Monday, November 5, 2012

And now back to your scheduled programming.

We are back from our jaunt in Europe!  It was wonderful and dreamy and I still can't believe it happened, and pictures are coming soon.  I've been reuniting with some besties from my adolescent days this past weekend as well so between a 24 hour stomach flu and jet lag and constant activity and traveling, let's just say my sleeping patterns for the last three weeks have been similar to when I was a college freshman.  Meaning I haven't been sleeping much at all.  But I can't think of a time I've been happier to be exhausted!

Also, it's November, which means it's time to get our NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) on!  Here's our progress so far.

I have some catch up to do on the novel that hasn't really taken a lot of shape yet, but I think I can pull it off again this year with some good finger stretching and the right amount of focus. So far it's going pretty well and, just like the last two years, it's a strangely addicting and terrifying thing to do.

To novel writing! And diet coke. Because the two must go hand in hand sometimes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's been a while.

Here's what has happened lately.

Harry graduated and took the California bar.

Both sets of parents came out for the ceremony

Hail the conquering graduate (name that movie)!

It was about 95 degrees that day and I felt so bad for him in his suit and velvet robes. 

So happy and so so so sweaty!
Then, we moved away from Palo Alto. It was very hard/depressing/difficult.

I keep the melancholy feelings at bay by trying not to think about it. To this day.

We drove away from our little apartment after my buff, awesome, not-so-little brother and some of our amazing (and I mean uh-MAZ-ing) friends helped us pack, move, play tetris with our boxes so that they all fit in the three cars, and, despite our protests, SCRUBBED OUR APARTMENT CLEAN. If service like that doesn't guarantee exaltation I don't know what does.

Final Palo Alto run with Cameron

Friends worthy of gold medals for helping us out (husbands not pictured)!
Harry, Cameron and I drove to Irvine, caravan-style. I kept reciting mantras aloud as I drove to keep from melting down- things like, "It's okay!" / "This is just another adventure!" / "Don't be sad it's over, be glad it happened!" We had fun hanging with my folks for about 15 hours, and the next day we moved our myriad boxes of stuff to Vegas.

I am loving being here. We are working part time, cooking a lot, and best of all, chilling with people we really, really, really, really like chilling with.

Then shortly after our move, my SIL Sarah got married. It was glorious. Travis is the bee's knees and we couldn't be happier that he's in our family. I cried during the ceremony, we ate tacos at the reception, we danced all night, I drank an obscene amount of fresh watermelon juice.

Then four days later, my brother got married. It was glorious. Katelyn is the cat's pajamas and we couldn't be happier that she's in our family. I cried during the ceremony, we ate tacos at the reception, we danced all night, I ate lots of See's chocolates.

Below is a post that I wrote back in June about my 26th birthday, but I never posted it. It makes me laugh to read it now, over three months later, but here it is anyway.

I enjoyed turning 26 so much this year that I wish I could do it over again.

My actual birthday landed in the middle of Harry's finals week, and was the day before a gigantic quarterly meeting at work, so Harry assured me the celebrating would take place over the weekend, and offered almost no additional details. He’s nice and cryptic like that.

My birthday fell on a Thursday this year, and that day Harry hopped over to work in the early afternoon, and we split a hot chocolate and a Hot Lips raspberry soda at Coupa Café near my office. We ate In-N-Out for dinner, because birthday girls do not cook.

Friday was insane, but in a good way. For the first time, I was going to have the bulk of the responsibility for the quarterly meeting since the other more experienced assistant who usually handles everything was taking the day off. I got to work at 7:30 am, and thankfully the meeting went off without any (major) hitches. I was on my feet nearly all day, and as a result, the day whizzed by in a flash. I was so grateful that it went well, and at 4:00 pm, I headed home, thoroughly thrashed and exhausted.

I got home, and tried to decompress from work. Sometimes it’s difficult on a Friday afternoon to leave the stress at the office. I often come home feeling really anxious and jittery on Fridays, and it’s a very hard feeling to shake.

Harry had told me he wanted to take me out to dinner in San Francisco. As I sat very still on the couch, trying to capture a zen “weekend” feeling, Harry said, “Is all this driving going to be too much for you right now?” I said, “No, I don’t think so.” He then said, “Well, maybe we should just stay in San Francisco tonight then.”

Then there was a pause.

Then there was a, “What?!” from me.

Minutes later, we packed our bags and hit the road for San Francisco.

Harry had made hotel reservations at this really neat hotel literally right on the border of Chinatown. The two girls at the front desk handed me two cupcakes and a small box of chocolates and wished me a happy birthday. We threw our bags in our room and headed out for birthday destination #1: Caffé BaoNecci. Since we were staying so close to everything we wanted to do, we didn’t use the car once from the time we got to the city until we left Sunday morning. The restaurant was a short walk away, through the heart of China town.

Caffé BaoNecci is run by an Italian family, and all the waiters have the same hipster haircut, and the light, thin crust pizza with minimal fuss and the most fresh tomato sauce I've ever tasted plus this dreamy imported Italian ginger ale was exactly what I wanted.

Walking back through Chinatown

For dessert, we came back to the hotel and munched some chocolates and watched “Tron” on TV. Man, is cable awesome or what?!

The next morning, we scrambled to make it out the door so we could eat at Dottie’s True Blue Café. We ate there a few years ago. It’s worth the 1.5 hour long line every time.

Finally made it to the front of the line!

My Dottie's Date

Bakery menu

Harry got the cornmeal blueberry pancakes, and I got pumpkin chocolate chip pecan French toast, because with a name like that, how can you not?

The places we walked to for the rest of the day included:

1) Blick’s Art Supply. Last Christmas my secret santa at work had given me a gift card for it, so we meandered around and bought some graphite and charcoal pencils and sketch pads.

2) We saw two opera singers in a random alleyway and stopped to listen.

3) The mall on Market street, where we wandered around and almost got roped into buying sea salt body scrub by an enthusiastic salesman, who, everytime his pitches were rebuffed by Harry, would said, "Stop it, business man!" with a wry smile and in an almost coquettish way.

4) Britex fabric store. I wanted to buy some material for a skirt at Britex. The problem is, after spending time in the LA Fabric District, everything else is always so overpriced that I couldn’t bring myself to spend any money there. Ah well.

5) The Ferry Building and farmer’s market. We split a meyer lemon donut, bought some chocolate and drinks, and walked around by the ocean.

Ferry Building

Ocean view

6) A crème brulee cart (yes, this is real).

7) 7-Eleven for some water because we were dying.

8) For dinner, we went to The House. It was a really great Asian fusion restaurant. Normally when the words “Asian” and “fusion” are used together to describe a restaurant, I’m not a big fan, but this place will forever be the exception.

9) And of course, we had to hit up Double Rainbow ice cream on the way home.

I think I’ve hit my processed sugar limit for the next year.

Now Harry is studying for the Bar. What! Is! Happening!

The next 6 months are going to be totally topsy turvy, in the best way. Big changes make me nervous, and moving away from our friends here will be so difficult that I’m not even letting myself think about it. Instead, I think about how I’m so pumped to live closer to family and to see Harry’s years of hard work start to pay off. He’s the most wonderful, kind, patient man and the best person to have a birthday weekend with.

Here's to turning 26 again next year!

That's all for now.  Coming soon: Sarison hits the Mediterranean!  We just have to go there first.

Good night.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Short Post

Sarah: "You have a tickly way about you."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Three years

Today, we've been married for three years.

Last weekend Harry and I went out to sushi. While we waited for our food to arrive, we started reflecting on the random memories of our wedding day. I'm sad to say a lot of it is a blur, but I do have some memory nuggets stashed in my brain. Thank goodness for the wedding pictures or I would have forgotten a few things entirely.

A few random memory nuggets:
  • The night before, Elizabeth gave me a lightning quick manicure and pedicure while I was still in my dress from the wedding dinner as we sat on the floor in the family room.
  • I went for a 3 mile bike ride with my Dad first thing the morning of the wedding, and vaguely remember my Mom saying, "Are you sure you want to do that right now?! What if you fall and break your arm??!" Thankfully, no injuries were sustained, and I'm convinced that little bike ride gave me a shot of energy since I slept for (literally) 3 hours the night before from all the excitement.
  • My Mom literally whipped up my hair-do that morning.  I had an idea of what I wanted and was trying to do it on myself, but it wasn't looking so great, so she pulled up a chair and went to work on my hair and that is what came out.  I don't know how she read my mind.
  • Before I left the house to go to the temple with my parents, my sisters dog piled me and gave me huge hugs.
  • During the wedding ceremony, I remember a few things really clearly: one was looking behind Harry and seeing family and friends beaming these enormous smiles. I kept thinking maybe they'd stop smiling so big after a minute, but they were just smiling so wide at me the whole time. Then I'd look at Harry and he just looked really happy and as cool as a cucumber.
  • I remember after we took pictures on the temple grounds and said we'd meet our photographer on Balboa Island for some more pictures, we got into Harry's car, and before he started the car, we just looked at each other for a second and were like, "So, we're married now!" It was a mixture of shock and glee.
  • Walking around Balboa Island with Harry taking pictures and feeling so so lucky that I married him. The weather was warm but breezy and it was nice to just hang out with him, just the two of us, since we had only seen each other once every two weeks the summer we were engaged.
  • Dancing with Harry at the reception, and then cutting a rug with Becca and the rest of the cousins, and then Dan getting on the microphone and saying, "We're gonna slow it down now.  This next song is for all you lovebirds out there."  I wish I could remember the song that came next.
  • My Dad playing the bagpipes.  I'm told that after Harry and I left, he broke out his steel guitar too and he and cousin James entertained everyone with some blues songs.
  • Tiffany going out to my car to get my clothes so I could change out of my wedding dress at the end of the night, and leaving a huge gift basket of food and drinks and some other goodies for us from all our friends. That basket saved my life since I didn't get a chance to eat more than a few bites that night.
I feel terrible that Harry is on day 2 of the 3-day Bar exam right now.  From what I can tell, this whole Bar experience can be likened to running a marathon while giving a piggy back ride to a mid-size sedan and reciting the periodic table of elements.  Oh, and the marathon takes place somewhere along the equator.   And it's monsoon season.

He's been a real trouper, and there's just one more day of all of this until he can have his life back.

So tonight it's filet mignon and smashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and a strawberry-celery smoothie and a chocolate croissant for dessert.  And I will swallow all my misgivings about shows having to do with extra-terrestrials and say, "Hey, I'd love it if we could watch some X-Files reruns tonight."

A little ditty, for all you lovebirds out there.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tomorrow my last day of work.

I cannot count how many times I have thought about this day. I plan to celebrate with a prance around my apartment bellowing "Mama Pajama" by Paul Simon and a few hitchkicks and the best night's sleep I have had in months.

I don't think that working in an office is the hardest thing a person can do. But for nine months, I have worked harder than I ever thought I could work at something. And I've felt like I'm constantly falling short. And this feeling turns into the worst self-fulfilling prophecy, and I become so filled with self-doubt that I can barely function. I've spent a lot of time on my knees in bathroom stalls asking for help.

At the same time, I have worked with wonderful people, and I have been stretched and pulled more in this job than in any other. I've gotten comfortable being uncomfortable with the amount of work on my plate.

And now that the month of March is far behind us, I think my wee heart has healed enough to tell a story that still makes me cringe, ending with a redemptive lesson of hope and the tying up of loose ends that we Americans love so much in our stories.

A few days after Harry’s birthday back in March, I got very sick. I came home Friday evening from work with a high fever and a cough that was beginning to rattle my insides. We had to cancel our trapeze adventure I had planned for his birthday, and --to add insult to serious, phlegmy injury-- without a refund, people.

I remained bed-ridden for four days. Harry made soup, bought saltines, and wrote down my symptoms and read the back of every box of cold medicine at CVS before picking the most perfect one and buying it for me (true story).

Thankfully I was able to get on some antibiotics, and by the following Wednesday I came into work, wheezing, woozy, and armed with over the counter cold medicine. I walked into the office that morning to discover that, while I was gone, an oversight had resulted in a problematic scheduling mix up. And long story short, it was my fault.

It was one of those mistakes where, when you realize what has happened, your brain gets mushy and you keep thinking that this has to be a dream, and that soon you’ll open your eyes in your dark bedroom, and see your cell phone plugged in on the nightstand and realize your snoozing husband has stolen the sheet and left you the quilt, and that it was all a dream. But it wasn’t.

The mushy brain feeling was soon replaced by an adrenaline rush of horror that remained with me for the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made errors on the job before (everyone does, as I’ve been reminding myself ever since that day). This one was one of a kind. I spent the day going from person to person, apologizing, fixing, mending the error, making sure everyone knew why and how it happened and how it won’t happen again. I felt about two centimeters tall by the end of it all.

Truth be told, now that I have some perspective, the mistake wasn’t life-threatening, or job-threatening, and thankfully, all affected parties were extremely gracious about it, but the feeling of disappointment and shame in the air around me that day was so palpable, you could whittle a garden gnome out of it with a pocketknife.

5:00 pm eventually came. Miraculously, I was feeling a little better because I had survived. I actually remember thinking to myself that I’d been strong all day long, and that maybe I wouldn’t dissolve into tears when I finally got home.

I got in my car and drove out of the parking garage. As soon as I was at ground level, I hit the power button on my car stereo. I don't listen to the radio here too often. It’s usually inundated with Katy Perry. Meaning, three stations at any given time are usually playing a Katy Perry song, and that gets old really quick. I was expecting my CD player to play whatever was in there. But the radio was on.

And suddenly, Imagine Dragons was exploding out of my speakers. I did a huge double take when I saw that the indiglo screen on my dash read “105.3 FM” for radio instead of “Track 15” for CD. My brother-in-law Dan was singing “It’s Time” on one of the Bay Area’s most popular rock stations.

I began doing eight things at once. I dialed Harry on my phone, cranked up the song, started bellowing, “DAN’S ON THE RADIO! LIVE 105! TURN IT ON!”, and trying to remember to steer and observe traffic laws. Harry was like, “WHAT?!” and “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” and “I’M TURNING IT ON NOW!”

To quote my SIL Annie, it was a very "That Thing You Do" moment.  (P.S. I love Liv Tyler's outfit in this scene.)

 I tried to cover my face so the other drivers wouldn’t wonder who the crazy girl was who was sobbing, coughing, fiddling with her phone, and steering at the same time. But there was only so much I could do. That moment, it was like the heavens opened and a giant clap of thunder erupted, and a FedEx shot down from above into my lap that said, “You’re going to be okay.  Your life is bigger than this job.  And it will get better.”

On literally the worst day of my professional life, I knew that someone was aware of me. It could sound dumb to think that hearing a song on the radio translates to “God knows I had a rough day and this is His way of giving me a reminder that He gets me,” but it did, and for me, it still does.

In the days since, things have slowly ("slowly" being the operative word) gotten better.  But they have gotten better, and I've gotten better at this job. Hopefully one day I'll look back on this and chuckle and wave my hand and say, "Ah, that one time!" and then sip some lemonade and rock in my rocking chair on my veranda as the sun sets.  And then I'll take my dentures out and go to bed.  

Tomorrow, it ends.  And "Mama Pajama" will never have sounded so good.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We're not dead.

Things have been crazy busy.  I'm having a hard time believing that it's already the end of May, that graduation is around the corner, and that it's been two months since I last sent a shout out into the world of blogger.

And so, now, as Donny Osmond sang, "Let's get down to business to defeat the Huns."

Here’s a list of things we have done lately:
SF Giants games 

Cooking class date nights at Sur La Table with Harry- “Barcelona Nights.”
Imagine Dragons concert. They sold out the Independent in San Francisco, which is no easy feat. We met up with Dan, Aja, et al in the city and found a BBQ place that made us want to cry, it was so good. Then we sat back and enjoyed the best live music ever written.

Things I am currently into:
Nike running chip

Straws, which I steal shamelessly from In ‘N Out and the dining pavilion in the GSB at Stanford.

Wheat bread, which I make in 3 loaf batches now that I have 3 loaf pans (thank you Bed Bath and Beyond for timing your HUGE sale perfectly with my baking desires).

Diet Vernor’s Ginger Ale + Lime juice

Dark Guittard chocolate chips- eaten straight out of the bag. These never seem to make it into cookies.

Mint nail polish
Watermelon-- I ate a 15 pounder almost completely by myself 
over the course of this week and I am dying for more!
Working on this chevron quilt from old college t-shirts
Such a good book.

Stuff Harry is into:

He even got me hooked.
Open Mic Night

The Law School Musical
 Started writing code- and is now doubting his love for Law classes

Upside down push ups
Here There and Everywhere

These bad boys.

We also had the distinct pleasure and honor of getting a long visit from Merzy, Jeff, and Jude this past weekend!  I took some PTO from work (which was heavenly, and resulted in almost 100 unread emails that I get to catch up on tomorrow!) and had myself a wonderful time.  We ate at Pluto's, watched a movie on the projector, ate Sprinkles cupcakes until we were blue in the face, and of course ooohed and ahhhed at all of Jude's tricks.

Sorry Jeff and Merz, I know you were here too but it's undocumented seeing as
Juju stole the show with his adorable toddler ways.

That basically brings us up to date.  I'm tired now, so [insert snappy closing line here].

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Birthday Remix and Other Scattered Recountings

Harry's birthday recap: I took him to Flea Street Cafe in Menlo Park where we had a delicious dinner. It's the most unassuming restaurant from the outside, but man! My second course had locally grown golden and dark red beets sliced paper thin with layers of goat cheese in between them in four little towers. It was better than any dessert I've ever had. I was-- (speechless).

Then we came home and Harry opened gifts. One of these gifts was a flier I created and emailed him, letting him know that we are going to take a flying trapeze class. Yes, this is real. Video footage of his reaction is below (please disregard the messy desk in the background-- it was finals week, and not a good week for "clean up your stuff on the desk!" demands):


 The sad part is that, because I've been saddled with a fever and cough to rival that of most chain smokers, we'll have to reschedule the Trapeze lesson. #epicbirthdayfail. Good thing I married a good sport.

On an unrelated note, I've gotten into a funny habit lately. I've actually been thinking about what life will be like when we no longer live in this apartment. Will we have a bathroom counter? A toilet with a tank? A dishwasher? A washer and drier? Enough counter space to accommodate a microwave (so that it doesn't have to sit on our dinner table)? Air conditioning? A (brace yourself) sofa that is three cushions long instead of two?

I think these things, and then my knee jerk reaction is: "Psh, no." I have this strange sense of acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that I just know that I will always live in 500 square feet, in this building, on the seventh floor, devoid of most modern day appliances. And, as Celine Dion warbled in the late 90's, "that's the way it is." Just like how Christian Bale will always be a Newsie to me, no matter how many Batman movies he makes. To this day, I look at him, and all I see is:

In other news, my cousin Becca and her main loving man Art have really done it. They have moved to Spain for the next year (ish) so Art can attend graduate school. This will make video chatting considerably more difficult since she is now perpetually eight hours ahead of me. The laws of Cousin-dom demand that I will probably have to go visit her at some point while they live there. And the laws of Cousin-dom are unflinchingly rigid.

What's funny about this is that Becca has lived in Spain before. In college, I went to London one winter, and the next winter, she went to Spain. And while she was in Spain, I went on my very first dates with Harry (about six months before we ever became an item). I emailed her about these dates with creepy and obsessive levels of detail. In fact, here is a choice tidbit. Written by me, to Becca, on February 20th, 2007 (necessary context: Harry had taken me to a little concert put on by some friends, and then we watched a movie back at his apartment with a few roommates. I also hadn't eaten dinner. Because I wasn't sure if we were going to be eating dinner together.):

 around 11 pm i started feeling hungry, and when i feel hungry my stomach is amazingly noisy and there's nothing i can do to stop it. so i prayed hard- we're talking feverish continuous prayers- that it would either be quiet or i'd find a way to eat something so that it would stay quiet. thank goodness his cousin joe offered me a reese's peanut butter cup and i ate it and seriously becca, the rest of the time i felt like my stomach was about to start growling but it NEVER DID!! i was so suprised and so so so grateful. the Church is true. 

 And while I'm making nonsensical segues, look at what is next on my list of things to sew!
All you need are two yards of knit fabric and some elastic thread (unless you own a serger, in which case, forget the elastic thread, and in which case, that is awesome). I plan to make one in every color and wear nothing else this summer.

And with that, I leave you. If you were sitting here next to me, you'd hear my rumbling and hacking cough and see my vacant, glazed eyes and say what my sister E said to me last night when I saw her via FaceTime: "Sarah, you look soooo sick." It's so true, I couldn't even summon the emotional energy to be miffed.

Off to slide some more Tylenol down the old gullet,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Twenty Seven

Today will consist of early morning fresh donuts, a shnazzy birthday dinner at [restaurant name will be hidden to preserve the suspense of any birthday boys who I'm married to who may be reading this before 6:45 pm tonight], and a few gifts, but it doesn't begin to show the love I have for him.

He humored me by smiling for the camera even though he was in the middle of a good book.
Happy birthday to the best thing that ever happened to me.