Pizza’s Peculiar Recurring Role in My Life

Dear Friends, I want to tell you a story.
I know that you’ll find this hard to believe, but once upon a time I was painfully, terrifyingly awkward.
Now, I can guess what you’re thinking– what do you mean, Sara, once upon a time? Aren’t you still painfully, terrifyingly awkward?
And you are partially right, I am still very awkward.

I’m about this level of awkwardness now.

However, compared to my younger self, I now have all the confidence of Grace Kelly at a state dinner in Monaco. To put it kindly, when I was younger I sometimes became overwhelmed in certain social situations.

I was that blonde lady on the right.

So, big surprise, in high school I was not one of the popular kids. I’m not saying I was like an outcast by any means; I was acquainted with most everybody in my grade and I had a large group of friends. I just was not in the popular crowd. Now, I can’t speak for other places, but at almost every single high school in my state, the most important people at a school are the athletes. And generally, football players are the priority. For example, when I was in high school we put in a million dollar football field but didn’t have enough books for every classroom. Completely logical, right?
But anyway. So as you may know, I am an avid lover of soccer and I have played my whole life. This includes all four years in high school. It just so happens that after our million dollar football stadium was put in, the rule became that any time we played while it was raining, we played on the football field because it had turf. I was a sophomore the first year this rule came into effect. I won’t attempt to describe to you now just how awkward I was as a fifteen year old. Instead, I will let the following story speak for itself.

We had a home game, and I was incredibly excited because I got put on the varsity roster.

VARSITYYYYYY

I don’t actually remember, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say I didn’t even get to play, or if I did it was only for a few minutes. But what I do remember is that we had to play on the football field, because it poured down rain the whole time. I also remember that we won the game. The boys’ soccer team played right after us, and they won their game, too. I don’t know how or who or why it happened, but the word went around that all the Varsity players (THAT INCLUDED MEEEEE) were allowed to go eat Mazzio’s Pizza buffet for FREE.

I DON’T EVEN LIKE MAZZIO’S BUT ALL I HEARD WERE THE WORDS “FREE” AND “VARSITY”


Now, I must admit I don’t even really like Mazzio’s Pizza. However, I was particularly excited on that occasion for a specific reason. About two weeks before that game, I had gone to Mazzio’s with my dear friend Kasey and her family, and I had stumbled across a little piece of heaven.
It was called cheesecake pizza.

IT’S CHEESECAKE… PLUS PIZZA. NEED I SAY MORE.

Let me just lay this out for you, guys. When I really like a food, I am serious about it. Really, really serious. And when I rolled into Mazzio’s that rainy day of my sophomore year, all of my focus was directed on securing and consuming as much free cheesecake pizza as I could. The second I went through the door, I headed straight to the buffet, gleefully scanning it for the magical concoction I just knew was there waiting for me. But as my eyes ran through the offerings in front of me, I saw nothing that looked like the remembered cheesecakey-pizzaey delights of two weeks before.
Disappointed, but not defeated, I returned to my seat to keep a gimlet eye on the buffet, for surely they would be putting out the cheesecake pizza any minute now. Thus, I spent the first approximately fifteen minutes darting frenetically forward every time a new pizza was put out to eagerly check if it was cheesecake pizza.
Finally, my stakeout was rewarded when I saw a lanky teenager disinterestedly shove onto the buffet what my discerning eye recognized as my eagerly awaited prize, and my legs quivered as I leapt from my seat and charged forward towards the buffet.

“CHEESECAKEPIZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!”

But when the fevered haze of gluttony cleared from my eyes, I was frozen with confusion. For what I saw before me was not what I remembered from two weeks before. It sort of  looked like my cheesecake pizza, but it wasn’t exactly the same.

“Is… is this a trick? Cheesecake pizza, are you hiding in the ceiling?”

Try to understand my dilemma here. I had built myself into such a state of anxious anticipation, that my mind just could not seem to comprehend that what I thought was cheesecake pizza, just might not be cheesecake pizza.
I stood there, staring at the pizza before me in bewildered contemplation. Was it cheesecake pizza? Was it not cheesecake pizza? I just could not seem to confirm either way. As I was frowning down at the pizza in this fog of confusion, I gained the vague awareness that someone was standing next to me.
Now, have you ever just known that you had a weird look on your face? Like, you could just feel that there was some bizarre, contorted expression firmly planted on your features? As I slowly turned my head to see who was standing next to me, I realized that I had one of those looks on my face:

If I had been an animal in high school, I would have been Libby there.

I simultaneously became aware that I looked like a drowned rat, with my soaked hair straggling all around me and my too-big, bulky hoodie on, with all trace of makeup washed away and skin still clammy and pale from the cold. The other thing I became aware of was that the person standing next to me was none other than Hunter Smith.
Of course, this probably means nothing to you, but let me give you some background– remember how I said athletes took priority in our school? Well, Hunter Smith, although a sophomore like me, was already something of a celebrity at our school. He was a star on the football team, but he was one of the best players for the boys’ soccer team as well. He was also, naturally, one of the most popular kids at our school. Though we were around the same age, in the same grade, and played the same sport, I had never spoken a word to him, and I was fairly certain he had not the slightest idea who I was.
I could only stare at him in a sort of bewilderment. Much like my mind could not comprehend the discrepancies between the cheesecake pizza I remembered and the cheesecake pizza that I had found before me, I could not comprehend that Hunter Smith was standing next to me, looking at me. The most popular guy in school was standing next to me, and I could only stare at him in disbelief.

Umm… you can’t be standing there?

Into the dead silence, Hunter innocently asks, “Hey, what is that?”
Oh, Readers.
All I can say in my defense was that I was already in a somewhat strange state due to the distressing situation with the cheesecake pizza. Then, you add to that the fact that someone I was in awe of (I’m not joking, I was outrageously and comprehensively intimidated by Hunter Smith and his athletic skills) was speaking to me, and I can only say that my brain simply shut down.
I took a deep breath, and then suddenly launched into this whole, long, stumbling explanation about how I thought it might be cheesecake pizza but I wasn’t sure it was cheesecake pizza because I’d been here two weeks ago with my best friend and got cheesecake pizza and this didn’t look the same as that pizza and blah blah blah blah blah. I honestly don’t even know all of what I said. Eventually, after who knows how much time, I came to my senses and realized I was rambling on to Hunter Smith about cheesecake pizza. Abruptly, right in the middle of  a sentence about heaven only knows what mysterious existential examination of the nature of cheesecake pizza, I stopped speaking. And resumed staring at Hunter.
Into this void of discomfort, Hunter politely says, “That’s cool. Is it any good?”
Ah, Readers.
This time I have no defense for what happened. I can only cringe.
In response, I scoop a piece of the much pondered pizza onto my plate, pick it up, and proceed to shove half of it into my mouth. Then I stood there, chewing. As I continued to stare at Hunter Smith.

Hiii. Just me here. Chewing.

After a good fifteen or twenty seconds of chewing to finally make it possible to swallow the half a piece of pizza I just ate, I finally manage to free my mouth to snap back this witty rejoinder: “It’s okay.” I then shoveled three more pieces of pizza onto my plate.
And then I stood there.
And continued to stare at Hunter Smith.

No. No, I don’t have any idea what’s going on either.

Into the absolute vacuum of awkwardness, Hunter replies, “Well, I think I’m going to get some.”
I nod dumbly back, and continue to stand there.
Hunter stands there.
We stare at each other.

EXCEPT WE WERE A FOOT APART

At last it occurs to me. In my fervor to secure ALL the cheesecake pizza for myself, I had unconsciously placed my body squarely in front of it. I was essentially hunched over its spot on the buffet, completely blocking all access to it. There was no possible way for Hunter to get to the cheesecake pizza.

BACK OFF MY NOMS

“BACK OFF MY NOMS”– my unconscious psyche.

Slowly, slowly I uncurled myself from the space around the cheesecake pizza where I was crouched like a beast of prey over my hapless victim. Then, without speaking a word, I backed away, turned around, and walked off.

Yep, and just walking away now.

For the two remaining years of high school, I did everything in my power to avoid Hunter Smith, which thankfully was not that difficult. You may think that this story is now at an end, because it surely has to be, because it could not get worse.
Ahh, but Readers. If you thought that, you underestimate my mind-bogglingly vast affinity for awkward, embarrassing situations.
Senior year of high school rolls around, and somewhat to my pleasant surprise I found myself in the soccer Homecoming Court. My naive mind did not comprehend immediately the potential for unpleasantness here, because I was actually really excited to be in the Homecoming Court… yay! The exciting shine of that wore off instantly, however, when someone mentioned to me how we were going to be paired with an escort from the boys’ team.
And Readers, you already must have guessed that Hunter Smith was one of the candidates for the boys.
But I was optimistic. I staunchly reassured myself that I would not be paired with him! There were six candidates each, which meant I had an 5 in 6 chance of not getting paired with Hunter Smith. Those odds were practically unbeatable. I would be fine.
You know already, don’t you?
What I failed to learn was just how a boy and a girl candidate were paired up– alphabetically by last name. Aka they put us in alphabetical order and matched us with the corresponding boy.
Hunter Smith. Sara Rowe.
In the Soccer Homecoming Court of 2009, Smith and Rowe were the corresponding names.

Now, most all of the girls on my team had heard the great Cheesecake Pizza Story at one point or another over the years, and they were absolutely loving it that I was paired with Hunter. The story made the rounds again, and it just so happened that Hunter’s girlfriend at the time was the athletic trainer for the soccer team. I had to get my ankle wrapped every day for a while, and somehow I ended up telling her the story. She thought it was hilarious, and told me she was glad I was the one paired with her boyfriend and not someone else. I did not share the sentiment.
Fast forward to the day of homecoming, and as so many big schools insist on doing, we had to have a PEP RALLY. And this pep rally had to feature the Homecoming Court for soccer! And of course, it had to be a THEMED pep rally. Our theme? Black light. So we find out kind of last minute that our escort will, well… escort us down this aisle set up in the gym, through a sword arch made by the ROTC, and then we will sit in chairs in front of everyone for the duration of the pep assembly. Awesome. Fantastic.
So we gather outside the gym, waiting our turn to be called. Hunter is, thankfully, off talking to the boys. A minute or so before its time for the first pair to walk, they line us up just inside the doors to the gym with our partners. This is the first time I will have spoken to Hunter Smith in two years. Let’s just say I was slightly anxious. Luckily, he says very little, merely a hello and a how are you. I think, hey, maybe I can survive this. The pair in front of us takes off. We’re next. It’s totally dark in the gym, may I remind you, except for black lights everywhere. I realize it’s much easier to face Hunter when I don’t really have to see him. He takes my arm. We step forward. And then we are walking the tarp aisle laid out.
Oh. Oh I got this.

LIKE A BOSS

I throw my shoulders back and I STRUT. I am a senior. I am in the Homecoming Court. I am escorted by the school’s athletic champion.  And my fervent wishes have come true, and he clearly doesn’t remember that time two years ago I made a fool out of myself. I start smiling so big that I know my pearly whites have got to be absolutely GLOWING in all the black lights around us. We reach the ROTC members lined up on either side of the aisle, and they make a freaking SWORD ARCH over our heads as we go by. I am ON. TOP. OF. THE. WORLD.
Then, Hunter casually leans towards me and says, “So… had any cheesecake pizza lately?
….
…..
……

I am, as the last time I was near enough to Hunter Smith for conversation, struck speechless. He chuckles and says his girlfriend told him about it. Then suddenly we are at the chairs, and Hunter escorts me to mine before going to sit with the boys on the other side. I cannot tell you to this day what happened during that assembly, because my mind was frozen with horror.
When the evening rolled around and it was actually time for the actual Homecoming ceremony, I hid in the dressing room as long as I could, pretending to get ready. Someone finally had to come get me to tell me it was time to go take our places. Hunter– who let me stress was always kind and polite to me, except for the teasing during the assembly– very sweetly said how pretty I looked. And because I am the living embodiment of Socially Awkward Penguin, I told him, “You too.”

This happened last week.

Then we were strolling, me trying to keep up in high heels, which I feel like I don’t even need to describe to you how that went. Luckily we didn’t really have time to say anything, and no more references to cheesecake pizza were made, and after Homecoming was over the Hunter Smith saga came to a thankful close.

Oh, hi, why am I wearing these shoes and trying to walk on grass again?

Oh, hi, why am I wearing these shoes and trying to walk on grass again?

The regal Soccer Homecoming Court of 2009

The regal Soccer Homecoming Court of 2009

But Sara, you are saying, now that I’ve finally stopped rambling about cheesecake pizza long enough for you to get a word in. That story was painfully humiliating, why on earth would you ever share it?
An excellent question, and I thank you for it, because you have created the perfect segue for me.
As I blogged about before, I am a big fan of CiCi’s pizza buffet. Unfortunately, the last time I was there someone thought I was a man, and I proceeded to eat half of a pizza to comfort myself. I went again to CiCi’s for lunch this week, and I am happy to report that nobody mistook me for a member of the opposite gender. But alas, who to my wandering eye should appear, but Hunter Smith, who I have not seen since I graduated high school.
Me. Hunter Smith. A pizza buffet.
It all came rushing back to me, and to ensure that a repeat of the infamous Cheesecake Pizza Incident did not occur, I pretended that I did not see Hunter Smith. To be honest, I’m not even sure that he recognized me, or knew who I was.

Ah Readers. Isn’t it funny how sometimes life comes full circle?

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What I Learned When My Dog Woke Me Up at 4AM

Let me just first say that what I learned is that I am not terribly pithy at 4am, definitely not pithy enough to make a list like I did over the lessons I learned when my cat woke me up at 4am. You see, I wrote that post during the day. Currently it’s 3:56am.
Second, my dog didn’t technically wake me up. But he has definitely kept me awake, as he’s been in the house since approximately 7:35pm. Now, I know I talk a lot about my cats, and that’s because they live in the house with me so I’m in near constant contact with them. What you may not know is that I also have four dogs. Two black and two chocolate Labs (best dogs ever, I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY WESTMINSTER), one is a girl and the other three are boys. Riley (black male, 9 years old) and Sadie (chocolate female, 8 years old) are the parents of Johnny (chocolate male, 7 years old) and Cash (black male, 6 years old).

image

L to R: Sadie, Johnny, Cash, Riley

I adore my dogs, but they are gigantic and not well-behaved, so they stay outside on our acre.
So why is one of my dogs (Johnny) inside and keeping me up at four in the morning? Well currently it’s because Johnny won’t stop farting, and he is the stinkiest ever. But he’s been inside all evening because Cash ripped off the bottom of his ear. (NOTE: DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, REPEAT, DO NOT!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED AND I ABDICATE ALL FURTHER RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!)
Now, we used to have problems with our dogs fighting before we got Sadie spayed two or three years so, but we really haven’t since. I was supposed to have an indoor game tonight at 7:25, and I was really looking forward to playing and NOT almost breaking my nose. About thirty minutes before it was time to leave, I went outside to feed the dogs. Everything was fine, I petted them, threw their toys for them a couple times, and then closed the gate to the portion of the yard that we keep them in. I turned to walk away, and suddenly Johnny and Cash are trying to kill each other.
I’ve been around my dogs a few times when this has happened, and let me tell you, it never gets less gut-wrenchingly terrifying. Let me just go ahead and state that they never ever have threatened me in any way, in any situation; when they fight it’s more like you cease to exist to them and nothing you say or do will get through. I turned and ran to turn on our garden hose to spray them, one of the only things that seems to work, but by the time I got back over to them they’d stopped fighting.
I was spitting mad, mostly due to terror, and I blasted Cash with the hose. Johnny, the Labrador who is inexplicably terrified of water, ran behind our shed and didn’t come out for a few minutes. I was so upset I just stood there and yelled at them (sooo effective). When Johnny suddenly appeared, I realized his face was covered in blood. I freaked out naturally, and coaxed him towards the fence. He was pouring blood, but I couldn’t tell where from exactly, so I ran to our gate to let him into our other yard.
Unfortunately, the idiot was so traumatized by this point that he didn’t want to come through the gate, resulting in the other three trying to wedge their way through while I yelled some more. I was in a state of panic by this point, because Johnny is basically gushing blood everywhere, and it was then I finally realized that the entire bottom tip of his ear was gone. Completely, utterly ripped off. I amost had a heart attack, and I guess some of my increased urgency finally got through to Johnny because he finally came through the gate. I rushed him onto our back porch and started screaming for my mom to bring a towel. Johnny is going half mad with both excitement and anxiety, and every time he moved his head (which was constantly), he was slinging blood everywhere. By the time my mom got me a towel, there was blood all over my clothes.
I sat on the porch with that dog for thirty minutes trying to hold a towel around his ear. The problem was every time he finally stopped bleeding, he would shake his head suddenly, and his ear would start pouring blood again. My back porch looks like the legitimate crime scene of a particularly violent murder. At one point (possibly one of the lowest points in my life), Johnny shook his head unexpectedly, and I got dog blood in my mouth. Dog blood. In. My. MOUTH.
I ask you, Readers, is this what post college life is always like? Doesn’t it usually take just a little bit longer to hit such a horrible low for most graduates? By the time I went in the house, I looked like I had freckles. I have no real freckles, Readers. What I did have was blood all over my face, neck, and exposed skin. 
We let him in, of course, to the utter terror of Finn, who has not come out of the bedroom, and to the howling fury of Boo, who starts hissing and growling if he sees Johnny move. We had to cover the floor with towels and blankets because Johnny was still dripping blood. Somehow, like a last bit of salt to rub in the wound, he got blood on my pillow. I had to change the bandage on his ear three or four times tonight, so I keep having to wash random smears of blood off me. I’ve also taken him out twice, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal in May in Oklahoma, but our bipolar state has now decided that it should be ridiculously cold in May, so that means I am too when I take my dog out to try and get him to pee.
I missed the indoor game I’d been so looking forward to, in case you were wondering. Johnny finally settled down a few hours ago, so I then proceeded to watch every single episode of Say Yes to the Dress that was On Demand, and I’m not even ashamed. I kept crying, too, especially on this episode about this really nice girl whose cancer came out of remission. Stuff like that should be illegal when it’s that time of the month, that’s all I’m saying.
So suffice it to say, it’s been a very eventful, exhausting evening. There’s been an unusually high amount of blood in my life lately what with the near broken nose and the broken dog ear, and I’m really hoping this is not becoming a trend because heaven only knows what will be next (I almost killed my friend Richie and I driving the wrong way down a street last night, so I’m probably lucky we didn’t wreck and bleed to death). It’s been a bloody awful week, and I’m worn out and more than ready to go to sleep. Unfortunately, I think the most important lesson I learned tonight is that I really shouldn’t give Johnny part of a bean burrito and then let him sleep on the floor next to me.

Zzzzzzz,
Sara

PS Exhaustion is a universal language.

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.

Why Camus is Responsible for Me Missing Class, Wanting a Tattoo, and General Other Tomfoolery

Hey, Readers.
In case you were sad or missed me (optimism), I apologize for going so long without writing. The problem was that I’ve been buried under a landslide of homework, especially relating to a class I’m taking called Senior Seminar. You have to take this class to graduate from my college, and basically all you do is write a really long essay. For some reason, I decided to specially arrange mine with a different professor and choose my own topic. I then proceeded, for some reason, to go with existentialism as my topic. I have been wading through an avalanche of Albert Camus for the past week. If you know nothing of existentialism, don’t look it up. It will probably make you very depressed. I find it fascinating, but somewhat overwhelming, and I’ve been drowning in something of an existential sea lately. I just finished (mostly) a book-long essay by Camus. It was admittedly pretty rough. But I’m here now, and hopefully I’ll be able to refrain from bombarding you with Camus-esque sayings and existential despair.
There’s been a strange repertoire of thoughts jostling around in my head for the last week; today was a Tuesday and in Political Geography Hitler guy continued to astound me with his painful awkwardness, constant commenter guy tried to chat with me, and Dr. Crow told a story about how for three days in a row in 2006 he beat geese with a stick at a local park. My mind was a little bewildered after class today.
I’ve also been terribly poor lately, and with my apartment bill coming due this week I’ve been avoiding shopping like the plague, and it’s been really hard, okay. I finally gave in yesterday and went to a thrift store with my friends, and even though all I bought was a shirt for 91 cents, I still felt a little better just for having tried clothes on. Speaking of, I’m going to be putting my outfit and my cute, less-than-a-dollar shirt on my other blog, so you should definitely do me a favor and check that out. If  $0.91 isn’t a bargain, I don’t know what is. Also, I don’t know the next time I’ll be able to go shopping because, frankly, the only way I’d have the money to is if someone took pity on me:

In the same vein of wildly improbable things that will never happen, I have decided that my next post is going to be a list of either my top favorite wedding dresses that I could never afford that I’ve ever seen on the internet, or my favorite hot guys I want to marry but will never even come within a mile of. Since I wrote so much on the hopeless romance of my life, I vowed to avoid it for awhile, but I have to comment on something frustrating- why is it that every hot guy you randomly see on TV, even if they’re not that famous, all already have girlfriends or are engaged? I was watching the FA Cup this weekend, which is a soccer tournament in England where all the lower level clubs get the chance to play bigger level clubs. There’s a lot of “giant-killing” that goes in, if you’re familiar with the term, which is why I love the FA Cup. In some instances, it’d be like if the University of Oklahoma basketball team beat the OKC Thunder. Now, I’ve already noted the fact numerous times that English soccer leagues seem to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to hot guys (strangely, especially goalies), but the FA Cup has taught me this is true even in the lower levels of English soccer. Consequently while I was watching this weekend, I saw this super hot keeper playing for the lower league team. Naturally, I creeped him… and he was engaged. Sigh. And recently my favorite club, Tottenham Hotspur, signed a 22 year old player from Germany who is terribly attractive. I checked him out… and he has a long-term girlfriend. My plan to marry someone out of the English soccer league (they will have two of my big wish list items for a potential mate, an accent and a love of soccer) is never going to work if they all ruin it by already having significant others. It’s terribly inconvenient. I’d been planning for years to set my sister up with one of our favorite single players from Tottenham, only to discover he’d gotten married behind my back and ruined my dream of a sister/brother-in-law that would provide the necessary access to all these hot, young soccer guys. It’s no wonder that I’m so accepting of this:
catmates
This was made by my brilliant best friend Skye, by the way, and I was absolutely remiss in not including it in my last post, where it would’ve been so appropriate. However, the only slight alteration I would make is to change “spouses” to “spouse.” While I have no doubt that Skye (who is like one of those girls you see in movies, aka gorgeous, smart, funny, and yet still so genuinely nice that it’s impossible to hate her even a little bit) will end up with a spouse, I have my doubts about myself. But I don’t doubt that we will end up with cats together at some point in our lives, because we are catmates (our souls are bonded with friendship and a love of cats).
And if this is not proof enough that Skye is awesome, then let me just share something with you- she gave me the password to her Amazon Prime account so I can watch the second season of Downton Abbey online, since only the first is on Netflix. (At this point, I hope you’re saying, well of course this girl likes Downton Abbey. I assure you, it was inevitable). That is true best friendship. Sadly, the overabundance of Camus I’ve been soaking in lately has rather prevented me from actually catching up on Downton, much to my frustration.
Camus is also partially the reason that I missed my first class this morning. I was up really late trying to finish the Camus book essay I mentioned (The Rebel, if you’re interested), and it took me forever. And then, to compound matters, I got sucked into the black hole of the internet and started looking at literary tattoos, a topic I find fascinating since I plan to get one soon. Long story short, I was going to get approximately four hours of sleep when I laid down for bed, but then I couldn’t sleep. I maybe got two hours total before my alarm went off at 8:15. Groggily I rolled over to look at it in a stupor before hitting the snooze button. The third time it went off, I finally picked up my phone and actually looked at it. I randomly get the forecast on my phone every day, and what to my wondering eye should appear, but the alert that we were in a TORNADO WATCH. In JANUARY. That’s just Oklahoma for you, guys. One of the most famous quotes about this place is from Oklahoman Will Rogers, about how if you don’t like the weather here, wait a minute. It’s so true. Anyway, so I noted in disbelief that we were in a tornado watch, listened to the rain absolutely hammering down outside, considered the fact that I didn’t bring my rainboots to school this week because I had no idea it was going to rain, and decided I was going back to sleep. I’m not going to class during a tornado watch. Especially when I’ve been up all night reading Camus. It’s just too much for my soul to handle.
Something else that occupied my time last night is that I….drumroll, please… PAINTED MY NAILS! You might not be impressed with this, but you should be. I never paint my nails because I’m terrible at it and my nails are usually so short there’s barely anything to paint. I can’t stand for my nails to be long, plus I have tiny hands, and these two things combined make it look like a five year old has painted her nails whenever I do it. But I actually like how it turned out:


I always see nail tutorials that call for nail polish that costs tons of money, but I got those two colors and topcoat from Dollar Tree for $3. I call this look “The Shimmery Mermaid.” I’m sure you’re very impressed. Also, if you’re curious as to why I have the number 11 on my hand, it’s because that was the snack count for my kids today. Because that is what working at a daycare reduces you to- writing down snack count on your hands.
The last thing I want to talk about in this post is another thing that’s really been taking up my attention lately. I found this blog on Pinterest and decided to check it out, and let me just tell you, it’s awesome. It’s a list of ways to travel cheaply, something I am incredibly committed to doing. Pretty soon I’m probably going to do a travel blog post, where I show you pictures and talk about the different amazing places I’ve been able to travel to so far in my life. But from this other blog post, I have been poring over the first entry, Work Away, which allows you to select pretty much any country you might want to go to, and then shows you job openings from people all over the world. They can range from anything; from working on a carnival in Romania to house-sitting in the Swiss Alps to lambing on a Welsh farm. The variety is amazing, and the best part is that to be on this website, you must be checked out and verified as a legitimate host, so it’s safe. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to take one of these jobs, now it’s just a matter of finding the right one! I’m sure I’ll be talking about it more in future posts.
Well, everyone, I feel like I’ve sufficiently bored you all with a glut of random, useless details from my life to make up for my week-long absence, so I’m going to wrap it up. Please check out the new outfit post on my other blog, and also, please check out this write-up that my wonderful, talented friend Lauren did over my blogs in her online article for a local newspaper. That’s also a sign of best friendship right there, when your friends use their job to promote your hobby! Go give her some love, and check out and like her photography page as well. She’s not just a wonderful writer, she is also an unbelievably talented photographer and she took my favorite picture of me ever.

Adieu,
Sara

PS I had to go with French tonight, because that is the nationality of the great Camus (even if he was born in Algiers, he was still very, very French).

Boots and Cats presents: #Forever Alone- A Story (Mostly) in Pictures

Salutations, Readers.
Tonight, I am attempting something a little bit new- a mostly pictorial blog post, including pictures and GIFS! So bear with me if it doesn’t go completely smoothly. There’s just something about gifs that I inherently love. They’re succinct, visually arresting, and yet often with convenient lines of text to really get the point across. Also, there’s an overwhelming variety of gifs that deal with my topic today, perhaps best described using a hash tag: #ForeverAlone.
As you all may know if you’ve read my About Me thing for this blog, I am already in training to become one of the greatest Crazy Cat Ladies of all time. It’s a point I take particular pride in, because I may not be able to do anything else exceptionally well, but by god can I love me some cats. I feel that at this time, I should present some evidence. Let me introduce you to my two cats. And just a note, I don’t even have my own house yet, and I still already have two cats. Observe:

If the Honey Badger were a cat.

If the Honey Badger was a cat.


Name: Boo-Boo
Age: 15
Gender: Male
Aliases: Boo, Boodle, Boo baby, Sweet Precious Baby Boy, Best Cat Ever



Name: Finn
Age: 2
Gender: Male
Aliases: Finny, Phineas, Finn-Finn, Finky, You Are The Craziest Cat Ever

An impressive resume so far, no? But someday I hope to get to this:

My story from today only reinforced my belief in this ultimate end for me, but I’ll drop a little background on you before I go further. A year or so ago I needed to buy new cleats for indoor soccer. There’s a somewhat limited number of places to buy nice cleats around where I live; generally everyone goes to a certain three stores owned by this guy from Iran. Well, in one of the stores, I had noticed a few times when I’d been in there that a gloriously attractive foreign man was working in the store. I admit this factored somewhat into my decision of which store to go look for cleats in. I was thrilled when he helped me pick out my cleats and I proceeded to post a photo to Facebook of them, with this caption: “Got new cleats for only $15 from my crush at Soccer USA! Someday, hot foreign mystery guy, I will ask your name.”  To my excessive embarrassment, one of my friends from college, Tiffany, commented telling me she was good friends with him and had worked with him at the store. I’d had no idea; I felt like the biggest creeper ever, only made worse by the fact that Tiffany was so nice about it and even offered to give me his number haha. My intensely shy, painfully awkward soul shuddered in horror.
Fast forward to 2012, right before I’m about to go back to college my senior year, and by a series of coincidences, Tiffany ends up becoming one of my roommates and subsequently one of my best friends. Of course, the hot, foreign guy is brought up (his name is Dragan, honest to god, and he’s from Macedonia), and a running joke is established about how Tiffany is going to set us up.
Now, finally back to today. I pinky promise to you I needed some new soccer socks; I only have one pair and I’m about to start playing indoor again after being off for like a month. But it’s possible that I could have bought soccer socks somewhere else. But Tiff hadn’t seen her good friend Dragan in ages, so why not go to the old soccer store so she could say hi and I could buy my socks? Two birds with one stone, guys. We got there, he was hot as ever, and he and Tiff chatted as I pretended to look at socks but really creeped horribly. Eventually it came up in the conversation that he was going home over the summer for his sister’s wedding and Tiffany, bless her heart, says “Ah, does that mean you’re going to get married?” I waited, ears perked and with bated breath. And this is the reply I heard, “Ew, no! I’m not getting married until I’m thirty. No relationships, single is much better!”

…………………………………

all by myself gif
We left pretty quickly after that, mostly because Tiffany had class but also because I was crushed. I didn’t even want to buy my socks anymore, but Tiffany was buying a shirt so I went ahead. I wanted to ask if they had any of these shirts available for purchase as well:

72 cats

It’s a rough life out there for the single ladies. Especially for those of us who prefer cats and books to flirting. And trust me, when I say I am painfully awkward around boys I like, I’m not even kidding. I once tripped a guy I liked… in college. But that’s for another day. It’s not necessarily even that I’m shy, it’s just that I am rather different and well aware of the fact. I am seriously the most boring, tame person ever. You all might think I’m over-exaggerating, but consider this. For my twenty-first birthday, do you know what I did? I ate at Red Lobster. With my family. Including my Nana, who is in her seventies. I had one drink. And then I went home. But hey, I was pretty tired, because that morning I’d gone to the zoo. For my twenty-first birthday.
But perhaps you don’t think that’s even that bad. So let’s take what I did for my eighteenth birthday…. I went polka dancing at the local Czech Hall, because we totally have one of those. Yep, polka dancing. This is why at pretty much every party I’ve ever been to in the history of ever, this is me, to some degree:

awkward darcy
Because honestly, I’d rather be at home reading a romance novel. It’s so much easier; I still get the charming love story but I can expend zero effort while cuddling with my cats. It’s really the ideal situation (and perhaps this is why I haven’t had a boyfriend since I was 16). I do go out places sometimes, and my friends always encourage me to put myself out there and talk to boys,  but it’s just so scary:

he could hear me

Trying to find a significant other just requires so much effort; it makes me want to take a nap just thinking about. Sleeping Beauty is really the smartest of the Disney princesses because she just took a nap and let the hottest Disney prince (#TeamPhillip) do all the work. That’s a game plan I can absolutely get behind. Disappointingly so far in my life, taking a nap like Aurora and reading endlessly like Belle hasn’t lured a prince in yet. I’ve tried some other methods:

Get milkshakes, they said. The boys will come, they said. #wherearetheboys?

Get milkshakes, they said. The boys will come, they said. #wherearetheboys?

 So far, however, this is the closest I’ve gotten to any interest:

camel kiss

We didn’t exactly suit. I know beggars can’t be choosers, but a girl has to have some standards. So, unless something very unexpected comes along (for example, someone like this little Romeo, except not 9 years old), I fully assume that my life is going to end up being some sort of combination of this:


Hope you guys enjoyed all the pictures/gifs and got a little bit of a kick out of how excited I am to be a Cat Lady. But it’s like my grandpa always said*, “Cats, don’t judge you; cats understand.” My ultimate goal is to get a cat named Peeta so I can say that’s who I share my bed with every night, and that’s why I’m going to be #ForeverAlone.

Valete,
Sara

PS I decided to go with Latin, because it’s as dead as my love life. According to this person, “valete” means good-bye or stay strong, which I encourage all my other single, book-loving, cat crazy comrades to do. And speaking of books, I’m going to take a moment to emphatically promote the book The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen; it’s one of the best I’ve read in the last ten years and I highly recommend it. She’s also having a contest to give away a copy of the upcoming sequel; I am on absolute tenterhooks waiting for it to come out!
Lastly, I want to encourage you to check out another blog post with gifs that I just happened to stumble upon the other day where a girl shares her experience with braces. It’s very short, but I was pretty much in tears because I was laughing so hard when I finished. It’s worth a read so check it out!

*My grandpa never said this ever in his life that I know of.