Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cherry Blossom Festival

Hordes of people have descended on the Capitol City for the Cherry Blossoms!

I spent today in DC shopping with my step-sister Emily and Spencer at Eastern Market--and then we drove through the huge crowds who had come to see the Cherry Blossoms.

A Day at the Beach

This is Chincoteague Island. It's located just off the coast of Virginia--just south of Ocean City, Maryland.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Morning Gratitude

It's morning. I love mornings. I'm tired because I didn't go to bed as early as I should have, but I feel fine. I'm doing laundry because the washer is finally fixed.

The world outside is covered with wet from the rain last night. And just outside my window, the trees are finally starting to blossom.

It's so quiet right now. Everyone has gone to work, and I'll be getting dressed and heading off soon enough, but right now--I can just be.

I'm really grateful right now for everything in my life. There are some problems that I can handle, but I have a lot of blessings.

I am overwhelmed with worry for my friend Crystal. She's suffering from Lupus and she's pregnant. Please remember her in your prayers. She deserves all the blessings in the world.

Today I'm going to work on my audiiton for the Kennedy Center, workout at the gym, and go to dinner with my step-sister Emily who is in town working on a movie with Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams. And then tomorrow, Spencer and I are headed to an island off the coast that has wild horses. When he brought up the suggestion of going to the ocean yesterday, I immediately began to cry. I can't describe how much I love the ocean. I'll try to put it into words after I get back. But in the meantime, just the thought of it makes me weep!

So, yeah--that's life today. It's good. And I really like it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend

Sherando Lake. The trees this weekend weren't blossomed yet, but this picture kind of captures the beauty of the place.
the Jefferson Memorial
Sufjan Stevens--check him out if you haven't yet.
This is a pic of the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Spencer and I went to Staunton this weekend. It was heaven. I didn't take a single picture. But here's a brief list of activities we did and some pictures to go with it.

1. We saw Volpone at the Blackfriars with my friend Aja from Iowa.
2. Ate gourmet food at Zynadoa's afterwards.
3. Visited Sherando Lake.
4. Stayed with Lesley and Robert. (thanks for being wonderful hosts!)
5. Ate fancy cheeses and proscuitto!
6. Visited the Jefferson Memorial at night-(after driving back into DC of course--not to confuse anyone.)
7. Went to church and oggled all of the cute little kids in their matching easter outfits.
8. Listened to Sufjan Stevens and Portishead, (among others) on the drive to and from.

We left Friday at 3pm after a heinous workout and we got back into the city Sunday night at around 10:30pm, which is the perfect time to visit the monuments!

I fell asleep praying last night. It was uncomfortable to wake up on my knees 2 hours later, but hopefully I adequately articulated in my sleeping devotion how grateful I was for everything in my life.

I learned so many wonderful things about the resurrection this weekend by just being out in nature. My senses were completely overwhelmed. The earth was beautiful to see. The music was beautiful to listen to. Spencer wears this cologne that is to die for, so my nose was in heaven. Then we ate this cherry cheese and fancy gouda--and it was heaven in my mouth!! And my heart was bursting with love for Robert and Lesley. And of course for Spencer--my hot and smelly friend!

The four of us did the bunny hop with the Easter bunny that was dressed up outside the hallmark store on Saturday.

That was a riot.

And Lesley gave me a sack of stuff I'd left with her and in it was a letter from my brother Jack. He died about 5 years ago. The letter was a wonderful letter he'd written to me 11 years ago. It was such a beautiful reminder of my unending gratitude to my Savior for the blessings of the atonement and resurrection.

Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Comments and Seduction

I have to tell you that I absolutely love reading the comments--but I never quite know whether to respond to them or not! Sometimes I don't notice that they're there for a few days and I think about responding--then I think--how will they know the response is there? Isn't this kind of like talking to myself?

So I hesitate. But I shouldn't hesitate. I'll probably respond to comments on your blogs though--just so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself.

As for Spencer and the whole "friend" thing--we are! It's great! I've discovered in my old age that I'm really good at being friends with guys. I become neurotic and insecure when things start to go anywhere else. Do I need help? Probably. Am I completely happy with things just the way they are right now? Absolutely. I get the feeling that Spencer would suck at being more than friends anyway--and then I would have to break his heart--and then I would lose a great friend.

Someday a guy will come along who demands more from me than just friendship, and I will muddle through being in a relationship. And I will completely suck at it--as I have my whole life--but he'll know that and he'll have the patience to put up with me in that state. And then all will be well. And Spencer and I will still be friends--because I won't be torturing him--I'll be torturing the poor sap who decided that it was a good idea to have a relationship with a neurotic twit like me!

In the meantime--in an effort to feel as though I'm moving towards a more permanent relationship--I am trying to become more seductive and mysterious. I'm getting really good at it. All the men want me. I'm having a hard time fighting them off. Seriously. Wow! Life is so hard when you're as seductive and mysterious as me.

Okay. That was a lie.

But someday soon it won't be a lie! (Perhaps before I'm 40.) I'm practicing my cheshire grin.

Here--take a look at my new seductive smile: Oh wait--it's at the top of the blog. Anyway--that's my new look. You like? (It isn't my friend Susan Heyward at all--it's really me!)

Well, it's me taking the picture anyway. I wish it was me. But I figure if I can take a picture like that--than I can totally become a seductive woman.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March Madness

I love March.

March is the time when your tax refund magically appears in your bank account and the world begins to blossom!

Yesterday I went on a great walk with my roommate Clarissa down this fabulous path near our house. We walked through this great wooded area near a river, just enjoying the lovely weather.

Today I took a different path and wandered past these great big houses--through the woods again. It's so beautiful outside.

We performed for an alternative high school in Baltimore yesterday morning. It was a good show. I really like performing it. Afterwards we got to meet the kids, and they were very receptive. I taught my independent study student yesterday afternoon, then went for my little nature walk.

Spencer and I went shopping last night. I was trying to find some baby clothes to send to my sister. Little Konner is still soooo little! So I bought him socks and onesies and a cute new blankie. And Spencer bought me a beautiful Oscar de la Renta scarf.

We had great Mexican food for dinner--and frankly I just about died laughing too many times. After dinner, we went back to his place and he played guitar and I lounged in his candlelit room just enjoying the absolute presentness of the moment. I felt indescribably content. At about 2am, I finally packed it in and went home.

This blog hardly does the evening justice. It's just nice to be able to relax and laugh with a friend. I love it when you can be with a friend and not worry about anything. The silence was absolutely golden. I don't know how to describe it. I just had a really nice time.

And today, I'm trying to correct the research papers that my students have emailed me--but yahoo is being really slow. So I'm killing time typing a blog.

My brother Matt told me that they think he has a piece of metal in his stomach from his appendectomy this summer. He's had horrible stomach problems eversince. And he was back in the hospital last night after a bad reaction to percoset. I'm worried about him. But I hope that he'll be okay. He's had a rough year. I don't know what to do for him.

I should get back to grading papers and eating beef jerky. I love beef jerky!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

a perfectly lovely weekend

This was a wonderful weekend. I'm feeling better, albeit my cough lingers and my voice is horrid. But I'm not feverish anymore, and I'm able to keep down my food. I've written my final exams for classes. Everyone is taken care of. Rehearsals are officially over and we're in the full swing of performances.

I decided that I would make absolutely no plans for this weekend. There was a lot of things going on, but I wasn't going to make any plans. The weekend just unfolded into this fabulous list of great things.

Friday night, Spencer invited me to stay with him at this big house in the country, just off of the George Washington Parkway. It was set in the woods, and we got to dogsit this amazing little doggy! We stayed up watching idiotic tv, and I totally schooled him at Connect 4. The competition was fierce to decide who the dog loved more, but in the end, Spencer was the clear winner. In the morning, I made a big breakfast and we took the dog for a walk through the woods and found giant bamboo walking sticks.

We both left the house at 11am and I headed over to the Alexandria Black History Museum. I spent the hour reading up about the history of African Americans in film, and reading up on the history. I bought a bunch of post cards of influential figures to show my class on Monday and headed home.

Then my roommate Sarah and I decided to go to lunch at Chipotle and then drive into the city to enjoy her little nieces who live just off Capitol Hill. They live a block away from Eastern Market. After visiting with the girls, who at 2 are soooo cute--we went over to the market. There wasn't a lot to look at since it was later in the afternoon, but I loved the electricity in the air.

I came home and then went to a great ward activity where we ate great food and I was able to get to know some great people in my ward.

After the activity, I randomly stopped at Payless and found the cutest pair of green shoes and a pair of black pumps!

Then my old friend Aja and her friend Chenasum stopped over. They stayed the night because they were leaving early for Dulles Airport. We had such a great time talking and laughing till midnight. I miss that girl so much! She is an incredible woman.

Today was Sunday, and about as low-key as i could make it. I got to spend time with my roommates, which is always a joy. And now I'm ready to hit the hay.

I wish I had taken more pictures, but hey--just imagine that everything was perfect and you'll have a good idea of what it looked like.

my struggling little voice

I have always taken my voice for granted. It's always been there. It's been this amazing source of joy to me for so long. If I need to unwind, I'll turn on the radio, and so long as it's a song I can sing a long with, I'm a happy girl.

It's amazing how annoying songs become when you can't sing along with them. There are some pretty annoying songs on the radio. I have had this horrible cold/flu thingy since February 26th. From Feb 27th-March 1st, I lost 17 pounds because I was doing this cough/vomit thing. I haven't been that sick in ages. The cough comes and goes, but it's still unbearably violent.

Luckily, I've been able to perform in the show adequately enough for the audiences to at least hear me, but i can't use my voice to paint any sort of pictures. I have no nuances to offer. And I can't sing!!

So I decided to take this weekend to relax and I did! I shall post about my perfect weekend in another post--because it was lovely--and it deserves it's own post.

Despite my efforts to relax, I still couldn't sing in the choir today, (I'm choir president and we're singing next week.) And my friend Spencer is now officially worried that if I don't start getting better that I'm going to end up with vocal nodes. It's very disheartening. I can't sing!! It sucks!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

General Worries

It's a gorgeous Thursday morning. I don't have rehearsal today because yesterday we opened the show! It went incredibly well, despite the fact that I can't talk. We performed for a middle school in Baltimore and the kids loved it. After the performances, we do a Shakespeare workshop with the kids and we learned to love them right back. The teacher who had asked us to come just raved about the whole experience, and before we had finished the third workshop, she called and asked if we could return to do more workshops with the kids. So, we'll probably be back next week.

It was a great way to start our tour. We'll be touring around the tri-state area, visiting schools and teaching residencies and workshops until June. Then that job ends, and hopefully another one will begin.

So now I find myself on a Thursday morning, after a Wednesday that went from 4am to 11:30pm when I got home from teaching.

It's 8:03am, and I'm dressed and ready to go workout. I don't have any appointments until this afternoon. My dear roommates have done the dishes. The trash is taken out. And I have time to contemplate on myself.

Here are my worries: 1) I worry that I don't know how to have fun sometimes. I'm always trying to get things done, and fun just distracts me from the task at hand. This makes me a dull girl--and i don't want to be dull.

2) My loans will start coming due in full force in May. I really don't want a regular day job, but I worry that I'm going to have to get one.

3) I am concerned about my weight. It's not attractive.

I'm the kind of person that wants to solve worries immediately, but money and weight have always been concerns that I've hid my head in the sand about. I would like to take the next few months to seriously develop my character with regards to these two issues. As for not being fun enough--I think I'll just surround myself with fun people and hope something rubs off.

So--I'm going to be different with money. I'm going to save it! I'm going to make sure to not let checks bounce. It's going to be a new day! And as for weight loss--I'm going to go walking right now, and come back and do some big time sit-ups and push-ups. It's one day at a time I'm going down that long road. I'm gonna do it!

I'm feeling rather motivated right now, and a little hokey for sharing--but oh well!