My Earliest Memory

When I was 2 years old, both of my parents worked full-time and during business hours I went to daycare. It was a place in Santa Cruz called TAM School, where "TAM" stood for Teen Age Mothers, even though my mom was 33 years old. Who knows.

I remember laying on a cot in a dark room with a bunch of other kids, not sleeping. Not upset, just laying there with my eyes open. Some time later, my mom comes to pick me up and as we're getting my things together to go home, the person in charge says to her, "Sarah didn't take a nap today." To which my mom replies with a sigh, "Oh, well, that's ok."

And then under her breath, "Shit."

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Alright tea aficionados, tea novices, and tea-curious folk,

You're in luck, because I'm the proud new owner of my VERY OWN signature green tea blend at Adagio Teas called "Sip Smart"! This is absolutely one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me. My very own tea! And trust me, it's delicious. Adagio is the real deal and their stuff is top shelf. Two cups of "Sip Smart" in place of your regular cup of joe and you'll be on FIRE, I guarantee you. It's caffeinated, but a lot more hydrating than coffee. Plus, you can enjoy more of it without getting jittery or sour in the tummy.

If you're looking for a healthy way to kick-start your day or combat your afternoon slump, I think you'll really love this tea blend (my custom mixture of green pekoe, hojicha, and mighty rooibos leaves). If you've never prepared loose leaf tea before, all you need is hot water and a strainer. I love Adagio's all-in-one infuser, "IngenuiTea" and recommend it highly. Soak a pinch of leaves for 3-5 minutes, and enjoy. That's it!

The entire popSiren team made their own blends too, so between the five of us, you're totally, 100% covered. Oh, and I'm looking to trounce Corbin in the stats, lest you think that this is all in good, clean fun. You know me better than that, don't you? I want to drink, I want to win, and I want you! Spread the good word, and SIP SMART!

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Sarah's Random Question Game, Revisited

A couple years ago, I wanted to know more about all of you, so I created this game. It was fun. Let's have more fun. Per the original rules, please copy and paste the following questions into your comment post, but erase my answers and replace them with yours.

1. What's your favorite color?

Sorry, but that's a stupid question. I don't think that knowing my favorite color is green helps you understand me at all. Although I suppose it would come in handy if my birthday was coming up and you were mulling over the idea of buying me an article of clothing in cobalt blue, which I would accept graciously but then use as a dishrag.

2. If money was not a concern and you could pursue a single hobby for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A photographer. With A+ Photoshop skills. I know that's kind of a bland answer, but few things in life give me the level of joy that I feel when I take a photo and it turns out amazing enough to evoke an emotional response in others.

3. What's one physical thing you wish you could change about yourself?
Only one? What kind of brain teaser is this? Ok ok, if I had to choose just one, I'd get my nose fixed. It was broken many, many years ago, not attended to, and the cartilage healed rather asymmetrically. It never bothered me until my mid-20's when my face kind of settled in and got thinner. While I was on TV every day, I would occasionally get comments about my nose looking big or crooked, which helped feed my self-consciousness. But I'd rather spend my paycheck on a trip to Paris, so I think I'm stuck with it.

4. Sweet or savory?
Oh my, savory, though that's only in the last few years. These days I can do without ice cream, but not without soy sauce. If you cut me open, I'd probably be 65% salt water. And that's an unpleasant visual. Let's move on.

5. What's the dumbest show on TV that you try to watch regularly?
"The Hills" on MTV. Now I'm humiliated. I hope you're happy.

6. Do you have a favorite Bob Dylan song?
Gosh, you're playing hardball here. Once every few months, I'll dedicate some audio time to Bob, and a song that I haven't been paying much attention to will kind of stand out to me and I'll think to myself, "wow, this is a really fucking good song." See, I'll actually be cussing in my own head because I feel so strongly about it. At this moment, my favorites are 1) Idiot Wind, and 2) Abandoned Love. I think it's the lovelorn Dylan I enjoy the most.

7. Red or white wine?
Is it warm outside? Then white. Is it after dark? Then red. After a bottle of either I will no longer care.

8. What profession would you absolutely not want to try?
Aren't you ripping this off from Inside the Actors Studio? Anyway, I've thought about this at length already, and I definitely wouldn't want to be a city sewer worker.

9. How do you like your eggs?
Fried, over medium. Once served, they must immediately be placed on top of two slices of sourdough and punctured with a fork so that the slightly-hardened-but-not-fully-hardened-yolk seeps into the bread below. Then they must be eaten with great gusto.

10. What, in your expert opinion, is the best word ever?
Since I discoverd, I have a million new ideas, but my new favorite favorite is syzygy. That's a badass word. You can't even play it in Scrabble!

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One Upping

"I wonder what Bruce Springsteen''s doing, right now."

"Probably eating dinner with his family. I wonder what Mary Tyler Moore's doing, right now."

"Sleeping. I wonder what the guy who played Gollum's doing, right now."

"I wonder what Meredith Baxter Birney is doing, right now."

"I wonder what the lead singer of the now defunct band The New Radicals is doing, right now."

"Oooh, good one."

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Ever since I decided to showcase some of my favorite vacation photos online, I've been in love with Flickr. Mildly obsessed is perhaps a better description. Yes, I know I'm five years late. It's cool. I just never really had a good reason to use Flickr until I had a kickass photo collection that I wanted to share with the world. And now I do. But I like Flickr even more because it's a great place to browse the collections of photograhers who are much more talented than me. And there are many. I'm not a complete novice when it comes to taking pics, but I've still got a lot to learn, and you can learn a lot from metadata.

Anyway, yesterday I came across a photo with a lot of comments. Kind of brutal comments. Like “delete this, too processed”, “sorry, delete5”, “hate the framing, delete7”, and so on. It wasn't a bad picture at all. When did Flickr users get so critical? Turns out the photographer was part of a submission group called “Delete Me Uncensored” (occasionally NSFW) in which members savagely rate one another's photos via tags. It's extremely simple: ten “delete” tags and you're toast, but ten “save” tags and your photo goes in the Folio, or hall of fame. Whichever tag climbs to 10 first wins.

Like I said, I'm no ace photographer, but I've definitely taken a handful of what I believe are winners, and I love a good challenge. So I joined Flickr's “Delete Me Uncensored” group and submitted one of my favorite photos from Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I mean come on, who wouldn't like this picture? It's amazing (if I do say so myself, and I do).

I tried not to pay too much attention to the voting process throughout the day, but I couldn't help myself, especially once the “deletes” started coming in. Somebody said the walls were was boring. Someone else hated the framing. Another suggested that I might have submitted my photo more effectively as a “diptych”. I had to look that word up, and even then I had no idea what she was talking about. But there were a bunch of “saves” too, plus constructive comments. By 11 p.m., my photo's fate had not yet been decided. It was kind of exciting. 

This morning, I reigned victorious! But only by one vote. ONE VOTE! My amazing, amazing photo almost got the shaft? Wow. It was a little humbling to learn that not everybody thinks I'm quite as talented as I do. Hey, we all need an honest critique now and again. But still. My very first Flickr challenge, and I won! Yay!

I feel a little silly about all of this. I know that my Flickr winnings won't make me richer or thinner or more sympathetic toward people who think Wrangler jeans are cool again. I know this. But I'm still proud of myself. I feel vindicated somehow. I took a good picture, dammit, and nobody can take that away from me. And I'll probably submit another photo today, because I'm the sort of person who can't quit while she's ahead.

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Sarah's Random Question Game

Let's all get to know each other better. Below is a list of random questions from yours truly (I've also graciously answered myself). Please copy and paste the questions into your comment post, but erase my answers and replace them with yours. We'll all be BFF in no time. This is going to be SO fun!

1. When you were born, how much did you weigh?
8 lbs, 9 oz. I was 2 weeks late. Sorry Mom.

2. What's your sugar poison?
Definitely Peanut Butter & Chocolate ice cream.

3. If you had to choose between meat and cheese for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Then be specific.
Cheese. Specifically, jarlsberg and gouda.

4. What, in your opinion, is the worst song ever?

Hmm, this is a hard one. Maybe "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias.

5. Who was your very favorite teacher growing up, and why?
I'd say Mr. Pitter at Twin Hills School. He made up nicknames for every kid in his classroom. Mine was "Munch", for munchkin.

6. What personal activity, when performed in public, bothers you the most?
I hate it when people clip their nails at work, and I can hear the clipping. Grossest thing ever.

7. Ok, so there's a $50 bill lying on the ground. You pick it up. Dumbfounded by your incredible luck, what do you selfishly purchase?
An Ella Moss shirt. One with stripes.

8. Do you have a reoccuring nightmare? If so, explain.
I'm in college, and suddenly realize I've forgotten to go to an entire semester of math. I have to pass the class in order to graduate, but now I'm totally screwed on finals because you can't bullshit math. I panic and wonder how I could have been so careless.

9. Name one place on Earth you've never been, but vow to visit at least once.
I'm fascinated with Iceland. How do they do it, and with such a thriving music scene? I'll shoot for summertime.

10. You notice that question #9 wasn't really a question. You feel smart for catching such a small detail. What else can you do really well that reminds you how smart you are?
I can see right through people. People try to project certain "images" about themselves, but I always pick up on the real personality. It's a gift and a curse.

Your turn!

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