Sunday, November 30, 2008

Touring DC

After a great Thanksgiving, I took Jon, Mallorie and Ben on a tour of DC. Because time was short--I took them on a special tour of my favorite places in DC.

We started at the LDS Temple. It was beautiful. We went through the Reflections of Christ exhibit.
Next stop on the tour was the National Cathedral.

Ben and I heard a cool story about a carver who had carved a horse with a snake in his mouth. The horse has the face of Winston Churchill and the snake has the face of Hitler. He carved it before WWII started. He says, "I carved a prophecy." So neat!

And then we went to the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever been in.

And then we sang Christmas Carols in the Echo Chamber at the Canadian Embassy. It's so neat. You can't really hear what people are saying when you're inside the pillars, but if you're standing in the pillars--the sound echos all around. It's so beautiful!

Sadly, Ben had to leave early to catch the Chinatown Bus back to NYC.
After dropping Ben off, we went to the Jefferson Memorial.

And we finished the day off driving by the Masonic Temple.

We hit the LDS Temple, the Cathedral, A Temple of Learning, the Jefferson Memorial always strikes me as a sacred place, and the Masonic Temple.

I love that ideals and spirituality are memorialized so beautifully here. I love that we have monuments to learning and to wisdom. It makes me happy.

Come out to DC and we'll go on the same tour!


Thanksgiving was huge. Describing it will be difficult.

But I will attempt it.

Wednesday I cleaned.

Thursday, I cooked a wicked tasty turkey.

The guests started coming at about 2pm. We had a grand total of about 40 peeps come for dinner and dessert. We sat around huge church tables spread across the house.

My friend Jon came down from Philly and my friend Ben came down from NYC. Bri came up from Charlottesville. I can't describe how happy I was to have so many friends come. I know Jon from my mission. Ben and I were friends in Iowa. And I knew Bri when I was in grad school. It was so wonderful to have friends from so many different walks in my life.

Thursday night we went to see Bolt.

We came home and played Trivial Pursuit and some other game. We all fell into bed after midnight. It was a wonderful day filled with great food, wonderful friends--both old and new. We had little kids running everywhere. And pie. Lots of pie. Everywhere I turned there was pie! We gave everyone in the ward choir a piece of pie today and we still have a couple of pieces left.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

World's Most Vain Post Ever

I wanted to post a picture of me with my new glasses.

I realized that I've taken quite a few self portraits with my new Mac. So, I figured I'd show you the many faces of Eve. All these photos have been taken within the last 3 months.

This is me with no make-up on.

This is me with entirely too much make-up on. (Hello eyeliner anyone?)

This is my new red coat!

Sometimes when I'm teaching, I get bored and take pictures of myself.
(That's the whiteboard in the background.)

This is me in my office.

Teaching again. I'm trying to look nonchalant so my students don't realize what I'm doing.

Good hair day!

Teaching again.

So, that's me playing around with the photo booth thing.

Thanks for taking the little tour of the many faces and hairdos of me!

(If I had children, I'd post pictures of them--but people might get worried if I post pictures of other people's children.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Preparing for the Feast

Last year, Bri and Roger and I celebrated Thanksgiving dinner--just the three of us. It was great! And now we're extending the tradition and expanding our numbers.

We have 28 people coming over for dinner on Thursday.


It's so exciting!!

I bought a 25 pound turkey. It is currently marinating on the deck in orange juice and honey. I'm so excited to cook that bird!!

And just to make things even more amazing--I got bbq ribs--just in case we didn't have enough turkey.

Everyone else is bringing the side dishes. I'm in charge of the meat. And boy howdy do we have meet. We have 37 pounds of meat. That's more than a pound per person. No one will leave hungry.

I took myself to a spa today and got my eyebrows waxed and got a massage. It was a great day!

Tomorrow's preparations include vacuuming the house and setting up the tables and chairs that we borrowed from the stake center. Let the feasting begin!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Funny Website!

I found the most hilarious blog. Please go and check it out.

It's called Cake Wrecks.

Bon Apetit!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude for Midsummer

Those of you who have been in plays know that normally you rehearse every night of the week before you open a play. We literally rehearsed on Saturdays. That's it. Some of the actors would get together and rehearse by themselves during the week--but we rehearsed as a cast once a week.

We did 1 dress rehearsal thursday night, and then everything miraculously came together over the weekend.

I felt my heart explode with love for the cast and for Heavenly Father for blessing them. Saturday morning I woke up early and went to get them some food for inbetween the shows. I came to the church early to set things up and found myself with some down time. I went into the chapel and just began to cry. I was overwhelmed with love for the cast and with gratitude to Heavenly Father for allowing them to have such a great experience, despite the fact that we only had 10 rehearsals. It was a miracle, and I am grateful.

conflicting emotions

It could just be that I was really tired, but yesterday I felt very conflicted.

The show went wonderfully. My goal was to give the volunteer actors a wonderful experience and help them to come closer to God through the arts.

There were no fights, no divas. Everyone supported everyone and we had a great feeling among the cast members.

Thursday night's dress was off--but considering we weren't able to rehearse the show all week--that was to be expected. And they were nervous.

Friday night's opening was incredible.

I would prefer to give actors the confidence to move and shake their thing however they please. They moved and they shook--and I cracked up. Lysander and Demetrius added a Michael Jackson dance off to their fight. The fairies added a "Too Legit to Quit" rap section to the fairy dance. I just sat and howled with the rest of the audience. I was so happy that they finally took the show into their own hands.

Actors and the show--GREAT!!

Audience--not great. People didn't come and get their reserved seats. We had half houses when the tickets were sold out all three nights.

The 2nd counselor in the Stake Presidency's opening speech went something like this: Let's remember the parable of the talents. Some of us have a lot of talents--and some in the show don't have very many talents--but we're here to support everyone.

As Jonathan--the guy playing Bottom--said later, "For a politician--he gave a pretty crappy speech."

I got comments like, "That was so much better than I expected!" What do you say to that?!

"Glad we didn't suck--like you thought we would!"

One girl came up to me yesterday at church and said, "I went and saw two shows yesterday, and I just want you to know that your show was better than the high schools show!"

Better than high school? Wow. I'm not sure what to do with that.

We had a great show. I'm just miffed that people were so surprised.

But, beyond their surprise--the real mood killer was when people came up said, "Congratulations! Bet you're glad it's finally over!" Translation--I didn't see it.

My response: "Yeah, it was great! Sorry you weren't there! Hope your team didn't get slaughtered!"

To my out of town friends, I am grateful for your phone calls and support about the show. I know you would have come if you could.

To my friends who were in town (within 15 minutes) and didn't come--you are poo heads and I fart in your general direction!

Midsummer Pictures

Here are pictures from the play! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm sad tonight. I face a little dillemma.

You know how they tell you as a girl--don't like the guy too much cause then he'll just take you for granted? Well, I feel like that applies to some of my friends as well as to men.

I don't particularly like anyone--so don't bother reading into that. But I feel like I'm nice enough to my friends that they don't really care whether I'm in their lives or not. They know they don't need to win me over. I have certain friends who will "let" me help them, but they don't seem to care whether or not I might actually need their company or not.

This is really cryptic.

I feel lonely. I feel like when I reach out to friends who are struggling that they would rather have someone else reach out to them. Someone who isn't so desperately nice.

I wouldn't feel so sad about it except that this has happened three times in the past little while, with three different people.

I highly doubt it's anyone who actually reads this blog, so don't worry.

I'm tired of forgiving blatant rudeness. I'm tired of feeling as though I'm being "tolerated". I'm tired of feeling like I was invited somewhere out of pity. Just be honest with me. At least it will give me some sense of dignity instead of this horrible sinking feeling I get when I have to sit and figure out that you don't care whether I'm around or not.

I wish I had something more to offer so that you could have some reason to be nice to me. That's my problem. I keep trying to give people a reason to want me around. I'll jump when you say jump. I'll give and give--and try to demonstrate all of the reasons why you should want to be my friend. But in the end, you'd rather concern yourself with the one who's friendship you're not quite sure of yet. You know you have my friendship, so what does it matter how you treat me?

I'm really tempted to just erase certain soul sucking people from my life. I'm very tempted to just have a clean slate and only associate myself with people who actually care about me as a person--and don't choose to love me based on what I can do for them.

I wish I had the guts. I hate the feeling that I've made someone feel this way though. I can't handle hurting someone else as much as they've hurt me.

And so I'll probably pretend like nothing happened. I'll act like I just don't care. I'll just go about my merry way. And you'll never know that I knew that you "tolerated" my help, or that you called three people before finally deciding to call me, or that you pretended to have a good time with me so as to not hurt my feelings. I'm not stupid. I get it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I finally got tagged! It's so exciting!

I'm supposed to write about the 4th photo in the 4th folder on my computer.

This is a picture from the top floor of the old Masonic Temple in downtown Staunton, VA. It's the tallest building downtown. I took it a couple of years ago while I was still in grad school. We had all of our classes in this building. It was great fun!

Thanks Alicia! I tag: CJ, Heather, Christina, and Hannah!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Miracles of Midsummer

Yesterday someone stopped me at church and asked how I was handling everything.

I think people have some strange impression that I'm busy. I'm not.

Or I don't feel very busy. I don't have a regular job. I teach 3 classes right now. I have to be at work 3 times a week. And two of those times are on Wednesday. I usually have to go into the school for meetings here and there. I have to grade papers and write exams. I will work with students outside of class, and last week I had to work with a professor on the online system. But I only teach 2 days a week.

I'm not sure why people think I'm so busy.

Weekends can get hectic because I'm directing the Stake Play. Here in Washington DC land, they have things called Stake Plays. I'd never heard of such things before living here. Who would try and wrangle over-committed mormons to commit to enough rehearsal time to warrant a decent production?

My Stake!

This whole project started a year ago when I was called to the Stake Cultural Arts Committee. The committee head called me up and explained that we needed to put on a play, but that we didn't have much of a budget.

It has become a mission of mine to show people that you can create a wonderful theatrical experience with human ingenuity and dedication--and leave all the stuff that costs money out.

She had me at "no budget".

We decided on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I like it because it's funny. Period. And because it spreads out the bulk of the responsibility across several characters. It's an ensemble piece.

In February I started working with Maryland Shakespeare Festival and they asked Bridget and I to direct a Middle School Production of Midsummer. They gave us a cut script and some great ways to extend the acting opportunities to more students.

It was like God was handing me a little how to manual for the upcoming stake production.

When we held auditions in May, I was able to use the other script to guide my cuttings--and I was able to extend the cast from 12 to 30ish. (I can't remember the exact number and I don't want to look it up right now.)

Besides that--I was able to familiarize myself with the script. Not that I wasn't intimately acquainted before . . .

Rehearsals started in September. The little cherubs were supposed to memorize their lines over the summer.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

Oberon quit without even telling me. (If any of you know Ben Jarvis, give him a swift kick for me.)

There were a multitude of problems. People had this attitude that if they didn't have a lead, they weren't needed at all the rehearsals. I have had to work hard to teach them the concept of ensemble. Even Saturday one of the actors wanted to know if Bottom would get his own bow. I love Bottom. I think the guy playing Bottom is great--but in an ensemble cast--everyone bows together. Period. (Well, they bow in small groups . . .)

This weekend I had several strikes against me.
1) Conflicts
2) I was sick.
3) The fire alarm went off 2 times during a run thru.
4) We were told by the Stake that we could not do a tech rehearsal on Monday night after FHE.

Saturday was our last rehearsal before our invited dress rehearsal this Thursday.

I came to the church armed with my dayquil, a roll of toilet paper, a carton of OJ, and mouth wash.

When I got to the church, Jami was working with a volunteer string quartet. They sounded beautiful.

Each group--the mechanicals, the fairies, the lovers, the pucks, the court--they were all working through their lines in separate rooms in the Stake Center.

At 10:30am we started the run. It was the easiest tech I've ever done. (This might have to do with the fact that I don't have tech in my shows) But we added the string musicians with barely a hassle.

After the run thru, we all ate pizza and everyone split off to run their separate rehearsals inbetween the runs.

At 3:30pm we started the next run thru. The fire alarm went off--and we just continued the run thru in the parking lot--then back onto the stage (fire alarm again--Say hello to the fire fighters, again--do your thing in the parking lot--) and then back onto the stage. With all these interruptions--our show ran until 5:10pm.

Towards the end, some little kids who were not in the play came into the cultural hall to see what was happening. They sat entranced. Their mom couldn't get them to leave.

I sat at the back of the cultural hall at my little table and laughed and smiled. It was such a gratifying experience to watch everything come together so nicely.

It's a great show. If you're in the DC area--come and see us this weekend.

Now back to the top of the post--I was teaching 7 classes--but without asking for it--I find myself only teaching 3 classes right now. I have time to give to this play. Heavenly Father has truly guided my life to make directing this play possible. I don't know why this little production was so important--but I am truly grateful for all the little miracles and gifts that have made this whole thing possible.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The things I am looking forward to most

How did I miss this opening? I swear it's not out yet, is it?

Oh good grief, am I that out of it?

I'm sick. I'm kind of overwhelmed thinking about all the things that I should be getting done in preparation for the upcoming quarter. But, all of it will come together. It's gonna be great. As soon as Midsummer is over--I will have all the time in the world.

We built columns out of styrofoam wreaths and string the other day. It's awesome. And cheap!

Well, I should get back to torturing my Ethics students with their midterms.

So--things I'm looking forward to most:
1) Having time to get work done
2) Having time to watch this movie!
3) Coming to Utah for 3 weeks in December!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lots of Theatre

This weekend, after an all day rehearsal, Spencer and I drove down to Staunton to perform in a staged reading of an Elizabethan play called Look About You by Anonymous. (He's a really cool guy.) Lesley Larsen Nesbit directed the show. It was wonderful. I love working with Lesley and Spencer.

The show is about Henry's family--John, Richard, Henry the son, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and I played Gloucester. Richard (played by Spencer) seduced Lady Fauckenbridge. Henry the son sent Gloucester to prison and I spent the play disguised as different characters after escaping prison. It was a great show.

Spencer was sick, and I think I'm getting his sickness now.

We finally finished the set for Midsummer Night's Dream. Hopefully it will stay up and no one will mess it up. We're setting the play in Washington DC. All the courtly folk are dressed like senators. The fairies are dressed like bohemian park dwellers, the Pucks (4 of them) are all dressed in old tattered suits. Oberon is in an old top hat--he's the king of the homeless. The mechanicals are all mechanics--(well there's a carpenter, a metro worker, a painter, etc.)

It's so much fun! I love this stuff. Theatre is great fun. It's always been fun, but lately, I'm having a ball.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Final Election Day Post

I sat in the parking lot tonight and cried listening to U2's "In the Name of Love". The radio stations have been playing great election music all day long. I'm overwhelmed by this election.

Virginia has been a red state, and today 1,698,318 people voted for Obama in Virginia. 1,580,245 voted for McCain.

I should be listening to Obama's acceptance speech. I'm tired. I'm overwhelmed and happy.

I am saddened by reading such ignorant drivel as "Obama is the anti-christ" from latter-day saint people who should know better. I am very happy that Senator McCain isn't a representative of such hateful comments. I was very impressed with his concession speech.

Earlier this year some of my African American students expressed fear in hoping for Obama. They were afraid to hope for such a miracle and therefore held back their hopes. I get choked up imagining the bitter cement in their hearts cracking open tonight.

Tonight is a miracle and if anyone out there tries to sully this miracle by suggesting that my president is anything but a good man striving to serve this country--just as McCain, Romney, and Hillary Clinton all are--I will feel sorry for you. And that, my friends, has to hurt coming from little ol' me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Election Day pics

This is me on election day. I'm wearing all red white and blue. I have had 4 hours of sleep. As I take this picture, I'm tired from knocking on doors and making sure people have rides to the polls. I had such a great time talking with people today and making new friends.

And let's be real--I got to take some gorgeous pictures! These pics are all within a 1/2 mile radius of my house. If you ever want to come and visit VA--and you do!!!--come in the fall.
Here's the place!
A little stream around the corner from the polling place.

My polling place is on this street. I had to pull over and take a few pics.
Quick post:

Went to Obama rally in Manassas last night. 100,000 people. The energy was insane. We walked up and down the cars who were stuck in miles of traffic and talked to people in their cars. We took pictures of cars and people. You cannot imagine how amazing the energy was. We got there too late to see the actual rally--we just wanted to be in and among the people. It was worth the late night.

I am so happy to be an American.

I walked to the polls this morning and cast my vote. It's crazy here in Virginia. This is a red state, but it's bleeding blue today.

I'm off to go knock on doors and get people out to vote.

What an exciting day to be alive!

Just so we're clear: I am a woman of faith who voted for Barack Obama.

I will wholeheartedly support whoever is elected today. I will show that support by voicing my values and my opinions and ensuring that my views are represented. I will actively serve in my community and encourage my fellow citizens to do the same.

I have to go and canvass!! Go vote if you haven't already!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thanks to great friends!

I just got a great package from Heather. Ahhh Heather!! You're the best!

I'm so excited to go downstairs and settle into the couch, in front of a blazing fire, and open up my new book--courtesy of Miss Heather--while digging into a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream.

Truly, this is my bliss.

Thank you to Josh! We went to lunch with a coworker on Friday at the Carlyle. It's such a fancy, lovely restaurant. This other professor is wonderful. She has worked at SMU, UW, and has worked with Cecily Berry! It was so exciting. And she liked me! It was so nice of Josh to invite me to lunch with her so that I could make that important connection. And then we went and enjoyed a great movie Friday night and talked about politics, religion, art--all the good stuff--instead of going to the Halloween parties. Thank you!

I have to say thank you to my wonderful roommates. We are all so different--but these two amazing women inspire me to be better. Clarissa is such an example to me of living a higher law. She is truly striving daily to be like Christ. And Sarah possesses such a sweet spirit. She is filled with love. As I sat and listened to both of these women bear their testimonies in church--I was filled with such love and respect for both of them. They're so different, but I feel so privileged to rub shoulders with them on a daily basis.

So many friends are currently offering their time and talents in helping to put together this play I'm working on. I am so grateful for all the talented and generous people I get to work with.

Thank you so much!

By the way, Sarah is Rose, I'm Blanche, and Clarissa is Dorothy. Just in case you wanted to know. Although frankly, we've all got a little Blanche going on. And I'm pretty ditzy too. And controlling. And we're all very single. And getting pretty old now that I think about it.