Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Return of the Summer Child

Officially, it is still springtime, but for me, with school over and Memorial day now past, it is officially summertime (come on weather, won't you just cooperate?). And while I have many tasks to accomplish (first and foremost finding a job), I still love the fact that it is summer and am already starting to feel in my element (warm weather = happy suvi). No more boring picture posts! From here on out, only adventure tales that will make you jealous (it's my blog, i can say what I want to).

The official start to summer adventures was this last weekend. On a whim, i decided to join my friend Hailey on a sailing trip to Catalina Island over Memorial Day weekend. Done with school and not quite ready to face reality, i figured a trip on a sailboat with people i didn't know would be just what i needed, but not too overwhelming as I feared Duck beach might be (props to Frances and others who braved the enormous mormon singles party! I hope you had plenty of chaste make-out sessions!). My friend Sarah just moved to LA to pursue love, so I was able to spend some QT with her. Luckily, she works from home, which meant that we spent the day on the Santa Monica beach. Now, i'm an east coast gal, and like most adopted New Yorkers I'm too cool for LA due to the traffic and buildings and fake boobs. But, i have to say, i really liked it! There is something to be said about living by the beach (and Brighton Beach doesn't count). In any case, I love hanging out with Sarah because whenever we talk, it's like we are solving the mysteries of the universe and especially of love. We caught up on stories of Dating Girl (sometimes, it seems like successful dating requires a superpower) and her exploits, analyzing the evolution of our own internal superheros. Then Hailey arrived from SLC and it was such a treat to spend time with these two amazing friends of mine and meet Sarah's love-interest. The perfect way to prepare for a weekend with strangers.

(I took absolutely no pictures the entire trip, but will post some once i get them from friends. There were too many cameras already onboard).

So Friday morning, we wake up early to go to the marina. I'm nervous, and hailey has to tell me it will be okay and people will like me and no one will throw me overboard. I quickly discover that this is true, because I was on a boat with some of the nicest and funnest people in the world. And on a sailboat! On the blue blue ocean! It was a bit windy which made it cold, but i just loved staring out at the water and the distant land. Basically, the weekend was spent reading (mystery novels!), napping, sunning, hiking, eating, dancing, fishing, cuddling and talking with new friends. Okay, that is a lot of stuff, but relaxing, non-school or work related stuff. Real and true vacation stuff.

Some favorite memories:

Discovering Ferris' book titled "How to make someone fall in love with you in 90 minutes" and watching him put it into action the whole trip.

The dance club room on Al's boat, nothing like 15 people jammed into a little room on a boat dancing their hearts out. Also, the stripper pole on our boat. Heyo!

Talking the girls into skinny dipping off the back of the boat while everyone else (minus James) was on shore. And then James going because he needed to earn his hot chocolate. And then Charite deciding she didn't want to be left out and jumping in and then rushing out as we noticed the rapidly approaching boat light bringing everyone else home.

Catching mackeral off the side of the boat. With bread. I was an amazing fisher-woman and caught 8!

James, our captain, catching a shark! Yes, a real shark with sharp teeth. He hooked it on the way back home, and had an epic struggle with it, but alas, the shark got away just as we were going to rope him up. Which is probably a good thing, since there were 11 people and 2 dogs on this boat and a shark has a lot of teeth. plus, we would've had to hang it from the mast to drain the blood, and I wasn't really looking forward to hanging out on a blood-splattered deck (could you just imagine the reaction pulling up to the marina again?).

Seeing a pile of seals on a buoy cuddling together and pushing each other off.

Being rocked to sleep by the boat.

Dancing until my ribs hurt (which actually didn't take too long).

Simply having some good conversations with some fun and interesting people. And laughing a lot.

Let me just say that this was one of the best trips I have ever been on. it was so relaxing and exactly what i needed and everyone on the boat got along really well. I couldn't have asked for a better trip. I can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


so, I went to the doctor yesterday and he said I fractured a rib. "Oh no!" you must be thinking to yourself, "that is terrible! What could have caused such a thing?"

I wish i could tell you that it happened as I jumped on the tracks of the 2 train to save a kid. but it wasn't. Or that a horse kicked me. Or i had another bicycle wreck. Or I was punched in the ribs by mugger trying to beat up an old lady but I intervened and saved her.

But no. None of those things occurred.

I coughed. While hiding under a blanket, curled up on the floor. i coughed and something started hurting, and kept right on hurting through graduation weekend. I thought, I strained a muscle coughing, which is pretty lame. But no, it's even lamer to fracture a rib.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I done did graduate

I'm a Master! of Public Administration! Yeah, i don't know what kind of job I'll have after this either. But is is still exciting. Hillary Clinton spoke at the all-university commencement, and that was pretty incredible. She spoke about diplomacy, and how the age for men sitting behind closed doors, deciding the fate of nations is now past. It is a time for all of us to be diplomats, to build networks for good. I really dug it.

Most of my family came out for graduation, which was lovely. I'm afraid most of the pictures below are of Hannelle, but it's not because I don't care about the rest of them, it's just that she is just so stinking cute. I love my family and am so glad they came. it made me feel loved, and I really enjoy having them visit me and showing them around brooklyn. Come back soon!

So yeah, done with school. And now...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

LDS chapel fire in Cambridge, MA

I just found out that the church building where I attended church while living in Boston burned down this morning. There was a 3 alarm fire, and from news reports so far, it looks like it will have to be rebuilt completely. for more information, go here.

The fire started in the middle of stake conference, and so the chapel was full of people. Luckily, no one was hurt. My thoughts and prayers go out to the congregation there in the Longfellow Park wards. I'm really saddened by this news, not just because it is an LDS chapel, but because of the years I spent there worshipping, feeling the spirit, and learning about my God. It is the ward I attended each week, riding the bus through Boston each Sunday for an hour to get to church with the other singles in the area. On sunny days, i would wander through Cambridge along the Charles River, watching rowers. I remember so many hot days, with the Relief Society room full of people, with the doors and windows open for some sort of breeze to pass through. It was in that ward that I decided to serve a mission, and where I felt the Lord working in my life and on my heart so I would have the desire to serve Him, switching it from one path to a completely different one. It is a place where my sisters also attended church and had sacred experiences. What a beautiful place that is to me! And how grateful I am for those experiences that I and so many others were able to have there. While saddened by this event, I know that another generation of LDS students will soon make another building equally special and beautiful, and Cambridge will continue to be a place where people come to know the Savior.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The White House Flickr page

So, I've always loved the photos of JFK in the White House, especially those candid ones with the kids. Well, the White House is giving us a behind the scenes peek of the first 100 days of the Obama presidency. These images are really quite beautiful (way to go official photographer Pete Souza!). A few of my favorite things are the big bowl full of apples in the Oval office, the amazing vivid photo of the flame of the Statue of Liberty on the wall, and anything with Michelle or the girls. Also noticed: very few women sitting at the table there during important meetings. Ah well, I like seeing how much Obama looks like a kid, but also dignified. Watch for yourself.

His personal approval rating is 81%, which is amazing, however, his policy approval rate is 51%. Still amazing. This post is all personal. Maybe after graduation i'll have energy to think/write about policy.