Tuesday, March 30, 2010

some thoughts...

today was overcast and breezy. My head has felt like it was going to explode for the last 2 days, so I came home and slept after work. It felt great.

I was writing a letter on the metro coming home from work today and left my umbrella when I switched trains in my stuppored state. my poor umbrella is on the red line somewhere between Shady Grove and Glenmont. goodbye dear umbrella, you served me well.

The homeless man on the corner by the Foggy Bottom metro didn't have his usual wall clock on the ground today, but rather a large, fake decorative tree. It prompted a lot of questions, but now I know what to do with all those tacky home decor pieces I don't know what to do with.

I register for classes tonight. Turns out midnight in Utah isn't 10pm here like I thought, but rather 2am. oh boy.

I can't stop listening to a capella music. Especially the Ben Folds acapella album. What is wrong with me?

I love cherry blossoms. I'm not so much a fan of the tourists that come with them, but I should have some compassion because I once was them.

Mt. Vernon this weekend. so excited.

General Conference this weekend. Even more excited.

I like phone calls with sisters.

I would like an internship for this summer, please. That's all I've ever wanted.

Happy Tuesday.

(picture doesn't match post, but whatevs. taken at the White House en route to last week's protests. No sign of the first family, but extra snipers on the roof)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

thoughts on a Sunday

This week, my darling baby niece Amy had skull surgery for her craniosynostosis. basically, her skull was fused together at birth, allowing her head only to grow length-wise. after her intense 7-hour surgery, Amy is doing great. Full recovery will take months, but she was released from the hospital today, right on schedule.

I was thinking about Amy in church today, when I realized the power of prayer and fasting. So many people have been praying for Amy in the last few months, and with a priesthood blessing and special family fast, everything was able to go well. Miracles happen.

I don't fully understand the Atonement, but I do know that through its power, Christ is able to lift us through times of need, be it the physical pain of surgery or watching a baby in need.

"...and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
alma 7:12

what a great reminder during this Easter season!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

steps for a successful excursion:

1. congregate in Barlow lobby at 6:40am for bagels.
2. board bus. Professor immediately puts in dvd of "Gettysburg".
3. try to sleep.
4. groggily wake up from half sleep with Stonewall Jackson fighting a battle re-enactment way to loud on the tv right above your head
5. get to Gettysburg.6. go through museum, movie and cyclorama. (tidbit--cycloramas are cool, but not as cool as the name implies. nothing cycled, except us.)
7. get on bus with Jeff the tour guide, learn everything about Gettysburg while traveling around the field.
8. get off bus. sit on cannon. take picture.9. Climb tallest look-out on battlefield (not authentic). All 121 steps, but it felt much taller. Soak in great view.9. go to General Pickett's Buffet, a total tourist trap for student groups. my thoughts...Pickett's Charge was a huge military failure, why would the buffet be any different?
10. Repeat steps 2-4 en route to Harper's Ferry
11. Wander Harper's Ferry, feel jipped lots of things are closed or lame. Walk across the train bridge for a fabulous view of the rivers. Skip a rock in the river and feel wonderful.
12. participate in/view Barlow American Gladiators/Curb Chicken tournament while waiting for the bus. Realize how awful your balance is.13. Get back on bus and marvel at the West Virginia/Maryland/DC countryside on the way back.

All in all, good day. I learned a lot, had lots of fun, and loved the chance to get out of the city and into nature.(this is looking at the site of Pickett's Charge. Can you imagine 13,000 people marching at you in a line 1 mile long? crazy. I still can't wrap my head around that style of battle.)

And the whole day, I was totally quoting this scene in my head...love it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

behold the power of music!

watch this and try not to be happy. I dare you.

Oh, how I love the BYU Men's Chorus.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the weekend that was...

Saturday: Up way too early, but morning was beautiful. We metro-ed to nearly the end of the line, then took a bus, then walked to a food warehouse. We scooped pinto beans into 1 pound sacks, and were so crazy efficient they had to tell us to slow down. service = fun. so does waiting forever for the bus.

After a beautiful nap in the park, it was a sunset walk around the monuments, including the Washington, which I touched for the first time this trip.

Sunday: Stake Conference, broadcast from SLC. Our stake center is right next to the temple, so we ran over for a quick picture before the kind souls in our ward gave us rides back to the metro station, so 7th grade.

We quickly changed and ate, then headed down Penn Ave, past the anti-war protest at the White House and into the immigration rally on the Mall. I read later they think 200,000 people were there. It was crazy, and a herd of white kids in pastels def stood out. si se puede!Then came the main event, the health care protest. We pushed our way to the middle, then got ourselves on Fox News. yeah, we're hardcore. There were some crazies around us, but we totally got caught up in the chanting and emotion. At one point, a bunch of congresspeople came out on a balcony of the Capitol and waved at us, very much like that scene in Newsies when they look out the window at the singing people. we left when people starting reciting scripture and praying together--that was a little weird.
I have my thoughts on healthcare, and I've heard a lot recently about stuff that happened at that protest, but I never saw anything like what they're saying happened. All I saw was a bunch of passionate people with a cause.
Here's a taste of what it was like:

Friday, March 19, 2010

highest court in the land...

This is the Supreme Court, home of our first briefing today. (I didn't take this picture today. that snow is long gone, thank goodness)I was really excited for the Supreme Court, apparently.

Is it appropriate to take jumping pictures outside the country's highest judicial body? Is it appropriate to do the Hoedown Throwdown on its steps?
I don't know, but we definitely did both. And we got applause from the tourists for our dancing, so score one for the Barlow gang.

Anyway, we had the great opportunity to hear from a Supreme Court law clerk and go on a tour of the Chamber (no cameras allowed), then hear from a judge at the DC Circuit Court (no cell phones or cameras allowed). Both were very interesting-- I definitely have a newfound appreciation for the judicial system.

In between we ate lunch in the Senate cafeteria and sat outside, enjoying the beautiful spring weather and resting our feet in the shade of the Capitol. oh, life is good.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

0 for culture

today I tried to be twice cultured. apparently so did the rest of this city.

free Kennedy Center show, Irish dancers = too busy. standing room in the back only. no thanks.

poetry open mic night at Busboys and Poets = too popular. tickets sold out while we were all at work.

But on my detour home from the Watergate, I saw a middle-aged man in bright orange dress pants and it made everything better.

Monday, March 15, 2010

first draft of history.

This weekend, I ventured to the Newseum. Yes, it was the most expensive attraction I've visited to in DC (even with a coupon--thanks, 3rd floor bulletin board), but it was definitley the coolest thing I've seen in DC.

Ok, so I'm a nerd. My ticket was good for Friday and Saturday and it was raining, but I could have spent all day both days. but I didn't. But the room with original front pages dating back to the 1500s? Let's just say I spent a good hour of my Friday afternoon in that room alone.
The Newseum is a museum of the news (get it?), and just for that, it is a museum of all of history. journalism is the rough draft of history. But it's a museum of things I've lived through. Amazing.

It was powerful. The 9/11 exhibit made me cry, especially the documentary of reporters remembering what it was like to cover that terrible day.

The exhibit of Pulitizer Prize winning photographs was powerful and beautiful.

I was in awe at everything I saw. It made me feel alive and restored my hope in journalism.

I treated myself to a pack of newspapers with 63 of the biggest events from Pearl Harbor to Obama's inauguration. It's pretty much the best gift shop purchase I've ever made.

(Hall of front pages. Today's news from all 50 states and lots of countries. whose job is it to change the front pages everyday? probs an intern)
(Oh, ps it has a great location. on penn ave. with the best view. the site of the hotel where john wilkes booth stayed before killing lincoln. creepy, right?)(9/11 exhibit with front pages from around the world and the crumpled radio tower that was on to of the World Trade Center.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

on art

I took a lovely trip to the National Gallery of Art yesterday, where I realized I have been to more art museums in the last 3 months than I ever thought I would visit in my entire life. I love it. I feel so cultured.

I bought this print, on sale, from the gift shop. (Cakes by Wayne Thaibald) It kind of felt like I was cheating because I fell in love with the poster before I had seen the original painting, and I think it will be adorable framed in the kitchen of my future house. I passed on it, but when I found the painting hanging in the National Gallery's east wing a few minutes later, I knew it was meant to be. So I bought it. thoughts?

I also bought a postcard sized of this: (Young Girl Reading by Fraggonard). I love this painting. so much. It hangs in the National Gallery, and I am so drawn to it.
Fragonard is a genius. The Fragonard Room at the Frick Collection in New York is solidify its spot as favorite place in my heart the more I think about it. Hillary and I spent quite a long time in this room when we were there in February. It was magical.
Shout out to Matisse. Love him. Sad this painting (The Red Studio) isn't in America. But I've seen my fair share of his work in the last few months. love it.
And this poster keeps drawing me back. I've been the Hirshorn Gallery twice in the last 2 weeks, once just to look at this poster in the gift shop (all the neighborhoods in DC, map form, get it?). It's a good, useful, classy DC souvenir, yeah? But somehow, I can't bring myself to buy it. So I stare at it online instead.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be"


(on the wall of the House Science Committee Hearing Room, at our briefing yesterday.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

I remember the day last year as we were getting ready to go to Mexico when Dr. Bryner told us he had been diagnosed with cancer and wouldn't be able to make the trip. It stunned me, just as it did when I got the email last week that he had decided to stop treatment, and just like it did when I heard of his passing this week. He was an incredibly smart and accomplished man, but to me, he will always be the humble professor who made the best chocolate cookies and quietly cared so much for his students. The classes I took from him pushed me to change my thinking and attitude towards international development and life in general.

From his obituary: "Over years of teaching, he inspired a great many students from varied backgrounds to believe in their abilities to make a difference. ... His kindness, gentleness, patience, and love for each person he encountered are his legacy to all who know him.
I last saw Dr. Bryner last summer when he gave me a big hug after hearing about our Guatemala adventures-- a trip I'm sure he would have loved to be on. This summer, alum from the sociology and development study abroad will construct a greenhouse in Dr. Bryner's honor in rural Mexico. I couldn't think of a more fitting tribute for a man who loved to help the world, one individual at a time.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

picture catch up

here's what's been happening the last week or so. and i'll admit it, sometimes I steal pictures from mackenzie. so sue me. wait, don't. that's the opposite of what I want.

Remember the fashion show? Here's the models, working it after the runway show.Natalie and I found a souvenir shop and let ourselves look like tourists because these thug souvenirs were too good to pass up.Friday was girls night. Heels were a requirement. We went to a cute French restaurant in Georgetown and watched a chick flick on our huge new 58 inch flatscreen tvs. The boys and their "man night" barely even crashed our night. good work.Saturday morning was a St. Patricks Day parade in Old Town Alexandria. yes, it was only march 6, but we like to party.
It was the perfect spring day, we had front row spots, and there were at least 6 bagpipe bands. what more could you ask for? how about looking around the cute shops and houses and sitting on the dock on the waterfront? done. and perfect.Sunday was another perfect weather day, so Adrienne, Rebekah and I took a twilight walk past the Lincoln, through the FDR, around the tidal basin, and on to the Jefferson Memorial. It was the perfect time of night in one of my favorite parts of the city.

i love dc. so much.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I sat in the Hirshorn Sculpture Garden on the Mall this evening, reflecting on the perfectly spring day when I read this quote over and over. It was just what I needed to hear.

“If you listen for the voice of the Father, He will lead you on a course that will allow you to experience the pure love of Christ."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

What a promise. All we have to do is look. And I sat and saw the beautiful art, the sounds of people jogging and talking and laughing, the light breeze and the post-work afternoon sun, and I could feel God's love.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

start a (dreaded) countdown

(Fords Theater got crossed off the list last week)

It has recently come to my attention, that as much as I hate to face the facts, I only have 6 or so weeks left in DC. Time is waning, my friends, and for as much as I've seen, there is still so much more to do.

my new last hooray to do list:
Library of Congress readers card
Washington Monument
White House tour
Jefferson Memorial
Postal Museum
LDS temple
FDR Memorial
Supreme Court
Mt. Vernon
Einstein Statue
Nationals game

what am I missing?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It was so fun to have Janice, John and crew stop for a quick visit yesterday! We had a lovely afternoon riding the metro, which Isaac loved, going to some Smithsonians and playing games in the basement of the Barlow.(the lady who offered to take our picture apparently didn't realize the whole point was to get the Capitol in the background, so just imagine it's there.)Thanks for coming to visit, Richardsons! It was wonderful to see you!
And to everyone else, they can attest that I am a great tour guide. hint, hint.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

make it work...

What do 35 young, LDS students do to entertain ourselves on cold, dark nights at the Barlow Center?
dance parties, sing alongs, card games, Olympics, movies, baking, laughing, etc.

But this weekend we may have crossed into a new realm of entertainment, with the first ever (we're pretty sure) Barlow Center Fashion Show.
We're all big fans of Project Runway (even the guys--viewing party every Thursday night), so our fun catwalk evolved from finding the most ridiculous outfits to strutting our stuff to being judged by the panel (Tim Gunn, Valentino, Jimmy Chu) under the careful watch of a (pregnant, or course) Heidi Klum.
I'm glad my 80-year-old grandma does winter outfit gave me scores that were good enough to skate by without being in the top or bottom 3.
and yes, the night ended with someone being "aufederseined".

love love love the Barlow crowd.
(the top 3 explain their outfits to Tim Gunn as Heidi Klum looks on. Gabel's edgy style ended up winning the challenge.)