Saturday, December 29, 2007

survival mode has made me mute

I tend to gravitate towards news regarding socioeconomic and demographic subjects these days - topics that are really interesting to me. Culture, consumerism, citizenship, thoughts, actions, religion ... for those of you who read my blog (or at least used to read it before I went back to school and virtually barricaded myself in my room), you know these subjects intrigue me.

Although I am relatively young, I get a feeling that things use to be different. Now, I understand that nostalgia can be dangerous - there are some pretty ugly truths found in the past - but I still feel a sense of loss. Loss of values ... Loss of direction. Our culture no longer values things like saving, conserving, waiting, or sacrificing. I bring these up because they seem to plague my own behavior incessantly. I swear this rambling is going somewhere.

This is where the rambling is going: Another subject for another blog - "curbing my consumerism" or "sustainable living" (as in emotional, physical, spiritual, education, sustainability as well as the traditional sense of greening my life) - I will flesh these ideas out before the official start of the new year in order to take them on for better living in 2008.

I have been ill since Christmas Eve and coupled with the panic-feeling I have been living with since the beginning of Fall Term it has translated into a strange mood for me. I don't feel like blogging, sharing, reading, asking, or buying. I have been focused on picture hunting for my inspiration slideshow - think more design pictures like this, this, and this ... here are a few examples:

The transition of solid colors is pretty. The fun white chandelier looks great against the yellow.

Stripes and damask fabric (and my favorite free standing claw footed tub) = fabulous.

Check the square brick in the rounded fireplace ... love the contrast.

This is wallpaper on a fridge - love it.

I have also been doing lots of thinking ... thinking about self-improvement/reinvention/renovation/upgrade (whatever you want to call it) and how that can make me feel better. I have been hibernating, mostly trying to get better, but I think my sickness has just been a fortuitous event because I don't really want to be in the world right now ... what I mean is that I am evaluating and planning and not wanting to participate in real life just yet. It also helps (or doesn't depending on your point of view) that I have a dead-line for this behavior ... I have to jump back into life when I go back up to Oregon. Less than a week from today ... I need to start anew with me and with school. That is where the 2008 resolutions come in. More to be explored.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

proving myself ... to myself ... in so many ways

I finished my first term of graduate school. One of the hardest things I have done, thus far. I have learned a lot so far and its really exciting. Its only the first term and I feel all sorts of anticipation of the future! So many things I want to learn about ... so many articles to read!

I feel like I have been learning so much about buildings, preservation, sustainability, cultural resource management, the economy ... all sorts of crazy things. But then of course it has been as if I have been living under a rock in other respects. I know nothing about music, politics, or movies ... those normal things that people are aware of. And that is probably ok (with exception of politics, I should know about that).

With all this political talk going on these days (most notably in my parent's house and when you live in DC ... UO students seem to be aware of it as well) I feel like I am so in the dark on what is going on. My dad said that he had heard about online questionnaires matching your ideas and views on hot political topics with the 2008 candidates. I was intrigued by this idea ... what if I was professing to have democratic leanings but in actuality had more ideological alignment with ... GASP ... a REPUBLICAN candidate (if you know me, you know my father would be soooo upset AND I would feel very foolish if this were true)! The fear is rooted in this - while I know a little bit about what is going on, I am extremely undereducated in terms of the issues. Always have been. I talk a good game, but I really only scratch the surface of understanding what is really going on in America today. So I took an internet test and here were the results:

2008 President Selector Rankings:

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100 %)

2. Barack Obama (80 %)

3. John Edwards (80%)

4. Joseph Biden (74 %)

5. Dennis Kucinich (73 %)

6. Hillary Clinton (72 %)

7. Wesley Clark (not running, endorsed Clinton) (72 %)

8. Bill Richardson (69 %)

9. Al Gore (not announced) (68%)

10. Christopher Dodd (68 %)

11. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended) (67 %)

12. Michael Bloomberg (says he will not run) (52 %)

13. Mike Gravel (50 %)

14. Mike Huckabee (48 %)

15. Ron Paul (41%)

16. John McCain (39 %)

17. Elaine Brown (38 %)

18. Tommy Thompson (withdrawn, endorsed Giuliani) (37 %)

19. Mitt Romney (36%)

20. Alan Keyes (35 %)

21. Chuck Hagel (not running) (34 %)

22. Tom Tancredo (withdrawn, endorsed Romney) (30 %)

23. Rudolph Giuliani (29 %)

24. Sam Brownback (withdrawn, endorsed McCain) (29 %)

25. Kent McManigal (campaign suspended) (28 %)

26. Duncan Hunter (22 %)

27. Jim Gilmore (withdrawn) (21 %)

28. Fred Thompson (21 %)

29. Newt Gingrich (says he will not run) (21 %)

30. Stephen Colbert (campaign halted) (16%)

WHEW ... safe! I should have been more confident in myself I guess, but its nice to know that I really do vote the way I profess to believe. To be fair, and if I had the time, I would need to take multiple tests to see if they all came out relatively similarly ... that would be the responsible thing to do. Different tests might highlight different social/political issues in different ways. Even the phrasing of questions might sway me ... who knows ... I mean hopefully I would be able to figure it out ... but I am just suggesting it might be even more interesting to see who I was connected to on multiple sites. Another interesting thought is for the candidates themselves to take the test ... would they be connected with themselves as their ideal candidate??? hmmm.

Notice how my "Theoretical Ideal Candidate" does not even exist. I like to say that's because there is no one like me :) ... I am unique and thus so is my paradigm or life-view. In seriousness though, I think that it attests to my belief of voting issues rather than party. I posted the entire list in order to show the major players and persons of interest (in red) ... its official ... with 36% Mitt and I really only share religious beliefs ... and that's ok, we can still be friends.

I took another quiz on the site ... WHAT DOES YOUR SOUL LOOK LIKE. How could I not take the quiz with a title like that!?! I NEED to know what my soul looks like. Here are the results:

Belief System Selector:
1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)
2. Bahai (90%)
3. Jehovah's Witness (82%)
4. Orthodox Judaism (75%)
5. Sikhism (73%)
6. Mainline - Liberal Christian Protestants (73%)
7. Mainline - Conservative Christian Protestant (68%)
8. Reform Judaism (66%)
9. Islam (63%)
10. Orthodox Quaker (59%)
11. Liberal Quakers (58%)
12. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (50%)
13. Eastern Orthodox (50%)
Roman Catholic (50%)
15. Unitarian Universalism (50%)
16. Jainism (42%)
17. Seventh Day Adventist (41%)
18. Neo-Pagan (36%)
19. Mahayana Buddhism (34%)
20. Hinduism (34%)
21. Theravada Buddhism (33%)
22. New Age (32%)
23. New Thought (32%)
Scientology (28%)
25. Secular Humanism (26%)
26. Taoism (24%)
Non-theist (19%)

SAFE AGAIN! My soul is 100% Mormon (funny, my ultra conservative right wing church friends might find this a little surprising ... hehehe ... I joke, I joke). I was a little surprised that they even had my church listed with its correct name and all, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and not just Mormon. Again I have highlighted some of the interesting connections ... notice how my soul has more in common with Orthodox Judaism (75%) and Islam (63%) than Orthodox (59%) and Liberal Quakers (58%)! Not that shocking to me ... but go figure. I also found the vast difference with Scientology (28%) and Non-theist (19%) organizations interesting. Just a little food for thought.

Anyway - check it out and see what you think. And p.s. my mac is in the shop so we will see how this goes on the whole getting back to blogging.