Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Winter Vacation

So about two hours ago I got back from Aspen. I’m extremely stressed out right now because I was basically busy every second of the trip; I had very little time for homework. Let’s just say that I will be paying for all the fun I had last week in the next two weeks and during finals. I know I already did a blog post about my trip but that was earlier in the week and a lot has happened since then.

First of all I got to meet the 7 Olympic athletes that are from Roaring Fork Valley. Roaring Fork Valley is the county that Aspen is located in. The event was held in downtown Aspen not far from where we were staying. It was so amazing to get to meet them and shake their hands knowing that in just a few short days they would be leaving to compete in Vancouver. After the little ceremony two of the athletes stayed to sign autographs. The lines (or should I say mobs?) you had to wait in to get the autographs were really long but I would have waited all night if I had to. The two athletes that stayed were Gretchen Bleiler and Chris Klug. Gretchen and Chris are both snowboarders. Gretchen has been my idol for as long as I can remember so I couldn’t believe it when I was actually meeting her. I had always been a skier until about 3 or 4 years ago when I read in depth about Gretchen in one of my magazines. I remember that day telling my parents that I wanted to snowboard the next year when we went on our trip, instead of skiing. I even hung a bunch of Gretchen Bleiler posters around my room not having any idea that one day I would be able to meet her. What made her even more amazing to me was that her favorite place to board was at Snowmass and she trained there as a kid. It is a family tradition to go to Snowmass so I felt like I had something in common with her. So basically meeting Gretchen was like a dream come true and an experience I will definitely be telling my grandchildren about. I also met Chris Klug and got his autograph. I like to follow him to, mainly because he is so freaking gorgeous. Needless to say, I am very excited to watch them perform in the Olympics in Vancouver.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Research Project

I can’t really decide what I want to do for my research topic but I just want to get some ideas out there. I kind of want to go into a medical field so I looked into that category and I again ran into the link between vaccinations and autism. I couldn’t really find anything else that actually interested me. My aunt is a pharmacist so I decided to give her a call and ask her what she thought, since she is in the medical field. She told me that marijuana is a hot topic right now because it is legalized in several states for medical uses. I know we aren’t supposed to take sides but I got a clear picture of the two sides: medical marijuana should be legal and helps people who are in desperate amounts of pain compared to marijuana is a highly addictive drug and should never be legalized no matter what the circumstances. Of course there is still everything in between as well. I also have no idea which side I would chose, further research would definitely help me with that. I haven’t chosen this topic for sure yet but I really like it and I might use it.

This was an interesting article that explained how the Los Angeles City Council recently developed an ordinance to allow medical marijuana.

My Sister's Keeper

Right now I’m about halfway through reading My Sister’s Keeper. I have already seen the movie but my friends spoiled it for me and told me that the movie’s ending is much different than the books ending. They didn’t stop here though; they told me exactly how they were different. I personally think that the ending to the movie is better than the book ending because it is a lot more realistic which is what I like. So if you haven’t read this book yet and you plan on reading it here is your spoiler alert: I suggest not reading any farther than this sentence. So in the book the ending happens like this: Anna ends up dying in a car crash and her sister Kate survives. Confused? You will be if you haven’t read the book yet. You see, Kate basically has terminal leukemia. When her parents find this out, they decided to have a baby so that Kate will have a donor. This isn’t done naturally though; it’s done using this high tec stuff I don’t really want to get into in this blog post. Basically, Anna spends her entire life in the hospital just as Kate does, even though she is not sick. Anna then decides that she wants to sue her parents for the right to her own body. At least that is what the reader thinks. Later we discover that Kate wants to die, she is tired of fighting the disease and just wants to go to heaven. This is why she asks her sister Anna to help her but not allowing her kidney to be donated. Long story short, in the movie Kate dies in the end. It is still a happy ending though because I felt that the family was at peace. They did everything they could to save their daughter even though it wasn’t good enough. You have to see the movie to understand though because I know that the last few sentences made very little sense from a parent’s point of view.

I think this book is really good and that every girl should make an effort to read it (Guys can too, but it’s kind of a chic book). It made me realize that the hardships I was going through in life weren’t really that bad and that it could be a whole lot worse. I could have some sort of terminal cancer or a disease that wouldn’t allow me to live my life the way I do today. Although it was a sad movie and I walked out of the theater crying, I feel that I also left the theater a different person because the movie (and the book for that matter) touched me so much. I don’t take setbacks in my life as hard now as I used to, I use the setbacks as stepping stones to move forward. For example, I used to freak out when I would fail a test or forget to turn in an assignment. Now, I just take it as a means to know I need to work harder the next time. In the end, that one little test or assignment won’t have that much effect on my life as a whole.

This is a link to an excerpt of the book.


So this week I’m on vacation in Aspen, Colorado. This is part of the reason I forgot until about 5 minutes ago that I had to finish my blog posts tonight. The other reason being that tonight was the Super Bowl and I just couldn’t pull myself away. It’s actually really interesting because I’m in the lobby right now of my hotel and there are a bunch of German men speaking none other than German of course.

It is a family tradition for us to come out to Aspen at least once every year and ski. It is definitely my favorite place to ski but that might be because it’s the only place I’ve ever skied. Other than at Dubuque but that can hardly be counted as skiing (Fake snow most of the time, hills instead of mountains, and a bunch of people that suck at skiing). No offense to any faithful Dubuque skiers. Today was my first day of skiing on the trip. It was quite painful; I’m not going to lie. The ski boots were tight (I’m pretty used to my comfortable Uggs) and on top of that I would say I’m pretty out of shape at the moment. Other than that it was a really fun first day. Okay, so this is random but right now I’m greatly distracted by these German men, who cannot figure out how to cook a bag of instant oatmeal. I feel a bit guilty not going over to help them but this blog post is more important at the moment because I really want to go to bed.

Other than that I haven’t done anything too exciting yet. I guess me and my cousins did go hot tubing earlier which was okay. Then we ran into the snow and made snow angels. I thought it would be fun to just back into the hot water but I was wrong. It stung like hell but for some reason we kept doing it. We also watched the Super Bowl which was good. I found the commercials a lot more interesting than the actual game but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought that. I didn’t really care who won but I kind of wanted the Indiana Colts to win just because they’re from the Midwest. That’s usually the way I decide what team I want to win when Iowa isn’t playing. Of course New Orleans won but I wasn’t too bummed or anything. Not like I would have been if Iowa would have lost to Iowa State during the season.

I am kind of backtracking a little bit but I just wanted to say that the way out to Colorado was pretty fun because we rode the train which we have never done before. The only other time I have spent the night on the train was when I went to Spain last summer. The ride was a bit bumpy but it was way better than being in a cramped car all those days. The meals were also very nice because there was always desert. I didn’t have to talk my aunt and uncle into buying it either because it was free with the ticket we bought. It was a lot slower than flying which we usually do but it was a lot less stressful so it was worth it.