Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Pursuit of Happiness

Day by day it seemed like nothing was changing, until suddenly I woke up yesterday and realized I had been wonderfully happy for the past two weeks. January was so hard and I swear there was a night I could actually feel the devil laughing at me, but (as I wrote in my journal) I got through it, and I feel so much better. "[Here] but for the grace of God go I."
I loved this talk by Elder Busche. The whole thing is excellent, and this clip is really extraordinary. 
Notable quotes: "Avoid at all costs any negative, pessimistic or criticizing thoughts. If you cannot cut them out, they will do you harm." SO TRUE. "Be grateful for every opportunity to serve. It helps you more than those you serve."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Notable Quotables

Some worthwhile statements from my grad program this last month. I am taking classes in Arms Control and Intelligence, so I'm sure you can guess which quote goes with which class.

"Never trust the French! Trust the British less."

"We never play by Moscow Rules."

"Cancun is the only place international diplomacy actually moves forward. Everyone wants to drink and go to the beach, so negotiations move along fast."

"Don't get caught!! DON'T. GET. CAUGHT."

"The ends don't justify the means. But sometimes they do."

I am like 70% certain one of my teachers is at least 80% Communist. Debates about U.S. policy are always lively, to say the least.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

National Cathedral

I definitely moved from Hufflepuff to Slytherin.
Today I was a tourist and went to see the National Cathedral. It is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture and the stained glass work was some of the best I have ever seen. I love stained glass! Interestingly, Hellen Keller is interred at this Cathedral, and stumbling upon her plaque was neato bandito.
Ah, the Rose Window. Iconic and stunning
If you don't love stained glass you are wrong. And just look at those arches! Magnificent. 
Memorial for Helen Keller! And it's transcribed in braille. Very fitting. This was in St. Joseph of Arimathea's Chapel, beneath the main kanve. 
If you look reeeeeaaallly close, you can see a Darth Vader gargoyle!! I love it. So American. So cool.
My old stomping grounds
I decided to go back to the place I prefer to forget, just for kicks. I had this wave of nostalgia, missing Lindsay and Jackie and Jimmy. It's weird to have such wildly different emotions about a place - I hated the work but I so loved the people. I got a sandwich at Potbelly's - as per tradition - and sat in Lafayette Square thinking about my time here. My takeaway lesson? That I cannot plan my life at all. It is taking such a wildly different shape from what I imagined 10 years ago, 5 years ago, even 1 year ago. There's a double meaning in that somewhere, but I'm not sure what it is yet.