Because Chocolate Cake

There is a place in town called The Commissary that is a one stop shop for all things food and cooking in Columbus.  They are a small business incubator, food truck kitchen, cooking classes location and special events space.  I went to their grand opening last fall and loved the potential of the place.  I went to my first cooking class there this past weekend, a beyond beginner chocolate cake class led by a very talented Columbus pastry chef, Aaron Clouse.

He was a very patient instructor on top of being a talented chef.

He was a very patient instructor on top of being a talented chef.

We worked on three cakes – the most amazing regular chocolate cake I’ve ever had with amazeballs French buttercream, a flourless chocolate cake with cream anglaise and lava cakes.

I have made a version of all of these recipes in the past (with the exception of cream anglaise – which is a delicious creamy dessert sauce).  I was looking forward to learning technique and tips.  The chocolate cake recipe alone was worth the price of admission.

It was the best chocolate cake I've ever had.  Whoa.

It was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. Whoa.

Things I learned from making this cake: I need a chinois and I should be adding coffee to my cake mix.

This is a chinois.  My cakes have obviously been lumpy messes since I have not been running batter through this.  The shame.

This is a chinois. My cakes have obviously been lumpy messes since I have not been running batter through this. The shame.

It was exceptionally delicious.  We put this French Buttercream on it and it wasn’t bad, friends.  Although, I’m more an Italian buttercream fan, generally any way you put butter and sugar together are ok.

I'm almost surprised there was any left to frost the cakes since we all had generous spoonfuls of icing out of the mixing bowl.

I’m almost surprised there was any left to frost the cakes since we all had generous spoonfuls of icing out of the mixing bowl.

I didn’t love our flourless cake recipe.  It wasn’t what I was expecting.  We didn’t even bake it, it just gets chilled.  When I’ve made flourless chocolate cake in the past I baked it, and it was very brownie like.  I was just “eh” about this recipe.

Now, the cream anglaise that went with it – delicious.

Mmmm. Cake.

Mmmm. Cake.

It was fun to get into a cooking class here in town.  I always make myself chocolate cake for my birthday.  This cake might be the new standard!

Up. Down. Lucky.

My most attractive selfie yet.

My most attractive selfie yet.

The above picture represents my overall feelings about today.  It’s important to note that several good things happened today.  Some less good things happened.  Unfortunately, they averaged out like the above picture.

What goes up, must go down, yes?  Let’s talk about what went up…

Fall semester of my sophomore year I took off to complete the Disney College Program, a semester long internship where mostly we were slave labor for the mouse, but lived with a bunch of other college kids, worked at a super fun place, got a few educational classes about life at a gigantic corporation and just generally had an amazing time.  I loved that semester.  I should really write a post about that time, and it will be appropriate soon because the thing I did today that was great was book a trip back to Orlando for the Disney College Program Alumni Weekend!  Ahh!  There will be a whole weekend of fun activities, special programs and such for old alum.  I’ve been back to Disney many times since my program, it remains one of the most special places to me.  I still think it’s kind of magical, and when I heard about Disney CP Alumni weekend, I had to go!  I still haven’t seen the new Beauty and the Beast land that opened at the Magic Kingdom.  A ton of stuff is happening at Hollywood Studios, and I just kind of love it there in general.  Epcot is my happy place.  I’ll also finally get to see the other Harry Potter land at Universal.  I’ve seen the original Harry Potter land at Island of Adventure, Hogwarts.  I need to see Diagon Alley at the Studios.  Yay, theme parks!!!!  The weekend is limited to 2,000 people, and registration was almost as stressful as Disney race registrations.  The second the site opened it was jammed, it took 40 minutes to finally get to a registration page.  Whew!  But, I’m in.  AND I figured out I had enough Southwest points to fly down for free.  Woo!

Another good thing – my pal Chris asks me the question – do you know anything about DISC profiles?  Umm, only I know all the things about DiSC profiles.  For a minute I thought I could make a living as an independent consultant working with that assessment and team building tool.  I check my DiSC account, I have plenty of credits for him to take an assessment, AND I decide to update my own.  I got a slightly different profile type this time, a DC.  DiSC allows for that to happen, always depending on where you are at work, but that’s the first time C has popped up in my profile.  More on that in a later post.  The new assessment is pretty good.  Will share.  Man, I love DiSC.

Then it was Best Taco in Columbus night.  My friends have been teasing me about the strategy I put in place for this event for a while, but I think we all agreed it was a good idea.  We got there early, we divided and conquered on taco gathering and sharing.  We walked out full while others were still waiting in line for their first one.  I do not think it was run as well as Best Burger in Columbus night.  But, I had tacos in the baseball stadium on a gorgeous evening.  Nothing to complain about there.  I can’t lie – many of the tacos tasted the same.  Pulled pork with radishes is a popular taco trend right now.

So many tacos.  Some for me, some for the table.  Always bring some back for the table.

So many tacos. Some for me, some for the table. Always bring some back for the table.

These were from Condado.  There were 19 different components to these two tacos.  I watched them make them.  Ambitious, but perhaps not the right venue for such involved tacos.  Their line was hella long.

These were from Condado. There were 19 different components to these two tacos. I watched them make them. Ambitious, but perhaps not the right venue for such involved tacos. Their line was hella long.

Friends!

Friends! I might be blocking S with my hair.  Sorry, dude.

Post taco consumption it was still too beautiful and too early to go home, so J&S invited Rex and I back to their house to hang out on the patio.  Perfect.  We ate some cake.  We drank some wine.  We told some funny stories.  Mostly Jenn tells the funny stories, man I love her.  Rex left, and it was just Jenn and I and I started telling her about the must come down part of the day…

Maybe the biggest bummer of the day was the work thing that two days ago I thought had resolved itself in the most amazing way… may not work out like I thought.  The details will bore you, but they were a major disappointment to me today.  There are some things I know to be true, and they were disregarded today.  Which is fine, everything is fine in the end, right?  Not everyone will agree with me all the time, but this thing I’m right about.  Ugh.

There was a lesser bummer of the day, but it’s not really worth mentioning.  Just know there was a lesser bummer.

Anyway, in my 3 Corona, half bottle of wine rambling to Jenn, I start rambling about how things came easy to me for so long.  How I just got what I wanted – starting with the Disney internship.  I had no idea that was a competitive internship, I interviewed, I got it, and it wasn’t until years later that I realized several hundred people interviewed from my school and 11 made it.  I wanted an internship in Chicago, I got it; I needed the casino to be my back up plan after graduation, it worked out amazingly; I wanted to get into training, and I got the best training job imaginable; I wanted to be a Customer Satisfaction Manager which was a job that didn’t exist, so I convinced someone to create it and then I had it… There was a bit of a dark time while I was trophy wifing it in Louisiana, but once back in STL I found the most perfect job I could imagine with the STL Convention and Visitor’s Commission.  The 6 month in Chicago stint was an epic fail, but when it was time to come back to STL everything fell into place again then too and within minutes of that decision I had a job well suited to me back in the casino environment.  In the moment I would have told you that losing that job and having my period of “funemployment” was terrible, but when I look back, it was an awesome gift.  Random part time jobs and figuring out that I needed grad school, and well, the rest of that story is fairly well documented here.  Looking back at my career – it’s weird and doesn’t always seem obvious, but it has been amazing and always the right thing at the right time.

Long, incoherent story short (blame the Corona and the wine), every thing is going to be fine.

fineend

I actually have no real problems.  Just a bummer shadow across this pretty good day.  And then the realization that when I started to tell my career story, intending to talk about bumps in the road, all I could conclude is that my story is pretty fantastic and I’m really lucky and I’ve always ended up in exactly the right spot.

Trust the process, or the universe, or maybe even myself. And stop blogging after the drinking.

Nerds at play

First of all, the progressive dinner going away party was awesome.  I’ve been taking a little teasing for the structured fun I planned that night.  It’s true, there was a for sure timeline, but it was for a greater good.  It’s true I made the ordering decisions for us at our appetizer/wine stop as well, but it’s because the most poetic bottle of wine needed to be ordered.  (Did I talk about that in my last post?  I’ll have to go back and look.  If not, I’ll tell the story – it’s some of my best special plans work.)  The teasing is all worth it because Kevin had a great time.  We all had a great time.  I do like to plan, but I like making sure others know they’re important more.

wpid-2015-08-16-22.48.15.png.png

This was the message from the guest of honor the next morning.

(On Tuesday I’ll see my friendly local therapist and she’ll ask, “Who does this for you, Sarah…”  But, that’s another post.)

The next night, I suppose you could say there was more structured fun.  It was Pecha Kucha 35. The presentation style that is 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide on a variety of topics.  Last Thursday night’s event had 7 speakers, a couple on entrepreneurship (thank goodness for spell check, that’s a hard word to spell), a couple on art and inspiration, some rando one about Alzheimer’s (good message, bad speakers).  I like these events for just that reason.  You never know exactly what you’re going to get, but even when they’re super wacky, it’s only 7 minutes a presentation.  I would give one in a heartbeat if I knew what I would talk about.  I’m not particularly interesting, nor have a passion that is interesting to a lot of people.

Which is a good segue to what I’m working on right now.  I’m surrounded by 9 text books, have 7 tabs open on my browser, and at least two Harvard Business Review articles printed out…all to write what could potentially be my next position at work.  This ambiguous work situation may work itself out in a way I never even saw coming and it has a lot to do with organizational culture.  (I’m turned on just saying the phrase…. ooooh…. org culture and change….) This concept is elusive, yet there are some solid case studies on organizations that have tackled it and done it well.  I won’t talk too much about it here because 1. No one else cares and 2. I don’t want to raise expectations, mine or the 3 of you reading this.  (Hey friends!)

The other nerd event from this weekend was the latest in the Pleasure of the Cup (yes, that is it’s real name) series at the Ohio History Museum.  They host these historically accurate cocktail parties.  The last one I did was 1890’s themed, called Monocles and Brandy.  This one was Martini Madness.  What’s fun is they have all of these stations that are era related, a different cocktail popular in that era at each station and some fun volunteer playing the parts.  Friday night we attended a tupperware party, played 50’s Sci Fi movie trivia, were questioned to make sure we weren’t communists and hung out in an authentic Lustron House.  Then there was dancing to the likes of The Stroll and Hand Jive.  They really do a great job with these events, they’re just a fun thing to do.

Okay – back to writing the next big thing.

Quo Vadimus.

Servant Friendship

Back in the 70’s, a man named Robert Greenleaf coined the phrase “servant leadership”.  I didn’t hear about it until the early 2000’s when a colleague in Vegas shared that this was one of her leader values.  From the website Mind Tools…

What is Servant Leadership?

As a servant leader, you’re a “servant first” – you focus on the needs of others, especially team members, before you consider your own. You acknowledge other people’s perspectives, give them the support they need to meet their work and personal goals, involve them in decisions where appropriate, and build a sense of community within your team. This leads to higher engagement, more trust, and stronger relationships with team members and other stakeholders. It can also lead to increased innovation.

I decided Servant Friendship is going to be the thing I coin.  When I serve the people I care about, everyone wins.  Let’s use today as an example…

I was grumpy today.  Not sleeping well, woke up to the sounds of a sick cat (he’s fine), still have ambiguous work situation happening, the boy I want to call me isn’t calling me… all led to a generally cranky outlook this morning. 

I had to leave work at 3:30 so I could meet a woman who is considering the same Grad School program I did.  The grad school coordinator sets me up with about 4 or 5 of these a year, he likes my story and how the master’s played a part in my success.  I also think he likes that I’m a person who flew to school every month – shows that the program is SO GOOD people fly in for it.  I like these meetings, I love talking about why I think the OD program is amaze-balls, and answering their questions.  I like doing favors for the program coordinator because one of these days I’ll probably need a favor from him.  I sat down across from this woman at a coffee shop not far from me.  She has fantastic hair.  She opens the conversation with, “I got us an appetizer, I hope that’s ok.”  I immediately like her, and not just because she ordered food.  This woman was delightful.  I launch into my here was my path to grad school and here’s what it’s done for me spiel.  She’s like me in that we’re carrying on no less than 4 simultaneous conversations at once.  She has amazing hair.  She’s a bit sassy.  We end up talking about everything from why I don’t want to have my own kids but other people’s are just fine to Annie Sloan chalk paint.  We talk for just over 2 hours and I think we’d still be there if it weren’t for her meeting her husband for dinner.  We left coffee with her giving me advice and me inviting her and her husband to my house for dinner.

That was a win win situation.  She got insight into the program, I got to meet a tremendous woman, we both made a new acquaintance and for people both still relatively new in town that is always welcome.  Servant friendship – I served the grad school coordinator and this woman, and everything feels better.

I came home. I made dinner.  (Lies.  The crock pot made dinner.  I put a pork roast in there this morning and picked off chunks of it, eating standing up at the counter.  Maybe calling that “dinner” is an exaggeration.)  I’m about to take my glass of wine and a book onto the patio when my friend Chris texts me, says he, his wife and the new baby are in the neighborhood and would I like to meet the new baby.  Of course I would!  I rarely get to hold a baby and it’s a nice feeling.  (Again, not wanting my own kids does not mean I hate all the kids.)  This baby is a month old but still soooooo tiny!  She was very gurgly and wide-eyed.  My cat Oliver could eat her though, she’s so little.  I love that I have friends that can swing by with 5 minutes notice.  (Also love that I’m trying to keep my house cleaner so things like that can manifest.  I didn’t at all need to throw the pans from making dinner last night into the oven to hide them – nope – didn’t happen.)

Once they left I did get to the patio, but not with a book. I had an idea that needed working on.  One of the inner circle of friends is moving to California.  This is tragic for us, while being good for him.  Since I love special plans, love a “bit”, I put together a progressive dinner for his mini going away party tomorrow night.  There are just 4 of us going out tomorrow.  The innerest of the circle.  We’re starting at a classy cocktail bar for a drink, moving to this modern Italian restaurant for wine and appetizers, enjoying entrees on the patio of the restaurant that overlooks the river downtown and then dessert from his favorite place (which is this kind of cheesy German restaurant we have int own – but they make hella good cream puffs) which I’ll have packed up in a bag and we’re going to picnic them in a park.  Man, I love special plans.  And I love to pile them on.  It’s not enough that we’re doing progressive dinner night, I decided it would be fun to make a little toast to Kev in the theme of each place we’re at.  Some kind of toast related to drinking at the first place, the wine I’m ordering at the 2nd place (yes, I already know what bottle we’re ordering.  I’m very strict when it comes to fun.) is from Simple Life Winery, which is in California, so I thought some kind of poetic toast can be made about that, we’re dining on the river, so some river run free related toast, etc.  You get the point.  I’m a corn ball.  I started Googling quotes related to these things to get ideas.  Which is when I run into the website Brainy Quotes, which is not really a collection of classic or wise or useful quotes, sometimes it’s things like this from kind of boring celebrities:

Profound.

Profound.

That is an example of what I got when I typed in drinking quotes.  Which is when an even better idea forms.  Why not tee up sweet sentimental toasts, and then insert bullshit quotes like this one in there?  This seems better! It’s quirky, like me!  I get to work on the toasts, I write them out on index cards so I have them.  I like the idea of continuing to pull things out of my bag. The toasts, a bluetooth speaker, because toast #3 is going to be a musical number.  (We will probs get to dinner a little before our reservation, so I figure we walk to the big park area next to the river and while we’re standing outside I’m going to play “The air that I breathe” by The Hollies.)

I did find a sweet quote to wrap up the night.  I won’t end it on a bullshit note.

I spent almost an hour figuring this out, finding the right quote and the right sappy intro to the silly quote, writing them out, etc.  I want Kev to have a fun night, to know that we love him and we’ll miss him.  I just really like crafting special plans for special people.  All those things that made me cranky this morning seem less important now.  I’m practicing Servant Friendship.  If I can take care of my friends’ needs, then everyone wins, right?

I’m sure pictures and updates will follow later this week. Peter and Kev want to wear their tuxedos, so we decided it was a dress up kind of night.  Things will be documented.  I should figure out what I’m going to wear.

Go forth & serve with love.

I contain multitudes.

Alternate title: It’s pretty something.

Last Wednesday night I saw the movie Paper Towns, the latest John Green book to transition to the big screen (and what both the title and alternate title are taken from).  The first John Green book I read was The Fault in Our Stars back when it was the “it” book to read.  That book made my top 5 favorite books of all time.  I wrote this post when I finished the book and I couldn’t stop writing that post.  I kept coming back and updating it because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  It’s so great.  Because of the strong reaction I had to TFIOS, I immediately downloaded two more John Green books.  I really liked The Abundance of Katherine’s – it’s quirky and fun nothing majorly traumatic happens in it.  I then read Paper Towns and remember not loving it, not even really remembering it.  Had I hit a John Green limit?  Was I just also in grad school or moving or something at the time?  I don’t recall that either.  I just know I though, “eh.”

That was not going to prevent me from seeing the movie.  Still a big John Green fan.  Still think the writing is clever and fun.  Still wanted to go to the movies with my friend Jenn.  I wasn’t expecting to LOVE the movie.  The movie made me (and this is cheesy – go with it) feel joyful.  I felt joy watching the main character step out of his comfort zone to take a chance to be a little zany with the girl he had the angsty crush on.  The beautiful combination of John Green’s characters and the great actors in the movie made it so easy to feel how big this one night was to these high schoolers.  It made me remember the one night you have like this in high school, in that moment thinking things can be like *that* forever.  I felt joy watching them take the epic road trip, an unlikely group of friends together for an out of character experience for them all.  And I felt some joy at the end, which I don’t remember feeling at all when I read the book.

I couldn’t stop gushing about the movie that night.  Had dinner with Jenn and her hubs and every 10 minutes would exclaim how much I liked the movie.  In the interest of full disclosure I’m listening to the soundtrack *right now*.  Thursday during lunch I pulled up the book (thank you Kindle app and technology – the book is wherever I want it, whenever I want it).  I re-read the ending, wondering why I didn’t like the book.  Well, they’re different enough that I loved the movie ending.  Without giving anything away, the book ending is just a touch dark and twistier.  I clearly like everything they adapted for the big screen.  And it doesn’t help that the main character is just my type (outside of the being in high school thing).  I still have a soft spot for pasty, dark haired, dorks that started when I was in high school.  I would have had such a crush on Q back in the day.  (And just for funsies, here’s a song called My Type from the Paper Towns soundtrack!)

See the movie.  Read a John Green book.  Remember what it’s like to think that anything is possible, and you got that adventure high from just taking a road trip with friends.  Sigh.  Joy.

In other news…

I hung out with a new friend this past Friday night.  We went on a tour of dive bars in the Clintonville neighborhood.  It was fantastic.  I never even knew these places existed, well, except the first one.  We started at Studio 35, which I know and love.  One screen movie theatre, great bar, you can get pizza delivered to the bar – and not like the kind of classy dine in theatres – this is from the pizza place a few doors down.  It’s where I had my 35th birthday happy hour last year.  From there, we decided we needed food because, well, drinking.  So we went about a mile south and got to the Blue Danube.  Just a fantastic dive.  Quirky, with funky painted ceiling tiles, completely decent food, sassy bartender.  I just love that I have now been there, that I keep discovering parts of Columbus and they each make me happy.  After the “Dube” (not my nickname for it) we went to Dick’s Den.  A dive with a surprisingly fantastic jazz band playing there.  Really diverse crowd, super cheap drinks and a pool table that I was encouraged to play and ended up holding my own, which is basically a Michelob Ultra Miracle.   There’s also a big Columbus history lesson to be learned from Dick’s.  They used to sponsor a run, I forget what it’s called now, but you had to do something like drink 2 shots, 4 beers, then run 4 miles, then get back to the bar and drink 2 more beers.  They have these fantastic photo collages from the 60’s and 70’s all over the bar with the winner and the finishing time.  The collages were so fun to look at, think about this funky piece of Columbus’ past.  For sure a place to get back to for a low key evening out.

To wrap up, here’s another song courtesy of the Paper Towns soundtrack.  Go see the movie!!  Let me know if you go – I’d probably see it again and grin the whole time at the wonder of it all.  (I know, I know – cheesy!)

Sarah vs. the Weekend – Volume 8

(For a few previous vs. weekend posts see here, here and here)

For a weekend that had almost nothing on the schedule, it turned out to be a very full and happy one!  I suppose right off that means Sarah vs. overscheduling herself…winner: Leaving some space in the weekend for fun to appear!

Friday afternoon at work I was part of a group presenting to our Chief Marketing Officer.  He ended up staying the full two hours instead of the half hour we thought he would, which is amazing, but was also a little stressful.  On top of some other general work anxiety right now, Friday at 4:30 could not come fast enough.  Rex was having a deck party, in which, he provides the deck and we all show up with beer.  Since Rex always knows the coolest people, and because I was in the mood to do a little drinking, I was really looking forward to the evening.  It did not disappoint.  Met a few new people, had some Kentucky Bourbon Ale (always a good idea), laughed so, so much at this kid named Faraz, who at one point in the evening exclaimed the sentence, “I came to this country because of the Wu Tang Clan!”   Peter and I escaped across the street to The Crest for a bit to get actual food for dinner instead of just snacking at Rex’s.  Where I’ve generally been a stress eater, lately I’m a stress starver and think I had skipped the three prior meals.  Peter did a really masterful job of calming me down, taking the anxiety down a notch.   Sarah vs. deck parties…winner: laughing with people on a beautiful night.  Perfect start to the weekend.

Well…. almost.  Due to the aforementioned Kentucky Bourbon Ale, I woke up needing to drink all the water around 2:30am.  At that same time I decided to just cancel my Orangetheory class that morning.  I was not going to be ready for treadmills and weights in 5 hours.  I still woke up again around 7, got some coffee and got back into bed for an episode of Newsroom while I planned my day and perked up.  Decided to see the first showing of a movie.  What to see… I landed on Inside Out.  I rarely miss a Pixar movie.  Got up, got out the door and was at the theatre by 10am.  The movie was very good, although I wondered how kids liked it.  It had some complex themes – the idea of abstract thinking, fading memories, subconscious.  I cried three times, so I know that I liked it.  Sarah vs. early morning movies…winner: Lava!  Yes, Lava is the Pixar short that came before Inside Out and I was in tears by the end of that five minutes.  Seriously, when I thought the two volcanoes were never going to meet I was *figuratively* heartbroken in a very real way.  For a limited time, the full short is available online.  Watch it.

After said movie I clearly needed some Sephora therapy.  Except, I didn’t even need anything.  Usually this doesn’t stop me at Sephora, but apparently I’m getting more practical as I get older.  I picked up eye make up remover – the least sexy thing available – but the one thing I actually needed.  I was at the big outdoor mall, so I moseyed around a bit more, window shopping and people watching before heading back to the car.  On the way home I got a pedicure (an important step in a plan forming for the next day), filled my car up with gas, got a car wash and was going to vacuum it even (whoa!) but the vacuum machines only took quarters.  Who has 6 quarters on them?  Sarah vs. productive mornings…winner: Ted Mazby (the car).  That car needed to be washed badly.  It probably needs to be hand washed, but the drive through one is better than nothing.  

Came home.  Took nap.  Declined an invite to the Irish Festival.  The thing is, it was a gorgeous night.  Meaning I imagine the Irish Festival was going to be packed.  I don’t really love packed festivals.  Instead went for a 4-ish mile walk around my neighborhood.  Sarah vs. Festivals…winner: being fine with saying no.  A couple weeks ago my friend Jenn points out one of the nicest things about me is that I’m not a bailer.  If I say I’m going to be somewhere, I’m there.  I can only do that because when I don’t want to do something, I tell you I don’t want to do it.  I learned this from Claire.  It’s a good life skill.  

Sunday morning I did get up and get to 8am Orangetheory class.  I do love starting the weekend mornings there.  I feel like I’ve already gotten so much done.  Which is good because I spent the next couple hours doing chillin’ like a villain.  I started roasting some potatoes and rosemary for breakfast. While they were cooking I made some iced coffee, took it and the paper out to my patio.  It was a perfect morning.  I sat out there for at least an hour and a half.  It had been weeks since I read my Sunday paper, for over a month they just went straight into the recycle bin.  Not today!  It was glorious.  Sarah vs. Sunday mornings…winner: Rosemary potatoes with scrambled eggs and tomatoes.  

How breakfast was done.

How breakfast was done.

Plus, Oliver likes the patio.

Plus, Oliver likes the patio.

I finally got around to taking a shower, starting some laundry, etc.  I was hoping for a phone call around 2pm and the call came!  I chickened out on getting my tattoo last week while Claire was here.  That was a terrible idea in retrospect because it hurt like a bitch and I could have used her to talk to me while it was happening.  The tattoo shop was expecting a cancellation, she said she’d call Sunday to see if she could get me in at 2, otherwise I had an appointment for 5pm.  2pm was better!  I spent half an hour signing paperwork, getting the design worked out, etc and about 20 minutes actually getting the ink.  A few months ago it hit me like a bolt that this would be the next tattoo.  In fact, I can’t even believe it wasn’t my first tattoo.  I’ve talked about loving the SportsNight a lot around here.  It is a show that just gets me.  And there’s a clip from the last episode of the series, watch just one minute of the clip below…

If you watched the rest of the episode (which you TOTALLY should!) you would learn that a company called Quo Vadimus has bought their cable network.  Quo Vadimus means “where are we going”.  (It’s the gentleman in the clip’s company – seriously – just watch the episode.)  It’s probably one of the top two things I quote from this show, but I think a tattoo that read “Napoleon’s two part plan: Show up and see what happens,” might have been a little much.  Sarah vs. the tattoo…winner: a tattoo I can see!  I have two, both on my lower back.  By golly, if I’m going to ink, I want to see it, and this is a great one to make visible.  Lots of affirmation – regroup – ask yourself, where are we going.  If you don’t know, then you’re already there.

Yes, it's a hard to read cursive font.  Yes, I wanted it that way.

Yes, it’s a hard to read cursive font. Yes, I wanted it that way.

Was back home for a few hours before I left again to meet Rex and Shannon for Yoga on the Oval (the OSU version of a quad).

wpid-20150802_200653.jpg

Shannon is part of a big charity bike ride that raises bunches of money for The James, a pretty premiere cancer research hospital, and they were hosting this free outdoor yoga thing and I had said I would go.  In all honesty, it’s one of the things that I may have bailed on if I were a bailer.  I’m not.  And reasons like last night make me sooo happy I’m not.  Say yes to things, people!  It was a perfect summer evening with perfect warm breezes.  The OSU campus is really pretty.  A couple hundred people were doing some yoga with a total hippie chick leading the practice and a guy strumming a guitar alongside her.  The hippie in me really connected to the idea of bare feet on the grass, being one and calm and all that jazz.  It was the last five minutes though that made it an unforgettable evening.  After all the yoga-ing is over, she led us through a little meditation.  Told us to go to a happy memory, to “get involved” with it.  What was it, what had to happen to make it happen, what led you there, etc.  What immediately came to mind was grad school graduation a few years ago.  Grad school had been so special, overcoming the obstacles I had starting the program had to happen, traveling up to Ohio all the time which led me to living here and this moment.  I was smiling.  Then hippie chick tells us to take all that positive energy and send it forward (the cancer hospital was right in front of us on the Oval).  And suddenly I was Care Bear Staring all these thoughts at The James and I started crying.

Care Bears... STARE!!!!

Care Bears… STARE!!!!

It’s not often that I spend a lot of time thinking about Dad.  I mean, I remember him, I have pictures, too rarely he’ll pop up in a dram, but he’s been dead 13 years now.  In the introduction to the evening, they had specifically called out Colon Cancer as one of the things they were working to treat, prevent, etc.  And in that space where I wasn’t occupied by a laptop, smartphone, music, cats, books, tv, or stress; wasn’t creating distractions for myself by being so overprogrammed, I thought that somewhere in that hospital was a dad with four kids and I put every bit of energy into hoping he got better.  (I know – so cheesy – I can’t help it – it was deep, man.)  It took a while for the tears to stop streaming down my face, luckily Shannon starting talking about cow births and that killed the mood (in a good way).  I’m just so happy I went.  Sarah vs. Yoga on the Oval…winner: I hope to goodness it’s the dad with four kids somewhere.  

C+C Blog Factory

For Claire and Colin

Who told me to write more.

Tonight’s post is brought to you by the letter W for Wishcraft (a book by Barbara Sher) and wine (the perfect 2 glass sass amount).

Best Bar in town.  It has books.  And cats.

Best Bar in town. It has books. And cats.

And the letter M for the amazing moon out tonight.

I just got home from dinner a bit ago.  I ended up taking a wrong turn in the neighborhood I was in and got turned around quite a bit.  I found this little nook of a subdivision that was incredibly charming.  I have a feeling that if I ever looked for it again in the daylight I wouldn’t find it.  It’s like Brigadoon.

I didn’t feel quite like coming home tonight, so it was nice to drive around a bit more.  Even when I got back to roads I recognized I still ended up taking a longer way home.  I had the moonroof open, the radio blaring and could have driven around for a while – odd for me.

I thought about stopping somewhere.  Calling Rex to see if he was still awake and wanted to get a drink.  Stopping at 16 Bit to play pinball and drink a Hell or High Watermelon beer.  Picking up ice cream.  I did none of these things.  I decided to go to the best bar in town – my patio.

Now I have another glass of wine in hand, a laptop in lap, and Spotify with my favorite playlist next to me.  All the elements are here for sheer stream of consciousness writing.  W for watch out, too.

I started reading Wishcraft a few weeks ago.  And then July got insane busy what with the former English teachers in town, the restaurant weeks, the dates, the friends here for the weekend, the home for a weekend, etc.  Yes, another kind of hokey self-improvement book, but this one came highly recommended… by whom I cannot remember.

The opening line really gets you: Who do you think you are?

The author postulates that we would answer with characteristics like, I’m Sarah, 35, change management consultant, etc. Author calls bullshit on that kind of description.  WHO do you think you ARE??

  • I believe in magic but hate magicians
  • I’m powered by inertia, even though…

It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope. But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical will live the relation to another as something alive.”  Rilke

  • I think the next song on the radio is the universe trying to send me a message
  • I’m regularly surprised that I’m not surprised by things
  • I think if I really put attention to it I could have been a writer

I saw a post about a Flash Fiction writing contest this weekend.  Some silly thing that reminded me a bit of the 48 hour film festival.  You get some parameters and come up with a short story.  I like that idea – I like parameters and writing prompts.  I like boundaries.  There is freedom in boundaries.

I got a bit of news that came like a punch in the stomach at work yesterday.  It’s not that it’s terrible news, it was just hard to hear.  It makes me anxious.  I think it’s a good thing, people keep telling me it’s a good thing, I’m not sure I’m there yet.  I need to apply some of my change management skills to me.  Seriously.   On top of that I haven’t slept great this week – not all related to stress.  But I always say I’m no good tired.  That’s me at my emotional worst is when I’m tired.  Once I finally got back on the path traveled and headed toward home tonight, exhaustion set in.  Then this song came up on my Spotify list:

And in that moment I was done.  Which is exactly the state of mind you want to be in when you decide to write and post things to the world wide web.

I have no plans for this weekend.

None.

Except to go to Orangetheory Saturday and Sunday morning.  Even those are plans for me.  It’s been a minute since I’ve had this kind of weekend.  A weekend of my own design.

Someone asked me to go to the OH State Fair.  This year there is a butter sculpture of Urban Meyer, the coach of the OSU Buckeye football team.  There is something hilarious about this to me, but I dare not speak that out loud here in the O-H-I-O.

I tried rewatching a couple episodes of Newsroom. I still don’t think it’s Sorkin’s best work. I’m trying to give it a second chance, but outside that last episode of the second season, I generally think, “meh”.

I probably only grant it a break because of this song.  Man, I love good cover music.  And this is excellent cover music.

Okay.  I shall wrap this up here before the combination of wine, moonlight and being soooooo tired make me really do some damage here.

Buenos noches.  (Spanish lessons are really working)