Friday, April 29, 2011


i haven't posted in a while almost entirely because i've been a little miserable lately and despite trying to convey that in several entries over the last two weeks, i just couldn't feel good about blasting the internet with all the venom and crazy i've been feeling lately.  i'm not as much of a sadcloud now, having spent the last few mornings potting plants like a zen master and hanging a hammock in the backyard with luke and plotting out my summer vegetable garden/backyard bench plan.

here's the issue: i feel like i've been very selfish lately.  i used to be someone who did and did and did for other people, usually at my own expense.  it never mattered because i had the time and the energy and the general get-up-and-go to be for other people what i never could for myself; namely, a support system, a beaming, bouncing enthusiastic crazy who showed up to every event, dried every tear and was forever willing to go out of my way for my friends.  in the last year or so (possibly more), i've had to shut a lot of that part of me down.  i don't like it and i'm not excited about it, but i think i needed it.  thus, i have mixed feelings.  i've been passive about friendships and people i adore and have made a genuine second career out of bailing on plans and this makes me feel horrible, considering how much i love the people in my life and how terrible i know i've been to them.  on the flip side, since last year, i've gotten married, moved into a house (in an area that effectively puts me millions of miles away from any group of friends i've got), gotten a puppy (holy cannoli, if i'd only known...), been unable to find anyone willing to hire me, and, most insane of all, started grad school, which has kicked my ass all over town since september.  all these things have been a drain on my physical ability to do other things, as i'm always in my car driving the length of the city or at school studying and getting my ass handed to me by anatomy tests or at home eating milk chocolate and almond candy bars trying not to die from stress.  my inability to handle any more than what's on my plate at the moment is a bad thing.  i don't like being so consumed with things outside myself that i can't be a functioning member of my own life.

however, the last year has been incredible for me as a person.  i feel like i am more unapologetically myself than i ever have been.  for better or worse, i can now say whatever the hell is on my mind and if people think i'm out of my gourd, so be it.  i realized at a family party recently that there are units of my own extended family who have no idea what to make of me, and that's totally fine.  i rarely feel uncomfortable in my own skin these days and that is remarkable in itself considering i spent most of my formative years feeling like a hideous mutant that belonged up in a bell tower.

therefore, as insane as this year has been, as horrible as i've been at making plans and sticking to them, i know that ultimately, this is all good.  i have had time to do things for myself (although not necessarily by myself) and have had experiences that challenged me in ways i've never been challenged before.  i've learned to stick up for myself and my beliefs and i know now that regardless of any outside influence, i know who i am and what i stand for and i would gladly do this whole breathless, crazy year over again if it meant getting this much clarity about my life.

to sum: i apologize to everyone i haven't seen in ages.  just know that while i've been an absentee friend, i've also been a whirling dervish.

Monday, April 11, 2011

b of s

i'm currently on hold with bank of america, practically holding my breath to keep from screaming.

as kids, my grandparents would buy us stock for our birthdays (among other things, obviously).  when i turned 18, my grandpa gave me the choice to keep the money in the market or remove it, and since i'm too much of a money grubber to be a gambler, i opted to take it all out of the stock market and place it in a countrywide savings account.  i promptly forgot about it for years and years while in college, until bank of america bought out countrywide and i started getting statements detailing crazy monthly maintenance fees being removed from my account.  i don't bank with b of a and taking care of it wasn't a super high priority for me, until last november, when i realized a) i could actually use the money and b) i didn't want to come back to the account in 2012 to find it had all been eaten by fees (as i wasn't putting any money into it).

so, i walked into a branch, closed the account and ran off with my monies.

cut to: last week, when my mother started getting calls from collections agencies in my name.  turns out that despite my physically closing the account (and withdrawing all the funds), the account had been reopened without my knowledge due to a few cents interest that had accrued before i shut it down.  because the account had been conveniently reopened, the bank could continue charging me maintenance fees and because there was no money in the account and i assumed (incorrectly, i guess) that i was done with bank of america, eventually the unpaid, delinquent fees had been sent to collections.

um, what?  it was only $57 and i could have easily just paid it to the collections agency or to the bank and gotten it taken care of, but i am my mother's daughter and am very concerned with "the principle of the thing," so i'm on the phone with a third person from the bank, who just told me that i'd have to handle it with the collections agency, despite the fact that i've already talked to them and they referred me to the bank.

i hate the world.

good news, though.  apparently, she took care of it.  in fact, she was so eager to get me off the phone, this is how the conversation went:

her: "ok, i'm gonna let you hang up now."
me: "sooooo, has there been resolution?"
her: "yes."
me: "ok, can you tell me how?  did you send an electronic message to the collections agency?  are you going to mail it?"
her: "it's on the computer."
me: "right.  so if i call the agency tomorrow, it should all be worked out?"
her: "yes."

the end.  i'm tired of this for right now, so i'm going to trust her, but i have a feeling i'll be doing all this shit again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

say no to drugs

i spent today doing exactly what i did yesterday; namely, blowing my nose, watching tv and wallowing in my misery.  i am by far the worst sick person/patient in the universe (and am at my all-time most obnoxious when i'm getting my teeth cleaned, as my grandpa is my dentist and i therefore have zero annoyance filter.  all of his assistants probably despise me).  this is how horrible i am at being under the weather: as a kid and a teenager, i only had a few recurrent dreams and the one that was the most devastating was also the one that from the outside appears to be the most innocuous.  each and every time i was sick, for every single night of said illness, i would dream that my mom had come into my room to put a giant glass of water on my nightstand.  then, i would wake up in the middle of the night, parched and dying of thirst, and so thrilled that i had water waiting for me.  it was only then that i realized, every time, that the water wasn't there.  it was always a crushing blow.  and yes, this happened every time and no, i never thought ahead and got water before i went to sleep, and yes, i slept downstairs in a room right off the kitchen and was perfectly capable of getting a glass when i woke up panic-stricken in the middle of the night.  i offer no explanations - only the truth.  it was terrible.

as an adult, i haven't gotten any better.  as i've mentioned, luke had this first and while he was at his sickest, he steam-cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen and took the dog for walks and dressed himself like a normal human being.*  i, on the other hand, completely dropped off the face of the earth this weekend and did nothing but fantasize about the food i was eating and wished i could taste.  i am insufferable.

so, all day, i have been bonded to the couch, water glass at hand!, wearing the same pajamas i've been wearing since friday night (pajamas i took off yesterday to shower and then put right back on - i am not ashamed), watching countless hours of the tube and trying to get through "the girl who kicked the hornet's nest" on netflix.  (for some reason, despite reading all the books and loving the first two swedish films, i just cannot get into this third one, even now, when i have no energy for doing anything but getting into movies.)  and, because i haven't exerted myself at all, i'm starting to feel better.  however, i'm still so congested i feel like i've been punched in the face and i'm still pretty into mouth-breathing.  in fact, i called out of work tomorrow (despite feeling ok and wanting to get the hell out of the house already), because the crux of my job is detecting smells and that is just not happening right now.  i just ate leftover indian food with luke, and while he was having his mouth blown off by spiciness, i was chowing down, tasting nothing.  i'm sure my tongue is really pleased about that.

side note: my aunt and uncle run a surplus warehouse that handles lots of household products and occasionally, they'll give luke and i a huge box full of paper towels, toilet paper and kleenex.  the most recent gift was so enormous, i had no idea when we were going to get through all of it.  mystery solved! in two days, i've gone through two and a half rectangular boxes of kleenex.  i'm on my last box and i'm scared.

*granted, luke and i handle sickness differently.  he loads up on dayquil and nyquil and is essentially medicated the entire time.  if i can handle it, like this weekend, when i didn't have work or school, i stay far away from meds because i was told in my tenth grade biology class that those medications, in lowering fevers and slowing down mucus, actually lengthen your illness, as they slow your body's defense.  saying no to drugs works for me in two ways: 1) it makes me think i'll get better faster and 2) it legitimizes my whining, as i really do feel horrible.  i'd say that's a win win.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

sad day.

i am les mis.  overnight, the cold traveled from my broken throat and settled squarely in the middle of my face - but, really, who didn't see that coming after i so recklessly proclaimed to the universe yesterday that i was gonna get away with just a sore throat.  curse you, jinx!

i'm sneezy and disgusting and i'm going through tissues like they're tater tots or m&ms, but at least i'm not achey anymore!  thank god for small miracles, i guess.

also, paranormal activity 2 did not come in the mail from netflix today and that is very upsetting.

Friday, April 8, 2011

nanny mcfree

this cold has stayed mainly in my throat and has done so much damage, it literally pains me to talk to anyone.  this is traumatic, considering my favorite thing of all is gabbing to any and all who will listen/are within ear shot and without escape routes.  therefore, expect many blog entries until this thing clears up, as i couldn't possibly keep all of this contained.

on monday night, i filled in as a last minute babysitter for a family i used to nanny for, way back in 2009.  i left the job in june of that year to start working at the preschool and hadn't seen the kids since (which is pretty reprehensible, because we all live in the same city and i absolutely loved them).  being a nanny is an interesting gig, because while working with children is by far one of the most rewarding things i've ever done, working with children in their homes on a regular basis tends to get a little out of my comfort zone.  eventually, the job becomes less about picking the kids up from school and entertaining them with my boundless enthusiasm and more about picking up dry cleaning and doing emergency grocery shopping.  there is no judgement in that statement, only regret, as i have learned both times i've nanny'd that managing my own life is difficult enough - i can't handle the responsibility of managing someone else's (especially when that someone else has two children and a massive house and a crazy schedule).  it becomes too much for me, until after a week of being too busy to buy groceries for my own house, i find myself at a restaurant supply store with a housekeeper who speaks only spanish, desperately trying to pantomime all the things on someone else's shopping list (do you have any idea how difficult it is to try to act out clorox bleach?).  those are the times i ask myself, "what is my life?"  i've been a nanny for two different families, and had two distinctly different experiences, and left those positions both times knowing it wasn't for me (at least not while in school/working a second job).

babysitting, though, is something else entirely.  i love babysitting.  i was blessed with a built-in charge when i was nine, in the form of my youngest brother, who i began watching by myself when i was about 11 or 12.  then, i ran my own very successful babysitters club all through high school (which is why i didn't get a legitimate paycheck cut in my name until i was almost 19 and already in college).  i've found that babysitting has become more fun as i've gotten older, perhaps because i'm more completely my own person and get to feel like the funky, weird older sibling/aunt.  also, kids have by the far the best senses of humor, and being as hilarious as i am, i enjoy that very much.

so, anyway, back to monday.  the son in this family is around eight (being just about six the last time i saw him, which was so long ago, i still can't believe it) and i spent most of the afternoon watching him as he attempted to do four underwater front flips in a row in the backyard pool ("sarah, i need bigger lungs," was his conclusion, when he absolutely could not break three in a row).  it was during this pool time that he told me all about the ghosts that he sees around the house.  he told really detailed stories about when they show up and what they look like and how no one in his family believes that he actually sees them.  then, he started to tell me about a magical pair of dice he has, dice that always roll the number he needs, as long as he wishes for it.  he said they were his grandpa's dice, and thinking that with all the talk of ghosts and magic and the unexplained, he might enjoy a little whimsy, i said, "well, maybe it's your grandpa rolling the dice, to help you out."

to which he replied, "sarah, i don't think so.  my grandpa's dead."


Thursday, April 7, 2011

whiny pants*

i have a cold.  this is annoying, but also helpful in explaining why i've been exhausted, sore, achey and miserable this week (school/life anxiety notwithstanding, of course).  luke got sick on monday, but because i was a whirling dervish of craze, i didn't really even think about dousing myself in hand sanitizer and overdosing on vitamin c and zinc, which is usually standard protocol for me if someone close to me (read: the husband) is even suspected of being ill.  in my overwhelmed delirium, i didn't even think about it and here i am, suffering while he gets better.  i'm mostly just super achey and have a crazy sore throat, so i think i'll live.  also, because i've worked all week and then gone to lab to study every day, i've given myself tonight and all day tomorrow to break from studying/stressing, so that i'll have some time to recoup before starting the shit storm again on monday.  it is what i call a "mental health break," which i suppose is a nicer, more polite way of saying, "i will lose my shit entirely if i don't have a day to laze around and run errands (such as getting a new pair of cheap sears optical glasses, as the puppy has successfully gnawed the stems off of both my current pairs.  i've been wearing wonky glasses for week)."

i have tomorrow morning off as well (and it's supposed to rain), so here's to sleeping in and drinking tea!

*at 5:45am monday through friday, i have a cup of coffee with the landfill's lead mechanic.  this in and of itself is supremely bizarre, because while everyone i know is still asleep, i'm becoming best friends with a man who has a daughter my age (or older?  i've never asked).  anyway, the point is that i've been a miserable mess this week and pre-6 am is probably when i'm at my worst.  therefore, while i apologize that i've briefly turned this blog into a weep-a-thon, begging for you all to play your tiny violins for me, you should probably just thank your lucky stars you don't have to share that first cup of coffee with me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

panic attack

lately, i've been really good at making plans and cancelling them.  i've been feeling pretty terrible about it, considering there are people i adore who i haven't seen in actual months and that's totally unacceptable.  however, it is now only wednesday and this week has kicked my ass so hard that i'm amazed i'm still showing up to work and school.  between working every weekday morning, filling as a babysitter monday night, having class tuesday and wednesday nights and the promise of full days in lab on thursdays, every second of every day is either already accounted for or becomes incredibly important spare time for sleeping or talking to luke for five seconds.  i don't think it would be as torturous if i didn't live so far from school, but as it is, even leaving my house at noon means contending with at least 45 minutes in traffic to get to campus.

i get that everyone is busy, so i also understand that perhaps my own personal busy-ness isn't impressive enough to be a valid excuse for why i'm mia while in school.  however, even if the plan was to go eat cupcakes with jude law in spain i'd probably be too exhausted to leave the couch (which is not to say, of course, that cupcakes and celebrities are more important than the real people in my life).

a lot of the anxiety that keeps me glued to my house is probably caused by the recent realization that i'm most likely repeating the same mistake i made as an undergraduate: namely, i'm getting a degree in something super obscure, therefore dooming myself to the same post-graduation misery i experienced after college, only times ten thousand because i'll be five years older and even less employable.  why didn't i just go to business school?  at least then, after completing my imprisonment, i'd be able to secure a job as the chief operating officer of coordinating bullshit job titles i'm 24 and don't understand.  i'm considering getting a simultaneous second master's degree in psychology so that i have some hope and when i tell people that they say, "oh, you career student!" which instantly makes me hate them.  i'm not a career student.  i'm just an idiot who didn't realize the only people who get employed with BAs are communications or economics majors.

i read yesterday that bristol palin got paid over $250,000 to pose with her son in some candies brand advertisements all about what a mistake teen pregnancy is.  if only i'd known at 17 that all i needed to make it in the world was to get john mccain to fall in lecherous love with my mother, i'd have done things differently.

even just typing that sentence, as a joke, pisses me off.  sarah palin's daughter made more money in a day than i'll make in the next five years by nationally flaunting proof that her mother's abstinence-only views are huge fails.  lovely.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

lady sarah

i don't want to say something silly like, "i'm going to post something new every day," a) because i've said that many times before and b) it's always been a lie.  as difficult as it is to believe, there are some days in my life when there are no deep thoughts or ridiculous mishaps and therefore, i can never hold to my "posting every day" resolutions without feeling like i am faking it or forcing something.  however, i've been pa-ritty damn good about posting regularly and i'm kinda excited about that.

so, why today's post?  last night, luke and i went to my parents' house for dinner, as promised.  after only having been there for two minutes, i realized i am my mother.  this is by no means a bad thing.  i love my mom.  she's hilarious and snarky and probably a little bit evil, just like me.  also, she's a genius and an artist and super entertaining.  i don't mind the thought of becoming her.  however, when it's thrown in your face by something like this, it's a little intense:

that's a photo of my mom and i wearing the exact same nail polish.  college friends, remember that time in school when i couldn't wear something if it wasn't turquoise?  see!  it wasn't my fault.  i am genetically predisposed to bright (blue/green) colors!  

also, i realize this picture is super small (it's a cell phone photo), but if you look closely, you'll see my mom's craft table in the background.  she constantly thinks up new, insane projects, just like me.  her current brainchild?

the royal wedding invitation:

she found an image of the invitation in a magazine, made tons of copies and is currently in the process of addressing them (in calligraphy), mounting them to glittery backgrounds (as glitter is her drug of choice: she was wearing glitter eyeshadow last night) and then sealing them WITH WAX in a massive envelope.  she's inviting all the women in the family to watch the wedding at her house and everyone is thrilled.  

i absolutely love this.  i'm not particularly enthralled with the royal wedding and could probably live out the rest of my life never watching it/thinking about it again.  after all, what does the royal family do anymore, besides sit for portraits to be engraved on commemorative coins and turn up at polo matches?  (it may be, though, that i'm still a little bitter about not being the one marrying prince william.  you know, because every female born between 1982 and 1988 totally had a chance.)  however, now that "lady sarah" has been so formally invited to my mother's viewing party, with the promise of tea and biscuits, i'm all over it.  wills and kate, please!  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

soft pretzels and hand cramps*

my inability to commit to a blog format is probably HUGELY indicative of how much trouble i'm having making decisions these days.  why oh why do i have so many choices?  this is definitely a "my diamond shoes are too tight" problem, but it's an issue nevertheless.

i chose this background almost entirely because luke deemed it "too insane."  i figured that suited me.  also, it's a picture of gigantic salted soft pretzels, which are essentially the stuff of my life.

aside from pondering the existential questions raised by my blog background unrest, i've spent most of the day writing out flash cards on muscles and their origins and insertions for my advanced osteology class.  i told myself that today, i would just make them and that the studying would begin in earnest perhaps tomorrow or next week (as we're not being tested on muscular anatomy for a few weeks anyway).  however, this afternoon was proof that there is absolutely no way to stare down the barrel of a gun (or, in this case, twenty pages of muscles and their functions, origins, insertions and innervations) without wanting to crap your pants.  thank god i'd already given myself clearance not to do anything but make the cards today.  i'd feel really bad about myself if i'd been rendered immobile by the insane amount of information i'm expected to know on a day when i was supposed to be actively learning it.

not happening right now.  instead, i'm finishing the cards and then going with luke and the dog to have din din with my parents and clay.  this is a very, very welcome distraction.

*upon review, that sounds pretty disgusting.  however, it's still a pretty valid description of my life at the moment, so i say, it stays!

Friday, April 1, 2011

dodger bluez

as much as i love tina fey and as much as i believe i am liz lemon, 30 rock has been a little hit or miss these days.  having worked on a comedy paper for two years, i definitely understand the tendency for inside jokes to creep into the script, but we were writing mostly for our own amusement and 30 rock is broadcast nationally.  therefore, i've been a smidge disappointed lately, because most of the shows now play like they're transcribed from a delirious conversation the crew had when they were up too late.  however, a few weeks ago, "tgs hates women" premiered and it was by far one of the best episodes i've seen in a long time.  briefest possible summary: liz contends with a female guest writer who acts like a baby hooker.  baby voice, short shorts, cleavage explosion, the works.  here they are juxtaposed:

on the left, you have me ALL THE TIME.  on the right, you have the sum total of all the girls sitting behind us at the dodger game last night.

oh, the dodger game.  it began as a way for my dad, luke and i to make use of some extra tickets to opening day and ended with the bottom of my bag covered in spilled beer and peanut shells kicked over by some girls in stiletto boots and my father getting drunken, uninvited back rubs from the shit-faced blondes who were probably far too old to be giving strangers giggly massages in public places.

i have been called a prude for thinking this way, but honestly, i think it's just really, really pathetically sad to be an adult woman prancing around like a breathing sex toy.  (in addition, it's also insanely uncomfortable to watch your dad try to fend off the clawing acrylic nails of a woman whose guy friends make jokes about her making your dad's night.)  i'm sure that sounds super judgmental and i apologize, but i can't handle it.  

i feel the same way about the link between girls and pink.  is there no other way to define yourself as a person/woman than to bleach your hair, get weekly spray tans, upspeak like a moron and teach your daughters that they can't possibly play soccer if the ball isn't pink?  (seriously.  why is a pink soccer ball necessary?)  a mother in the row in front of us bought each of her two kids a foam dodgers bat (something that, if given to my brother sam and i as children, would have been used to beat the crap out of siblings and friends).  for her son, she bought a blue and white bat.  for her daughter, a pink and white one.  the dodger team colors are blue and white and yet for some reason, it was more important for the girl identify with something pink than with something legitimately associated with the team.

i'm terrified of having girls.