How does an ant eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Big problems are composed of smaller, albeit interconnected, problems. Solving the smaller problems will have an implication on the larger problems.

27 January 2009


I am happy to report to everyone that I made it to Washington DC safely and have officially started the internship. I am also happy to report that it is the BEST thing ever and I feel super cool working for the PAHO (or as some of you may not be familiar with PAHO, they are a branch of the WHO....better known as the UN!) Sorry mom, I'm too should know these acronyms by now :)

Where to start? So I got into DC a week ago and have been babysitting friends' couches at night until I find a place to live, which I stated in my last post (which if you didn't read must! It's rather entertaining!). So much has happened in such a short amount of time! I'm going to start with the exciting internship. I LOVE IT!!!! I know I haven't even finished my first week, but it! I have to say, I was REALLY nervous my first day...really jittery! So was nervous and shy the first day and blew the circuit the second day! EEK! I was so embarrassed! I get cold so I have a space heater at my desk and someone else had one on it blew the circuit and shut all the computers down in the operations center! But, they were nice and got it fixed quickly and then just gave me a hard time the rest of the day and made fun of me wearing my wool coat around! Anyhow, it seriously can't get much better than A) getting South American food for lunch every day from amazing cooks, B) working with awesome people and ME being the minority! I LOVE IT!! C) Mate de Coca! It's like a dream come true...i haven't had it since Peru and now I just have to run down to the cafeteria! and Inca Cola (if i liked it). I don't even feel like I'm in America! D) Listening to and reading Spanish all day I'm bound and determined to be fluent! E) I get to be a total news junkie while I'm at work! You all know that is my specialty in life...and now it's my job! I check about 40 different news websites every morning to monitor disasters in South and Central America and the Caribbean and I am in charge of 3 big, flat screen TVs that have CNN and some Latin news on 24-7! I will be doing more than this, but my mentor is leaving next week to Colombia and some other places for 5 weeks, so he's getting everything put together for while he is gone. F) Speaking of my mentor - he's great! Along with the other 2 guys I work with in the Emergency Operation Center. They are so nice and funny. It's fun to have people around that are from other places and have traveled more than me...I love listening to their stories. G) Mutual respect! I'm an intern and they respect me and want my opinion and want me to excel as much as possible while I'm out here. My mentor is putting me on projects that is going to maximize my experience, teach me a lot, but also get my food in the door with some of the big organizations in public USAID!! WOW! So, I must say that so far, so good! Granted I still have mucho tiempo with the internship, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun and I'm going to learn a lot! It's also nice to have George Washington University next door. They have a big medical school and great public health program...which means they also have some great speakers, etc! So I'm going to see what I can do to sneak in on some of those (wow, do i sound like such a nerd right now!).

I love walking around the area and have seen a few of the sites (first time being a tourist in my own country), but it's SO cold! The weather report last night said to expect a "winter mix". I thought it was a joke...I didn't get it. Sounds like a CD or something! And then is said to expect "frozen rain". What the? Frozen rain? Well...I know! And we'll see if I even go to work tomorrow! Since PAHO is government-based, if the weather is bad, the city shuts down and I don't have to go to work! Everyone was so excited about the snow...and I just wanted to cry! Traipsing around DC in dress clothes would be fine, but I make the worst fashion statement in the world when i do! Such a faux pas!!! I shove my stilettos in my purse and only wear them at work and throw my sketchers on while I'm out and about! So ugly, but comfy, warm feet.
I've enjoyed being here and seeing the excitement of the change of Presidency! I am always on the lookout for Mr President...he's one of my married crushes, ya know? Other than all that...not much else to say! Come visit me! I am saving all the site-seeing till it's warmer and when visitors are here!

Need a roommate?!?

So, as you all know, I've been couch hopping for quite sometime now. But now I am doing it in D.C. while I find a place to live. So i'm on craigslist tonight and I kid you not, found this roommate add and I just had to share it! I was laughing so hard. I can't decide if this is someone being serious (which wouldn't surprise me) or if someone just needed a good laugh and had some extra time on their hands.

I own a 2 bedroom condominium in Rosslyn, VA. This condo is completely paid off, so I just need my female roommate to pay half the utilities, which is approximately $100 a person. There is no rent payment. The condo is walking distance to the Rosslyn metro station, Key Bridge and Georgetown.

I am a 28 year old male. I'm slim/athletic (I work out 5 times a week), good looking (people say so and I did some modeling in the past), clean, disease free, and a lot of fun to hang out with. I dress well, and I'm very normal, if not awesome. I have been told that I look exactly like Wilmer Valderrama from The 70s Show. I'll attach his pics so you know who I'm talking about.

Here's the catch: I'm looking for a friends with benefits relationship with my female roommate. You are free to date or have a relationship with whoever you want. However, when we are in the apartment alone, we would regularly mess around. This would be one of the things we do to pass the time in between meals, television watching, tidying up, or whatever random things we each have going on. This would all be casual and friendly. It would also be our little secret. Like I said, this would not interfere with whatever else we each have going on with our lives.

I'm a very normal guy, and my apartment is great. Your room is unfurnished. We would share a full bathroom. I keep a very tidy apartment so I expect you to do the same.

If this arrangement sounds like something you can do, shoot me an e-mail with your pic or full description and something about yourself. Only respond if you are serious and comfortable with this kind of arrangement. Please, no males.

17 January 2009

ChRisTmAs BrEaK

Ahhh...the joy of relaxing after a rough and tough semester! I finished my third, and final, semester of grad school course work. Off to D.C. I go this next week, which I am very excited about, however was a bit sadden not starting classes today and being up at the school with my friends from the program. It'll be weird for sure! I am excited for my adventure that I'm about to embark on, but starting to get nervous! is what went on the past few weeks while I enjoyed my Christmas break!!

I love Christmas time and I feel like this year it came and went WAY too fast! I literally enjoyed it on Christmas day and that was about it! Finals went SO late and I was so concentrated on that, that I had no time for anything else. Ugh! Anyway, Christmas eve and Christmas day were wonderful, as always. I was able to sit back and relax (which I rarely get to do), so that was fantastic! I also met up with the brothers and their wives the night before Christmas eve and went to the lights downtown. I was hesitant to go, because I didn't want to ruin date night and be the fifth wheel. Lucky for me though, my nephew came and I had a date with little Jackson! haha We had a good time though and it was fun to spend time with all of them.


Clearly this day was centered around Jackson...seeing how he's in almost EVERY last picture!

I also got to see some high school girlfriends that were in town....and those that live here. We got together one night for some food and fun with all them and their husbands (yes, fun, even if I was the seventh or ninth wheel! haha)

I also thouroughly enjoyed watching my Utes stomp on 'Bama in the Sugar Bowl! I am so proud of them and am sad that college football season is over! :(

12 January 2009

Utah Man Sir...will be til I die!

Life of Reilly

Oklahoma and Florida can battle for the BCS. But we've already crowned the true national champ.

by Rick Reilly

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Utes trampled Alabama to complete a perfect season. How are they not national champions?
Some gifts people give are pointless: Styling mousse to Dick Vitale. An all-you-can-eat card to Kate Moss. The BCS Championship given to Oklahoma or Florida.
It means nothing because the BCS has no credibility. Florida? Oklahoma? Who cares? Utah is the national champion.
The End. Roll credits.
Argue with this, please. I beg you. Find me anybody else that went undefeated. Thirteen-and-zero. Beat four ranked teams. Went to the Deep South and seal-clubbed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The same Alabama that was ranked No. 1 for five weeks. The same Alabama that went undefeated in the regular season. The same Alabama that Florida beat in order to get INTO the BCS Championship game in the first place.
Yeah, that's how it is now in the shameful, money-grubbing world of college football. If you're Florida and you beat Alabama, you get a seat in the title game. If you're Utah, you get a seat on your sofa.
Hey, remind me: What do they give out for one of those BCS things anyway? It's been so long since I cared. Something from Sears? This is the sixth year in the past 10 that the title has been in dispute under this cash-grab, fan-dis, monopoly that the BCS has created. Which is why the title game just doesn't matter anymore. It's like being named Miss Ogallala. Or Best Amish Electrician.
Just take a look at the teams that think they're worthy of being called national champs:
USC? Great year. Wonderful. Let's all go to SkyBar and celebrate. But it lost to Oregon State, a team Utah beat.
Texas? You think beating Ohio State by a nubby three points gets you the title? The Big Ten was 1-6 in bowl games! That's like pinning David Spade!
Florida and Oklahoma? They lost. Utah never did.
So that's it. Utah is the national champion. The Utes should probably have two now, actually. They went undefeated in 2004, too, and their coach still thinks they were the best team in the land. Smart fella named Urban Meyer. Coaches Florida now.
By the way, we're calling our title the "national" championship because it actually includes the whole nation­—all 119 Division I schools—unlike the BCS, which includes 66. Yeah, the BCS somehow eliminated the middleman—the NCAA. The conferences these schools play in take their dump trucks full of cash straight from the TV networks and fairness can go suck a lemon.

Nettie Tien
The Utes won't get the trophy they really deserve, so we gave them one of our own design.
Do me a favor. Call Ohio State president Gordon Gee and ask him why he won't support a playoff. He's one of the most powerful presidents in the NCAA. He could get it done. If he says anything other than, "We don't want to share the loot" then you know he's lying his bow tie off.
"This is not how we normally do things in America," says Utah president Michael Young. "In America, quality usually wins, not conspiracy. And there's a reason people usually enter into a conspiracy. It's money. You make money doing it. And those that are in on the conspiracy want to stay in and keep everybody else out."
Sure, BCS blowhards will hand you schlock about how the college football season is like a playoff, how it's an elimination tournament every week. Really? Well, how come Florida and Oklahoma weren't eliminated with their losses? Utah ran the table, beat everybody set in front of them, including Ala-damn-bama in no less than the Sugar Bowl, and gets the bagel.
Oh, by the way? It was Utah's eighth straight bowl win, the nation's longest streak. Among the losers during that run? Let's see USC, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and now the legendary Houndstooth Hats.
"What else do we have to prove?" asks Utah's magical quarterback, Brian Johnson. Good question. He and the Utes essentially whipped Alabama at home. Handed Nick Saban a garlic necklace to wear the entire offseason. Stepped on his team's neck 21-0 in the first three possessions and never looked back. Let's see. Who was it that was losing to Alabama until nearly six minutes into the fourth quarter? Oh, yeah. Florida.
What, you want the Utes to win a spelling bee? Make a prize-winning souffle? Knock up Angelina Jolie? What?
It just slays me. It really does.
Call Myles Brand, president of the asleep-at-the-wheel NCAA, and ask him if he and his greedy presidents are going to stand in defiance of president-elect Barack Obama, who said again this week he wants a playoff and wants it yesterday.
Call Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner and BCS bully John Swofford and ask him what he's going to do if Obama starts asking the Justice Department to look into anti-trust violations against the BCS. The Utah attorney general has already launched an investigation into that very thing.
Ask him what he'll do if Obama asks the Department of Education to consider withholding federal funds from these schools that have entered into his secret club. You don't think playing in the title game means millions in general-fund donations for a school? That's as unfair as anything Title IX fought against.
Until all these people do the right thing, I'll be celebrating with the true national champions — the undefeated, untied Utah Utes. (Our new slogan: Utahk about a team!)
Lemonades for everybody!