29 May 2009

Blast from the Past

This was Memorial Day in D.C. My roommates and I walked all over the nation's capital. We climbed stairs, saw the Fathers, climbed trees, saw fishermen, and a lot of hot dog stands. We sweat in places we didn't know we could - and I'm not just talking about famous marble memorials that require our utmost respect.
Our favorite memorial was that of FDR's. He hated war. He also that the most important thing we could do as Americans is to maintain hope and service for all.

24 May 2009

Eat, drink, and be merry and be good, too

Sorry, I've been gone for a while. I've had a busy past couple of days believe it or not. I, myself, am having a hard time believing it especially since I haven't even started my internship yet. Tuesday is the start of our Pre-service Training, a.k.a. PST. This next week should be fun and busy.
My roommates came yesterday, Heather and Liz. Three more will come later this week, so there will be 6 of us in this fancy apartment. They are very nice, very talented girls. It's always little bit funny to start living with people all of a sudden, but I think things will be fine.
I put my foot down on the whole recycling thing, so that's good.
Church was awesome today. These aren't just BYU student wards anymore. These are D.C. doctorate student wards, or YSA's making lots of money already. This is going to be quite the experience.
So what I really want to blog about is what I made for dinner the other night:
a little caprese salad with fresh basil and yummyyummybread and flax bran muffins.
a few days later, my mouth is still watering over this.

22 May 2009

Don't Be Surprised if You See My Face on Cribs

Vanity in master bed

living room w/ big fluffy couches and brand new vacuum

kitchen w/ gas stove and dishwasher

breakfast table and fridge

den w/ 2 desks and great sunlight

dining room and chandlier

my closet, my shoes

my bed and pillow

my home. i live on the top floor 12

My internet is sketched for the time being, so I haven't been able to blog as much as I would like to. I have moved in and it is great! I'm in the middle of Crystal City. Right across the street is the Metro station, and on the other side is the public library, CostCo, local grocery story and a creperie!! Oh and much, much more.
This is a very nice, safe part of town and I've already made friends with my neighbors. My favorite neighbor: Thelma. I met her at the Arlington Visitor Center. She is an older lady. I told her that I was here for an internship and she thought that was just lovely. She told me a story of speech pathologists in her time. She said that they really whooped kids into shape in those days. In her words, "She was a real bitch."
Thank you, Thelma.
I'm going to bake some cookies and share them with her this weekend, I really like her.

This is the view from my balcony around 8:45 p.m. I really like it.

19 May 2009

My Ninja Moves

Today was a good day. Full of East Coast Breezes and lots of walking. After repacking (one of my most UNfavorite things on this whole planet) all my belongings, I walked to the PX, the sad substitute for Walmart found on every military base. I bought some Thank You gifts for Vinny and his daughter and their puppy. And then I came home and and looked up graffiti taxonomy. I was inspired after watching Bomb It last night with Vinny. Lately, my mind has been on graffiti. I really like it. I think it's artful and expressive and an exhibit of real art when it is demonstrating thought and voice. It can be vandalism a lot of the time like when the beautiful mural at my high school was vandalized via spray paint and zip codes, but most of the time it is just taking advantage of public space as any dogwalker or corporate business would. The movie makes some great points; Did the multi-millionnaire ask anyone their opinion before building an ugly, bland skyscraper to block out what little of Sao Paulo's clear skies were left for the public to behold? No, they didn't. Graf artists in Brazil, work under a whole different mission and motto then New York's but with the same spirit of expressing their voice. The speech-pathologist is coming out in me: Let them use their voice or whatever it is that helps them communicate! Anyway check it out, edited if you can.
The highlight of my day:
This is Vinny

This is Vinny's Bike

This is me on Vinny's bike

This is just another rad shot of his bike, a Kawasaki Ninja

We went 95 mph to Panera's for dinner. I've changed my mind about fast food.

17 May 2009

My Life Would Suck Without My Blog

hi again, blog and blog readers.
I am a colorful kite stuck in a dead tree.
I'm really really really utterly bored these days. I can't wait to move into my apartment on Tuesday. After reading my e-mail, with the number of new emails lessening each day due to the fact that I have sold just about all my possessions namely my car, reading some conference talks, researching Cambodia, reading everyone else's blog, and listening to music, there is not much else to do. So here I sit twiddling my thumbs wishing I had some friends to visit, or knew the neighbors next door, or had free range of this kitchen to bake something utterly delightful and deceptively healthy, but sadly I don't have any of those things.
I have the incessant stomping coming from upstairs in Vinny's daughter bedroom to listen to - she loves dancing and singing along with Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You."

I hate that song.

Someone, please call me.

16 May 2009

I have a new one for us

Ok, so we are all familiar with the rumors about LDS people: we are a cult, we have horns, we can't swim, we never drink soda...I won't get into the really ludacris ones because I think they are a little offensive. But all in all, they make for a good laugh. Well today I heard a new one...

I've been staying with this family, Vinny a single dad and his daughter, Brittany. My dad made friends with Vinny back in Hawaii, and has kept in good contact with him since. Now Vinny lives in Maryland right outside of D.C. and has been gracious enough to let me stay here, even buy my favorite flavor and brand of ice cream and let me make pancakes. Really, I feel very welcome here.
Well, I've been feeling a little lonely and restless with nothing to do. So today, I went on a run on some trails that a nice man wearing a turban pointed out to me this morning. Vinny lives on an Air Force base, far away from real communities or popular nature walks, but his housing development was awesome enough to have trails! So I enjoyed that little bit of peace and quiet with Jose Gonzales this morning. Then later in the afternoon, I asked if there was a library within walking distance. He said there was and that he could take me there. Well, we got there an hour before it opened, so he drove me around to see the sites of Maryland, namely, the ghetto which is where he feels his roots are buried. It was tight, nigga, tight. An hour later, we arrived back at the library and I went on my merry way reading children's stories about caged birds in Cambodia and looking up cool CD's like Bjork's Greatest Hits. Finally, it was time to leave, it was getting hotter and humidier and I was getting hungry. Since I have no agenda, no places to be, I decided to go for another walk all the way home. It took about half an hour to walk along the highway, walk through the gate onto base and make it all the way home without getting significantly lost. I make it sound like it was inconvenient, but I really enjoyed spending some time outdoors and to myself. Hours later, at dinner at a nearby restaurant, Vinny asked if I had a limited amount of hours I could spend in a car? I was confused, but answered 'yes' figuring it was a personal question like 'do I like driving or being in a car for a long period of time?' Then he clarified, saying, "Well, you know, I see those missionary boys, you know the ones that knock on doors?" yep, I know the ones. "Well, I always see them riding bikes and thought it was because you guys couldn't drive in cars." you mean, you think driving and riding in cars is against our religion? "Well, yea I read it somewhere a long time ago and I think somebody told me that, too." <(laughing a little) No, no, no we can drive cars and ride in them, even carpool them. I'm a big fan of carpooling.> Well, I knew you liked to walk, and you didn't want me to pick you up from the library, so I figured that was the reason. Sorry, I was raised catholic.

I can't blame him. All the evidence was there.
So now we can't spend too much time in cars.
Damn our pioneer-handcart heritage.

I really appreciate Vinny and Brittany, they've treated me like royalty - I should make that clear.

15 May 2009

Estimated Time of Arrival: Not Yet

This picture is to illustrate me just floating around. I haven't gone into a state of shock and I haven't felt ripped away from the norms of life. I just feel like I'm hovering above a new city and haven't yet planted my feet here. It's a nice, fuzzy feeling, but I feel gravity creeping in little by little.
Hi World! I am here...in Maryland. The concept of D.C. is very hard to grasp, one second you're in Virginia, and then you're in Maryland but you're always in D.C.?!? I'm sure I'll figure out how to navigate around this place, eventually.
Well anyway, my travel with jetBlue was one of 0 complaints, except for the very unhappy baby on my red eye out of salt lake city. A friend of my dad's picked me up from the airport. We've never met before, but we recognized each other very easily at the passenger pickup. It was nice. We drove home on route 66! One of the busiest highways in the nation. It was 8:30 in the morning so I got a taste of the daily commute in D.C. It was crazy awful, I don't know why more people don't take the metro. At 8:30 in the morning there was bumper to bumper traffic on a 4-lane freeway for as far as the eye could see! The metro train ran inbetween the highways which was cool to see. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised to see traffic like this coming from Hawaii and all, but you don't see stuff like that in Provo.
The most exciting part of my day was seeing the D.C. Temple from the freeway! Walt pointed it out to me, and with the most sincere kindness told me that if I ever wanted to go visit it, he would take me to see it. He knows how special it is without really knowing.
I can't find my camera cord to import the pictures I took, so I will describe it to you. Picture yourself driving down the freeway. The asphalt ahead of you framed by the lush greenery of the thick trees thriving in the humid city. To your left, you see four golden spires shining in the morning sun peeking above the dark green trees. Then to confirm the beauty and strangeness of what you're seeing, you glimpse a small statue on one of the spires, a blinding light glinting off a musical trumpet. You sigh and exclaim, the Temple. You whip your camera out to capture the new energy coming from this beautiful structure. The morning isn't just a drive from the airport anymore, it's a drive to a new place with an old, familiar spirit.

12 May 2009

Yellow is for Bananas

Yellow cat, yellow cat, who spilled citrus smart water on you?
Yellow cat, yellow cat, it wasn't nice because now we all point and laugh at you.
Brooke found this kitty outside Kilby Court last Tuesday. Brooke would never
point and laugh - she is really just admiring from a safe distance.
But seriously, what are they feeding you, yellow cat?

08 May 2009

Piano Recital

Molly's piano recital was last night. I have been teaching piano to Molly all semester. I love teaching. Both my parents are teachers and I've witnessed some trying times for teachers, which has taught me to give them the respect they deserve, but consequently extinguished all desire for me to become a teacher. Teaching piano is different than teaching academics, granted, but it still creates that teacher-student relationship where you want this little person to succeed and never give up! It has been a really eye-opening semester.
Since, I'm leaving for D.C. next week, I had to discontinue her lessons, but what kind of teacher would I be if we didn't have a recital with cake and brownies???

Molly and the keys

Student and teacher and pretty, pretty flowers

Molly and family and me

Thank you, Hansens!

06 May 2009

Eff stands for Friendship

Friendship comes in all sorts of forms.
I will expand on this subject.

#1 - Bracelets
Friendship bracelets never go out of style. I have a pretty hefty collection of them that have been given to me, made for me, or made by me. The best are the kind that come from special places. Kristen sent me one from Guatemala once, Amber gave me one from Belize, I have a few from my piano teacher to congratulate me on a good performance, I found some purple string in my house last summer and wore it as a friendship bracelet signifying good change. Anyway, I love friendship bracelets. They are like a token of companionship - something that never leaves your side and is always holding on to your arm.


#2 - Concerts and Parking Meters
Friendship comes through music when you go to a concert and carpool with some friends just so they will help you pay the parking meter fee.
i'm kidding.
Sharing music with people is so bonding. Sometimes, when I'm feeling alone, I find a friend in a music artist I've been feeling connected, too. You start singing and dancing and gyrating and before you know it, you've connected with those people on a whole new level.
Last night, Becca, Brooke, Marie and I went to the Thao concert. Afterwards, we talked about how we tend to have epiphanes on life in places and scenes like that. I ask myself, what do people think when they look at me/us? Do we make them happy because we are happy, or do we annoy them with our jovial light? This is called being concerned with how others think [caviat] but in a way that evaluates how our actions and appearances reflect who we are or who I am. In other words, there are lots of different personalities you find in an audience at a concert, and we don't want to be the misfits, we want to be the open-minded.


#3- Elephants
I think our dear friend Ashley Belle would have us know that friendship comes by way of elephant ride. Friendship with whom - the Indian Elephant Guide, or the actual elephant, you ask? Both. IndianElephantMan teaches you how not to piss the elephant off and the elephant promises a safe ride if you scratch him behind the ears.
This is what we call a conditional friendship.
Better than none at all.
Indian.Ashley.Elephant. [India]

I wish I had pictures to sum up all the ways I've been blessed with friendship lately. There is the good old chocolate chip cookie friendship, the sunday-school-back-scratch friendship, the stopped-in-the-middle-of-the-road-to-say-hi friendship, and the occasional i've-been-waiting-your-phonecall friendship.

Next time on Analyzing Abstract Arbitrary Things in Life that Don't Really Need Analysis:
Living in a Van.

Until then, thank you for reading my blog, dear friends.

05 May 2009

Koenig und Koengin

Shoshone (shu-shone) Falls.
This is where you jump
in the air
and gravity
never catches you.
I spent the weekend with my friendboy (if you're dyslexic, that's great) in Brigham City, UT and Twin Falls, ID and then Brigham City again. The days felt like summer time in Alaska - they never ended. We ate frozen yogurt from the frozen yogurt factory, watched movies, did yoga, made cookies and fruit salad, made people laugh, made conversation, and other makeable things. I really loved my weekend.

We roadtripped to the temple Saturday morning. We made a few wrong turns and flipped a few ill-advised u-ees, but we made it their because God doesn't want to stop anyone from getting to the temple, I'm sure.

At the luncheon, we met a couple named Doug and Analisa and they were funny. They liked us a lot. The next day was going to be there first year anniversary. When we said goodbye, I said goodluck on your anniversary in Idaho. I have faith in them because love never fails, not even in Idaho.

This one time in Target, we got frustrated with each other because we couldn't agree on which lamp or candle to buy for the newlywed. But it was quickly resolved when we realized how silly it was and how good kissing feels.

Do newlyweds really need light, anyway?

After the wedding, we went to the waterfalls. We had to blaze some trails down to where they were. We had our own little adventure. They were great and rushing. Really, they were manigifcent. I didn't know Idaho had so much to offer.

We spent the rest of the weekend in his town with his friends and family who I felt were my own friends and family. His dad gave me a fossil, his mom gave me a hug and a kiss, his best friend gave me breakfast on Sunday, I learned how to play the game called Brooklyn in best friend's car, and his nephew blew me kisses. We played pool and I never won, on purpose of course.

My favorite parts were probably when we ate watermelon, walked to church, and when he sang songs on his guitar (and I tried to harmonize).

I had a great weekend.
Thanks, D. Thank you so much.

<3 your kangaroo pouch jacket.