Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weekends and Finals

Saturday night Ryan and I drove up to Salt Lake to see his sister, brother-in-law, and some cousins. It was really fun. They're all a riot. It's too bad that most of them live in Arizona. Here's a picture as evidence that we do occasionally go out and do fun things. Unfortunately this was the only picture that we took on my camera. The other one was pretty sweet - Ryan's cousin called is the engagement "trusting" picture because you're holding hands and leaning back. It's pretty goofy looking.


This week is finals. We both have already taken one. Ryan has two more tomorrow and then one more Wednesday. Poor kid - hopefully he'll be able to relax and sleep enough after Wednesday to make up for the late nights so far. Finals this year for me are actually quite a bit less stressful than usual. I just have a couple more real tests and then finish up my capstone and do a 2000 word essay. Pretty sweet. But anyways...enough about boring semi-depressing subjects. To lighten the mood here are a couple pictures from Thanksgiving - early Saturday morning we all went to Krispy Kremes, here are some of the moments.





Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swine Flu and You.

So today I got the swine flu vaccine. After waiting through a fairly long line, I was directed to the mist vaccine line rather than the shot vaccine line. I was somewhat relieved considering I wore a long sleeve shirt this morning, given the 12'' of snow, and I didn't think I would be able to get the sleeves high enough to have them poke me in the arm. When I got to the nice lady who made me sniff up the vaccine, I tried asking her how they decided who should go in which line. I don't think she understood my question because in response she just told me that the mist vaccine was just as effective as the shot (a statement which I already agreed with). But getting back to my original questions, the division seemed completely arbitrary.

Does anyone know if there are certain criteria which someone has to meet before she will be given the mist or vaccine?

I guess I probably should have researched the vaccine more before subjecting myself to it; however, I suppose I've been a little brainwashed by my International Health class and just willingly followed direction to protect myself. (Hopefully it won't make me even more sick).

All in all I'm just hoping that the vaccine will prevent a Christmas season similar to the last three of constant throwing up. (I think Ryan would appreciate it too)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coming Soon...

I was just thinking how excited I am for this next year. Here are just a couple of things I'm looking forward too...

1. Graduating
2. Grad School
3. Moving to wherever said grad school is
4. Meeting a new nephew and another new nephew/niece
5. Spending a month in New Zealand with Ryan
6. New job
7. Super fun summer - 24th, camping, Lake Powell, birthdays, trips to see family (hopefully at least to see more of our new best friends)

I'm so excited for new adventures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving!

Things to remember about this Thanksgiving....
1. The fun ride up chatting with my parents about all sorts of stuff
2. Lori's pretty house (and gorgeous Christmas tree)
3. Ryan rocking out the grad school apps
4. Lots and lots of cooking and really yummy food
5. Ryan's best friend, Corey
6. One of my new best friends, Dusty
7. Cars on constant repeat
8. Starting new projects (which will hopefully be finished by Christmas)
9. Liars Dice with the tricky 5s and 6s and Farkle
10. Shopping and the required treats
11. Booyah!
12. An amazing family production of Beatles Rock Band
13. Yummy truffles
14. Things being way more funner than before
15. Smashburger and Corey's amazing performance (will post if I can figure out how to get it off my phone)
16. Krispy Kremes
17. New nativitys (Thanks Lori and Mom)
18. Christmas tree balls in vases
19. Tired pants (Thanks Lori and Ryan)
20. Ryan's first In-N-Out Burger
21. Corey's love at the grocery store
22. Ay├║dame!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful Box

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions growing up was our Thankful Box. Everyday at dinner before eating each member in our family would write on a piece of paper one or two things he or she was thankful for...then on Thanksgiving day we'd open the box up and read all the notes. Following tradition here are a few things that I'm thankful for this year...(not necessarily in any particular order).

1. Ryan. I'm pretty lucky that I tricked such a great guy into marrying me.
2. BYU. While sometimes BYU gets a little old, I'm really glad to be studying here and learning so much. I'm really enjoying what I'm learning and love how it's all influenced how I think about things. And I'm excited to be done.
3. Family. I have the best family ever. I'm so grateful for the wonderful examples they all are of terrific parents, awesome friends, hard workers, and just overall great people.
4. Primary. I love being in Primary. I love the kids we've gotten to teach over the past year. I love how good they all want to be for Jesus. I love how "being nice" or "Jesus" are the answers to pretty much any question. It's such a wonderful reminder of the basics of the gospel.
5. Friends. I'm so grateful for a few friends that make life easier.
6. DC. It was such a great experience. I got to learn more about possible careers, explore an amazing city, and spend tons of time with my favorite person. What a perfect summer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fashion Dilemmas...

Most of the time I hate choosing what to wear in the morning so the result typically ends up being a white T-shirt and jeans. The other day Ryan and I were asked to talk to some future Washington DC interns about our experiences, so I figured jeans and a T wouldn't cut it. I was thinking about what to wear while in the kitchen getting breakfast when I looked over and saw it ---the cutest apron ever that I absolutely love which Lori made me. I think the pattern of the fabric and the actual apron itself are fantastic. I've always tried to think of ways that I could disguise the apron as something else so I could reasonably wear it out of the house...and yesterday I came up with the perfect solution...

Gender Issues

Throughout college I've spent a lot of time studying gender and how it relates to development, democracy, and social welfare. Today I presented with a group on the topic and we showed this clip. I really really like it. I think you all should take a few minutes and watch the video, possibly explore the website, and examine your own views on gender.

If the video doesn't automatically play after clicking on "Agree" then click on the link in the lower right hand corner of the site which says "Play the girl effect video"

Hope you all loved it as much as I did. I'm so grateful to be a girl. And feel so lucky to be a girl where I am. The impact girls can make is incredible. I only hope I can live up to the potential I have from being a girl.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ryan's Rocker Hairstyle



The other day I was messing with Ryan's hair and straightened it. It turns out that he kinda looks like a rock star...what do you think?
No worries...He has since be given a haircut.

(he's normally more happy looking, but I think he was studying for one of his killer tests so I guess it's ok)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Things that make me smile...

  • hot chocolate with extra mix
  • right out of the dryer blankets
  • snuggles from Ryan
  • warm down comforters in the morning
  • new house decorations - like the elephant, Jesus wine bottle, fishes and loaves basket, and happy red flowers
  • auto-tune the news (and Ryan's versions)
  • moccasins
  • reading other people's blogs
  • white T-shirts
  • late night talks till 1am on a school night
  • nephew pictures and stories
  • finishing papers
  • random I Love You texts
  • having a clean house after a busy week
  • finding my wedding ring after it has been lost for a week :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bijou Market

Such an awesome event happening this weekend in Provo. AND...FREE giveaways!

Here and here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New York, New York

This past weekend we took a trip to NYC. We hopped on a China bus early Friday morning and 5+ hours later we stepped off in China town in NYC with a great adventure to follow with highlights such as losing my phone (and then luckily finding it again), walking through SoHo, checking out Times Square at midnight, strolling all around Central Park, examining the buildings at the Financial District, surviving stifling heat, ferrying to Staten Island, walking across the Brooklyn bridge with fantastic homemade ice cream, lunching in Little Italy, buying a Rolex (and another $10 watch), posing on a dump truck with my name sake, getting my favorite perfume for cheap (love those street vendors), surviving the dirty, complicated, sauna of a metro, eating a Melona bar, cutting my toe open, taking a million pictures, visiting Ground Zero, seeing the UN and the blue hats, exploring Grand Central Station, out witting the tricky China bus lady, surviving a bus driver who thought he was driving a taxi, and walking till we dropped. It was a great trip - Thanks to Moms and Dads (and Jansen) who helped make it happen!









Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sometimes DoD comes with perks...(even for the interns)

Last week was pretty eventful for me at work - well really only two days last week...

On Monday I rode in a black hawk helicopter to a secure location. The helicopter ride was awesome. As we were taking off I got a birds eye view of downtown DC, the National Mall, the National Cathedral (which we went to a couple weeks ago and it's gorgeous), Arlington (which as incredible) and the beautiful country and green between the Pentagon and near Gettysburg. Our secret ride was to Raven Rock, a location used in case there are any big problems at the Pentagon, i.e. chemical/biological weapons, nuclear weapons, or some other extreme form of danger. While Raven Rock is a secure facility it's not exactly secret - given it has its own Wikipedia page found here. Regardless it was awesome - the whole
place is inside a mountain. When we got there they gave us all a big tour of the facility which was neat because typically only high ups go on this tour so they just assumed that I was important (ha, little did they know I'm pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole, or not even on the totem pole at all). It was an incredible experience and I'm really excited that I got to go. It feels pretty dang cool to say that I was in a black hawk helicopter and went to a secret/secure location inside a mountain.

Wednesday I got to have a chat with my friend Mr. Bob Gates (Secretary of Defense). He had a Q&A session with all the interns in the building and it was pretty neat. It's incredible to see all these really powerful people and realize that they're still just normal/regular people. He was very nice and had good responses to the questions he was asked. He's had quite an impressive career and it was interesting to hear his insights to problems/issues that Defense, the government, and soldiers are facing. He seemed like such a nice person, I really enjoyed it.

So that's my excitement for last week - riding in a helicopter, going to a secure location, and chatting with the Secretary of Defense. What was your week like? Hope you had a great one.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Mom is My Best Friend

My dad is my hero and my mom is my best friend - who could honestly ask for better parents? I know that even if I asked it would be an impossible task to find anyone different that the ones I got. I'm really lucky and really blessed.

My mom is amazing. She can do anything - she can sew cute little zoo print jumpers, she can paint fingernails, she can teach primary songs/young women's themes/books of the old testament while driving in the car, she can cook amazing dinners for 30 some people, she can beautifully decorate a trailer home, she can make incredible professional wedding cakes, she can make any flower arrangement or wreath imaginable, she can tile back splashes with tiny one inch tiles and they'll end up in perfectly straight lines, she's the Queen of Caulk, she can fix a sprinkler system, she can cut hair, and she can make you feel loved and like you can talk to her all day about anything.

My mom is fun. When you get her going in a dressing room with me and my sister she'll have us cracking up like crazy - she always says super cute things that aren't necessarily intended to be funny but end up being hilarious. My mom is thoughtful. She can always look around (whether the house, neighborhood, ward, etc) and see what needs to be done and just do it - she visits whoever and does whatever anyone needs even if she already has a million things on her plate. My mom can read my mind. All through high school she knew what was up - even if she couldn't necessarily read my mind, she could definitely tell something was going on and then get it out of me someway. I don't know how she does it. She's just so easy to talk to.

She's a really amazing person who always puts other people above herself. I'm so lucky to have such a great best friend - and I'm lucky I get to be with her for forever. I just hope that someday I can be as good of a wife and mother as she is.

My Daddy is My Hero

I'm sure that every daughter thinks her daddy is the best one ever, but I'm sure that mine actually is. Ever since I was little my dad has been my hero. He's been the one to save my barbie doll from behind the couch when I thought she was lost forever. He's been the one to help me pull out that one baby tooth that was just a little too scary to touch. He's been the one to guide me through getting up on skis and then guide me through dropping a ski when everyone else thought I was too little to try. He's been the one to give me hugs every night and tell me how special I am and that I'm loved. He's the greatest dad and greatest example of hard work and selfless giving.

As I've gotten older I've started to realize even more how great my dad really is. Some of those realizations have occurred just since being out in DC. The other day when I had extra time at work I randomly decided to search for the award my dad received in Vietnam. I guess DoD has rubbed off on me and being around all those military people made me curious about this award that I've never really known that much about. My dad was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He saved people's lives when he wasn't asked to. He told me recently that "that's just what you do," I think I replied "yeah, but you didn't have to and that's what makes you so special." The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded based on this criteria: "The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. The performance of the act of heroism must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty. The extraordinary achievement must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from his/her comrades or from other persons in similar circumstances. Awards will be made only to recognize single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement and will not be made in recognition of sustained operational activities against an armed enemy." It's the 6th highest award that anyone can get in the armed forces and the highest award for flying. Here's the military website that talks about the awards, and has them in order of precedence. My dad is a real hero - not just to me but to people who's lives he's saved.

This past week my mom and dad came to the Pentagon for a tour. I loved walking from the Pentagon City Mall through the tunnel over to the Pentagon with both my mom and dad in tow. I love how every serviceman we passed nodded and smiled at my dad in his Vietnam Vet Vest. I'm so proud to have such an amazing father who was so willing to serve his country. He's a hero.

My dad has saved my barbies, been awarded because of his valor, and been an amazing example. He's shown me an example of hard work, giving, and love. I've heard the quote that "when Joe has money, everyone has money." (I'm sure that I completely misquoted it but that's the jist). What an amazing compliment to the character of giving a person can have. He's always been generous with his time and money. He's also shown me how important it is to let people know they're loved. When he was in the bishopric he was always the member that gave out the hugs. I think he has a real gift for making people feel at ease, feel special, and feel loved. I know he's always done it for me.

I'm so grateful for my dad. He taught me in junior high or middle school to always say "my daddy is the only one for me" and even though I have a new "one for me," he'll always be my hero. I love you daddy.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A little update

Things we've been up to lately...

1. A couple weekends ago we went to the capitol and had a chat with Congressman Jim Matheson. .He was a nice enough fella - he was rockin cowboy boots so that alone would win my vote (also he's a dem in utah - which takes some guts). But he dodged both of Ryan's questions, even though Ryan's follow-ups nailed him to the wall.

2. That same weekend we went to Mary's Center - it's a clinic which focuses on women's health especially during/after pregnancy but has gradually grown to encompass other facets of health/education and healthy relationships. It mainly services Latin American women. It was neat. But we did a big service project there with the whole group of us from BYU. Ryan successfully organized the cleaning out of an attic while I helped make business cards (just cutting them out). Then afterwards we painted a fence.

3. Last weekend we went to NDU (National Defense University) for an all day role playing scenario thingy. Everyone was assigned different positions within the American or Mexican government. I was assigned to the Mexican Ministry of Defense and Ryan was in the US State Dept. Then we were presented with an issue - ours happened to be drug trafficking and border security. I guess it was somewhat educational but there wasn't much of an argument between the two sides since there was a common interest in solving the problem.

4. We also went to the Air and Space Museum - which was super neat because they have a TON of life size models of the planes and stuff.

5. In addition to becoming expert tourists, we're also picking up some other skills like protesting. Last Saturday we hopped on the band wagon and followed an Iranian protest down to the White House. There we wandered around (me looking very out of place with red hair and light skin mixed in with all these dark beautiful Persian women) and filmed different things. There was also a protest going on about Burma's human rights violations. When we were walking away we passed several Secret Security guys decked out and sneaking around different corners of the White House grounds. At least Obama's protected right? It was pretty cool - we had originally joined because we heard them walking down the street outside our window.

6. This past week I got to go to a couple neat conferences. The first on was at NDU which was focused on how the US can better support peacekeeping efforts. There were some really big whigs from the UN and DoD in the room that I got to meet which was super cool. There was the head of peacekeeping for the UN Alaine Le Roy - Frenchman, Ian Sinclair, Susanna Malcorra, US 4 Star General in charge of AFRICOM Combatant Command William "Kip" Ward, Dr. Ester Brimmer, and lots of other cool people.All people very Google worthy. The next day I went to a conference at CSIS which centered on the impact of HIV/AIDS on state's security - very interesting. It was a fun week.

7. Ryan also had a super busy week. He's been creating a briefing book for his bosses' trip to Chile to meet with the Inter-American Development Bank. It's a pretty big deal and a really big book. He's pretty amazing for doing most the grunt work.

8. This weekend was a lot of fun. Friday our first briefing was at the Supreme Court where we got a tour followed by a meeting with one of the Justice's clerks. It's a really pretty building and I fully plan on incorporating this amazing chair into my future house -

I really like the colors a lot.
9. After the briefings we went to the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden where they have a Friday night live Jazz performance. It was really fun. There's a big reflection pool in the middle where everyone dips their feet in to cool off. I had very wrinkly feet by the time we left. After the Jazz we went to a great restaurant with some friends. It was a good thing we left when we did because shortly after arriving at the restaurant a monsoon started outside (if it wasn't really a monsoon you could've fooled me by the sheets of rain that were coming down).

10. Saturday we headed down to the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. I really enjoyed it. I miss doing/seeing all the artsy stuff that I did in high school. This was a fun refresher.

Now we have just a few more days until my family comes (expect Chris, Emmy and the boys - which will all be missed a ton). I'm really excited to spend the 4th with them and can't wait till Thursday.

That's about it for us. We're not that exciting but we're still having a great time here enjoying easy classes, lots of free time, a beautiful city, museums galore, nice weather (on the days it's not too hot and humid or rainy and cold), and each other.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One of my Favorite Things...

These are amazing...

I strongly suggest that everyone try the
m many times. I'm still figuring out details of how I'm either going to get a Trader Joe's to set up shop in Provo or how I'm going to get them shipped to me every week or so. Fantastic fat free investment.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend


Memorial Day weekend was great. Friday, after the briefings with the MCC and some political fella, we went with a group of friends to Wisey's (Wisemiller's if you want the original name) for their famous chicken sandwich. It used to be one of Bill Clinton's old stomping grounds. It's fantastic and we highly recommend it if you're looking for some good sandwiches etc.

Saturday I dragged Ryan to Eastern Market where they have a flea/farmers market every Saturday and Sunday morning. It was really fun and there were tons of vendors. While we were there we stopped by a used book store. It was a two story house with a basement that was seriously floor to ceiling books two to three rows deep in every crack and cranny imaginable. It was insane. The owner also editorialized on various subjects which made the whole experience extra entertaining - for example in a Harry Potter book he had a sticky note that said "Ron Dies". He was a funny guy.

Ryan in the "Nixon" section - what else would you really expect?


After the flea market, we walked around all over Eastern Market (it's a region - like Georgetown, Pentagon City, Capital Heights etc). We also stopped in Popeyes for a Louisiana lunch experience. It was a fun relaxing day. After exploring Eastern Market we headed back home for a quick nap before going to the Rolling Thunder candlelight vigil. The vigil was re
ally really neat. A bunch of Vietnam vets and bikers all went to the Wall where there was a processional with bagpipes, colorguard, and a torch. Everyone was pretty much silent while the bagpipes played moving songs like Amazing Grace. It was incredible to see the men around you bonding while reflecting on their experiences as soldiers and fellow friends who didn't make it home. After the processional continued passed the wall, it went to the two statues in the area where they recognized women who served as nurses during the war. The women, who were all dressed in white, stood in a circle and passed around the torch. It was really beautiful. The vigil was incredible.

Sunday we attended an early church ward so we could later go to the Rolling Thunder Rally. We read that there were about 400,000 bikes in town for the event so you can imagine how long and ho
w loud it all was. There was a constant flow of bikers from the Pentagon to the Lincoln Memorial for about 3+ hours. It was crazy. The Rolling Thunder cause is really neat - here's a quote from their website "All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for POWs and MIAs of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords 'We Will Not Forget' " The name for Rolling Thunder comes from the roaring sound of the motorcycles which mimicks the noise from the constant bombing of North Vietnam in 1965 which was given the name "Operation Rolling Thunder". I loved seeing all the different types of people who were there - there's such diversity. I also loved seeing all the bikes - it was cool. And I think Ryan just loved it all.





Monday we ventured out to the National Aquarium. This was, well, interesting. Despite the official sounding name, and the $7 per person charge, the aquarium was a major let down. Our first clue should have been walking to the basement of the
Department of Commerce Building, however, we missed this first clue and continued on. Our second clue should've been the floating fish together a little bit too near the top of the tank. That clue followed by the "little too still" snakes curled up in various places of their cages topped it off. At least we donated to the cause - maybe now they can buy some new fish and snakes. After the aquarium we ventured to the old Post Office building now converted into a shopping center of sorts - it was a really neat looking building. Then we headed outside right in time to watch the Memorial Day Parade. It was all great fun.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Here are a few pictures of our digs - Murphy bed and all. It's actually a lot bigger and a lot nicer than we were expecting and so far it has worked out perfectly.


Kitchen View
Front door, attractive support beam, Ryan's closet, my dresser
Murphy
Desk, bed, window with a scenic view of a brick wall and the next door bar, kitchen table, and extra chair - oh... and my cute husband

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Moroccan Food and Museums

Last weekend Ryan and I went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. We went after our Friday briefings (every Friday LDS career people come and give briefings on their jobs and what it's like to be LDS in DC). Although we didn't get to see all of the museum that afternoon we did meander through a section on Jazz in America (it featured Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn), a section on Black Washington DC from the 1920s - ? (which is a precursor to the upcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture), an exhibit with the Gunboat Philadelphia (a boat that was sunk in 1776 that they've brought back up), and my favorite - The Price of Freedom: Americans at War.

Ryan was thoroughly disappointed by the Jazz exhibit, which was only one small room. The photographs were interesting. There was one where during some civil rights riots the guy's studio was being burnt down and he just sat across the street and took pictures of it. I think I probably would have had a different approach and would've been trying to save whatever I could from the building. Hopefully he had really good insurance. The Gunboat was big but we could only look at it from one spot. It would've been cool to walk around it more and really get a picture of what it was like. But who knows maybe it wasn't even typical design since it got smoked during battle and sunk - maybe the engineers started making them better.



The Americans at war exhibit tracked every war that America has been involved in from the American revolution to the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was really interesting and very well done. There was a lot of cool facts and figures from the various wars. I really liked the section that was for Vietnam. There was a Huey helicopter and a bunch of newspaper clips (pictures/articles) that were framed on a wall in a timeline. It was really neat.

The helicopter...I'm pretty sure this is the same kind my dad flew.


After we went through those couple of exhibits we decided to try out some of the ethnic food in dc. After listing a ton of possibilities, Ryan chose Moroccan. So we took the metro way out to some area we hadn't seen yet. The metro ride was fantastic because it was above ground in this area so we actually got to see where we were. I really liked it. Moroccan food was interesting. It was a good experience, however, I doubt that we'll go for the experience again. If you're ever in the mood for something new then try it out but I wouldn't suggest spending tons of money on it.

Saturday we went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was extremely powerful. There was an exhibit on the use of propaganda which was really interesting. The kind of indoctrination that occurred during that time is incredible. Then we went through the permanent exhibit. By the end I felt literally sick to my stomach. The museum makes you think about how good and bad people can be and how dangerous being in the middle can be at times. Ryan and I talked for a long time about it after - I'm glad that he was there with me.

Blog Beauty...

While surfing through various blogs I've noticed that ours is very plain and bordering on ugly (if not already there)...I'd love to make it more appealing but I have no idea how to do so. So if anyone would like to give me tips on how to make it cute or how to load/where to find all these great templates, I'm very up for suggestions/ideas. Thanks!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ryan's Bailout

Even though the Treasury has failed to bailout our personal financial situation, Ryan has still managed to pick up a few of their ideas and implement them elsewhere in his work. Here's a summary of what I think Ryan does or has done so far...

1. He writes up country briefs which get used for meetings and anything that has to do with that country. Country briefs explain the current economic situation in a country - growth outlook, risks and policy challenges, financial crisis policy responses, international financial institution assistance, etc.

2. He works on the Bloomberg machine. Although I still have no clue what this machine does, I do know that it makes him come home late on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I think at the close of business on those days he gets information off of the machine about economic indicators in various Latin American countries of interest.

3. He writes talking points for meetings. One of the first weeks we were here Ryan wrote up the talking points for a meeting between his deputy assistant secretary (DAS) in the treasury and the Colombian trade minister and Colombian ambassador. Pretty cool.

4. He attends sweet meetings and listens in on awesome conference calls. Because he gets to/has to write up the talking points for these important meetings, sometimes he gets to go - like when he got to go to the Colombian meeting.

5. He gets to go to conferences. Yesterday Ryan got to go down to the Brookings Institute (a big think tank) for a big conference about the IMF recent outlook publication for the Western hemisphere (Ryan saw me writing that and said "It's not a big think tank. It's the world's most important think tank"). Pretty cool.

6. He writes US position on IMF decisions and World Bank decisions. Ryan's involved in writing/reviewing these positions - he even made some big decisions about what the kind of funding one country got after researching all by himself. So beware because apparently he's got the IMF funding on a string.

7. He does stuff with country risk assessment and country vulnerability. I just asked him what vulnerabilities. "Just vulnerabilities. Capital account problems, external financing needs, whatever." Ok.

8. He gets to go to happy hour. Lucky for Ryan his office is super hip and has weekly happy hours where the desk economists/receptionists/etc have a good ole time, order pizza, and of course have coke and gingerale for those couple mormon boy interns. I think he likes it.

Ryan's got a pretty sweet set up. I think he's really enjoying the work he gets to do, especially since it's all substantive and isn't typical intern coping and answering phone calls. He's come at a great time since the office happens to be down a couple of desk economists and the interns have been asked to pick up the slack. Also it's right next door to Obama's house. I think he's awesome.

Happy Moving Day

Ryan keeps telling me to write posts. "You can't just leave your customers hangin, Tiff. Your customers demand change, Tiff. Change we can believe in."

Thursday of last week (5-14) the office I've been working at moved to a different wing of the Pentagon. It was pretty exciting...the hype has been building up for weeks. Just about everyday since I've joined the office has there's been some sort of reminder about the upcoming move or problems that have been caused because of the upcoming move. People have been gradually packing up things (except of course a couple of those who always have the most stuff and procrastinate until the last minute). Luckily I only had only one box so I got the lovely duty of building boxes (which I'm now a pro at), throwing classified papers into burn bags (burn bags are used for any classified information - or important unclassified information), and organizing binders, folders, etc. So burn bags can only be 10 lbs each
and I think in the length of about 3 days I probably had about 30+ ish bags. It's ridiculous how much information/paper they've gone through. I've never thought of myself as a radical environmentalist but I felt really bad when it was through me all of the waste was happening. I guess it was just another "welcome to a government agency" day. In addition to my packing/moving duties I was also tasked with hanging up pictures in our new office to try to spice the place up a bit. Thank goodness my mom has taught me well and that I was on the climbing team in high school. Precariously balancing on various chairs, bookshelves, and desks to hang large photos straight got me an A for the day from one of my supervisors. She informed me that I was a "rockstar" for my work. My other A for the day came when I was asked to go check on the status of our fridge and microwave (which were still in the other office). I trooped over there and found both in their same spots with no intention of moving. Near the seditary appliances I also found a dolly. Thanks to my experience working next to my parents I was able to load and transport both the fridge and the microwave (in one trip) on a dolly - I didn't even sound dumb when later because I knew what a dolly was. My third A came from helping Joe Bosco. He's from Italy and he reminds me of my grandad. The other day when I was packing stuff up he walked by and grandpa-like thumped me on the head. Although this might sound like intern abuse, it was very endearing. But anyways my A from him came when I helped him transfer files from one drive on his computer to a different drive. Although it only took me a couple minutes to walk him through it, it was very helpful and I'm sure saved him a bunch of time. He's great. So now moving day is over and everyone is settling into their new digs. I'm not sure how people handle moving days every 4 years or so with the new administration changes. I guess moving days are just one more way the government keeps people employed - although come to think of it we didn't even get the luxury of help from those government employed official movers - I guess that's why they hire free interns.


Burn Bags - maybe environmentalists should go after these for one of their causes...


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Philadelphia

We arrived in Philly around 11am the next day. Our first stop was the National Constitution Center. It was a fantastic, interactive museum that we weren't allowed to take pictures of so I have absolutely no proof of this. However, I'd recommend everyone to stop by and check it out. While there we watched a presentation titled "We, the People". It was one of those things that sends tingles down your back and makes you feel proud to be American. I liked it. It's good to get that reminder. After we adventured all through their museum (you should check out the website to get an idea of what fun stuff they offer). Then we were off to Independence Hall where we saw the old courtroom and the room where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both signed.

Independence Hall


Closer view of the Independence Hall bell tower


Courtroom


Signing Hall

After taking a few pictures we wandered downtown with a group to get some Philly cheese steaks. I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into...



They were MONSTROUS! The picture on top is only half of my sandwich...the half that I couldn't handle and had to give up eating. We later gave it to a homeless person so it went to a good cause, don't worry. After stuffing ourselves, we and our newly made married friends ventured around the city. One of our first stops was the rose garden, which it turns out had a lot more magnolias than roses. It was beautiful.


Our new friends!

We also stopped by and saw Liberty Bell, crack and all. Ryan and I still aren't quite sure why it's famous - other than having a giant, unrepairable crack. I guess shoddy workmanship really pays off in the end...?

After walking all over the place we were all pretty tired so we found a great park and took a rest. Most everyone slept while I watched the busy squirrels and "decorated" Ryan. He's so good for putting up with me.

After our break we saw Benjamin Franklin's grave. He had amazing epitaphs written for him...



After Franklin's grave we went to Christ's Church where many of the founding fathers would worship. Then before heading back to DC the group stopped and got pizza. Overall it was a great trip and we had a fun time seeing the sights and making new friends.