Wednesday, March 30, 2011

blood is thicker than water, but peanut butter is thicker than blood

Since I emotionally don't have the tools to deal with the fact that the sky is snowing its balls off right now, ON MARCH 30TH, I'm taking a walk down the sunny side of memory lane, where the temperature mostly stays above 65 degrees and I don't have to deal with minor annoyances like wind-shield wipers and wearing socks.

I've mentioned my love of summer camp before and I think it's safe to say that it effectively made me into a geeky, 'girl power,' tie-dye loving freak. Amazingly, I still have a successful social life and due to my extreme awkwardness, vastly competitive nature, and fairly strict social upbringing, I'm sometimes told I come off as intimidating and unapproachable, which couldn't be further from my own actual perception of things, but hey-o, I don't hate it.

My sister, nearly three years younger than I, is similarly blessed with these qualities. Minus the tye-die loving freak part, that's all mine. Although, just to be clear I'll have you know that I actually work the power-suit and pumps look and I like to keep drum-circle Sara limited to certain area of my life, if you know what I mean.

When I was a senior in high school, my sister, Beth, was a freshman. PSH, more like FRESH MEAT. Bahaha.  Okay that wasn't funny. Anyway, we were both on the Cross Country team. Except, I was like, a senior, and like, totally varsity, and she was significantly lower on the totem pole, because duh, FROSH. It's kind of a tough thing to build up your image or popularity level or status or whatever bizarre pissing contest it is in high school and beyond for three years and then have a family member who actually knows you and the fact that you cry during the fucking movie previews and also uses the bathroom after you at home where all the number twos go down. It's an intrusion. Or, it can  feel like one.

There's no mystery.

 It was high school, it was cross country, in Indiana. This wasn't exactly Laguna Beach or 90210 or Gossip Girl. Again, cross country. Not a headline sport. But whatever, I had the team of girl and guy runners and we all sat around together on Friday nights and ate carrot sticks and watched Forrest Gump or Sandlot if we were in season, while the rest of our fellow student body was robotripping or getting busted for throwing corn husks at semis from the overpass.  It was vaguely cult-like, as most sports with semi-talented athletes are.

And boy, did we have some hot ticket events of which to look forward. One particularly exciting highlight was TEAM CAMP. Team camp was when we stayed IN THE DORMS of a college campus twenty miles away from our hometown for three nights and basically gorged ourselves on each other... and running three times a day. And sometimes swimming. And playing ultimate frisbee. And having ping-pong and basketball tournaments in which everyone, even the most uncoordinated, were required to participate. ALSO, the talent show.

Oh, the talent show.

Senior year summer team camp talent show, it was the 'cool' thing to be in as many skits as possible, or maybe that was just me. I'm not sure on that, I just know I was in several talent show acts, but that was maybe just because of my compulsion to win and so I felt being in as many of the acts as possible would up my chances.  The senior ladies coreographed a dance WITH PROPS and MATCHING OUTFITS to the tune of Video Killed the Radio Star. Style, bitches. Also particularly memorable is the skit I'm about to share with you and the reason for this post.

It's called Peanut Butter and Jelly.

And if I may say so myself, it was a crowd favorite. Even if we were scammed out of the highest honors.

Right, so Peanut Butter and Jelly.

The premise of this skit is to act completely stoic the entire time. It's to be treated with a sense of gravity and artsy pretentiousness to the crowd, who is hopefully losing their shit and laughing their asses off. One person is Peanut Butter and the other is Jelly. Essentially, you just go back and forth smearing the ingredient you're assigned on the other person, naming the part as you do it, taking turns until you're both miserable, sticky, messes. We used entire over-sized jars of each on one another, and if we're being honest, I wouln't have hated having two a piece.

My Sister and I attended the same summer camp, albeit at different points in the summer, as children. We'd both witnessed said skit, and been amazed by it as wee lasses. So, in an effort to be less of a bitch to my little sister, the newbie on the team trying to gain some notoriety,  I decided good old Beth and I should perform this together. It's kind of the perfect skit for sisters to do, because nobody knows how to be malicious like closely-aged sisters know how to be malicious to one another.

Our version when something like this:

Me: (Smearing peanut butter on Beth's pig-tailed locks) Peanut Butter hair gel!

Beth: (Playfully ringing my neck with jelly) Grape Jelly necklace!

Me: Peanut butter tube socks!!

Beth: Grape Jelly Sleeves!!

Me: Peanut butter lip gloss!!.

Beth: Grape Jelly blush!!

Me: Peanut butter eyeshadow!!

Beth: Grape Jelly underwear!!!!!

Grape jelly underwear. ON STAGE. It was totally on after that. I'm not kidding, we had an all-out war. The camp counselors we'd seen perform this skit as children were friends, so they hugged it out at the end. A third counselor had run out and rapidly threw a loaf of bread, slice, by slice on them and proclaimed 'Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich!!!!!!!' And they bowed it out and it was met by overwhelming applause, by the fourteen and under crowd.

We were NOT met by overwhelming applause right away. We were sisters, and shit was getting serious, seriously out of hand.  The other high-school aged members of the team had NO idea how to react. Perhaps it was weridly erotic for the male members and we didn't really think it through. My coach nearly LOST. HIS. SHIT. about the mess we made, us failing to realize just how fucking sticky everything was to become around us. Plus, we started getting legitimately pissed at each other and my friend Jessica ended up akwardly running out with the loaf of bread and kind of breaking up our shoving and condiment flinging as she doused us with bread.

In the end, we gave each other the one-stage hug, but like, the kind where you squeeze so hard that you're actually trying to hurt the other person without making it super obvious.



The ROAR of applause. Weird, confused, oh-shit-what-just-went-down, 'that was fucking awesome,' applause.

God, do I love the sound of applause.

In the end, our coach was seriously furious about the skit and how we weren't *exactly* forthcoming with details prior to performance (um, we knew he was going to say no, and it's obviously better to beg for forgiveness.) and purposely didn't include us in the applause level judging to determine a winner. AND we had to scrub a nasty dorm common-area for a unreasonably long time. However, the clean-up did allow us time to make ammends and bond over the fact that we just made total fools did the most badass skit ever, together.

Beth and I already knew we were the real winners. You know, sisterly bonding and blood being thicker than water and stuff.

I think there may actually be some pictures of this circulating around still, so I'll see what I can do in the means of evidence. Oh, shit.

Xo Sare

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

rub a dub dub get out of the tub... for your facebook picture.

I've been having some thoughts lately regarding your favorite social networking site and mine, the book of faces.

Despite Facebook's ability to make actual human interaction completely unecessary, illuminute us on the minute interactions and daily details of people we otherwise wouldn't have thought twice about ever speaking to again, and its ability to act as a catalyst for petty drama, I actually like Facebook.

We've had some times together, Facebook and I. Months of compulsively stalking exes, blocking haters, hours of penning clever photo captions and album titles, tons of emo song lyric statuses during my college daze, and LOTS of obscure interests, these are all things I never would have had the opportunity to master had it not been for the joy and wonder of Facebook. Once, Facebook and I even took a six month "break" that ended when I moved to a new place for the summer and needed, somehow, to keep track of everyone I was meeting there. SO MANY PEOPLE.


Not really, but at this point, the benefits outweigh the faults and I'm riding this train all the way to the station.

Sure, the powers that be at Facebook like to shake things up and completely change the viewing format to keep everyone on their toes, or strategically so that they'll get more traffic from people trying to figure the damn thing out... again, which is infinitely annoying and kind of makes me want to do violent things to the undeserving, but the bonds run strong between Facebook and me.

It's gotten to the point where I can say, completely unembarrassed, that I actually gauge how much I will likely get along with a person based on their Facebook personality. And if I'm beating them at life.... you know, competitive little me.

For instance... I can tell that if someone has The Great Gatsby in their favorite books, we won't hit it off, just the same as if they list Cosmo, which for the record, IS NOT a fucking book. Don't get me wrong, I personally got immense enjoyment out of the book and think it's a gentleman and a scholar among literary gems. However, really? Really? You're going to list a book that was required reading in HIGH SCHOOL in your favorites? Holy Unoriginal. I'm certain there has been a time in my six-year F-book career that The Great Gatsby was listed in 1/3 of my friends' favorite books. Don't you want people to think you're smart?! My bad, I guess people think listing that book does make them look smart. Maybe I'm friending all the wrong people.

And another thing, what is this list-every-band-you've-ever-heard-of-in-the-indie-rock genre in your favorite music section? Sometimes I just want to challenge these mother fuckers to name even one album from every artist they list. It annoys me. Just give me an idea of if we would get along together on a long road-trip.

And now, we have the minimailists. At least I think that's the cool thing now. Tell as little as possible, but leave one pithy quote to sum it all up. Bonus points if you can limit it to one word. OR, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the people that update their statuses sixty times a day, using gross abreviations and emoticons.

I sound like I hate people WAY more than I do.

Really, I'm probably the weirdo for reading into the things people nonchatlantly splash across the internet the way that I do. And also, all the stuff I listed above can be forgiven by other redeemable qualities, such as making me laugh so hard in real  life that liquid splurts out of my nose, or a nice comment on one of my wall pix. However, there is one F-book infringement that is unforgivable, other than the obvious, close-minded and ignorant political bigotry in the form of a status-update.

What I'm talking about, sad but true, will genuinely determine if I will make an effort to like a person in the world beyond that safety of the interwebz. The profile picture. I guess this requires some explanation. This recent discovery of myself stems from  something my friend Jessica told me recently; that only girls who think they're pretty leave their profile pictures open to public viewing. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not, but the girl has a point.

I don't mind if you have a picture of your dog, your child, your boyfriend doing something embarrassing. I don't even give a good goddamn if you have a picture of your newly engaged hand with a huge diamond on it, or if you're particularly proud of a vacation body that you worked your ass off to look bangin' in that bikini for. I'll probably not hate you if you have some angle pics that are better suited for MySpace, although I'll most likely get some laughs at your expense.

The picture you post of yourself is your own perogative, it's how you want the people you know to see you, and I respect that everyone has a little different idea of what makes them feel pretty. Once, I posted a picture of myself three sheets to the wind with a sugar-glider on my shoulder and four chins because I was literally screaming in terror that the thing was going to nibble on my earlobe. We've all got different views of what makes us most attractive.

But I do have a deal-breaker, I just don't do bathtub pictures. I don't care how skinny, hot, beautiful, hipster, indie RoCk 'N rOlL, or badass your are, there is absolutely no reason in my mind that any person, from age 18-98 should ever, ever post a picture of themselves in a bathtub with water running all over them. I recently came across a picture of a young lady that is a REPEAT offender of this one rule, and I must say, I'm completely baffled. Her profile pictures are public, and there she is, at various stages of undress, chillin' in a tub o' water. Will she never need a job? I don't think sitting in a bathtub with water hitting your body is a marketable skill. THIS IS THE MIDWEST, I'm pretty sure no modeling careers are taking off around here. I'm just so confused, does this make one popular with the fellas? Because who wants to date, seriously be committed in a relationship, with a person who's giving previews to every other guy on the block book? It's times like this that I just want to bring these girls big terry-cloth robes, sit them down and give them a hug and preach just a 'lil bit, because maybe SOMEONE already should have. It doesn't matter what super-alternative angle or lens you use to take the picture, it's still a bathtub picture and you still look like a fool.

And also kind of like a hussy.


Xo Sare

Friday, March 25, 2011

civic duty.

Yesterday evening I called 911 for the first time not as a prank call.

Milestone, anyone?

Manfriend and I had just finished a sodium-riddled meal at Panda Express and I was flying solo over to my parents' house. My parents are leaving for OMGZ SPRING BREAK 2k11!! this morning, which means they're going to hang out with all the other people they see in our hometown on the daily, just in the sunny climate of southern Florida. Part of me is actually surpirsed every year when I don't hear on the news that Florida has begun to sink into the gulf/ocean from the shear number of Midwestern spring-breakers that migrate there like bats out of hell for a week.

So since Mama and Papa D are going to be gone for a week, I am on dog duty this weekend. They could have taken little Brutus with them had they driven, but I had a pleasure of actually doing the drive once, and I can say with confidence that it will not be driven by a member of this family ever again. We're plane people, family vacations should be and are arranged utilizing flight.

Despite the fact that I have my own home to throw ragers soirees in at my own discretion, my pulse quickens at the thought of my parents leaving me home alone,  finding someone to buy us alcohol and getting sloppily intoxicated, then inviting a bunch of boys over and blowing the speaker system and having a bonfire in the backyard.... and then I remember I'm almost 25 years old and I can buy my own alcohol and drink it virtually wherever I please and I can have friends over to my own house and I have Manfriend, so I need to just cut it the fuck out. However, none of that truth really negates the fact that Mama and Papa D's house was made to party in. It's more of a party house than a let's-give-four-children-a-proper-raisin' house. I mean, I'm obviously not in a position to judge, but I think the house secretly really enjoys when I ultilize all of its entertainment related wiles.

 Anyway, I'm rolling over to my parents house so I can get instructions on how to care for the pup, and I'm kind of zoning out because I'm listening to Arcade Fire and also sort of embarrassingly screaming the lyrics and I look over to my left and by god, there is smoke billowing out of every window of a house that I'm passing. And then I think maybe I'm hallucinating, so I slowwwww down and turn off the music for a sec to make sure it's really happening, which it definitely is, and I then decide it would be best if I call for back-up and continue on my merry way.

I immediately call my father since I'm all sorts of nervous about calliing 911, because who does that? Who fucking calls 911 anymore? I'm never the first one to know about anything, I never have any reason to use the emergency network. Anyway, I call my dad because I'm a pathetic child and he confirms that based on the amount of smoke, fact that 'everyone has already left for spring break*," and the notable lack of any sort of crowd of gapers, I should indeed dial the fateful numbers. 

*Just to be clear, when my father stated that everyone had already left for spring break, he actually did mean the whole town, not just everyone we know. It's that kind of place. I'm so thrilled to be back here after six years away!!!! Another part of my soul just died.

 So I proceed to dial 911 and reach the operator while I'm driving away.

I'm quickly informed by a woman who is probably used to telling hysterical people to calm down that I've reached the wrong county. What that fuck? 911 doesn't have an area code.  So anyway, I'm actually not freaking out, which is pretty uncharacteristic of me, so I ask her to send me to the correct county and I get:

"Ma'am? Ma'am!??! Calm down. You just need to wait a second and I'm going to send you over there. Ma'am?"

First of all, bitch, don't call me ma'am. Second, you're the one who needs to calm down, you should be fucking thanking me for fulfilling my civic duty and actually being as cool as a cucumber about it, because trust me, you could be getting panicky Sara right now, and that's a lot more goddamndifficult to deal with.

Anyway, I call and report the potential fire and the new operator is a man that actually doesn't sound lazy and annoying, so I get a sense of, what should I call it? Pride. I get a sense of pride out of the encounter.

Soon after I hang up with the operator I reach my parents' street and guess who's waiting to turn from the direction I just came? My own father. What a busybody! So I roll down my window and I'm all "I just called and reported it, the operator guy said they're going to send someone out to check on it."

Of course, my father, the man who has never met a stranger, who is president of the high school booster club and whose son (my own brother) was captain of the high school football team this year, feels the duty, as one of the pillars of the community to 'go check things out.' Whatever.

I end up hopping into his car and we drive over to the scene of the smoke.

And you know what? It was fucking gone. There was no more smoke. Every damn window and door of the house was open to air everything out though, so I guess everyone really hasn't left for SB2K11! yet. My clever father jeered at me, "Looks like someone was just burning dinner. he he he."

Bullshit, the amount of smoke being expelled from the house was WAY more than a burning dinner, the place looked like it was cooking from the inside out. And that is coming from someone who has burned more than her fair amount of dinner. This girl does not call 911 for nothing. Buttttt... I kind of did feel like an asshat and encouraged my father to drive away quickly in case the emergency squads were on their way and going to be pissed about being called for a false alarm. I'm totally never dialling 911 again, there's always someone else around to call anyway.

So, I guess psyching myself up to call the authorities for a real (fake) emergency isn't really legitimate civic duty, but I think it does show that I'm a compassionate and caring human being, despite my general misanthropic tendencies.

I think my father was disappointed by the lack of drama. I'll take it as a good sign that I was actually relieved.

OMGZ party at my parents' this weekend!!!

Xo Sare

Thursday, March 24, 2011

jump for joy.

Since I'm not feeling textually inclined today, I decided to post an image illustrating my mood.

I've been foiled by google images, and I'm not happy about it.

Let's just say when I searched "crazy intense emotional rave party," the first image is an anime rave. Not my cup of tea. I mean, it probably could be, if I had the right outfit and was in the correct mindset, but it's not really expressive of my current mood.

However, my boss is on vacation for the next ten days, so "crazy intense emotional rave party" is actually exactly the vibe pulsating through my veins.

OK, ok, I've tried again. This time with "the best feeling ever." Surprisingly, this image is safe for work and not completely off the ball.

Kudos to these folks for not slamming their heads together and knocking each other out... then the the google search would have to be "absolute worst feeling ever."

See you tomorrow, maybe.

XO Sara

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

an ode to what's to come.

I am absolutely meant to be outside for as much time in my life as possible, without a single doubt.

Naturally, I'm fucking THRILLED TO DEATH that we're seeing some significant signs of warmth and life and less punishing conditions in my current locale. I saw daffodils in bloom yesterday that weren't in a grocery store! Driving home from work, I see tennis and soccer and baseball leagues starting practice again, fresh bouncing balls and unscuffed cleats. To me, it looks like relief. Seeing life take hold again.

I don't know if I've sufficiently expressed just how much of a summer person I am, but I'm going to go ahead and cover all my bases on that again right now, just in case not everyone got the whole picture. When the weather is nice, I'm a completely different person. In the summer, the glass becomes half-full, I stay up later than ten pm on weeknights, and I can feel myself just smiling for the sake of it. I sometimes even smile at elderly strangers. Creepy, but also, just, like, stupid cheerful.

I know that everyone gets a little crazy and more fun and just generally lively in the hot, sunny days of warmth and magic, but there's normal-person-contentment and then there's OMGZ SARA IS ALIVE!

My entire happiness in life could almost revolve around waking up with my hair smelling of campfire and that disgusting blackened marshmellow goo still stuck under my fingernails. My snarkiness becomes good-natured sarcasm. I feel lighter, and not just because of the significant reduction in clothing layers. I love the smell of the air and the feel of it, driving with every window down and the music as loud as it will get. There's nothing, nothing, in the world like a hot dog, cold beer, and live music while nursing a sunburn and wearing something cotton and thin. Throwing a blanket down on a patch of grass with a couple of friends at dusk in the summer does more for me than years of therapy ever could.  Summer is my answer to healing anything that ails. It's a miracle cure.

Everyone looks more attractive, comfortable in their own skin. Makeup is minimal if worn at all. Think about it honestly, doesn't everyone look prettier in the summer? Maybe it's the sun, or the warmth, or the feeling that waking up to light instead of dark gives you deep down, but it's true. Summer is the season for romantic flings because people are comfortable and just whatever enough to let themselves just be swept away, if only until the leaves start to change. Summer is never about practicality, and maybe that's why is appeals so strongly to my impractical, impulsive spirit. Moderation has always been lost on me.

And then there's the water, the insatiable urge to submerge myself in a body of water. The water is my favorite part of the whole summer package. I love the look and sounds and smells of bodies of water, lakes, rivers, streams, in the winter months too, but I love the feel of them in the summer. Spending every childhood summer at a cottage on the most beautiful lake in the entire world kind of ruined me, but in the best way possible. Ever go waterskiiing on glass at dawn? It's a religious experience. And I'm not even religious.   (and I'm not bullshitting, take a look:)

Torch Lake : She's a real beaut.

I guess it's probably logical to ask, why do I endure the winter, stay in the Midwest? Why don't I just move somewhere that my summer soul can breathe and play all year round without having to retreat into the darkened corners of my spirit when the days get shorter and the commute involves a fifteen minute defrost period, and stepping out of the shower genuinely feels like cruel and unusual punishment? Because I am from the Midwest, through and through. I swear to myself that I'd never even notice the lack of changing seasons, absence of musical transitions, switching to flannel sheets, the necessity of a hot drink in the morning. I'd be fine without mittens and pressing my frigid hands against Manfriend's belly to torture him warm myself up. It's no secret that I fall short of the joy-to-be-around category in the wintertime, but Winter is part of who I am. It's engrained in there as deep as my need to read books or laugh at the exact wrong time. Maybe I'm only cutting Winter some slack because it's finally loosening its grips and the sun is shining and I didn't wear a coat this morning. Whatever the reason, I'm afraid to find out the person I'd be if I didn't have the weather to dictate some necessary highs and lows in my emotional repotoire.

So I need Winter, I guess, for Summer to feel as good as it does.

Last night was nothing if it wasn't a tease. It was warm enough to sit outside in the backyard with a tumbler of Beam and Diet, in a chair circle with a couple of kimosabes and just enjoy each other and being out of doors, sans mosquitos, coats, shivering. I felt like I hadn't even seen my friends in five months, and I guess we're all coming out of the fog.

We started planning our first ladies-only canoeing/camping trip of the season last night because, finally, it seems plausible again. And believe you me, nothing gets me excited quite like daydreaming about rolling down the river in a bathing suit and the sun frying my shoulders, hopping in the river whenever I need to cool off, doing everything on my own time, singing some very butchered summer-songs with the girls,  and holding a water-bottle of whiskey and coke between my knees as I attempt to navigate our tiny vessel through the minor rapids, wayward branches, and sandbars, while splashing the neighboring boats with my paddle and eating about four packs of hot-dogs in a two day period.

For me, Summer doesn't warrant the same mental-stealing preparation that Winter does. I relish in the heat, often just sitting in my sweltering car for a couple of minutes before rolling down the windows and heading in the direction of my destination. I know, I'm all sorts of weird at times. I CAN'T HELP IT, I GET CARRIED AWAY! Summer is like breathing out after seeing how long you can hold your breath. It's the release.

And it's finally, finally, coming back.

It's supposed to be cold again tomorrow, and stay that way for almost a week, but I'll know that it won't stick; it's the last kick, the Custer's Last Stand.  I trust the summer to come back now, because it always does. And sure, even in the summer I'll be discontent and disappointed with some of the bigger aspects of my life, but Summer is and always will be my time for taking it in stride, believing it will work out in the end, letting the problems seem smaller so I'm not afraid to take them on and solve them.

We're in the final stretch, let's all hold on a little longer.

 Oh, and feel free to unabashedly pull the Marley back out, even if you're not a stoner, it's time for summer music again.

XO Sara

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

it's raining grapefruits.

Over a month ago now, I, in my infinite wisdom, purchased a twenty pound bag of grapefruit.

A sane person might ask why, why, one would ever think it was a smart idea to purchase that volume of grapefruit?

A month ago I would have argued the logic until I was blue in the face and, in my own mind, come out the clear winner, no matter what.

Not anymore.

You see, a month ago grapefruits were my favorite fruit.

Winter is the time of year this citrus crop is in full swing, and it's a ray of light onto my otherwise dismal cold weather existence. For the majority of this particular winter, I would buy grapefruits by the handful, two or three at a time, maybe a five-pound bag here or there. But, they're dirt cheap in the winter, and my waning budget won out that day, I went for the twenty pounder because it was six dollars and my god am I a sucker for a bargain.  

That's a fuckload of grapefruit.

But, I figured, I eat one for breakfast almost every morning already, they keep for a relatively long time, they're delightful and delicious, good for you, and why the hell not?

So, I embarked on a solitary journey. Me and my mission to consume twenty pounds of citrus before it becomes too mushy and disgusting for even I to deem edible.

Why do I get so much enjoyment out of a food that requires at least two utensils and a four-part process to consume? Some sick, wrong, part of me actually enjoys working for my food. So, I don't mind at all the necessity of a detailed preparation before the enjoyment portion of my morning meal. I quite like cutting the fruit in half and outlining each triangle portion with a knife, to make removal less arduous. Aside from chop sticks, the grapefruit spoon is my favorite utensil. A single fruit, designated its own human eating mechanism. Now that's status.

It's a dignified fruit. One for sitting down, actually having a meal that can't be scarfed amid traffic and slammed breaks and mascara application during the morning commute. This is a now sit down and read the paper and concentrate on this one task-at-hand hand food, and I respect it. For all my crazy and hurry and rush, I respect a goddamn fruit for forcing me to slow down and enjoy something, maybe just one thing, before letting the rest of the day get the better of me.

I fully realize that grapefruit is larely consumed by the elderly, who actually have the time to sit down and read the paper because they don't have shit to do other than go play bridge and watch the news, but maybe that's part of why I like it. My grandparents eat grapefruit frequently, with them even breakfast is a sit-down affair. As a child I waited impatiently for the day that I would be allowed to cut my own grapefruit, side-by-side with my Papa and help him with the crossword. I'd try to be like him and enjoy slightly bitter flavor instead of dousing mine with sugar. I still need sugar, so I guess I'm still not an adult quite yet. Maybe it's the nostalgia it stirs in me that keeps me coming back to such a formidable foe.

Whatever the reason, I've done what I always do with things I feel any affinity toward. I live and breathe the shit out of the thing until I'm so sick of it I never want to see it again. I do it with songs, listening to a tune on repeat until I know every nuance and pause to the point of complete familiarity and in time disgust, clothes, books, foods, drinks, and even grapefruit.  Now that I've been forced, in a race against their fragile produce expiration date, to consume grapefruit as if they're actually going out of style, I get absolutely no enjoyment out of eating them anymore. The people at work probably think I'm on some fucked-up diet where I'm only allowed to eat grapefruit for every meal.


I'm not even close to the bottom of the bag, and I'm so sick of grapefruit I could start throwing them though car windows.

So, despite my otherwise not-very-good-at-sharing personality, I'm making this announcement:


You want them? Come and get them.

XO Sara

Monday, March 21, 2011

mouth breathing.

Two Fridays ago I had a mini-personal catastrophe.

A little background to this story woould be that I'm essentially "living" in two domiciles at the moment, the house I share with my BFFAEAEAE Kath, and Manfriend's. I always leave something somewhat vital to my existence at one place when I leave for the other. It's sad how disorganized I've become, really, considering how OCD I am about everything in my life.

Anyway, after work on that fateful Friday, I drove straight to the park to go for my run.

AND I didn't have my ipod.

I really, truly, almost had a meltdown. I just can't, CAN NOT listen to the sound of my own breathing when I run. I don't know how in the hell I made it through cross country and track in high school in the old days before people ran with ipods. I really don't. If I listen to myself breathe, I psyche myself out and start imagining how long it would be until someone found me if I collapsed where I am... etc. I have an active imagination.

It's really pretty sad how dependant I am on BEATZ to get me through my fitness practice unless I have someone running with me, but what can I say? I am hooked.

Anyway, I'm always looking for new songs to add to the mix, and if you are too, feel free to use any on the list below. AAAAAAAlso, please feel free to send some suggestions, my musical apptitude admittedly isn't what it once was.

BUT, I was never that cool, so what difference does it make?!?!!!

But, maybe don't judge me if you happen to spot a Hilary Duff song on the list below... please.

The Jams That Get Me Through A Punishing Workout

Florence and the Machine     The Dogs Days are Over
Drake, TI, & Swizz Beatz       Fancy
Katy Perry                           Firework
Jay-Z & Rihanna                   Run This Town
Jay-Z                                   Empire State of Mind
Edward Sharpe                     Home
Tramped By Turtles               Empire
Modest Mouse                     Paper Thin Walls
Kelis & Too Short                 Bossy
All American Rejects            Dirty Little Secret <-------- I guess you could say this was mine
Kelly Clarkson                      Miss Independent
Rachael Yamagata                Worn Me Down
Silverspun Pickups                Kissing Families
The White Stripes                 I'm Slowly Turning Into You
The Academy Is                   Classifieds
Blink-182                             What's My Age Again?
Brand New                           I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light
CCR                                    Down On The Corner
Fall Out Boy                        Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today
Hilary Duff                            Wake Up .......... I warned you it was coming?
Jim Sturgess                        I've Just Seen A Face
The Killers                           When You Were Young
MGMT                                Time To Pretend
Micheal Buble                      Haven't Met You Yet
Neutral Milk Hotel                 King Of The Carrot Flowers, Part 1
Rilo Kiley                             Portions For Foxes
Say Anything                       Alive With The Glory Of Love
Sugarcult                            Champagne
Taking Back Sunday            You Know How I Do
Talking Heads                      This Must Be The Place (Naive)
The Ting Tings                     Shut Up And Let Me Go
Tom Petty                           American Girl
Unwritten Law                      Save Me
Yeah Yeah Yeahs                Cheated Heats
+44                                     Little Death

 Just press shuffle and call it better than listening to yourself breathe!

Xo Sara

In other news, I just got a 130 point work in words with friends!!!!!! Boom.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

kiss me (i have NO idea if i'm) irish.

My knowledge of my heritage is what one could refer to as patchy, at best. Part of this probably has to do with the fact that apparently my ancestors would mate with anyone that hung around and looked interested. At least no one can call us bigots! So I'm most likely some sort of European mutt, which is fine because I'm like, omgz totally one-hundo percent American. GO USA!

As a child I was extremely inquisitive. If you've ever played the "why?" game to annoy the shit out of whomever you're with, then you get the idea. So naturally, I was curious about where I came from... and not in the biblical sense.

This all stemmed from a single interaction. In kindergarten, June, this boy in my class, could and did proudly proclaim that his family was from India and we spent like 20 kindergartner minutes (read: more than my attention span would normally allot for a single task) learning about about his heritage and family traditions and cool clothes, etc, etc. I was jealous. I was insanely jealous of the fact that I could not one-up all his culture with our common Christmas tree, Easter-egg hunts, and pathetic Thanksgiving turkey. ALL OF THE OTHER KIDS HAD THOSE THINGS. UGH, they were used, lackluster, jaded. I, of course, wanted proof that I got to be more than the other kids when it came to a little thing known as worldliness.

Can we see now how the compulsion towards turning everything in life into a competition was already forming?

Yes. We. Can.

I can actually see my miniature self speaking very calmly to my mother from the backseat of the car as to not alarm her or let her catch on to the heirarchal thought stream spewing through every channel of my mind.

"Mom, where are we from?"

"Your Daddy and I are from Columbus, Ohio, and you were born in Pennslyvania. You know that stuff, silly!"

"I know where we're from in AMERICA, Mom. I mean where we our people from BEFORE us. Like your great grandparents."

"You know what, honey, that would be a great thing to talk about with your grandma and grandpa or Nana and Papa next time you see them."


My mother saw my innocent curiosity and met me with COMPLETE AVOIDANCE. To her credit, I was high-maintenence child, and the best method to prevent an extremely involved family project was probably to casually dismiss some of my more labor-intensive queries.

Travesty, anyone?

From that point on, I was constantly hounding every family member I could corner for clues about where I was from. Okay, maybe not constantly,  but whenever I remembered June, or not gettting answers, or not feeling as awesome because another kid had something I didn't. The way I saw it, I still had one very important factor on my side, potential. Since I wasn't told I was basically the same as everyone else that fled Europe or wherever they were before to pursue something better with the grand illusion of a much better livelihood, I wasn't merely that. Not yet.

Occasionally, I would get random tidbits of information to piece together, such as my mother proclaiming that she's "mostly Irish!" or my great-grandmother stinking up her home making cabbage rolls that ew, gross, I wouldn't even taste and thus I would learn that she was Hungarian... thus, so was I! I learned my Nan's maiden name was German and some of our cousins on that side spoke German, so we were somewhat Germish. German? Yeah, that's better. There was some talk of "lineage" at one point at a family wedding where everyone was plastered and I think partial English blood was discussed. I was patching it together.

I'm a mutt. Whatever.

And then... I started not caring about it as much. I worried about things like boys and cars and clothes and sneaking out to go streaking with my friends. Things I could really win at, and that were in my control.

Until last summer.

Last summer I was visiting my fraternal grandparents, Nan and Papa at their home in Ann Arbor. We basically played Scrabble, walked around U of M while they told me stories of their glory days there and when they met, sat around drinking cocktails, and looked through thousands of old family photographs.

I honestly had no idea my Nan was schlepping around 8927348937 pictures from house to house that they moved around the country. As I was looking through them, and she was encouraging me to take any of them I wanted, because, hello, time to get rid of some of that baggage, I came across a bonafide breakthrough.

I'm sitting next to my WASPY seventy-three year old grandmother looking through snapshot 376376 of 2837498374. I'm sneezing because everything. is. so. damn. dusty.


Anyway, yeah, allergies can go blow a whale.

We're sitting on the couch together and we come across a old ass photo of a man that turns out to be her father. And then my dear, dear, Nan, my biggest influence and person I look up to most on this earth, says offhandedly:

"Oh, this is right after he came over from the old country."

My ears perk up ever so slightly. "Oh, yes, Germany, right?"

"No no no, Sarabara, from Romania of course."



Old country = Romania.

And that is the story of how I found out that I'm badass and a vampire and my family is from ROMANIA. Don't get my wrong, I fully realize the whole vampire thing is kind-of worn out and quite frankly kind of annoying ever since Twilight pretty much stole the soul that was the coolness of vampires. But take a long look at yourself, and really dig deep into your soul and answer honestly when I ask what I'm about to ask.

Wouldn't you TOTALLY ride out the awesome and cool vampire-darkness heritage you JUST found out about?

I knew you would.

Now I just need to find that June kid and let him know that actually, I win. Again.

But since, according to my mother, I'm at least a little Irish too, I'll be celebrating all the snakes leaving the Emerald Isle or whatever all this madness is about today. Just in case. Wouldn't want to make my ancestors feel unappreciated.

If you see me tomorrow, be gentle.

XO Sare.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

birthday season.

To some people this particular time of year is known as "lent," "the start of daylight savings time," or "early spring," but for me, it's birthday season.

You see, today marks the twenty-second birthday of my baby sister, Beth. Saturday was our little brother Charlie's tenth birthday. In three weeks the third-born, Eric, will reach eighteen. And I, the lone summer birthday, will be twenty-five this year. Good to know the breeding years run long in this, our great family.  

Our parents have May and June covered, and most of our close non-immediate family is peppered in the next month or two to boot.

And yes, we have a ten year-old. He was a surprise! And my, what a surprise he has been. We taught him to say 'dystentery' before his second birthday and by three he was unsettlingly familiar with the use of sarcasm. He is a product of us, his three elder siblings. We've created a monster.

So, we're a little spread out. And, much to my chagrin, we've all pretty much been experimented on with different parentling styles and philosophies. It's mass confusion.

All these birthdays constitute a lot of birthday cake, and if my mother is a true expert on anything other than garage-sale-ing and re-upolstering, it's the creation of a fine, fine birthday cake. I'm literally drooling right now thinking of a little concoction I often request with chocolate, strawberries, whipped cream, and more drizzled-on chocolate. MMMMMMM. That and every year, no matter what, if it's your birthday and you're living at home, mother goes all-out with decorations so that when you walk downstairs and towards the kitchen, your route is littered with streamers, balloons, and celebratory signage. We don't take birthday's lightly around here.

So, I'm getting all of them out of the way now, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHARLIE/BETH/ERIC!!!! Thanks for always letting me boss you around and sometimes throw you around, insist upon calling you Natalie, make you swallow pennies as 'medicine' during childhood games of doctor, not protesting too much when I inevitably steal clothes from each of you,  always participating in my theatrical productions, and for being the sharers of the hammock.

here we are, in all our glory, over nine years ago.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the gym couple.

To be honest, I'm a little bored with the whole let's find me a new path in life because I don't like the one I'm on theme I've been going with the past couple of posts. Trust me, that little intenal tug-of-war isn't going anywhere, so rest assured I'll finish rating my new potential careers at some point this week.

Just not today.

Today, I'd like to talk about a little thing that's causing me a lot of anxiety.

A little thing I like to call, the 'gym couple.'

NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY likes that couple. You know the one I'm talking about. Matching outfits, annoying vernacular of encouraging phrases infused with pet names,  PECKING EACH OTHER ON THE MOUTH BETWEEN SETS OF REPS.

It's... just..... too.... much.

It's too much for any sane person, single or taken, who is genuinely trying to sweat five pounds through their pores in the next forty five minutes of intense self-inflicted pain and discomfort.

I hate the couple. Because how can they possibly be getting an actual, decent, worth-going-through-all-the-motions-leading-up-to-working-out, work-out session in with the other one hovering around, watching every single fucking move they make? How can they possibly be working off the aggresion that built up all day towards one another from the dishes that he left in the sink unwashed, or how she used all the hot water this morning?? I mean, it's healthy, right? To need to just blow off some steam sweating your ass off instead of getting into a screaming match over a used cereal bowl or a luke-warm shower? Do they have no conflicts?


I just don't see how it can really be healthy to have your significant other there with you during the daily workout. Sure, I enjoy a nice bike ride with Manfriend. We walk the dog together. We've gone canoeing together. (In hindsight, the canoeing example isn't actually a very good one, because I'm incredibly bossy and I have to be the one steering and when you're trapped on a boat with the other most stubborn person on the planet, copious amounts of gummi worms are sometimes necessary to mend things at the end of the ordeal. AKA, I don't think Manfriend had an awesome time canoeing with me, but whatever I'm probably the best canoeing partner I know. )

So anyway, I'm vehemently opposed to the idea that 'the couple that works out together, stays together.' GROSS. I love Manfriend and I'm not really all that timid about being sweaty and digusting when I'm around him, but I NEED my workout time to be mine.

 Which is why a really, really strange thing happened last night.

Recently, Manfriend joined a gym. A Martial Arts gym. Recently, I really really wanted to join a gym, but due to the fact that I run outside and would only use the gym every now and then to swim laps, do a class, or do upper body stuff a couple of times a week, it doesn't really fit into my budget. AKA, my credit card debt isn't going anywhere and my parents would probably skin me alive if I joined a gym right now. I realize it's sad that I just blamed my parents for not joining a gym, but trust me, they can take it.

Muay Thai. Not Manfriend, but this is what he's doing with his life these days.

Sooooooooo anyway, Manfriend is doing Muay Thai now. BUT ALSO they do a Strength and Conditioning class at his gym a few times a week for an hour. andifyoulivewithyoursignificantotherthentheycancomeforfreeanddothatclasstoo.

And goddamnit, it's FREE.

So, what I'm trying to say is that last night I went to the class. With Manfriend. I mean, not technically with him, with him, since he was already there for his specific class, which was right before the one I came for. So we drove seperately. But I mean, we both did the class.


But not like, together, together.

I promise we didn't even really speak to one another. I made sure to be on a different heavy bag when we did punching exersizes. It was basically like we weren't even there together.

Except we were. The last 15 minutes or so we did mat stuff and we were definitely right next to each other. And at the end, we got called out by the main dude that runs the academy.

"Look at theeees couple, they're gettin' fit togethaa."

Fuck me.

But you know what? Screw it. I really enjoyed the class. The owner's name is Mr. Bigby, and I get a shit-ton of pleasure out of repeating his name in every weird voice I can think up with regularity. I liked the girl-to-guy ratio, and how much sweat I expelled in the one-hour period, and I especially got a kick out of punching those bags as hard as I possibly could with absolutely zero reprecussions for being aggressive.

I figure, as long as we're not dressing alike, acknowledging each other during the time we're there, and he's not calling me 'sugar-tits,' while I'm mentally kicking the shit out of the lady that cut me off on the entrance ramp on my commute home, then I guess I can live with this little set-up. Come on, it's free. I've still got my daily run to pound out any residual neurotisism hanging around my psyche. I don't think we're in any danger of ever dressing in matching outfits to go work out, or lifting weights together. But, I guess this is probably how these things start. Meh.

Plus, I don't really think I can express in words how much enjoyment I found out that I get in punching things, otherwise I just carry all that shit around, because I'm really bad at just letting things go.

Hate me if you wanna, I'll be getting fit enough to kick your ass.

XO Sare.

Friday, March 11, 2011

sniffing out my 'calling,' second installment

Alright, it's time to weigh the pluses and minuses of my potential career endeavors, as promised yesterday.

Camp Director

I think I would actually be relatively decent at this job. Summer camp was by far one of the highlights of my childhood and it would be cool to give that experience to miniature humans. Camp fire sing-a-longs? A HELL YES. Plus, I actually wish I still had the good fortune to attend summer camp myself... still. I actually did a summer in New Hampshire at a camp teaching the upper-middle-class youth of the East Coast how to Kayak. It. was. awesome. However, being solely accountable for hundreds of other peoples' most prized accomplishments (aka, their children) is somewhat daunting. In addition, summer camps only typically operate in the summer, seeing as how their main customers are children that spend the majority of their year in schools. So, the remaining portion of the year would involve a lot of desk work. Plus, I like to get kind of wild in the summer myself, and not the kid-friendly kind. With Camp Directors averaging zero days off during the sunnier months, my canoeing-with-a-nalgene-of-Jim-Beam time would be greatly and gravely reduced.

Overall, I give this possibility a C+ for possible enjoyment and feasibility.

Speech Writer

This is actually a serious dream of mine. However, I'm not really having much luck breaking into the speech writing field. Do they have a union? The grad school program I'm feebly attempting to gain addmission to is actually sort of aligned with this goal... so it's a possibility. I just think it would be totally badass to hear someone give a riveting speech that moves millions and be like "Oh, no big whoop, I wrote that for them." I'm guessing there's not a huge demand for speech writers at this point, but since writing is something I already enjoy doing... Well. Cool. Downside, I don't want to turn into a slick-back-haired spin doctor for some lame reality TV star or sleazy politician who just got busted for kiddie porn. I have a soul. Kind of. I'm guessing this is kind of a take-what-you-can-get field.

Grade = B

NGO Coordinator for International Women's Groups

Really kind of regretting taking the serious route here. Now I have to explain things and whatnot. I may have some degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Women's Studies. I may have extensive knowledge on micro-loans and what they're doing for women in developing countries. Ie,  Poverty = bad. I may have a strong appetite for international travel and a tendency towards empathy for those comercials with the little dark skinned babies not swatting the flies all over their chubby and adorable faces. God dammit, I want to make the world a better place, okay? The problem is that I 1. Have some semi-serious health problems of my own. 2. Most of the work for organizing these women is done by volunteers, and as we found out here, I'm not exactly rolling in dough. Getting a job at an organization that does this kind of work exclusively has proven to be, for me, like trying to find a needle in the proverbial haystack. However... maybe with a masters degree? Perhaps I could do an internship?  UGH.

Grade = B-


Ooooooh, I've had a taste of the greatness that is a bartender's life, and It's been a hard thing to walk away from. On the one hand, serving up drinks at a decent bar will make you shitloads of money with minimal effort  on the weekends and allow you to get drunk often and sleep the day away. On the other hand, bartending sucks you into a way of life perpetuated by laziness and petty drama. In addition to this being the period in my life where I knew the least about what was going on in the world, I also fell into the weirdest and most inconvienent sleep schedule... ever.  Working every weekend night and going out on Sundays makes the bars less crowded, but it also forces you to make new (worthless) friends that also bartend. On the upside, this job can take place virtually anywhere in the world and I find the locational flexiblity appealing, but I'm not going to be in my 20s forever and I just visibly shuddered at the thought of kissing all possibility of having an actual fulfilling job to become the desperate albeit FUN! single thirty-five year old with a beer-belly, bad fake tan, and talon-like nails, still trying to bring all the boys to the yard. Finally, owning my own bar with a bunch of my cooky friends would be semi-awesome, I mean, who doesn't have a Charlie in their friend-group? But I just can't get away from the idea of becoming the talon-lady. I think I need to put this possibilty to bed.

Grade = D+

Great American Novelist

I really enjoy writing. I've been writing little stories and personal narratives to entertain myself for as long as I can remember. Hence, this blog. However, I sometimes have a really hard time finishing things that I start, namely large projects. The idea of writing an entire book is pretty appealing, but then thinking about commiting to two hundred plus pages of my own original thought sends me into panic-sweats. Plus, a book is an awful lot to give to people of yourself, you know? It's just such a gamble to put yourself out there with a book and then have some rando that doesn't know you let you know how much you suck at everything and have never had an original thought, etc. I'm a pansy, apparently.

Grade = C

White-Water-Rafting Guide

Um, constant adreneline, working outside, and being on the water? All day? Every day? YES, please. Um, actually liking my job and being super excited to get up every day and go do it? Double Yes, please. I'm actually pretty handy with a paddle and feel like I would really find a niche group of people that I genuinely enjoyed being around daily if I worked a job like this. However, do I really want to do seasonal work for the majority of my life? Working somewhere gorgeous and loving my life cuts me right to the heart, but a lack of stability and actual career could actually turn out to be a problem for me. My parents did pay boatloads of dollars for my college degree. I should, I guess, at least try to make them proud. I'm not so much concerned about this job being dangerous as I am verbally flying off the handle at some dumbass rookie tourist who puts their life in danger by not following my instructions. When I was 20 and a camp counselor, my girls went on a rafting trip in Montreal that I had the pleasure of chaperoning... there were eight fifteen year old girls in the raft with the guide and myself and there were several moments where I felt genuine pity for the women as she attempted to navigate a raft of teenage divas over class IV rapids. Overall, though, the awesome factor wins out.

Grade = A for enjoyment,C for fulfillment/feasibility

Interior Designer

Okay, this is kind of an odd entry to the list, but I can explain, sort of. It's just that lately I've had this compulsion to make areas I find myself in more visually pleasing. It's almost annoying, but at this point I'm still enjoying it. Although, building up a database of clients could be a rather daunting task and dealing with women who have too much money to throw around would be taxing to my minimal patience. This job could also be done virtually anywhere and would grant me relative autonomy over my schedule. On the other hand, I don't know a lick about color schemes and I have no credibility.

Overall grade = C-

Astronaut... bummer.

Antique Store Owner

Sooo. I LOVE antique stores and trolling around them for hours on end, in search of the perfect butter dish or whatever else I'm in the market for that day. Unforunately, when I spend those hours on end in said antique stores, I end up hitting my inhalor like 87923483 times because HOLY mold and musty air. Also, I'm terrible at haggling, but I think it could possibly be different if I was on the selling end instead of the buying end. I'm also not sure how I'd go about acquring enough really old things to justify opening my own business, but I'm anxious to get to the pluses with this one, so let's do that instead. I'm picturing myself wearing a house dress and slippers, languidly shrewn across an old chaise lounge, reading in front of a fire with my dogs at my feet, absentmindedly "working," but really just hanging out and making occasional sales. I could be cool. I'm really good at making up stories on the spot, so I could probably sell just about anything. "Yeahhhhhhh, that ring was the only thing that made it through the great depression. I heard the family ate their own dogs. ::Glance lovingly at my own dogs::. "Those were truly hard times. I surely can't part with this precious heirloom for under 8,000 dollars." And then I'm running a successful business, because who's going to look into that shit?! Eat it, Antique Roadshow!

Alright. Here's the deal, I'm going to have to do the rest Monday, because this has taken a surprisingly long time thus far and to be honest, even I'm losing interest with it.

Have a weekend of weekends!

XO Sara