Monday, February 28, 2005

The Perfect Song

As I have written before on this blog that I love and All Songs Considered. I don't always have the time to listen to the entire program, yet the website offers highlights and full songs to listen to.

One of the programs that I was facinated with for awhile held very little facination for others as I tried to discuss this issue with them.


Is it possible to be a perfect song and if so, why is it a perfect song? I offer up my ideas today with little to no musical training, unless you count my stint as a band dropout and less than enthusiastic job as an alto in the high school choir. (I really only took these courses so I wouldn't have homework...I was stupid). I encourage you to disagree with me and/or offer your own suggestions.

I was glad to be affirmed by the listener's views of the perfect song since they stated that "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys is considered a perfect song. Now, I realize with varied tastes and styles, we will all have different views on this topic, yet I believe there are many perfect songs. Not only are their perfect songs, but some groups/artists have multiple perfect songs in my eyes.

For example, Queen. Oh, I love Queen. There is something appealling to me when a group has such musical talent and variation in style and song. From the rockibilly styles of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" to "Somebody to Love" with its gospel take. So, I find many perfect songs with Queen. Those are just a few.

A perfect song to me has to be timeless in melody and lyrics. Not everyone pays attention to lyrics, but I do. Sometimes they are the most important part of a song to me, but then again...I like words. People who prefer music may place more emphasis on the music.

A few perfect songs...

  • Tangled Up in Blue-Bob Dylan
  • Take Me to the River-The Talking Heads
  • Into the Mystic-Van Morrison

That is just a start.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Credit Craziness

I love to say no to credit card companies. I have been on a anti-credit card rampage recently. I like nothing better than to call up the credit card company who just wasted 37 cents on mailing an application and telling them that I no longer want them to soliciate me through mailings.

Being the nerd that I am, I have been collecting credit card applications, not opening them, but simply just to see how many I might receive in the course of one month. I receieved over 25 mailings. Why us? We are the type to have a credit card for emergencies only, to buy airline tickets, and to make life simpler on a vacation. They are wasting their time with us.

However, it got me thinking...what a tricky business credit card companies run. They have your address for some reason, probably from the initial credit card you opened. They want you to open more cards, sinking you into more and more debt, only to come knocking on your door when you can't pay for them. An evil web. They would be happy if you had 15 credit cards.

When I was in my freshman year of college, I received my first credit card. I used it for stupid stuff like shopping and clothes. I soon realized that I had to pay for these things with my little work-study job at the public radio station. That didn't really work out. I had to pay it off over a year and learned an important lesson. Now, I understand that credit is a necessary evil. One must establish credit in order to get credit. For example, the necessary credit would be a car payment. Most folks do not have money laying around that they could buy a brand new car out right, but the people that sell the cars want you to establish some credit. So, you must have some credit. Ugh. So, now I know that credit is a balance. Use it wisely.

I make my car payment each month and I feel okay about that debt. But I never want to be in credit card debt. I won't. Everyone has different takes on this sensitive subject, but that is mine.

Friday, February 25, 2005

"Leave the gun. Take the cannollis."

I think I was given a compliment today. Maybe not.

My friend Ryan at work said that I was like the Godfather of my school. I asked him to explain this analogy. Yes, I have a bit of the raspy voice, but I lack the killer instinct and ancestry that would place me in this role.

He explained that I am the person that people go to for a variety of reasons. If people need a boyfriend, they see Sara. If people need professional advice, they see Sara. If people need to know what to do in certain situations, Sara tells them what to do. If someone needs some supper, Sara makes it for them. If someone has a question, Sara will have some sort of answer for them.

No, no one has to wait on line to see me, but I can see his point a little. I think it comes from something that I have discussed in length with my friend Jodi. We discuss how some people have confidence in their decisions and the advice they give out. My confidence comes from the fact that I can justify not only the decisions that I make in my personal and professional life, but I justify the advice I give. Normally, I wait to give the advice until it is asked for. Sometimes I do not. I need to work on that.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

It's in the Details

I have very few fears in my life. I fear snakes, cancer, and going to a job that I hate everyday.

I had a taste for the dreaded job the other day. I am on a committee for my job where we help make literacy decisions for my district. Well, I am just not suited for making certain decisions where it takes sorting through the small details. We had to discuss the pros and cons for choosing books for the district. Unfortunately, I think all books are good. I had very little negative things to say. Instead of concentrating on my task, I started to think...

"This is what it feels like to hate your job."

These teacher were talking and I should have been listening, but that is next to impossible at 3:00 pm on any school day afternoon. Generally, I am spent by this point in my day.

I have a GO-TO GIRL at school when I need to know details. She knows dates, rules, and schedules like she has spent the night memorizing them. We all have our gifts and details never became a part of my way of thinking. Instead, I leave that in the hands of experts. I pay them off with ideas, banana bread, and burned CDs. So, it is a fair trade.

I made it through four and half years (I got a little distracted) of college and graduate school without ever using a planner. Yes, I owned a planner every academic year. The beautifully collegiate cover of the planner would convince me that it would be the year that I would actually jot down assignment due dates, work schedules, birthdays, and sorority functions. Instead, I would make it to the middle of September and be on my own. Thank goodness for repetitive work schedules, syllabus, and friends who did have planners. And birthdays, I have the same friends that I have had since I was fifteen so I have those dates memorized by now (Except Janelle's...I know it is December 3 or 4).

There is no way to avoid committee work in my line of work, but I know that I cannot sit and care about whether kids want to read about amphibians or weather more. I don't know? Both. Is that a good answer? Again, the details kill me. Usually, the people on the committee end up telling me that, "Of course we would want the weather book." Hmmm. That sounds good to me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Tonight I am serving as chaperone to my friend Cheryl and a friend she has made on She was a little nervous to meet this man by herself so she has asked me to join them. I will be a third wheel, but that is alright. I want to encourage Cheryl to go out there and meet people. I will not be doing this often, but this will be fine.

I am very proud of Cheryl. I have known Cheryl for two years, but not until recently have we connected. I feel like we are both helping each other. I am encouraging her to step out of her comfort zone and try new things. Right now, we are talking about joining a dance class this summer. She wants to wear a leotard, but I will not.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Twin City Shananigans

After promising a return to the great, white north of Minnesota, we finally returned with a BANG!

We knew that Caribou Coffee, a coffee shop like many others, originated in Minnesota, yet it remains a sight to behold when you can guarantee a sighting of Caribou every two miles in some strip mall or grocery store entry. Tim, always the gambler, challenged me to the SUBWAY challenge…not the Jared one, but rather seeing if we would find more Subways in Minneapolis or Caribou Coffees. We really only played this game on Friday since we were on our own during the day, but I am proud to say that Minnesotans love their coffee more than their sub sandwiches.

Since IKEA created a stir over a year ago and we usually are AT LEAST one year behind the times, we decided to check out this mega, Swedish furniture store. I enjoyed it. We purchased nothing. We have no business buying any furniture since we have no idea the size of our future home in Philadelphia. We are in the business of getting rid of stuff.

A trip to the Twin Cities, always includes a trip to the mall, yet we were able to include a special time at the local casino. After throwing a few nickels, Tim bellied up to the Blackjack table. He lost. We left. He let the casino how he felt.

Over margaritas and enchiladas, my friend Stephanie and I rekindled our always laugh-ridden friendship. We shared stories of school, families, past laughs, and a promise to keep in better touch. Not only did I take that special memory with me, but also the strong, over-whelming stench of the Mexican restaurant followed me for the next two days because my purse was super-absorbant and allowed us to "enjoy" the smell of fajitas for days.

We returned to our friends, Dr. Rick, T, and always friendly Emily (age 4). Most were in bed, but Rick, Tim, and I stayed up to watch Triumph, the Insult-Comic Dog. Very funny.

On Saturday, long story short. Shopping with Sara and Amanda. Eating with Sara and Amanda. Hanging out with Julia (age 1.8), her mom, Sara, and Amanda. Eating out with Rhiannon and Kirby, gals from high school along with all listed from above. Karaoked. Rhiannon and Kirby were first time karaokers. I insisted on singing new songs. Some were a hit, like the well-chosen "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon, and some were wrong in so many ways, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Diana Ross. Way too much sing/talk.

Janelle and I were very proud of our geographically charged shirts. I liked her best. If you can't read it, it says "Not everything in North Dakota is flat." We are fun girls. Janelle also won a free drink for singing some karaoke. The following were are stage names...

It was a terrific weekend. I am tired and feel like I need an additional day, but to work I go again. There is always next weekend.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Dig it.

Reasons I dig my job.

  • I played BINGO three times today. Once, to review the states and capitals. Next, to celebrate Valentine's Day. Finally, as part of my games club after school. At after school club, we played four corners, the Z, the T, and regular BINGO classic.
  • We ate apples and explored the exciting grammatical world of adjectives as we compared the different textures, colors, and tastes of apples.
  • I received three hugs today.
  • The school cook, Bernice, brought the leftover sugar cookies into the teacher's lounge.
  • We started to learn division today and, yes, division is fun.

Cinnamon Park

I downloaded Cinnamon Park by Jill Sobule. This song reminds me of summer. The lyrics talk about summer...oh, and drug use, but I wouldn't know about that. It is a catchy tune. A gem.

You'll have to choose Cinnamon Park on the link to have a listen.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I Heart Olivia Newton-John

Even though I might have moved toward the modern musical trends of this millennium, I have a tendency to have my incredibly-guilty, and embarrassing pleasure for earlier decades' pop incarnations. Some artists began when I wasn't even a thought in my parents' minds, yet somehow, as a twist of musical kismet, these artists found a way to my sentimental heart.

It could be the magic of Xanadu or the beauty of the numerous Grease songs, but I have a love for Olivia Newton-John. I could stay in hiding and be semi-ashamed of this fascination, but I can't help it. Her pop songs are gold to me. I love hearing them and I am quite sure that it stems way back when I would listen to her Physical album with my older cousin Jenny.

I had this habit of dancing in the basement when I was 6-9 years old (by myself, thank you very much) to Michael Jackson's Thriller and the entire Grease album...all four albums. I think I used to dance to my parents' Tom Jones albums too. However, I wasn't the owner of Olivia Newton-John's Physical album, but I wanted it...bad! My cousin owned it and even though we would listen to it at her house, I never felt like she loved it and appreciated it as much I did. She never seemed to get excited about it like I did. This pattern repeated once again when we grew a bit older and started to purchase tapes. My first tape was Madonna's Like a Virgin. Jenny owned Madonna's Holiday album. Oh, I was so jealous of her tape. I wanted that tape even though I think I possessed the better of the two. What it came down to is that I wanted to own ALL of the music that I could get my grimmy little 8 year old hands on.

I am sure my cousin Jenny loved her Olivia album and Madonna tapes, but I also loved them. Because of this introduction to pop music, and even though I have moved on to more interesting and diverse musical tastes, I still have a taste for Miss Olivia, and of course, Madonna. I don't fancy the new stuff from either of these artists, just the classics.

As I search through the itunes, I am drawn to the Olivia Newton-John songs. Sick! I can't help it. I have to have a version of "Make a Move on Me". I might just have to purchase every song on The Very Best of Olivia Newton-John. I need help.

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Scrabble Nerd's Boast

Okay...this is a nerd's boast.

Tonight on Yahoo! Literati, I earned 85 points in one play.
Let me explain the complexities with a maneuver like this.

I laid PUBERTY, all of my letters, next to OF to make the word OFT. PUBERTY was a double word score with a score of (2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1+ 3) x (2 x 2).


Rhiannon can appreciate this.

So Good

Did I say how awesome Take Me to The River is?

My Adoptions, Only the Beginning

In the course of one week, I have drank more Diet Pepsi than Diet Coke. I cannot go a day without drinking at least one diet soda, but my alligence has shifted. I am such a sell out/sucker for free music.

This might be as close to a gambling habit that I ever encounter in my lifetime. Imagine for a moment, I walk into the local convience store. It is hovering around the 7 AM hour. Still dark. I walk to the soda and bypass the cheapo coffee that usually tempts me and heads directly for the Diet Pepsi. I do have the self-control to wait to twist that beautiful yellow cap until I am in my classroom. Then, the moment comes...will I be music shopping on Pepsi's $0.99 tonight, or find an obviously better use for my time.

Luckily, five out of the six sodas provided me with one of the simple pleasures in my life. I have downloaded five new songs thanks to this little promotional event. I drink too much diet soda anyway, I might as well benefit in more than just the caffeine high.

My friends at work believe that I have just added one more item to my list of quirks that make me quirky. Quirky...could be worse.

The Five Lucky Songs That Have Been Adopted By Sara's Computer
  • Take Me to The River-Talking Heads
  • Solsbury Hill-Peter Gabriel...Thanks, Melanie, for the suggestion.
  • God Only Knows-The Beach Boys...Thanks, Dree, for reminding me how much I adore this song.
  • Naked As We Came-Iron & Wine
  • Goodbye Is All We Have-Alison Krauss

I have some pretty eclectic taste...I like a little bit of everything, except for commercial country.

Feel free to leave me some suggestions for tunes.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Our Movie Pathologies

One of my favorite movies is Fargo. I don't believe that my own North Dakotan heritage is the sole reason for this appreciation, but it definately plays an important part. There are many others who have no ties to the state that hold an appreciation for this film. "Margie" was one of the AFI's 100 Heroes. So, they get "it".

I recommended Fargo to one of my friends. She watched it. She hated it.

What am I supposed to think about this?

I could jump to the conclusion that it was a fluke in our cinematic schema. But upon further investigation, I realized that we have completely different movie taste. She didn't like Garden State, Amelie, and, this is the worst...doesn't like Six Feet Under. She found it too depressing. Instead, she enjoys movies like Cold Mountain, 13 Going on 30, and My Best Friend's Wedding. These movies are not bad. But when placed on the top of a person's favorite movies list, it is a natural reaction to ask this question, "Does this person get me?"

I think music, movies, and books are a revealing part of a person's personality. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate most National Lampoon movies (Animal House, Vacation), and I will spend two hours watching Men in Black, but these movies do not stick to the skin. They are excellent examples of a movie that I will watch when I don't want to think, analyze, or understand human emotion and motives.

I hate to sound so judgemental based strictly on a person's cinematic taste. I am not a snob. I just get confused when a person's entertainment pathology does not match their shown behaviors. Maybe, I am easily shocked when I hear statements like, "I could watch The Cutting Edge over and over."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Musical Tag

Like all things blog, there are some interesting things to be learned. My fellow Iowa blogger, Matt, has tagged me with this survey on my musical tastes. So, here it goes.

1.) Last CD you bought...

Gavin DeGraw. I only knew that I loved his song, I Don't Want to Be, on the pop radio station but was unwilling to put myself through numerous pop songs to hear it. You can listen to the entire song and others by clicking on his name...mmm...Gavin.

But as a sidenote, my friend Sara sent me the Garden State soundtrack. She advised me that I would enjoy the music after I had seen the movie. I accepted her challenge and listened to the CD sans the movie. Then, as part of my recovery weekend, I watched the film...I love it more today than yesterday.

2.) Last song listened to before this message...

Last Dance by Donna Summer

I always think that people love to receive a burned CD with a variety of songs when they are down in the dumps, so I was working on a collection for my pal, Michelle, at work. She had a bummer of a day so I was creating a collection specifically for smiles.

3.) 5 songs you listen to a lot or mean something to you...

Come Together by the Beatles

This song never gets old to me as I listen to the lyrics. I love the idea that it was so creative and ahead of its time. There is something really haunting, yet fun about this song. A great message too.

Ghost by The Indigo Girls

Sometimes there is a song that brings you back to a certain time, room, moment and this is that song.

Woodstock by Joni Mitchell/Eva Cassidy

I first heard this song on Six Feet Under. It was a song that I immediately went online to find out the title and the artist. Originally done by Joni Mitchell, I prefer the Eva Cassidy version. I never get tired of this song. I love how I came upon it. When a television show can introduce you to something important like a song, that is terrific.

I've Got a Rock & Roll Heart by Eric Clapton

When I first met Tim, we used to listen to this CD. I didn't share a lot of the same musical taste with him so he always made sure this CD was playing when I would come to his place. It was his first Christmas present to me because he wanted me to have my own copy. I've Got a Rock & Roll Heart is my favorite song on the CD.

Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry

I know. Disco. I love Disco. I dance with my girlfriends at every wedding we attend together to this song. We enjoy it so much. It has gotten to be a little embaressing since we now have "moves" to the song.

4.) Who am I going to pass this stick to?

Well, I would say Mathman, but Matt already challenged him.

So, I will tag Fredette and Dree! This will let me get to know them even more. Feel free to comment, Fredette and Dree if you do not want to post your list.

An All Around Good Day

In the course of one week, I have traveled the emotional and health spectrum of which I am capable.
I am a hearty person who rarely falls ill. In the course of my four and a half years of teaching, I have taken three sick days. Unfortunately, Tim shared his cold with me and I contracted a heck of a head cold. I was tough though. I stuck it out when I should have stayed home, but we had tests at school and other responsibilities. I just happen to be so self-absorbed to believe that I MUST be there. Terrible.
After a weekend of recovery, I am back on track. Thank God for Vicks. It allowed me the ability to take in oxygen.
Emotionally, I was feeling a tad sorry for myself, but I am over that too. I realize that perspective is a powerful human tool. When I was able to see the forest through the trees, I recognized that I have more than most people could dream of in the area of opportunities.
It all came to a head when I realized, with the help of others, that it is perfectly acceptable to not know the future. It is reasonable to feel vulnerable. As powerful as perspective is, I think acceptance of the unknown is equally meaningful.
I had a great day at school. My students were engaged and ready to learn. We were back on the learning wagon. I came home, cleaned a little...only a little, made some supper for myself, and hoped on the treadmill. Good for me!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Future Travels

I have started to compile a list of things that I would like to see or do when I move to the east coast. My knowledge of the area is so limited that my list is pretty small. It doesn't even include places in Philadelphia only because I know nothing of Philadelphia, except Rocky lived there and our nation was founded there. Boy...that made me sound dumb.

Well, here is the beginning of my list in no particular order. They are spread out over several states.
- Smithsonian
- Holocaust Museum
- Lincoln Memorial
- Washington Memorial
- Metropolitan Museum
- Civil War Museum
- Williamsburg

That is it for now. Feel free to tell me where I should go. Really, I have no idea.

Friday, February 04, 2005


I think my cover has been blown.

I have worked hard from the early age of 15 to convince people know that I am a rock. I am tough. I am not sensitive. I can pinpoint exactly the moment when I became tough...but that is a whole other post.

Over a discussion with my principal, I mentioned that I am not sensitive. He looked straight at me and said, "Yes you are."

WHAT?! How did he know? I was trying my very best to hide this fact from the people that surround me on a daily basis!

I continued the conversation without missing a beat in hopes that he would not notice my shock over his assessment of my sensitivity scale.

Shock has a lot to do with when and where my sensitivity will be displayed. Today, after having a tough few weeks (which were only revealed to a few chums), I received a pick-me-up gift from my pal, Jodi. I got teary-eyed because I wasn't expecting a token of friendship this morning. AHA! You got me, Jodi~I am can be sensitive given the right situation.
Yesterday, I went to the mailbox only to find a burned CD from my dear friend, Sara. She must have known what I needed that day. It was accompanied by a lovely card that expressed exactly what I needed to hear.

My cup spilleth over with love and affection from my friends.

I have the best friends. It is so worth it to build these relationships. They yield the support and love that one tough cookie needs in her time of fluster and frustration. I only hope I can do the same someday when they need me.

Game Time

For the past two years, I have been a teacher for the after school clubs offered at my school.

The first year, I taught stamping and scrapbooking to students, ages 6-12. Kids loved it. They loved to be creative and come home with something to share with their families. However, it took me forever to develop the materials for each day's lesson. My paper materials were paid for, but the actual stamps and pads were my own. I didn't mind sharing because I do have an embaressingly large amount of stamping materials. It just took so much personal time.

Last year, I did art club. We explored ideas of depth, value, color, texture...all things art. I tried to connect each project with a familiar piece of art by a master. However, the students had no idea who these masters were. By the luck of the lottery, I received a rather rowdy bunch of artists and spent much my time managing behavior rather than cultivating these future artists.

You should be catching on to a pattern...I love stamping, scrapbooking, and this year is another passion of mine.

This year, I am offering a games club. I have noticed in my own teaching that students are not familiar with board games. They know a lot about XBox, GameCube, and Nintendo, but very little about the classics. Scrabble! Sorry! Gin Rummy! Connect Four! So, this year, my objectives are to teach these games and more, but also, teach good sportsmanship. Kids are not used to losing. I am not sure why. I have a feeling that at home, some parents 'let' their kids win. I have a kindergarten cousin who has a history of behaving poorly if he loses. I played "Guess Who?" with him, but warned him that I was not going to let him win, that I might win and he might lose. He needed to prepare himself for a loss...but, he did beat me at "Guess Who?". But my point remains.

So, what are some other games that are excellent, fun games that I should teach?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

V-Day...What Do You Think?

Ok...what do you think?

Valentine's Day is one of these commercialized holidays (like everything else), but do you like it?

Do you like the one time a year besides anniversaries that men have a reminder to be romantic, thoughtful, and considerate?

And if they do, does it mean as much as if they would do something thoughtful on any other day of the year?

Am I being to harsh on men? It is just my opinion that men do not think of doing the little lovey-dovey things except when they are reminded to do it on days like Valentine's Day.

I am interested in everyone's opinion on, everyone who reads, please comment.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Shop, Crave, Want

Does this ever happen to anyone else?

In the course of one hour, I feel like I want so much. Stupid stuff, too. I want to go shopping TONIGHT! and get a new pair of jeans, the pair of brown shoes that I have been putting off, a new CD that I have been craving, and a bright, new colorful watch. Why tonight? It is a little like PMS for the shopper.

But no. I will not go out tonight to do this. I will wait until the weekend and buy a new pair of brown shoes. The need for a new pair of jeans will have then passed. The CD will probably be bought before the end of the week because I have priorities, people.

I think it started this morning when I opened my closet and said, "I have nothing to wear." Tim has no comprehension of this idea "nothing to wear". His simple, yet uninformed solution usually includes the advice, "Well, wear that," pointing at something I would never consider wearing and should have donated long ago.