Monday, March 30, 2009

new do

i got a hair cut.

i like it.

my dad says i look 12 ... but in a good way (hahahaha - okay thanks dad!)

i like it anyway.

i feel like a have a TON of hair.

i feel like i might look like i am wearing a wig ... but in a good way.

i like it.

i might look like a doll ... but in a good way.

i haven't yet tried to style it on my own.

i will be attempting to blow dry it in a few minutes.

wish me luck.

A photographic journey of my look the last two weeks
You have been warned.

Before I left for LA:

Driving from Oregon to LA
(wearing a friend's sunglasses):

In LA at the Getty Villa
with my cool Wayfarer sunglasses:



what do you think?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pardon the Interruption

For all of you peeps and non-peeps alike ... the whole "BIG LOVE" thing going on right now is kind of a big deal. Generally I don't have a problem with the show (never seen it but the concept is not overly offensive to me) because I know that its television and that they got it all wrong anyway. I can let that all go. But what I do get upset about is hearing about the upcoming episode that depicts the temple ceremonies. The temple is the most important thing to me - its perhaps my most sacred and dear aspect of my belief.

Depicting it on television is not okay with me.

Those of you who know me, know that I don't get easily upset by the silly things that the world and the media do and say about the Mormons. I can take it all with a grain of salt and shrug it off. Making light or just being frivolous about the temple is the one area that I cannot shrug off. It makes me sad and upset and even angry. Sacred things are not to be trivialized.

The temple is the place I feel the most peace, I feel closest to God, and I feel at home. I learn something new every time I go. The spirit there makes me want to be better and to realize my potential.

That being said ... you may be wondering what the big deal is ... and why we build temples. The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints complied a video and put it on YouTube to explain it. It is a beautiful overview.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PART III: Connections are Made

"The context of my personal awareness of, and interface with, environmentalism has merit in understanding how my academic and professional experiences have led me to pursue this specific thesis topic. I came to graduate school specifically to write a thesis like this one. I choose the University of Oregon because of its orientation to environmentalism, as well as what the program had to offer. Its location within the Pacific Northwest, widely regarded as the leading region for sustainable practices in the United States, solidified my acceptance of attending the UO. However, before the thought of graduate school to pursue a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation and before the idea behind this thesis had fully taken root, I had the beginnings of the idea planted in my mind simply by paying attention to how I felt in particular places. I am certain that I have a heightened sense of self-awareness due to my anthropological training and thus I began to notice my feelings as I walked around the historic Capital Hill Southeast Washington, D.C. neighborhood that I worked in.

Specifically, I noticed the differences I felt at home (in a high rise apartment building in Northern Virginia - the middle of what seemed to be corporate America) from how I felt as I walked to work from the Capital South Metro station through Southeast DC. I couldn't help but notice the irony that I went from home/corporate America to work/historic neighborhood. Isn't that backwards - a commercial living environment to a domestic working one - I was all confused. I worked in two old row houses that had been renovated into one and our neighbors were all residents ... these were there homes. As mentioned previously, I have always loved old things and thus it came as no surprise that I enjoyed the walk past historic row houses everyday. I noticed the variety of shape, style, and condition even though I had no real knowledge or formal training in architecture. What I did know was this: I felt something different when I walked through a historic neighborhood. I felt a sense of richness, depth, and stability. As a deeply religious and spiritual person, I quickly developed a sense of moral obligation to understand these buildings and neighborhoods and the role they played in people’s lives and in their surrounding communities."

Part IV coming soon!

Since I brought it up - let us fondly reflect on DC and the Capital Hill area ... I miss it so. Some of these pictures I am sure I have posted before ... but they really capture the area ...

The church building on the corner of 3rd and A St?
(work peeps - help me remember!)

Jimmy T's

The Capital Building

My first Thanksgiving in DC ... this was my 2005 Christmas card
(wow has it been that long? Sheesh I am getting old)

In between the capital building and the National Mall-
the sculpture is so dramatic - i love it!

One of my favorite things to take pictures of -
the Library of Congress Jefferson Building -
this picture is my desktop ... has been for a few years now.

Monday, March 09, 2009

PART II: The Gears Start Turning

The next installment on how I came to write my thesis ... to catch up read this one first. I promise to do better and post the next two installments in a more timely manner.


"The teacher loved the idea since the seventh-grade class was working on a recycling project that could be highlighted in the book and the entire yearbook staff seemed to like it as well. After all, they voted the theme in - "97% Recycled 3% Attitude" – hands down. I thought I was pretty clever. After the yearbook was distributed to all the seventh and eighth graders at the end of the year, with its big silver 97% and even bigger recycle sign stamped into the fake forest green leather front cover, my tune changed. It was not exactly a big hit with my peers – go figure since I was blatantly saying we were highly unoriginal. I became extremely embarrassed about my contribution and needless to say blocked the concept of recycling out of my mind for at least five years (ah, youth ... always uncomfortable about something)."

"In my world, the environmental movement – which basically consisted entirely of recycling – took a hiatus while I was in high school. Yes, I still recycled newspaper and soft drink cans, but environmentalism was not on my radar much other than basic recycling and erratic weather patterns caused by El Nino. With El Nino came a gradual awareness of the discussion about climate change for me. By 2001 I was studying Archaeology at Brigham Young University (p.s. blogger wants me to spell archaeology like this = archeology ... that is sooo wrong) and we often were reminded of the earth’s warming and cooling periods – the most recent Pleistocene (ice age) and the current Holocene (interglacial period). The lecture would often touch on the controversial issue of whether or not man was speeding up the warming of the earth by accelerating the rate of depletion of the Ozone Layer through industrial and car emissions; or if this was a natural cycle that the earth goes through and we were more than capable of adapting to it. It is only recently that the world has come to a general consensus that the rate of climate change is increasing due to human activity and that changes in behavior might need to happen. That makes this thesis more important and relevant than ever."

PART III ... coming soon.

Friday, March 06, 2009

maybe you don't care ... then stop reading

in conversation with my thesis chair (or adviser if you prefer) he was telling my that the first paragraph of my introduction was more appropriate for a preface. basically what he was trying to say was that it was way to casual and conversational and not academic and professional enough to be put into the "official" thesis document. i had edited down something i had written a few weeks ago about my journey to writing my thesis for that opening paragraph and now i am a bit sad that no one will get to read the original document it came from ...

never fear ... that is what the blog and you people are for! i have decided to post it in installments ... short parts to help you see my thought process for why i went back to school, why Oregon, why historic buildings, why sustainability, so-on-and-so-forth.

like the title says - stop reading if you don't care (don't worry I will never know because I don't look at my viewing stats ... it won't hurt my feelings in any way ... its only my life's work thus far ... no big deal.)

let us begin.

the (working) title of my thesis is currently (I have changed it three times already):

Historic Preservation and Sustainability in Portland, Oregon: Evaluation of the Sustainable Reuse of Historic Buildings

pretty boring title ... I know... but its not a book ... its an academic thesis. its not about being glamorous and sexy ... its about calling it what it is so that some poor graduate student doing research in the future will know if they need to read parts of it for their research paper or not. i always appreciate those books and articles that have apt titles reflecting what they are ACTUALLY talking about.

that being said ... let us really begin.


"I have had a very basic feeling for quite sometime that the past has much more insight into the present and future than society often cares to acknowledge. Therefore, the concept of keeping historic buildings in use as a response to the sustainability movement made sense to me on a lot of levels long before I began to study this interface. Growing up in the mid-Eighties and becoming cognizant of the world in the nineties (1989 is the first year I realized what a year was … I was 6 years old and it probably had to do with being in kindergarten) it was an era of “recycle, reduce, re-use” (“and close the loop” – is how the saying went). While the emphasis of environmentalism of my suburban world was on recycling of newspaper and aluminum cans at home and not much place else in the small scope of my life, the impression of the three R’s was profoundly made on me. So much so, that as a member of the yearbook staff for my middle school in 1997 I suggested the brilliant theme* of “97% Recycled, 3% Attitude.” I was not so much expressing my zeal for saving the planet as I was making commentary on the social and pop-culture phenomenon of the 60s and 70s fashion and music coming back into vogue. I was raiding my parent’s closets for clothing they wore in high school and combing thrift and vintage stores for bell-bottoms and hippie shirts** after all – even I couldn’t help but notice how much we were recycling the culture of the past."

* note ... this is sarcasm and will be explained in the next paragraph to come
** note ... if i had pictures of the year book or of middle school i would post them, but they are stored away in california at my parents place ... sigh ... that would have been good.

running and writing

Ran a ten-minute-mile for the first time in my life yesterday. I had to convince myself to do it every step of the way. Don't be too impressed, I quit after one mile.

In all honesty I had already run 2 miles at my usual 11 1/2-minute-mile pace before deciding to give it a go ... the first 10 minutes of running are my least favorite so I couldn't start the ten minute mile right away. Come to think of it, the last 5 minutes are no fun either ... which leaves a solid 10-15 minutes of feeling alright while running ... this "feeling alright" is a relative feeling of course.

Update: I am 4 pounds away from my goal weight! So far I have lost 38.4 pounds in six months ... yeah, I almost don't believe it myself. Crazy. I must say - the last 10 pounds are the hardest and by far are taking the longest. So if you need some inspiration ... a motivator ... a cheerleader ... I promise you I can help. Drop me a line.

In other news ... I have OFFICIALLY started writing the first draft of my thesis (everyone scream YAY!) For the first time I feel like I can actually do this and have a vision of what it looks like. For soooo long ... like before I even came to graduate school ... since like 2006 ... I knew what I wanted to write about (Kelly - remember those talks on the way to the metro from the gym? "The Greening of Preservation" I believe was the title ... well its changed a bit since then ... but the general idea is very much still there!) The research, writing, editing, and re-writing process is a beast ... but I can honestly say that it has actually started to click (I am sure there is more writers block in my future).

I can also honestly say that its amazing how the Lord helps you get your "to do" list done when you put Him first. I have noticed that as I put my church calling (job/work/responsibilities for all you non-peeps out there) first and serve and make time for people that my capacity is enlarged ... capacity to write, to read, to think, to listen, to comprehend, to express, to serve, to love, and to give is all increased at the same time. As I read the Book of Mormon everyday I feel the peace and reassurance that I can get through whatever comes my way as I seek to know my Father in Heaven better and to emulate my Savior Jesus Christ. Reading the BOM everyday is something I have never been good at but I re-committed to do it after a challenge by my Bishop starting February 1st ... I am happy to report that I am keeping it up and really really enjoying it! So that is my testimony ... put the Lord first and He will help you push through it all and get it done. Not that I don't have hard days or unproductive days or even terrible, horrible, rotten, no good, very bad days ... but just that I have a better capacity to breathe and know that this too shall pass ... and I remember the things that are really important. I feel blessed.