Tuesday, March 29, 2011

thank you, sun!

Oh my lord, I feel alive again.

What is it about the sun that brings me joy? I love the feel of it on my face. I like the brightness it adds to daytime. I like seeing flowers and trees twist their way towards its rays. I love the heat it brings. I love how everyone's moods seem better when it's sunny. Life doesn't seem as dreary or blue.

If you live in this area, you've no doubt experienced the crazy rain storms lately. On top of all the rain, I live in the mountains so we've had 2 weeks of flooding, trees falling, power outages, closed roads (and closed freeways), landslides (and rockslides), and more.

But today...the sun came out.

Bliss.

I went for a walk after work with three friends. We walked by the ocean for an hour and a half. We soaked in the sun. We had a spring in our step. We felt the sun on us and the wind blowing through our hair. We grinned like idiots the entire time. We laughed and talked freely about anything, everything, and nothing. We saw dogs, cyclists, joggers, rollerskaters, skateboarders, surfers, boogie boarders, birds, seals, families, kids. It was like the whole town came out from under a damp, dark rock and wanted to be in the light. To enjoy the sun, fresh air, and beauty around us.

I love you, sun. I also loved watching you set behind the ocean this evening. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. Do I really live here?

Monday, March 28, 2011

my first march

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be part of my first ever march-for-a-cause. Have you guys heard of IJM? (International Justice Mission). It's a human rights organization that goes around the world rescuing kids from human trafficking and sex slavery. One of the colleges in this area decided to do a "Freedom Walk" for IJM. Their goal was to get 300 people to walk 3 miles and donate $10 each. That $3000 would rescue 3 girls from slavery.

A few of my college students were doing it so I wanted to walk with them. It was a really cool experience. When I got to the starting point of the walk, I didn't realize it was going to be a full-on march. Like people were wearing IJM T-shirts and holding banners and posterboards. We got into teams of 20 and set off. Luckily the rain held off the whole time we walked.

At first, I was weirded out by everyone looking at us. I realized I'm always the one looking at marches or people holding signs. I've never been on the other side of it. But there I was with a ton of other people, walking downtown, with cars and pedestrians squinting to read what our banners said.

The only two strange experiences were one guy driving by and yelling out his window, "Go Satan!" I guess he realized we were a Christian group and wanted to ruffle some feathers. And then toward the end of the 3 miles, there was a homeless man dancing in the middle of the street. He was smiling with his eyes closed, smoking, dancing, listening to some headphones, and clearly in his own world. When he saw us, he beamed even more, turned around and showed us his G-string underwear. A bunch of people gasped, but I laughed. Was that wrong? My town is so weird, I guess I'm just used to it.

The "freedom walk" was really awesome. We got lots of "What are you guys marching for?" questions. We got a few "woohoos". We got many honks and waves of support from people in cars. I don't know how much money was raised, but I'll find out soon and let you know. It felt good to be part of something that is making a difference in this world.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

hi

I am so tired. Sorry I haven't been blogging much. Things get pretty crazy this time of year. We are half way through the semester and I'm tired.

* It's been raining a lot.

* I have discovered the show Community on NBC and am a big fan.

*One of my housemates (Travis) turned 34 yesterday so we took him out to ice cream.

* I keep buying books. I need to finish the 5 by my bed before I buy more. But I can't help it. There are too many good books in this world.

*My hip hop class starts up again next week. (It's been on hiatus while they change locations)

* Speaking of dancing, I learned how to "Dougie". At the Ladies Sleepover last weekend, we played Jenga. And if the tower fell at your turn (you lose), you had to do a Truth or Dare. I lost the third game and I chose dare. The girls said I had to learn the "Dougie" dance and perform it at college group in front of everyone (It's almost as ridiculous as that Soulja Boy dance that came out a few years ago).

video

Sunday, March 20, 2011

trampolines, sleepovers, and pranks

Hi all. I had a fun Friday night I wanted to tell you about. It was a college night out. We started the evening with 20 people jumping on trampolines at Sky High. There are these warehouses filled with trampolines and you can pay $10 and jump around for an hour. SO MUCH FUN. They even have a foam pit you can jump into and a dodgeball court.




Here's a video of us all jumping. (Please enjoy the two girls falling at the very beginning of the video - bottom right corner).



After jumping, we hit a nearby In-N-Out. Yum!!


Then it was time to split up into genders. The ladies went to one house for a sleepover and the guys went to another house for a "Manover". At our sleepover, we made cookies and brownies, sang karaoke, played truth-or-dare Jenga, and danced. Around 2 in the morning, we decided to go prank the boys house. We bought 9 rolls of saran wrap and drove over there.

It was quite eventful. We started saran wrapping their cars and then we heard the front door open so we all hid. One of the guys was leaving to drive home and saw his car, "What the *expletive*!?!" We all tried not to laugh from our hiding places as he unwrapped his car. And then we realized we had blocked the driveway with our cars so he couldn't get out. So sadly he saw a couple of us run to our cars and back out.

He left and then we got back to our wrapping. We kept thinking we heard voices or that the guys saw us. All part of the excitement, right? I realized I left my camera in my car so I ran down the driveway to get it. But then I accidentally set my car alarm on. Of all the times you DON'T want your alarm to go off!!! I freaked out and turned it off as quickly as I could. I guess the ladies up at the house dove for the bushes and thought we were going to get caught.

Luckily, the boys were inside playing video games and didn't hear us (or they're just deaf) because no one came out. It was around 3 a.m. at this point. I snuck back up to the cars and the girls gathered around it for a picture. I told them to run right after it flashed. The problem was the flash blinded them so they were running all over the place, trying to find our 2 getaway cars.


My car made it out first. But then we got to the street and noticed the other car wasn't behind us. Uh-oh. They finally drove up with their windows down and said, "Skye (one of the college boys) caught us!! He ran out of the house without his shirt on and grabbed the car window. 'Did you ladies REALLY just saran wrap my car?!?' We played dumb and drove away before he could say anything else. LET'S GET OUT OF HERE!!!"

We drove back to the house and congratulated ourselves for being so awesome. We all went to bed around 4 or 4:30. Around 10, I woke up and went downstairs. The girls said, "Sarah...go look at your car." This is what I saw:


The boys had apparently come to the girls' house at 4 in the morning and let all the air out of my tires. They left a note that said:


And on the side of my car was a bicycle pump. Really, guys? You left me a bike pump to inflate my tires? Yes they did. We laughed and went inside where I called Triple AAA. We ate breakfast and the guy was there in 40 minutes. As he worked he said, "You ladies are the happiest people I've seen with a car that has 4 flat tires."


Such a great night. And then I spent all day Saturday and Sunday recovering from the fun (aka: sleeping and napping as much as possible). Yeah for making memories!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

GLEE-cap #16

Whoa, so much happened in Tuesday night's episode. FINALLY we got back to some ol' fashioned songs and dances that make this show so entertaining. It's time for Regionals y'all!!!

TOP TEN QUOTES/MOMENTS FROM "ORIGINAL SONG"

10) Way to start off the episode right away with a Warblers number! Seriously can Darren Criss and those a cappella boys come sing me to sleep every night? I have loved every song they've sang on this show. I liked "Misery" and my fav part was when they pounded on the tables. And then I loved Kurt telling Blaine he gets all the solos. I'm not complaining because I love me some D.C. but I also get his point. It's time to share the love.

9) Rachel giving Finn a box of Kleenex for the "Only Child" song she wrote. "The only Berry on my family treeeeeeeeee". Classic Rachel.

8) Let's talk about the Warbler's council meeting. Blaine is suggesting a different color lining for their jackets at Regionals, Warblers are yelling "This is a kangaroo court!" and the gavel is repeatedly being banged on the table. Then Kurt bursts in wearing all black (because of Pavarotti's death). I laughed. But then I got all somber because his "Blackbird" song was sad and beautiful. And then, came Blaine's lightbulb moment. More on Kurt and Blaine later.

7) "Well well, if it isn't Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle Fake-Boobs." -Sue to Brittany and Santana

6) "Trouty Mouth" song by the sultry Santana. AmAzing. Poor Sam.

And Puck, I'm sorry but HOW is Big-Ass Heart any better than Fat-Bottom Girls?

5) "Hell to the No". It's been awhile since Mercedes has had a solo. I love her, her voice, and her sassiness. And then after her song Santana says, "Mr. Schue? I wrote another verse of 'Trouty Mouth' and Sam holds up his "Hell No" sign with a frown. "Guys, just think about it. What's your favorite song of all time?" Mr. Schuester asked. Brittany quickly responds "My Headband". YES.

4) The Quinn and Rachel scene at the piano in the auditorium was actually an unexpected highlight for me. I liked their honesty with one another, even though it hurt. And what Quinn said got me thinking. Rachel IS so talented and will go to Broadway. Finn will probably stay in Lima, Ohio and take over Kurt's dad's tire business. "You don't belong here, Rachel. And you can't hate me for helping to send you on your way."

3) Aural Intensity's "Jesus Is A Friend Of Mine". (Have you seen the cheesy video of this song? It's like a 70's nightmare.) The best part was the Star of David they made at the end.

2) Sorry Warblers, I didn't care for your first song ("Candles") at Regionals. I mean, it was ok. But nothing spectacular. However I liked your second song ("Raise Your Glass") a lot!

1) And then it's time for New Directions. Both Rachel's song "Get It Right" and the group number "Loser Like Me" were awesome. (I liked Sue's expression when she realized they were talking about her during Loser Like Me.) And then the drunk lieutenant governor's wife giving first place to the glee kids was a great finale.


Questions/thoughts from the episode:

* Kurt recorded Blackbird on a cassette tape?? Do those even exist anymore? And then I was even more shocked to see that the Warblers had a tape deck in the study. I have not seen a tape deck in 10 years. I was confused. Did we rewind back to 1988?

* When did Tina learn to play piano? And when did she and Santana become friends?

* Who told the New Directions ladies that it was okay to wear those blue dresses with bedazzled necklines, black tights, and Doc Martens? It hurt my eyes.

* One of my guilty pleasures is Kathy Griffin. I've seen her twice in concert and she is hilarious. But she crosses the line a lot, so I usually don't share with people how much I love her. Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing her as a judge for Regionals. But she was not funny. Neither was Loretta Devine's nun character.

* Um, WHERE was Vocal Adrenaline? They beat New Directions last year at Regionals. Where were they this year?

* And finally...Kurt and Blaine. Um, I reeeeally don't want to see two boys kissing each other on TV. That scene was hard for me to watch. The show makes you root for these two (just like it made you root for Will and Emma to get together last season, even though he was still married to Terri) so our impulse is to be excited that Blaine finally realized he loved Kurt and kissed him. But I just can't get excited. Instead I just feel uncomfortable.

What are your thoughts on the episode?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

weekend

My weekend was spent praying for the people in Japan, donating money to Red Cross, buying two new books, catching up with some old friends, losing an hour of sleep for daylight savings, swimming laps at our local pool for the first time in months, studying the book of Daniel, and being scared about my health issue. How was your weekend?

Friday, March 11, 2011

praying for Japan

By now all of you have heard about Japan's huge 8.9 earthquake and the tsunami that swept into northeast Japan and destroyed farmland, boats, and homes and took the lives of thousands.

These natural disasters are so devastating. I just don't understand. I could not sleep last night, thinking about it. At times like this I feel so helpless. I want to help. What can I do?

Something practical we can do is donate to the Red Cross. Anything you donate (even if it's just $10) supports their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Click here to link directly to their donation page. Or if it's easier, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.

And let's keep praying for Japan and the people there.

To end, I just want to share a picture I saw today of a school in India. This picture reminds me that even though we are a big world, we are connected.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

my appendix is okay

I had a little scare last night. I felt a lot of pain in my lower right abdomen. I went to the doctor today and got some blood drawn and then had a lovely ultrasound. (Yeah for heated gel!) The results came back negative for appendicitis. Soooo, Imma go back to the doctor tomorrow and see what tests we should do next. I wonder what's causing the pain?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

GLEE-cap #15

Tonight we were treated to the return of Holly Holiday (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Dr. Carl/Uncle Jesse/John Stamos, the man who is ageless and looks the same if not better than his Full House days.

If you read my last glee-cap about the alcohol episode, I'm sure you'll have figured out I felt the same way about this episode about sex. I was joking with my sister that next week they should do an episode about the glee kids doing drugs and then they'd have all the bases covered.

I'll save my rant for the end of this blog. Let's jump into the things that were good about this one.


TOP TEN QUOTES/MOMENTS FROM "SEXY"

10) "I have to say, I am very inspired that both of you are showing how celibacy is a viable option for teens who simply aren't ready for intimacy. And for those who are older and are terrified of the hose monster." -Emma at the Celibacy Club meeting

9) Brittany thinking she was pregnant because a stork was building a nest on top of her garage. Oh. My. Ga.

8) Favorite song of the night: "Animal" by Kurt, Blaine, and the Dalton Warblers. Ahhh! Loved everything about it. The girls screaming, Kurt's attempt at sexy faces (and sexy moves), Blaine's expressions watching him try, the vocals, the harmonies, the breakdancing in the foam, the acappella-ness of it all. Amazing.

7) Mr. Schuester singing and dancing the tango? Yes, please.

6) "I'm sorry if I'm over-stepping." -Blaine after telling Burt he should talk to Kurt about sex.

"You are." -Burt assures him

5) "Landslide" was very beautiful. The ladies' voices sounds really good together. I was surprised to see Santana getting all teary.

4) Best part of the whole episode: Artie's face during "Afternoon Delight". I belly-laughed. Thank you, Artie!

3) Kurt and Burt and THE TALK. I will echo what everyone else says: I love this father-son relationship. Love it. It seems real and authentic. On a show that is so unrealistic, it's a small anchor back to reality. I love when Burt gets uncomfortable because he doesn't know what to do or say about Kurt's homosexuality. But he STILL talks with him, spends time with him, and loves his son unconditionally.

2) "We're cuddle monsters." -Dr. Carl (about him and Emma)

1) "I like you, Lauren. I like wooing you. Next to dropping my afternoon deuce, it's my favorite part of the day." -Puck


Ok, now it's time for my rant. Again, Glee tells us that all high schoolers are having sex. Just like ALL high schoolers drink alcohol. I'm not naive; I know some high schoolers drink and have sex. But I don't like the slant Glee takes when it comes to these episodes. It's never two-sided.

For example, if we look at tonight's ep, if you don't have sex as a high schooler, you're a "crazy Pope lady". What's wrong with you!? When Rachel says some of them are choosing to be celibate, Holly basically says in a condescending tone, "I respect your decision. I think you're a naive, frigid prude. But I still respect your decision."

NO YOU DON'T!! You don't respect her or anyone else's decision to not have sex. You put down their choices and make them feel foolish in front of their peers.

(*pant pant*) Breathe, Sarah, breathe.

Why do I get to so worked up about a silly TV show? Because these issues are personal for me. I really struggle with my college girls feeling like they're freaks because they've decided to save sex for marriage. The attitude that Glee portrays only feeds society's negative view on virgins. I want to my college girls to be proud of their decision. But they get so much flack for it in today's world. It upsets me.


QUESTIONS:

* Why were Holly's jazzercise people all dressed in 80's leotards and sweatbands?

* Why did Holly decide to seduce the whole glee club during her "Do You Wanna Touch Me" song? Keep your jacket zipped, H.H. That goes for all you glee ladies too! Keep the twins hidden, mmmmkay?

* Why does Brittany not want to break up with Artie but she'll keep cheating on him by making out with Santana? Because that's "different".

* Lauren and Puck wanted to make a sex tape? Ew.


Next week's Regionals episode better be stellar to redeem this show.

Aural Intensity led by Sue Sylvester
vs.
Dalton Warblers with Blaine and Kurt
vs.
Vocal Adrenaline with their new coach (Dustin Goolsby) and the return of Sunshine Corazon
vs.
New Directions with original songs!!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

dancing with Jose

Myself and two friends (Laurel and Julia) have been itching to go dancing lately. Our favorite is swing dancing and then salsa. Julia found out a swingy jazz band was playing about an hour away and we thought there'd be swing dancing. So we got all dolled up last night and drove over. We walked in and were greeted to the back of 100 white-haired heads. Everyone there was 80. And they were SITTING and listening to the band. What??

So we laughed at ourselves a bit and then went and asked a young person working the event if he knew of any dancing around town. He said there was a Mexican restaurant that had salsa dancing on Saturday nights. Sweet! So we found the place and sat down for dinner before the dancing.

There was a live band and they were awesome. But no one was dancing. So Julia went over to the bar and asked a guy to dance. He brought over his 2 friends to dance with Laurel and I. And that is when I met Jose.

Jose was probably late 40's and I was taller than him. And weighed more than him. He was very nice, trying to teach me merengue, and asking questions. I then realized Jose didn't speak English. Luckily I know some Spanish so we talked a bit while we danced. At first it was innocent stuff like what was my name, where do I live, what do I do, what is my favorite type of dance. I asked him the same things and at the favorite-dance question he said, "Salsa, cumbia, merengue..." and then he smiled all seductively, "...romantica."

Uh-oh.

Jose and I danced a couple songs and then I started getting sweaty and needed a break. He asked if he could buy me a drink. No, gracias. He asked me to dance a few other times during the night. At first I did and it was fun. He's a good leader. But then he started asking me "Tiene un novio?" Do I have a boyfriend. Oh crap.

I told him I sort of did. And then he smiled and pointed to himself. Noooooo. From that moment on, I pretended like I completely forgot how to speak Spanish. He was telling me how beautiful I was and I kept looking at him weird and making it seem like I couldn't understand. No comprendo.

We were getting sleepy around 11. Jose came to ask me to dance one more time and I told him I was super tired (I was). But Julia wanted to dance some more so I motioned at her. He danced with her but the best part was everytime he spun her on the dance floor, he would look up at me with raised eyebrows as if saying, "See what you're missing?" Laurel and I were giggling like fiends. We could NOT pull it together.

Friday, March 04, 2011

a new experiment

I have been trying out a new experiment. It's something fun I've been doing the past few weeks. It's called "How's Your Day Going?"

I'm noticing there is not enough human face-to-face communication going on in this world. And human contact and communication are vital. So I decided I was going to start intentionally asking people (strangers) about their day.

The grocer, scanning items.
The Starbucks barista.
The guy behind the counter at the post office.
The lady in front of me in line at the bank.
The guy behind my car pumping gas into his car.
The waitress who comes to take our order.
Whoever.

Oh my gosh, you guys. I love it. I'm never gonna stop. It has been so cool. I love seeing people's expressions when I ask them "How's your day going?" with a smile. Usually their first look is surprise. No one does that sort of thing. At least strangers don't. Their second look is usually pleased. Someone they don't even know wants to know how they're doing. Their third look is usually thoughtful. Like, "How AM I actually doing today??" And then they answer.

"Ya know, it's actually been a good day so far!"
"Ehhh, it's going ok. Kind of crazy but oh well. Those days happen."
"Pretty good. How about you?"
"I'm super tired but nothing a little coffee can't help." *laugh*

Sometimes a conversation continues from that point, other times it's left at that and we go our separate ways. But dude, I dig it. I want to start a "How's Your Day Going?" revolution.

You should try it and see what reactions you get. Let me know.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

beware