Saturday, March 9, 2013

Recently I went to Mt. Vernon, home of our grand and wonderful first President, George Washington. Besides my deep and abiding love for Mr. Washington, I was filled with all sorts of patriotic feelings for the nation and its founding. It is such an excellent place.
Oldest tree on the property and the Potomac
The grounds were so lovely! 
 They have many historic things at the house, including the bed GW passed away on, some of his original inventions, documents, and personal effects. One of the coolest pieces of history, I felt, was the key to the Bastille, given to GW by the Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette said that the key to the Bastille was a symbol of freedom, and he wanted to give it to the Father of freedom and liberty. It hangs in the entrance of the mansion. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside! I wish I could have broken that rule....
More of the expansive and lovely grounds! 
 The grounds were so lovely. They reminded me of the English countryside, but more foresty.
You can tell that this was really the home of a man who worked. Whereas the old mansions of Europe are all pretty and clean and for looksies, this mansion glorified in it's functionality. The upper gardens, lower gardens, fruit gardens, pastures for the animals and barn were what made Mt. Vernon pretty and wholesomely American. But maybe that's me projecting. I don't know, I just know that I loved it.
The tomb.
This is the tomb where the Washington family rests. I think it's George on the right, Martha on the left, but I actually can't quite remember. Either way, their old bones rest here, and it makes me so happy that the Father of my nation got to be buried on his land that he loved so much.
When you go to Mt Vernon, be sure to buy some cherry jam. They make it there, and isn't it a law that you have to do something cherry related when you're at George Washington's home?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

That Awesome moment....

That awesome moment when you talk to your perfectly hearty and healthy Nana, and she says, "I hope I live to see you get married!" and then proceeds to tell you the family history of various spinsters in the family and the ages they finally married.
Guys, I come from a long line of Wives and Mothers. It's such a shame the tradition is going to die with me. C'est la guerre!!
I could totally work that cap and lace. Gotta work on that  "Get the  heck outta here" face though. 

The Introvert Myth

It seems that introverts get a lot of flack for being...well, introverted. And since these past two month have been a whirlwind of busy and adventure and newness, I have had to schedule alone-time. Yes, this introvert cat meme understands me!
Let me take a minute to clear something up for them that don't know: introverts are not necessarily shy! INTROVERTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY SHY. That's like the biggest myth about us. ever. In fact I have met many a shy extrovert. It happens. I have never been shy, but if you put me around people non-stop for more than 8 hours a day, pretty soon I become unbearably snarky and huffy. yeah, huffy.
And extroverts seem to have a real issue with people who seem to just want to get away. I'll give them that though. It seems humanity evolved to be in a community, and I'll bet you introvert cavewomen went along with it  in order to get along and probably cause their husbands and childrens were all like "come plaaaaaay with meeeeee!!!" and really, who can resist that?
So, in a shameless plug for introverts everywhere, if I say I want to do something alone, or not play with you, or simply don't talk about awesome things in my life, it's not you, my extrovert friend. It's me. We can still be friends though.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Geeked out


This was a public service announcement. Brought to you by the letter M.

But for real, they had so many interesting things about flight and planes. I learned a lot about jets and planes, and then I got to play tour guide in the space part. I love space, did you catch that?
My friend Jayson teased me for beelining (bee-lining? belining? whatever) towards a huge globe that used to be owned by the CEO of PanAm. The globe goes up to the waist of an adult, and the CEO used to map out flights on that thing. It was lovely. I like globes and old things, okay?
It goes without saying that the space stuff was ah-mah-zing. We even went to a planetarium show about detecting planets. It was really neat because it related to the work I did in Germany and some of the classwork I did at BYU. Light profiles and variable stars and what-have-you.
who doesn't love the moon?!

Monday, February 25, 2013


      Remember how I'm supposed to take advantage of all my opportunities and live the high life?! That so didn't happen this weekend.
I watched 4 movies, moaned pitifully on my bed, and glared at my wall when sad thoughts came into my head.
      When I read old books about people who were solitary for long bouts of time, I wonder if I would have gone crazy or been okay. If this weekend was a measure, I prolly would have gone crazy. By Sunday night I was recreating those solo dance parties from Germany. And chastising myself Gollum-style. I guess crazy isn't far from me.
      On the up side, I read some, which is like a balm. Here's a great quote from one of the gentlest souls who ever lived. This is from the autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, a French resistance fighter during WWII, who went blind when he was 8.
"Colors, shapes, even objects, the heaviest of them, all had a vibration. And today, every time I assume the attitude of tender attention, I find the same vibration once again. In those days, when people asked me what was my favorite color, I always answered "green." But I learned later that green was the color of hope."
     Lusseyran was captured during WWII and sent to a concentration camp. He talks about light and humanity and blindness and compassion in the most interesting and sincere ways. I love his book, And There Was Light. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Things I love

1. this website. just found it. love it.
2. Gilgamesh and Enkidu
3. Temple trips! DC temple is loverly. I saw a couple get engaged! I love love.
4. talks with Tashsa. which always vault me down a path of semi-catharsis.
5. sleep. glorious, beautiful, warm, comfy sleeeeeep.

and this pic:

DC Adventures

Sprinkles is better than DC Cupcakes! I said it! 
    Almost a month without an update! How did my faithful 3 readers survive? Don't worry pearls of my hear, I haven't forgotten you. I just like sleeping more than I like blogging.
   You'll see that I am making the most of my time here... with cupcakes! My first Saturday and inauguration day found me at a lovely little shop in Georgetown called Sprinkles. Which sells delicious cupcakes... cause that's a thing now?
   Not that I'm complaining. They have a s'mores cupcake that's a little bit life changing. I loved it. Don't let people drag you to DC cupcakes... it may be famous cause it's on TV, but Sprinkles is so much better. Trust me. I've done the taste test. Also, Georgetown is adorable. It's a like a cookie cutter town on a Christmas card! I absolutely love it.
I really want to go to a Senate or House hearing one of these days! 

   My favorite part of my first weeks here was arriving to work an hour before I actually have to start. I would walk around the mall and see all the memorials and statues. I particularly love the WWII memorial, but the big famous ones are also lovely. I have all sorts of poetic-y and patriotic feelings whenever I walk around the mall and see the symbols of my great and favorite country. Never forget, my 3 readers: I may have traveled a lot, but I always loved and missed the US the most.
   So far I have only been to two museums. Such a tragedy! I did make it to the National Gallery, where they have a marvelous collection of... well... everything. I have yet to go into the impressionists wing. I just know the moment I step into it, I will be there for the whole day. I love me some impressionists.
Turner is the best. Full stop. If you disagree, I am judging you a little bit.
Welcome, indeed! 
    It's been a great first month. Learning my new job and the true nuts and bolts of how the government functions, as well as meeting other nice and fun people, seeing such amazing sights, and just soaking it all in is what makes my polymathic heart flutter! I hope I get to stay in DC.
    And when you come to visit me, we will go to Sprinkles. NOT DC cupcakes. And also the Air and Space Museum, because this nerd loves her space. And since you love me, you love it too.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sorry, Gaston

I don't know how you'll read this. There are no pictures!

So, week 1. It was exhausting.
I joked before I came that I would probably have to work 12 hour days and not get a real lunch break and have to be in a constant state of "gogogogogo".
Turns out it was no joke!
I do only work 11 hour days, but with an hour commute on each side, I feel like 13 hour days just aren't fun. But first weeks are always the hardest, so I'm trying to not be a downer here.
This week was a cycle of wake up, go to work, come home, sleep. That is precisely how this week went! It's like college all over again! Except without my dear friends to make me laugh.
But the work is fun and exciting and definitely more involved than I thought it would be. In my eternal endeavor to not judge too quickly, I am still gathering info on what to make of the job, but suffice it to say that I think I will really, really love it... as soon as I get used to it. Training always makes me feel stupid, and since I know I'm not, it's terribly frustrating.
On the bright side, the other interns are a lot of fun!
On the SUPER BRIGHT SIDE that french palace I work in? It's even prettier on the inside. So since I don't get breaks, I am forever contriving to be the person to run a document over to another office, just in an effort to see more of the building. When I was in Europe I despaired over the fact that America doesn't really seem to have a lot of fantastic buildings like Europe does, and lo and behold, I work in the only one the country DOES have. So, there you go.
My absolute favorite feature is the way different parts of the building have different doorknobs. I think that is funny. They are finely engraved brass knobs that have seals from different government departments. I try to not look like an idiot every time I enter a new office and bend down to examine the knob. I'm not really succeeding though.
On to week 2! (This is the week all the other interns start, so we have an official orientation. And I am supposed to help. With my own orientation. Talk about hit the ground running.)

Monday, January 7, 2013


hola my beloved 3 readers.
I live in DC now, and so far I love it. East Coast is turning out to be pretty aaaah-mah-ZING.
today was my first day of work and I am suuuper tired. that is why i am not really focusing on punctuation. or  coherent thought.
suffice it to say, i really like this new position, and i am very excited about all the new aspects my professional career is taking. (can a career take aspects? see above re: lack of coherence)

2 years ago today I started in London. Today I thought about that and how much I missed it. That was a marvelous time. I hope this is just as marvelous a time. I think it might be.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


   today while walking by the White House we passed a food truck and Ashley said, "mmmm! It smells so good!" to which I responded, "it's the smell of freedom! and capitalism! and democracy!"

   I'm going to be so obnoxious here. I can feel it and I don't know how to stop it. gah. C'est la vie!

The Mall, the job, the sights, the art

Today I had a Big City Adventure!
   I took my little 'ol self and my new metro card (that was given to me by the family I am currently living with. They are so kind and nice. And funny!) and I went to work.
   Well, not really work. I just had to go figure out where I am supposed to go to work, and how all my first-day things will work out.
   I mean what I am about to say with all the passion I am capable of feeling: I WORK IN THE PRETTIEST BUILDING IN THE UNITED STATES CAPITAL. Fo' realsies. Here is a picture:
                               I WORK IN A FRENCH STYLE PALACE.
   I don't care how un-American that sounds. That building was stunning. HA! Take that White House!
   After I was done oggling my new workplace, we walked down the mall, and I saw the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, various and sundry Smithsonian buildings and monuments, and spent a long long time in the National Gallery of art. They have the unfinished David-Apollo by Michelangelo, which is super interesting. But the real David is better.
   The Mall is so lovely. I have a feeling I will spend many a lunch break walking there and enjoying the sun. It reminds me very much of Hyde Park. I also found out DC has a Pret A Manger. I am so excited to be here!
   After toddling around the super touristy sights, I went to Georgetown. Holy-super-cute! ah! I loved it. That town looks like something off a Christmas card. We went to get cupcakes (at Sprinkles AND Georgetown cupcakes - cause I have to compare the two! Sprinkles won with a stunning s'more cupcake.)
   I am very excited to be here. I had such a careful and meticulous plan for my life and it did not include...well....anything I've done. But what's life without a little adventure?

You thought I forgot about this place, didn't you?

I'm not dead!
   Defying all common thought, I made the drive across the country in complete and unexciting safety. I didn't even have a flat tire. In the movie of my life they will probably leave out this epic drive. You win some, you lose some.... I guess. 
   Anyway, driving across the country all by myself was a ton of fun. Mostly because of all the fun and funny things I got to see. I chose to drive on I-20 through the south. I love the south. I love it so much. 
   Louisiana was a particular favorite. I guess I never expected that people actually talk like that...but my beloved 3 readers, THEY DO. And when I stopped for gas I tried so hard to not talk like them. but. i. just. couldn't. Southern will out. Here is a clip from princess and the frog, so you know what I'm talking about. They sounded just like Ray. 
   There was also the funny time when I stopped at gas station in the middle of nowhere Louisiana and there was a cemetery next to the gas station. Which had about 20 pickups outside. And I was this lone little car. And I walked in and about 40 guys all turned to look at me. And the gas station sold alligator jerky. So, you know, that was exciting. 
   I also really enjoyed Texas. There's this line in Newsies where Jack Kelly sings "I want space/not just air" and  that always resonates with me when I go into a city. Texas is huge and flat, and the sky just goes on and on forever. The stars at night are big and bright! 
   Have I talked about the south enough? Like how the spanish moss was so pretty lazily sitting on the great old trees, or how North Carolina is really really into boiled peanuts and how South Carolina smelled bad, and how the dirt is really red in Georgia? It's a lovely part of the country. 
   All good things come to end, however, and the crazy driving in DC brought me to my final destination. There are more cars here then I ever thought I'd care to see. But it is exciting to live so close to the capital. I've been lucky enough to see so many other countries and their capitals, and now I finally get to see mine! Go USA.