Clownfish and sea anemones


Sure, they can be sources of thumping headaches and unbridled fury at times, but like I've said before, they are often the key to surviving the daily grind.

In fact, I'm becoming more and more convinced that one's interactions with fellow keepers-of-the-crappy-coffee pot should resemble a symbiotic relationship of sorts.

For example, they smile and nod as I rattle on about how they will not beLIEVE how close to death I was while attempting to cross the street because of the nerve--the NERVE!--of arrogant city drivers and their blatant refusal to stop at pedestrian CROSSWALKS for crying out loud...and--would you believe it?--that after risking life and limb, the bookstore DIDN'T EVEN CARRY Sweet Cinnamon Stride gum, which was the whole point of the journey away from the glaring fluorescent cubicle lights to begin with!

In return, I let them borrow my stapler (hey, it's office GOLD people) and even squeak out an "ooh" and "aahh" over their favorite cat website (while secretly seeing nothing but pure evil in those beady little feline eyes).

At any rate, I've been collecting tidbits of such cubicle conversations that I cannot help but share. Best enjoyed while nibbling on day-old donuts snuck from the conference room and slurping lukewarm coffee with no less than fourteen packets of Splenda added out of pure necessity.

Say Whaaaaaaaaat?

1. "So, Sara, not to bring up a sore subject, but how tall are you?"
Funny...I didn't know it was a sore subject...but 5'8 and 3/4 if you' d really like to know. I can't help it that sometimes I want to wear heels, okay?!

2. "What I really want to know is what the government did with the millions of dollars they invested in Frisbees back in 'Nam!"
Don't we all...don't we all...(??!)

3. "Spiff!"
Spiff (adj.): To describe something in an appreciative way.
Synonyms: Cool. Sweet. Awesome.
Example: "That's spiff!"

4. "That really cheeses me off!"
Said with a scowl and shaking of the fist.

5. "Sarcasm is unbecoming..."
Said in a very disapproving tone after someone rattles off an obviously-unappreciated quip (often that someone happens to be yours truly). Makes a girl feel really good about herself.

Never have I ever...

  • watched Mary Poppins in its entirety.
    Tragic? Perhaps. I've seen the chimney scene if that counts for anything...
  • understood the lure of video games in any form.
    I'm sorry. I just don't get it. I blame my lack of hand-eye coordination. And my lack of desire to master a virtual world of any form.
  • supported the idea of pick-up lines.
    <Insert eye roll here.>
  • seen a Hardees thickburger commercial and thought, "Mmmmm...yes, please!"
    I'd rather spend my daily calories eating fresh Rice Krispies out of the bowl, thankyouverymuch.
  • looked back at my middle school yearbook pictures without cringing.
    Not sure why. I mean, frizzy hair and colored braces is a pretty killer combo.



Anyone else ever wonder:

is stalking you on facebook right this very moment?

What we are supposed to eat for breakfast now that cereal costs more than life itself?

When Jim Halpert will freaking propose already?!

Where it is ever socially acceptable to wear a long-sleeved, monogrammed denim shirt?

Why ice cream tastes SO GOOD--always?

How much more entertaining life would be as a choose-your-own adventure?

...or is it just me?


If Oprah can do it, so can I

Welcome, everyone to the first edition of Sara's Favorite Thi-iiiiiiiiiiings!
(said in a deep, bellowing voice as the crowd goes wild)

While I may not be able to provide each of you with the following treasures I have discovered as of late, you can rest assured that I stand by my endorsements and will be happy to provide you with additional gushing recommendations at your request.

***Note: The items listed here are not necessarily new to the rest of the world. My only qualification was that said items had recently made quite the favorable impression on yours truly. (which--let's be honest--really isn't that hard to do)***

Without further ado and in no particular order, I give you:

Sara's Favorite Things

  1. Household product: Tide To Go
    I cannot say enough good things about this brilliant device. It's small, it's light, it's cheap, yet it is oh-so-powerful. For anyone out there whose clothes double as a walking billboard for all you have attempted to consume in a given day, get ready to meet your new best friend.
  2. Drink: Coke Vanilla Zero
    Cast aside all previous judgments of Coke Zero. For even if (like me) you think regular Coke Zero is nothing more than carbonated crap, you have to try the refreshingly crisp taste of Coke Vanilla Zero. If it doesn't make you want to sing in perfect harmony on a hilltop, I don't know what will.
  3. Game: True Colors
    I did not discover Milton Bradley's 1990 self-described "social game" until this winter, but let me be the first to say that I thoroughly enjoy it! If you're looking for a way to learn how you are really perceived in your circle of friends, check it out. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised (unless you are super-competitive or an ultra-gamer, in which case you will probably be bored out of your mind).
    --Sidenote: In case you are wondering, I was unanimously voted The One Who Has the Hardest Time Saying No (not a shock) and also received several votes for The One Who I Would Clash With Most Regarding Political/Religious Views (which surprised me quite a bit actually). Interesting.
  4. Gift: Photos on canvas via http://www.updone.com/
    Updone.com is a one-stop shop for those of us that want to be creative, thrifty...and maybe aren't so tech savvy. Upload your photos, choose your size, print them on canvas and have them sent directly to you on one website.
    Love. It.
  5. Author: Wendell Berry
    Hailed by the oh-so-reliable Wikipedia as "an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer," Wendell Berry uses his eclectic background to criticize several issues regarding Americans and our relationship to the environment, each other and even God. He doesn't sugar-coat it, he calls for many changes, but throughout it all, he weaves a message of hope. Definitely worth a look.
  6. Bonus: GPS
    Okay, I actually don't own one. And I am well aware of the dangers that exist with relying too much on such a product. But believe me when I say that I have no doubt that this little sucker would be a lifesaver. Because some of us are born with natural direction, and some of us get lost on our way to the mall. (Hey, it can happen to anyone...right?)
  7. Runners-up: Tostitos Flour Tortilla Chips, Bermuda shorts, headbands, Culver's custard and Flannery O'Connor's short stories*
    In an effort to conserve space, I limited myself. However, if any of these would come up in conversation, don't be surprised if my face lights up and the words, "That's my favorite!" fall from my lips.
...Did I mention I'm easily amused?

*edit: And Blistex fruit smoothie lip balm. Thanks friend.


The perils of gluttony

Sunday morning. St. John's Lutheran Church. 1990.

After an hour of Playdough, Father Abraham and feltboard Jesus, I gleefully wriggled next to my best friend Marissa and settled in for a long service. As the organ blared, we rejoiced at our successful cajoling efforts that resulted in our families sharing the same long wooden pew.

Crayons in hand, we critically scanned our Disney Princesses coloring books to select the subject of our latest and greatest artistic achievements.

"Oooh! Cinderella! My favorite!" I squealed with delight as I haphazardly ripped out the selected page.

"She's okay," the ultra-cool Marissa sniffed. "But she's no Ariel."

"Girls! Shhh!" my mom hissed, eyes flashing.

I meekly bowed my head and resumed scribbling.

After a few moments, Marissa began rummaging around her Minnie Mouse lunch box in search of a snack. I heard my own tummy grumble and watched with piqued interest to see what would emerge from her fumbling.

She eventually produced a crinkly red package covered with several colorful dots. "Yesssss!" she cheered quietly. "My favorite!"

She glanced at me, expecting me to share in her glee, but was met with a blank stare.

"What's the matter?" she whispered. "Don't you love them?"

"Um...I don't know," I said. "I've never tried them."

"WHAT?!" she said incredulously and breathed a small sigh of pity. I could feel the color steadily rising in my cheeks.

"Here," she said, sticking out her hand while popping a few of the colorful discs in her mouth. "Try some."

Obediently, I plucked a purple circle from her hand and after dubiously inspecting it, placed it on the middle of my tongue.

I crunched through the sugary shell as my mouth exploded with fruity flavor. My eyes lit up with approval.

"Good, right?" Marissa said with an all-knowing confidence. "Here, have another."

I eagerly grabbed another piece of candy--this time red--and tossed it in my mouth. Again, my senses were awakened with delight.

"Yum!" I said, mouth full of sugary goodness.

Before I could even swallow, Marissa handed me more. Again, I accepted the candy without hesitation.

"Thith ith good!" I said thickly around the ball of goo as I reached for more.

Crayolas in hand, we continued our feast. But no matter how quickly I chomped on each delectable treat, Marissa was always waiting with more. As I added fruity flavor after fruity flavor, the growing glob of sugar between my cheeks ballooned at an alarming rate.

Suddenly, I didn't feel so good.

I focused intently on chewing, but the gummy ping-pong ball of infinite cavities didn't budge. Wide-eyed, I turned to Marissa in panic.

"Hchlmf!" I spluttered.

"What?" she asked.

"HCHLMF!" I repeated, sugary spit flying everywhere.

"I can't understand you," she said, peering at me with a furrowed brow.

Out of pure sugar-induced terror, I burst into tears, stopping only when safely perched on my mother's lap and with her coaxing, successfully deposited the fruity goo in a Kleenex.

Just in time for confession.

-end scene-


Life in transition

When your eyes are wide with fear and your heart is beating fast, some comfort:


"It doth not yet appear what we shall be." 1 John 3:2

Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says - "Well, supposing I were in that condition . . ." We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in. Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him. Jesus said, "Except ye become as little children." Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.

"Believe also in Me," said Jesus, not - "Believe certain things about Me." Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him.

-Oswald Chambers


My Generation

We're a mishmash
A hodgepodge
A ragtag bunch.

We're uncertain
Yet passionate--
Resolutely hopeful.

Call us young,
But do not dismiss us.

For we are restless
We seek justice
And together, we are strong.


For s and gs...

***For the record: I don't usually do these things. But it's Friday. And I'm bored. So why not, right? Don't judge me...

Tagged by: Luke

The rules are:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. Ten years ago I was doing . . .

everything very awkwardly. I hadn't discovered hair gel. I was in love with Leonardo DiCaprio. And I was beginning to discover my passion for the English language thanks to my favorite teacher ever, Ms. Schaefer.

2. 5 Things on Today’s To Do List

1. Wear better shoes to work (check)
2. Watch last night's episode of The Office (check...over my lunch break. I swear!)
3. Manage to get through a day without using Tide To Go (so far, so good)
4. Power through some more of Love in the Time of Cholera (sidenote: if I ever write a book, I will do my best to use short paragraphs. I think it is ridiculous to have page after page of single, very detailed paragraphs because I constantly lose my place and have to re-read it and end up getting ticked. Okay. Rant over.)
5. Um...that's really it. Is that sad?

3. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire.

Ohhhh... I don't know. Honestly, I find the idea completely overwhelming...

Maybe I'd open a bookstore/coffee shop. Or land a guest spot on The Office...and while I'm at it, a Sonic commercial(with the two guys, obviously).

Or maybe I'd just have all my favorite people get together and brainstorm really great things we could do with a billion dollars and then vote on the best idea. My friends are a lot cooler than me anyway.

4. 3 Bad Habits

1. I'm painfully indecisive.
2. I worry way too much about things I can't control.
3. I'm really awkward when ending phone conversations. Or so I'm told.

5. Five Places I’ve lived

1. Topeka!, KS
2. Overland Park, KS
3. Manhattan, KS
4. Kansas City, Missouri
5. ...sorry. That's all I've got.

6. Five Jobs I’ve had in life

1. Kansas Department of Transportation intern (yep, I earned that infamous reflective hat)
2. Christ Church Summer Staffer
3. Community assistant at Ford Hall
4. Student news writer for K-State Media Relations
5. Assistant librarian/marketing guru at KU Med's health sciences library

7. Tagged Ones

I don't want anyone to feel pressure to do this, so I'm not tagging anyone. Is that cheating?