Sunday, January 27, 2008

Turning 30

Today is my 30th birthday.

There are certain aspects of this event that should trouble me.

I have vague memories of driving to San Francisco to visit my mother's friend when I was young and realizing with horror that this friend, who was my mother's age--(30) was SINGLE! It just didn't play out in my view of the universe. People's lives consisted of childhood, being young, and then getting married and having a family. Age without family was too much for my mind to handle.

This line of thought follows the same reasoning as when I thought the words "earth", "world", and "America" were synonymous. The "United States" was the name of the country, "of America"--meant "of the world."

The whole world was one happy America!

Needless to say, time has educated me in both issues. As I watch my friend's marry and enjoy that part of life, I don't feel horrified at my single predicament. I recognize my advantages. I have a great respect for my married friends and the time that it takes to make that commitment work. Every time I want to relish some down time or alone time, I am grateful that I'm single. And although sex would be nice, sleeping in on a Saturday morning instead of making breakfast for excited toddlers is oh so sweet.

I don't sit around and mope. I really don't have time to even worry about it--which is probably why I'm not married yet. But on birthdays like today, it's interesting to think back to where you thought you would end up.

I think if someone would have told me that when I was 30, I'd be teaching Philosophy of Ethics and American Experience to students from all over the world in Washington, DC--that I'd be working as an actor with Maryland Shakespeare Festival--and that I'd enjoy the company of talented, intelligent, and kind friends---I think I would have completely embraced that dream. But the fact is--that dream wasn't even part of my vocabulary of ideas.

Which brings me to my random, round about point--I know now, better than I have ever known--that whatever will happen in my life is beyond my own limited vision. I know that I can hardly begin to dream the means to my end. I know that I am beyond knowing the future, and I wholeheartedly give up trying to figure anything out. I'm happy and everyday I will seek to bring happiness to those I love, and that's all that ever mattered.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My fabulous weekend!

I'm kind of excited by all the things I got to do this weekend. So I'm making a list.

Friday: We moved our offices in Bethesda. I no longer have my room with a view. As the office admin, I was responsible for seeing that things came off without a hitch--and they did!

Friday night: I met my roommate Sarah in Chevy Chase and we went to dinner and a movie. We were early for the showing, so we went to a jewelry store and looked at diamonds! Why? Because they're pretty! And we met Tim and he told us all sorts of stories about diamonds!

We went and saw 27 Dresses. I won't ruin it for you by expressing my opinion. I enjoyed it--but I found it utterly unempowering. I had some real problems with the message it conveyed. I'll go off on it after everyone's had a chance to enjoy it. I think I just don't like chick flicks.

Late Friday night/Early Saturday morning:
I took Sarah to Dulles Airport

I went to see There Will Be Blood with Josh. He came to get me at 11:30am. Who sets an alarm clock for 11:30am?!! Not me! I woke up to hear him talking to the neighbor. He had tried calling and texting and I was out like a light.

This movie was brilliant! Nuff said. I'll go off about it later. I need to keep the list going!

Saturday afternoon:
Josh and I visited the National Geographic Museum and looked at pretty photos while talking politics. Ahhh sweet politics!

Saturday evening:
We celebrated Spencer's birthday at Smith and Wollensky's! (I had the filet mignon!)

Saturday night:
We watched Stranger Than Fiction at Christina's house. (Giant sigh of joy!)

Sunday morning:
Church! I taught the lesson on the nature of God the Father in Relief Society. (insert another Giant sigh of joy!)

Sunday Afternoon:
Choir practice!

Sunday night:

I drove down to Harrisonburg and spent Monday visiting with Crystal and her family. I attended her class at Mary Baldwin College. She teaches a Women's Health class that was sooo interesting! She's a brilliant woman and I'm proud to call her my friend.

Monday night: I drove back to DC after enjoying time in the country among friends.

It's times like these that make life really worth living.

(Giant sigh of joy for all of it--the whole shebang.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It's been a while since I wrote a blog. I've been feeling a bit under the weather during the past week. I've been going through the motions, but I haven't really enjoyed the motions. I've organized my life in such a way that I am doing what I want to be doing, but even my best laid plans don't stop the inevitable tide of depression that comes over me on a pretty regular basis.

I'd like to think that this is situational, but I know it's not. These bouts of depression came to me when I was on my mission, in college, in Iowa, grad school, in plays, out of plays, etc. etc. They're just a fact of life. I remember my mother used to face her little bouts. And I learned from her that sometimes the best thing to do is to lay down and shut the door so that you don't inadvertently say something you'll regret.

She taught me that sleep was the best cure for days like these, and I know she's right. So, I slept for the better part of today.

My thoughts went all over the place. I couldn't imagine who I could call, and even when I did think of someone--I can never think of anything worthwhile to talk about. For the most part, I have a very ordered and boring life.

This doesn't mean that there aren't a slew of people that I absolutely love and adore--but most of them are far away. I think part of what makes me sad this go round is how much I miss the people I love.

Robin and Carl were in town on Monday. I can't even describe how wonderful it was to have an intelligent conversation with two faithful LDS people who are both liberal democrats. They shared with me what it was like to go to the debates, to vote in the Iowa caucuses, and I was able to share my opinions without having to explain myself or justify my political stance.

Back to this depression though--I have spent the day decompressing. I have spent the day distancing myself from everything and everyone. Tomorrow I will wake up early and go to work and enjoy a very nice weekend. And all of this will have disappeared for the time being.

I can't stop it from happening, but experience has shown that the moods don't last forever. The Navajo teach that harmony and balance is the most important thing. That Good and Bad are necessary to provide balance. So I'm embracing this "mood" and tomorrow I will have regained my balance. The Buddhists teach that suffering is a disparity between your desires and your reality. Westerners will seek to change reality in order to alleviate suffering, while Buddhists will seek to change their desires.

I am at peace with the storms in my mind. I enjoy the time apart. My reality remains unchanged, but somehow I feel a little better. A little more in control.

I'll be 30 in a week.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Class is in Session, I am not

I am excited about this new term. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and I really enjoy making money doing something that I love.

I never quite feel adequately ready for a lecture though. But I've learned that the more "prepared" I am--the more I'm likely to rush and I don't listen to the dynamics and the needs of the particular students. So I find that if I have an outline and a few fall back plans--but I let myself flounder for the specifics--I'm much more likely to tune into the students needs.

Tonight I was sufficiently unprepared, but I just couldn't find the click. I went through each back up plan and I made sure to try and sense when they were ready for a break. I broke them into small groups to present different viewpoints on what we were discussing. We had group discussion after group discussion--but I just didn't have that click.

I'm not sure what was missing. I am impressed with these students, but I feel like the class is going to go in a different direction this term. I'm excited for it.

The history class went a little differently than expected. There were only 4 people in the class, and one person was absent. When the three guys showed up, the first two told me that they had to leave right away. That left me and RJ. Good old RJ. He was in it for the long haul. (His name is not RJ.)

We talked all about the early American Indians and the French Settlers and the Spanish and Portuguese Settlers. We talked about the Roanoke Colony. We talked from 6 to 8:30pm. Then it dawned on me that he wasn't going to retain anything more and that I was torturing this boy. So I sent him home early and I went and watched the game!

During the course of our many conversations, I introduced him to different Anishnaabe stories about the beginning of the world and we talked about the similarities between their traditions and Christianity. That opened up questions about dinosaurs and the Bible. I wanted to leave him with the idea that it is okay to believe in and embrace the wonders of the world of science while holding onto your faith in God. I talked to him about the idea that carbon dating is a science that relies on the idea that the world has evolved or aged at the same rate during it's entire life. And this is simply something that we have no way of proving. Therefore we have no conclusive way of knowing how old the earth is. Of course we talked about the idea of 7 creative periods. And I talked about the idea that the difference between Adam and other possible homo sapiens before him is that God breathed his Spirit into him. The creation of man was the moment that the spirit and the body united. And we know the spirit to be the child of God. I tried to be as general and scientific about it as possible. I wanted to him to feel good about continuing to study science, while appealing to his clear need to reconcile it with his faith.

I want to elaborate on the carbon dating thing. I tried to explain to him clearly--but I think this is a clearer way and I want to write it down for future reference. You have a picture of a person at 2 months old and at 12 months old. This person is now an adult. You measure the rate at which they are aging now and use that rate of aging to determine the difference in age between the person at 2 months old and 12 months old. This would age the human considerably. An adult changes very little over 10 months--so with that measurement--you'd have to assume that the person aged by hundreds of years from 2 months to 12 months old.

This is how carbon dating works. It presumes that it is accurate to assume that the earth--unlike every other living organism on the planet--has aged at the same rate for it's entire existence. Now why would the earth be different from everyone else? It wouldn't be. Is it possible for us to know the rate at which the earth has aged? Not that I know of.

But then again, I'm not a scientist. I'm just a person who likes for things to make sense.

Tomorrow I teach another Ethics class. It's gonna be great!

Monday, January 7, 2008

US History starts tomorrow--strike that--today!

It's 2:11am. I'm reading about the different clans within American Indian traditions.

I think I'm a little nervous for my 4.5 hour class that I get to teach tomorrow night.

It's going to be good, but it's the first class of the term, and I'm just a little nervous about everything. I cancelled my dentist appointment in the morning.

It's gonna be fine!

I should stop posting and go back to reading!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I was wrong

Sooooo. . .

I'm a little humbled.

But very pleased!! Go Obama Barack!

As for Huckabee--I knew he'd win it, but I can't say it pleases me.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Today is the Day!

Iowa Caucuses! Today! Ohmygosh! This is the most exciting election ever!

I make no predictions. I hope that Obama wins--but frankly--I'm pretty happy with all the Democratic candidates.

As for the Republicans--I secretly hope McCain takes the lead.

So these are my hopes: Obama and McCain.

These are not my predictions. My predictions are Huckabee and Edwards.

There you have it!


I've spent the last two nights watching Bowl Games. I forgot how much I love watching football! I have to decide what I'm doing for my upcoming birthday, and I think I want to either go with a group to dinner and a live show, or I want to have people over to watch one of the play-off games and eat homemade hoagies and caramel popcorn.

I'm excited to celebrate with friends--but I'm not particularly excited to age. I like my age right now. I could stay this age forever. And as far as anyone else is concerned--I will.

Tomorrow I'll embrace it. But in the meantime--I'm going to try and talk about being 29 as often as possible before my birthday. I just want to say it over and over again, "Hi! I'm Eve! I'm 29!"
"Hey, yeah--I'm totally in my 20s!"

I am pathetic.

But for the most part I have amazing friends who have gone before me into this decade and who make me feel very good about this big birthday. Some of the sexiest, coolest people I know are in their 30s. And some of the most vapid, self-absorbed idiots I know are in their 20s.

I'm not sure why I'm even bothered by this birthday when I think about it in those terms!

I love watching football while crammed on a leather couch next to two hot guys. I love watching West Virginia University play the game. They're just so elegant! It was a fabulous display of skill.

Tomorrow night Virginia Tech plays. I don't know if I can handle another late night. My co-workers thought I was hung over today. I wasn't of course, but it has been a very long week of football, dancing, and late nights.

I love New Years week!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Years!

I have to say I'm a bit of a Scrooge on New Years Eve. I have too many horrible memories of trying to find a party or have a nice time, only to end up driving alone when the ball drops. I am a bit of a New Years loser. But last night was just fun!

We started off driving to the DC Temple where my roommate was playing Mary in the live Nativity. There were hordes of people visiting because the Visitor's Center was hosting New Years Dancers from China. I met up with friends there--we hugged and then headed off to the first party of the night. When we got there we were the first guests. I found myself playing guitar hero for the first time. I think with some practice I could be a guitar master!

After a while, we all piled in cars and drove back to Virginia for more parties. I took my own car and headed straight to the church for the dance. I ran into friends from SVU, from Charlottesville, and of course from DC. I couldn't really find my groove though. But things picked up as soon as I started dancing the polka with Dave Briggs!

Then my roommates arrived after a pit stop at another party. It was so much fun to just dance with friends and celebrate the beginning of a fabulous new year!

At midnight I kissed as many guys as I could find on the cheek and enjoyed the excuse to hug everyone in sight. I danced with some great guys, but I was so happy to be around friends. I felt such love for everyone there.

After the dance, I headed to another party where I kissed more boys on the cheeks and then we went home and watched a movie on the projector. I fell asleep about 2 minutes into the movie.

It was great to celebrate 2008! Things are great in 2008!

I'm such a dork. But I'm a happy dork!