Monday, January 29, 2007


I know. I normally stay away from topics that are 'hot button issues', but something happened tonight as I watched the national nightly news.

A new military rehabilitation hospital was opened for injured military veterans in Texas. They showed these amazing tools to aid the veterans and made a point of saying that it was completely funded by private donations and not "your tax dollars".

First of all, any of us should be happy to use our tax dollars to fund such a place. It is the least we can do for the men and women who have been permanently changed in body and spirit for this war.

They showed the men and women, disfigured and maimed from combat. I just felt so angry. I felt so angry at this administration for spinning this war. For spinning the lives of these people to a point where they no longer have arms, legs, or facial features.

I don't have to understand all the details and intricacies of the war to feel justified in my anger. I remember my uncle telling me at the beginning of the war that Iraq would become a hotbed of terrorism because of our actions. I didn't believe him.

I can't help but ask the question. If my uncle knew this would happen, wouldn't you think that the administration's thinkers and planners would know the same?

On a lighter note, I really like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. You can watch it online for free.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Oh, I Do That Too

I guess it would be safe to say that I go through phases with music. A few years ago, I was really into John Denver. However, all the music that I had was on my old computer (two computers ago) and it didn't transfer to this new computer. Today, I downloaded "Rocky Mountain High".

I love this song.

"Comin' home to a place he'd never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door"

Hmm...I think we'll go with this. I love music for 70% lyric and 30% melody. I know that is insulting to the musicians of the world, but I just really like a good turn of a phrase. For example, "Cannonball" by Damien Rice.

"there’s still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
there’s still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
it’s still a little hard to say what's going on"

Good stuff.

However, there are songs that must MUST have the melody to make the lyrics powerful. "Bell Bottom Blues" by Eric Clapton is such a song. It isn't just the lyric or the song, but his voice sounds as if he is dying, but in the good way. The good way that makes you believe that he is desperate for this woman to take him back.

"Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it because
I don’t want to fade away.
Give me one more day, please."

Oh, Heck! Why don't you just listen to it for yourself on my new Midwestern Podcast!

Back From the Scrap

I have returned from Scrap Camp and although I did not develop some new mad skills, I did get a lot accomplished. I was, again, called out on a few things.

First, I am a very fast scrapper. I do not rely on pre-made layouts so I do not spend time searching for the perfect layout. I do my own thing which cuts down on time. The women who are all Creative Memories diehards were amazed at my speed of scrappin'. I was also judged for using brads and eyelets on my pages. They felt that they would damage the pages, but the do not. They embellish and give the pages depth.

When I first arrived, I was a little overwhelmed by the women and their love for Creative Memories. I have shared my opinion of Creative Memories in the past and this is it...They have great tools. They have matching paper. They do not have nice stickers or letters. There is cuter stuff in the stores. But their tools are amazing. The women had EVERY Creative Memories pen, tool, and case. I have more of a hodge podge set up.

I share a hotel room with two complete strangers, but it was as if I had a single because these women stayed up until 4:30 AM and 6:30 AM scrapping. No way. I was in bed a little after midnight. They are hardcore. I am worthless with all endeavours after midnight. Like Cinderella, I guess.

Well, you can check out some of the pages that I finished this weekend. I counted. I did over 30 pages this weekend. That is a lot, my friends!

Friday, January 26, 2007


I am off to scrap camp. I will be gone for the whole weekend cutting, cropping, gluing, and arranging a multitude of photos on lots of patterned paper. Some might wonder why I need to dedicate an entire weekend to such an endeavour. The answer is this...I don't. I just want to. I am taking this weekend to do something that I really enjoy. I have rarely met any people who share my enthusiasm for the craft of scrapbooking, but I think I might meet a few scrappin' fools this weekend.

I look at this weekend like I would look at a golf weekend for the guys or a shopping trip for some ladies. You won't hear from me for a few days, but when I return, I will be filled with stories from the camp.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'll Be More Careful

Like most mornings, after I get my beloved medium hazelnut with milk and sugar, I plugged my ipod into my car radio. I put the bad boy on shuffle and let the music gods smile down on me. At that exact moment, I am blissfully happy. It is this moment where I am at the beginning of a day that could take lots of different turns, good and bad, but at that moment, all is right and good in the world.

As the ipod started to shuffle, Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" came on the radio. This song was my secret anthem from last year. It seemed like I had bad day after bad day. I started to reflect about this during the car ride. I normally don't sit and get thoughtful about pop song lyrics, but you know the one that says, " You're faking a smile with the coffee to go". Well, I get that. I get that idea that a person just has to go through the motions sometimes to get to that good day.

Damn that "Bad Day" song! I had my coffee and my ipod and it was bumming me out! So, I quickly hit the next song and thankfully, Duran Duran came on. No one can be bummed to a little "Rio".

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Don't Hold Back

I love when people comment on my blog. I like to hear what people have to say even when it might disagree with me. What I find the most fascinating about the anonymous comments are their tone. People who sign their name to their comment are more likely to write something with a bit of a laissez-faire attitude. The whole "you dig what you dig and I'll dig what I dig" attitude. The anonymous commenter has more of an edge. I never write anything that I could be cut too deeply by this edge, but there is a little more judgement and, I will go ahead and say it, criticism in these comments.

I was at work and received a comment from someone. Who, I can only fantasize about. It must have been someone who was catching up on the blog or someone who stumbled on the blog. I like to believe it is someone who is lurking and reading my blog, but my review of The DaVinci Code simply drove this person to comment. Maybe it was a frequent signed in reader, but their assessment of my thoughts were so out of line that he/she needed to be as clear as possible with his/her thoughts. He/she told me it was the worst movie he/she has ever seen.

Again, I love a good mystery comment. It almost makes me feel like I should be more opinionated on my blog just to have more contrasting anonymous comments.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Game Night

Besides our family Thanksgiving, we had our first social gathering at our house last night. My friends, Amy and Wes, came to town from NYC. I picked them up on the train and we enjoyed some savory snacks before the other guests arrived. Later, the crew from Borders came over. After some brief introductions, we had dinner and got our game on.

I tried to make a dinner that would be somewhat healthy. I made chili and baked potatoes. I had no idea that chili on baked potatoes was a new thing to some people, but it was a big hit. I did not make such a healthy dessert. I found this recipes at allrecipes that used ice cream sandwiches as the main ingredient. You have to check it out the Hot Fudge Ice Cream Bar Dessert. It was so easy and the presentation was quite nice.

Despite the fact that I am trying to eat healthy, I had a piece of dessert. It is the first thing in three and a half weeks that has not been a healthy choice. I will allow myself that. If I wouldn't have enjoyed a piece, I would have had a huge craving and binged on something even worse. I packed up three to-go containers just so we wouldn't have leftovers.

The games started with Apples to Apples, my new favorite game. I appreciate that the players/friends were decisive and quick with their choices. I hate games that are slow, except Scrabble. I discovered that I might be the weak link when it comes to another favorite, Catch Phrase.

Fantastic fun.

Friday, January 19, 2007

15 Minutes

It is amazing that fifteen minutes will make such a difference in a person's day. I was running late on Thursday for no particular reason. The line was longer at the coffee shop. As I was waiting to turn right onto a very busy street in Philadelphia, the man behind me started honking his horn for me to go.

Where did he think I was supposed to go?

So, I did nothing. I waited for my turn. Actually, I am lying a little. I was waiting for both lanes to be free. I know that is annoying for the man behind me, but I have to cross both lanes into the left turning lane in a quick way in order to get to work. Otherwise, I have to go the very busy and congested way.

He honks again. At this point, he has a point, but I just want to get to work my normal way. I can't take the driving guilt. I go and end up going the long and congested way.

Big mistake. It ends up being so chaotic and angry, them...not me. I will never be 15 minutes late again.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Corner Has Been Turned

Hello neglected ones!

I am not sure what I have done with my time since Saturday, but it certainly hasn't been spent blogging. Let's see, I have started this new thing where I go to the gym after school. The gym is free and great and there is no reason but stupidity that I haven't used it until now. I am trying to avoid all of my gym failures in the past. In order to keep the momentum with the gym, I will reflect on what has led to such failures in the past.

  1. Ugly Workout Clothes - I cannot spend my time worrying about how I look while I am working out. Everyone is there and gross in some way. Either it is the gross grunting the unnecessarily large muscle man makes every time he finishes a lift or the middle aged man who is working out in his slacks. We are all gross.
  2. The Numbers - I can't look at the calories that I have burned. I can't look at the time that I have left on the treadmill. I can't look at the clock on the wall. The only number that I am at all allowed to consider is the weight that I started at on December 28 and that is the reason that I am on the treadmill in the first place.
  3. The Others - I will not compare myself with this tight, little 21 year old with roller derby shorts and pig tails running at top speed next to me.
  4. The Excuses - I can have none. I have agreed with myself that I will get to the gym for four days this week. I will make a weekly deal with myself that if I do this, I will buy a new magazine for myself to enjoy the next week at the gym. Magazines seem so extravagant.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hearth Makes a Home?

This is what used to be our fireplace.

When we made an offer on the house, we had an inspection done. It revealed that the house needed a new hearth for the fireplace. The sellers are paying for our new hearth because it was falling through the floor into the basement.

Today, masonry guy is here breaking up the old hearth, pouring the cement, and making my house very dusty. I was going to clean while this was happening, but what is the point.

However, I will be very glad when it is finished.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Isn't it weird how my random ipod Friday shuffle would play two songs with the name SARAH in it? I think so.

Do readers check out the list? Do you say, "Oh, I love that song!" or "I don't know that song. I will check it out," or "Man, I hate that song"?

Grocery Lady

I must have a face that says, "She'll talk to you even if she has no idea what you are talking about". It happens to me all of the time.

I was standing in line at the deli counter at the grocery store. One of the good/bad things about Philadelphia is no one knows me. I can stand there in my pajamas if I want to and not have to worry about who sees me. I can stand there with a complete staring contest with the honey ham behind the glass. No one will notice me or bother me.

Well, the other day, this woman who was around 90 years old was having an in depth conversation with the deli guy about turkey and prices. I couldn't help hear. She was yelling. Then, she turns to me and makes eye contact. Oh no.

"She is going to start talking to me," I think to myself in a social panic. It is not that I don't like elderly people, but elderly people just do what they want. They don't care what your plans are. For example, I wanted to get my meat and get home because I was mildly starving.

As she starts talking to me about how she has been coming to this supermarket for 19 years, she grabs the completely off limit upper chub of my upper arm! She holds on for dear life as she asks me for directions to the Eckard Pharmacy across the street. Then, she tells me about how she has a pacemaker and is so close to the hospital if it quits working that she'll just walk on over.

At this point, I know I am bruising on the arm chub and the meat guy is showing me his angry face because I have the next number and three people are waiting for me to wrap it up with this woman. I give him the signal to take the next customer and I'd get a new number. Oh, boy! Then, she started telling me how young people are not polite anymore like me. I think she would have taken me home if I hadn't been slowly pulling away from her literal grasp.

Well, we wrapped up the one sided conversation and she was on her way. I felt bad for her more than anything. I am sure she was lonely and just wanted to talk to someone. I am glad I could be that person even if I had no choice.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Issue of the Day: Time Zones

I wonder if I will ever get used to the eastern time zone.

There are so many things that just feel wrong. I feel like I should be watching prime time television at 7PM, but it doesn't start until 8PM. I am starting to wind down for bed around then. Most newscasts do not even start until 11PM. By the time I finish, it is 11:20! That is just not going to happen on a school night.

I have always been the girl who goes to bed at 10:20. Even in college, I would chose my roommates based upon two factors:

1) Do they have a television? If they do, they are out. I can't stand having a television in my bedroom.
2) Do I see them up early in the morning and do I see them getting ready for bed around the same time I am getting ready for bed?

If you passed these initial skill sets, then, we'd move onto questions 3 and 4:

3) Do they come home or do they stay with a boyfriend? I liked to have my room mates come home. I hated when room mates would walk in at all hours of the night or morning and wake me up. They called me "the ogre" in my senior year because I hated having my sleep interrupted.
4) Do they sweat the small stuff? Are they dramatic and crying all of the time? Do they break up with their boyfriends every other week? If they did, they were out. I had no time to be anyone's counselor.

The bonus question for being my room mate, are you tidy? You don't have to be a clean freak and I preferred if you weren't. I just did not want grossness in my room.

It kind of sounds like I had all of the cards. I didn't. They had to want to be my room mate too. However, the older you were, the more seniority you had in choosing rooms. The most coveted of rooms were the carpeted rooms. I inhabited one of the two carpeted rooms all senior year with my room mate, Jill. Jill was a great room mate. She fit all of the descriptions above.

Since we've moved out here, Tim likes to stay up for the news. I against this. I like to go to bed at the normal 10:20 even if it means missing out on some shows or the news. Maybe I'll have to switch all of my clocks to reflect central time and things will be set right in my world.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A New Gem

I went to this fantastic restaurant last night. It was called Sang Kee Asian Bistro. It was perfect because Tim was in the mood for Chinese and I was in the mood for Thai. Sang Kee has a fusion of all Asian cuisines.

It was the first time that I had been to a restaurant since changing my eating habits a little over a week ago. When we eat out, we usually go around 6PM. This helps us avoid the evening rush and we are home to have a full evening together. Last night was the exception.

We walked into the restaurant and it was packed. I thought for sure we'd have to wait, but the hostess walked us to a small table for two. However, it was one of those trendier places where you are almost eating with strangers because your tables are so close.

I like any Asian restaurant that serves you hot tea along with your water. It is such a nice treat before your meal. We ordered some Hot and Sour soup. This soup had tofu in it and it was a nice touch because I was very hungry. After our soup, Tim had seafood pan fried noodles and I had beef chow fun which is soft rice noodles with beef, bean sprouts, scallions, and a flavorful sauce. It was hard to tell how healthy this meal was, but I felt satisfied and it has to be better than a cheeseburger, right?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I hate when the media forces something down my throat.

Wait. I should rewind. It is true that no matter how often a dear friend refers to Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood as the "news", it really isn't the news. Maybe it is the plunging cleavage necklines of the hosts or the man in the turned up collar that is telling me something is breaking news, but I just can't buy it.

Now, I buy it enough to tune in when my body and mind go into slow down mode right after supper. It is the time of day that I want nothing more than to sit in front of the television and watch something. Usually, there will be a rerun or two on, but usually it is the entertainment industries excuse to hear themselves talk that I tune into. Why do I do this? It only leaves myself annoyed at celebrities and more annoyed at myself for watching.

So, back to my point...

Donald Trump. Rosie O'Donnell. Why should I care that these two egomaniacs don't like each other? Shame on me for watching.

The baby bump...doesn't anyone in Hollywood know that sometimes people get chubby instead of PG? Maybe Halle Berry is just having a bloated day rather than procreating this earth. Let's give her a break please.

Then, the lowest of the low...Lindsey, Paris, Nicole, and lately Britney...your skirts are too short, your waists are too small, and you have wasted more precious ink and airtime than I care to think about. Girls, get yourself a 12 step program or at least 12 doughnuts.

See...even I am wasting my precious blog space writing about this garbage. Go ahead, shame me.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Damn You, Pile of Pancakes

It is amazing what your mind will do when you are trying to be conscious of what you eat.

I don't even like pancakes, yet as I drove past an IHOP today, I saw pictures of them in the window and man, I wanted them. They looked so good. They still look good.

But, my self-control won that battle. I just hope it can win the war. I drove home and had some leftover spaghetti and sauce, applesauce, and water.

I stopped at Dunkin' Doughnuts to get my regular morning coffee today. However, the nice woman who takes pride in knowing what I want was shocked when I told her that I was switching to skim milk rather than cream. She asked if I was sure and I was. I am hoping that the big and little changes in my life with yield big and little changes.

I am waiting for Friday to step on the scale and see what all this self-control and discipline has done for my body.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I Know Most Love It

We rented Pirates of the Caribbean for New Year's Eve along with a few others. I knew from the first few minutes that I wasn't going to make it to the end of the movie. First, I couldn't remember what had happened in the first Pirates movie. The story line had elements to it that I think, and I am not for sure here, that you should really remember what happened in the last movie. Maybe I should have given it more time, but the movie was so dark. We don't have a huge television so I was left squinting my eyes trying to decipher what was actually occurring during the movie.

The biggest thing that I couldn't continue watching/listening/translating was Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Yes, I agree that he is a clever character, but I couldn't understand 90% of the words from his mouth. I really don't like it when actors do not open their mouths when they are speaking. It was as if he wanted us to really see his nasty pirate teeth. Yes, we see them and they are nasty.

I know you don't hear this very often, but thank goodness for the DaVinci Code or I would have had a bummer of a New Year's Eve.