Thursday, March 29, 2007

Live Earth Update (II)

Another great article on the update of Live Earth ... man, I wish it was going to be here! This was posted today on BBC News.

Live Earth Update

The DCist had an article posted on March 13th about the proposed Live Earth concert. It reported:
"Gore called Reid to request his help, according to the senator's spokesman, Jim Manley." The Post also quotes Manley as saying, "No one likes a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert better than Senator Harry Reid." Who knew?"
I knew I liked Brother Reid. But the update is not so good for a concert on the Capitol grounds. And the author makes a good point - we don't go to Oklahoma and stop concerts. While yes, this is the capitol of the nation, it is a metropolitan city with lots of young people that wanna have some fun sitting around outside listening to some great music. And learning how to save the enviornment, always a good thing.

However, I think the problem is more along these lines:
"...there seems to be a knee-jerk reaction by some conservatives to anything Al Gore does. We get the feeling that Inhofe and McConnell would oppose a concert about how crime is bad, puppies are cute, and people should be nice to their moms if Gore was running it."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So Mad I Can't Even Express Myself

I don't even know how I came across the news, but I did about an hour ago ... and I am angry. And upset, and confused, and saddened, and shocked. I know that BYU is conservative, but I never thought that my alma mater would do this:

I want to cry. WHYYYY? Quoting from the article linked to above:

"He may be the most unpopular vice president in history and he may be the most unpopular person in America right now, so, yes, where else could he go?" ... "It doesn't surprise me the White House called back and wondered if BYU would take him. I seriously doubt he'd be welcome at a lot of other universities."

Cheney's job approval ratings ranged from 28 percent to 36 percent in national polls done in the past two weeks by Gallup and Time.

I don't even know what to say, I am that upset. So here is a reader's response that will help me to articulate the way I feel since I am at a loss for words on this one ... and we all know how rare that is.
Poor Speaker Selection

I was listening to the radio on my way home from school Friday and was dismayed to hear Vice President Dick Cheney would speak at this year's commencement ceremony. With the last four years featuring Elders Hales, Scott, Ballard and Tingey as speakers, I was excited to have my parents and in-laws attend my graduation. In stark contrast to these men of God, however, we will have politician -- not only a politician, but one who is entangled in controversy and scandal. Having the vice president speak would normally be a great honor to the university, but inviting one who is so divisive can only be interpreted as a political statement, and a university run by the LDS Church should be, like the church, apolitical.

Our commencement speaker should be someone who gives advice and encouragement as we enter the next phase of our lives. I don't believe a vice president whose closest advisor was convicted of a felony only two weeks ago has the moral authority to do so. I doubt any other university in the nation would tolerate such a speaker. At very least, I hope the university is not using tithing funds to encourage him to come.
Ryan Frei
Bremerton, Wash.

Monday, March 26, 2007

One Liners & Song Lyrics

"I am not a thug. I am a college graduate. And I don't have any kids. So if your interested ... "- random man in the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro
"The future is no place to place your better days." - Dave Matthew's Band

"Could it be that everything goes 'round by chance? Or only one way that it was always meant to be?" - Jimmy Eat World

"We want our lives to fit stories we already know." - me to Maria late one night

"You make me feel a little older, like a full grown woman might." - The White Stripes

"Every word you say, I think I should write down. Don't want to forget come daylight." - Joshua Radin & Schulyer Fisk

"The first star I see may not be a star. We can't do a thing but wait. So let's wait for one more." - Jimmy Eat World

Stick shifts and safety belts
Bucket seats have all got to go
When I'm driving in my car
It makes my baby seem so far
I need you here with me
Not way over in a bucket seat
- Cake

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Could I Be A DUCK??

I spent the weekend and the beginning of the week in Eugene, Oregon visiting the University of Oregon and checking out the Historic Preservation Program. It was amazing. It was green. It was beautiful. And yes, it was rainy.

I know you are all curious as to what exactly I thought of it and if I am going to go there, so I put together a little Go, No-go list. Mostly for myself, but also for your information. Here are my reason why I SHOULD go to UofOregon and why I SHOULD NOT go (in no particular order). And I reserve the right to list some factors in both the pro and con list, because honestly, some things are like that in life.

L-E-T-S-G-O ... Let's Go, Let's Go!

* Fresh Air
* Trees and flowers everywhere on campus
* The HP program is the BEST on the west coast ... maybe in the country
* Not one, but TWO field school opportunities (hands on preservation work). One in the Pacific Northwest for one week this summer and another for one month in ITALY next summer.
* A River Runs Through It (the Willamette River that is, runs through Eugene) and has a really cool bike/walking path.
* Design Intelligence magazine ranks the UO Department of Architecture eleventh in the nation. The HP program is in the same school - called triple A (AAA) Architecture & Allied Arts - and I can take some Architecture classes.
* Located in Eugene, Oregon - a classic college town. And we all know that Provo, Utah is not the classic college town ... so this would be a new experience.
* Saturday Market! I could buy fresh fruit and veggies all spring and summer.
* Trader Joe's ... and the deal is done - I can live here.
* No sales tax in Oregon!
* Possibility of getting my tuition waived, my medical insurance covered, and get paid ... IF I can get a Graduate Teaching Fellowship (GTF) position (cross your fingers for me)!
* The UO's New Student Rec Center is amazing ... two strength and conditioning centers, a three court gym (not that I really care but still cool), covered outdoor tennis courts, indoor tennis center, indoor climbing wall and juice bar, two mat rooms, swimming pool and more.
* New and old buildings on campus ... the new ones are even all environmentally friendly and sustainable (the big buzz word in building these days) with solar panels, a green roof and other stuff ... super cool. And the old ones are pretty.
* Football and Basketball ... I guess they are good sometimes, which is cool.
* The HP program might be moving to Portland after my first year, which would be even greater professionally as well as socially (more peeps - aka Mormons - live in Portland than they do in Eugene ... its always nice to have a community).
* The director of the HP program is awesome and I am interested in similar things as he is ... good for mentoring.
* Good job placement. Graduates of the program work in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, etc in a wide range of positions in Architectural Firms, for the National Parks Service, for City and State Governments, etc.
* The health center has a sun room!
* You don't have to pump your own gas, in fact - you can't, its illegal.

(while there are only a few items that are no-go's these things are really, really important).

* Small town
* It rains all the time in order for it to be that green ... and I have been known to get seasonally depressed. And you know its bad when the new health center includes a sun room.
* Small town means not a lot of my peeps (the Mormons) and lets face it - that is a down side when you are single and still looking for Mr. Right. I hate to say it, but its true.
* And when I say there aren't a lot of my peeps I need to mention that a lot of the peeps will be younger than me ... like the boys will most likely be about 21 ... (just a reminder I am currently 24) ... sigh.
* The closest temple is in Portland - two hours away.
* Its not DC ... and what about all my friends in the DC area?
* I can handle the mascot being the ducks ... but donald duck??? what is that??? This just may be a deal breaker.

What do you think? Could I be a duck? Should I be a duck? In all fairness, I will be attending an open house for accepted graduate students at the University of Maryland on April 6th and I will post a similar list. But until then, feel free to tell me what you think.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

doin some good ... one break down at a time

With all that has been on my mind these past few weeks I had a little bit of a "freak out" this weekend. I feel very certain that going back to school is the right thing, however WHERE I should go back to school is really throwing me for a loop. Part of the problem is that I can actually picture myself any of these places and I can picture the direction my life may go in because of the choice I make. All good places, all good directions. And that is part of the problem. I don't know what I want to do.

In my break down this weekend I felt desperate, confused, and afraid. Too many factors were whirling around in my head. Interestingly enough even before the aforementioned "freak out" grabbed ahold of me, I had the prompting to call one of my Home Teachers (HT). And I didn't. I rationalized it away. That was Thursday and Friday. By Sunday, when I saw them at church, I was desperate for some wisdom and guidance and told them I needed them. They were there for me.

Before I go on I feel a need to elaborate on what HT's are for those of you who read this blog and are unfamiliar - here are some explanations taken from this great article:

The bishop of each ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assigns priesthood holders as home teachers to visit the homes of members every month.

The home teaching program is a response to modern revelation commissioning those ordained to the priesthood to “teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church … and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties, … to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them...

These two guys listened to me talk out my feelings. FOR TWO WHOLE HOURS. They gave advice where they could, asked me questions, gave me encouragement, and let me express my self-doubt and fear. I can honestly say they saw me in one of my most unglamourous and unbecoming moments ... and they didn't even blink or wince or look away when I was a puffy-eyed crying mess.

The great thing about the HT program is that these guys don't even know me that well and they really cared and I felt ok asking. The first time they came to my house to teach my roommate and I - I felt comfortable. I felt like I really could call on them in a time of need. Little did they (or I for that matter) know that I would need them a few weeks later. It was nice to talk to people that could be objective in my life. The priesthood is amazing. It does amazing things through people and for people.

While they didn't decide for me (kind of wish they had) or even help me come to a conclusion just yet, they helped me feel some peace and calm. Most importantly they reminded me that this is a gospel of love and peace, not fear and uncertainty. This decision needs to be made prayerfully after I have studied it out and visited the schools.

So this is my semi-public way of showing gratitude ... not only to those two guys (and you know who you are) but to my past HT's (especially the one's I have had out here on the East Coast) and all the worthy men throughout the church fulfilling their duties and bringing the priesthood into homes. I realize that sometimes you don't really feel like you personally are doing much good ... but please know that you are.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Last Installment of the Trip

Here are my London Photos. I love this one below because it has all the coolest elements ... the old steeple, the facade with columns being preserved, the red crane, the classic monument with man on his trusty stead - and of course the apple ipod/itunes graphic advertisement. Juxtaposition of old and new at its finest. Take a look at my other photos of London by clicking the picture.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Paris Pictures

Finally I have my Paris photos arranged in order ... so even if you already looked at them, check them out now that they are in order and I made little notes on lots of them. Enjoy!

My Final Announcement ... Well Until I Actually Decide

Last, but not least, I received an email yesterday from the program director at Boston University. And I am in there too! I feel very blessed to have such great options.

You see, when I applied for my undergrad ... my acceptance rate was not so great. I was blessed to be accepted by a great university but it was - honestly - heaven sent. I received numerous rejection letters. That is why I am so ecstatic about these applications. I know that through hard work, persistence, finding my interests, embracing my own learning styles and with the grace from above I have been given these options to pursue a Master's Degree.

I am so blessed. I needed this validation of myself right now ... I know it sounds ridiculous but its true. And I know that my heavenly father knows me that well and hears my prayers. I needed to be accepted ... I need to move on and move forward and progress. This is the only way I know how to do that right now.

So ... decisions are to be made. Oregon, Maryland, Boston. To be continued ....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Roman Holiday

Check out the first batch of my photos from Rome ... I am working backwards I guess (since we went London, Paris, Rome) but that's just the way it happened.

The Universe Speaks To Me ... But How Does It Know Me So Well?

I am sick ... but I can't sleep and that is the worst thing ever. So I fired up my mac to get some research going to help me figure out where I should go to school and this was on my google home page ... yes I have my daily horoscope on my google page. I know, I know - lame. But I am always amazed how right on it is. I am a capricorn through and through and sometimes its scary.

Anyway - here it is. The universe must know that I have a big decision ahead of me and this was its advice:

You can increase your efficiency today by analyzing all the details before jumping into a new situation. Even if everything looks very inviting, just remind yourself that you aren't in a hurry. Take your time and gather more data. Once you have enough information to see the big picture from a practical point of view, trust your judgment and make a decision.
Friday, March 2, 2007

Thursday, March 01, 2007

technical difficulties

i am trying to download my 351 pictures of London, Paris, and Rome onto Flickr and i am having a few issues ... but i promise to work on it tomorrow while i am puttering around my house being sick.

must. sleep. now.

i have another announcement

So the mail carrier brought me a gift today ... and interestingly it came in a small envelope which usually is a sign of rejection and denial. But not so ... the University of Maryland, College Park wants me to enroll in their Historic Preservation Program!

That's right folks - I am 2 for 3 thus far! So .... um .... how do I decide??? So many things going through my head!

I am sick right now and my mom says not to make any decisions while I am feeling ill. So I gotta do some more research and start praying for some guidance.