Mean people suck, but nice people are so nice

I didn’t pull into my garage because I was on a conference call, and my garage tends to make me drop calls.

I didn’t grab my laptop bag out of my car because I was still on the conference call when I parked my car and ran in the house to change into running clothes.

I participated in the end of the call while changing into running clothes so I could immediately get out the door when the call ended.  I had 4.5 miles planned and I could just get them in before it got dark.

I rocked the miles out (woo!), to come home to find my car – parked in my driveway, which is behind my house, out of street view – had a smashed passenger window and no more laptop bag.

whomp, whomp.


I do what you do.  Call police. Go back outside to start cleaning up so much glass.

My neighbors came home shortly after I started cleaning up glass.  They immediately got flood lights and their shop vac and started to help.  Then they invited me in and gave me a glass of wine…and sent me home with the bottle.

I started cancelling all the cards.  I needed to call security at work to report the laptop stolen.  I didn’t have IT or work security phone numbers.  My friends responded with all the numbers within moments.

Ex Hubs gave me the little bit of sympathy I kind of wanted.

When Casual Dating Guy (CDG) found out what happened and when I admitted I was kind of freaked and icked out by the idea that someone had been so close to my house, peering in my car (are people creeping in the windows of my house?  Also, there is no way to see my car from the street, so someone is lurking in my backyard?  Did they realize I left to run? Iccccckkkkkk.) he drove here without hesitation in the middle of the night so I wouldn’t be alone in the house.  And then ran through the checklist of all the things I needed to do that morning and made sure I had all the things to accomplish them (plastic for my window?  a way to get cash from the bank to pay for new window? etc).

When I told Jenn I needed to cancel our regularly scheduled Downton Abbey watching plans because I didn’t sleep well the night before, had been at the DMV for 2 hours, and the packing tape that was not at all keeping the plastic on my window was flapping at a decibel that I didn’t think possible and that was making me incredibly grumpy…instead she offered to change plans to bring me lunch and take me to Lowe’s to get duct tape and timers for some lamps in the house.

The guy at Safelite auto repair was genuinely sorry he couldn’t get my car in sooner than Monday.  When I did get there this morning, it was some of the best customer service I’ve ever received.

It is inconvenient to take care of all the fall out from this.  But all I will remember from this is how fortunate I am to have such wonderful people in my life, how grateful I am that they also disrupted parts of their weekends to be there for me.  I am grateful.

Inspired by Friday Night Lights, I embrace hot chicken

I’ve been binge watching Friday Night Lights over the last couple of weeks.  It’s soooo good.  If you haven’t watched it, remedy that as soon as possible.  I love so many things about it: Coach and Tami’s marriage, the way Tami says “hon”, Tim Riggins, Julie’s real struggle to get what being an adult is all about…

I finished the last couple episodes earlier today while reading the paper.  I’m not afraid, and surely  not alone, to admit I cried several times throughout the series and these last few episodes were no different this morning.

The last few episodes also made me really pumped about the idea of community.  You watch what Coach Taylor does to East Dillon, the way he creates something to rally around and support, they way they come out and root for the Lions and tell me you don’t want to be a part of something.  Inspired by that feeling I took a little lunchtime field trip to Hot Chicken Takeover.

This place has had a bit of press – when they first launched and then with their kickstarter campaign.  Jeni of Jeni’s Ice Cream has tweeted about them even.  I watched their Kickstarter video a couple weeks ago and put it on my list of things to get around to.  That time came once I was all riled up by the last episode of Friday Night Lights – I wanted to go out and be part of the community.  So I got Hot Chicken for lunch.

The place is exactly as described in the articles and Kickstarter video.  It is a walk up window with a long line  and a few tents with community picnic tables.

I waited about 20 minutes until I got to the window - then another 10 after I ordered.  Not bad.

I waited about 20 minutes until I got to the window – then another 10 after I ordered. Not bad.

I love that the window sign is partly made of tape.  A true start up on a budget.

I love that the window sign is partly made of tape. A true start up on a budget.

Their entire menu.  Free sweet tea and ranch dressing.  Community.

Their entire menu. Free sweet tea and ranch dressing. Community.

I was cautioned by reviews that they are not messing around when they say “hot.”  I started off with “cold” which just means no heat from spice, it’s still hot, fresh fried chicken.  People in line are chatting, the owner comes around asking if anyone is there the first time and thanking people who are wearing Hot Chicken Takeover shirts that indicated they’ve donated to the Kickstarter.  The neighborhood this is in is very “transitional”.  One of my favorite breakfast places is just down the street, but there’s not much else here yet.  The two houses across the street from HCT are boarded up.  One of their hallmarks is that they hire the “harder to employ” individuals.  Everyone there was awesome.  And I got the dose of community I wanted.

My carb-tastic lunch.  I'm glad I went with the "cold".  I'm not sure I could even handle Medium.

My carb-tastic lunch. I’m glad I went with the “cold”. I’m not sure I could even handle Medium.

It was really, really good.  It’s a perfect meal, even the way pickle juice soaks into a bit of the chicken breading, the ranch dressing that came from no bottle, and yes, really good mac and cheese.  I also happen to love non-mayo based cole slaws, so this light and vinegar-y one was perfect – and I can tell myself that was the right amount of vegetables for lunch.  So, thanks Hot Chicken Takeover for giving me what I needed today.

The rest of the weekend

Here is the rest of the random-ness of my weekend.

  • Last week I had a houseguest.  My brother in law’s brother was staying with me.  He’s a personal trainer and was attending some kind of intense strength training clinic here in Columbus.  I have a guest room and glad to put it to good use.  I didn’t see him all that much during the week between a few late night work nights for me, his early mornings at the gym.  I did want to spend a little time with him.  He helped me with a few things around here and I wanted to thank him, plus, I like my brother in law a lot so wanted to make sure I took care of his little brother.  Friday night, after a super long work week, I was determined to leave work at 3pm and I did.  I told Mitch I would take him to this groovy “bar-cade” and the gourmet hot dog place next door.  I did tell him we had to get there Golden Girls early because the barcade gets super busy.  16 Bit is the name of the place and it’s awesome.  The perimeter is lined with old school video games and they are all free to play.  He and I grabbed a beer and started on some classics – Frogger and Pac Man.  He played some football game.  Then together we took on an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.  Thanks to free and unlimited continues – we BEAT the GAME!  How often can you say you beat an arcade game?!  Awesome.  Mitch declared the bar awesome due to the clientele and set up.  Gourmet hot dogs at Dirty Franks and a scoop of Jeni’s ice cream and I can feel good that Mitch got a solid Columbus experience on his last night in town.
  • I rented Divergent Friday night.  We were home early (because we started early) and I love that Shailene Woodley.  I read the book and thought it was only okay.  I thought the movie was a good adaptation of the book, and just like the book – only okay.  What was most interesting was the dream I had after watching it.  Part of the book is training some of the characters to face their biggest fears, so they undergo these simulations that present their four biggest fears to them.  I had a dream Friday night that presented two of my biggest fears to me.  I woke up kind of panicked and in a really bad mood.  I won’t reveal the two fears here – it was a really personal dream – just know that I’m sure it was motivated in some way by the movie.
  • I went for a run Saturday morning with the Nationwide running group!  Each month they host a run at a different MetroPark in Columbus.  This time it was Sharon Woods park about 15 minutes from me and I went.  It was mostly just an accountability exercise.  I was the slowest runner there, but I got out and did it.
  • I got some cute pictures of my niece this weekend!  That kid is a doll.
This pic is one of my new favorites.  One sock, chubs hanging out, hand in her mouth - love this kid.

This pic is one of my new favorites. One sock, chubs hanging out, hand in her mouth – love this kid.

So that’s it – a few other things in addition to the kitchen tiling.  Ready for another super busy week at work!

Being a cliche

I came home a couple nights ago in a bad mood.  I’m still in break up recovery mode.  I was distracted at work.  House projects seemed overwhelming for a minute.  In that moment there was only one thing I wanted to do – watch the movie Under the Tuscan Sun.

Classic Diane Lane chick flick

Classic Diane Lane chick flick

I’ve seen the movie once or twice on the Oxygen channel probably.  I do love movies set in Italy.  I just wanted a story about a single woman fixing up a house.  I thought it would cheer me right up, and it did.  I indulged in the far fetched tale with a glass of pink wine and felt better.

On a Diane Lane kick, I rented Must Love Dogs the following evening.  It was one of Ex Hubs favorite movies, but in one of those secret ways, similar to how Rachel’s favorite movie was secretly Weekend at Bernies (for the Friends fans out there).  I’ve seen this movie many, many times.  The familiarity cheered me up some more.

I’ve plowed through several books lately.  I read Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments and FanGirl.  I adored them both as sweet reads.  I read Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, which was not.  I just finished Delicious by Ruth Reichl, and I like her memoir based books much more than her first go at a novel.  And because I want to see the movie this fall I finished This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper last weekend.  I read it in a day.  It was engaging.  Although, I had a hard time with the scenes involving the brothers getting into fist fights.  I just don’t believe grown men throw this many punches in a week’s time.  But, I did enjoy it.  (I will never be a literary critic… It was good, I liked it.  I’m so descriptive.)

The Columbus Arts Festival is this weekend and I’m looking forward to that tomorrow evening after work.  A few friends and I are meeting for a drink and will then stroll along the riverfront enjoying art and food trucks and what is supposed to be perfect weather.  My first Columbus Art Fair!  Seems like the perfect opportunity to pick up something for the house.  Something Diane Lane would pick out.  :)



If it quacks like a duck…


Me and 1 of 2 Mr. Rogers statues in Pittsburgh. I do love to pose with a statue.


Then it must be Pittsburgh!  I’m flipping through an issue of Columbus magazine a few weeks ago and see an ad for an art installation in Pittsburgh that is a 40 foot rubber duckie.  What other reason would one possibly need to schedule a trip to Pittsburgh.  As it turns out, the ‘burgh is only a couple hours from Columbus.  I have never been to Pennsylvania and D offered to go with me.  This was a win-win-win situation.

In addition to wanting to see a big duck, I thought I’d find a run over there that weekend to keep me on track for the Tink 1/2 planning.  I found a North Shore running tour.  Run a bit – your guide tells you about the city – run some more – hear something else.  It was a 5k route PLUS I’d see the city.  Done.  As it would turn out, I was the only one on the running tour that morning – so I got a great 1-1 run guide, plus we could run at my pace!  That’s where the picture above was taken – on the run, and below is a shot of the very empty downtown I ran through to get to the tour starting point.


Sunday morning runs in a new city – all the sightseeing, none of the people. Love it.

But, of course, the DUCK was the main attraction.  What seemed like thousands of people were gathered at Point Park to see this duck.  I was a little surprised an oversized bath toy could draw this crowd, and at the same time, I did drive two hours from another state to do that very thing.  So…


It’s not so big. I can squish it!


This is why I went to Pittsburgh, to see a giant rubber duck. Why not?

Pretty sure this is the Christmas card this year.




The duck is alongside Point Park downtown.


I kept hearing that Pittsburgh was a pretty city and it was.

Did you know that Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in the United States?  446 to be exact.  And many of them are painted the same color yellow – Aztec Gold.  I learned that on my running tour.


The other super touristy thing I did was the Duquesne Incline.

 The Duquesne Incline cracks me up in a way.  It’s part trolley/part old coal car and it takes you to a cute little neighborhood at the top of the hill with great views of downtown.  The ticket/boarding situation hasn’t changed much in 50 years, I imagine.  Which is charming and refreshing in a lot of ways.  No safety talk, very little monitoring of people getting on, and in one station ACUTALLY NO monitoring of people getting on, you pay for your ride at the top.  It made me chuckle.  Until riding on it when I got a little nervous.  Something about going up that super steep incline and seeing the cable responsible for pulling us – yikes.  Made my stomach turn a little.

The views are wonderful.  Pittsburgh has such a unique layout.  A very dense downtown with a kind of touristy developed North Shore with the stadiums and a hipper South Shore area that I’d like to explore on my next visit.

Sarah vs. the Weekend

Way, way back my virtual pal Kelli wrote a post called Kelli vs. the weekend.  Since then I’ve done a few myself.  They’re alway fun.  She had even made a little button or badge for it.  I wonder where I saved that…

Sarah vs. Pinterest
Oh Pinterest. So many ideas. So little time. While I didn’t get to any of the minor construction projects I hoped to get to (entryway spruce up, magazine rack or anything involving turning an old dresser into a cool tv stand) I DID get an idea on how to rearrange my bedroom furniture!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I have had my bedroom furniture in no less than 5 different configurations. I never thought about this one. My bed is on a wall it’s never been on. My couch is at the foot of the bed. The tv is directly in front of both of those things which means it’s like 25 feet away from me when I’m in bed and since my bedroom tv is 11 inches it is pretty hard to see, but I’m mostly in it for the noise. This set up allows me space to work out between the couch and the tv or sit and meditate or think about doing yoga.
Winner: Pinterest wins this one. I’m still overwhelmed by projects, but chances are that if I didn’t get so time sucked into Pinterest I would have more time to do said projects.

Sarah vs. homework
I had a group paper to finish Saturday, an essay test to begin, and a first draft of an individual assignment outlining my company’s HR strategy due today. Also, I want to re read a few chapters of some books for the essay test and the HR assignment. Also, I want to read some chapters for the first time. Also, I want to read all of these supplemental articles that every professor posts.
Winner: Pinterest.
Kidding. A little.
Ok, for real, homework beat me. I thought we could finish that paper by noon and we didn’t submit it until almost 6pm. I think it’s right on, so that’s good news. One of the essay test questions is super open ended and I don’t even know how to begin it. It requires self reflection – which I hate.

Sarah vs. decision making
Friends, I am at a crossroads. I’m not the most patient person and the only strategy I have right now is to WAIT. Wait for school to be over, wait to find out about a job prospect, wait to see if I should move to something familiar or move to anywhere else, wait to settle down, wait to fill out an application to become a foster parent, wait to buy a house, wait to start studying for the SPHR or the PMP certifications…
A year ago I didn’t feel this way. A year ago I said the following sentence to Adam Science, “I love where I live so much and can’t imagine living anywhere else that if the house across the street from me went up for sale, I’d buy it.” Guess what went on the market 3 days ago – the house across the street. Guess who had an open house today? The house across the street. Guess who went? (This game isn’t that mysterious, is it?)
It is a great house. It’s perfect for me and my imaginary foster kid. It doesn’t have enough closet space, but no city house ever will. Other than that – it had everything. But, I can’t buy a house right now because what if I want to move? I can’t buy a house right now because I have a crap ton of student loans about to come due (although I would probably pay less on a mortgage than I do in rent)…
I’m not looking for advice, or an answer. I know that I have to wait. I don’t know what the right answer is yet. But I am confident that when the right answer is ready, it will present itself to me.
Winner: Lavender candles. They’re supposed to have a calming effect. I’ll be buying them in bulk.

If you’re interested – here’s the house I’m crushing on.

Sarah vs. running
It’s like I’m afraid to do it. I liken it to falling off a horse and being afraid to get back on somehow. I told myself training begins again on March 1. I did no running on March 1. Or 2nd or 3rd for that matter. What’s my damage? What am I scared of?
Winner: My ass. My ass is doing all the gaining in this situation. As in weight.

I am kind of the least put together adult ever. How is it I think I can shape some kind of young mind as a foster parent again? Sheesh.

Okay. In Sarah vs. going to bed, the winner needs to be sleep.

Do you smell updog?

What’s updog?

Not much – what’s up with you?

Get it?

Moving on…

Here’s what’s up with me:

I accepted an Oscar today.


Yup.  Someone handed it to me, I accepted it.  That counts.

It’s all part of the Oscar Road Trip and I knew St. Louis was a stop for a few weeks.  I’ve been stalking Twitter to see where it would be showing up for weeks and last night learned it would be at the City Museum at 1pm.  Done and done!  Sadly my mom appears to have developed Parkinson’s and of the six pictures she snapped these are the only two where I’m not insanely blurry.  Oh well.  I accepted the Academy Award!


Speaking of Oscars, I saw Amour.  I don’t even know what to say.  I don’t know how this lead actress doesn’t beat Jennifer Lawrence.  I don’t think she will, but she certainly out acted her.  It was a miserable, sad, honest film to watch so if you like your movies to entertain you, don’t see this one.  I read one review where they called it claustrophobic.  It is.  It’s set almost entirely in an apartment that you can’t get out of with characters in a situation they can’t get out of.  It’s hard to watch.  It’s hard because it’s real life.  It could be any of us.  Doesn’t it stink that life is so tough at the end?  I suppose it’s not unique to the end.  Strokes, cancer, disease, death can all come early (sheesh – I’m so cheery!).  The title is the word love – yes, I imagine this is true love – taking care of someone at the end of their life like this couple did.  Anyway – certainly an emotional investment of a movie.  Be ready if you choose to see it.

I’m baking a new chocolate chip cookie recipe tonight.  I found it here at Ambitious Kitchen.  They have a lot of similarities to my favorite America’s Test Kitchen cookie: browned butter, an egg plus one egg yolk, resting dough.  She uses semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.  Also, an ingredient I have never used in my cookies – a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.  I didn’t see that coming.  I haven’t baked any yet – I’ll be sure to do a full review.

I am a sucker for a good proposal, and the speech at the end of a recent Happy Endings episode had a great proposal speech.  Check out the episode The Marry Prankster for a good time, and a charming proposal.