Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Day at the Beach (POTD 5/31)

My parents and I spent a great day relaxing on the beach. We got there at 9:30 so that we could be assured of getting parking - aside: we got a great parking spot in the beach lot for $7! Score! - and then lugged all of our stuff down to the waterfront. We set up a terrific little space with our three chairs, two umbrellas, blanket, towels, coolers, etc. It was actually really cold in the shade all day, and in the sun for most of the day, so I spent a lot of the day covered up. Candice asked me to take lots of pictures, so here you go....

My view when I was relaxing in my beach chair.

I spent most of the day wearing long sleeves and covered in a towel. But it was still a great day! (and I was psyched to remember about this windbreaker that normally stays in my car and have decided to take it with me to London - it folds up really small!

Little Jason (16mo old) and his family was set up next to us, but he was SUPER friendly ended up exploring our little area. He especially loved opening and closing the cooler and visiting with me.

Later in the afternoon someone came by selling ice cream bars. I certainly didn't lose weight over this weekend, but I decided that it was OK to splurge once in a while - so we each had an ice cream treat!

But most of what I did while I was at the beach? Work on the draft of my paper that was due tonight.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Are you going to wear your dress with little sweater today?" (POTD 5/30)

Today, I got dressed for church at my apartment and headed over to pick up my parents. We were going to spend the whole day at the beach, so even though I was dressed up for church, I also had to pack all the beach stuff. I ended up running late, but that is not really the point of this post nor the picture.

Once we got to church, we set up the Sunday School room and waited for the kids to arrive. While we were waiting, my good friend Jessica Roberts showed up to say "good morning" and hilariously, we were wearing matches that were practically a perfect match! So after church got out, we took a photo out on the patio to immortalize ourselves and our matchiness. I think that when you accidentally dress like your friend, then you know that you are really have a lot in common! :)

p.s. we ended up not going to the beach because we couldn't find a parking space. Instead we'll try to get to the beach early tomorrow and see if we can make it work!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mariners take on the Angels (POTD 5/29)

My parents and I headed down to Anaheim this morning! On the way we stopped at Target (to get my dad some shorts and to get all of us some other stuff) and at Home Depot (to get some cinder blocks to put my bed on when I move). That was fun.

The game was fun, too! We parked off-site and walked to the stadium and were pleasantly surprised when we found our seats would be in shade. And boy was I glad. I am not ready for summer heat yet, and it was HOT at the game today. Had we been in full sun, while it would have been nice for a tan, would have been miserable.

The M's ended up losing in the 10th inning when one of the Angels hit a walk-off GRAND SLAM. Seriously. (When that player tried to jump on home plate, he broke his leg - seriously) But we had a great time, and followed up our sports adventure with dinner at the Olive Garden! My parents had a big gift card, and so we enjoyed a bottle of wine, appetizer AND dessert (in addition to our entrees). It was really delicious and I was excited to have a celebration dinner about my quals.

We sat near some other M's fans, so when we clapped and cheered, we weren't alone. Here I am, in my Mariner blue, excited to add another ballpark to my list of visited stadiums!

A perfect day for baseball!

The stadium from the outside. I loved the big baseball hats!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sweet Relief (POTD 5/28)

My day started out pretty great today. I knew I was going to go get my exam results and that my parents were coming to visit. But before I could do anything, I ate this for breakfast.....

Seriously, people. Fresh raspberries on fresh oatmeal with a little brown sugar and some milk!?!? Shut up. Its delicious - sweet, tart, creamy. Mmmmmm. So the start to the day was great.

Then I walked to campus in some beautiful weather to get my exam results from the Office of Student Services. Here is a picture of me with Harmeet, one of the Student Services crew, handing off my results envelope.

You're probably wondering what I saw when I opened the envelope....

I PASSED WITH HONORS! Woo hoo!! So excited for that result - I had hardly even dared hope for it and there it was. I'm so grateful to the Lord for his bounty.

In case you wanted to see the letters, here is what they looked like:

I am now officially approved to start the dissertation writing phase (or as my friend Carrie called it, the "Dissertation Discernment Phase" - well she called it something close to that) as soon as I finish my classes for this quarter.

Later in the day I got a temporary crown put on my root canal tooth and now my mouth is all sore again. Blah. But I'm glad that soon these teeth woes will be over - permanent crown in two weeks!

Last thing and a little funny story. When I picked up my letter today, it said "you have   your written qualifying examination for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree." Because I had the second letter that said "Honors," I knew that I passed, so I didn't really wonder about the weird syntax of that sentence. Later, reading the letter to my folks, I realized that the word "passed" was missing. So I went into the Student Services office and asked the Director to print me a new one. She did it graciously and without questioning why. If asked, I was going to say it was for my scrapbook. But really, it was for you, blog friends, and for the POTD.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: Sixteen Brides

The Civil War left a lot of widows. Stephanie Whitson was doing research on quilts when she came across a newspaper article advertising the arrival of war widows in a town in the midwest, and was thus inspired to write this story.

Sixteen Brides is the story of four women (mainly, but OK, there are 16 in the original group) who are trying to make their way independently in the hard lands of Nebraska. The women are lured west by the promise of free land for heads of households, which being widows they are, but all is not as it seems. In Plum Grove, NE, in fact, there are a number of eligible bachelors looking forward to a little dance on Friday night where they have pre-paid for dances with the eligible women, in hopes of scoring a bride. But the hard lands of the west are unforgiving, and the living is not easy for the widows as they try to make their way.

At first I was not so high on this book. There were too many characters at the beginning and I was wary of trying to remember all of them - I didn't even try. Frankly, I was mad that the book wasn't called "Four Brides" because FOUR people (or even 6), I can keep track of - but 16?! (not counting children and others)  But Whitson quickly brings the focus onto just a few of the women and some of the people from the town. The characters are not as developed as I would have liked, but that is par for the course when you have so many in a regular length book. However, she paints a great picture of the land and the people, and I found that I was really enjoying the characters.

As you regular readers know, my highest praise is when I am so into the story that I have to finish it, even though its WAY past my bedtime. Well, this was one of those times. Some of the storylines are SO exciting, and I literally cried off and on throughout the story. I know, I'm a sap, but some of it hit kind of close to home. I don't want to say any more than that, but I ended up loving it. Check it out.

Four and a half yards of calico fabric out of five.

*of special note: Bethany House provides me with free copies of books and asks that I review them on my blog. There is no incentive for me to give a positive review and I remain independent in my thoughts and opinions.*

If "Weird Al" can do it........ (POTD 5/27)

Only in Los Angeles, Friends. I would have taken pictures of the 12 different celebrities who were immortalized for serving Jury Duty in the LA Superior Court (including Jaime Lee Curtis and Harrison Ford) but there were signs everywhere saying that photography was verboten (as they say in Germany) unless you had permission granted by the presiding judge.

I did not have permission.

But its "Weird Al" Yankovic. You can't NOT take a picture of Al when you have a chance.

This week was my rescheduled jury duty. There wasn't a great time to reschedule it, so I just picked this week and hope that it turned out OK.

I was 0 for 3 people. Sunday I called in... "You do not have to report for Monday." Monday I called in "You do not have to report for Tuesday." and the same on Tuesday, for Wednesday. So it was with trepidation that I called on Wednesday evening..... only to confirm that yes, indeed, I had to report for jury duty at 9:30am on Thursday.

I brought my school work and tried really hard to stay focused. I got some work done while also waiting anxiously for my name to be called (or rather for my name to NOT be called).

At 3pm, the jury ladies came on the loudspeaker: "I will be calling names, please respond with a loud "Yes" when you hear your name." A loud groan goes up from the crowd of jurors who thought that that had made it safely to the end of Jury Day. She named about 10 people (all of whom said "Yes" loudly) and made those individuals report to a courtroom.

The rest of us waited in trepidation.

I could hardly imagine what Weird Al, Jaime, or Harrison would have been thinking at that moment.

A voice on the loudspeaker...

"Thank you for your service today. All trials scheduled for today have been settled without a jury."


I packed up my stuff and headed home - where I spent the rest of the evening figuring out how to get my computer to show up on my Digital TV. After about 3 hours (yes, I know, crazy) I got it all working and was able to watch things from my Netflix Instant account on my TV!! I thought that was the most awesome thing ever.

(oh, and p.s., we find out our results tomorrow morning! POTD to come!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Video of the Day (5/26)

I'm hoping that later today we get our official results from the qualifying exam. When we do (whether it is today or not), I'll be posting a picture of the experience. In the meantime, I think Leadership is important and so you should watch this video about how to start a movement.

(Collin, I'm particularly talking to you, since I think you could be either the narrarator or the leader in this video)


Monday, May 24, 2010

Time is Running Out. POTD 5/24

Yes, ok. This one sort of goes against the other POTDs and really the mission of the POTD, but today I actually feel like this picture epitomizes how I've been feeling: swamped and like I'm running a race against a clock.

I have 2 more weeks of school, plus finals week. So three weeks total. I leave for the UK to visit Collin and Candice Bullard (with my friend Matt Fulmer) in 21 days. Before that time the following must occur:

1 draft of a paper and then 1 final paper in my Research Practicum course (which means listening to 3 more interviews and finding 'themes' in them, then writing them down...)
1 final paper in Soc course
2 Homeworks in my Stats Class
1 presentation in my Research Practicum course
Attending Graduation (not for me, sillies, for my friends)
OH, and I'm on jury duty this week so each night I have to call the courthouse to see if I have to report the following day (so far I am 0 for 2 - hooray!).

Ugh. I'm feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it. But I have decided to instead just start a countdown of days and then take it all in small little bites. I wanted to share with you, but now I have to go back to homework. So, until tomorrow. I'm hoping to come up with a grrrreat picture for tomorrow!

Noise. (POTD 5/23)

The POTD project has not allowed me much time to wax philosophical. Frankly, the reason I started the project was that I didn't have a lot of time this month to write long posts. But I saw this sign and had a funny reason for taking the photo, but then also realized that there is a good metaphor that is super applicable to my life.

So first, I took this photo because my downstairs neighbor is all the time playing music and even though he only has 400 square feet (like me), he has SURROUND SOUND, including a subwoofer. This means that the bass is always coming up through my floor, and I am constantly emailing him to turn it down. I will NOT miss that part of my living situation when I move in two weeks.

The other day, I realized, however, that there was a LOT of noise going on..... in my head. I was hearing a lot of negative self-talk, hearing words of worry, and feeling overwhelmed. I feel like the Lord must have been speaking at at that moment I realized what was going through my head, I also flashed on this sign. "Noise Ordinance Enforced."

It reminded me that I have to actively resist the noise of the world saying I'm not ready (to take my exam), not prepared (to write these final two papers), not pretty or thin enough (to do anything), not not not not not. But resisting the noise is not enough, I must also remember the words of scripture which tell me that I am capable of all things through Christ who gives me strength, that I am wonderfully made, and that the Lord is calling me and appointing me to do good works (which he has prepared in advance for me to do).

I think some of y'all have been experiencing the same things I have, so I hope that this post serves as an encouragement to you to resist the noise of the enemy and grab hold of the truth of God.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday Lunch Club (POTD 5/22)

My friend, Lisa, is a social planning guru. Those of you who know me know that I like to plan fun events, but since coming to LA I've actually done a lot less of it. Well, Lisa was talking to a few of us separately about different eateries around LA that we all wanted to try - and so she suggested starting a "Friday Lunch Club."

The rules are simple: We try to go to lunch together at new places on Friday afternoons. If you can't make it, no hard feelings. Be prepared to have a good time visiting together, laughing, and generally enjoying each other's company. Oh, and don't worry too much about the calories.

Our first Friday Lunch Club took place at The Back Abbey in Claremont, CA. Our friend, Sylvia, went to college in Claremont and has been doing a research project there. She was talking about how great the burgers were (she was correct!) and how the pub had a huge selection of beers (also correct!) and so we decided to make the 30 mile (or 90 minute as we say in LA) drive out on a Friday afternoon. Fun was had by all!

 My super duper delicious beer, that was also giant sized. Luckily, the alcohol content was not very high - but the flavor was delicious. When I get to the UK next month, I'm hoping they have this beer (its an English beer...)!
After we had a toast, Jessica pulled out her smart phone to figure out the origin of the tradition of Toasting and clinking glasses. Its a long explanation - you can google it.

The picture at the top is from a little diner two blocks from my new apartment, called "Hamburger Habit." A couple of us met there this week and tried their burgers (pretty good), sandwiches (not so good) and french fries (delicious). They also have milkshakes, but since I knew I was planning to have a Dodger Dog that evening at the Dodger game I passed (barely) on the milkshake option. Maybe next time.

The new apartment (POTD 5/21)

Sorry for the delay in this post, friends, but I fell asleep between getting the apartment and going to the Dodger game and thus had no time last night. Well, when I got home I did have a little bit of time, but I used it to create this awesome video for my Fergason kids in honor of the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back."

You can see that ridiculousness (I mean incredible fantasticness) right here:

Without further ado.... Pics of the new apartment!!!

The fantastic kitchen! Seriously, I love it. Now, the oven may still be a little smaller than the ovens in my friends' homes, but I think its bigger than my current oven, and for SURE the stove and fridge are bigger. I love the spaciousness of it, and am deciding between getting a counter-height little island or a small table to put in the corner. Too soon to tell.

My balcony! When we drove up, I noticed that Ed (my landlord) put flowers in the flower box. And when I got there, he asked if I could please water them weekly, and even left me with a watering can! (Oh, here's Lisa on the balcony so that you can get an idea of its size)

Looking from the hallway near the kitchen out toward the living room/balcony. I love that it is really bright even though the only window is the sliding doors. Also.... look how big it is! The living room alone is 1/2 the size or more of my new apartment!

Yay! The bathroom. What I'm most excited about (and you can't see it in this pic) is that there is a BIG counter with cupboards underneath.

I'll hopefully have time to walk through and take some video so that you can get a fuller look at the place, but in the meantime, here is a picture of me and Ed. I think he thinks I'm 25 or something, he's always telling me stuff like "if you get mail for the old residents, just write "moved/forward" on it and put it in the box" and I want to say, "Um, Ed, I've moved to approximately 10 different homes in the past 10 years, I know the drill." But instead I just say, "You got it, Ed!" and "Will do, Ed!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spinning! (POTD 5/20)

No, you're right. I am not in that picture. That's mostly because of the following reasons:
1) the class takes place at 7:45 in the morning - neither I, nor any of the other peeps in that class, want to have their picture taken at that time of day.
2) the people in the above picture aren't really in a spinning class, or trust me, they would be WAY sweatier, WAY more red-faced and looking way less excited about life - nobody wants to have their picture taken in that condition.
3) the class that I attend doesn't use the overhead lights - its lit by a christmas light strand going aroud the room and one big window - thus rendering photo-taking difficult.
and finally
4) Trust me that sometimes its all I can do to stay on the bike and keep breathing, let alone try to also take a photo.

As I mentioned a while (weeks!) ago, I have started taking a "Spinning" class at the UCLA Wooden Center.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Spinning is a class that takes place on a stationary bike. There are 20+ stationary bikes and an instructor facing the riders (also on a bike). For the length of the class, you bicycle through a number of different "types" of terrain or workouts, using increased/decreased resistance to simulate hills and flats. You often alternate between sitting on the seat and standing in the pedals to change which muscle groups you are using.

I decided to go to spinning class because there were no other classes offered early in the mornings (e.g. before school). This disappoints me, as there were some AWESOME aerobics classes at Baylor that started at 6am, kicked your butt good and still left you with time to get showered and to class. But, after being encouraged by some friends, I made it to the spinning class and was pleasantly surprised.

First, spinning is really hard work, especially if you do it right. Aside from my marathon training, I have never sweat this much in a workout in my life. Literally, some people have puddles under their bikes (I don't, because I'm glistening not dripping.... :)). Second, it is actually kind of fun - even though in real life I would never go up hills like the ones we have to simulate in spin class, and even though I hate racing, when the instructor gets you going up a steep hill at 80% of your max ability, or when you are in an all-out sprint, its actually kind of fun (miserable, yes, but also fun).

Some of my friends have been doing Zumba, and I think I'd like that also, but for the rest of this quarter, Spinning is the deal (and I think it has been additionally responsible for helping me meet my weight-loss goals/pace - to date 15lbs lost!).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

POTD (5/18)

When I was in Denver a couple of weeks ago, I took two walking tours of the downtown. It was fun to see the sights with a couple different people and get some good exercise at high altitude. (For the record, I LOVED the altitude, I felt great and not winded at all. It reminded me of being in college in Flagstaff)

One of the places we journeyed was the Oxford Hotel, which is the oldest operating hotel in Denver. Its a cool place with antiques, low ceilings, and neat little nooks. My friend, Yen Ling, and I looked around the inside a little bit and found this little sitting/reading area with four bookcases full of books that hotel guests could borrow.

I decided to take a photo of one of the bookshelves, because it had Emma (by Jane Austin) on top and I thought that it would make a fun desktop background on my computer. (I think I was right! What do you think?)

If you are interested in getting a copy of the photo that you can put on your own computer, then click this link and you can download it and use it, too! You'll feel nerdily cool, like me. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Clothesline Project at UCLA (POTD 5/17/10)

Today at UCLA, clotheslines are being hung all around the open areas of campus. On these lines are being hung hundreds of t-shirts. The shirts are different size, colors, and styles, but they all have one thing in common: they each represent a woman who was a victim of, or survived sexual assault or abuse.

The Clothesline Project is a national organization which is determined to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women, and to fight against it. Women who have been survivors of sexual assault or abuse are invited to take a t-shirt and decorate it in a way that reflects their thoughts and emotions about their experience. The color of the shirt represents the type of assault/abuse.

Seeing these shirts hanging around campus breaks my heart. Even thinking about now, my lips move to pray and my eyes fill with tears. I am broken-hearted that we live in a world where people assault each other for any reason, where hatred and bitterness, power and pride, lead to vicious behavior. I am broken-hearted for the women in America and around the world who are subject to sexual assault and violence in the name of tradition, culture, power, hate - and worst of all, love.

As you see these pictures below, I encourage you to find out more about The Clothesline Project, and related organizations like Take Back the Night. And I encourage you to pray for the women represented in the photos here and for the others who may not yet have found a way out or who have not yet been able to find a voice to get help.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Turning in the Exam! (POTD: 5/16/10)

Hello friends!! I'm super excited to post today's "Picture(s) of the Day"! Here I am handing off my exam to Chris in the Office of Student Services. I was trying to make a nervous face, but I just ended up looking weirdly excited. But if the truth be told, I am both nervous and excited. I think I passed. Well, I think that in one minute and in the next I think I didn't.... But hopefully I did. I should find out the results in the next two weeks. In the meantime, I have a TON of work to do to finish up for this quarter, and an hour-long juror orientation to complete this week (seriously, Los Angeles?!?), so I figure that will help take my mind off the expectant waiting.

The bottom two pics are me with two of my cohort-mates, Chiara (top pic) and Dave (bottom pic). We were all super excited to have completed this hurdle and pretty proud of ourselves, too. The three of us, plus our other quals taking friend, Chelsea, and Chiara's boyfriend, Danny, went to lunch together to celebrate at a local Indian restaurant (with an awesome lunch buffet) and then Chelsea and I met up with our friend Sylvia for dinner at my favorite little Sushi restaurant, where we had a giant celebration feast. Seriously it was awesome (see pic at very bottom).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Picture of the Day (5-16): My walk around campus.

Yesterday, after writing for what felt like a long time, but when added up probably only actually was like 84 minutes of solid work, I was getting kind of stir crazy. I don't usually work on Saturday afternoons, I take a homework Sabbath from Saturday afternon till Sunday after church (and sometimes longer, lets be honest).

The point being that I was stir crazy and decided to take a walk around the perimeter of UCLA. This is one thing I'll miss when I move next month. I love the 3-4 mile walk around the outside of campus. It is hilly, so its a good workout, there are generally people walking and running so its not too creepy (mostly), and I get to see little parts of campus I really like, like this cool old tree near Royce Blvd (not included in the picture).

So yesterday I set out on my 3+-ish mile walk (which, because of all the hills, takes about an hour) and since it was the last couple days of "I heart UCLA" week, I thought I would take some photos as I went.

I had some good spiritual epiphanies, like how my life seems like a constant slow uphill (see photo) when I not-so-secretly desire it to be all downhill (see photo). How much walking a trail path reminds me of lessons I learned from "Hinds Feet in High Places", like not being able to see where the trail is taking you next. I learned that when I follow my gut instinct, I end up having some pretty fun experiences - for example, I decided to cut through campus to see what the white tents that I had spied earlier were about. Turned out it was "Alumni Day" and I ended up running into the Bruin Bear mascots and getting pictures taken. So fun!

Well, that's all the narration I have for you now. Enjoy the collage and praise God with me that I go to a beautiful school, located in a beautiful place - even if it is in one of the biggest cities in the world.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brief one. (POTD 5/15)

First: Happy Birthday, Alpha Delta Pi! And happy Founder's Day to all my ADPi sisters out there! I am proud to be a member of the First and Finest sorority!

Second: Quals. Blech. I got my first essay written yesterday by 9pm, which was my goal. Today is going a loooooooot slower. A. LOT. But I'm about to embark on the second round of writing and it will be good.

Yesterday, in the midst of my day I saw that the Sprinklesmobile was in my neighborhood. Yes. Its a truck that drives around selling Sprinkles' cupcakes to the masses who don't have time or energy to get to Beverly Hills or one of the other location. Totally Genius.
o I took the .5 mile walk down into Westwood Village and picked myself up a Lemon Coconut cupcake. D-licious. Seriously, it was yummy and totally worth the study break.

Today I realized that I desperately needed to have my writing buddies with me so that I could talk some of my ideas out loud. But unfortunately, not only am I not allowed to talk to other people about my paper, but most of them live in different states (Matt) or countries (Collin and Candice). The others (Lisa) live in LA, but she knows I can't talk to her about it, so she would totally hold me to the rules and that is one reason I like her.

So I decided to talk to the chickens. My Foster Imposter chickens that I have had since Greenville. They are good listeners, but they don't provide any feedback. I pay them in junk food, so luckily the HEOC student representatives gave each of us test-takers a goodie bag filled with junk food. The Chickens are happy. And if the Chickens are happy, everybody is happy.

See what has happened to me? Stir crazy and talking nonsense.

Off to write my paper now. Peace out till tomorrow.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The moment I realized I was a nerd... (POTD: 5/14/10)

So I don't think "Nerd" is actually a bad word. In fact, I'm kind of fond of it, since I come from a family of nerds and frankly, we are pretty great.

But today I realized my nerdiness more than ever. Seriously, more than the time we almost choreographed a dance in the library lobby while preparing our case studies. More than when I sit around with my friends and talk about student development and higher education.

Today, after I picked up my exam from Bridget and Chris (below, photo #1), I came home and gathered up all my materials. I moved my file boxes to where I could easily access summaries and articles; grabbed the important books from my bookshelf (see below, photo #2); and set up my "workstation" (photo #3). And then I realized it - that feeling I'm feeling? EXCITEMENT. I love to write. I love the opportunity to sit down and wrestle my thoughts to the ground and discuss the issues that I am tasked with for this exam. Don't get me wrong; I'm a little nervous, too - I hope I can do a good job on the question and article critique, but mostly, I'm ready. Excited, ready, raring to go. So here are three photos from the start of my day. Pray for me, if you are so inclined, I can use the support.

And.... we're off!

(Bridget and Chris from the Office of Student Services are there to hand off the exam packet and treat bag, and help you start your day with a smile)

(My files and important books. I don't know if I'll end up using Bob Birnbaum's book, but I love it so much I had to put it on top...)

(The workstation - computer is hooked up to the right, coffee is ready, exam is there to review, I'm all set to go... once I get off of Twitter apparently....)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Preview: New Apartment (photo of the day 5/13)

Hello friends! Last night I met with an older gentleman named "Ed" (who shall henceforth be called "Old Ed" in a charming sort of way) who is the owner/manager of an apartment building in West LA.

Ed is now also MY landlord! Yes, friends, its true and soooo exciting.... I am now the official renter of a one-bedroom apartment. If you look back on the "tiffslife" website, you can find pics from my current (studio) apartment; which I like to call "world's smallest apartment." While knowing that this moniker is blatantly untrue, we all can agree that 385 square feet is indeed little and more importantly, I have felt constrained by the size of my apartment.

I love to entertain. I mean, I LOVE it. I LURVE it. And in my current apartment, entertaining was limited to occasional visits by one or two people (and at two it started to fill up) and one time, last weekend actually, I hosted 4 people but that was an exception as it was the Amazing Race finale and Megan and her friend Laura were visiting... so.... well, you understand. It was packed with that many people but in my old life, I liked to have a LOT of people over. Like the whole leadership team of the football program sometimes. So not only could I not have people over, but also my bed was 3 feet from the ceiling and my kitchen appliances were Barbie-sized.

I'm not complaining. I loved my apartment for what it was and it has served me well.

But people...........

I am so excited about this new apartment.

So yesterday, I met Ed to sign the papers. And today I set up electricity and gas.

The apartment wasn't all cleaned up yet, so I didn't want to take pics (I'll do that next Friday when I get the keys)....

But I did take a picture of this:

Mmmhmmmm. Yes. You are correct.... THAT IS MY BALCONY!!! One of my neighbors has a little barbeque, so that is exciting, because maybe I could have one, too! And at the very least, I can put some flowers in the flower box, and plants and a couple chairs and have a place to sit outside and enjoy LA summer.

Yay! Can't wait to show you pics from the inside. But here are some of the highlights:
* a big living room!
* a LOT of closet/storage space
* full-size appliances including a dishwasher!
* did I mention the bedroom that has a DOOR?!? LOL.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday, May 12th (picture a day)

OK, well, I didn't want all the pictures from the picture a day project to star a little gal I like to call ME but I DID want to show you this hat.... [inner struggle ensues]. The hat won. :) But also a couple others for your enjoyment.

Here ya go friends!

And old friend from Greenville College, Megan Burt (right) stayed overnight at my apartment with her friend Laura. It was terrific to see them and spend a little bit of time together! (Also, they joined me and a couple friends for the Amazing Race finale!)

On Tuesdays I have class till 7. The shuttles stop at 6, so I have to walk home through campus (its a bummer because I have small group across town at 7:30, but also not a bummer because look at this vista!).

 And finally, my new hat! I love this hat - it makes me feel cute and cool and keeps my head warm. I'm bringing it with me on my trip to the UK this June - so watch out British/Scottish/Irish men! LOL.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A picture a day?

I know better than to promise things like this, but while I was in Denver, my camera stopped working (that is a story for another post, perhaps) and I bought a new one and I like it and thought, maybe, since I don't have much time these days to write long posts - especially with my qualifying exams going from this Friday to next Monday - I could do a picture of "Tiff's Life" every day until I leave for the UK.

Its likely that I will not be able to do 33 days in a row, but I'm going to try. (And you'll forgive me if I miss a day or two in the hullaballoo of the exams or my actual finals which are in 4 wks, right?)

So some of the pictures that might be coming up in the next 33 days:
* me at my workstation, working on quals
* my new 1-BEDROOM (!!!) apartment - which I take possession of on May 22nd woot!!
* my coworkers at my new job
* my friends after we turn in our exams next week
* my old apartment in boxes (seems like nice closure after all the pictures of unpacking to have pictures of packing)
....and many other things I cannot even begin to imagine.

Without further ado - 3 pictures to start off the pictorial adventure!

This morning I took the shuttle to campus. I got off near the Sculpture Garden because I had to go to the research library to pick up some books for work. This fountain was a peaceful place to meander by on my way to the library.

I was feeling cute and happy as I left the Young Research Library on my way to work....

 And then moments later the wind came up.

Well, the Lord, through Solomon I think, does say that Pride goes before a fall. I'm not sure if he was talking about hair falling out of a clip (in fact, I don't think he was) but ironically, my pride did go right before my hair fell right on out of its clip and compeletly into my face. hilarious. Well, I'm off to class. I look forward to sharing a pic with you tomorrow!