of the reason I love Twilight so much is because of the friendships it has brought me. How could I not always love it?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Want To Have Fun

I have not had anything I've really wanted to post about for awhile. But I just watched this video of The Killers doing a cover of one of my favorite songs.

The Cyndi Lauper version was released in 1983 which means I would have been two years old. I don't really want to admit that this is one of my favorite songs but it has been a part of my childhood. I remember being very young watching this on TV and loving it.

Then of course there is that fabulous movie that shares the same name that I grew up watching.

And for the last few years it has been one of my nieces Vaeh's favorite songs. Whenever I drive her some place we will listen to it at least a couple times, both of us singing along at the top of our lungs. So for better or worse Girls Just Want to Have Fun would most likely be on my life's soundtrack.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Travis Is Coming

This was just announced on Travisonline

US Date Announced

Travis are pleased to announce a very special, intimate show for their fans at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles on Tuesday, November the 11th.

The show is to celebrate the release of the new album "Ode To J. Smith" (4th November), and will be the band's only show in the US in 2008.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow Saturday, 18th October at 9am (PST) through Ticketmaster.

This is all just happening so fast I don't know what to do.

Monday, October 6, 2008

November Please

I am looking forward to a few things this November, the first being Travis's new album Ode To J. Smith. It comes out on November 4th along with another band who I am excited to hear more from, Little Joy.

I thought they sounded a little bit like The Strokes then come to find out it is a side project for the The Strokes drummer. You can read and hear more at their myspace page.

Then I have two friends B-Day's Mimi's is the 6th and not far behind Alexis will be celebrating hers on the 14th. The same day Quantum of Solace comes out. Now let me say no one hated James Bond as much as I did. Even when Casino Royale came out and everyone told me how good it was I could not bring myself to be one of those people who goes to see James Bond movies. But my brother rented it, I saw it, loved it and hope the second "new" James Bond movie will be just as good.

Then on the 21st Twilight comes out.
Twilight HD Exclusive Trailer

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Song To Self - Travis

I know anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows this already but for anyone else just let me say, I love these guys. I just wish I lived in the UK so I could already have their new album in my hands. If you would like to see the actual video for Song To Self you can see it here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vampire Wednesday / Weekend

Wednesday Mimi, Brittney and I went to go see Vampire Weekend! We were not not interested in seeing the opening band so we stopped by Barnes & Noble before got some books & the grabbed some dinner. We got to the show just in time, really we could not have timed it better.

I have to say that I was rather impressed with this young band and how they performed live. It was an enjoyable show, the lead singer was entertaining and the bass player had some lively dance moves. It was a pretty good crowd as well who took a little while to get warmed up but by the end people were singing along and also dancing a little. I had a good time.

From Vampire Weekend

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Dream World Brought To Life

I had not watched Pushing Daisies before but after I saw the movie Miss Pettigrew lives for a day and became enchanted with Lee Pace I started watching episodes online. I could not believe what I was missing. The first season (cut short by the writers strike) just came out on Tuesday. Debbie, Russ, Mimi & I have been watching a disk a night. I don't know when a show has made me so happy.

First there is the ever charming Ned a shy pie maker...

Second is Chuck's wardrobe...Mom can you make me these dresses?

Third there have been a couple of songs...who doesn't know that I wish life was a musical?

Lastly there are two aunts one with red hair & the other with dark hair...When Debbie & I were young we use to talk about how we would be when we were widows. This is pretty much how we imagined it except the personalities need to be switched. I would have an eye patch and a shot gun Debbie would have a bunch of bird cages and a fridge full of cheese.

Monday, September 8, 2008

For my Mom

Happy Birthday Mom!!!
Reasons why I love her:
~She is my biggest fan (she found a painting I did and forced me to do paint it as a mural in her old kitchen.)
~Reading to me as a child. (The Secret Garden was my favorite)
~All the late nights she spent helping me with school work and whatever other crazy projects I started.
~Encouraging me to sing.
~Her faithful letters & emails while I was on my mission.
~Her Faith & Strength

Saturday, September 6, 2008

If it is only Rock n Roll how come music is in my soul

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music...because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out...It's the best part of us probably..."
— Nick Hornby

“Through music, man’s ability to express himself extends beyond the limits of the spoken language in both subtlety and power."
- The first Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

“There’s something about singing that’s magic...I always say you sing because there’s some things you can’t say; you can’t talk everything. There’s something about the emotion of singing, the melody and simplicity of it, the fact that you’ve put the song and yourself out there … I want to just try to be honest and try to find the melody that no one else has found yet. It’s like those mathematicians trying to find that elusive equation that makes everything make sense.”
- Fran Healy

"Music is given of God to further his purposes. Sweet melodies mellow the souls of men and help prepare them for the gospel. After men receive the truth, songs of praise to Deity help to sanctify and cleanse their souls."
--Bruce R. McConkie

"Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls."
-- David O. McKay

"I wonder sometimes if we realize the importance of music. I wonder if we know that the Lord himself is concerned about it. He has given us the information that the song of praise is a prayer unto him. . . . It [is] our privilege, yea, our blessing, to sing..."
-- George Albert Smith

"When we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time."
-- Neal A. Maxwell

I had my ipod on shuffle (something I have not done for awhile) and songs I have not heard in a long while played. I was transported to different times in my life, good times spent with people I love.
My sister Debbie already told this story on her blog but I would also like to share it. On the 4th of July weekend my family went camping. We were talking about music and I pulled out my ipod and let my dad listen to some of the oldies I have. He was listening to "Save The Last Dance" by Ben E. King and The Drifters, when he got teary eyed. He then told us how after he graduated high school and left for college he told my mom (who still had a year left of high school) that she needed to listen to this song, and make sure that she saved the last dance for him.

I think music is one of the greatest gifts we have.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What I Didn't Know My Hair Said...

I already mentioned the blog "Stuff White People Like" in a previous post. But there is a new post and it talks about my hair cut, (which I also blogged about) well at least my bangs or fringe as I and the British like to call them. I never knew my hair cut said so much about me.
Post #104 Girls with Bangs

If you see a white woman and you are trying to figure out whether she is liked or just merely tolerated by white people, the best thing you can do is get a quick look at her haircut. It is a known fact that white people love women who wear their hair with bangs that hang straight down.

A number of very popular white women have worn this hairstyle including Joni Mitchell, Jane Birkin, Jenny Lewis and every girl ever photographed by Vice Magazine or the Cobrasnake. (Note: it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these two things as they are both beloved by cool white people. Follow up note: these same things are hated by cooler white people).

Many people associate this type of haircut with children and people looking for the most efficient way to get hair out of their eyes. But for white people, this simple haircut makes a bold declaration by saying that the wearer is artistic, deep, and has probably dated a guy in a band you like. Of course, as with many things loved by white people, simple often means expensive and these haircuts usually cost upwards of $100.

It is essential for you to know this haircut is more than a mere fashion statement– it is an important cultural marking. Throughout the world, many cultures feature ceremonies to announce that a girl has become a woman. For white people, the haircut-with-bangs is an important symbol that a female has completed her transformation from a nerdy girl to a cool woman. In fact, if you went to high school with a nerdy white girl who moved to a big city, there is a good chance she will show up to your high school reunion with this haircut.

When you are introduced to a group of white people, it’s a good idea to befriend the girl with the bangs. She’s probably the most popular.

It is nice to know what my hair says about me. Especially the part about "probably dated a guy in a band you like" it is like the guy wrote it about me. If I did not already have bangs I would definitely get them now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Magic Trick

Late this past Tuesday night Mimi & I decided that we wanted to go to the Breaking Dawn Concert/Signing in Los Angeles that was Thursday night. Did I mention that the tickets sold out with in the first 45 minuets. When I got home I emailed a few people I knew who were going to see if they or anyone they knew were selling tickets. I also checked out eBay and Craig’s list but there were only a few tickets for sell and they were going from anywhere from $90 to $150. The original price was $20 probably $35 with taxes and fees. Wednesday morning I had a few leads by lunch I was down to two, neither where looking very promising. By late afternoon I decided to pull out a magic trick and bippidi bobbidi boo and next thing you know it is Thursday Morning and Mimi & I are off to Los Angeles.

Our seats were amazing in fact they were so amazing we were sitting with Catherine Hardwicke.

Catherine who? You ask. Catherine Hardwicke the Director of the up coming Twilight movie. I believe the woman next to Catherine is also the Producer.

Sorry the picture is so bad but I used my camera phone so I could text it to a friend. Catherine is the blonde, you can see the people lining up to get her autograph.

Mimi & I waiting for the show. This was not a regular signing it was an actual concert. Justin Furstenfeld the lead singer from Blue October started off by playing a couple songs.
Then Stephenie came out and they did a Q & A there were some good questions but some that were repeated. I really wish people would do some research before they asked questions. After Justin came back out and Stephenie & Justin talked about the songs she had picked for her playlists for her books and Justin would play the song. Here is an example. I really enjoyed it even though I did not know Blue October before.

Then it was time for the signing, Stephenie was only signing one book and was not doing personalization so it was going pretty quick. I was debating saying anything or maybe just thank you since we did not have much time. But when I got up to her I asked "Did you ever get the Muse songs uploaded onto your ipod?" she paused for a second and then answered "yes I did thank you so much?" then she said "Oh your Jens friend. It is so nice to meet you." Who knows what I said something like thanks or your welcome. Anyway It was such a great night and the whole trip really did just work out like MAGIC!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I want to be Kate...

Friday August 1st was the release party for the final book in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn. After experiencing my first midnight release party I have decided they are a bad idea. I think I would have much rather started reading after a good nights sleep rather than 12:30 in the morning. I am not one for staying up all night, I rather like sleep. But I have this thing where I can't sleep until I finish a book the suspense kills me. So Mimi came over we changed into pj's had snacks & caffeine on hand and began reading around 12:30. We would be reading and one of us would gasp or laugh the other would ask what page, then when the other person caught up we would discuss or laugh together.

While at Barnes & Noble Debbie, Mimi, her mom and sister Britt & I found a corner of the store for us to camp out in. We were even able to help some teen girls with some of the trivia they did not know and they won a t-shirt. Look how cute they are.

I am not going to write anything about the book I know some who read my blog have not read the book yet so I will not be posting any spoilers yet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Biggest Fan

Wednesday night July 23rd 2008 Mimi & I drove down to San Diego to go to Comic Con. Now if you are like me you probably do not know what Comic Con is. It is a comic book convention, you know where you see people dressed up like characters from Star Wars & Star Trek and Super Heroes. No I did not dress up as anything, those who do dress up are the minority. Thankfully there is more to it than comic books. They show Trailers or sneak peeks for up coming movies and then have panels with the actors, directors, and producers. Basically all day Thursday I got to watch movie trailers and then hear the actors directors and producers talk about the movies. It was almost heaven.

Here was the line up:
The first panel of the day was for the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still with actors Keanu Reeves & Jennifer Connelly, director Scott Derrickson, and producer Erwin Stoff.
Highlight: Keanu was actually pretty funny, he even made a joke about him playing an alien with little personality.

The second panel was for Max Payne with actors Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Ludacris, and director John Moore.

Highlight: Mark was also funny he cracked a joke about New Kids on the Block reunion. Later he had everyone laughing again and he was even laughing and actually snorted which only made everyone laugh harder.

Surprise Visit...Hugh Jackman flew in from Australia and brought some clips of Wolverine which they had just finished shooting.

Now I may have never read a comic book before, but growing up I did watch X-Men the cartoon. My sister Debbie would and I would watch it with our brothers and we all had our favorite characters mine was Storm. I love the X-Men movies they were my favorite super hero movies until Batman Begins came out. The clips I saw of Wolverine look amazing it should be awesome.

Highlight: Hugh Jackman coming out and saying "I know what your thinking this guy is way too tall to play Wolverine."

Next up Summit had three movies they did panels for the first was for a movie called Push with actors Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Djimon Hounsou, Camilla Belle and director Paul McGuigan.
Highlight: Chris Evans was answering a question about the kind of movies he had played in and he used the word "Fantastical" to describe Fantastic Four. Everyone started to laugh someone told him what he said and he started to laugh and said hey I didn't go to college. Then he smiled his hollywood smile and said I am really good at this press thing.

Their second panel was for a movie called Knowing—Director Alex Proyas appears in person to introduce never-before-seen footage for his new major motion picture starring Nicolas Cage.

And of course their third and last movie was Twilight. The panel consisted of Director Catherine Hardwicke, author Stephenie Meyer, and the cast—including Robert Pattinson (Edward), Kristen Stewart (Bella), Cam Gigandet (James), Rachelle LaFevre (Victoria), Edi Gathegi (Laurant), and Taylor Lautner (Jacob)

Highlights: When Robert Pattinson (Edward) was told by a screaming fan that she loved him his response was "good". Catherine Hardwick (director) announced that they did get a Muse song for the movie!!!

Disney: Race to Witch Mountain, Stars Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino and director Andy Fickman

This was a fun panel the director was very funny and Dwayne was hilarious and very charming.

Dark Castle: Ninja Assassin, Rain, Naomie Harris & director James McTeigue.

Since I had never seen or heard of Rain (Korean singer, dancer, model and actor) I did not know that I loved him but now I think I do. When asked by a fan why he decided to do American films he answered "the girls".

Rocknrolla staring Gerard Butler, Jeremy Piven, Ludacris, Idris Elba, director & writer Guy Ritchie & producer Joel Silver.

Highlight: Gerard told a crazy woman dressed up like a queen or something that she was weird.

All in all the day was great there were two panels I did not mention because they sucked one was about a horror movie but at least it was short. The second was for a animated video called Wolverine vs Hulk. I don't know how long the video was but I honestly thought I was going to die, or at least wished I would. I now know how my friend Brent felt when we saw Enchanted and he said he wished he had brought his fork from dinner to gauge his eyes out. But I don't feel like I can complain too much about it since I was at a comic book convention. But it really was a great day and I loved to see the actors be nervous, tongue tied, gracious and just human.

Here are some pictures of people in costumes, because it just would not be comic con with out them.
These are the ghost busters it appears they are having some sort of prayer circle..

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do You Remember

Here are the directions:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

I am It

Alexis tagged me, it was taking me a very long time to answer so I gave up and only answered the ones I wanted. Sorry Alexis, but here you go...

I'm Passionate About...
1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
2. Family
3. Friends
4. Travis
5. Muse
6. Jane Austen
7. Twilight
8. Humor/Laughing

Can Listen to Over and Over...and Over Again...
Songs I could hear everyday
1. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
2. I Will – The Beatles
3. Indefinitely - Travis
4. Don’t Panic - Coldplay
5. I Could Die for You – Red Hot Chili Peppers
6. Northern Sky – Nick Drake
7. Sweet Thing – Van Morrison
8. New Born – Muse
9. February Stars – Foo Fighters
10. D’yer Mak’er – Led Zeppelin
What I am listening to right now on repeat
11. Glorious - Muse
12. Get Up - Travis
13. Jigsaw Falling Into Place - Radiohead
14. The Good Old Days – The Lodger
15. Wake Up – Arcade Fire
16. I Second That Emotion – Smokey Robinson
17. Brightly Wound - Eisley
18. A Minor Incident - Badly Drawn Boy
19. You’re Ex–Lover is Dead - Stars
20. Cherry Tulips – Headlights

The past 8 books I've read...
1. How to Take The Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend
2. A Company of Swans
3. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
4. Elsewhere
5. The Host
6. Poison Study
7. City of Bones & City of Ashes
8. Pretties, Uglies, Specials & Extras

Things I say often...
1. What the – (I know I say this a lot because my niece will always add Heck)
2. Mother!
3. Never underestimate what you can find on the internet
4. Of course
5. Absolutely I do
6. Are you kidding me?
7. Seriously?
8. Bloody

Random Things About me...
1. Besides reading Jane Austen I have seen 17 movies either based on her books or her life. (Nine of which I own)
2. When I was a toddler I spoke with a French accent.
3. I own a lot of James Dean memorabilia (posters, magnet, trash can, book, license plate & a life size stand up.)
4. If I could be a super hero it would be Jem, my power would be to turn into a Rock Star.
5. Mimi & I wrote some fake Breaking Dawn quotes and just over a thousand people looked at them today alone. ~Crazy

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Strung Out

I stumbled upon something that has made my day. It is called The String Quartet Tribute. If you visit their website you can see they have covered bands from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead, from Foo Fighters to Elliot Smith, from Snow Patrol to The Beach Boys and I have not even begun to scratch the surface they have around 280 albums to pick from. Here are a few of my favorite songs "strung out".

Weezer ~ Buddy Holly

Coldplay ~ Clocks

Muse ~ New Born

Muse ~ Time is Running Out

I love that whoever made the Muse videos put them to the music videos, I think it makes it better. You can also download the songs on itunes.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back to you

I have these two friends Melanie and Melissa we use to work together and although it has been almost two years since we have worked together we have stayed close. We all love The Office and during the season we meet at Melanie's house and watch it together. On one of these nights a few months ago there was discussion about movies I had not seen (There Will Be Blood & No Country for Old Men) but I felt a need to contribute to the conversation so I said, the girl in No Country for Old Men is married to Dougie the bass player from Travis. Melanie laughed and said everything always comes back to Travis & Muse. Then her husband Jeff asked if Travis and Muse were connected I told him no, only by my love.

I wonder if Melanie was aware of how true that statement was. Today while at church a friend asked me what I thought of Travis's new EP another friend only heard us talking about music and asked me if we were talking about Muse. I had to laugh and say no Travis he responded with oh yes your real number one.

I started this blog September of 2007 and have done a total of forty four posts (including this one) in those forty four posts I mention Travis, eleven times (counting this post) & Muse, five.

Just to prove that I am not the only one who loves Travis & Muse here is a fan made video I found on youtube called Travis & Muse - Can't take my eyes off of you

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ode to Travis

This is the cover of Travis's new EP J. Smith, artwork done by Fran Healy. I have had their new song J Smith for a little while now but I just went and purchased the songs on the EP today. I have to say I am very excited for the whole album. The song I added to my playlist is J. Smith and if anyone is interested in reading some of the history of the song you can go here to read Fran's blog.

Here are a few highlights: " Dougie then picked up the bass line like he'd been practicing it all week yet he hadn't heard this ever. It was weird. With the bass and drums locked in, the rest of the song began to roll out, lyrics and all. Andy arrived in the middle of this and casually switched his amp on and sat listening for a couple of minutes before doing his first screetch on guitar, kind of Jimmy Hendrix vibe, sparse then picking it up with some really gentle arrpegio to later unleash the beast that has been locked away since the solo of All I Want To Do Is Rock. "

"Such a lot happens in this song in a very short space of time. The main body of the song is 2 and a half minutes and the outro takes it to 3 minutes... and it leaves everyone that has heard it with the same puzzled face. Luke from the Kooks said it was mental. Paul McCartney said it sounded like nothing else we had done."

Just go to 1:40 how it builds until they top it off with the choir singing. I love it.

Just in case anyone wanted to hear these lovely chaps’ accents here they are guessing ringtones.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Death Cab Concert

Thursday June 19th 2008 I went to the Death Cab for Cutie concert at Mesa Amphitheater. Now I don't mind 110 and plus weather but I do feel bad for bands and wonder if they knew what they were getting themselves into. The lead singer mentioned that while singing he was imagining himself baking like a pizza or something and how he was almost all cooked and we could all eat him. The concert was very mellow with a friendly crowd. I even had a tall guy ask if I wanted to switch places with him, I was so shocked by his consideration that I told him he was going to make me cry. It was a good time. Here is the playlist: Here are some pictures:


Sunday, June 15, 2008


There are so many things that I love about my dad here are a few:
~ When he laughs at his own jokes
~ His dance/dancing the twist with him & Debbie
~ Watching him play with the grandkids
~ His Generosity
~ How he never missed any of my games back in the day
~ His love of ASU sports/attending the ASU games with him
~ His love of music/movies
~ His love for his history and history in general
~ His crossword skills
~ His empathy for others - and how it often makes him cry