The License Plate Prophecy: A Farce

Well, Readers.
I am finally feeling recovered from my rather unfortunate first experience with subbing, so as promised I am bringing the story of my first and only interview–also a disaster.
As I have mentioned, I graduated from college in April of 2013. I applied for my first job in May, and to date I have had one single interview. To say that my job hunt is going poorly is something of an understatement.

Am I laughing or am I crying?

I have been very vocal about my struggles with the job hunt, both here and on Facebook, and so a lot of my friends are well aware of my problems. And since I have great friends, they look to help me out. About a month ago, my friend Amanda, whom I met at college, let me know about a job opening that she thought I should apply for at the place where she worked. It was a clerical position at the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation department.
Wait, wait, a job at the Parks and Rec department? So what you’re saying is I might get this job and start making money again? Because you know what that would mean….

Another great thing about this job is that it was part-time, which meant I would be able to be off by 2 every day– which was perfect because I had accepted a position as a coach for an under six girls soccer team. We had practices early in the afternoon during the week, and so I would be able to get off work in plenty of time to make it to their practices. So I jumped online and applied, feeling like things were finally looking up for me.
I met with the contact parent for the team I was supposed to coach, things went great, and we had everything arranged. A week later, I checked with Amanda to see when they would begin reviewing applications, and she told me that their building had actually flooded and so they would have to deal with that before they started looking into hiring anybody.
I was somewhat disappointed, but not discouraged. Then, shortly after that I got a message from the contact parent on my team– one of the dads had decided he wanted to coach, and so they didn’t need me after all.

I’ll admit, I was pretty crushed.
And then, even more time passed and I never heard anything back on the Parks and Rec job, and I grew slowly more depressed. When my bank account went below $100 for the first time since I opened it, I knew I had to do something. My sister, who recently graduated with her second college degree in Early Childhood Education, suggested that I  attend sub training and start subbing. It seemed the only option at that point. And so I went to sub training, requested a replacement social security card , a paid for a sixty dollar background check so I could start subbing (you can read about that in my last post)

Two days later, I got a call from my friend Amanda’s boss asking me if I could do an interview.

Come ONNNN

But I didn’t want to turn down a job opportunity, so I scheduled an interview.
A little while later, Amanda gave me a heads up that I wouldn’t even be interviewing for the job I had originally applied for. Instead, I would be interviewing for a front desk job dealing with people’s calls and anyone who came into the office. Wait, wait, wait… people? You want me to deal with people?!
I felt my stomach sink. I can’t deal with people, guys. I am shy, and non-confrontational, and easily overwhelmed in unfamiliar social situations, as I am sure you all are well aware if you read my blog regularly. A front desk job was exactly the opposite of what I wanted to be doing.
I started talking it over with my family, and the more we discussed it, the more we realized that it would probably be better for me if I just went ahead with subbing. I was going to be making the same amount, the commute was nonexistent, I wouldn’t have to ask off right after getting the job for when we went on vacation during Spring Break, and I had already agreed to sub for my mom. I realized that I had agreed to an interview for a job I didn’t want to take.
I immediately got in touch with Amanda to talk it over with her. She had gone to a great deal of trouble to get me the interview and to recommend me to her boss, and I felt terrible her hard work was going to waste. But Amanda is very kind, and she was completely understanding. She suggested that I go ahead and come in just to talk things over with them and to get the experience of interviewing.
Ah, if only I had known what kind of experience it was going to be.

My interview was scheduled for nine in the morning in downtown Oklahoma City. According to my GPS, the drive should take 26 minutes, so I woke up at 7:20 to make sure I would have plenty of time to get ready and still make it down there in case traffic was bad. I left at 8:20, a little later than I wanted but still with plenty of time to make it–or I should’ve. But of course the drive was worse than I thought, with lots of traffic, and I didn’t make it to downtown until about 8:50. But ten minutes was surely going to be plenty of time to park and find my way to the Parks and Rec building.
Ah, the naivete of youth.
I was excited because whenever you came in for an interview, you could park in a specific parking garage downtown and the department would pay for it. Now, as you all may recall from when I missed my friend’s wedding because my GPS stopped working, I am very bad with directions and navigating. So when it finally occurred to me that the parking garage they had told me to park at was on the corner of two streets that were not the same as the street the Parks and Rec building was on, I got a little nervous. I just started turning down streets, and luckily for me, it only took me a couple extra minutes to find the parking garage. I breathed a sigh of relief and pulled in.
Not so luckily, however, this was one of the most confusing parking garages I had ever been in, and I could not seem to figure out what way to go. It was also packed, because it was a Monday morning in downtown, and there was no sign of a spot anywhere. I came around a corner, and was almost hit by another car. I shot her a dirty look, confused as to why she was driving right down the middle of the aisle, and kept going. I came around another corner, and was almost hit by another car.
It was at this point that I realized I was going the wrong way down the one way section of the parking garage.

Did I take stupid pills this morning??

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

You know what one of the worst things about doing something really stupid is? It’s when you know you’re doing something stupid, but you can’t fix it. Somehow, I had managed to get into an area that was only supposed to be an exit.
parking garage

 

I was driving as carefully as I could, ashamed and confused, trying to desperately to find a parking spot I could pull into and turn around in. But, as I mentioned, the parking garage was packed, and there was nothing. I was on the fourth level and had almost been hit by two or three cars when I realized that I was just going to have to try and pull into a corner, as close to a car as I could, and then pull an Austin Powers and try to slowly pull forward and back until I could turn around.

I have been reduced to Austin Powers.

I got as far over in the one way aisle as I could, and tried to wait until no cars were coming, fervently hoping that no one was going to come around the corner and hit me first. Finally, after three cars came around the corner, almost hit me, and honked vociferously, the coast was finally clear. I made my move, and pulled up as close to the car on one side of the aisle as I could.

If nothing else, I learned that a job I would not be suited for is construction or architecture.

If nothing else, I learned that I would not be suited for a job in construction, architecture, or design.

I got right up close to the car, and then I noticed that their license plate said “HITNRUN” on it. I laughed a little and thought to myself, Haha better not hit them! After I had pulled up as close as I could, I started backing slowly up, hoping no one would come around the corner. I had almost enough room to cut the wheel, when suddenly I felt a bump. I froze, and slowly turned around.
And that was when I realized I had backed into the van behind me.

I managed to turn around and get facing the right way, but I made sure to back up and pull really close to the van I had just hit. Luckily, it was very large, very sturdy, and I had hit it going very, very slowly. There was not even a mark on it that I could see.
Please don’t call the cops on me, but I was the perpetrator of a hit and run.
That’s right. Hit and run. Does that sound familiar? Remember how I told you that the car in front of me said “HITNRUN” on the license plate? Yeah. I pulled up to a car that said hit and run on in, and then I hit the car behind me and ran.

And yet, it was happening. I swear this to you…  you can’t make that kind of stuff up. You just can’t.

Finally I managed to get going the right way, expecting at any moment that a policeman was going to show up behind me and arrest me. Again, as I mentioned, the parking lot was full, and I simply kept driving and driving and driving to find a spot. Finally, on the 8th floor out of 9, I found a place and pulled in. It was nine o’ clock by this point, and I was late. I rushed to the elevators, got in, and then realized I had no idea where I was going.
Somehow, it had never occurred to me to ask how I got from the parking garage to the Parks and Rec office. Vaguely in the back of my mind I was apparently just thinking that the two would be connected. But again, they weren’t on the same streets. Confused, terrified, and anxious, I took the elevator to the ground floor and started wandering along the street. I walked a block up to Main Street, but then had no idea which way to go. I picked left and started walking, but after awhile I realized the numbers were going the wrong way. I tried to look as far as I could down the other way, but saw no signs relating to the Parks and Rec department.
At this point I was utterly bewildered. I was freezing cold because I hadn’t brought a heavy jacket or gloves, not having connected that I was going to have to walk. I was late, and had no idea where to go.
Finally I messaged Amanda, who THANKFULLY responded very quickly, asking me to call her. I did so, and followed her directions, crossing a street and walking down the other way until I finally stumbled upon the entrance. I made my way to the elevator, arrived at the second floor, and went into the first office I saw. I had thought my friend Amanda would be at the front desk, but there was no sign of her. I was ten minutes late by this point.
The lady at the desk was on the phone, and I had to wait almost five minutes before she was done. She was very apologetic, and I told her I was there for an interview. Then she asked me who I was there to see.
My mind went completely blank.

Ohhh… uhhhh…. ummmm…..

“Karen?” I asked hesitantly.
“Great, I will let her know!” the friendly receptionist said.
Oh thank God, I guessed right.
At that moment, however, Karen came walking by, and the receptionist told her I was there for an interview. She looked slightly panicked, and told me to just have a seat for a few minutes because she had to meet with her boss. I collapsed onto a nearby bench, drained.
After a few minutes, I was relieved when Amanda finally appeared. She told me that she was afraid Karen had forgotten she had the interview with me. At that point, I had no desire to go near the parking garage anytime soon, so I wasn’t too worried that I was going to have to wait. After ten or fifteen minutes, Karen finally came for me and called me back. I had thought that Amanda might have mentioned that I wasn’t going to take the job, so I went in thinking that they might just talk to me in case I ever did apply for a job with them again.
I was slightly startled when Karen brought another lady in to help with the interview process, and when we sat down and she started to ask me questions, I realized that she was really going to interview me.
“So what do you want to tell us about yourself?” she asked me.

Uhhhh…. weeeeeeell, actually….

I then haltingly began to explain how I hadn’t heard from them in such a long time after applying that I had gone through process of sub training and getting my background, and how I really felt that it would be a better fit since I wouldn’t have to drive thirty minutes every day, etc. etc. As I spoke, I could see their faces getting more and more confused. Finally I wrapped up my stumbling explanation, and told them that I felt terrible and I was so sorry and I just wanted to come and explain everything to them in person.They were incredibly kind and understanding, just like Amanda had been, but I felt like they were just wondering what on earth I was doing there. I felt like the biggest idiot alive. I thanked them, said goodbye to Amanda, and got out of there as fast as I could.  I had still been considering the idea of maybe, possibly taking the job when I left my house that morning, but after everything that I had experienced I don’t think anything could have induced me to do so.

NOOOOOO I AM NEVER SHOWING MY FACE IN OKC AGAIN YOU CAN’T MAKE ME

I made my way back into the infamous parking garage, and naturally got off the elevator on the wrong floor, wandering about for a few minutes before realizing my mistake. In a daze I got back on the elevator, went up to the right floor, and got in my car. I think I drove the carefullest I ever have in my life going out of that parking garage. The whole incident seemed so absurd at this point that I slowed to a crawl as I went by the spot of my ill-fated attempt to turn around. I looked over the van I had bumped into as carefully as possible, still seeing no evidence of my car’s assault upon it. Then, because I was doubting my own eyes, I looked on the other side of the aisle just to confirm that there really had been a car with the license plate “HITNRUN” that also just happened to be the one car out of the hundreds in the nine floor parking garage that I chose to turn around by before fulfilling its unknowing prophecy. I started to take a picture of it, because it seemed impossible anyone could credit the story I was telling without proof, but naturally at this point a car came up behind me, and I had to drive on.
It was a one way garage, after all.
I pulled up to the exit area, thinking there would be a person there to take the ticket I had been given to pay for my parking. But after pulling up, I realized there was no person, and that I had stopped too far away from the ticket machine to put my ticket in. I rolled down the window, hoping against hope that I would be able to reach it but knowing it was impossible. I was going to have to get out of the car and put in two different tickets with three cars waiting behind me.
Out of nowhere, a man appeared, offering to take my tickets and put them in the machine for me. “You’re lucky I was here to do that for you,” he told me scoldingly. I only nodded and thanked him, because of course some random man would happen by just at that moment to put my tickets in for me. Clearly my life was a bad play, and he was just playing his part.
I pulled into the street, and all I could see in my mind was that license plate, emblazoned in big letters “HITNRUN.”
I started laughing, and didn’t stop until I was almost home.

 

And then I died. The end.

Goin’ to the Chapel and I’m Gonna Get Lost

Hello, Readers, and welcome to the new year.
When I was a little girl, every new year I used to make resolutions. Everyone did so; I always heard adults or my friends or people on TV discussing what their new year’s resolutions were, so of course I always had to make my own little list.
This list, which was always very vague, always ended up completely forgotten by Valentine’s Day. I made resolutions just to make resolutions, because that’s what everyone else did, but I was never truly resolved to do anything.

Very briefly.

When I got older, I just stopped making resolutions. People would still ask me, but I never could really think of anything. A few times, I would throw out one of the classics, like to exercise more or lose a few pounds. But eventually, I got to the point where I just shrugged, and admitted that I didn’t have any.

Well, except the only one that mattered.

At some point it occurred to me that the reason I never could think up any resolutions was because I didn’t know what I wanted. My life seemed to have a pretty pre-determined path that included playing soccer, attending school, and working, and there never seemed to be a great deal of room for deviation.
I’ve also always had this weird mental thing where it’s like if I consider how many bad things can possibly go wrong in the year, there’s no way they can sneak up on me and surprise me and therefore they won’t happen. It’s like if I appreciated what I had hard enough, the universe wouldn’t take it from me. Making resolutions and saying I am going to make this, this, and this happen this year, felt almost like I was tempting fate. I had no way to know what an entire year might bring, but trying to impose my plans on it seemed very uppity and presumptuous, like I was asking to have my plans wrecked.
It occurs to me as I type this that I might be something of a pessimist at times.

It’s 50/50, really, what a new year might bring.

In my most recent years, I have occasionally gone a third route, and made resolutions that were almost guaranteed to come true, barring my death or utter catastrophe. A resolution I made for 2013? Graduate college. Which I did, four months after making it. Not even long enough later to forget my resolutions.
I can say, unequivocally, that the months following my graduation made me into a new person–into an adult. The death of my best friend, my sixteen year old cat Boo, and then the subsequent death of my beloved youngest dog, Cash, in my lap were enough to ensure that. But as life-wrecking as those things were for me, 2013 was more than that. For the first time in eighteen years, I had no plan, no clear direction. I’ve found myself in that dreaded quagmire of the college graduate– unemployed with no prospects even remotely relevant to my degree.

I’ve struggled with the inevitable curse of the writer– trying to believe your work is good enough. I worked my butt off and committed to putting time every day into  a book I was writing, only to get sick of it and hate it and completely give it up… only to read it again months later and fall back in love with my own work.

I have wrestled with the reality of relationships and what true love is and the stark truth that it’s not like books or movies, but rather incredibly murky and confusing and often doesn’t work out at all. I’ve come to wonder if I’ll ever even find anyone for me– I’ve also questioned if I even want to find anyone.
But more than anything, in this strange, almost purposeless time in my life, I’ve been thinking. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. When you go from pretty much every day of your life having a regimented purpose, to suddenly being jobless and schoolless, when you no longer really have deadlines or timelines or even really much of an idea what day of the week it is, you have a tendency to spend a lot of time lounging around and thinking about things (or at least I do).

My life right now is a vacation, except it’s one where I never go anywhere or do anything and my money still slowly dwindles away.

But in all this thinking I’ve been doing, especially amidst a lot of upheaval in my life, I’ve been thinking about what it is I want in life. And I finally was ready to resolve something. Finally, I came right out and said to myself– 2014 is going to be a great year. I’m going to make it so.
Let me tell you how that’s gone so far.
One thing I was most excited about in the new year was the fact that one of my long time friends from high school, D’Erin, was getting married on January 4. Now, you probably know if you’ve ever read my blog before that I also have a fashion blog. Well, I’ve had my outfit for D’Erin’s wedding planned since before I even got the invitation to her wedding. D’Erin also made a dream of mine come true–she let me go wedding dress shopping with her. To say I was looking forward to the wedding might have been a bit of understatement.
Throughout December I was searching (in vain) for a pair of gold tights for a reasonable price to go with this dream outfit I had been planning for months, because it was going to be January in Oklahoma and I was going to need me some tights. Never finding anything likely, I settled on a black pair with gold polka dots as my backup, and resolved to go about just making a pair of my own sparkly gold tights. I went to Walmart and started looking up DIY sparkle tights on Pinterest, but unfortunately my phone signal always goes wack in our Walmart and I couldn’t get anything to pull up (make a note of this–it’s intense foreshadowing that I should have paid attention to).  So, I decided to just wing it.
map throw

10,000,000 points to Gryffindor if you got this reference.

10,000,000 points to Gryffindor if you got this reference.

I picked up a pair of white tights–but the cheap, $1.50 ones, just in case. Next I grabbed a bottle of gold glitter.  Then, I literally sat myself down on the floor of Walmart for fifteen minutes trying to decide the best way to affix said glitter to said tights. They had all types of craft glues, but most of them didn’t actually appear to be glues meant to be used on fabrics you were going to wear. There was also fabric stiffener spray, but I could not imagine a world where wearing stiff tights would be enjoyable for me. Then there was a little three pack of glues, one which said “wearable fabric spray glue” and I got very excited, because, hello, that’s exactly what I was needing. But they only had it in the three pack, and the tiny bottle inside it wasn’t going to cut it for an entire pair of tights. So, unless I wanted to buy like three of those packs and spend a lot of money, that wasn’t an option.
Finally, after much deliberation, I simply decided to buy some craft glue and attempt to mix the glitter into it and then sort of paint it on the tights. If that failed, I figured I would just try to stick the glitter to the tights with a whooole lot of hairspray.
I arrived home and busily went about mixing my glue and glitter mixture, which ended up being harder than I thought. When I tried to paint it on a test section of the tights, however, I realized very quickly that it was a disaster and definitely not going to work. So I fell back on plan b.
I set up my tights, congratulating myself on thinking of cutting up a box that a 12 pack of Diet Coke cans came in– each of the sides was the perfect size to put inside the tights to keep them taut and from sticking to each other when I worked on them. I got a box lid to catch all the loose glitter, and went to work. I soaked sections of the tights in hairspray, dumped glitter over them, and then layered over the glitter using more hairspray than Dolly Parton’s hair and hoping for the best.

Ingenious.

Ingenious.

Periodically, I would pause and take the whole contraption into the bathroom, where I would attempt to blow dry the tights to see if the glitter was going to stick or not. Aside from the fact that blowdrying a box containing lots of loose glitter resulted in my face being showered with glitter, the glitter on the tights actually seemed to be sticking.

My bathroom during this process. (Also, this joke never gets old. Never.)

After I finished the second leg, I thought perhaps I should just leave the tights alone to dry, but let’s be honest here, I don’t have that kind of patience and I wanted to know right then just how amazing these things were sure to look. It also occurred to me that perhaps I might not want to let the tights dry too long on the cardboard, because they might stick. I began attempting to remove the cardboard from the first leg of the tights that I had done, only to realize that the tights had, in fact, become stuck to the cardboard.
As I began the process of trying to peel them off, I was struck by how similar it was  to when you try and peel one of those anti-peel stickers off of something you’ve bought, usually a gift that you want to look nice, which means the sticker inevitably rips and leaves gross reside and white bits of paper you can’t get off no matter how hard you try.
In this case, the gross residue and bits of papers was actually represented by the ink from the Coke can box, which had bled all over the white tights after getting wet from the hairspray soaking. At this point, I realized in the back of my mind that there would be no salvaging these, but I’m no quitter (okay that’s patently false) and I was going to try those tights regardless of what they looked like.
When I finally got both cardboard pieces out of them, I decided it would be a wise idea to step into the bathtub when I attempted to put them on, since glitter was falling off of them like snow at the North Pole. I did so, and managed to drag them on. For your benefit, because I value you so deeply, Readers, I did not take a picture of myself in those tights. I did, however, take a few pictures of them all by their lonesome for you to peruse.

20140109_143357

Ooooh

Ooooh

Ahhh

Ahhh

Pretty colors

Pretty colors

Disastrous, I’m afraid. Also, my house is now covered in glitter. So this was how it stood so far:
2014, 1. Sara, 0.
But I mean, hey, it’s just tights, right? Not really that big of a deal. Sometimes (usually) craft projects fail. It happens. I still had my backup tights, and I still had the wedding of my dear friend to look forward to. That was the real point, after all.
So the next day, the day of the wedding, rolls around, and I start getting ready well in advance. I had never been to the church it was at, and I wanted to leave myself plenty of time to get there, find the church, and get myself a seat. I was going by myself, because my two friends I knew would be there were bridesmaids, and, naturally, D’Erin was going to be a little preoccupied getting married, so I didn’t want to come slinking in two minutes before the ceremony started and have everyone turn around and be like who is this weirdo??

Excuse me, pardon me. just trying to sit down– where did Michael Jackson come from???

Don’t mind me!

But of course, since it is me, it didn’t really work out as I’d planned. By the time I left, I was running about five minutes later than I wanted to be, but I was determined to speed my way there. I punched the address into my GPS, hit go, and took off.
Now, to preface this, you need to understand just how little sense of direction I have. Whatever way I’m facing feels like north as far as I’m concerned. I have very poor spatial conception, and I can ride in the car somewhere fifty times and have no clue how to actually drive myself there. I just can’t seem to get a sense of geography in my mind. And when people give me directions, I usually forget them approximately 7.893 seconds after I hear them. Much like math, directions go into my mind and just get all jumbled around.

North? Southeast? These terms mean NOTHING TO ME.

All this means that I rely utterly and totally on my phone GPS to get me places, with the exception of like, four or five specific places I have drove to over and over again. The church my friend was getting married at was not one of those places. It was a church on a service road of the interstate, which means it’s one of those little roads that only run one way, along the side of the interstate, and if you miss your turn or go too far, the only way to get back to it is to drive under the interstate, take the other service road on the other side all the way back down, and then come back up the other way, making a complete circle.
I had a margin of no minutes as I was coming up to end of my GPS navigation– I was already going to be arriving like three minutes after the time the wedding was supposed to start. I wasn’t too worried, however, because most weddings don’t start EXACTLY right on time. As long as I got there quickly, parked, and hustled in, I should be fine.
I exited the interstate onto the service road, and toodled along. Suddenly my GPS told me it was time to turn NOW and I panicked, because the road didn’t look like the right road and I didn’t see a church anywhere– so I overshot it. I got really angry and turned immediately at the next turn, which led into an apartment complex. I was hoping that it might have a through road to the road I should have turned on, so I drove around in it, desperately looking for one.
There wasn’t one.
Worriedly, I pulled out and back onto the service road, and made the first of the numerous loops I was going to be making that evening. I went around the little corner under the interstate, came back up the other way, then cut across again, and got back on the original road I was on. This time, I turned on the street it told me– and it led me right into an apartment complex. Confused, I drove around in it, hoping desperately that the church was somewhere behind it.

“Ummm… is there a church in here somewhere?”

It wasn’t.
I pulled my GPS back up, and typed the address in again, just in case I hadn’t got it right. It was at this point I noticed that even though I was typing the number part of the address in, when I was hitting go, it was inexplicably dropping the numbers and searching only for the street name. At this point, I was a little over ten minutes late, and I started trying to google the name of the church.
Now, remember when I told you that I should have paid attention when my phone started messing up in Walmart? Well, my internet basically started refusing to work. I had no 3G, and it wouldn’t pull up anything. I wanted to call one of my friends and ask them what I should do…. but they were in the wedding. Panickedly, I called my mom and asked her to google the church to make sure I was putting in the right address, even though I was typing in exactly what it said on the invitation I was mangling in my hand.

SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT HERE

My mom googled the church, and told me that the address was 1039, not 1029 and I cried out in triumph– I KNEW something was wrong!! Gleefully, I typed the new address in, and made the loop again. However, as I came up on the place it was telling me to turn, I realized with a sinking feeling that it was taking me to EXACTLY THE SAME SPOT. By this point I was fifteen minutes late, and I was freaking out.
I had no idea what to do, so I just started driving down the road, hoping the church was just further down or something.
I drove about two miles, with nary a sign of a church, before I decided to drive down the other way. I was coming back up on the road I had been turning on to go around to the other side of the interstate, and I knew it was pointless to drive back down that way again. The wedding was to have started at 5:30. By this point it was 5:47. Finally, I pulled into a gas station and started crying. Naturally, I was wearing lots of eye makeup. I usually wear none, and if I do, it’s usually only eyeliner. But I had even put on mascara for this very special occasion, and I knew I needed to get myself together if I didn’t want to show up as a raccoon.

BEYONCE never would have gotten lost and missed her friend’s wedding

I just kept trying my internet, and then FINALLY it started working. I went to the church’s website, and as I should’ve done from the very beginning, pulled up my GPS from the map they provided on their website. I tried to put it into my navigation, but apparently I had not been punished by the geography gods enough, because my GPS satellites chose that moment to stop working. My phone had no idea where I was, and so it could not navigate me to the church, even though it now knew where the church was.
I sat there and just kept reputting it in, over and over. Finally, I restarted my phone, and sat waiting. After a couple more minutes, my GPS found the satellites, and provided me with the route– I was 0.7 miles from my destination. If I had only gone past the street I had been turning on over and over again to go back up the other side of the interstate, I would’ve found the church. I had been within two or three miles of the church the entire 40ish minutes I had been driving in circles. The gas station I had been sitting at for fifteen minutes was literally two minutes away from the church. I could only stare at my phone in utter defeat.

Yep, that’s it. I quit.

I pulled up to the church at 6:10. There were still cars everywhere, but I had little hope. I decided to go in and see if I could find one of my friends. There was a reception that was in downtown Oklahoma City, about fifteen minutes away. But I had no idea if I should go to it yet or what anyone was doing. I walked in, and there were people standing all around. They all gave me strange looks as I hesitantly wandered around, looking for anyone I knew. I found the chapel, and saw my two friends sitting in the pews watching as D’Erin took wedding pictures. I stumbled up the aisle toward them, sat down, and told them the whole story. Naturally they told me one of my other friends had been there, and I could have callled her.
I mean, of course.
I waited until all pictures were done with the bridal party and they kicked everyone out so they could do pictures with just the bride and groom. I drove to the reception, which was at the Oklahoma Museum of Art– somewhere I had actually been. I arrived, and everything was absolutely lovely. I didn’t have the heart to tell D’Erin when I saw her that I had missed her wedding, but it’s something I’ll regret for the rest of my life. (PS D’Erin if you’re reading this… yeeeah, I missed your wedding. You do not know how sorry I am.)
2014, 1,908,3753,508,035,938,517,394. Sara, -58.

This seemed to be a confirmation of every fear I had that if I tried to declare that 2014 was going to be a good year, it was going to turn around and kick me to ground. But here’s the thing with all that thinking about what I want– it doesn’t go away. In 2013, bad things still happened to me, even when I tried to avoid them. And at least if I make resolutions in 2014, I can resolve to make sure that good things happen to me as well. I feel like, as I always do at the end of the year, I am amazed by how much more it seems like I learned, how much I have changed and my life has changed. I feel like I’ve finally matured, and gained some hard-earned wisdom. I know what I want now, and while I may not have a clue what else might be in store for me in 2014, there’s nothing wrong with going after what I do want to happen. And so, I have made a short list of resolutions I will be working towards this year.

Sara’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2014
1. Finish my novel.
2. Get a job.
3. Move out with my sister.
4. Get a tattoo.
5. Go on a date (maybe).
6. Not miss any other weddings I am invited to.

Some of these will be hard, some I’ll have no control over, and some will be entirely up to me. But it’s really exciting to picture myself at this time next year, looking back on these– because who knows what I might have accomplished?
And in the meantime, my house is looking pretty magical with all that gold glitter…. it makes it seem like the possibilities are endless.

My Year in Facebook Statuses

2013

JANUARY

4thFirst day of spring semester, booo- Oh, wait. That’s right. I DON’T HAVE CLASS ON FRIDAYS, YEEEEEEEEAH SENIOR YEAR. On the other hand, this is my last semester of college, omg.

7th– I’ve coined the perfect name for people who hate naps: haterZzzzz.

8th– Overheard at work today from a five year old: “I love her and she’s going to be my only girlfriend forever. We’re going to buy a house, it needs to have at least four bedrooms. It’s gonna be really nice.” Glad to see an upstanding youth getting his life sorted early.

10th–  I realized a sad truth today- sweater tights were not made for thunder thighs.

18th– I’ve ventured into the strange and terrifying world of simply blogging, without the bargainy outfity thingy. Two posts await your perusal, if you are so inclined.

21st– I love mornings with my kitties. Cuddled with my Boo baby and then shared a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats with Finn because he’s a freak. Just makes the rest of my day brighter when it starts with my boys. #CrazyCatLadyPerks

29th– “The logic of the rebel is to want to serve justice so as not to add to the injustice of the human condition, to insist on plain language so as not to increase the universal falsehood, and to wager, in spite of human misery, for happiness.”- Albert Camus, The Rebel. Ohhh, Camus, you so often make my brain melt but every once and awhile you throw out something I can really get behind.

31st– Got dressed this morning at 8:30. Just now realized that my belt wasn’t even in a couple of the loops on my pants. Why am I writing a fashion blog again?

FEBRUARY

6th– Just drove past a scruffy old guy wearing a Statue of Liberty outfit with a flag stuck in the crown and playing some kind of guitar/ukelele, standing on the side of the road, who proceeded to point at me as if to say, “What up, bro!” In four years, this is officially one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in Chickasha.

10th– As befits a consummate Facebook creeper such as myself, I have just spent thirty minutes creeping my own Facebook. I have come to the conclusion that, 1. I was not a worthwhile human being until at least senior year of high school, 2. I had a bewildering amount of angst between 2006-2008, and 3. I should be much more forgiving of young girls who post things they shouldn’t on Facebook because, good lord, Young Me, learn to hush.

24th– Got toothpaste in my eye this morning. Toothpaste. In my eye. What am I doing wrong, world?

27th– From the mouth of a five year old: “I’m drinking dungeon juice! It tastes like metal…. and prisoners. It’s delicious!” Wha….????

MARCH

11th– Reasons I Love My School No. 28: There are people fencing on the Oval. — at University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

13th– Maybe it’s bragging to post it on Facebook, but I found out today that I’m receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award for the Division of Arts and Humanities (ooh, fancy!) and I’m just so honored. Or, less formally, I’M SO EXCITED AND I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT!!!!

28th– If you’ve ever happened to wonder what I do in my free time, let me give you an idea. Today I watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on my phone while hot gluing a headband with a bow on it. Being perpetually single is a committed effort, guys.

APRIL

2nd– To sleep or not to sleep–that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous schoolwork, or to take arms against a sea of classes and by ignoring end them. To nap, to sleep–No morning class–and by a sleep to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to early in the morning. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

3rd– Tiffany Cordova: “Butter knives are a gateway knife.”

9th– So I was honored today with three different awards (Distinguished Graduate in Arts and Humanities, Stuart Meltzer English Scholarship, and Graduate with Honors), and I felt pretty proud of my life. I then proceeded to nearly break my toe by walking into a cart at Atwood’s. Fame totally hasn’t changed me, guys, don’t worry.

12th– Crazy Cat Lady Tip No. 27: Get cats that are fat, because when you grab them and cradle them on their backs in your arms to forcibly cuddle them, their own weight makes it nearly impossible for them to get up and escape. Gravity: a helpful friend of the CCL.

14th– I got on Facebook today while taking a break from writing my approximately 25 page paper over Albert Camus and absurdist theory, and there were THREE notifications in my little side area thing of people getting engaged. I think Facebook is doing this on purpose because it’s silently judging my perpetually “Single” relationship status. FORGET YOU, FACEBOOK, MY 4.0 GPA IS MY BOYFRIEND. I’m going back to my books and my cats now.

15th– My last ever week of school has commenced.

17th– You know it’s finals week when you see more than one person taking stumbling steps through the Oval, until they finally come to a stop to stare at papers in their hands with a look of despair before trudging, defeated, towards class.

18th– Three and a half years I’ve worked at Epworth Day School, and they’ve been some of the most frustrating, enlightening, happiest, and worthwhile times of my life. I’m absolutely heartbroken to say goodbye, but I will never forget this incredibly important and rewarding chapter in my life.

19th– It’s 6:18 in the morning. I have not slept. I have 33 full pages written for my senior seminar paper over Albert Camus and his theory of absurdism. I do not know if those pages are of good quality; I do not know if my argument is sound, or even coherent. What I do know is that I have dedicated four months of my life to this, and I have nothing left to give. As of now, Camus and this paper and I are never, ever, ever, ever getting back together.

19th– I cannot say thank you enough to all the wonderful people who came to support me tonight at my graduation, I have the best family and friends in the world!!

20th– Well, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, it’s been real. I am officially graduated and moved out, so I guess it’s time to say goodbye. Thanks for everything.

27th– Me: “What kind of tea is sometimes hard to swallow?” Rachel: “Sharp cheddar!” Me: “Sharp cheddar…that’s what kind of tea is hard to swallow…” Rae: “Ohhh, I thought you said what kind of CHEESE!”

27th– BREAKING NEWS: I possibly broke my nose playing indoor. It sure looks wonky enough to be broken. Updates to follow. (Do you see what I did there? I made a pun. Breaking news…because I think I broke my nose. I’d like to see you make a pun right after your nose got potentially broken. Dedication to my English degree, right there.)

28th– NON-BREAKING NEWS: Sadly, it looks like I have the much less exciting nasal contusion as opposed to a broken nose. Can’t be 100% sure without a CT scan, but the doctor felt there was no point in doing that since they can’t really do anything for it anyway. Alas, all my English puns were for nothing.

MAY

1st– Trying to write a resume. Soul slowly dying.

4th– I almost killed Richard O’Rourke and myself tonight by driving the wrong way down a street. I figure that’s a pretty good sendoff for him before he goes back to Ireland.

21st– I love my state. Oklahoma Strong.

25th– Walked into the living room this morning and my dad was watching the video for Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack” and just singing the words “heart attack” over and over. I have the best dad ever, all other dads can go home.

29th– I can’t believe it, but it has been one year since I started my bargain fashion blog. That means it’s been one whole year of me blowing up your Facebook with my clothes and my words. And, boy, am I looking forward to another year of doing so. I’m SURE you are, too.

31st– I have honestly never been so scared in my life as I was this evening, but by a miracle all family and pets are safe and our house is fine. We have lots of downed trees and debris and we’re worried about flooding, along with the power being out in all of town. But as of right now, just feeling so incredibly grateful.

JUNE

4th– Day 4 of the past 5 without power… Getting real tired of trying to put makeup on in the dark.

5th– Attempting to curl my hair again after almost a week of no power and constant buns. It appears to have forgotten its old life where I sometimes styled it, and is now refusing to take up those shackles again. It simply won’t acknowledge that I am curling it, no matter how much hairspray I use to persuade it.

8th– Total number of views on my blog for today- 323. My dad’s suggestion: “Why don’t you send your blog into a publishing company, make some money off that thing.” Thank you so much to everyone who read and shared my blog, you guys make it worthwhile!!!

11th– I know summer has officially started when I’ve looked at my legs while wearing sunglasses and got excited because I had a tan already, but then remembered I don’t.

13th– You know it’s hot when your dad answers the phone with “Golly gee willikers, Batgirl, my goose is cooked.”

17th– Sitting at home in my sweaty workout clothes wondering why I ever was excited about doing Zumba.

25th– Nerdy thought of the day: The best thing about reading so many books that I honestly can’t remember them all anymore is that after a year or two I can unearth them, and then I get to experience the joy of reading them again like they’re new.

29th– Three indoor soccer games in three days… My body is laughing scornfully at my foolishness.

JULY

1st– I hate you, job searching. You only serve to remind me that I’m apparently qualified to do nothing but soul-crushing, menial labor.

8th– So I just found out that my four time great-grandfather was named Augustus Leonidas. My family officially wins the coolest name ever award.

11th– Rachel Rowe: “You know what you get from bad boys? Herpes.” Ah, the words of wisdom I am gifted with from my big sister at nearly three in the morning.

22nd– *Sarcastic comment about not caring about the royal baby yet obviously caring enough to mention it* = people on my social media feeds today. #icare #noshame #royallove

24th– There is a man with a tiny grill grilling in the parking lot of our hotel whilst wearing a shirt that says “hustler” on it. Oh, Galveston, I missed you.

26th– I’m pretty sure that Boston Market is a gift of ambrosia from the gods, and the fact that there are none in Oklahoma is punishment for every bad thing I’ve done in all my past lives.

29th– I had a dream that a nice, cute boy asked me out on a date in an adorable way, and when I woke up I was so excited that I had half-written a text to tell people that I got asked out on a date until I realized I was still half-asleep and my life is very, very sad.

AUGUST

7th– It’s 2:20 in the morning, and I am lounging on my couch in utter, perfect bliss because I DVRed Whose Line Is It Anyway? earlier today, and now I can fast forward through the commercials. This is what true happiness feels like, guys.

7th– That’s right, folks, it’s time again for that moment every night when Sara thinks her hair is a spider and tries to smash it.

8th– Job-hunting inevitably leads me to the same conclusion over and over again– life would be so much easier if I were a cat.

15th– I made a most bewildering discovery just now– Chick-fil-a has complimentary mouth wash in their bathroom.

17th– If you are getting married and need help planning your wedding, please take a look at my wedding board on Pinterest and consider hiring me for the job. Because–and I’m getting pretty sure of this– I think this is my calling.

22nd– It’s not even 9am on my birthday and I’ve actually been voluntarily awake for almost an hour. This is what becoming an adult is like, isn’t it.

22nd– It’s officially the best birthday ever, I got a Blake Griffin OU jersey for ten bucks, and a lady in Academy straight up just had a monkey.

22nd– I don’t know about you, but I’m feelin’ 22!….Aaaand like Taylor Swift really needs to start singing some age appropriate songs. Like, seriously girl, get it together.

30th– Just watched Up for the first time ever… I don’t know whether my heart is broken or just so full it hurts.

31st– That awkward moment when you’re watching college football and you realize that from here on out, you’re going to be older than pretty much every player.

SEPTEMBER

1st– For the first time in 18 years, August is over and I’m not going back to school. Brb, having an existential crisis.

5th– It is physically painful for me to watch Amanda Bynes play soccer with her hair down in She’s The Man. Truthfully, it’s painful to watch most of the soccer scenes in that movie, and yet for some reason I still enjoy it.

8th– 16 years ago, we took a scared little kitten home who was only supposed to stay a week until we could find another owner. I had no idea then that the scared little kitten would become the love of my life. Today, one of the best and most beautiful parts of my soul passed away, and the depth of my grief is simply impossible to put in words. So all I can say is that I will love you forever my precious Boo baby, and there will never be another cat as perfect as you.

12th– Had a blast at my first practice as assistant coach to Brenna Skillern and our girls’ soccer team, can’t wait for our first game Saturday! Let’s go, Chargers!

20th– That awkward moment when you’ve been waking up all night because you can’t stop coughing or sneezing and you finally manage to get comfortable and are almost asleep when suddenly the box of Kleenex on the bedside table flares up in the breeze from the fan and you’re convinced for a couple of soul-chilling seconds that a small, white ghost is flying towards your face in the dark…

20th– Today is the happiest I’ve been in a long time, because today is THE day… the day I get to wear leggings again. Hello again, hello my friends, helloooo.

23rd– Help, I can’t stop eating croissants. Like, I seriously just ate all the croissants in my house. If I were a dinosaur, I’d be a croissantasaurus.

27th– I did it, guys… I applied for a big kid job. Weird.

OCTOBER

2nd– I just got a suggestion from my LivingSocial deals to get a Pumpkin Cheesecake Enzyme Facial. Don’t enzymes break things down though?? I feel like that sounds like the pumpkin cheesecake is going to eat my face, has the inevitable finally happened and the predator has become the prey? Is our food finally going to start eating us???

3rd– I had a dream last night that I was jumping on a bouncy castle with Amy Poehler, and I really did not want to wake up :(

6th– Did you know that if you really love cats then it is a huge mistake to search “cat clothing” on Etsy?

7th– If the songs of Lifehouse were embodied in a human, I’m pretty sure he’d be the most sensitive, best boyfriend ever.

16th– I don’t care what anyone else thinks, that fox song makes me laugh out loud with genuine joy every time I hear it.

17th– My waiter at lunch today was cute and I’m actually pretty sure he was flirting with me and by halfway through the meal I COULDN’T EVEN MAKE EYE CONTACT anymore because I was so flustered. This is why I will die alone, people.

22nd– If I was to die by choking on a crescent roll, I would be perfectly fine with that, as long as I got to finish it and it was the last bite I choked on.

29th– I just wanna know Ed Sheeran better.

31st– What do you get when you drop a pumpkin?…… Squash. Hahahahahahaha I can’t stop laughing about this, WHY IS IT SO FUNNY TO ME?!? Happy Halloween, guys…. hahaha

NOVEMBER 

1st– The only thing better about getting up in the morning as opposed to going to sleep at night is that in the morning I don’t have to floss.

3rd– I don’t care that you’re almost double my age and already have a wife, marry me Derek Fisher.

6th– Nothing quite brightens your day like finding one of your cat’s hairs caught in your girl moustache, especially after you realize you’ve already been out in public for two hours. Real self-esteem booster.

9th– Heard a knock at the door and assumed it was Kasey Phipps coming to pick me up, so I answered the door without looking and treated my mail lady to a view of me shirtless. You’re welcome, ma’am.

11th– I am just so thrilled with The Voice this season, every single person I wanted to go on to the Top 12 did. So no matter what, someone I like is going to win– BEST. SEASON. EVER.

12th– There’s two old men behind me at lunch engaged in an intense, heavily detailed discussion of Malteses and it’s pretty much the most hilarious thing ever. Like, one guy just started making whining noises to show the other guy what his dog sounds like.

13th– I moustache you if you have met the newest member of our family, Gustav Mustachio?

15th– Watching Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta and my dad just looks up and goes, “Is that Bruce Jenner? Are we watching Kardashians? What is going on?” Oh, Daddy. What’s going on is the pathetic fact that the most exciting part of my day is watching Friday Bride Day on TLC with my father who hates reality TV shows.

17th– Flossing is such a bittersweet endeavor, because on the one hand you’re like, “Eww I can’t believe this stuff was in my teeth!” but on the other you’re like, “Oooh that stuff is now out of my teeth!”

27th– Me singing to Rae: “Damn you look sexy, let’s go to my yacht in the West Keys, ride my jet skis.” Rachel: “You know, sometimes you sing to me, and I don’t think you really mean it… I don’t think you really have a yacht in the West Keys at all.”

28th– I just applied for a job on Thanksgiving, I’m going to go ahead and assume that my day was more productive than yours…. But just barely though, because I also fell asleep against my own father earlier after eating more food than I have in about two months.

30th– This morning, unexpectedly, my baby dog Cash died in my lap. We raised him from birth, and when my family wanted to sell him (because four dogs are a lot), I just couldn’t stand it, so we kept my sweet boy. We don’t really have many pictures of him, because he was such an active, happy boy, always moving and running around, chasing the ball with his mom Sadie. He was the youngest of our dogs, barely seven, and losing him came out of nowhere. Life really just isn’t fair, and my heart is completely broken.

DECEMBER

4th– I reread my blog post about Cash earlier and cried and then I’ve been playing on Neopets for like an hour and now I’m about to make an omelette at 2:16 in the morning somebody please send help I don’t know what’s happened to my life it’s a bad joke

5th– You know you have Labs when you go outside to break through the inch of ice on their water, and they show up layered in snow with tennis balls and plastic pots they expect you to throw for them to chase.

6th– Me: “Rae, do you know what ChatRoulette is?” Rachel: “Um, red cat. Wait, that’s chat rouge!” …..Guess that answered my question.

18th– A couple weeks ago I was doing the dishes and my daddy walked over to me and handed me one of those round scrubby shower loofahs and asked if I could use it and I told him that I’d take it, and he said that no, he meant can’t I use it to do the dishes, and I said I guess, and when he realized I was confused he said, “Isn’t that what these are for?” And in retrospect, he’s both the cutest but really also a genius, because what’s stopping us from using a shower loofah to do the dishes, really?

19th– I had a dream that I taught Robert De Niro how to “make it rain” with playing cards. Soooo… yep. That was a thing that happened.

21st– It’s 3:30 in the morning, and with one hand I’m reading the current draft of my novel-in-progress with the Kindle app on my phone, and with the other hand I’m twirling around a cat toy for my two cats to chase… this is my life in a nutshell

22nd– After years and years of wanting to go, I’m so happy I FINALLY got to see The Nutcracker with ma mere, it was simply, absolutely amazing! Thank you Momma!! — with Cheryl Munyon Rowe at Oklahoma City Ballet.

24th– “A crummy commercial??? Son of a bitch.” <– Me when there’s a pause in 24 hours of A Christmas Story.

26th– I’m exhausted because I stayed up all night watching the marathon of Pushing Daisies, and the only regret I have is that it ever got cancelled in the first place. Seriously one of the best shows ever made, and I’m still outraged five years later on its behalf.

27th– Three engagement notifications from Facebook…. only further rubbing salt in the wound of Peeta Mellark not being real and the acceptance that I’ll die alone because I’ve set my standards impossibly, fictionally high.

29th– I woke up at 7:30 this morning because my two cats were sprawled on my legs and feet giving each other baths that turned into a fight and I just want to know is this what my future looks like???

31st– From the fortune cookie app on my phone: “If you eat a live toad in the morning, nothing worse can happen to you throughout the day.”
….. I’m so grateful to be armed with this vital life wisdom as I face a new year (even though I highly question the veracity of that statement).

31st– Sending off 2013 with a blog post about my year in review through Facebook statuses… and so, appropriately, I’m going to take this time to announce that I am finally making a Facebook author page for my blogs, which I hope you’ll go like, even as my soul withers silently at the presumptuousness. 

 

Thank you everyone who has read, commented, shared, liked, and just generally supported my blog throughout 2013. It has been a year of enormous changes, with incredible highs and plunging lows, and I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without this blog to express myself. But that’s the thing with life, you never know what you’ll get, and I’m just thankful for the one I have. I’m also thankful for every single one of you– you all are truly what makes doing this worthwhile. I’m wishing you a most wonderful end to 2013, and a fabulous 2014.
Cheers to you!

 

11 Animals That Perfectly Sum Up My Vacation in Texas During July

Soooo… I took a bit of a sabbatical from the ol’ blogging, but I have good reason. The fam and I have been on vacation, that glorious mainstay of the summer.

VACAAAAAAY

We decided to amble on down south to that state unto itself, Texas. Now, I have been to Texas quite literally more times than I can count, but this time we decided to visit some new places we had never been before. We started off in Fort Worth, but before we even got there we got a flat tire. On our rental car. Just toodling along on the highway. We also learned that if you get a flat tire, you are responsible for repairing/replacing it. So heads up, car renters. Luckily, ours was a very simple and inexpensive fix, and we did not find ourselves too inconvenienced– well, except for having to unload all our luggage out of our car on the side of the highway to get the spare tire out of the trunk, putting it back in, then having to unload it all again when we got to the nearest Walmart Tire Center. All of this in burning, sweltering heat.
Did I mention that it was hellaciously hot? That was the mainstay of the whole trip: stultifying, draining heat (get ready, because there’s going to be a whole lot of synonyms for hot coming your way). We went to San Antonio and visited some of the old missions there and did a lot of strolling along the Riverwalk- which necessitated walking around outside. We visited Galveston, where the humidity nearly knocked me on my hindquarters whenever I stepped out of doors.

Me for a SOLID WEEK

Now, as my fam and I are dedicated, hardcore zoo junkies, one of the big highlights of the trip we were looking forward to was the two new zoos we were going to that we had somehow never been to before, the San Antonio Zoo and the Houston Zoo. Now, let me stress here, we freaking love zoos. Like, zoos are the best, guys. But we were going to zoos. In Texas. In July. Let me just give you a visual of what I felt like:

Ohhhhh, I just can’t WAAAAAAAAIT… to be in air-conditioning.

Simba there is perfectly embodying what I was feeling like, both at the zoos and during most of the trip. And in that same vein, I present to you animals at the zoo who understood exactly what I was going through during vacation. In Texas. In JULY.

1. LIZARD OF… UM…SOME SORT, SAN ANTONIO ZOO

I honestly thought maybe this lizard had died, but then I recognized how I was feeling before I came in the reptile house.

I honestly thought maybe this lizard had died, but then I recognized how I was feeling before I came in the A/C of the reptile house.

2. ANOTHER LIZARD OF UNRECORDED TYPE (perhaps a monitor?), HOUSTON ZOO

I just... I can't even

I just… I can’t even move from this log right now.

3. CHAMELEON, HOUSTON ZOO

Don't even try me today

Don’t EVEN try me today


4. YET ANOTHER LIZARD I DON’T KNOW THE EXACT NAME OF, HOUSTON ZOO

I can't even get comfortable, no matter what I do. (Note: DO NOT WEAR A MAXI DRESS TO THE ZOO ON A SWELTERING DAY)

I can’t even get comfortable, no matter what I do. (Note: DO NOT WEAR A MAXI DRESS TO THE ZOO ON A SWELTERING DAY, OR YOU WILL END UP WALKING AROUND LIKE THIS WITH YOUR DRESS HIKED UP INDECENTLY HIGH AND YOU WON’T EVEN CARE EVEN A LITTLE BIT)

5. YOU GUESSED IT IT’S ANOTHER LIZARD, SOME SORT OF MONITOR, HOUSTON ZOO

My lizard brethren were really feeling my pain this week. I was jealous this one got to sleep in a waterfall though.

Got my ass in my waterfall and I ain’t movin’ today, son.

6. KOMODO DRAGON, HOUSTON ZOO– (IT’S A LIZARD BUT I KNEW THE NAME YEEEEAH!)

My lizard brethren were really feeling my pain this week.

My lizard brethren were really feeling my pain this week.

"Like, you don't even understand how little I care right now." --this komodo when I stuck my face right by the glass and woke it up.

Komodo?? How about KomoNO.

7. CHEETAH, HOUSTON ZOO

I'm not running again until at least the middle of September.

I’m not running again until at least the middle of September.

8. LIONESS, HOUSTON ZOO

I don't think words are necessary here.

I don’t think words are necessary here.

9. LEOPARD, HOUSTON ZOO
(Brief note, LEOPARDS ARE MY FAVORITE ANIMALS, MILD HYSTERICS ENSUING, OKAY WE’RE GOOD)

I honestly am not even interested in eating your face today, it's just too hot for that nonsense.

I honestly am not even interested in eating your face today, it’s just too hot for that nonsense.


10. ORANGUTAN, HOUSTON ZOO

I honestly have nothing left to give.

I honestly have nothing left to give, just go on without me.

11. BABY ORANGUTAN, HOUSTON ZOO

CURSE YOU, YE FOUL AND CRUEL WEATHER GODSSSSS!!!!!!

CURSES UPON YOUR HEADS, YE FOUL AND CRUEL WEATHER GODSSSSS!!!!!!

Suffice it to say, it was a little warm throughout our visit, and the heat often has a derogatory effect upon my person, my attitude, and any motivation or interest in life that I have. I was excited when we finally got to Galveston because all I was thinking was BEACH!OCEAN!WATER!BIKINI!LESSCLOOOOTHES!!!!! And during our last vacation to Galveston three years ago, I was recalling that boys just seem to be much hotter in Texas (the conclusions of this hypothesis will be revealed for your amusement in my next blog post so stay tuned) so I was hoping to maybe find me a cutie who appreciated a girl who doesn’t like running.

LOL TOTALLY IGNORING I DON’T LOOK LIKE THAT IN A BIKINI THOUGH

But then, you know, humidity happened.

I wore my hair up. Every. Single. Day.


Many more noteworthy and interesting things happened while we were there but I could spend ages talking about all of them (Quick highlights: mom got pooped on by a bird, a man was grilling on a tiny grill in the parking lot of one of our hotels wearing a shirt that said “hustler”, I saw an elephant swimming underwater, that baby orangutan dumped wood shavings on her head for a solid fifteen minutes in a shower of utter adorableness, I SAW DOLPHINS IN THE OCEAN, I had a few drinks and did NOT get sick (huzzah!), and no one in my family got eaten by sharks!!) . I’m going to include a slew of photos below to showcase a few things I particularly liked, but before I go I will sum up how nice it was, even after such a lovely trip, to come back home, via this final animal picture:

Ahhh, home sweet home, where one can truly relax.

Ahhh, home sweet home, where one can truly relax.

Now I hope you will enjoy my photographic endeavors below:

The charming beginning to my trip.

The charming beginning to my trip.

I always find it an auspicious beginning when your rental car has Smurfette in Paris stuck to the window.

I always find it an auspicious beginning when your rental car has Smurfette in Paris stuck to the window.

Whoops, how did this innocuous card about pillows find its way in here?

Whoops, how did this innocuous card about pillows find its way in here?

Mission Concepción

Mission Concepción from the back, San Antonio

Mission Concepción

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

I hope you can tell that is a sunshine with a moustache... Mission Concepción, San Antonio

I hope you can tell that is a sunshine with a moustache… Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission Concepción, San Antonio

Mission San José

Mission San José, San Antonio

Mission San José

Mission San José, San Antonio

Mission San José

My sister in Mission San José, San Antonio

Mission San José

Still my sister in Mission San José, San Antonio

Front doors, Mission San José

Front doors, Mission San José, San Antonio

There was a lady taking her bridal portraits, it was gorgeous. Mission San José

There was a lady taking her bridal portraits, it was gorgeous. Mission San José, San Ano

Mission San José

Mission San José, San Antonio

Mission San José

Front entrance, Mission San José, San Antonio

Mission Espada

Mission Espada, San Antonio

Mission Espada

Mission Espada, San Antonio

My lovely sister and I. That's me there on the left, melting.

My lovely sister and I. That’s me there on the left, melting. At the beach, Galveston

The view from our hotel in Galveston.

The view from our hotel in Galveston.

This was on the inside of our hotel door in Galveston... isn't this kind of the point of a hotel???

This was on the inside of our hotel door in Galveston… isn’t this kind of the point of a hotel???

Enjoying a drink on our last night of vacation in Galveston!

Enjoying a drink on our last night of vacation in Galveston!

 

The Weekend Where I Thought I Broke My Nose and Then Was Almost Eaten By Termites

Hello, Dear Readers.
I’ve had an interesting past few days, and I’d like to share them with you.
But first, something I’d like to address. You might notice that I have changed the theme of my page. I was reading back over some of my posts, and the first thing I realized is that my font was really small and really difficult to read. So I decided to find a new theme layout, and fell in love with this one. It’s cleaner, bigger, and much easier to read. Burgundy also happens to be my favorite color, so it really seemed ideal. It also just felt right to revamp the blog, just as I’m revamping my life after graduating college. It’s a good time for changes, I think. The second thing I noticed is that I have a tendency to write soooo much in each post. That’s not exactly news to me, because I’ve always had a problem of writing way too much. Any time I had to write essays in school, I always struggled to keep it under the word count and always had to go back and take out chunks. I recently read an article about blogging talking about how important readability is for success, including layout and conciseness of your writing. The author pointed out that it’s one thing to write a long post when you have a big, loyal following, but for aspiring bloggers it’s important to draw readers in by not overwhelming them. So from now on, I’m going to try and write shorter posts, but more often. Also, I’m going to try and add more pictures, because pictures are fun. So with that in mind, I will attempt a brief sketch of the eventful past few days I’ve had.
On Saturday I had an indoor soccer game. Things started out great; we were winning, scoring goals left and right. I even scored a goal, so I was pretty excited. And then, the other team scored. And scored again. And then scored again. Suddenly, they couldn’t stop scoring and we couldn’t score at all. Time starts winding down, the other team went ahead, and a game we’d been winning the majority of the time was suddenly becoming an opportunity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Now, just a note, I generally am pretty laid back when I play indoor. After all, it’s just something I do for fun that allows me to keep playing the sport I love without any pressure. In keeping with that attitude, I’m not going to go into tackles incredibly hard or throw my body around or generally put myself into situations where I could get hurt. I sprained my knee a few years ago doing that (I didn’t even know you could sprain your knee until I did so) and since then I’ve tried to take it easier and not put myself at risk. It’s just unnecessary.
Okay, back to the game. So imagine the situation– we were down after leading most of the game, nothing was going right, and it seemed like out of nowhere, time was almost up and there was no way for us to come back. When I used to play soccer, in situations like that, when times got desperate, I would get very angry and very serious, and I would start running around trying to tackle the ball away from anyone on the other team who had it.

Actual picture evidence.

Always with a violently angry look on my face.

In my indoor game on Saturday, I found that place again. Something happened and the ball got kicked up into the air. It was what we call a 50/50 ball, in that both teams had an equal chance of winning it. I saw a girl from the other team tensing to jump up to head it, and suddenly I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I decided to go up for the header, too.
Now, I am 5 feet, 2 inches. Well, technically it’s only 1 and 3/4 inches, but I round to 2 because that just sounds ridiculous. I rarely, if ever, go for headers, especially against someone else.

This is how I usually react to heading opportunities-- like a turtle retracting into my own shell.

This is how I usually react to heading opportunities– like a turtle retracting into my own shell.

It’s pretty much inevitable that they are going to be taller and will win the header by default. But for some reason, in my angry, frustrated rage, I thought I could win a header from a girl who was probably half a foot taller than me. It was just going to be glorious; I was going to fly through the air, win the ball, and turn around and somehow score, to the awe of every person in the arena. It was going to be magnificent:

Like this.

Like this.

So I jumped.
I don’t know what happened in the approximately 1-2 seconds that process took (it was nothing like in that picture, though). I only regained awareness when I was leaned over with my hands on my knees, nose throbbing, seeing the other girl laying on the ground nearby. I hear one of my teammates say, “Sara, your nose is bleeding,” and I realize that I’m dripping blood on the field. I hadn’t had a bloody nose since I was 8, so I was a little surprised to discover I was having one.   I quickly cupped my hand under my nose and dazedly started walking towards the box. The adrenaline was such that I couldn’t really feel much, and I was simply busy being proud of myself for going for a header, and then for not falling down after it went horribly wrong. Apparently, we both went for the header and missed. I ended up hitting my nose on her head.

Probably similar to this, except with a larger height disparity.

Probably similar to this, except with a larger height disparity.

A few minutes later, as I stood in the bathroom watching my blood run down the sink, adrenaline started wearing off and terrible pain kicked in. We were afraid I’d broken my nose, which was swollen and throbbing. Everyone was very concerned, and I was secretly impressed with myself and looking forward to being able to say, sounding all tough and cool, “Yeah, I broke my nose one time.” You see, I’d never broken any bones at all, and I thought my nose was going to be a pretty badass first one to recount. Sadly when I went to the doctor, he told me it was probably just a nasal contusion (aka a really bad bruise) on the bridge of my nose. My hopes were dashed, and all I had to show for it was an incredibly sore nose and a strange problem where I suddenly caught some kind of sneezing disease. It was very inconvenient, and very painful.
The next day we went out of town for my dad’s birthday, which was on Monday. The hotel we stayed at was the site of the next unusual incident I experienced. I was laying in bed Sunday night, and I noticed that there was a bug in my bed. I didn’t think much of it, because the motel was built like old style ones where there’s only one floor and  you just park in front of your door. I figured it’d just flew in at some point when someone was coming through the door. The next morning, in my stupor, I woke up and there was another bug on my pillow. I brushed it off, and went back to sleep. A few minutes later, I felt something crawling in my hair. I sat up, concerned now, and realized there were four or five bugs in my bed. I got out of bed, truly alarmed, and we came to realize that there was a termite infestation in one of the corners of our room’s ceiling (the one right above my bed, of course). Absolutely horrified, we got our stuff together as fast as we could so we could leave. Eventually, my bed looked like this:

All those little black spots... termites.

All those little black spots… termites.

Turns out that no one was supposed to be put in our room and that they had planned to fumigate it the next day. The people were super apologetic and refunded everything, as well as giving us a free night’s stay, so that was nice at least. I’m not particularly squeamish about bugs, except spiders, but it’s going to take me awhile to get over the feel of waking up with termites in my hair. My scalp is itching right now, in fact, so I’m going to wrap it up.
I don’t think I did a good job being concise, so I apologize. But I promise I’ll try better next time!

Adeus,
Sara

PS According to Google Translate, I just said goodbye in Portuguese, which is the official language of Brazil. In case you didn’t know, that is where the upcoming World Cup will be, so I thought it appropriate for my post about almost breaking my nose playing soccer.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost: 11 Places You Should Visit in the UK/Ireland

So.
I realized I like to start things I’m writing by saying “so.”  I also realized that I seem to be getting into a habit of writing every Monday. I’ve been lazy; I can’t blame it all on Camus this week. I meant to write a number of different times, but the siren lure of sleep was always stronger. Also, I’m struggling with the peculiar self-doubt that I imagine plagues people who write. I mean, when it comes down to it, most of what I’m saying is completely irrelevant detritus from my not incredibly exciting life. It seems very arrogant to think that people really care that much about what I want to say. But I’ve committed to writing as my chosen profession, and that means I’m just going to have to power through and hope someone finds what I have to say interesting. So this time, instead of sharing with you my top ten dresses or the hottest guys I have a crush on, I decided to share with you probably the most interesting thing I’ve done in my life. This is a list (with pictures, yaaay!) of  some of my favorite places I went when I spent two and a half weeks in Europe.
When my sister, Rachel, was 19, she barely avoided having a serious, potentially life-threatening wreck driving back from school one day. I still remember my phone ringing, and before I even answered it I just had the most horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. She was crying so hard I couldn’t understand her- my sister, who never cries. It wasn’t long after that she decided she was going to Europe, no matter what it took. You see, growing up we had read endless amounts of books over foreign countries and it had always been our dream to travel someday. Rachel decided she wasn’t waiting around any longer and was going to make that dream happen, and she did. She flew on a plane for the first time to spend three weeks in Europe with a friend, and I was nearly sick with jealousy. But it just made the rest of our family determined that we were going to go.
Finally, we got our chance in 2009. I was graduating high school; my sister was graduating college. We contributed all of my graduation money, my parents went into minor debt,  Rae worked like crazy, and we managed to make it over there as a family. It was the best experience of my life, and it only made me more determined to get back there again. Hopefully these pictures will give you an idea why.
These are in no particular order, may I just state. Also, all photo credit goes to my prolific mother, who used approximately four memory cards in the two and a half weeks we were there.

11.  The Countryside, Ireland
patchwork

We didn’t get to spend a lot of time in Ireland, but most of the time we were there we spent driving through countryside, which was an attraction in and of itself. I mean, do you see that? It’s patchwork. Seriously, patchwork. And it all looks like that. Ireland really is as green as they say, it’s crazy.

10. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

sunset
giant's
giant's 3
giant's 2
I simply can’t say enough about Giant’s Causeway; it was one of my top places we went anywhere on this trip. I could’ve stayed here for days. The last picture is looking out into something of a little harbor, and there was a seal swimming. It was just outrageously gorgeous. Just these four pictures aren’t enough to do justice to the scope of the place and the wonder of it, but I thought I should limit myself to four of these, otherwise I would just go on about Giant’s forever.
Also, just a note, if you think that Northern Ireland and Ireland are the same country, YOU ARE WRONG. Never say that to someone from either place, trust me.

9. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

carrick
carrick3
carrick 4
I feel like I should’ve included this with Giant’s Causeway, because we did them the same day and they’re only a couple miles apart from each other along the coast of Northern Ireland, and I always associate Giant’s and Carrick-a-Rede because I loved them both so much. But, they are separate attractions, and Carrick-a-Rede deserves its own spot. Carrick-a-Rede is a tiny rope bridge that leads from the mainland coast to the tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede. It was built because, traditionally, salmon fishers would cross the bridge (of which there have been many incarnatations) to fish off the island in the seasonal channels of the sea used by salmon.  The first picture gives you some idea of the absolute beauty of the water; it honestly did look like Caribbean water. The second picture is of me, facing one of my absolute greatest fears: heights. I am one hundred percent terrified of heights. But I was in Europe for the first time, and I resolved to toughen up and cross the bridge to the island. The third gives you a view of the bridge from the coast, just to get an idea of how tiny that bridge is and how high up. The wind also blows like crazy through the area between the coast and the island, and many days the bridge isn’t even safe to cross. So, basically, be impressed I did it, you guys.

8.  Edinburgh, Scotland

edinburgh
pub Edinburgh
holyrood
sara sarcophagi
edinburgh elephant
stained glass collage
Okayyy, I certainly cheated a little  bit here. We did a lot of different stuff in Edinburgh; it was probably my favorite overall city we went to. The first picture is just us walking down one of the streets of Edinburgh, the second is my sister and I in a pub we ate at for lunch. Hilariously, there was a “stag” party going on, aka a bachelor party. To our complete surprise, the drunken group of Scotsmen began cheerfully singing “Build Me Up, Buttercup” by The Foundations. Who knew the Scots liked Motown?? (PS this story will be relevant later on). The next two images are from Holyrood, the Queen’s official palace in Scotland (it has been the monarchy’s official residence in Scotland since the 16th century). Enjoy me laying in a sarcophagus; there were three or four scattered around and it seemed the only thing to do. The next image is a view of Edinburgh Castle (maybe my favorite place in Edinburgh) from the window of The Elephant Cafe, where JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book. The last is a collage of three of the five stained glass windows from St. Margaret’s Chapel, a tiny church inside the walls of Edinburgh Castle. It is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, dating from the 12th C. It has a fascinating story behind it that you can read about here. The middle window depicts St. Margaret, who is the one who makes the building truly fascinating and whom you can read about here.

7. Dunfermline Abbey, Scotland


dunfermline

dunfermline wedding

dunfermline 3
Dunfermline Abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce, arguably the most famous king of Scotland. The first picture shows the top of the Abbey, honoring Robert. There was a wedding going on while we there, so we didn’t actually get to go in the church and see where Robert the Bruce was buried. But it was pretty amazing because there was a bagpiper playing for a lot of the time we were there (second picture), and we actually got to see the couple take pictures and get into their amazing getaway car. I’m also almost sure we accidentally ended up in a couple of their wedding pictures…

6. The Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness, Scotland

highlands

urqhuart 2

loch ness 2

The top picture is from one of my favorite experiences on the trip; we drove through part of the Highlands and this is what everything looked like. Mist, rain, the jagged crags of land sliding in and out of view… it was exquisite. It was like the bones of the earth were bursting through the land. The second picture is from when we stayed on Loch Ness, which was nothing like I was expecting. You may not know, but Loch Ness is ENORMOUS. Like, it’s crazy, I never realized just how big it was. Probably the best known town around Loch Ness is Inverness, but we stayed in a town on the opposite side of the loch, which is incredibly long. The second picture shows Urquhart Castle, the ruins of which sit just along the bank of Loch Ness. We ate in a cafe onsite, where I’m convinced I saw my soulmate, a Scottish boy working in the cafe. Of course my mom couldn’t get a picture of that, but my dad did manage to say something about how cute I thought he was loudly enough that the boy heard him. I had to hide in the gift shop in shame. The last is me standing triumphantly in Loch Ness, daring Nessie to come at me, bro.
As I mentioned in my entry for Edinburgh, while we were at the pub we ran into a stag party singing Motown. Well, while walking around in the town we stayed in on Loch Ness, we passed a pub. The members of a “hen,” or bachelorette party, came stumbling out wearing feather boas and crowns. They were intoxicated. And they were singing “Chapel of Love” by The Dixie Cups. Either there was a conspiracy going on, or bachelor and bachelorette parties in Scotland really, really enjoy singing some Motown when they are out drinking and partying it up.

5. Eastbourne, England

eastbourne
Eastbourne is a town on the coast of England that boasts a really amazing pier, as you can see in the background. The water was appendage-numbing cold and the salt in it was burning my skin like fire. It made for an interesting combination. If you’re wondering what strange thing that is I’m doing with my hand, I was sarcastically demonstrating how cold the water was when my mother inquired. Part of the reason I loved Eastbourne so much is because it is one of the only places we had a really decent meal. I don’t mean to criticize the food of the UK and Ireland; I’m sure it was lovely. We were simply too poor to try anything beyond the most basic stuff (we ate from gas stations and American restaurants like McDonald’s and Subway a lot of the time). Another problem was that, in the UK/Ireland, restaurants close SO. MUCH. EARLIER. My family is used to eating at 8 or 9; most places we were at (besides London) closed at 5 or 6. By the time we got to Eastbourne, we were nearing the end of our trip, and we were basically starving. We had, again, waited too long to get dinner and everywhere we were looking was closed already. But, like a miracle rising from along the sea, we came upon The Carvery. It was similar to a buffet (or a Boston Market, if you’ve ever eaten at one. It’s my family’s collective favorite restaurant, but crushingly, there are none in Oklahoma), and it had simple choices of cuts of meat, like turkey and roast beef, and simple sides like mashed potatoes and green beans. We FEASTED. I still don’t know, to this day, if the food was really actually that wonderful, or if it’s really true about hunger being the best seasoning.

4. Site of the Battle of Hastings, England

hastings2

hastings
Hastings, if you were not aware, is where William the Conqueror landed and fought the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He won, became King of England, and completely changed life as they knew it. This is a site that is particularly dear to my sister’s heart. She cut her toe by accident on a rock while we were taking the battlefield tour, and she deliberately knocked the scab off of it over and over in the hopes that it would become a scar, just so she could say she had a scar from Hastings (she was successful, in case you wondered). I’ve come to be fascinated even more by Hastings and William the Conqueror as I’ve gotten older, especially in regards to the effect his conquering of England had on the English language (it’s the English major in me). It’s somewhere I’d love to go back to. The first photo is us on the battlefield; the second is me sitting on the spot where King Harold was reputed to have been shot in the eye with an arrow and killed. I tried to edit the picture so you could maybe see the words and, as a result, my skin looks intensely strange and red, and I apologize.

3. Stonehenge, England

stonehenge
Rachel, myself, and my dad at Stonehenge. I mean, it’s Stonehenge. It’s as amazing as you’d expect (except for the whole disappointing fact that you can’t actually go up to Stonehenge itself, and must stay behind the ropes). The only really weird thing about Stonehenge is, you picture it as being out in the middle of nowhere (or at least that’s how I pictured it), but in reality there’s a major highway right by it. Kind of a jarring disconnect between the ancient past and modernity.

2. London, England

tower bridge
westminster
big ben

tube

tower
London is one of the most amazing, overwhelming places I’ve ever been. There’s simply too much I could say over it, so I just hit a few of the more famous highlights. I only know that I am determined to return there one day and spend more time, because there is so much we missed (Most disappointingly to me: Hyde Park and Herrod’s…ughhh). First picture: Tower Bridge; Second: Westminster Abbey; Third: Big Ben from a boat on the Thames; Fourth: “Mind the Gap” warning from the Underground, aka the tube; Fifth: Myself and one of the famous ravens of the Tower of London.

1. British Museum, London, England

british museum 1
british museum 3
british museum 4

THIS IS ME REFLECTED IN THE ROSETTA STONE, PEOPLE.

THIS IS ME REFLECTED IN THE ROSETTA STONE, PEOPLE.


british museum 6
british museum 5
Okay. So. I know I said that these weren’t in any particular order, and that’s true for all entries, except this one. The British Museum is the single most amazing place I’ve ever been in my life. The amount of history and culture and art and just things of relevance to our identity as humans packed into that building is mind-blowing. We spent an entire day here and didn’t even come close to looking at everything. I came to the conclusion when we left that I could probably live in the British Museum, happily. My face in the second to last picture pretty much says it all; I couldn’t even comprehend the sheer splendor of the British Museum. Of everywhere we went, that is the place I am most determined to get back to. Just a note, the picture of me reflected in the Rosetta Stone is one of my favorite pictures of me of ALL TIME. Also, I know the British Museum is also in London, but it deserved its own spot, right at number one.

Honorable Mention:

Doune Castle, Scotland

doune
This may look familiar to you, and if so, it’s for a very good reason. Doune Castle was the site used to film the castle scenes in Monty Python: The Holy Grail. For all MP lovers, it’s a really cool spot to visit, but it only makes Honorable Mention because there is nothing but an empty castle left with very little to actually do. Also, we got attacked by a swarm of flies when we were trying to leave. I am not even kidding; it was like a plague of flies attacked our car.

Adam Smith’s Grave, Canongate Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland

adam smith collage
To me, this was one of the most bewildering things ever. If you don’t know who Adam Smith is, his most notable achievement is probably the fact that he is known as the FOUNDER OF CAPITALISM. Seriously. The guy founds capitalism, and this is the best they can do for his eternal resting place?? I was outraged on Mr. Smith’s behalf. His marker is literally a tiny plaque in the ground surrounded by pebbles and yellow grass. It was a crushing reminder of the fickle nature of life and fame, and for that it goes on the Honorable Mention list only. (Smh, Edinburgh.)

Gretna Green, Scotland

gretna green
Gretna is probably a very obscure site that most people won’t care about at all. But if you have ever read romance novels… ahhh, so many romance novel dreams were realized when we went through Gretna Green. It was just… fantastic. (It was a very tiny town with not a lot in it, but it was still a dream come true to actually have been). If you’re curious why, you can read about what made Gretna Green so famous in the past, and even still today in Scotland, right here.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my list and found some of these place sufficiently intriguing enough to check them out or, perhaps, even spark a desire for travel. I think that travel is one of the most beneficial, educational, and enjoyable things a person can do in this life, and I encourage everyone to take the chance if they ever get it. For example, on this trip I learned that Ireland really is as green as everyone says, that Scottish people love Motown for pre-wedding events, and that English people really do say “Cheers” constantly. Seriously. It’s ALL THE TIME.  The world is an unbelievably amazing, scary, and fascinating place. Hopefully I’ll bump into you somewhere while I wander within it.

Oiche mhaith,
Sara

PS I went with the Irish words for “Good night” because I have already spent like three or four hours putting this post together and I don’t want to take the time to look up any other languages. Luckily, I am good friends with an Irishman who speaks Irish and has already taught me the way to say good night in Irish. Also, I feel bad because there is very little of Ireland on this post. We regrettably spent only about twoish days within it because of time problems.