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Monday, Sept. 22, 2003 - 7:47 p.m.

I’m not very good at grading papers. I mean, I think I’m fair and helpful to the students, but the actual act of sitting down and getting them done taxes me to no end. After about three I have to get up and wander around. Or type this, as the case may be.

I woke up at 6 AM. It was sooo early. It was dark. Even the cat, nocturnal though she may be, lifted her head only long enough to stare at me in disbelief as I staggered around pulling on a skirt. She then fell back asleep.

It was all my own fault, too, this early start: I elected to sit by L’s pool, drink beer, watch ‘The Bat’, watch ‘Vanilla Sky’ (Tom Cruise never gets any less repulsive; I hate that guy), go to the flea market (where I bought an old-fashioned meat grinder for making cranberry-orange relish), and mess around on Metafilter (where they still won’t accept me as a member) instead of making lesson plans and assignments. I have learned my lesson, at least for this week.

I came right home and took a nap, which always makes me feel funny. I sleep so deeply that I awake after even 40 minutes feeling groggy, confused, and in need of coffee and a shower.

I watched some of the Miss America pageant this weekend. The beginning was hilarious: each contestant had to give a perky, head-tossing soundbite about her name, hometown, and a random fact or two. Most of these were along the lines of “I went skydiving last year!” or “I was featured on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’!”

I started trying to compose my own Miss America soundbite, mostly unsuccessfully; I feel simultaneously proud and unnerved by my inability to produce a solitary catchy example of how exciting my life is. It IS exciting, and of course I’d be way more fun to hang out with than Miss North Dakota, but I’m not sure I can convey that to you in a sentence or two.

And, on a second viewing, Miss North Dakota does seem like a real hoot. Her thesis was about boobs.

But in the spirit of self-categorization, I present some Miss America-style soundbites for those two or three of you reading this who might not be my friends already. You must imagine me half-shouting these through bleached teeth, blinking eighty times a minute:

My name’s Eva! I was born in Hawaii, where I lived in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park until age 8!

I moved to Golden, Colorado in 1987, where I went to a public alternative school for high school!

I have backpacked throughout the Southwest!

I didn’t have many friends as a child, because I was bossy and read books all the time!

I had a brief stint as a metalhead in junior high, and in twelfth grade I fancied myself a raver!

In sixth grade I wrote an article about dinosaur footprints found near Morrison, Colorado for a Japanese newspaper!

I don’t like navy blue!

I play bass in an indie rock band! I played in a different one in Durango, where I got my bachelor’s degree in English and Southwest Studies!

I have a master’s degree in linguistics!

I have no idea what I want to do with myself!

Um…I want to educate dolphins and mentally disabled children about our wonderful governmentally mandated system of equal rights!

I lost my virginity at age fifteen to a boy with a very funny name! We were in my teacher’s bed, because he was housesitting!

I have one brother!

I have one cat!

I’m exhausting myself with this. You’d think Friendster would have cashed out my desire for self-description…but I really hate the music-movies-books questions.

I hung out with my friend C last night, who has been exploring the land of personal ads. She says it’s been awful: time-consuming, flaky, a bit creepy. I haven’t seen her ad, but I’ve been wondering what mine might say. Maybe next time you’ll get my personal ad.

Or maybe next time you’ll get some better answers to better questions. Send some in!

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