Monday, August 31, 2009


Soooo, I went out with a cute guy this past week. Actually, we went out twice, or maybe three times. But who's keeping track? (Me.)

I have had a great time with him, but I'm afraid of falling into old traps. I think that I am a fun person to be with, and guys like to be with me--until someone cuter comes along. I have a hard time keeping things in guy/girl mode, and not slamming things into friendship land.

But, I like this guy. I shall call him "Clay". (Because that is his name.)

We have a great time together. So much so, that I've torn down my walls of resistance because I figure, even if this does end up in the vast wasteland of Friendshiponia, at least I have a blast with him.

There are some differences between him and other guys though. First, he's old. This is wonderful because he looks like an adult and acts like an adult and has found success in his work. This is nice. Other guys in the past--not interested in a relationship because they hadn't figured their own life out!

Second, he's funny. We laughed over Thai food for 3 hours Saturday night. It's great to watch a movie with him because we have the same idiotic sense of humor. A few weeks ago, we watched Tropic Thunder at his house and were both rolling.

After Saturday's date, I laid awake trying to figure out what I was thinking about this guy. This Clay person. Dang it all. I couldn't sleep a wink. I got on my knees and I prayed--not to know if anything would happen with him, because it either will or it won't--and knowing that isn't going to help me sleep! I prayed for peace. I just prayed for peace.

I finally was able to get to sleep--although I slept fitfully. It was a good fitful sleep. I was able to see things clearly. I saw that we both like each other. That much is clear. We have a great time, but I am going to continue to have a great time with other guys too. I woke up feeling blessed for having had a wonderful time with a great guy. And I felt great about that.

Sunday, I went to church in my old single's ward because my friend Bill was speaking. Clay, who is in another family ward, joined me and my roommates and we had a great time listening to the talks. We ducked out early to enjoy the Sunday weather in his convertible. (We went to my roommate Sarah's Sunday School lesson first though!)

He leaves for a couple of long trips this week, so I won't see or hear from him for a while. I told him that I liked him and that this made me sad. It felt very good to be open and honest. I didn't feel too open. I felt good about it. I basically told him that if he disappeared for a month, I would simply get on with life and I would start liking someone else--but I didn't want to--because I really liked liking him! (Our lesson in Sunday School was on honesty--so I figured I'd give it a go.)

He smiled, said something about how cute I looked. Then he made fun of me showing him missionary pics during our date the night before. Then Mike and Sarah came home.

I walked him to the door and he gave me a little kiss on the cheek.

Then, my hometeachers came in and spent the next 30 minutes teaching me about "peace". They said that peace is the absence of conflict. When you watch a sports game and you know the outcome--you feel at peace. But if you don't know the outcome, you feel turmoil and stress.

Well, in this little game of love, I know the outcome. I know that I'm going to end up with an amazing guy, and this knowledge takes all the conflict out of it for me. I get to enjoy great dates with funny guys, and I'm not worried about what is or isn't going to happen anymore. I feel peace.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Collective Soul Concert

Last night I went to a Collective Soul concert with some great friends. It was wonderful! I remember listening to them back in high school. They're pretty amazing entertainers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Eastern Shore

It's hard not to love this place.

The Soundry

My friend Melissa Branin is the curator at this amazing venue in Vienna, VA. Watch this video and subscribe! Spread the word. Support Art!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pictures from NYC trip

These pictures are from the little two day trip to NYC. They are random.

The above picture is me and Mike. Note Mike has a killer tan-line from our 4 hour drive with the top down.

This is Heidi's street in Harlem. It was the perfect place to crash. Heidi is a producer with a great theatre company in the Village.

Times Square baby!

More Times Square. They had set up bleachers so people could watch the Season Premiere of MADMEN on the street. Kinda cool. Lots of people and lots of shows I want to see!
As I posted earlier, we went to see In The Heights. It was wonderful! We sat next to this guy who works for the Canadian Stage Company. We chatted it up about theatre in Canada and now I wanna go to Toronto! We agreed that they should sell off the close seats first. Too many of us were up in nosebleed seats. I loved the music, but I'd rather be in smaller venues anyday.

On the way to Heidi's from the village--I snapped this pic of Mike and Heidi's reflection as we rode the A-train to Harlem.

It was a great time! I can't wait to get back and see more shows.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In the Heights

This weekend, Mike and I went up to NYC for a last minute trip. My friends from Pigeon Creek Shakespeare were putting on a show at the Kraine Theatre and I wanted to support them. I didn't want to go alone, so Mike very kindly volunteered to drive up.

We went in his convertible and got completely sunburnt as we drove the whole way with the top down. (Driving 95 mph in a convertible does HORRIBLE things to your hair--think Bridget Jones Diary--only I'm not nearly so cute.)

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing In the Heights. It is clear to see why they won Best Musical 2008.

Click here to enjoy some highlights from the show:

Katherine Mayberry and company did a great job. It was wonderful to see Marybeth and Heidi from graduate school doing so well in NYC. I have decided that I need to make NYC my home away from home.


This car

This city


A very happy me!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Discussions on War

Yesterday I taught a lecture I called "Politics and Propaganda". Our objective was to read two stories about war, and discuss the effects of war on society. We read Luigi Pirandello's story "War" and then Ting Ling's story about the death of her husband at the hands of Nationalists in China, "A Certain Night".

We opened the class discussing the reasons for going to war, both good and bad. I felt like we had a unique perspective in that they had all served in battle at some point or other.

We watched a clip from Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks cries like a baby after losing one of his soldiers. It was easy to see the difference between the enemy and the friend.

And then I showed them this trailer from the Hurt Locker:

After watching it, we discussed the differences between other wars, and the war in Iraq.

(I watched the whole movie yesterday afternoon. It's incredible. Go see it.)

Here's what we discussed:

Jihad--means "striving" or rather "striving against evil".

The greater jihad is the individual struggle we all face against evil. The lesser jihad is the political struggle against forces that would attack Islam.

The war in Iraq is not fought against people in uniforms. You never know who is going to detonate a bomb--an old woman, a child. You never know who your enemy is, and who you're trying to protect. And often the people you're trying to protect are the people who will succeed in killing you. It's difficult to see.

I believe the War in Iraq is symbolic for our own personal greater jihad. It symbolizes our own daily struggle against evil. We don't know who or what will bring us down. Our enemies are artfully disguised. We have to learn how to defend ourselves and find happiness in the midst of enemies.

So I asked the class--how do we survive in the struggle against those forces that would tear us down? And they talked about building relationships of trust, of strengthening our souls through prayer and meditation.

I don't know if that's how to win the war in Iraq--but it seems like a very good place to start.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

State of the Union

I'm sitting in my Eng 320 class. They are perusing William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience in an effort to find a poem to analyze.

I'm hoarse and tired of talking, so this is good.

I feel like I never blog anymore. Perhaps it's because I'm working through a lot of different feelings right now.

I don't quite know how to describe my life. It's different. I'm not different, but life is.

For the first time ever, I'm not worried about money. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of bills to pay--but I feel secure in knowing that I can cover my bills. This is a new thing. I don't have to fight for respect at work anymore.

As for time, it's there. Lots of it. And so I do little things like bake muffins and pour vinegar and baking soda down the sink. (It's really fun!)

I love my calling. I am the assistant personal progress leader in Young Women. It seems like a made up calling, but I get great satisfaction in meeting with the girls one on one to discuss their goals and to get to know them. I find myself incredibly moved by their integrity and their pure willingness to do good.

My friends are all going through wonderful life changes. Currently, most of them are pregnant. I shall make a list--if I missed a name--let me know! Sarah, Lesley, Rachel, Kuuipo, Beth Ann, Maribeth, and somehow this list seemed longer in my head.

My closest friends in DC are out and about doing wonderful things. Mike is constantly sharing wonderful new comedic material. He possesses the lethal combination of talent and drive--coupled with an ability to find work and to get to it. Sade is currently doing humanitarian work in Guatamala. And Angelina is off serving our country in Iraq. These are the people I get to rub shoulders with on a daily basis. Well, Angelina--not so much. But she comes home in February!

And as for my distant friends, I love seeing pictures of growing children, reading of new adventures, and hearing your opinions on politics, movies, etc. It is good to know that despite our differences, if we were next door neighbors, we'd probably laugh it up on the back deck as we grill steaks and pineapple. Gotta have the pineapple.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rebel Without a Cause

Tonight was the last night of Screen on the Green at the National Mall. Thousands of peeps lined up on the grass to watch James Dean and Natalie Wood under the stars.

It was great. I don't particularly enjoy sitting on the ground to watch a movie though. I laid down and tried to see the movie, but alas, my boobs blocked my view. But, I'd never wish them away. Instead I just listened to the movie while I watched the pink clouds make the night feel like day. I stared at stars as they floated overhead--and realized that the "stars" were probably satellites. The clouds gathered slowly, and soon little drops began to spray like spit across my face.

Then it poured.

They ended the movie before I could find out what happened.

All in all, it was a nice night.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Air Guitar

Last night I experienced something that defies logic or description.

I went to the National Air Guitar Championships.

That's right--air guitar.

Speaking of things white people like. . .

I am now intimately acquainted with the art of air guitar.

Words are so not sufficient to explain the chaos.

The evening began with dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl. This is a Washington Monument. The food was tasty, and the place was packed. We kept seeing these odd t-shirts though. Hordes of white people were wearing shirts with "STD" written on the front. Now, we all know that white people believe strongly in the power of "awareness", but these tee-shirts were a little, well . . . yeah.

We made our way to the 930 Club. The line went around the block.

for an air guitar show.

The regional champ from DC was hanging around the line. As people began to recognize him, they would rush over and get his autograph. It was kind of cute to see him enjoy his moment in the sun.

Contestants from all over the nation came to compete in the US Finals. The winner is going to the World Championships in Finland!

The competitors were named: Shred Flinstone, The Fro, William Ocean, Sanjaya the Destroyer (STD), Romeo Panther Love, etc. I wish I could remember more names. Oh heck, I wish I could forget some of them though.

The contestants were judged on 3 things: Technical merit--how well did they keep up with the music, Charisma: costume, weirdness, unsexiness, and Airness: an untangible "it".

Words cannot describe this.

The people were going crazy. So many people.

The three judges were HILARIOUS. As the crowd chanted "STD!" one of the judges picked up the microphone and yelled "the Clap! the Clap!" I was dying.

It was a very patriotic fest because this was the National Finals of course. Red, white, and blue balloons fell from the ceiling. A giant "Air Bear" crawled around among the crowd and then crowd surfed over my head, (after trying to peek up my dress--yeah, that didn't happen.) When he came crowd surfing over my head, we might have "accidentally" dropped him on the floor. He lost consciousness. Yep. A stuffed bear fell off of my head and lost consciousness.

While balloons floated around my head.

And fake musicians jumped around in spandex on a stage.


Who needs acid! I mean, really.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Perfect Temptation

Last night was a perfect night. Just a few people came over for an impromptu night in.

The menu: grilled salmon, colorful peppers, brie, strawberries, sourdough rolls, mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, candy corn, salt water taffy, and whatever other candy we had sitting around. (Notice it goes from healthy to unhealthy throughout the evening.)

We lounged around the living room watching a Burn Notice marathon--and then dear Clay brought out Shawn of the Dead.


So this morning, I'm supposed to teach a lesson in Young Women's on Resisting Sin.

I think I'm going to talk about how knowing what a Zombie wants (your brains) and knowing how to kill the Zombie (by bashing in its brains) gives you power over them--AND

if we know what Satan wants (your soul) and if we know how to defeat Satan (through testimony of Christ) we can gain power of Satan!

But then I'd have to explain where I got the idea from and I'd prefer not to tempt the little cherubs to watch an R-rated movie--even though I know all of you are enticed now!

In the movie, I'm a sneaky Zombie trying to suck out your brains.

In real life, I'm a little devil tempting you with a tasty movie.