Monday, October 31, 2005

Greatness Revealed

A friend of mine likes to buy GREATEST HITS CDs because it saves you the time and space that multiple CDs take up. I agree with him on many levels. Elton John's Greatest Hits CD that came out a few years ago is a great example of the GREATEST HITS CD. It has all of the familiar Elton songs in a terrific two disc set. The theory of the GREATEST HITS CD is that some people only like the songs that are on the radio and do not want all the B-Side types. The Beatles would be a hard one for me to buy anything other than the GREATEST HITS CDs. I like The Beatles, but I am not a diehard fan like some. It would cost a lot for me to try to collect all of The Beatles CDs.

Even though I love GREATEST HITS complilations, I also like to have all the CDs of certain artists...Sarah McLaughlin, Shawn Colvin, Indigo Girls, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison. I like almost every song they sing/write.

So, yesterday, I was preparing the new releases for Tuesday. I love this part of my job. I like to see the new CDs and movies that are coming out. It reminds me of artists that I need in my music collection. Yet, I was disturbed to my musical core yesterday when I pulled out the copies of NSYNC GREATEST HITS.

"What? Didn't they have something like three songs?" I mutter to myself in the back room where there is only myself to answer this rhetorical question.

Seriously, I think there should be a rule. One rule should be that the band/artist has to have at least twelve songs on the GREATEST HITS CD and every single one has to have been GREAT! Yes, GREAT is subjective, but you can use radio play, chart location, or singles sold as an indicator. You can't just throw on a random song from one of the three albums that NSYNC put out and claim it as GREAT just to fill an album.

In the same box, I pulled out Blink 182 GREATEST HITS.

"What? Didn't they have something like three songs?" I mutter to myself in the back room where there is only myself to answer this rhetorical question.

I get that I am not a bigwig at some music house, but give the public a little credit and who are these people that believe there is a HUGE market for a NSYNC GREATEST HITS CD. They should get fired. I understand a Bob Dylan, a Dolly Parton, and EVEN a Journey GREATEST HITS CD, but a Richard Marx, really???? Please.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Nasty Squirrels

Preschool projects require lots of preparation. Creativity seems to be needed for most of the preschool planning as well as the preparation. Yet, today, I was able to take a simple walk around my neighborhood to prepare for tomorrow's lesson. The students will be creating fall wreath collages with a variety of fall items.

I took my paper bag in hand, ipod in my pocket, and puffy vest to keep me cozy and I began my quest for colorful leaves and fall-like objects. Leaves were not a problem. We have so many varieties of trees in my neighborhood that I was able to collect an abundance of hues, yet nuts were the problem. Those greedy little squirrels have left none for the preschoolers. Yes, my negative bias toward the squirrel shows no sympathy for their fall task of gathering nuts for a cold winter. At one point, I had gathered two very large acorns and placed them in my sack. Little did I know, but I was being watched. With a scratch of the bark and a squeek of the squirrel, I was notified that three furry-taled animals were watching me. I can't say for sure, but I believe in my squirrel paranoid mind that they were letting me know that this was their territory and if I knew what was good for me, I'd go and fall hunt somewhere else.

Well, I am not one to mess with squirrels so I did exactly that. I walked in the other direction because the last thing I want today was to be attacked by nut hungry squirrels. Twigs, leaves, and pinecones were the loot I was able to gather. Preschoolers will have to be satisfied with that.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Grown Up Dreams

I am not sure why, but this idea of dreams keeps showing up in my conversations, readings, and thoughts in the past few days. Not the type of dreams that we have deep in a comfortable slumber, but the type where we plan, obsess, daydream, and achieve or, in most cases, abandon in time. The kind that begin somewhere between five-year-old dress up time or t-ball practice, mature throughout high school as we fill out college applications, and either progress into a life’s ambition or smolder out for a variety of reasons.

After thinking about this, I am starting to believe that dreams are a completely different thing than goals. Goals are the sanitized and tidy version of dreams. Goals can be achieved and followed with a step-by-step process. Dreams are a lot messier. Dreams seem to be the more selfish version of goals. Dreams revisit us throughout our lives when we feel that pang of sadness when we see a reminder of the dream that was lost.

I think I have achieved my professional dream of becoming a teacher, yet my dream has been going through a revision process lately with this year off of elementary school teaching. I guess, my new dream is to teach again. But there is more. I am the type of person who might have a dream, but has no idea what it is. All I know is that I want more. Not in a materialistic way, but more living. The only thing is that with dreams come sacrifice. I know about sacrifice, but I sometimes wonder how much I would be willing to sacrifice to achieve a dream. Then, I wonder, what will this dream yield me at the end of my life. Will I say to myself, "Man, I am glad that I gave up ______ so that I could ______". Or, the scarier conversation would be, "Man, I wish I hadn't given up ______ to have _______". I guess a person just has to hope for the best and trust their instincts. The problem is that most people fight their instincts. I know I do.

I know a few people who are perusing their dreams even though their dreams would be easily placed in the impossible or difficult box, but they are not being deterred no matter the struggle or bends in the road. This can be impressive, yet I sometimes wonder what drives these people.

I think I will focus on a personal dream rather than a professional dream right now. I have spent ten years working on the professional dream, I think I would like to have a personal dream come true. I wish I could tell you what that will be, but I don't even know it myself.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Four Year Old Affirmations

My life as a teacher is rarely mentioned in this blog for the simple reason that it has always been a difficult job where a person can keep personal and professional separate. This blog is my personal life. But...there can be exceptions.

There have been definite differences between teaching elementary school and teaching preschool. By fourth grade, students do not hug their teachers, sit in their laps...nor should they! They don't love singing songs in the classroom. They are just a different crowd. I love the fourth grade crowd though. I miss them.

However, there are parts of the preschool crowd that I dig. I like messy paint. I like puzzle making and block building. I love it when a male student loves wearing the bridal dress during playtime. I like the songs that we sing.

Today, I received some long awaited affirmation that I was doing this preschool thing well. A young girl stood in the middle of the room and said in a quiet voice, "Help."

I replied, "I will help you."

It was quiet as I zipped her zipper so she could leave for the day and she said, "Sara?"

I looked up from the zipper and she continued, "Sara, I like you."

I think that is all any of us want to hear on a daily basis.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Nicholas Sparks or Bust

I do not need much of an excuse to take the train into the city, but last night I was on a mission. For the lover of romance books, Nicholas Sparks is Shakespeare. With novels that follow themes like ' Love and Forgiveness', 'Love and Redemption', and 'New Love', many soft-hearted book lovers would make their way to Center City last night for their chance to meet and listen to Nicholas Sparks.

Although I am not a fan of romance novels, my mother adores Nicholas Sparks and waits patiently for each of his new novels to be published. I thought it would be terrific to venture to the Philadelphia Borders store to stand in line and get a book signed for my mother.

We arrived about thirty minute prior to the author speaking about his new book and his writing process. He was wandering around the crowd signing books, taking pictures, and making small talk. The crowd was about 100 people when we arrived. The majority of the crowd were women with piles of books in their arms, staring starry-eyed at the young author. At one point, a middle aged man right behind us told a friend over the phone, "He is very good-looking." I thought this was funny because it was the beginning of many women stating the same thing, but with different adjectives that varied from "hot" to "sexy". He just looked like a guy to me. I think it had something to do with the fact that these women adored this man because of the words he had written.

At one point, this elderly woman with her husband started pushing their way through the crowd. She made it to the front and raised her voice to say, "I just want to get a book signed. I don't want to get killed." I didn't notice any vicious looking women in this crowd or women threatening this old lady. I think she was just being dramatic. It was funny at the time though because people were very well behaved and even though she was the one being rude, she accused the very well behaved people of threatening her life.

Finally, I went through the line to have my one book signed for my mother. I said to Nicholas Sparks, "My mom is a big fan." He said to me, "Oh. You're not?"

Ah. Ah. Ah. Ummm.....

"Well, she really likes your books. She lives in North Dakota so I am here for her."

That seemed to make him feel better. I don't think he needs my affirmation, but if he does, he can go cry in a big bag of money.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Not Much to Say Today

I don't have much to say today. I guess, I want to draw your attention to my sidebar. There is lots to see, understand, and appreciate. First, let's take a look at the links. You have to do a few things to be placed on my links. I have to know you, read your blog, or think you are fantastic. One or all of the three can get you on the links. I have given shout outs to these links before, but today's shout out goes to my childhood friend, Shelly. She writes clever posts on Second Impressions. Maybe I think this because in 75% of the posts, I am a supporting character. Check her out.

Now, let's look at the obsession. Usually, this is music related but this week, it is caffeine related. As most know, I have a severe caffeine addiction that started back in my student teaching days when I was student teaching, taking two classes, and waitressing too. I was up to six Diet Cokes/Coffees in a day. Either will do. So, now, my friend Courtney and I have discovered The Gryphon coffee shop. It is so nice. My favorite dessert is the chocolate cake with cheesecake in the middle.

How about that quote?! I try to place quotes that express my thoughts, feelings, frustrations for the week. Some people think that quotes are a way for people to steal other's words. I think this blog illustrates that I have plenty of words. I just like other's words more.

My Amazon recommendation is a glimpse into what I dig. Right now, it is ABBA. A very guilty pleasure.

Well, have a great day. Tomorrow, I will have more to say.

Monday, October 24, 2005

It is Not Too Early

On Saturday, I walked into Bath and Body Works in the mall. I don't normally stop at this store, but I really enjoy their candles and needed to pick up a few. I am so glad that I did. It was beautiful in all of its commerical splendor. Whoever does their design and marketing earns their paycheck because it felt like December 25...even though it was more than two months away. The store literally sparkled. I still only bought the candle that I had intended on buying, but I spent time just walking around and enjoying the displays.

I will never be one of those people who complain how early Christmas starts. Maybe if I loved Halloween I would care how Christmas seems to steal it's thunder, but I encourage the hostile take over of orange and black by the sweeter green and red.

Christmas in October is lovely because it gets your mind working on all of the things I love about the season. I start thinking about Christmas cards, Christmas baking, everything Christmas. I never want to be accused of wishing time away, but I would like to extend the Christmas season into October and have everyone else embrace that idea. This happening is unlikely since Christmas for some is stressful and painful, yet I love everything about it. I try to hold off on the Christmas music until at least November, but Bath and Body Works did not.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I had this royal blue corduroy jumper dress when I was in the first grade. I wore it with a white turtleneck with color hearts all over it. I wore it in my first grade school picture. I can recall a lavendar pair of corduroy pants with an elastic waistband from my primary years too. I bet if I think back to my favorite outfits age five to twenty-nine, corduroy would be the textile of choice.

I know lots of people associate the season of autumn to ideas like apples, pumpkins, or leaves, but I can't help but think that it is the time of the year that I can break out the corduroy. Am I the only one who adores corduroy?

Let's take stock here...I have two corduroy jackets, a corduroy purse, corduroy pants, a corduroy blanket, and a corduroy shirt. Some fabrics are just comforting. Some are terrible. Because for as much as I love corduroy, I detest several other fabrics. Most people do not think as much about their love and hate for certain fabrics, but I have no choice. Along with fall comes the rekindling love for corduroy, it also makes my skin SUPER, DUPER dry. I am so itchy. I am one dry woman. So, I cannot embrace fleece, anything made of yarn, or flannel of any kind. In order for me to wear a sweater or sweatshirt, I must wear a turtleneck or undershirt. I have definite sensory issues. It can all drive me up the wall...or at least under a corduroy blanket. With all of the fuzzy stuff out there, I can take comfort in corduroy. We all can.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dream a Little Dream...

Sometimes I wake up from my restful slumber wondering what kind of FREAK I am becoming!!!

I wish I could write my own scripts for my dreams and choose the characters, but somewhere...deep, VERY my subconscious, there is a little man with a typewriter frantically writing the most messed up and bizarre dreams that force me to question my own sanity. All the while, he is laughing because he has an ironic and haunting sense of humor.

If this is not true, then how can one explain the fact that I had a dream about a boy from high school whom I had no social minglings, we were not friends, we were completely ambivalent to each other. He was on the basketball team. He was VERY tall. If memory serves, he had no personality that would leave that type of imprint on me, especially not to dream about twelve years later. And I can say twelve because I think he moved our sophomore or junior year!

This guy's name was Kelly. In the dream, we were at a campfire and he was talking about his religious walk and how he had become 'saved'. I am sitting on a log of some type with my mouth hanging open in shock because I cannot understand why I am with this guy and why this guy who always seemed to be so shallow has now found the Lord. I ask the people around me to explain this to me and they are just disgusted by me to question someone's faith walk. I am the outsider in a big way.

Now, as for dreams, I have several recurring characters in my dreams. I even have recurring scenarios.

My most recurring dream drama is as follows...
I miss work. I have to come up with some lie or excuse why I had missed work. One of the more memorable dreams that followed this drama was when I missed teaching one day only to have my principal find me hanging out at McDonald's. We were sitting in her office and I decided to tell her that I had forgotten to take my medication. In my dream, I completely rationalized this lie because she could not fire me because a mental illness could fall under disability discrimination. She bought it and I was off the hook.

Keep in mind, the boss changes to whoever is my boss at the time. It always has me lying to them and they always believe me.

My recurring characters in my dreams are as follows...
-My Aunt Sandy...she is always in some sort of trouble in my dreams and it is my job to save her.
-Old Boyfriend(s)...we are always reconciling and being friends.
-Churches...I am find myself sitting in them staring at the alter and I have no idea why I am there.
-My old school...This is new one since I have moved. I am usually in the hallway and talking with teachers, never students.
-An old student...This particular student made a big difference in my life. He taught me a lot. I am always his teacher and he is always in some sort of trouble too.

I have this theory that women remember their dreams more than men, but I could be totally wrong. I do have moments as I am coming out my dream where I tell myself to remember 'this is a good one'. By good one, I mean MESSED UP!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Money Talks...or at least Blogs!

Yes, I am 29 years old and I will stick my head in a $50 dollar bill. I think this is worthy of a comment. So, this is a blog call for some affirmation. If you read this today, leave a message. It can anonymous, you can leave your initials, or sign in. I am not ashamed to ask for some sort of confirmation to know who is interested in this little slice of me.

My Quest

I am in the middle of a challenge, if only to myself. I am asking myself the question...

How long can I go without buying groceries?

I usually go about once a week. I usually enjoy my trips to the local grocery store, but since moving here, I have not embraced the local grocery store. Sure, it is nice and clean and somewhat organized, so I have no reason for this challenge except out of pure laziness.

I suppose when I get tired to staring in the pantry wondering what I should make for breakfast/lunch/dinner, I will drive myself to Genuardi's, the grocery store, and pick up a few things.

I think I would be quite successful at this quest if it were not for the essentials...milk, bread, cereal (for Tim). But I have a gift of putting together meals and snacks without really having that much stuff around. For example, if I want some dessert, I can make JELL-O. All you need to make JELL-O is water. I seem to always have JELL-O in the pantry. If I want a snack, we seem to have an unending supply of granola bars. I could always whip up some cookies because I was trained well from my mother to always have chocolate chips and baking ingredients in the pantry. There is always some sort of pasta and sauce in the pantry.

HECK...I can make it at least three more days, but we did run out of milk today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Not too Blue

I realize this picture is quite dramatic. Trust me, I am not in the depths of despair or feeling as heartbroken as this woman.

I came home from work tonight and I was blue. I just found myself in a bit of a occupational funk.

The details are truly too boring to go into so I will spare you, but know this...I can only tolerate myself for about two hours when I feel this way. I have to find a way to get myself out of this blue stage or I am totally sick of my own self.

There are several things that I have found always make me feel better. First, I cannot listen to my usual self-reflective music choices like Indigo Girls, Iron & Wine, or Simon and Garfunkle. They are just too sad. I need something that will inspire every color but blue! I turned to my itunes. To date, I have 1271 songs to choose from. I threw that bad boy on shuffle and hoped for the best.

My itunes work a bit like a magic eight ball. I sit down, turn up the volume on the computer, and the music starts to shuffle. I skip all the downer songs so you can just forget about James Taylor or Sarah McLaughlin, normal favorites. The following list of songs are a big part of getting my mood out of the dump and into its normal Sara atmosphere...

"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" by Harry Connick, Jr.
"You Should Be Dancing" by The Bee Gees
"Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
"Beat It" by Michael Jackson
"Linus and Lucy"...yes, the Peanuts Theme...I like it.
"Mamma Mia" by Abba

Music is a funny thing. It can really do a number on you...both positive and negative. When I listen to too much folky, singer/songwriter music, I can get too hyper-self-reflective. So, to balance it out, I need some bubble gum pop from the 70's or 80's.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Year Goes By...

I was sitting in front of my computer today staring at the blank screen as usual when I decided to go back to October 2004...a year ago. It occured to me how lucky I am to have this blog. Sure, I could have a normal journal where only I would read it, but I love this concept and format. I am able to look back, see the changes, the contrasts of behavior and passions, and reflect on that.

A year ago, my mind focused on several areas. I wrote about most of them, but some were kept more private for disclosure at a later time.


I was knee-deep into the election. My goal and purpose during the month of October 2004 was to defeat George W. Bush. Along with my full-time job of teaching elementary school, I could be found walking around my neighborhood, knocking on doors for I remember a few people at my school knew about this 'hobby' of mine. I had a few people who rolled their eyes, a few people who were ambivilent, and some who were my cheerleaders.

Now, I find myself very removed from politics...almost resigned. I find myself disagreeing with GWB, yet I am doing nothing to ensure the next politician that is elected is someone of character and intelligence. I have gone to the other end of the political continuum...the most I do in the political arena is watch Meet the Press on Sunday mornings. I am sure this will change a few years from now, but for now, I am left in the political hammock.

A year ago, I had no idea that I would be living in Philadelphia. I had a little idea that I might not be teaching this year. I had not idea that I would be working at Borders. I had no idea that I would miss my friends and family this much. I had no idea that I would still be blogging about my life.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A New Philly Love

I fell a little more in love with Philadelphia this weekend. Here is my love story...

When I lived in North Dakota, the local public radio station was the saving grace of music for me. I was never a fan of pop music of my generation so I was drawn to the singer/songwriters found on the public radio. Even better was the program World Cafe. David Dye would host and always have new, at least in my ears, artists doing live versions of their music.

It was on World Cafe where I first heard Patty Griffin, David Gray, and Dar Williams. Now, they are all part of my favorite musicians list. The other day, I was driving and listening to my new favorite public radio station and I heard David Dye's voice, but it wasn't time for World Cafe. He was hosting the top 885 albums of all time countdown that was happening on WXPN. I did a little research and found out that World Cafe is recorded in Philadelphia at the WXPN studios. This didn't really excite me except with further research, I realized that there was a live music venue called Live at the World Cafe. Dinner and drinks are served as you listen to a variety of musicians. This was going to be perfect.

I wanted to find something interesting to do in Philadelphia that included live music when Sara and Scott were visiting because I knew Scott enjoyed concerts. It was so close to one of the larger train stations, the admission was free, food was good, and the music was great. We heard Justin Jones. He had a nice mix of folk/rock/bluegrass and I always have a soft spot for the banjo.

Part of this love story has to do with familiarity, the past, and the future. I am familiar with World Cafe. I am familiar with how to get to World Cafe Live now. I have loved World Cafe in the past. And finally, I will bring friends to World Cafe Live in the future. It is my new favorite Philly adventure.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Eating Our Way Through the Northeast

If I didn't know better, I would say that my friends, Scott and Sara, and I ate our way through Philadelphia on Friday.

It all started when we visited Independence Hall. Who knew that pretzels and independence were ever so connected. We finished our tour and walked back to the visitor center where there just happen to be a PRETZEL OFF! Vendors from around Philadelphia were giving free samples of their pretzels. Pretzels have had a long tradition in this city with the German settlers and where ever you go, there seems to be someone claiming to have the best pretzel. So, I am glad that Scott and Sara were able to enjoy one of many Philadelphia treats.

Of course, we couldn't have a proper Philadelphia outing without stopping at one of the famous Philadelphia Cheesesteak restaurants in town. We chose Jim's Steaks because we were already on South Street where there are many interesting and unique shops. It was a greasy, small place with a black and white art deco design. We waited in line, thankfully, so that we could get our orders just right. Sara and I split a steak with WHIZ...yes, Cheese Whiz. We also tried Birch Beer. This is a soda that is like Root Beer but more of a peppermint flavor. It is also made in Pennsylvania. I thought it was good, but I prefer Beer, heavy on the Root.

Although it was raining off and on, we walked and Walked and WALKED! around the city. We ventured to the famous LOVE statue in Center City and this seemed appropriate since it is Sara and Scott's first wedding anniversary. Of course, we went to Reading Terminal Market to eat crepes. Sara tried something new with the Cheesecake and Berries crepe. This was outstanding. Inside her crepe was one whole piece of cheesecake spread out covered with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries sprinkled with powdered sugar.

That was our Philly Friday.

We drove to Brooklyn early Saturday morning to meet our friend, Amy, at her apartment. We took the subway into Manhattan where we walked around Central Park. Lovely. It was such a beautiful day. We stopped at Strawberry Fields and had a nice view of the city.

I was glad to go to my second Broadway show, The Producers. The humor was quick and smart and high energy. I loved it, but I think everything is terrific. I wouldn't know if it was drool. I had to sit by myself at the show because it was pretty full, but we had great tickets even if they were separated from each other...Scott and Sara together, I was by myself.

The top of the Empire State Building was overwhelming. First, we got to the top after a very long wait. As the sun was setting, we watched from the top of New York City. After, we jumped on the subway and headed back to Brooklyn for dinner at Savoia for some pizza and salad with Amy. It has been a great weekend. I feel like I have a lot to write about this week so I am not blog blocked! New York City can do that to a person, I guess.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I can cross SUSHI off my list of things to try.

Courtney and I went to the local Japanese restaurant named Samauri because it came highly recommended by our clever/moody/smart/crabby boss at Borders. I decided if I am going to try SUSHI that I wasn't going to do any kind of California Roll where they do not use raw fish, but instead, I was going to dive in and do the raw.

We ordered a sampler platter of SUSHI with some tuna, some bass, some salmon, and some crab. It really just felt like something mushy in my mouth with some white rice. It definitely is something that I am glad that I tried, yet I do not have a strong compulsion to try it again. I am glad that I try new things.

PS...I will be entertaining my friends Sara and Scott for the next couple of days. Check back on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Things That Bore Me Lately...

- Celebrities. I don't care. It could be that I feel super-saturated with this garbage because I stock countless celebrity loving magazines and seem to see either Nick and Jessica breaking up on the front or I am supposed to care about Angelina Jolie's children. Boring.

- Television. This has never happened to me. There used to be a time in my pre-teen life that I had the television schedule memorized. I was looking forward to a few shows starting this fall, but as it turns out, they completely bore me. I watched Desparate Housewives last fall, but I am quite over it. I think it is the fallout from renting such quality shows like Arrested Development and Six Feet Under. It was bound to happen.

- Fast Food. I used to be a junkie. I liked nothing better than to swing through the Burger King drive through and pick up a junior whopper. Now, I have very few fast food joints around where I live. We have McDonald's and Wendy's. Neither are my favorite. Maybe I had to go through being removed from such garbage, detox, and be free of any kind of craving. Now, when I think of it, I am kind of disgusted by it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sara's Visiting

"Do they make Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Philadelphia?"
-My Long Time Friend Sara

I have been very lucky to have so many guests come to Philadelphia. I have only lived here for two months and I have already had five visitors to our home. I guess we are missed. I know that I am missing my friends and family so it makes this transition so much easier.

My friend, Sara, will be visiting this Thursday along with her husband Scott. I am thrilled. I have taken the entire weekend off to spend as much time with them as possible. Sara has been a great friend through this move. She calls me about every other day, if not everyday. She makes it seem like not a week has passed since I saw her last.

We will be doing the Philadelphia version of Philadelphia, which is quite limited but I am going to do some reading up this week to do even more when they are here. An addition to the Philadelphia Special, we will be going into New York City on Saturday to take in some sights.

See...this is something that is fantastic about living here. I can just go to New York for the day. In the midwest driving two hours for a day trip is nothing, but out here, people tend to think that is a long trip. I will take some pictures and post a few when we return.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Things You May Not Know About the Magazine Section at Your Favorite Bookstore

- Some people come to the bookstore to pile 10-12 magazines in their arms, find a corner of the bookstore, and read for three hours only to leave that large pile for me to put away when they are finished. They didn't actually buy a single thing.

- Just because a magazine is in a plastic cover...yes, the adult magazines...doesn't stop people from ripping them open, shoving them into a sports or woodworking magazine to browse the most recent naked woman or man in the magazine so no one sees what they are looking at. When they are finished, they might stash it in the comics section or cooking for me to find. Then, I have to get rid of it because we can no longer sell it.

- Some women will sit directly in front of what seems to be THOUSANDS!!!! of home decorating magazines to search for inspiration with their decorating decisions. Now, they at least put them back, but never in the right spot. But who can blame them...all of the titles usually have the words "Bathroom", "Decoration", or "Beautiful". One can get very easily confused with so many decorating decisions weighing on one's mind.

- There is a magazine for everyone. A person could surf. A person could dig wine. A person could enjoy guns and ammo. A person could be interested in genealogy. A person could adore opera. There are probably at least three magazines for each of these customers and their interests. And I stock them all!

- Cameron Diaz is on the cover of a lot of magazines.

- The person who is stocking the magazines is very observant.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Normal, PA

I am starting to feel normal. I haven't felt like a normal Sara for a few months now. Here are some signs of normalcy in my new east coast life...keep in mind, what is normal to me may seem bizarre to you, but remember, I have a few quirks.

- Checking my email only four times a day rather than ten to twelve like I have been doing for two months.
- I love when the phone rings, but I am no longer running to the phone to hear some midwestern contact.
- I no longer feel silly or strange calling my friends in Iowa. The reason this was strange was because our relationships took place in the context of school. We never needed to call each other because we saw each other everyday. Now, it is as normal as an after school visit like the old days.
- I am no longer checking airline ticket prices on a daily basis. It is more at an average of twice a week.
- I am going to lunch with a friend, Courtney. Lunch was a favorite activity with my friends in Iowa.
- I am appreciating where I live. I like to walk around my little neighborhood and enjoy the trees and the scenery.
- I am enjoying my job. I loved...LOVED my job in Iowa so I am on an uphill climb to loving my jobs here. Sure, it is like comparing apples to oranges, but I still like Borders and the pre-school. Yesterday, I pushed two boys on the swings for 40 minutes and got paid for it. I enjoyed their conversation about how they are "big boys" now. I questioned them on what makes them "big boys". It was terrific.
- When I think of my favorite restaurants, I now think of Philly restaurants, not Cazador or Panera. I think of Pizzi's Pizza where I can stop on the way to work and enjoy a great cheese steak, extra cheese.
- I still miss my friends. This is normal for me. No matter where I am and how many weeks, months, years have passed, I wish I could have all of them within driving distance. It may not be normal for most, but it is normal for me to adore my friends.
- I still look forward to the next trip to see my parents and Tim's parents.
- I am taking up all the things that I normally do to keep myself sharp...scrapbooking, reading, stamping, scrabble, and music.
- I am feeling happy. Normally, I am a very happy person. I haven't been terribly happy for a few months...I've been faking it. But now, I am feeling happy again. I feel normal...or closer to it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Things I Want To Try/Do/Experience In My Near Lifetime...

Rock Climbing
Being a Red Head
Own a Convertible
Making a HUGE Holiday Meal
Join a Scrabble Club
Take a Great Tropical Vacation
Go to More Concerts

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Weekend Update

I had a great weekend.

First, it started out with a relaxing evening at home with Tim on Friday night. There are very few things that I enjoy more than some pizza ordered in, a video, and sitting on the couch with Tim. The only thing that would have made it even better would be a blizzard going on outside...but, I am not in North Dakota anymore.

I picked up Courtney, my new Borders friend, for a day filled with the perfect combination of food, nature, and more food. We stopped for breakfast at a local diner. We made our long planned trip to Target to get the many things that had built up on our lists. Then, we drove over to Valley Forge National Park. The nature trail proved to be a great choice of event for the day. We veered off the paved path for the more adventurous dirt/rock path. With many steep climbs, we stopped for a few breathers only to view deer watching our every move. Each time we'd stop, we'd look into the wood and see at a minimum of three deer staring right back at us. It was beautiful. They were not afraid of us and allowed us to enjoy this snapshot of nature close-up. At one point, a fawn was only four feet away from us!

After such a walk, most would want a Gatorade or water, but coffee was more our style. We stopped at a local coffee shop called the Gryphon. Again, it was perfect. I had cafe au lait and a piece of chocolate cake with cheesecake in the of both worlds, right? Courtney enjoyed some triple chocolate mousse and coffee. We stopped by the beer store to pick up a local favorite, Yuengling Beer. We thought it would go perfectly with Exploded Chicken Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Pizza that we were going to make back at the apartment so Tim could join our fun.

Now, if you are asking yourself the reasonable question, "What is EXPLODED CHICKEN PIZZA?", well, it is a specialty pizza from a restaurant I used to work at in college. It is pizza, but instead of pizza sauce, we use BBQ sauce with pulled chicken topped with mozzerella cheese. It was very good. Buffalo Pizza is the same, but instead of pizza sauce we used hot wing sauce and IT WAS HOT!!!

We finished the night with throwing some serious tile...Scrabble! I think I won the first game and Courtney defeated me in the second round.

All in all, I had a terrific weekend. I worked a little at Borders today and tomorrow Rhiannon will be coming to visit. It will be a great week too.