Monday, March 29, 2010


Things are changing. Things have changed. And some things will always be the same.

I enjoy my vegetables now. And sushi! I am not eating dairy, sugar, or even fruit. I am enjoying meat and vegetables. Asparagus is actually quite tasty. I love how tasty vegetables are when you're not eating out of an addictive need for carbs.

I went shopping Friday and bought some clothes that were about 4 to 6 sizes smaller than the last time I went shopping. They're a little tight, but they'll fit fine in about a week.

I'm enjoying the every day of being in a relationship. It's nice to just laugh and talk with Chris. I'm trying really hard to be myself so that I can believe that he loves me for me and not for some crazy perfect person I'm pretending to be.

This need to relax into me is reflecting in other parts of my life. I no longer care what people think about me. I'm just saying whatever comes to my mind.

For example, yesterday in church I was sitting in Gospel Principles and some people were standing about 5 feet from the open door just chatting at full voice even though it was clear the class had already started. The teacher kept the door open because not everyone knows where the class is and she wanted to make sure that people found their way to the class.

I said, "Through that door is a magical portal that makes it impossible for people to hear you five feet away."

It was not very nice.

But everyone laughed.

Another thing I noticed at church is that everyone is really closed off about themselves. I listened to two very educational talks about the atonement, but I felt no personal witness of the power of the atonement. It's like everyone wants to be knowledgeable about it, but no one wants to admit that they've ever needed it.

So I shared about how sometimes when I'm repenting, I don't want to say that I'll never do it again. And so it doesn't really feel like repentance. But the atonement helps me to get through the day and brings me closer to being able to fully repent. I said that I think that we sometimes think we have to bring ourselves fixed and ready to go before we let the Lord help us.

People commented on how I had shared something so personal. What's personal about that? I didn't share anything that I didn't know that everyone else in that room had done and felt.

Perhaps nothing's changed. Perhaps everything's changed. Either way, I'm feeling good about just being me right now.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Melissa Branin--Covering Ingrid

She's so stinking cool. Go check this video out so she can win this little competition. Whoever has the most views wins! So go and view it a few times!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Theatre: Masters of McNalley

Zoe Caldwell

John Glover

Richard Thomas

Audra McDonald

On Monday night, I had the wonderful privilege of sitting in the audience and basking in the wondrous glow of Audra McDonald, Zoe Caldwell, Richard Thomas and John Glover.

These four luminous actors exuded humor, drama, pathos, but most of all--kindness.

After years in the theatre, I am still amazed when I meet actors who are unkind. I always wonder how they manage to stay in a business that thrives on human connection. I'm not talking about being too kind to maintain artistic integrity--I mean people who fight for that integrity, but when they leave, they treat one another with respect and generosity. The theatre cannot survive without generosity and love. We rely too much on one another to allow petty jealousy and rudeness in art. And yet, I see it far too often.

But these four. These particular actors were filled with love.

Theatre is about love. It is about loving your art enough to never settle. It is about loving your scene partner enough to raise the other to a higher level through kind and generous work. It is about loving the playwright enough to respect his or her words, and as Zoe Caldwell puts it--respect the punctuation!

If you have any interest in the theatre at all, watch this beautiful video. It was such a joy to be there. It was a wonderful night.

Click here! to watch the video.

Below is a scene of Zoe Caldwell's earlier work. She is one of my favorite actresses of all time. Watch this video and compare it with her gentle mischievous humor in real life on the Kennedy Center video. She's a force. Or as Audra describes her--a hurricane!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Historic Day

Eugene Robinson's column expresses it better than I ever could.

It's a beautiful day in America!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grateful Musings

I can't find my camera and my camera phone just isn't the same.

I miss taking random pictures and I really don't wanna go dig through my boxes to find it.

But, other than the missing camera, I love my life right now.

We had an amazing discussion today in the first Ethics class. I believe the students are going to actually enjoy coming to a Saturday morning class.

And I am going to enjoy the extra money.

I went on a long walk today and enjoyed the sunshine. We had a huge fire in the park near my home. For a little pyro like myself, that was very fun! No one was hurt, and everyone was out in droves to see what was happening.

I am teaching 5 classes this quarter and they're all packed. It's going to be very stressful, but I am in love with all my classes right now. I'm in the groove. I've been teaching at Stratford for almost 3 years now. If I were to ever move, I would need to find another job. I loathe job hunting. Loathe it. But we'll cross that bridge when it smacks us in the face.

Meanwhile, I love my life right now. I'm in love with a great guy. I have a wonderful job. I love my new place. And I'm 4 pounds thinner than I was last week.

2010 is my favorite year of all time. Ever. 2009 was crap. 2010 is seriously the bomb.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


This is Chris. You may recognize the child he is holding as
The King.

The King is 4 years old.

His beautiful daughter Ellie Bean is 6 years old.

I am madly in love with this man.

This whole situation is crazy and a little surreal.

We are both sane, sensible adults who have fallen down a rabbit hole
into a world of Love.

Here are a few things about him:
He is 35.
He's a drummer.
He's got crazy cool music taste.
He makes me laugh non-stop.
He's smart as a whip.
He went to the Dominican Republic on his mission.
His 2 kids have autism.
He's an amazing father.
He has been divorced for 3 years and he and his ex get along great.
He is a General Manager at Rubio's.
He is smarter than I am.
(Though he would argue that point.)
He is incredibly spiritual.
He's a Democrat.
He's generous.
He understands me.
We share the same basic philosophies on life, love, money, etc.

And did I mention that I'm madly in love with him?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Morning Musing

A new quarter has begun! Every ten weeks, one quarter ends and another begins. The last week of the previous quarter is pretty much like running around with your head cut off. I have to finish grading papers, submit all my grades, and prepare a syllabus for each upcoming class.

And I'm done! Unlike regular schools, I don't get a week off to accomplish these tasks. It gets a little hairy.

In addition to grading, I had to give a workshop teaching all the professors how to design and create a hybrid classroom. I worked all week to make sure that things went smoothly. Each professor needed to have instructor authorization, etc. It was a bit of a headache prepping for the day, but after the workshop everyone had completed the task of building a course shell.

And now it's Monday morning after this week of heinous craziness.

My first class for this quarter starts tomorrow evening at 6pm. I'm sitting in my skivvies under a blankie on the couch, sipping a delicious chocolate shake, relishing in the stress-free morning.

Things are still going wonderfully with Chris. I have been afraid that we will run out of things to talk about, but every night it gets harder and harder to stop babbling to each other about the nature of the universe and about every crazy aspect of life and death. He continually amazes me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Diet

I have had a very hard time figuring out what diet to try. I have a horrible relationship with food. I need to eat every few hours or I go crazy. My head hurts, I get cranky.

I have tried counting calories, but what usually happens there is I cheat and just wait until the end of the day to eat 1,000 calories. This means that I spend the day in a haze of hunger. This is stupid and it doesn't work.

I have tried going to the gym. I am awesome at the gym. I can push my heart rate and sweat my brains out for 2 hours. And I love every minute of it. But--it usually means that I come home hungry and feel justified eating whatever I want because I just ripped it up at the gym.

In 2008, I lost 40 pounds by going to the gym. Yay me!!
In 2009, I gained 40 pounds because I didn't go to the gym. Boo me.

So 2010 started and I was feeling poopy.

My mom sent me an email from her friend Karen outlining a new diet plan called Medifast. I read about it on the website. (If you want info--just ask me and I'll put you in touch with Karen, but this really isn't a commercial.)

I wasn't sure because I didn't want to pay for a program and just blow the cash. So I went on an experiment where I cut sugar and caffeine for 2 weeks just to see if I had the self-control to do it. I was great! I cut my calories and I did just fine. I lost about 8 pounds. I noticed that my metabolism was slowing. I was eating about 1,400 calories a day--but if I had a bad day--I immediately gained 3 pounds. NOT cool.

So I decided to Medifast. I ordered my food. You basically eat 5 (100 Calorie) meals throughout the day at your convenience and 1 meal with lean meat and greens. It would seem that you'd be hungry, but if I get hungry, I'm supposed to eat another 100 calorie meal. So I'm always happy!

I started this last Thursday and I've lost 13 pounds so far. It's a little ridiculous.

And freaking awesome!!!

I get the concept. If you keep eating throughout the day, your metabolism stays raised, but because you're eating portioned meals, you never eat too many calories. Let me tell you though--I am pushing the limits of the lean and green meal. I have been to Outback Steakhouse 3 times in the last week for a giant steak with a side of brocolli and green beans. And I'm going again tonight.

I'm enjoying it.

And that's all she wrote about that.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


My friend Melanie has been leaving lovely comments about music on this blog--and she has amazing taste herself. So I feel inspired to blog about my favorite music.

It's so hard to choose your favorites though! It seems like everytime I choose a favorite, I turn around and discover a new band that I love! It always seems so final when I make a list. Even as I type it, a friend will say, "Well, have you heard these guys?"--and suddenly I have a new favorite to explore.

So without limiting my love--as Feist would say--I'm going to make a few random lists.

On my ipod--these are the most played songs. I don't feel like they're my favorites necessarily, but they're the ones I have listened to the most during the past year that I've owned this computer.

1. "I Feel It All" by Feist
2. "Limit to Your Love" by Feist
3. "Fin" by Supergrass
4. "Again & Again" by The Bird and the Bee
5. "The Underwood Typewriter" by Fionn Regan
6. "Come to Me" by Koop
7. "The Hat" by Ingrid Michaelson
8. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Diana Ross
9. "The Story" by Brandi Carlile
10. "Glimmer" by Aqualung

It's hard for the new music to catch up with the old music though because I am continually searching for new bands and new artists to relish in.

I'll do another post on new music I'm loving right now. . . but this is going to take some thought!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Timing is a tricky thing.

All the bad things, all the time spent wondering why and when. All the experiences that helped me to understand people and trials. All the pain. All the sorrow. All the times I fell madly in love with a guy, only to have him say--I just don't feel the same. All the times I worked on relationships, and felt like I was doing everything right--only to discover that I wasn't enough. . .

It's hard to not resent years of pain. But right now, I can't even describe how happy I am that he broke my heart, that he found me wanting, that he didn't have the wherewithal to realize how great I am. I am so happy for the heartbreaks of yesterday.

Last year was an awful year. It was horrible. But this year, I decided that no matter what happens, I'm happy. I decided to put myself first and to blame only myself if I wasn't happy. And I've been really happy.

and now, I'm as happy as I have ever been.

Life is so stinking good!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I am enjoying a glorious week.

But it's been incredibly scary.

There is a guy, a really great guy, who is absolutely mad for me. And after getting to know him--I am completely head over heels for him. Right now.

This could change later. We may discover that we're really not compatible.

I fell asleep last night gripped in fear that he might call me in the morning and say, "It's been real. It's been fun. But you know. . . " blah blah. I woke up scared to death. The fear was debilitating and I wanted to throw up.

I finally prayed. I specifically did NOT pray to know whether it was right or not. I don't wanna know!! But as I prayed, I felt my heartbeat calm. I felt the fear leave. I remembered that I have been a strong, independent and happy person for a long time. And if I am alone, I will be fine.

I'm going to enjoy this. Every minute of this. Whatever THIS is. I'm having a great time. And I'm not going to ruin it by being afraid. I'm having a swell time.

I shall no longer ruin a perfectly happy week by being neurotic over possibilities.

It's really nice. He is a great guy. And he totally digs me. ME! Crazy!! Who knew?!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


This weekend, I moved. I had a lot of help, but it was still stressful. And I still have 3 large pieces of furniture to move and find a home for at the old house. I really wish it was over, but I'm so grateful for how smoothly things have gone so far.

I spent the day in between classes unpacking boxes and trying to find a home for my things in my new temporary abode. I feel like I live in a nice little hotel for a while I put off making any concrete decisions about where I am going to live.

I made a new friend of sorts. I've known him for a few months, but just over the last few days we've really spent some time getting to know each other. The more I talk to him, the more at ease I feel. It's funny because I feel like I'm an open book, but because the last few guys I've dated have been so closed off, I have learned how to be less open. It was really revealing when he called me on that last night. I wasn't sure how to react to it. I finally just said. "I'm trying, but if you can help me to open up and if you can be patient with me--I'd love to get past that." Hopefully that was the right thing.

He's really cool. And I kinda dig him. Then again, everyone's cool after a week. (Well, not really--but I'm trying to keep things realistic.) No wonder he accuses me of being closed off! Oh well. I can't help the lessons I've learned in my life!

If you run into me, and I'm smiling--it's probably because I just talked to him. And that's all I should say at this point.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hyperbole and Jenny Lewis

Today I taught about rhetorical tools writers use in order to better describe things.

I taught them the term hyperbole. Hyperbole is the use of exagerration in order to describe something.

The example I used was as follows:

Your mama is so big, when she sits around the house, she literally sits AROUND the house.


Thank you.

And in other classroom news--my friend Chris introduced me to Jenny Lewis this weekend. I have been listening to her music all weekend. During a break in class, I played her song "Jack Killed Mom". (I know the title is horrible.) But the song!! Ooh de la lee!!! Incredible. My students luhhhhuved it. And if you already know how good she is and I am just the last person to get on this train--good for you. But if you haven't discovered her beautiful heart pumping southern rock magic--then get yerself on itunes and download yerself some Jenny Lewis!