Wednesday, December 27, 2006

There's nothing like ringing in Christmas by downing an entire bottle of wine FROM THE BOTTLE. That's right. Classy, no-glass-drinking straight from the source. Well, I suppose it's not the actual source, though I think it would be really, really fun to drink wine straight from the barrel. Very oak-y tasting.

Yes, so that is how I spent my Christmas Eve. This is after I drove my car ONTO A ROCK. You may well be wondering how I managed to find the one actual boulder in my apartment complex and drive my car onto it, so that the car was completely stuck and two-wheels-off-the-ground immobile. Allow me to explain:

I am an idiot.

See, it went down like this...I was cleaning out my car (I say "car", but we all know it's really a toaster on wheels) at the dumpsters and then I was going to drive back to my apartment to put my stuff away (because, again, I'm an idiot and went shopping on freaking Christmas Eve). The car is cleaned, I'm turning the car around, and since I'm a multi-tasker, I figured I could check my cell phone AND rearrange my packages at the same time.

Not so much.

I heard a big "ca-chunk", and suddenly my car/toaster is rising in the air and making a horrible scraping noise. (The scraping noise was actually a good thing, I suppose, as it reassured me that I hadn't run over one of the many annoying small children that cavort around the complex...which would, honestly, be no big loss to ME, but I hear parents don't like to have their children maimed or killed at Christmas.) At first, I thought that maybe I could possibly back the car OFF the rock. Again, "not so much". Turns out if you have a large rock under your car, and not all the wheels are on the ground, you can't go anywhere. (I know, I know...CRAZY!) So, I just start laughing, because really, what can I do at this point? It's Christmas Eve, I'm broke, I've just grounded my vehicle on a large rock, I have no possible means of getting said car off of said rock myself, and no way to pay for maybe possibly having ripped a huge gaping hole in my car's no-no place.

Fortunately for me, my car comes equipped with a 24-hour roadside assistance number. (WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD)

Poor Guy That Has to Work Christmas Eve for Idiots Like Me: "Hello, Honda Roadside Assistance. How can I help you?"
Idiot: "Well...I guess you could say I need some roadside assistance."
"What seems to be the problem?"
"Huh, well, it appears I've driven my fucking car onto a fucking rock on fucking Christmas Eve."
"(Disbelieving pause) Uhhhh..."
"(Manaical laughter)"
"Well, ma'am, it sounds like you need a tow truck, here's the number of the place we use."
"I cannot fucking believe I just did this. Can you believe I did this?"
"Well, thanks anyway. I will call this number right away (more maniacal laughter)."

While I waited for the tow, I walked back to my apartment with my packages, making sure to lock the door of my car (what an idiot...seriously, no one could possibly steal it). I dropped off my packages, and immediately began cleaning like a fiend, Windexing everything in sight, because this is what Virgos do when they're stressed. I'm laughing, sweating and shaking all at once and saying over and over, "I can't believe I just fucking drove my fucking car onto a fucking rock."

The tow truck guy was great, but did not believe that I was sober when I "parked" my car. Fortunately for me, my car's privates are all intact, and she's driving okay.

I still feel like an idiot, though. And I still want to drink wine straight from the barrel. Merry Christmas to me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I chatted with Phil the other day about his trip to Honduras to visit the AIDS orphanage he works for called Montana de Luz. He sent out some really beautiful, moving photos of his time there. This one in particular really moved me and Lisa and I told him so. The following is a rendition of the chat we had online (with some heavy editing...Phil can't spell, and I write in sentence fragments). I wanted to leave it as close to the original conversation as possible, because Phil's words were very organic and moving.

(Phil:) “There is a really funny picture of Jose* I should send you.”
(Me:) “Who's Jose?”
“He's the one in the AMAZING picture with Molly where she is giving him his ARVs in bed.”
“Oh yeah. That pic turned out great!”
“Doug took that…it’s a real crazy story…”
“Do tell.”
“That day Doug and I were walking from "down below" which is the village in the valley where MDL is located. (MDL is up on a mountain right outside the village.) So we're hiking up the hill to get back to the project, and about three hundred yards away is a group of kids, which we assume to be from the village, Nuevo Espanranza (or something like that). Anyway…one of the kids breaks off, and at about seventy yards away, I spot it as Jose, and he starts in on a dead fat kid sprint…”
“…the whole time yelling ‘Amigo Felipe!’ He runs straight up and jumps into my arms.”
“I love fat kid sprints.”
“So, naturally, I just about think that is the best thing ever to happen to me, when Doug says ‘Just wait, Dude,’ and proceeds to show me this slide show of photos of when Jose came to the project in March, malnourished, 104.5 fever, chicken pox, and a worm had laid eggs in his neck.”
“Seriously? Gross! That's nuts…”
“When it got to its worst, they were pretty sure he wasn't going to make it through the night. That night, Molly (Doug’s wife) crawled into bed with Jose while he cried through the night."
“He made it through to the morning, the fever broke, and she began to administer the drugs. Doug snapped a photo.”
“Wow...that's when the photo was taken?”
“Fuckin’ a.”
“That's amazing.”
“So then he proceeds to show me the pictures of where Jose came from, where they had him before Doug and Molly picked him up. (Oh, I also forgot to list HIV/AIDS on his list of infirmities when he arrived.) As Doug showed me the pictures I pretty much lost control, and wept like a baby for about half an hour just thinking about the kid who had ran the seventy yard fat kid sprint to have me carry his fat little ass up a mountain….”

I don't normally write "serious" posts, but these kids and this project really moves me. There's all kinds of stupid shit going on in our world right now, and regardless of politics or religious beliefs, all I can think of is a little quote from Bono: "This is a war we can all agree on." Please check out their website, and consider maybe sending a few extra bucks their way this holiday season...or whenever, really, you cheapskates.
Here's the aforementioned "really funny picture":
and a great "after" picture to show the good work these people are doing.

*Name changed to protect child's privacy.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Doctor is IN...

I'm not sure when I got to be such a guru, and I don't mean to toot my own (French) horn, but I'm pretty great with advice. I may even start charging for it. Of course, my charges will be flexible based on what you have to give. Dolly Parton's father gave the doctor who birthed her a sack of cornmeal. So, you, for instance, could give me your Ipod for the gems I dish out. "My Ipod?!!?" you may shout indignantly. "How is an Ipod at all comparable to a sack of cornmeal?"

Funny you should ask! I had to do some serious calculationing (yes, "calculationing") here, such as factoring in inflation, as well as comparing the relative value of each said item to the particular individual giving it. Now, Dolly was born about sixty years ago into a poor family, so a sack of cornmeal was a pretty big deal, seeing as though it was necessary for living. You, however, probably have an adequate amount of food, but are clearly attached to your Ipod, and if you're like me, you cannot live at work without it (my job is more than mind-numbing). I'm just trying to get you where it hurts without you necessarily having to sacrifice actual money.

Though I do accept all major credit cards.

My advice is so darn good, I've begun receiving actual visceral, emotional responses to it, like tears, smiles of glee or one enthusiastic reaction I like to call "throwing things" (I'm pretty sure people aren't intentionally aiming for my head.) I was able to elicit the first of these last week when speaking to a class of high school Seniors on neuro-linguistic programming. I always close my lectures with a bit on dating, because really, that's all these kids care about right now. (Body language in the workplace? Who cares. Body language in the backseat of your car? Go on.)

So, I was telling the girls to always believe a guy's body language over what he actually says, because we know that men are 1.) dirty liars* and 2.) don't like to be yelled at by girls, so they often will be ambiguous with their language so they don't actually have to say, "I just don't like you." So what happens is these girls hang on to dead end crushes or relationships because of a few misleading phrases ("I'm not ready for a relationship right now", "I'm just busy", etc.), and they "waste the pretty", meaning, they waste time on guys who don't like them, when they could be with somebody who adores them. I then tell the girls that "he's just not that into you" and advise that they move on.

I deliver this to these females and one cute little blonde raises her hand. She looks at me and with tears in her eyes says, "You've seriously just ruined my life." She writes down the name of the book I recommended to the class, then looks at me again, "I really just want to go to the bathroom and cry my eyes out."

I'm glad I could help.

Geez, I'm a jerk. I probably shouldn't have taken her Ipod from her after that.

*I really don't believe that guys are dirty liars...this just usually gets a laugh in class.

Friday, December 15, 2006

So, I need some help from you people. I have a contact for a webzine, and we're in talks for me to do some contributions. I've given her some ideas that she likes, but I'm always trying to think of a new angle on SOMETHING, and maybe you all know of something that I've either written about that you've enjoyed, or maybe I've given you my unique perspective on a topic (probably;)), or maybe you can think of a way I could lend the "Sarah" voice to happenings here in Columbus.

The 'zine is going to be mostly read by people in Chicago, and it's an attempt to comment on life and people without being overly "snarky". Most articles should be fresh and funny, but not critical, if possible. Any ideas would be helpful and much appreciated!! Thanks!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Actual conversation with my sister today:

Me: I need to know what you guys want for Christmas. I'm going shopping after work today.

Heather: Well, Todd needs gift cards. You know what I like. Kate wants boots. I don't know what Ben wants. I haven't asked him. (laughs)

Me: (laughs, too, because Ben is--as yet--unborn) Well, does he want clothes?

Heather: He doesn't really need clothes. The only thing we don't have that he actually needs is a bouncy seat.

Me: Oh, like one of those baby catapults? (refers to great flinging capacities of said seat)

Yeah! Exactly!

Me: Do you want one of those fancy shmancy vibrating ones? (grins)

Heather: Well, those get more expensive. I just need something that'll hold him.

Me: Isn't that what grocery bags are for?

Heather: (Horrified laughter) You are never babysitting my kids! Ever!

Me: (laughing hysterically now) But grocery bags have handles!! They're great! Very convenient.

(Weightily, and with great conviction) You're sick.

Actual conversation with Lisa, describing above incident:

Lisa: (Horrifed laughter) You are sick!

Me: "Paper or plastic?"

Lisa: (Practically) Well, they do have handles.

Me: I know!

Lisa: Easy to give them a bath in.

Me: Yeah! Just add water and shake!

Lisa: (Seriously) We're going to hell.

Me: (Plunging gamely ahead) And, you can store the baby and the bag under the sink!

Lisa: (To no one in particular) And she keeps going. This is awful.