eudaemonic- (adj.) producing happiness and well-being

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I went to the Washington Nationals v. Mets game last weekend. It was loads of fun! I got two tickets from my Congressman... one for me and one for my friend Katie. They were great! I have never sat so close to any game.. okay okay, so maybe I've enjoyed a little league game that close before.. but thats different :O) ! When we arrived, we actually had to go down, not up the ramps with the rest of the cheap ticket crowd. Although I stand proud as a $15 ticket buyer up on the top deck, it was AWESOME to sit so close. When we made it down (whoop for down), we were escorted to our proper seats. Yes, I said escorted!!! It was GREAT! I don't know a lot about baseball, but I had fun taking pictures :O). Well Yea!

Since we were enjoying the game for free, Katie and I decided to treat ourselves to ice cream. It was a great evening! Cool weather, super close seats to a great baseball game and chocolate ice cream! Good times!

Friday, September 23, 2005


Well yea! Last weekend I went to Hershey, PA and Amish country with Katie, Kurtis, Jimbo and Lucy and it was GREAT!

I can't write about the trip up there because I'm too excited about telling y'all about Hershey. AAAAAHHHH! We went to the Hershey amusement park and it was lots of fun! We rode rides and then... went to the Hershey museum. The Hershey museum! AAAAH! I could actually smell the chocolate in the air. We went on a tour and learned how they made chocolate! Then... we ate chocolate! In the gift shop area (a HUGE warehouse looking place) there was "chocolate left, chocolate right, chocolate lovers chocolate lovers we're all right!" I went nuts! It was everywhere! They were dolling the stuff out for free! Oh my goodness! It fantastic fantastic fantastic!

I don't have to explain my love for chocolate to anyone reading this blog. Y'all know that I eat it, breathe it, live it, love it... and I think the Hershey people could see it in me.. the chocolate passion :O). They threw big ole' Hershey kisses at me and welcomed me into their world with open arms. I never wanted to leave! I wanted to drop my internship and get a job at the Hershey factory. My business card could read, official NO 1 chocolate connoisseur and lifestyle PR specialist. Aaaah. It was great!

Phew! I can write about the trip now that I've gotten the chocolate shock out of my system. It was absolutely beautiful. Just a few miles of the city, the clogged roads and crowded sky opened up to a breathtaking view of mountains, rivers, lakes, dairies, pastures, old silos and God's beauty. It was just what I needed. D.C. is a beautiful place, but its beauty comes from concrete. The only trees are in a straight line the only green space is carefully manicured with flower beds. There's no natural flow to it. I like the natural flow. It makes me miss home.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Phew… it has been a while since I last blogged, sorry friends.

The CHCI Annual Gala was held September 14 (there are a few pictures) at the big convention center. It was super fun! Hannah, Whitney and I went together and had so much fun getting all gallafied. I had three tickets, but only two of them were together, so I took the loner and sat with Dupont. They were great. One of the Dupont hosts graduated from Clemson with a Plant Science degree and ribbed me all night about the Ag’s football loss to them the week before :O). She was really sweet though. The other host sat to my right. He was a grad of TU and was a nice fella as well. To continue the table seating chart - my left sat a woman from the Department of Homeland Security. We had l’9a good talk about FEMA and who was to blame and lots of other interesting topics. As for the couple across from me, the husband was a grad of TAMU. He recruited me to talk his daughter into perusing an ag j degree. You know, these people never stop. The meet and greet is a perpetual process. I’ve never been asked for my card so many times in a night! I learned something from that dinner… always have your cards with you! You look like an idiot if you don’t!

The food was fantastic… the most tender beef I have ever tasted! I wore my dress. My beautiful, I shouldn’t have spent so much money on an item of clothing, dress. But no matter the price tag I really like it and plan on wearing it mucho mucho more times! Maybe to the opera Hannah is trying to talk me into seeing!

My scheduler offered me her house to get ready, but instead we three girls of intern status (that was a weak attempt to copy “We 3 Kings of Orient”) jetted over to Whitney’s apartment and got ready in 15 min. Hannah did my hair in the taxi. Crazy stuff!

At the mid-way part of the evening I excused myself for a breather when who did I see, but none other than Mr. John Kerry… close enough to touch. Although he’s definitely not my favorite person, it was still neat to see him up close. Good times. Then we went home and didn’t go to the after party….. The end.

Just kidding! You didn’t think I could end without a “and this is what I was thinking” moment.

This is what I was thinking-

I was thinking how good it felt to talk about agriculture. I was thinking how good it felt to have your comments understood and listened to. It felt good to have an opinion! At work all I do work wise is open mail, answer phones and do the occasional odd job. I don’t have to have an opinion to do that… and really, my opinion faces opposition, so being the peacemaker that I am, I keep my mouth shut unless I have a sound explanation to go along with the red flagged topic. It was GREAT to talk about subsidies and what that meant for the present and future agriculturalists, and really just chat about ag topics. I had a full menu of conversation topics back at Ag Comm, where part of my heart still is…. But up here, yeah, that menu of things to talk about was cut to slim pickins’.

So, long story short. I like agriculture…. And even though ag reaches deep and far and wide into every committee, subcommittee, interest group, and caucus. people don’t know anything about it. I was looking to rein in my career interests while I was up here, and I’ve made one decision… I need to be in some field of agriculture. Preferably where people don’t carry around business cards all the time.

Yeah, that’d be nice :o)

more to come with topics like my trip to Hershey and Amish country, the country music reception, the fundraiser and the pet reception. Good times.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Howdy hombres! Today is Saturday, Sept. 10 and it has been wonderful! Let me start with Friday.

After work, Hannah, Katie, Curtis, Whitney, and I went to the orchestra/symphony at the Kennedy Center. It was glorious! We arrived a little late because, hey stuff happens :O), so we missed the first set. No fret though, because we were ushered in right after they finished and we were able to enjoy the last two... and enjoy I did.

Normally music is a delight for the ears correct? Music is played for the ears, it is heard. However, this performance was also meant for the eyes. The strings danced. The horns glistened. Beautiful gowns were worn.

Have you ever watched a bumble bee collect honey from a flower. It extends its proboscis (thank you ENTO202) in a lighting fast manner. It lands, locates the nectar and inserts its thread-thin mouth part to get the good stuff. The string players movements were reminiscent of the bee's "mmm, me hungry, want nectar" dance. A smooth in and out, all choreographed with only milliseconds of downtime. They were beautiful.

The conductor wasn't left out of the dance either, ha, because he was directing it! Although lacking the smoothness provided by the movement of the strings, the conductor danced like a b-boppin' baby. Have you ever seen a baby dance? They bounce and wave about with no outward rhythm, but dance to the one given internally. A flick of the wrist (seriously, a simple flick of the wrist) brought to life music that had a life of its own. The musicians weren't playing their instruments. It was more like the instruments were playing them. Movement was allowed and welcome on the stage. They were free to feel the music and it was great.

I'm reading a book titled "Captivating," by the Eldridges and it talks about how the Lord woos us. Yes, yes I know. Using the word woo sounds really really weird when pairing in with our Savior, but it all makes sense. I'm going to try to explain it, but I'm not known to be the most clear of when it comes to communication. "Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?" - Quick name that movie :O)

We were made for beauty. The Garden of Eden was a breathtaking beautiful place. That was our intended home on earth, but we screwed that one up. Have you ever wondered what it was about beauty that filled you up? Why beauty can lay a blanket over your stressed frazzled heart? I think it's because we were made for beauty! My mom swears that when she was sick with the flu and her gallbladder, sitting out at the farm is what made her well. Science proves that in retirement homes, providing any type of nature makes people have a better appetite and more social. The claim to fame of urban gardens is that by planting beautiful things, it weeds out the bad stuff. Gangs relocate because people are outside enjoying the beauty. There is less crime because people, once again, see the light of day.

The book says that beauty is the essence of God. Look at what he created? Yowza! And, get this, it was made for us! We, made on the sixth day, folks! The book describes how the Lord sends us love notes through beauty. Little pokes to remind us that He loves us. Little reminders that He isn't stale, but alive!

Anyway, I got a love note yesterday through the symphony. Signed.... Love, God.

Then to today, Hannah and I slept late and woke up around 9. She said, "hey, how do you feel about some pancakes." Quick quick, who knows the answer? See, look how smart you are! Off to the pancakes we went! We caught a cab and headed to the D.C. farmers' market. I started a blog especially for pictures, so you can go see a little of the place here, along with some other odds and ends.

When I say farmers' market, I mean farmers' market! There were tons of stands filled with fresh fruit, vegetables (my favorite was the different types of lettuce), flowers and meat. On down they started on the flea market, jewelry, paintings, purses stuff. I got a heavenly smelling bouquet of basil and a gorgeous flower bouquet. But that was after breakfast :O).

Inside, with the meat counter and pasta salad type dishes, was a open air cafe. From the outside, you'd say, mmm (read in a questioning tone, not a yum yum tone), it's like I'm eating at a livestock sale restaurant. There is just an open air kitchen, a long table with stools and a cash register manned by a fella that yells out the orders. The only thing that said, "yes, let's stay and eat" is the mondo line out the door :O). We were told about it's deliciousness by our intern coordinator, Cady.

There was a sign on a white board that read, "No saving seats. No reading the newspaper when it's busy. Seats for customers only. If you do, there's a $100 fine. We don't sell ice." Hehehe.

I got my bluebuck pancakes with pecans and maple syrup, paired with a cup of coffee, and took my seat... only to leave it seconds later as I floated 6 inches in the direction of up. OH MY GOODNESS! It was the best pancake I had ever had in my life! Wow wee. Man! I sat in silence for a little bit, and slowly finished my meal. I realize now that I'm sitting here at 3:00, that it was also my lunch. The serving sizes were quite large.

After that we walked around a bit and enjoyed the ambiance. Hannah and I both got a beautiful bouquet of flowers.... oh just beautiful. We taste tested the different fruits on display. She got some fresh strawberries and I got some basil (oh, okay, I'll admit it, I got some earrings too :O) ). I took a few pictures and then we went home. I will say, pancakes and a trip to the farmers' market is not a bad way to spend a lazy Saturday. In fact, I think I just might do it again :O).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

hello :O)

Today was a pretty fun day. I got to go to a hearing for the energy committee. It was super cool. Let me paint a picture for you. The room was a decent size with stadium seating and continuous desks on one side. The other side had about 6 rows of chairs and cameras for CNN. The members of the Energy Committee sat at in the "desk stands" with a name plate and a microphone where they were supposed to sit. The microphone was the long bendy type attached to a box. To speak you press the red button on the box and get permission from the chairman. People pushed those buttons a lot. The witnesses sat on a raised platform facing the congressmen. They had their backs to the rows of chairs. The chairman sat in the middle.

Well, my congressman is a member of the afore mentioned committee so I got to tag along... in addition to the energy staff person. There were lots and lots of people there. I stood on the wall right next to where my congressman sat. I took lots of notes and think I'll write an article about it - just for fun :O)

Each member had 3 min. speak time, but they almost all went over. The chairman tapped his gavel to try to quiet them down, but it didn't normally work. Oh! One guy (who I will not name or provide the state for) interrupted the chairman after he called the displaced residents of Louisiana and Mississippi "refugees." He wanted there to be a unanimous decision to only call them "evacuees." He didn't get what he wanted :O).

They were all pretty fired up about the gas price gouging. Umm, yes, pretty fired up is a good way to describe them. I think if they were debating back in the days of George Washington up to the early 1900s, someone might have shaken their cane or threatened to tar and feather the rascal gas companies. But, I guess we've progressed down the P.C. road a little since then. Now we just file lawsuits and sue :O) For political arguments... tomato, tomatoe I suppose.

I ordered my fightin' Texas Aggie ring today. I faxed that baby in at 4:45 pm.. it is due tomorrow. One day early. That's just how I roll. I am so excited to have that hunk of gold, that symbol of success, that item that I have dreamed about for 2006 (WHOOP) days. Yes, yes. You could definitely say that I am ready for November 3 to come... and come fast!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I just got back from listening to the D.C. orchestra from a comfy spot right on the Capitol's lawn.... and here's the best part (well, the listening was the best part, but this was the best surprise)... it was absolutely, one-hundred percent, no strings attached free. Yes ladies and gentlemen, there is fun to be had sans moola. From an intern only making $500 dollars a month, free is what I like to hear! My mom asked me if I wanted to know what my paycheck equaled when divvied up between 9 hours, but I said, no way Jose! Just let me be happy in the fact that I am a paid member of a Congressional staff... it makes me feel better :O).

I'm just kidding! I'm loving D.C. The orchestra was beautiful and the view was gorgeous! It was quite surreal to grab a towel, jump on the metro and spread out right in front of our nation's capitol. It was lit up and quite lovely. I tried to take a picture of it, but due to bad lighting conditions, a good one couldn't be captured.

Attending an orchestra show (if you call it a show) is something that I wanted to do in College Station. It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time, so it was nice to have that dream fulfilled in such a beautiful place. The reason that it has taken so long for it to happen is that in College Station, I didn't allow that downtime to take precedent over, "business" in my calendar. I tell myself that I'm most productive when I'm super duper busy - and it's true - but my heart isn't able to join in on whatever I'm experiencing. I grit my teeth, clench my fists, and say "if I keep my head down and barrel through, I can get this done on my own strength." Not only does that push out any chance of living by faith, but it also shuts down your heart from being touched. Not having school and meetings to draw at my time has reminded me that I like to relax! I like to take a walk and not have 10 things to do on my route. I like running on the treadmill and not having a textbook or note cards in front of me. I like to lounge! I (gasp) even like to sit in a lawn chair and read a book for hours at a time. I like to hang out with people and not have to leave because of school. I realize that I like a lot of things!

Moral of the story...
rest= good
fun= good
a un-hurried night listening to music= wonderful!

Washington Monument with a backdrop of blue Posted by Picasa

Those red topped roofs are the Smithsonians Posted by Picasa

Mr. Lincoln himself Posted by Picasa

Lincoln Memorial Posted by Picasa

Washington Monument and reflection pool Posted by Picasa

Lincoln Memorial Posted by Picasa

WWII Memorial Posted by Picasa

WWII Memorial Posted by Picasa

WWII Memorial Posted by Picasa

WWII Memorial Posted by Picasa

WWII reflection pool Posted by Picasa

Waving flag at the WWII Memorial Posted by Picasa

I love trees! A lot of the paths within the Mall are tree-lined. Posted by Picasa

Washington Monument on a beautiful sunny Saturday Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 02, 2005

"Aaaye, buy a flower off a poor girl. AAAYEEE, I'm a good girl I am!!!!"

I went to go see My Fair Lady, the play yesterday and it was soooo fun! Hannah, Whitney and I caught the metro and then grabbed a bus, and viola we arrived at the theater. Jolly good, yes jolly good sir. It was an outdoor theater like Wolf Pen in College Station. We got tickets on the lawn so it was only $18! Oh my word, was it wonderful! I had pretty high expectations, seeing it was M.F.L. and all. I can quote that movie from beginning to end... including the music numbers, so, I was pumped up.

They didn't disappoint. It was wonderful! There was dancing and singing and great acting. There was even an orchestra! I laughed at Eliza. I sighed at Pickering's humor. I fumed at Higgins' bull headedness, and then I froze my fanny off!!! It was soooo cold! Once the sun went down, the temperature dropped muy rapido. It was ffaaa faaa freezing! We were sitting on a blanket on the outside lawn, so when it got cold we huddled together and wrapped up in that baby. Aaaah. It has been the best thing I've gotten to do so far.

So, the TV show "What Not to Wear" is going to be at the mall one metro stop down from me next week... and... it's very girly of me, but I want to go :O). I think I will. Freshman year (the only full year I had cable in college :O) ) My roommate Deanna and I would watch that show every week. It was my absolute favorite. They're going to have different booths set up and maybe have some free stuff.

Free, I like free :O)