2 Babies, 1 Turkey, and Many Pies

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Happy November/December All!

I hope you had as lovely of a Thanksgiving as I did.

I ate all the things.

Most of you know that I’ve spent the last 4 years’ Thanksgiving celebrations down in the lovely city of San Luis Obispo, with some of my favorite ladies. It’s a trip I look forward to every year. Also known as “Orphan Thanksgiving,” it’s our own version of the holiday, and we do it right. This year we even had a centerpiece…wait for it….with pumpkins from the garden out back. We also had 3 different kinds of homemade pie. One of my favorite things is  adding to the tradition every year. So far, this includes horrible made-for-TV holiday movies and a post-meal parade around the block. Our latest celebration featured the newest member of the tribe, Mr. Ewan, in his own Thanksgiving day attire. I’d like to think that he enjoyed the sweet potatoes as much as we did, at least the ones that made it in to his mouth. In other news, congratulations are due to the lovely Perisho family, and their newest member: Cooper James. I was obsessively attached to my phone, awaiting the news of his arrival most of the weekend. I see a trip to Seattle in the near future I can’t wait to meet him! Cheers to many, many things to be thankful for this year, and to good friends.

Love,

EVA ♥

Why I Suck at Not Working, and other news….

Hello All!

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As many of you know, I’ve made quite a few changes to my life recently that I’m very proud of. I said goodbye to my corporate, “Big Girl” job. Goodbye to early mornings, OTD stats, and health benefits. I’ve found myself another job (!) for a fabulous company I’ve long admired and wanted to be a part of. I bought myself a plane ticket to somewhere I’ve never been before, possibly the farthest away from home I could physically get. I’ve started this blog, which has, on many days, lifted my spirits more than you can imagine. (Thanks for reading everyone ♥)

Also, I’m sort-of blonde now.

Despite all the active steps I’ve taken to improve the general quality of my life, there are some things I have to admit. Like the fact that I suck at not working. I mean…I’m really bad at it. As much as I would like to believe that I’m a free spirit that can do anything and go anywhere I please, I need some structure. Lack of structure and lack of coffee make Eva very cranky. Like they say: A body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest, tends to stay at rest and shove its face full of popcorn in its pajamas all day, apparently. I find it almost easier to pack as many things as I can in to my day and forcibly make room for the important things, than have a leisurely open schedule. Which I know is completely nuts. Complications tend to arise from occasional bouts of anxiety; I’ve been experiencing and managing them since before I can remember. The one way I can think to describe it is how one swaddles a newborn baby to comfort it. Used to being in a confined space, it has no idea of what to do with its arms and legs suddenly flailing about out in the world. Sure, being wrapped up like a burrito doesn’t sound or look comfortable to us, but it works. And, admittedly, I have many days where I wake up, go about my morning routine, and suddenly find myself failing. All of my plans and errands seem erroneous and self-defeating. “Just relax! Read a book. Go for a walk.” Yeah, NO. That took about 10 minutes of my day. Now what? The irony that exists here is that I often need time to myself to regroup and find a sense of ease in life.

It’s amazing how many “guides” and how much witty commentary is out there giving advice on time spent alone. (This is one of my favorites.) It’s reassuring that so many people are still learning how to just “be” on any given occasion. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten a pretty good hang of it so far, but need a reminder every now and again. A think a lot of my anxiety stems from the thought that I might miss an opportunity to appreciate a fleeting moment in my life. Nothing is a guarantee. So you have to make the most of it. Even when sitting around in your pajamas.

Love,

EVA♥

Why I am not yet a Grown-Up

A fantastically flattering question I get asked often by my students:

“Miss Eva….Are you a kid? Or a Grown Up?”

Considering I still do things like eat cake for breakfast, I can see where the confusion comes from. In additional news, I still do not know how to answer this question properly.

YES. Yes I am a grown-up.

(???)

Because I do things like write checks, shop for insurance, and figure out my taxes. I also own a vacuum and can cook a whole turkey. I feel this is a socially acceptable definition of being “grown-up.” Nevermind that one of my teenage students had to explain what a mortgage was to me the other day. Do I need one? No, no I do not.  Problem solved.

I’ve lived on my own for the last 2 years of my life, and have managed to not yet set anything on fire.  I love my apartment and my purple bathroom. I know things about wine, own original art and many tubes of lipstick. I am a grown up on paper, and as much as I like the idea, I’m glad I’m not one.

I have almost zero responsibilities, except the ones that I choose for myself. I haven’t settled in to anything, as nice as that sounds, and relish the idea of being able to reinvent myself whenever possible. I don’t really have to answer to anyone- I can buy as many pairs of impractical shoes as I want. And if I want them to live on my bookshelf, they can. And, in defense of single gals everywhere: just because I enjoy having fun, special things in my life doesn’t make me vapid or less of a contributing member of society. I have a tremendous amount of respect for those “grown ups” out there that can find the value in young people. Even better, those that haven’t let the energy of being a total kid get away from them. I hope to be like them someday.

In moments of doubt, I try to remember what a good friend of mine said: “It’s okay. We’re cooler than a lot of people.”

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Why I Love My Job

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I have been dancing since before I can remember.

One of my favorite childhood photos involves me at 2 years old. In a wrinkled tutu with skinned and band-aid covered knees. Eyes closed and dancing in the kitchen, most likely to music only I can hear. Like most little girls, I wanted to be a ballerina before I knew what one was, or even looked like. I remember the first ballet I ever saw, Nijinska’s Bolero, and how I wanted to be the dancer onstage, in my mind, I already was her.

I knew that teaching was always a viable option for a dancer, but there was no guarantee that I’d be any good at it, or that it would lead to anything lasting or memorable. Anyway, who was I to tell anyone what to do? The thing that no one tells you is that your teachers and mentors are just as human as anyone else, and that the transition from student to teacher can be as quick as one day to the next. At least that’s how it was for me. It was the most natural decision I’ve ever made. It was a non-decision. What I never expected was that I would come to love the teaching itself as much as I did. While my students and I have the love of dance in common, I am not in the business of making “dancers.” Instead, I hope that I  help them see that the work that they do is important and self-defining.  I’ve certainly found my identity through dance, and I hope it serves them the same.

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I’ve always known that dance was the most life-affirming of the arts out there. It happens in moments, often impossible to repeat, and endlessly different from one dancer to the next. There’s no putting it behind UV glass or in and environmentally controlled space to keep it forever. It grows and lives within people, it can’t be bought or sold, really. I hope it can say all the right things for me when I can’t find the words to say it.

Love,

EVA♥

Ex Libris.

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Cheers to a week that went by in a flash!

One of my favorite things is discovering new places, and consequently collecting new stories to tell when Monday rolls around. I daresay my partner-in-crime and I found something rather novel in SOMA this weekend: Novela.

(Rimshot please. I am very proud of myself.)

(An aside: Novela happened to be the former home of Fluid Ultralounge. And though I had nothing against that bar, I found it’s name totally unfortunate. It would be similar to naming a bar “Moist” or “Fiduciary” or some other word that people can’t stand to pronounce/hear. I’m convinced that this was it’s downfall. )

While rather over the top, I definitely had a wonderful time in this library-themed, stylish hangout. The walls were floor-to- ceiling illuminated bookshelves, and the cocktails named after beloved characters from the classics.  I got overly excited when I found a drink on the menu by the name of Holden Caulfield.  I pointed at the menu and said something terribly verbose, along the lines of “Ooh! Ooh! I know that one!” As if I was, at one point, the only 15 year old that was forced to read Catcher in the Rye in school, only to appreciate it 10 years later.

After an Atticus Finch and Leopold Bloom or two, I made the loop to the ladies room.  I found it covered in fantastic, stockinged-leg printed wallpaper, and little gems of wisdom hanging from the walls. This was my favorite, and made me laugh out loud:

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Not always 100% true, but touché Ernest.

At the end of the night, and reminiscing over nights previous (you know, when I was young and fun and left the house more than once a week), Miss Rachel came up with the most hilarious idea that I had to share. And possibly bring to fruition. Namely, that there should be “Drunk Bingo.” Now, I don’t mean this in the sense of “Let’s All Have Too Many Midori Sours and Play Bingo,” but more along the lines of:  “Let’s Observe All of Other Peoples’ Shenangians for Our Own Enjoyment and Keep Track.” First one to win, gets…I don’t know…

That’s the only point of the game I haven’t worked out yet.

But ideally, it should include some of the following items:

“Getting yelled at by a man with a British Accent. “

“Oops someone fell over. Again.”

“I do believe that person is bleeding.”

“I think someone forgot to put pants on before they left the house. “

“There are high-pitched girly screams happening and I don’t know why.”

“Someone spilt their beverage in my shoes.”

“Oh look! People are waiting in line for no reason.”

and

“That person thinks they’re cleaning up but they’re only making it worse.”

I’d like to say that if we were playing this game on Saturday night, one of us would have won. There was a British man. And he yelled something along the lines of “AYYY! YEW LOOK GOR-GEOUS!” at us.

Love,

EVA ♥

Photo: Refinery 29/Novela

Weekend Recap

Oh, hello! It looks like someone finally decided it was fall.  It was so windy outside this Sunday, I ran in to Target to buy myself a hat and gloves. And yes, that’s the official story and I’m sticking with it! Now, I have a lovely little white beanie complete with a marabou poof keeping my head warm. This is clearly an essential.

Though I had no crazy, Halloween-themed parties to go to this year, I did have quite a few memorable things planned for the weekend:

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Friday night featured a concert I had been looking forward to for quite some time. The one and only: “The Naked and Famous.”  I had never been to the Fox in downtown Oakland, and the venue was 10 times more beautiful than I expected.

IMG_0460Fabulous view. Nosebleed seats and all.

I’d like to think that my 12 year-old self would have thought I was such the “cool kid.” Also had a wonderful time at Make Westing, both before and after the show.

My Saturday involved very fabulous girl time,  afternoon tea, and a screening of Downton Abbey, Season 4.  (Oh my goodness, such drama! The most dignified soap opera around.)

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 The menu included:

Scones, Blueberry Financiers, 

Apple spice cakes with whiskey glaze

Flour-less chocolate cakes

Egg salad

& a variety of tea sandwiches .

Curried chicken, cucumber mint mascarpone, and smoked salmon.

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And there was of course, tea. And wine. Which rendered my mother completely incapable of taking pictures, so no group photos for this bit, I’m afraid.

To top it all off, I got my Halloween wish by carving pumpkins with the lovely Rachel and the kiddos she watches.

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The lovely Ella.

Not afraid of getting dirty, a firecracker, and great company. Her pumpkin had three eye, just FYI.

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It’s an Avocado pumpkin!

(Avocado =the Wonderful company that Miss Rachel works for. It’s a free couples app- go download!)

We ended the evening with homemade noodle soup and caramel apple cookies. Very fall-festive.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends as much as I did mine!

Love,

EVA