Monday, October 6, 2008

Internship and my Mac

I don't write in my journal anymore and I don't post on my blog. Not good.

My internship is increasingly getting closer. I've applied to a bunch of places so far: Harry Reid, Jim Matheson, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Atlantic Council of the U.S., the Hudson Institute, and Amnesty International. There are still several more that I want to apply for but as of now I'm hoping for either Harry Reid, CSIS, or Amnesty. I'm getting pretty excited - not for whatever comes after (cause I have no idea) but for the internship itself. The best part about preparing for this is I'm going to need to buy clothes soon. This is also forcing me to start wearing make-up. I decided I can't be professional without it so for several days in a row now I've been wearing foreign elements on my face.

I bought a MacBook about a month ago and he's a beauty. I named him Quincy and this is a love affair that will never end. At least with Macs in general. It was expensive, but oh so worth it. I'm never going back to a PC. I keep discovering amazing things about this computer. The other day I clicked on "Front Row" not knowing what it was. Basically I can watch movie trailers to my heart's content as well as videos I have on my computer. There are many other elements to this application, but really I just use it to watch trailers. I have been introdiced to several films I really want to see now because of that. I LOVE MY MAC!!

I have many other things I could say but as a college student, I need to read (then write a paper, read some more, write another paper, then skim through a book as I write a paper).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Beginning of the End of College

So I'm up here in Logan for my last semester of classes. I won't lie - I'm scared to death. In January I'll be heading over to DC (that's the plan anyway) and hopefully that will give me a better idea of where I'm going after graduation in May. I visited the Career Center the other day and they were no help. The guy basically told me everything I already knew. So yeah, just freaking out right now, but we're going to put that aside for a few minutes.
Logan so far is great as usual. I'm only taking 12 credits again this semester. My senior research seminar class which has super intense reading but it's going to be great, a sociology class that I don't need but is very relevant to my studies called Developing Societies which again, has intense reading but will be awesome, Family Finance which has a little reading and some busy work, but I'm excited - it seems super interesting, and American Cultures in Film. This last class is a total slack off class. We watch movies outside of class then talk about them for an hour and a half each week. We also have to go eat at 4 ethnic restaurants. The best part about it is even though 6 out of the 9 movies we'll be watching are rated R, I can put them on my Netflix queue and watch them on my DVD player and edit whatever I want to edit. I go in spurts of watching R movies and right now I'm trying to ease up. Even when I do watch R movies though I filter what movies I see but this class apparently has several very R movies so I'm glad we're not watching them in class.
I'm living with my roommate from last year Andrea and her sister Sofi and it's great so far. We're living in a little house in the same complex I was in last year. Apparently the house is 120 years old. Meaning it's pretty ghetto but it's an endearing ghetto if that makes sense. It reminds me of my grandma's house in Brigham City. We're still trying to get everything unpacked and decorated. Andrea is an interior design major so she's trying to figure out how to incorporate all the posters we have. It'll look sweet once we're done.
Social life so far is good. Our apartment is the gathering place in the neighborhood after dark. Seriously, it seems like people are always over. It's good though - this is forcing me to be social and try to beak out of more of my egg. For 3 years now I've been steadily progressing so hopefully that trend will continue :) It's also great cause the friends I had before are for the most part here again. A couple of them graduated and/or moved away but it's all good. Plus one of my best friends came home from his mission about 3 weeks ago and he's back up here so that's been fun. Yeah... it seems like this is going to be a good semester.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Joys of Summer

So today at 10 AM just when I was convincing myself to get out of bed, my friend Brianne called me and asked if I wanted to go wake boarding with a bunch of random people. After a short internal struggle I decided to go cause I've been complaining about not hanging out with single people while in Utah Valley. It was fun. We went on Utah Lake and while it was really murky, it wasn't nasty like I remember it being when I was 16 so that was nice. I of course put tons of sunscreen on and kept myself covered for the most part but I still got burned pretty badly. Granted, I could have done a better job of keeping myself covered up, but apparently I haven't completely learned my lesson quite yet.

I turned in my resignation form the other day at work and I'm totally sad about it. I'm super excited to move back up to Logan, but this is probably the best job I have ever had. I'm really going to miss the people I work with. My last day is August 20th and I'm hoping to have everything packed up by then so I can just take off that night after work for Logan. Like I said, I'm totally stoked to get back up there.

I'm just excited for August to be here in general. Exciting things happening in August (in chronological order): my worthless online class will be over, my friend Alesha who was released from her mission on July 18th will be back in Utah, one of my best friends John is coming home from his mission (August 6!!), my family is staying at our neighbor's cabin in Sundance for the weekend (apparently this cabin is bigger than our house), this awesome band called Delta Spirit that I recently discovered is playing at the Gallivan Center, my niece Tamsine is being blessed, and I'm moving back up to Logan. August is going to be an awsome month.

Well, I'm getting tired. I have a hankering for Flight of the Conchords as I fall asleep... I'm still in love with those two.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Update

My mom told me that I needed to update my blog and I told her that I have nothing to update it with. But I guess that's not entirely true...

First of all - I'm an aunt! My sister-in-law Leith had her baby June 15th. Best Father's Day gift ever to my big brother, Mack. Tamsine Jane Christensen is the cutest little baby ever... She was 7 lbs and 19 1/2 inches when she was born but already she has grown so much. She also clicked the other day from what I hear.

Another blog worthy update - I saw The Dark Knight yesterday and holy crap. It was amazing. It left me speechless and during the movie I was even chewing my fingernails at some parts. Very intense, very dark, and I LOVED Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker. Fantastically done. I also really liked Aaron Eckhart in that film. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that Two-Face will be in the third one but I'm not holding my breath.
So yeah - other than that my summer is full of work (which I am loving by the way), doing homework for a worthless online class that I need to take for my minor, and watching movies. Therefore, I hope you'll understand my not writing very often this summer. There's just not much to write about.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indiana Jones update

It's official. I watched Temple of Doom last night with my brother in law and I decided that I do like the Crystal Skull better than Temple of Doom. I like the general story of Temple of Doom better but that woman just drives me absolutely insane. It was a hard decision to make whether her crazy annoying character and her voice that grates on my soul was worse than aliens. As of right now, it is.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones *spoiler alert*

I need to vent about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. One small defect and one very large one. First of all though, let me tell you what I liked about it. It was funny, intense, and a pretty good Indiana Jones film (despite the one large defect discussed below). I think liked it better than Temple of Doom (haven't seen that one in forever) but not nearly as much as Raiders or Last Crusade. Had it not been for this one huge defect I would have liked it way better.
Small defect - the massive amounts of overdone graphics. George Lucas had his hand in this WAY too much and (as he always does the last decade or so) has ruined a good thing. Lucas needs to either retire forever or die. He just goes way overboard with the CGI and blue/green screens and whatever else they use. In one scene especially it was really distracting. I was reminded of The Mummy and that is NEVER a good thing in any way shape or form. So my advice to Lucas: back off and let Steven Spielberg work his magic without you.
Very large defect - aliens? Seriously? Aliens!? First of all, what kind of cop out is that? Did the writers just get lazy and decide to take the easy (and crappy) way out? Second, how is that Indiana Jones? Yes, the crystal skull was kind of religious so it did tie in to the other three films but come on! There is a HUGE difference between mystical and science fiction. First three were mystical, this one was science fiction. Indiana Jones is NOT science fiction. I really want to know who's idea it was so I can shoot them in the knee cap and ask them why they had to go and do that. And what's with the other dimension? It's not space, it's another dimension. Seriously? The space between spaces? What the crap does that mean? And I honestly think I would have been more ok with aliens had it not been for the spaceship flying and disappearing to the other dimension at the end. That part was totally corny. As was Cate Blanchett getting her eyes burned out by the... was it an information overload or something? And it wasn't good Indiana Jones cheese. It was crappy cheese. Man... I still can't believe they used aliens to explain the plot.
So yeah. Those are my two main beefs with this film. Obviously though I'll own it and watch it and enjoy it because it is Indiana Jones but... not as much. I need to watch Temple of Doom again though. It's been a crazy long time but from what I can remember it was the ridiculous amounts of corn that I didn't like. I don't remember any massive plot deformities. I need to decide which is better.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Future Plans as of Now

So up until the end of this last semester-ish I've been pretty adamant about working for a nongovernmental organization of some kind doing development work. To do this I was planning on studying economic development or international economics or something along those lines. Now however, my ambitions have changed somewhat. Call me a sell-out (cause I kind of have) but I think I want to work for a multinational corporation in corporate social responsibility. To do that I'm thinking about getting an MBA that is specific in CSR. So far I've only found a few programs like this since it's such a new field but I found what looks like a pretty sweet program at Nottingham University in England. By the by, how cool would it be to live in England for a while? But it's just weird to me because I used to hear a dirty word when someone said 'multinational corporation.' With some specific corporations I still hear a dirty word but in general I now more think of the endless possibilities for sustainability, human rights, education, and economic development. And honestly, how awesome would it be to work with huge amounts of funds that MNCs have as opposed to being made to deal with the funding of a fickle Congress. So yeah. This should prove to be interesting. But fun. I've been thinking about this for a little while and I am just crazy excited about it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Moving Home and the Stork(s)

Living in Orem again is quite the experience. It's been about 2 years since I've lived here and things are pretty different from the summer of 2006. Summer '06 was an absolute blast. I had an amazing job that was super flexible with a fantastic boss, I had good friends no more than half an hour away, I'd take random trips to Wyoming and San Diego, and hanging out with my sister and her then boyfriend (now husband) and their friends was always a blast.
Not that this summer won't be fun... it's just different. I'm still looking for a job and whatever it turns out to be will be working on the phones and probably not so flexible. I have friends from high school in the area but we don't hang out all that often anymore and all my college friends are either dispersed throughout the state for the summer, working in Kemmerer, Wyoming, or serving missions for the LDS church. Thus, I may take one trip to Wyoming for July 4th but otherwise it's Utah Valley. My sister and her husband are living in my parent's basement apartment and I'm liking that part a lot. I really foresee them keeping me sane this summer. So, I'm thinking this summer will be more like 2005 when I wanted to shoot myself in the knee cap every day while working at Convergys rather than 2006 which was easily the best summer of my life.
Moving on. Today is my big brother's birthday! He's finally 30 and I could not be more weirded out. Yes, he's always been 9 years older than me but it's still weird. He and his wife Leith are expecting their first baby, Tamsine Jane (?) Christensen, next month and I'm crazy excited. It also totally weirds me out that he's going to be a dad.
Speaking of expecting, my sister Sara and her husband Jacob are also getting ready for a baby in November. They don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet but either way it will be named after a male singer/songwriter. Elliott after Elliott Smith if it's a boy and Dylan after Bob Dylan if it's a girl. My other sister Cecily is pretty baby hungry as well but her husband Mike is a bit more hesitant. I say they should totally get pregnant now that they probably aren't moving to China. Not only did all three of my siblings get married within a year of each other, but they're all pretty close together age wise so it makes sense that the three of them should pop kids out one right after the other. But we'll just have to see I suppose. I feel sorry for my kids - there's going to be a bit of a generational gap between them and their cousins. Maybe if we're lucky my oldest kids will be the same ages as my siblings' youngest kids.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Decision to Boycott the Beijing Olympics

So I've been getting a bit of grief from a few people for choosing to boycott the Olympics this year. I'd like to defend my position. The most common argument I've been getting is that not watching the Olympics won't bring the Tibetan people any closer to autonomy or independence and therefore it's just a waste of time - I may as well just watch them and enjoy it. This, I believe, is a completely bogus argument. But let me start from the beginning and give you all a short (ish) history of Tibet and the injustices that went on there in case you don't know much about the situation.
Tibet rests on the borders of Nepal, India, China, and Bhutan and is the highest country in the world but it won't be found on most contemporary maps because of China's claim on the country. Tibet became a protectorate of China in the early 18th century but until 1949 enjoyed de facto independent status and kept its language, culture, religion, government, and it paid no taxes to China. However, in 1949 the Communist party invaded Tibet under the guise of liberating the people. Tibetan Buddhists are traditionally extremely non-violent and those defending Tibet were equipped with muskets and bows and arrows.
In May of 1951 a 17-point agreement was signed by the two governments. This agreement stated that Tibet would formally recognize Chinese sovereignty for the first time in history, but would still enjoy complete autonomy. The Chinese government would not interfere with Tibetan relations at all unless it dealt with international affairs or the defense of Tibet.
This agreement was quickly violated by the Chinese and in 1959 a Tibetan uprising was brutally suppressed by the Chinese and the Dalai Lama (the political and spiritual leader of Tibet) was forced to flee for his life. He hasn't been back to Tibet since. Since then, the Chinese government has (except briefly during the 1980s) used tactics such as ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation to eradicate the Tibetan culture, language, and religion. Ethnic Chinese have poured into Tibet turning Tibetans into an ethnic underclass. Over 1 million Tibetans have been brutally murdered since the Chinese invasion, many of them monks and nuns.
With the decision to hold the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, protests around the world have erupted and Tibet has been at the head of these protests. Tibetans are being repressed, kidnapped, tortured, and killed all so China can get rid of any opposition that would deface their growing reputation as a world power. In addition, the Chinese people aren't able to access unbiased information regarding this subject because of the regulation of the media by the Communist government.
Basic human rights have been violated for decades in this and other regions of the world by the Chinese government, and to me, the decision to hold the Olympics in Beijing says that the world (or at least the Olympic Committee) is either choosing to ignore this fact or stating that it is alright. Neither of these messages are messages that I want to support. And for those of you who decide to watch the Olympics because you want to support the athletes or even just because you like watching the Olympics, I think that's a great thing to do. I only ask you to look a bit into the controversy. Not only in Tibet but all over the nation of China.
So yes, my choice to not watch the Beijing Olympics probably won't take Tibet (or Taiwan or
Xinjiang) closer to true autonomy or independence, but maybe if ratings go down enough, a message will be sent to the Olympic committee and even China that this kind of brutal governance is absolutely unacceptable. You never know what event may spark revolution.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tired, hyped up, and listeing to the classics

Good news! I found out today that the huge research project that was due this Friday they 18th is now due next Monday the 21st! A whole 3 more days to work on it! Although it's not so good cause now I've been wasting time again... still, I got a lot done today. I'm feeling better than I was - not good mind you, but better.
So about half an hour ago I left my friends' apartment (played Guitar Hero III - totally addicted now) and when I left I was actually pretty tired. Then I got home and for some reason got into this really weird mood. I turned on Erasure and Styx and now that mood has escalated to no chance of me going to sleep in the near future. I just hope my music and singing isn't carrying over to my roommates' rooms or the guy in the bedroom right under me. It's been a long time since I've listened to this stuff and it's a good reunion so far. I remember several years ago sometime in 9th or 10th grade Styx came and played for Novell. It just so happened that my dad worked there at the time so he took me. Oh man it was great. My dad, me, and a bunch of drunk 48 year olds. It seriously was an awesome concert though. Styx is actually coming to Logan this summer (July 4th) but I probably won't make it. If I die seeing Styx only once I'll be ok with that. Twice would be better, but once is ok :P
"Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto, for doing the job nobody wants to! And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto, for helping me escape to where I needed to!" Man, I'm such a nerd.
Crap. I just remembered a history paper I have due tomorrow at 3... Oh sigh. May 1st. It'll all be over May 1st at 10 AM...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Renewed Intentions

How great it is to be chilling on a Sunday evening when I should be working on a project... I've been thinking a lot about starting this blog up again and here we go at last! Hopefully I'll be more regular although I doubt I'll get anything else posted before the 18th. I have a massive research project that I'm working on with a friend and we've only begun the research. That's due this Friday and the day before that I have a massive test in my Buddhism class so needless to say this week is going to kill me. I guess that's a good place to pick up - school. This school year has been intense. I've only taken 12 credits each semester but they've been tough 12 credits. Last semester I took 4 (count them) 4 political science classes. Never do that. This semester I'm only taking one (Trade Ethics) but I'm also taking a ridiculously time consuming African history class and a super tough Buddhism class. Then a sociology of religion for my minor but that's cake. The Africa and Buddhism classes I'm taking just for fun and I'm glad I chose to do that. They're both very interesting and I've learned a lot.
The Trade Ethics class is probably one of the best classes I've taken thus far in my schooling. It's really very interesting and I've gotten such a huge picture of the world before that I didn't have. With this class were were able to spend 5 days in Washington DC and 5 days in New York City over Spring Break. That was an amazing experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I heard so many awesome lectures and got to see and do some awesome stuff. Granted, I did miss my best friend's wedding because of it, but I'm glad I decided to go. Plus the morning we left (March 6th - my 21st birthday mind you) I got to meet Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords. If you don't know who they are look them up on YouTube. They are absolutely hilarious. I have both of their autographs and a picture with them. Best birthday present ever!
There's only 2 weeks now until finals and good grief I'm excited. I only have 1 comprehensive final this semester and 1 non-comprehensive final (plus one medium sized research paper on top of the one very large research paper) so after the 18th I should be fine. It's just this week that's going to kill me. But I am super excited for the summer. As of right now I have two options ahead of me: either move back home to Orem or spend the summer in Shanghai with my sister Cecily and her husband Mike working. Freak out right? If I do end up going to China it'll be the end of May until whenever I decide I want to come back. I'd for sure get here in time for school. Of course, there is the possibility that if I do go to China I'd end up as a political prisoner because of my anti-Communist and pro-Tibetan protests. I don't know for sure yet, but I'll keep you posted. It would be an incredible experience but I'm also excited to just move home again. This will be my last summer as a college student and probably the last time I'll live at home. My sister Sara and her husband Jacob are currently living in my parent's basement apartment so it would be awesome to be able to hang out with them all the time. Plus Sara is pregnant so it would be cool to be with here for a few months during that process. Speaking of being pregnant - I'm not - but my sister in law Leith is! She's due in June and I can't wait! Tamsine Jane Christensen. Tamsine because Leith is South African and it's a popular name down there so it fits. Jane because that's the name that my brother liked the best with Tamsine. Although he may change his mind because he doesn't want anyone thinking he named her after Jane Austen.
Alright. Time to start working on real life now. Hopefully I keep up with this blog.