Friday, November 14, 2008


I have officially decided to cease my blog. I am not going to delete it because I like to keep track of everyone listed to the left! However, I have concluded to not continue posting blog entries of my own. It has been fun...but I think in an attempt not to bore you all to tears with my fun life of school and work, I will abstain from writing so as not to even begin that possibility!

Just imagine most entries would read like this: School is so great! We are learning about {insert topic here}. Work is really good and the kids are sure fun. {Insert random story here}. I got to go see {insert DC museum/site; VA museum/site here}. It was wonderful and there is so much to see out here! I miss my family/friends/Cache Valley, but am so glad to be here having great new opportunities!

That would pretty much be it. So long, and I will be keeping in touch in other ways!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Job Security

No, I'm not talking about my own job security. But I do want to talk about the security at my job. Just like any place in DC, you have the obligatory guards posted at every door to check your bag. When I first started at the Building Museum, I dutifully offered up my bag until I got an ID. I wore my ID diligently whenever I went to work, and then I got smart. They didn't really care/they recognized me. So, I stopped wearing it. I am not saying anything against our security guards, but they are a little lax. Sorry. (By the way, if you wonder why people do wear their IDs everywhere, that is one of the reasons...oh and people like to feel important here.)

Anyway, the time has come for our security to kick it into high gear. As you all know the G20 Economic Summit happens next week in Washington DC. (What? You didn't? Okay, I didn't either until this...) As it happens, the summit will be occurring at the Building Museum. Not too exciting really, except it means I do not have to work next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. No one will be at work. Only the world's leaders trying to come up with an economic solution to the world. Good luck to them.

It has been so fun to watch the hundreds of black suited folks wandering all over the museum for the past few days. See, they are the real, top notch security. They have maps. They have very official badges. And they all wear black (or maybe some other dark color) suits/clothes. At one point this afternoon as I was helping clean up after a program, I was down on my hands and knees gathering up small washers from the maroon colored, flower patterned carpet. Surrounding me where all of these security folks. All very much engaged in serious conversations. I had to chuckle. This place often does make me laugh!

The National Building Museum (inside the Great really is quite large and exterior...with the 5 million bricks it is made of!!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's All Over But the Work

The new era dawned today, a little windy, but somewhat warm, in DC. Things seemed to be quite normal. But things were a little different too. I saw more American flags than I have seen in my time here so far. I get the feeling that people are proud to be Americans a little bit more today than they were yesterday. My classmates and the snippets of conversation I heard on the bus/metro all seemed to echo the same sentiment—finally, change has come. And why shouldn’t they be happy? After all the debate and arguing and talking, an African American was elected the President of the United States of America. People can say race doesn’t matter, but the fact that this has occurred is a monumental moment in the history of this country. After all that has happened, it seems that Dr. King’s dream is becoming a little more real. There are strides to go, of course, but I just think of some young African American kid sitting in a DC public school class who is told they can be anything they want. And today that dream might seem a bit more real to that kid than it would have a few months ago. Clearly not everyone is pleased, and as happy as people have been today, people know the expectation that rests with Obama. It is monumental. The country has so many issues. But maybe for the first time in a long, long time, people will be inspired. Maybe the US’s standing in the world view can be healed a bit. I certainly hope so. I think that is why Obama won. People want to be inspired. Hopefully that inspiration will translate into action and a better country, and even world.

Okay, so enough gushing. Let’s be honest. The Democrats have control. They have no excuses, so if they aren’t able to solve the dire situations that face this country, they have no one to blame but themselves this time. I think it okay to swing to either side and give each side a shot. Random Example: I have a friend who voted for Obama as part of what he calls his “Romney strategy”. His reasoning is that Obama isn’t going to be able to fix the problems (could make them worse), and so in four years the country will be ready for something (else) new. We will have to see on the specifics of that particular plan. But honestly, the Republicans better be getting ready to reinvent some part of themselves, because if things do go badly for the Democrats, the Republicans will be in good position for victory in four years.

Well, that is going to be it for me and politics for awhile. School. Papers. Reading. That is what I really need to do…

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve

Well, this fine election eve finds me watching the Steelers-Redskins. I am not being as diligent in regards to my homework tonight as I should--oh well. Right now the Steelers are winning, which I hope lasts. But more than anything, I am excited to have the election over, the campaign ads over, and the political yammer over. Believe me, politics is the thing to talk about around these parts. I love/hate it. But what I really do love is that for the first time in my life, my vote will actually count. First, I am no longer in Utah, so the outcome isn't set in stone (although, apparently, Virginia has mostly been a Republican state in the past). Second, Virginia is considered one of those "battleground states". So in theory, it could be my one, single vote that the entire state is hinged on. Okay, so it's not that dramatic! But you get the idea. So, join with me in the party, Vote, and watch the election returns until the wee hours of the night tomorrow. And hopefully, we will be set on a new course that will truly help our country. Because more than anything, we need a leader that can restore people's confidence in our country and restore our standing in the world. We can only hope.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Never Say Never

I have always known that you should never say never. But here I am listening to Rascal Flatts. So, if you have ever heard my tirade about "country" music today, you will know I have made fun of them, called them the Backstreet Boys of country, and pretty much dismissed them. I don't take back a lot of my arguments. They are the Backstreet Boys of country, it isn't the classic country that I do like, and it has so many pop elements. But they fill their place--and I like it! It is just I grew up listening to something else in the country vein. Old habits die hand. So, I will learn and just let things be what they are... And I will just continue listening, because I like Rascal Flatts. There, I admitted it. In a public forum!

Nothing replaces George though...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Politics at the Bus Stop

When I was going to school one day and arrived at the bus stop (right outside my door!) to find this political statement. I laughed about it all day!

(Sorry about the picture size. I took it on my camera and it is a little small/fuzzy)

Museum Day 2008

Apparently you can get into some museums across the country on Saturday for free. Visit this website if you are interested. There aren't really too many in Utah...which applies to most of you I guess. Sorry. But promoting museums is always a good idea!!

(The Smithsonians in DC are free...just another reason to come visit! So much to do here is free! All of the time.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Guess I Live In DC

One thing that I really do not like about DC is that it is so big. More specifically, I never run into anyone I know. This makes me feel quite lonely. But in all seriousness, this morning I got on the metro and I saw a guy from my ward! I was kind of excited and proceeded to tell him he was the first person (outside of classmates I ride home from class with) I had seen on the metro that I knew. I am pretty sure he thought I was strange and that will not help me find new friends, but I was very happy. Anyway, I liked running into random people I knew while in Logan. But there are a few more people here so I don't imagine it is going to happen that much.

And this made me really laugh... I have a new roommate moving in and she had a moving truck move all of her stuff from Arizona here to DC. The guys moving her stuff in commented on how humid it was. Ha. I said these same things when I first moved here. And today I got to say exactly what everyone told me when I moved here, "It's actually not that humid. It feels really good today." And apparently I have not experienced the worst of the humidity since August and September have been really nice. That is why I will leave next summer when I have to do an internship!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Think I Will Like Not Being In Charge!

I have been training for my new job at the National Building Museum and I have to say, I think I am going to like not being in charge for a small little bit of time. I get to come, do the program I am assigned (I don't have to dress in 1917 or pioneer clothing, start fires, or make cookies! Yeah!!), talk/teach/play with kids, and go home. Oh, and get paid. Granted, it is just a part time job, and believe me, part time jobs don't really cut it here in the land of costing a million dollars to live. But I think it will be a good job and I am excited to be working with kids again.

But it has been funny to go through the trainings, on the other end of things! Helpful hints--people really try to give helpful hints, you know, the small things such as "Don't dump the whole box of tiles out, just dump out half" and then someone else saying "I make two small piles with the tiles." I know I probably did this for the people I trained for my job, and I see that it really just takes doing the program to learn what works best for me (or whoever). The employee (I would add volunteer) who knows more than the supervisor--this also was manifest at our training. A lady had to continually add her two cents in about everything in the program. "You aren't going to take out the marble are you? You can't do that. It is the best part." I remember what I thought when staff/volunteers told me that. The nice version of what I usually though: "Well, you don't have the entire picture. You are just seeing one small aspect of this." But these people will be everywhere.

I am sure I will have more to come. But my supervisor told me one thing that made me very happy. She told us that we may have kids recognize us when we are out in DC or on the metro from doing these school programs and it made me excited! Why, you may ask. Well, I don't particularly like being recognized, but if that does happen, it is that stamp of ownership, the evidence that yes, I do indeed live here and my sphere goes outside of the campus/my neighborhood. DC is monumentally huge. But if someone recognized me from my job, it would almost feel like Logan again. Oh, how I miss the manageable city of Logan.

For now, that is it... I am sure I will have more to say about my job later, but for now, things are moving along quite nicely.

Calling All Collectors!

I thought I would just throw this out there... For my material culture class I will need to interview a collector later in the semester and find out about their collection. SO, if any of you are collectors of anything fun, let me know. (Material Culture is basically the study of objects. The things that people leave behind after they are gone. Just in case there was a question about that. I am one step ahead of you!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Am I Really Going to Class?

I have to ask myself this question frequently, because to be honest, I don't feel like I am going to class...I feel like I'm on vacation. The feeling of homework and reading doesn't feel like a vacation (it is actually quite hard getting used to this again), but seeing things like the US Capitol and the Washington Monument as I head to and from my class at the Smithsonian make me think that I am really on vacation. Even when I'm on "campus" I feel like I'm in an alternate or parallel universe, because it doesn't follow my conventional thinking of what a campus is like. I mean, street lights and crossing busy city streets? That's not school! My point in all this rambling is that I am just trying to find the ordinary, the things that make up a life, in a world where I am riding the metro, going to class at the Smithsonian, and where people do things like translate Arabic for their job, work for the FBI, work for the government, or any other such random, crazy things. I am liking it, don't get me wrong. I like school. I like where I live. People have been surprisingly nice. But I am still just trying to find that place where I feel like I am living in my life. Because I don't feel like that right now. This feeling may never wear off because the Washington Monument isn't going anywhere. And that might be okay too...I am a tourist discovering something new each day!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Of Birds and Such...

I always thought the Heritage Center was really unique. And it is. But as I was interviewing for a museum teacher job (basically school groups) at the National Building Museum for a part time job, I realized that I may not necessarily have to leave all of that uniqueness behind. This was the moment I had to hold back my laughter during the interview.

Interviewer: “You may have noticed the birds we have in the gallery. Well, sometimes they fly around during our school programs and are disruptive. The Kindergartners stop listening and start watching the birds. What would you do in this situation?”

Jenette: “Blah, blah, blah… (very smart, intelligent, and witty of course).” What was going on in her head [Ha. Those tiny birds? Try peacocks (Have you ever heard one? Have you seen their feathers?), or ducks, especially when they are mating. Try explaining that to school kids. Yeah, I can handle the small, common type chirping bird.]

But it does go to show me: Even though I thought issues at the Heritage Center were so unique and one of a kind, I can see that they weren’t all that unique after all. Luckily I have learned to deal with distracting birds. (And you thought discussions of fowl was over! Not so my friends!)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's a Woman to Do?

Well, it was inevitable. I am in DC, so it is only fitting that I start blogging about politics. I mean, everyone has an opinion around this town about everything political, so I guess I can too. And the air is buzzing about Sarah Palin. I don't really want to weigh in quite yet on the whole election ordeal, but the media coverage has been out of control and I do have something to say about what they are saying. We have come so far in this country as far as women go--better pay, education, etc., etc. But then we have Palin. Mother of 5 (Who has 5 kids in this day and age? note: read with sarcastic tone) and running for VP. I have to say that I have been highly disappointed in what people say. They say that it is irresponsible for her to have 5 kids and be running for VP. But really, what are women supposed to do? Many women want high powered positions in politics, etc. (not me...whew!) but they want to be mothers too. And the world is constantly telling women that they can have it all. So, I think the media has been very unfair in their coverage (Of course, who ever thought the media was fair? Ha). Men run for office and are fathers. Men are attorneys and are fathers. Etc. Does that make them bad fathers? Sometimes it does. But sometimes they are great fathers. In a world that is ever exploring and pushing the boundaries of the roles of men and women, fathers and mothers, I would have expected much more. Then the media tries to defend themselves and their coverage and attacks of Palin. But there is no question about it, if she were running on the Democratic ticket she would not get the attacks she is now. If she were from the East, she would not get getting the attacks. If she had come from a more "elitist" ideas, she would not be getting the attacks she is. The more they attack, the more I like Palin, because in Palin there is something that I can relate to. I mean she went to the University of Idaho! How much closer to home can you get in a national election? Not much. There are issues that I still would like have explained, but ultimately I say, enough is enough. Coverage is biased. It always will be, and always has been. But whatever comes, it sure has made things even more interesting!

Note: This blogging thing will only be one more thing to keep me from my homework. I am remembering all too vividly how I put homework off then (and probably will now!).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Could I Have Found My Merrill Library Replacement?

For those of you who may not know, I loved the Merrill Library. I know a lot of people enjoyed the more "hip" and happening Sci-Tech but I loved the slightly dim, old Merrill. I spent a good portion of my USU years at the Merrill. Yes, I even had a locker there at the pinnacle of my college days. Needless to day, when they demolished it I shed a tear and I thought I could never love another library quite like that. Now, I still don't think I can, but I think I have found a worthy replacement. The verdict isn't in entirely because school hasn't even started, but the library here at GW (the Gelman Library), is eerily similar to the Merrill. And when I say similar, I mean similar in the antiquated carpet, bathrooms, lighting and smell. They have renovated some areas, but I was startled when i realized the chairs, the desks, the carpet, the bathroom tile, the paint, and the shelving units all looked as if they came right from the Merrill. And who knew it could smell so similar?! Well, we'll see how much I study there when it is all said and done but I finally felt a bit of comfort on a campus that is so dissimilar to USU...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let Me Find 6 Random Things About Me

My new roommate, Jenny, tagged me to write 6 random things about myself. I did this once, and have since ignored all other requests. But she asked, and she has been so nice to me since I moved here, so I will do it. It will be short, but here we go.

1. Yes, I am getting a graduate degree in museum studies. It is a real thing, although not something that will bring in the big bucks. However, I never have been one to be attracted to the money/status/flashy route. So, we'll give it a try.

2. I don't swim. I just don't. I could maybe save myself if I was drowning, but that's about it. Oh, and I don't play volleyball. I am willing to try a lot of things...these are just activities I really don't ever participate in.

3. I do not drive around the parking lot looking for the nearest parking spot. I take the first one I can spot that is fairly close and call it good.

4. I have been coined a liberal by some (I will not name names...), but am actually a middle of the road kind of person. Politics, debates, and really most everything.

5. At heart, I think I really am a western girl more than I ever realized. Space, stars, no humidity, mountains... But, I am making my way in the city okay. I can do, I have to believe that.

6. I don't like wearing shoes in the house. My dad wears shoes so he doesn't stub his toe. I just like being comfortable.

Should I Feel Like a Freshman?

Okay, I will rephrase...should I feel like a freshman when I am almost 30?!! Because I certainly felt like a freshman today. Today I wandered around the campus of George Washington University, and let me tell you, I was confused and lost. Because GW is an urban kind of campus, once again, without the mountains, I get very turned around as to which direction I'm going. So, basically we are taking a time machine back 11 years to those fun days as a freshman at USU. Except everyone expects freshman to be confused and lost! People expect a bit more from someone who has already gone to some college, is almost 30, and has been successfully working for some time. Ha. I have to laugh about it now... It's kind of like going to the temple. The first time you don't know what to expect, but everyone is so nice and they know you're new. It's the second time that is more scary because you just seem like someone who should know what's going on. I should know what's going on with school, but I 100% do not. Yikes. Good thing school doesn't start for a week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

American Revolution (According to TV)

To keep me occupied the past little while I have been finishing up a little TV show I started watching in Logan. I know, there's tons of history and things to see here in DC, but watching this show is helping me adjust, so don't judge too harshly. Anyway, a friend of mine asked for recommendations on tv shows on one of his blog posts and I have to recommend Jericho. So, the show got canceled after a season and a few episodes, and I can kind of see why. The show is really over the top, the acting isn't always the best, it is not believable (but really, what on tv is?), there isn't any humor, and I'm not sure where they were planning on going with the show. However, I still was entertained. At the heart of the show it is about revolution and saving America. And I have to say, not a lot makes me feel patriotic, but I kind of did watching this show strangely enough. It was interesting to see the reaction of this small town, Jericho, to the devastating nuclear attack of 23 US cities and the ensuing attempts to first stay alive, and then in the end, become revolutionaries against the occupying government. It puts an interesting modern look to what we usually think of as scrappy American colonists and British redcoats, or the Union blue and Confederate gray (however you want to look at it). So if you're bored (which, frankly no one will be...isn't school starting or something?), check it out. Apparently the show had some devoted fans to pull it out of being canceled outright after the first season. You have to love devoted fans [If you do watch, it gets better after the first bit].
Stanley and Mimi.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dreams From the Blue Room

This will be short, but great of course! Sadly, despite being in one of the coolest (not temperature wise, trust me...although Julie is apparently not lying...the weather has been better than normal) places in the country, I have not done anything really that outstanding since my friends left. I have been settling in, buying a dresser, going know, moving in stuff. I have not visited DC proper since that time--unless you count the time I got lost on Tue on my way back from the church when I practically circled DC in my car. Cornelius (my car) and I have had a time getting used to the driving. Good things/pictures will follow. Do not worry!

But here's the dream: As some of you know, I was a frequent visitor of the Old Grist Mill. Well, in my dream, I distinctly remember hearing word and seeing a napkin that confirmed one of my greatest wishes--Old Grist Mill was expanding in the East! I saw many names on the napkin that seemed very East coast like, with one being Alexandria. Now, although I live in Arlington and have a hard time driving (because I get lost), I was very excited in my dream because it meant my lunch problems were over! Ha. I then woke up and remembered I hadn't found Old Grist Mill's replacement in my new surroundings and I was disappointed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ready Or Not...

I know…no one has to remind me that I haven’t blogged in a bit because I am very aware of that. Yes, Enna Burning was my last post. Unfortunately I haven’t been doing much reading in light of the fact that I have been moving across the country. If you would have told me at the beginning of the summer that I would be sitting here, in my little blue room in Arlington, VA and wishing to be back in Logan, UT, I would have told you no way. But, here I am…wishing I was in Logan. No one really told me it would be so hard to move!! Leaving family, friends, and loved ones is really, really difficult. Who knew I was so attached to my life there?! I didn’t—until now I guess. Fortunately the modern age makes it easier to communicate, but losing proximity to those I love has been very, very hard.

Things that may seem kind of quirky on a vacation have now become things that I may hate. For instance: humidity. Why did I think I would want to live in a humid place? I am beginning to question my sanity. The random weird bugs, the massive amounts of people…all things that while traveling are okay because you know you will be leaving. But when looking down the road of 2 years, they don’t seem so okay. On the bright side, I have a washer and dryer in my apartment and they collect my trash every day. Yes, I put it on my porch and it is gone in the morning. Brilliant. [Hey, I am looking for anything at this point…] Oh, it is also the nation’s capital, so there are some pretty great sights around. Come visit!!
I LOVE the Library of Congress and the Washington Monument (I am excluding museums right now). The Library of Congress has amazing architecture and brilliant colors and lighting. And it houses thousands of books. The Library of Congress itself (not just the Jefferson Building) has 30 million books. 30 million!! Wow. I love books, but that is too much to comprehend. And the Washington Monument is quite the landmark. There is something about it that just makes me want to photograph it all of the time.

Okay, so the three day trip across the country went well. The second day was a bit rocky, but we are just forgetting that day ever happened. We took I-80 from Logan, so we got to see the beautiful states of Wyoming and Nebraska the first day. The first night we stayed in Council Bluffs. No sightseeing—this was a trip to merely get from Point A to Point B. Plus, by the time we were there it was approximately 1 in the morning. And it was humid. I don’t think I have experienced humidity like that since China and it was pretty overwhelming. So Day 2 we started through Iowa with all of its picturesque rolling fields of corn. I only had one small emotional breakdown outside Des Moines—I believe, but then I was good to go. We passed through Illinois, which looked a lot like Iowa. Then it was through Indiana. By this time it was dark, so who knows what the state looks like (probably like Iowa and Illinois). There was a tornado warning in the counties we were driving through though, which kept me awake. I just kept thinking, I guess if this is the way I am supposed to go, I guess this is how it will be. We ended up staying in Toledo that night. Day 3 dawned much brighter than Day 2, and we made good time through Ohio and on to Pennsylvania. At this point, the scenery got much prettier as we were amongst a lot of trees. Pennsylvania was beautiful and I really would like to go explore more sometime. [Side note: Although it is very unnerving not to have mountains around, the trees are really nice. It is amazingly green and the trees can hide millions of people really quite well. The East is lucky to have them.] We made it into DC in good time, and the driving was over. Hallelujah!

We had arrived at my new place. It is quite a charming little neighborhood really. Townhomes built in the 40’s, red classic brick…very nice. But awfully confusing because everything looks the same!! Ahhh… It is very easy to get turned around as I have discovered firsthand. Just imagine my place multiplied by like 100 (more really…) and there you have Fairlington. But in all reality, it seems really nice and safe. Luckily for me, I get to dust off the parallel parking skills I never had and put them into use because that is how you park here. My roommate Jenny is very nice and helpful. She and my dear friend Julie both got me flowers and truly that was so comforting on a day that was so unnerving. My room is small (but cozy) with light blue paint, with one wall done to look like clouds. At some point I will have to repaint because I feel as if I am sleeping in a nursery, but right now I do not have the energy.

I then had visitors (YEAH!!) up until today, so I have been seeing the sights. Wow! There is so much to see. It was a little bizarre to think that I live here now, so if I miss something, I can always go back and see it later. Very strange. Washington DC has a lot to offer and I am sure it is a great place. Right now it is all so strange and unfamiliar, so I tend not to love it. Everyone I have met for the most part has been very helpful. Like I said before, I am sure I will meet great people, (I already know my friends like Liz and Julie are great! I am glad they are here!) but it is hard being away from everyone at home that I love. It was impossible really to say goodbye, but a new adventure has begun I suppose. [However, if I show up back in Logan, don’t be entirely surprised!!]
Farewell from now from the little blue room. Things should start settling into place and more posts will follow. Promise. Maybe written from the metro (Which I will catch most days from the Pentagon. Yep, the Pentagon. Makes you feel safe, until you remember Sept. 11th.)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Enna Burning

Since I don't have a lot of exciting stories, I will just relate the books I have been reading! The latest is Enna Burning by Shannon Hale. This was a fantastic book about Enna, a girl who learns the secrets of fire and is able to help her homeland at a time of war with her abilities. This ability comes at great costs, however, and the book is ultimately a story of friendship and balance. In her magnificent way, Shannon Hale weaves yet again another amazing tale. For those not familiar with Shannon Hale she writes (primarily) in the young adult fantasy/fairy tale genre. She is an outstanding author and I love the way she writes. Her writing has been described as lyrical...and I have to agree. Enna Burning was a little different than Goose Girl (the first book in the Bayern series) as it deals with darker and more complex issues than those in Goose Girl. All of the characters are there, however, and it is hard to put down. I enthusiastically recommend this book (and all of her books!) to those who enjoy this genre--and really just good reading material!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Viva la Vida

So, it is one of my favorite things of late. I know, I know. Coldplay is overrated. Coldplay is the most insufferable band ever. I've heard it all, so don't bore me with it. I've always liked them, and their new album is no exception. Most specifically of late, I love the song Viva la Vida. It is a song about how things can turn on you in a dime. How fitting for life, right? And perhaps a little autobiographical for the band, eh? (Only in reference to their standing amongst critics mind you...they are by no means headed for the poorhouse anytime soon) I really, really like the rest of the album (There are those moments, of course, there always are...but I'm just saying overall). It sounds like Coldplay, but sometimes it is surprising how it is pretty different. It doesn't seem quite so emotionally desperate as they sometimes come off. It is generally to the point. And there is variation. It isn't only Chris Martin and Chris Martin alone. The number one track barely features him after all! It's true. So, give it a listen. I love it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Perspectives

In addition to the dream angle of blogging, I think I will talk about the things I love that I do each day. Today I went hiking up to the Wind Caves. I really like this hike and have done it many, many times. Today was a little different, however. It started off like any other time I have hiked it, but I ended up in an entirely new place. As I was hiking I noticed a new little trail veering off from the regular trail to the caves.

It read "To Green Canyon" and I thought, "Why not?" So off I went. It was much less traveled, but there was still a distinctive trail. I wondered how I had missed it before. Perhaps it came right at the wrong angle of the switch backs. Maybe I am usually talking to someone else and have continually missed it. Also, I think it is fairly new. Today I was going slow because, well, let's just be honest, I am out of shape and it was hot! But I was grateful for the new perspective on Logan Canyon it offered me.

Although the view wasn't probably all that different to someone who hasn't hiked the Wind Cave trail a million times, it was very obvious to me. And I thought the canyon had a new attraction today. Just like in life, you can start off on a trail with the end in mind, something that you have thought about. And along that same trail, you may take a trail that will offer fresh and exciting new perspectives. Sometimes it is as unexpected as finding that trail on the same old trail you've been hiking your whole time while in Logan. And hopefully that new trail will offer only the best...Next time I am bringing more water and hiking to Green Canyon!

Dream #1

It is ironic, as someone so kindly pointed out to me last night, that since my job has ended and I have all the time in the world, I have essentially not blogged. I explained that not a lot of excitement is going on, and then it was suggested that I blog about my dreams. Now, I usually don't remember my dreams, but strangely enough I remembered my dream from last night. So here we go...

In my dream I was in the middle of a school group. The strange thing about this (aside from it no longer being my job) is that this school group was taking place inside my grandma's house. It wasn't even in their old farmhouse in Idaho, either. This is their regular, friendly neighborhood home in Ogden. Everything else was similar to the school group program--me, in my tattered yellow pioneer dress, groups of approximately 10 kids gathered around me, and groups rotating from station to station. What was so great about my dream was that all of my normal feelings associated with schools groups were there--anxiety, stress, focus on working with the kids, and difficulties with staff. I distinctly remember one staff member announcing she was going to leave mid-school group. I told her that wasn't a possibility and she stayed, but she was grumbling. Basically, your normal response it seems with this program and my job.

That was it. I don't know if I am supposed to analyze my dream, but I think it was helpful to have such vivid memories of exactly how stressed I was at times with my job. It makes me more appreciative of this little time I have of relative low stress. Because in a couple of months, the stress level will hit a level I have never experienced, to be sure.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Longer My Problem

[Forgive me for the slightly sentimental, sappy nature of this post. It is the end of an era for me, after all.]

The day has come for me to say goodbye to the American West Heritage Center. I have been involved at the Heritage Center for years—beginning as a volunteer, working as a camp counselor, being a volunteer again, working as the receptionist, and finally finding the job as Education Coordinator. I have enjoyed my job. I’m not going to say I’ve loved it, because there have been days that I have absolutely despised it. But I feel so blessed to have found a job that I really enjoy and feel compliments the things that I love to do. History is a part of me. Education is a part of me. And agriculture is a part of me. That is why it is going be so hard to leave. The unique nature of my job is going to be irreplaceable. The people I have worked with will be irreplaceable. New things will come into my life, I know that, but nothing will replace being able to walk about the grounds, being greeted by ducks, peacocks, chicken, geese, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, cats, and any sort of surprise animal. The beauty of the setting of the Heritage Center is irreplaceable. Looking out to the snow capped Wellsville Mountains, the open pasture with buffalo and cows, hay being cut with horse powered machinery, volunteers and staff bustling about in period clothing, the smell of campfire, the excitement of the kids, and the historical buildings set amid the trees and somewhat white fences …these are all things that I will indeed miss. There are people at the Heritage Center that I have grown so fond of. So many of the people that I’ve known at the Heritage Center are just good, down to earth people. There are unique personalities, wise and calming influences, and an overall feeling of being a part of something like a family. And just like real families, there are always those moments that they see the best of you…and the worst. That is how it’s been at the Heritage Center. I feel that I’ve done an okay job—probably not the greatest that could be done—but between Liz and I, I think we’ve accomplished some good things. It’s hard to leave it all behind. It has become a part of me. But life moves on as it always does. Who knows what awaits me…it could be the biggest mistake of my life (or the greatest adventure), but it is the thing that I need to do now. For better or for worse, ready or not, I’m leaving something that I am pretty comfortable at to embark on a great and scary unknown. Luckily for me, I have listened to Wayne say for our 2 ½ years of school groups, “It’ll all work out.” And it always does, even if in that moment you have no idea how it could. That is the life lesson learned from my Logan chapter.

So, today is the day things at work are officially not my problem anymore. Worrying about schedules, completing the patchwork of volunteers and staff, handling personality quirks, lateness, camp counselors on the verge of what seems to be quitting, the weather, staff telling me how to do my job, an infuriating lack of communication, school group set up, animals…well, the list could go on for awhile. Today, all of those things, all of the little details, well, they aren’t my problems anymore. And in a way it feels really good. It is time to move on to a whole new set of them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's Hard To Make These Things Up

[Warning: The following story does involve some material that may not be suited for those sensitive to animals who, because of situations out of our control, might be harmed.]

Oh, the stories from my job. Even if you stripped away all of the personality quirks and uniqueness of working on a historical farm, you would still be left with the hard to make up animal stories. Most recently, I had the rooster incident. A little while ago there was the mystery of the vanishing buffalo. Today, we have the story of the possible rabid dog. [I say possible because the consensus amongst my co-workers is that the dog was, in fact, probably not rabid, just terribly, terribly angry/mean] This seemingly nice yellow dog was sitting by the front doors of the Welcome Center to greet all who tried to enter. It barked and chased away many, but managed to bite two of the visiting teachers who are attending the conference being held on site. Then, it successfully attacked one of our summer camp leaders, but luckily only managed to tear her dress. I began to panic slightly because in a few minutes approximately 30 camp kids (with siblings in tow) would be coming to register. Our caretaker tried to lasso the dog, but dislocated his shoulder in the process. Our director pulled it back into place. They managed to chase the dog down the road by throwing rocks at it. Animal control was called, but it was the local version of animal control, which consisted of a local farmer in his blue, slightly beat up farm truck with what appeared to be a dog carrying case in the back. I didn't have a lot of confidence in this method, needless to say. He was not successful in locating the dog. I scurried around, with a pocketful of rocks and a stick, making sure camp was situated. And then, walking back to the Welcome Center, I heard the gunshots--and the subsequent whimpering of the poor dog. There were two officers, a (seemingly) more legit animal control guy, and the first local animal control guy. They decided the animal could be rabid and shot the dog 3 or 4 times, I believe. However, they were not successful in killing the dog and it ran off into the neighboring fields after bleeding a bit by the front doors. Our poor receptionist cleaned up the blood. So, at this very moment, the dog has not been found and the health department seems very concerned about the teachers. Oh, and when the officers were at our site, they apparently got a call about 2 kids being bit by a dog at a local school. It couldn't have been the yellow dog at our site, so it makes me wonder what strange things are happening. A co-worker suggested werewolves? I don't know, it seems as logical as anything else that happens around my workplace.

**It should be noted that this dog never belonged to our site.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Wednesday/Thursday Trend

It's official. It rains on Wednesdays and Thursdays this spring. I've noticed. The weatherman has noticed. In fact, I've noticed trends in the weather since I began my job. It seems to always rain the first week in June (the first week of camp) and the first part of May and October (I remember the October event because of one incident in the rain, in the corral, trying to get the cow in the barn...oh yeah, I was in tears too). I cannot control the weather (people can continue to ask me to, but it won't ever happen) and I can't tell teachers when to schedule their field trips for the best possible weather. It's just not going to happen. I think someday I will miss the ridiculous nature of these requests, but for now, I'm really excited to be rid of those pesky questions.

No One Watching, Huh?

It's been awhile since I've commented on sports, so let's take a shot at one famous golfer. Seriously. So, nobody watches hockey anymore, eh? The golfer is calling hockey boring...that's hilarious. I have never played either sport, so let's just call my opinions neutral. I do know people LOVE their golf and the Canadians LOVE their hockey. But I can honestly say that I've never watched a golf tournament--I'd rather die. I don't get it and it looks like a bunch of preppy, khaki wearing business execs ready to ink the contract on some big merger. But I've sat through some hockey games (albeit not professional grade ones) and I agree, it can be a little anticlimactic with the low scores and all. But it moves quick, there's plenty of excitement, and there are fights at any random given moment. Oh, and the fans are the most outrageous for sure. And to say that on the heels of the Stanley Cup this year. Yeah, not exciting at all. [Too bad the Pens had to lose. Because I like the Steelers, I am by default, a Penguins fan. This theory probably even extends to the Pirates...but I hear they don't win much.]

Friday, May 23, 2008

Music For My Soul

Earlier this week, I had tried every bit of music I owned, but nothing spoke to my soul like I needed it too at this exact time of my life. It was strange, because I love my music and I always find joy listening to it. But everything sounded off to me; it all sounded so hollow. And then it came. I guess you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. That was the music that spoke to that part of my heart that wouldn’t be stilled. But trust me, as I switched to the local country station, I wanted to gag. What I heard was definitely not country like I remember it. So I rummaged up some George Strait. It doesn’t get any better than that.

And Just Like That, It's Finished

Today officially marks the end of the school groups chapter of my life. Sure, I'll be at my job for another month, but in all reality, today means I am pretty much done. This doesn't mean I'll just sit around, by any means (I'll still work, Liz, I promise!), but my major responsibility has been finished, and now it is just tying up loose ends. It's kind of strange and a little unsettling. After doing something for 2 1/2 years, it becomes familiar and the possibility of something unknown becomes more real as the reality as you know it ends. As I end my time at my job, I am happy and can't wait to be rid of it. At the same time, it is the beginning of a new job for someone else and they are probably kind of excited (I know I was). I am beginning grad school and can hardly wait. But at the same time, those that just graduated are so glad it is over. And so it goes I am sure through all of life. Everything is a time of new beginnings and at the same time an ending somewhere else. I kept thinking all spring, this is going to be the last time I do school groups, I better appreciate it because I know I'll miss it on some level come next fall. However, before I knew it, I was helping the last students practice their spinning with the buddy spindles and sending them to lunch. And then I was done and it was a little uneventful. Although, with the end of school groups I do get to reclaim some of my life back. There are things I'm sure not going to miss, to be sure, but on the whole, it has been quite the time and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Unbecoming Quality of Anger

[Notice the Friday trend.]

Anyway, the week has been fairly quiet, except for my day where I realized that anger in the heart can lead to no good. There I was, minding my own business, taking kids on tours of the barn, when the very colorful and pretty rooster that I had previously grown quite fond of, tried to attack me. Yes, it came for me. I felt it at my skirt hem. I saw it trying to get me. Word of caution: Don't turn your back on roosters. They may be small, but for some reason they think they can do damage to you. And in all reality they can. Well, this rooster made me really mad. How dare he try and get me when my back was turned? So the anger boiled. It boiled to the point where I had the pitch fork trying to shoo it away, and I thought, "I could actually kill this rooster with this pitch fork." And believe me, for a split second I seriously thought about it. Then reason returned (After all, our caretaker-the lover of all winged creatures-would never speak to me or help me out with anything again. Oh, and it may have upset some school kids to see a rooster stuck with the pitch fork). I then resorted to trying to kick it. You don't feel as bad when you merely kick a rooster, rather than kill it. Sadly, in the process of trying to kick the rooster, I hurt my foot again. [Note: This was the foot I injured playing broom hockey. Yes, I twisted my ankle playing a pretend sport. Now you see why I avoided organized team sports for my entire life.]

The moral of the rooster story: Anger doesn't pay.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Can I Stop Praying For Rain?

This is a question for my dad really (and he doesn't read my blog...go figure). As a daughter of a dry farmer in southeastern Idaho, I was trained from an early age to always pray for moisture. We are always in a drought. But is the drought over? Because seriously, I feel like it is either raining or snowing every other day. Okay, so the snow looks like it has taken a short break (I predict snow in June this year, however), but I have had the little tune "Raindrops keep falling on my head..." running around in my head for quite some time now. I get to work outdoors, so I get to fully appreciate the moisture from heaven at its best. Which translates into wet feet, wet hair, and wet pioneer dress. It also, hopefully, means full reservoirs, green trees, and the beautiful scent of rain. But I really am curious, at what point does a drought end? Because Snowbird is still open for skiing business, apparently.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Seriously Elated

I am officially excited about going to grad school now. That's because I have a small change of plans from Cooperstown and will be moving to Washington DC this fall!!! Hooray! This is what I wanted from the beginning and am now officially accepted. So it's official, I can hardly wait! It's been my dream for awhile now, as Julie can attest! I will be going to George Washington University and studying museum studies. I no longer have to fake excitement for grad school because it is 100% genuine now. Oh, and everyone that was seriously annoyed by incessant "Who wants to go to Thailand?" queries can now rest easy. I no longer need a trip to make me excited about life. This move is pretty much going to do it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Beauty of Forgetting

The approximate 2 week lull in my blogging means only one groups are here. Oh, and I've been sick, which means, when I get home from work, I just lie in bed and try to recover. The only problem with trying to get better has been that winter hasn't entirely passed here in Logan. And I get to be outside during the wind, the rain, the snow, the sun--which makes getting better hard. It must be spring when I can get sunburned one day, and it can be snowing the next.

I have decided that the beauty of forgetting is a double edged sword. For example, I forget the horrible details about school groups that make me think, sure, I love my job. Then, when those horrible details come back in full force, I remember, and somehow the remembering--after I've already forgotten--makes it that much worse. So, I propose that any painful experiences will soon be forgotten, and then never experienced again. Somehow I doubt that will happen. But it is nice to live in bliss for awhile anyway.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Biggest Surprise Of All

One month ago, I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed Kansas. After being sure Kansas wouldn't be anything to talk about because there weren't any mountains, I find myself thinking that it was actually fun. And I turned into a Kansas fan because of it. It was that surprise of life: no matter how much you think you have something categorized or figured out, the possibility exists that it will actually turn out completely different. I forget this all of the time. And I literally mean, all of the time. But today, the biggest surprise of all came. It was yet one more weekend of chaos and exhaustion, all packaged in what we call Baby Animal Days. It has taken its toll on me through the years. For example, I am fairly certain that if I am ever lucky enough to have kids, I will never take them to an Easter Egg Hunt. I get a little bit panicked and nauseous thinking about it. However, as the day unfolded, I realized that I was sad. I was sad and realized that I was actually going to miss these festivals that we do. I realized it in a very real (as opposed to purely logical) way. I can't even quantify all the ways in which I will miss it...but I will. It's the people, the setting, the personalities, the animals, the mountains, the weather all in one package that I will miss. And that was the biggest surprise of all. I don't want to forget this lesson, because most of the time I like to think that I have things figured out. But in reality, you never know what surprising events or emotions life will bring.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Customer Is Not Always Right

That is a true statement. I know, I've worked in retail. However, in my particular situation, I am right and America First Credit Union refuses to acknowledge it. I will spare you of the details...they seem to think I'm crazy anyway when I explain. In a nutshell, however, they deposited my money in someone else's account. They put it right, but not after I unknowingly spent money as if I had the money I thought I had deposited. Needless to say, my line of credit was maxed. So I paid it off (before I realized their mistake) from my savings. That money is now gone forever. But had they not made the mistake of giving someone else my money, I would never have lost that money to my line of credit. And now it's gone. (okay, so I didn't spare you the details)

All I want them to say is this: "I see why you are so upset. You are right." They could even say there is nothing they can do and I would even be okay. (I really do just want my money back that I paid to my line of credit...I know, I may be going out on a limb) But the two tellers (at two different branches, mind you) treated me as if I am an idiot. I don't like that. So, I'm waiting for my last checks to clear and then I'm changing banks. It just feels like I should. They are the ones that are crazy and I hate the feeling when people are treating me like I'm stupid.

So, that's my story for the day. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be mad about this, but I am really upset.

Oh, and then I came home and got the letter from University of Washington informing me I didn't get into their program (another wait list). So, naturally, I now want to go there more than anything else and am really upset. Pretty much describes how I handle things that either come my way or don't. When will I learn to be happy with what I have or where I am?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Promised Pictures


The farmland and me, always on the lookout for historical sites. Who would have ever guessed the Civil War pretty much started in Kansas, just outside of Lawrence?

Downtown Lawrence. More fun than it might appear. I really liked the place. And good job on the basketball team.

You too can find this sink at a restroom at a gas station in Rawlins, WY.

The houses. Those on the left are the standard. The one on the right, well, I heard he painted his house that way to make the mayor mad. It probably worked. All he needs to do is boycott Christmas and he may get thrown out.

Notice the wreath and Christmas lights. The lights are on, by the way. It is just a small picture. And this was not an isolated sight. Christmas wreaths everywhere. I was there March 6-9, go figure.

James Fenimore Cooper is buried here. The town is named after one of his relatives.

It was March, probably one of the least attractive months for places that are transitioning to spring. No exception here. But it had it charm.
And the Baseball Hall of Fame. Roberto Clemente, if you can't read the dark, tiny engraving on the plaque.

Lost in Albany (left). The blue house is where I stayed (right).

Monday, March 31, 2008

What Should I Look Like?

The inevitable question is always going to arise: How old are you? For a little while I felt strange telling people my age because I was always older than the person asking the question, it seemed. But soon I became comfortable in my own age and now answer with confidence. I have earned each year of my life. I have had amazing opportunities and experiences. I have even had not so great experiences that have made me who I am. So, when people ask, I answer, "I'm 29." At this point, people seem to think they need to comment on my age, and the usual response is some form of, "You don't look like you are 29." [Although I did have one guy tell me, "No, you're not." I replied that yes, I was and he told me I wasn't. It seemed fruitless to argue with him so I let him win. He was sure I wasn't 29, but I have the birth certificate to back me up. Sometimes it is fun to let people be adamant about something when you know for certain that they are wrong.] So, here's my question: What should a 29 year old look like? Seriously. I have always just thought, oh good, I don't look old. But I'm beginning to wonder about this. 30 isn't old. 30 year olds don't look old. And heaven knows I don't want to look like I'm 22. Don't get me wrong, 22 was great. I loved it. But I want to be where I am now.

So, I posed this question to a friend, and her response was that people might say that because I still have energy. Still? What does that even mean? I have yet to meet a 30 year old that has the energy level of my grandparents. At 30, people are still fun and they still have energy--thus, I don't really think her theory is valid. For awhile, I thought maybe it was a Utah/Mormon thing and was grounded in some weird theory revolving around marriage. But no, I even got the "You don't look 29" response in New York where there wasn't a Mormon within miles. Ultimately my theory is this: people will guess your age based on their own and assume you are near their age.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Real Thing

This is it...the real acceptance! (No dreams for this one) I was accepted to the Cooperstown Graduate Program and have accepted admissions there!! Yikes!! So I will be headed to upstate New York this fall. I am excited, but nervous, and pretty sad to be leaving everything I love here. But this is a great opportunity to further my museum education, so I feel so blessed and grateful for this chance. It's a little strange this has all worked out and it's funny that I am so surprised. I just now realize all the WORK I'm going to be doing. I never thought past getting accepted, but now that I have been accepted, I have to do the work! It should be really great, though. And anyone is welcome to visit!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Was Accepted to Clemson

Mind you, it was only in a dream, but it was fun, nonetheless. Clemson's method of letting you know you were accepted to the program--giving you a pin in class. When I would be in class in real life is still a mystery to me. However, in my dream, the box with the pin was found on the ground and the people from Clemson were really offended that their pin and acceptance would be treated with such disrespect. I guess I didn't want the pin. Or to go to Clemson*. (You really can't create the absurdity that happens in dreams.)

*Clemson is in South Carolina. It is not a school I have ever applied to.

Friday, March 14, 2008

So, I Wouldn't Suggest Driving from Kansas to Utah

After just completing a 19 hour return trip from Lawrence to Logan, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I was warned...I didn't listen...and now I think I might be scarred for life. This will teach me. When will I learn to trust my car to non-family members? That may have made the trip better because I wouldn't have been the only one driving. Ultimately, though, on top of the pure hell of driving that long, what tipped the scales to traumatic was the fact that I had to drive through two snowstorms/showers today. Yes, two. One in the Colorado Rockies and one in Utah (on that lovely highway from Helper to Spanish Fork no less). I usually don't mind driving in the snow all that much, and even the driving to Kansas might not be that bad. But the two combined created a catastrophe. I am not sad I went to Kansas. But I am sad that Cornelius (my car) and I may have been traumatized for life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Update from the Midwest

So, it's been a crazy few days. It all began last Thursday, so I'll post my running diary I kept. Internet use was hard to come by in NY (because I was too busy, not because they don't have it...). Enjoy.

I will add pictures later. No time right now.

Cooperstown, NY

[Think of this as a modified journal of my trip. I say modified because y’all don’t need to know every one of my thoughts. But this will give you a feel for my trip hopefully.]

I think Linkin Park says it best: Sometimes beginnings aren’t so simple. Sure, I can get in a plane and travel across the country to interview for a graduate program and then go to Kansas and check out the school and town I could be living in…but there is a lot more to it than the mere act of doing it. It is what needs to happen and it is the time for it to happen, but it is very hard to leave the life that I have come to love so much. But, no need to get sentimental quite yet—nothing is ever final until you actually do it, right?

Today, however, I did find myself rolling out of bed at 3:30 am. And then, suddenly, there I was at the Salt Lake airport, undressing to clear security. Okay so I only had to take off my belt and shoes, but still…awkward! Luckily for me, the weather gods are with me today, and all of my flights will be on time! Hurray!! (Kellie, I thought of you when I flew over Chicago!—I had to change plans. No incident. Thank goodness.)

Fast track to me picking my rental car up from the Albany airport. After a somewhat lengthy conversation about getting a GPS system in my rental (I declined), I ended up a little bit lost. Lost in Albany. Somehow I am wary of even GPS being able to help me in this situation. Someway, I found a road that I knew would get me to where I needed to be and followed it on out to Cooperstown. Albany seems like an alright place—except they don’t have turning lanes. It’s Preston, but 500 times worse because it is a bigger city so more opportunities to be stuck behind someone impossibly trying to turn left.

Cooperstown. Well, I was kind of in a hurry and it was dark when I got here, so I can’t say too much about it. But everyone seems nice…young, but nice. I forgot what it was like to be just out of college! Ah, to have never had the stresses of school groups yet. That would be nice. But I’m not kidding when I say I feel old. Most of these kids are pretty young.

I can see how this place would be really beautiful in the fall and summer. There are trees everywhere! And gently rolling hills. One of the other applicants made a comment about how glad they were to see the mountains here, and I just about died inside. They have a calming charm, but no, they are not mountains. I am sure compared to the plains it might seem that way, but still! With the bare trees and snow on the ground, I had visions of getting maple sap from the trees, though. Things are calming and seem to be rural-agriculture based. So, I feel somewhat okay with being here.

The day began with tours of some of the Cooperstown Graduate Program (from now on CGP) museums that they work with: the Farmer’s Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum. We also toured their storage facility. I was envisioning them having a bit more on the more high tech collection storage, but it surprisingly wasn’t. It is a step up from the Heritage Center’s sad collection storage (who can trust anything stored in the “Coke Building”?), but they do at least have it organized. The Farmer’s Museum is a “village” of living history. Closed right now, but they have a lot of buildings. Lucky them. I think the Heritage Center is cooler because it is an actual working farm…but I realized I am pretty biased. And I am apparently the only one on this tour that has been close to a cow. Everyone was pretty excited to pet the cow.

The program seems really amazing. Students are able to really work in these museums because they have such a close relationship with them. The verdict is still out on how I really feel about it…but it is a small, close knit program. After all, Cooperstown only has 2,000 people until the baseball crazies show up in the summer so the people in the program stick together.

And then the interview—the reason I am here. It was okay. If they accept me, then it went great. If they reject me, then clearly I need work on my interviewing skills. Maybe if I wouldn’t have had to walk up 2 flights of stairs before sitting down to interview, it would have been perfect. Perfect because I wouldn’t have been slightly winded for my first questions: Tell me about yourself…the easiest question on the planet! One more interview tomorrow.

So, it’s official. I am addicted to coke. I hadn’t had any soda today, and my head was pounding. So, since I had some time before dinner, I went to find a CVS. Cooperstown is kind of a fun little town. No grid system streets and really fun houses. Also, it is still Christmas in Cooperstown. I stopped counting the number of wreaths, trees, stars, and yes, even Mary and Joseph. But I wandered the streets and even found James Fenimore Cooper’s grave. (Hence, Cooperstown…named after his dad). I got my coke and was able to carry on.

And it is raining. And I am in a stranger’s house. It’s a little awkward, even though I try not to make it so. It is just naturally going to be so. Oh well.

Ah. It is all over. My last interview was this morning and it went better than yesterday. But I don’t know what they think. We will have to see what actually happens. I am finally relaxed, which is really nice. Apparently they are deciding on who gets in tomorrow. So, I should know pretty soon just how good or bad it went.

After our interviews, we went on more tours! Yeah. (Sigh…) We went to the Hall of Fame, which was actually in a crazy frenzy. Apparently they have a Hall of Fame game in the summer (or spring) where two professional teams play an exhibition game. There were a whole lot of baseball fans there. And they seemed a little suspicious of a big group of people getting to the front of the line. But seriously, the line was so long. I guess the steroids scandal hasn’t affected the game. Although during the introductory movie, they kept talking about players stretching to the extreme limit of their physical capabilities…and I kept thinking, yeah with steroids. I got to see the Roberto Clemente stuff, so it was all good.

We had a small driving tour of Cooperstown, where we saw some deer. My favorite line: “There is a herd of deer who live in my backyard.” People are funny about animals around here. It’s like they’ve never been around them. It’s hilarious. Being in a new place, reminds me of how unique my growing up has been. And how much I do love it.

Then it was time for the formal reception. Yikes! I never go to these kinds of things. I don’t mingle well, especially with people who are in charge of things like accepting me to a program. So it was actually really good for me to try a new experience. Weird because I don’t drink, but good too. It has been good to learn new things and skills like mingling. So whatever happens, the trip will have been worth it.

I am sitting in the Albany Airport, having just pulled out my computer to in fact verify that it is mine. The problem with owning a computer that everyone else does is that when you go through security, there is the off chance you could pick up the wrong one. But this is mine, just like the guy said.

After a rough start to the morning (what with the time change and all), it ended up going very smoothly. Once again, they tell me all my flights will be on time. I’m afraid I will be lulled back into security of flying through O’Hare. I began the day driving in the snow, with window wipers that didn’t want to work properly. I drove from Cooperstown to Oneonta to attend church at the local branch. And it was great. Everyone was so friendly, especially a couple of girls who go to a nearby college. They were so welcoming and it was nice to be out of the singles ward for a moment. In fact, it was refreshing the entire weekend to be out of the Utah/Idaho bunker. All the people I met this weekend were really nice and it was kind of nice to be surrounded by so many different people.

My drive back to Albany was much more uneventful than my drive out. No getting lost and it was actually very pleasant. Unfortunately, I was on a time schedule again and I didn’t get many pictures of the surrounding area. There isn’t a lot to see because everything is still dead, but I can see how gorgeous it would be in the summer. But it is actually very calming to drive through the rolling hills. The hills have a very relaxing momentum to them, something I think the grandeur of the mountains (that I LOVE, by the way) in Utah does not afford.

It has been a wonderful experience, and I am really glad I have been able to come out here—no matter what the outcome of the CGP may be.

On to Kansas tomorrow. Driving. Yipee!!

Lawrence, KS

After a day (and part of the night!) of driving, we arrived in Lawrence. I was okay, up until we got to about 4 hours out of Lawrence. Then I started going a bit stir crazy. Not tired (like yawning, running off the road tired, just ready to be done driving). But we made it, and just like I predicted, Lawrence is a lot like Logan, except there are no mountains-clearly. But who would have guessed it? I actually really like it here! The campus is nice. All of the architecture is so varied and random, although it seemed a little cramped compared to USU where we have the nice open quad. I could see myself walking around the campus because it didn't seem so different than what I knew.

Lawrence itself actually seems really fun. After all, I guess it is a college town. They have this great downtown area where they are restaurants, stores, and such--all in walking range. Whereas Logan has a boring mall, Lawrence has this fun place (although probably not so much in the probably gets pretty cold). The town has some of the fun aspects of a big city...lots going on...without the big city crazy time. I could really see myself here. I never would have guessed that I would actually think that Kansas could be an okay place for me to be.

However, the program seems to be in a bit of transition and in some flux. The program doesn’t seem as strong as I would like and had hoped for. Needless to say, I wasn’t entirely impressed. If this is the only school that accepts me I would definitely make it work to my advantage. This all seems so anticlimactic. But if I get accepted somewhere else, I will be very interested in checking out those programs. Too bad I can't have the wonderful CGP here in Lawrence (and be accepted). Now that would be something to write home about.

I have to say that it was a bit unnerving driving through eastern Colorado and western Kansas (I mostly drove through the rest of Kansas in the dark) without having any mountains to protect and keep me safe. The sun sets right into the fields, and I continually kept checking to see if I could spot any mountains. I never did.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Number 12

That is the ranking Logan gets (no not in the sports world, clearly)--but on the list of places to live in the country. That's right. Number 12. Makes a person wonder why they would ever leave. I think we get the ranking in large part because of almost non-existent crime rate, cost of living, economy, university, weather, and recreational opportunities. I saw it in a book at Borders. That's about as good as my source gets tonight.

Why I Love Logan

You may see a smattering of these titles from now on. I get very reflective on the reasons why I love something when the possibility of not enjoying it anymore are going to be possibly taken away. So, the reason why I love Logan today (in addition to the lovely snow) is Juniper Take Out. I love the turkey salad croissant with fries and a diet coke with cherry syrup and their pumpkin chocolate chip cookie with frosting. I get it every time. Yes, it is possibly the worst thing that I could put into my body, but it is good food. I love it! And when I go to Juniper, I have to stay and eat...the take-out part isn't an option. Part of the draw for Juniper is the atmosphere when you are there. The people there are really a little slice of Cache Valley. Families big and small, couples on dates, old couples, groups of friends, people in their grubbiest clothes, people coming back from the temple--you name it, they will be there. Of course, for someone who has been in Logan for 10 years, I do have the joy of running into people I know. For example, someone from my days in Maple View, known as Clam Chowda, made it a point to make sure we were introduced to his new wife today. And then had the gall to condescendingly ask if we had any prospects. Nice. Despite these types of awkward encounters, Juniper Take Out is truly one of the reasons I love Logan.

Things I will miss in Logan. Getting my hair done at King Hair. I have had the same girl doing my hair for quite some years now. She does a just the right job, is the right price and we have such a good time every time I go in! King Hair will never be known as a chic place, or cutting edge, but much like Juniper, it is quintessentially Logan. I will truly miss it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Will This Be My Fate?

Why I Love Winter

When the inversion hits, I have to remember why I love winter. And that reason....skiing. There aren't words to describe how and why I love it, but here are some pictures I managed to get in between all of the fabulous fun I've been having this winter. Before I learned to ski, I hated winter. But now, there isn't much I'd rather be doing.