Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Patience and Loyalty

I won't be around for a few days. I will be busy. I love my blog, but I have a lot to do and take care of right now. Please be patient and all will be explained in days to come. Check back on Friday or Saturday. Hopefully, you will see my return.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Television Shout Out

How can a person feel so completely unfulfilled and satisfied at the same time? Well, I believe it is possible because that is exactly what I would describe as I completed The Office, BBC style. It just doesn't seem right to have only two seasons of such a funny show. The only way I can make myself feel better would be to buy both seasons and the specials. Seriously, what is wrong with me that I become so attached to television series. Maybe this is why I don't watch a lot of movies because I would be attached to every quality movie that came along and I would have to buy too many movies. There is something about getting my grubby hands on my favorite things.

The Office falls into the category of "Through the Hand Televsion". I usually have my hand on my face because I cannot believe what is actually happening on the screen. I am so embaressed and laughing so hard that I usually have to watch the episode twice so I can watch it once the shock value has worn off.

I sort of force my television shows on my friends for two reasons. It helps me gauge their entertainment intelligence. Do they appreciate humor that isn't spoonfed to them? Also, I want someone to discuss these shows with. I relied on my friends Jodi and Amy for some time and we are almost up-to-date on shows. There are exceptions to these television relationships. Both Jodi and Amy recommended Lost, but I just couldn't get into it. I have recommended Arrested Development to Jodi and she didn't dig it like I did. So, this week, I have pimped out my Six Feet Under and Nip/Tuck with the hope that I have addicted two other friends. It never gets old to discuss The Office, Nip/Tuck, Sopranos, and Six Feet Under. I am considering a new television frenzy. Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Clothes Mouse

I am amazed at what a turn my wardrobe has taken in the last six months. I still love shopping and dressing well, but it seems that I am now wearing a lot of jeans and cotton shirts instead of nice dress pants and pressed shirts.

It just isn't in the cards for me now that I am in the preschool. I will have several 'clean' days in a row when I come home as tidy as I left. Then, I make the mistake of wearing something a little nicer than a cotton long-sleeved shirt and my arms are covered in blue paint. The Borders gig isn't much better for dressing well. I wear jeans and shirts that I will be able to stretch and move in while I am reaching for DVDs and books. I have to carry big boxes so I don't want to wear anything that could be snagged or stained from the dirtiness of these boxes.

I don't believe things will improve when I start teaching kindergarten. I will have my teaching clothes and my real-life clothes. The line used to be more blurred than this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sara-Borders Ranger

See this guy? I did.

I swear that some entity in the sky is looking down on me and knows exactly what I think will be funny. Of course it would crack me up to be sitting outside of Borders with my friends as one of them enjoys her smoke break when all of the sudden Chuck Norris of Walker-Texas Ranger fame walks out. I wouldn't have enjoyed this celebrity sighting anymore if it was some A-List celebrity like Brad Pitt, but I enjoy a B-List celebrity so much more.

He walked out and looked at us. We looked at him. We looked at each other and I said, "Um. I think that was Chuck Norris." We all burst out laughing. Just the absurdity of that statement cracks me up.

I wanted someone in Borders to come up to me and say, "Did you see Chuck Norris?" just so I could respond with, "No, Chuck Norris saw me." I think a little self-importance is crucial in my lifelong attempt at keepin' it real.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Would You Rather?

One of my favorite games to play with people is WOULD YOU RATHER. This is a game that is reserved only for the friends that I know have a psyche as twisted as my own. Few people would spend mental energy thinking and contemplating the impossible...or is it more the improbable...because, it could happen.

As you would guess, a proper game of WOULD YOU RATHER consists of three categories...

1. Unfortunate Choices-An example of an unfortunate choice would be "Would you rather have two little legs hanging from your chin or a little butt as a forehead?" Both would be unfortunate, but you have to choose.

2. Tough Choices-An example of a tough choice would be "Would you rather go on a date with Bruce Springsteen or Neil Diamond?" Both are fantastic and completely opposite, but both offer fascinating options. Ooooo...tough one.

3. Have-To Choices-An example of a have-to choice is something gross or cringe-worthy..."Would you rather have bad breath all of the time or fart every two minutes?" Yes, you have to choose one.

Some people have difficulty with this game because they think that if they answer, they are revealing a part of themselves. Well, yes, that is the point. You are either into Bruce or Neil. Yes, you might be judged by your answer, but you MUST answer. The best part of this game are the justifications. People have the craziest reasons why they choose one thing over another. Some might say they would fart every two minutes because they could just walk away, but come on...people are going to catch on. But if you have chronic bad breath, you could just be shy...or selectively mute.

The best version of WOULD YOU RATHER is when you are with a group of close co-workers or close friends because you can make it personal. You can use people that everyone knows. You can draw on past experiences. A veteran of this game will facilitate the questions and sit back and listen to the answers and avoid all answering of the questions themselves.

So, today, in the spirit of the 'game', I offer you WOULD YOU RATHER...

1. Would you rather wear Michael Jackson's bedazzled glove for one week without any explanation to your co-workers EVER or do the Moondance with a turn every time a phone rang for one week without any explanation to anyone EVER?

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Wonder Woman?

I am not sure where I developed this immune system of steel, but I think it is being tested like it has never been tested before. In my five years of teaching elementary school, I am proud to say that I have only taken one and a half days of sick leave. In my one year of teaching preschool, I had to take one day and I blame it on the Genuardi's salad bar...but that is another story.

My point...preschoolers have very little care or control over bodily functions during cold season. If they have to sneeze, they don't try to hold it in. They let it fly. Where it lands, one can only hope for the best. Today, I had a surprise on my sleeve. I looked down and found some sort of fluid that I believe came from a four year olds nose. I have no idea how long it had been there.

I understand that little ones pick their nose, and I always try to educate them on how that is not a healthy or clean habit to start. Some listen and some do not. It is just too delicious. Then, of course, they want to hold your hand.

I believe if I can get to May without developing some sort of major sinus infection, strep throat, or major case of the colds, I have proven that I am a germ fighting machine and whatever flows through my veins should be bottled and sold for a high price.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An Observation

We sell calendars at the bookstore. Some of these calendars are the type that have beautiful flowers or famous celebrities, but some are the type that show women who are not wearing a lot of clothing...maybe one piece...maybe none. These are also the calendars that the plastic has been ripped off so that the buyer can see what they might be buying. Of course, they never buy the calendar. They just want to look at it.

So, yesterday, as I was walking by the calendar section that is right next to the Children's Department...yes, that is disturbing in itself... I found a young girl entranced in the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders calendar. She just stared at this calendar. She glanced around her to check if anyone was going to move the calendar. It was if she knew that this calendar should not be where it was on display...facing the Children's Department. She continued to stare at it as if she was seeing an adult female body for the first time. This girl was about eight or nine years old. Finally, she ran to her mom who was busy browsing the travel section. She pointed to the calendar and her mom didn't even look up to see what she was talking about. So, the girl ran back to stare at the front of the calendar again...for about five more minutes.

Funny how she was so close to thousands of children's books and she chose to stare at the lingerie calendar of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders. It was like we were giving her permission to do something that she had a feeling she wasn't supposed to look at. I am not a prude and I am not against these types of nudity, but maybe we should put some sort of proximity between innocence and the other stuff.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Good Time

I had a great weekend. My friend Marisa came to visit me. Whenever Marisa is around, I tend to laugh and laugh and laugh. The girl is funny! She has this amazing way of living that says without using words, "Life is about living! Have fun! Laugh! Enjoy each other!"

Taking a lesson from my friend Amy, we followed the theme of "Do What You Cannot Do in North Dakota"! We had some amazing Italian food on Friday night in a beautiful restaurant in my neighborhood. The setting was quite nice. One cannot go to an Italian restaurant without indulging in a bite or two of tiramisu.

Marisa helped me pick out some window shears from a woman who makes all of her goods using materials from India. She not only uses the materials, but makes them in India because she feels the most creative when she is there. The colors were so rich, I couldn't resist. I can't wait to hang them and enjoy them. My living room is fast becoming my favorite room in the apartment because it is just so cozy. Check out her website at Padmini Design.

Sunday morning, we got up at the crack of dawn to get to the train station on time. We had to get to the Chinatown bus station in order to catch our bus to New York City. I am so glad to have this convience. It was so reasonable. $20 round trip! It dropped us off in Chinatown in New York where we stopped at the Cup and Saucer for some grilled cheese while we waited for Amy to come and meet us. She showed us the shopping on Canal Street in Chinatown where they sell knockoff handbags and other goods. The men would sneak us in the back to buy handbags. I didn't buy one, but it was an experience.

We had some more Italian food in Little Italy. For a day trip, we had a fantastic time! However, we did get on the wrong bus home...it was heading to Washington, D.C. We realized this in time and found the right bus.

Friday, January 13, 2006

UGH...I am Blog Blocked

Keeping up a blog is difficult. Some start. Some fail. I have been able to maintain this blog for awhile, but to be honest, I am faultering. I am suffering from the worst bout of Blogger's Block that I have ever had. I am not sure what has come over me. So, today is an attempt by me to create some momentum. I want to start writing and keep writing about things that matter and things that don't matter and somewhere in between.

First, I am taking my friend Marisa on an adventure this weekend. We will be taking the Chinatown bus from Philadelphia to New York City. People have asked me why it is called the Chinatown bus and it is simply because it takes you from Chinatown in Philadelphia to Chinatown in NYC.

This weekend will also be filled with new adventures for me since I will be taking Marisa to a few restaurants that I have not tried and few old favorites that I have tried.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Three Little Memoirs

I can't tell you how disappointed I am by this whole Million Little Pieces controversy. If you are not familiar, let me give you the short story. James Frey wrote a book about drug addiction and alcoholism. He writes about recovery and redemption. He writes about the ugliness and equality addiction has on a human.

Then, it is revealed that all his facts may or may not be truthful. This doesn't change how I view the book, but it changes my motivation for reading the book. You see, I had this literate plan. I was going to work my way through a variety of literary genres. January was going to be "Messed Up Memoir Month". I was going to read A Million Little Pieces and Running with Scissors. Also, I was going to read The Year of Magical Thinking...probably not as messed up, but still a memoir.

Actually, I don't really care. It was still an interesting book, but I found out about this controversy with only ten pages left in the book. I am not one of the millions that claim this to be the best book. It is an easy book to read. It reads quickly. It is pretty graphic in the beginning with its vomiting and detoxing, but I still think it is worth a read. It helped me understand the compulsion of addiction.

If you have any "Messed UP Memoirs" to recommend, please do.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Thoughts for the Morning

Since I have been putting a new health plan into action, I was reflecting on some of the excuses and rules that have brought me to this less than healthy place. I won't bore you with some of the obvious, but here are some ideas that I will work to overcome. I know I have spoken to a few of you personally about this venture, but I will be 30 years old in nine months. I want to be a healthy 30 year old. Some people have told me that I am just fine the way I am, but really, I am not. I don't want to turn out to have high cholesterol, chronic pain, higher risk for a number of diseases. This isn't all about vanity.

I Deserve It!
Somewhere along the way, I have come to believe that because I had a difficult day, week, month, I deserve to overeat. Food has always been something that I enjoy and sometimes more than another person, yet why do I have to sabotage myself by saying "I Deserve It!"? I am going to try to replace this behavior with something non-caloric. Maybe I can deserve a magazine or new book. Maybe I should replace the word DESERVE for the word NEED. For example, I NEED a good nights rest. I NEED some fruit with me meal tonight. Just thinking...

I'll Start Exercising Tomorrow
It is such a funny thing. I used to be quite active in high school with a number of physical activities, yet now, I could care less about it. I can always justify exercising tomorrow. Yet, whenever I walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, I feel good. Hmmm...a smarter person would make a connection between this exercise and feeling good! So, I have started to think of my morning walk like a necessity like taking a shower. I wouldn't leave the house without showering so I wouldn't leave the house without exercising.

I'm Overweight, but I'm Happy
I have justified my happiness as an excuse not to get into shape. Just because I am not the type of woman who is sad and down doesn't mean that I can't be healthy. I am happy and healthy emotionally. I want to be healthy on a physical level too. I can imagine how sad I would become if someday I went to the doctor and was told that I had some problem based on being overweight.

So, these are my thoughts for the morning.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Blog Quiz

So, blog quizzes are a dime a dozen, but I think we are all self-absorbed enough to take a dozen for just a mere dime. Recently, I took this quiz. I like to think that no matter what has been happening in my life, the core of my personality is still in tact. This little quiz speaks to this idea.
You Have a Phlegmatic Temperament

Mild mannered and laid back, you take life at a slow pace.
You are very consistent - both in emotions and actions.
You tend to absorb set backs easily. You are cool and collected.

It is difficult to offend you. You can remain composed and unemotional.
You are a great friend and lover. You don't demand much of others.
While you are quiet, you have a subtle wit that your friends know well.

At your worst, you are lazy and unwilling to work at anything.
You often get stuck in a rut, without aspirations or dreams.
You can get too dependent on others, setting yourself up for abandonment.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Job #1: Half-Hearted Nurse Never Wanna-Be

I thought I would write about some of the jobs that I have had in my short lifetime...

Always the do-gooder, I refused to do the typical high school job when I entered the job force. You wouldn't see me flipping burgers or scanning groceries. No sir.

My official title was High School Co-Op. Sounds like an apartment rather than some young girl who walks around the orthopedic wing of the local hospital trying her best not to wake any of the patients as she took their blood pressure and vitals. I did a variety of tasks, yet the favorite activity was filling the cabinets in the rooms. I knew I was not made out to be a nurse when I realized I enjoyed folding the towels in the cabinet more than helping the patients. It was weird though. I would be working and I would walk into a room and there would be someone from my high school and I would have to take his vitals. I would have to help her eat her supper. I would have to wash his hair.

I earned quite a reputation for my ability to wash people's hair as they lay in their hospital beds. I also was sturdy enough to help move patients with the orderlies. In the course of one week, I experienced two events that solidified that I would be leaving the medical profession never to return unless I was the person lying in the bed. I walked into room 312 hoping to take the vitals and the patient was covered with a blanket. I walked out and the look on my face must have said, "Whoa. That lady is dead!" The nurse apologized for not telling me and they were just waiting for her to be moved. Heck, I worked on the orthopedic wing. People didn't die there, I thought...they just moaned, screamed, and cursed their body with every move they made.

Finally, a nurse came up to me a few days later to tell me about some 'procedure' that was happening that I could watch. I had no interest. She was shocked. I wasn't. I am not into that whole blood and cutting and blood. So, I gave my two weeks and wondered how I had worked at the hospital for a year and a half. A few days later, I was turning applications at ice cream and grocery stores hoping to be a regular high school kid with a job,.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Chair Up.

Okay, I am going to try to redeem myself from the toilet themed post from yesterday...

I bought a new piece of furniture the other day. Granted, we live in a pretty small apartment, but it seems that we needed more sitting room. I am one of those people that will stand before I sit on the floor at a party or gathering. I have done my fair share of sitting on the floor in my line of work...pretzel style, of course. So, I thought I would give chair hunting one more try. The rules of this hunt were simple.

1.) Chair must be lean and small.
2.) Chair must be of a neutral or natural color to match deeply loved red couch.
3.) Chair must be comfortable sans ottoman because no matter how much we would like to put our feet up after a hard half days work, we have no room for pampering the feet in that manner.
4.) Chair must be reasonable. Of course, this is subjective, but I know what it means.

I had my eye on a few chairs before the Christmas season and I would like to say that I am shopping savvy enough to have thought to myself, "I'll wait until after Christmas and they'll be on sale." But I didn't...but to my lucky surprise, they were all on sale! So, I bought the one shown here.

To this point, I have spent about three hours sitting in the chair. I have read many chapters from the book Million Little Pieces...a popular book that I think everyone on this planet has read except me. I have enjoyed a cocoa while chatting with my husband. I have talked on the phone in my new cozy, lean, small, sans ottoman, reasonable chair.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Number Two

I want to discuss something that is a little private, but as the famous book says, "Everybody poops". A phenomenon, really...or more of a mystery.

I usually leave topics of bodily functions out of the daily blog, but this is such a curious topic that I would like some opinions. Don't feel embarrassed about it, "Everyone poops". Let's not assume that this is a new low at the Midwestern Position.

I was walking in a craft store with my friend Marisa when she had to use the restroom. She made the comment that craft stores always make her have to go to the bathroom. I agreed and added that I usually have to use the restroom when I am looking at cards at a Hallmark store. We tried to come up with a connection between the two that would yield such a strong reaction from the both of us. We decided that it must be the paper products. Then, my theory gained strength when another friend told me about her need to use the restroom when she goes to the bookstore. Again...PAPER PRODUCTS! I bet I could test my conclusions if I went to a party store where they sell paper plates and cups. Maybe the Staples would be a good lab environment for this paper and pooping theory. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Who is Andy Reid?

I've been told that local celebrities come into our little Borders, but it wasn't until tonight that I saw one with my own eyes.

I was pushing a big cart of cardboard boxes out the doors to throw them in the garbage when a big man opened the door for me. I was followed out by a different man and he turned to me and said, "Hey, was that Andy Reid?" I replied with a shrug. At first, I had no idea who this "Andy Reid" guy was, but then it all came back to me when I saw the man again. He is the Philadelphia Eagles head coach. I think it was the black leather jacket with the Eagles emblam on it, but I recognized the man as the guy who is always on the local news being harassed by local sports reporters. I would place this as my second celebrity sighting in my life. Second only to seeing Jane Seymour of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman fame at a McDonalds in Time Square!

My co-worker Charles told me the story about when he helped M. Night Shyamalan find The Polar Express. I've been told that M. thinks that he is 'mystically connected' to this part of Philadelphia and that is why he films all of his movies in the area.

Just another interesting thing about my life here in Philly.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Song Beneath the Song

You know those great songs that you hear while you shop your local GAP or Banana Republic? Well, I just realized...it is probably someone's job to choose these songs. Sure, one could say that the songs are just part of the satellite radio that the store has purchased, but I don't believe that. Because with stores like the GAP and all the other sweater pushing retail stores, the songs are just as much a part of their image as the denim-lined walls that cover their store.

So, who gets to do this job? I believe it might just be the perfect job for me. Not that I am in the market for a new job because I already have one ready for August, but wouldn't it be great. I know that many people would appreciate this line of work.

I think a person would have to need the following qualities to be the MIX MASTER for any and all of the clothing retail stores...
1. Must have spent at least two hours creating "The Perfect Mix".
2. Must have changed "The Perfect Mix" because after two play throughs, the songs just didn't get across what you were trying to get across...whether it be "Let's Party!", "It's Fun to Be 29", or "Look on the Brightside".
3. You must have a wide range of musical tastes. For example, you must know who Tammi Terrel (Motown), Thelonious Monk (Jazz), Nick Drake (Folk), and Miss Beyonce (R&B) are and introduce them to the world as they shop for puffy vests.
4. Must dig sitting at the computer listening to tunes and searching for tunes and thinking about tunes and singing to tunes and then, listening to tunes again.
5. Must appreciate music and its ability to make life better..from shopping to walking to just standing still.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I'll Take a Beer...Heavy on the Birch

I know a lot of my friends and family check in with the blog to see how things are going in Philadelphia. So, I will make it a point in 2006 to educate you about all things Philly. Some things that I learn can be applied, found, and appreciated all over this country. Others can only be found around these parts.

Today's Philly specialty is Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer. Despite its name, Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer is not alcoholic, but a cousin of the much loved Root Beer. Or, as I like to say..."I'll take a beer...heavy on the Root."

Like everything else in Pennsylvania, it claims to be the oldest soft drink in the county and it probably is. I am not sure if Birch Beer can be found anywhere else. I am assuming it can be found, but I recommend giving it a try. Birch Beer has a carbonated goodness that makes it a soda, but it has a peppermint kick to it. I think it is definitely an acquired taste, but I like it. I place it in the category of Ginger Ale, Root Beer, and a bottle of chocolate milk...not an everyday treat, but rather, an every now and then treat.