Day 268 : It puts the lotion on it’s skin…or else the bunnies go blind.

Hey there adoring fans (Aliza Sollins)!

ballet 2

It all started around my 4th year of taking dance class (the first 3 years were spent focussing on not peeing my leotard).  I was 7 years old and my dreams were finally coming true.  I had officially been transferred from the blue studio to the pink studio.  The blue studio was for the less talented kids that were only there because their parents forced them to take ballet when all they really wanted to do was take karate, or soccer, or go home and shave their barbie heads.  The pink room was for serious dancers.  To be honest, I really only got moved up because I was good at headstands (our reward for being good in ballet class and not peeing our leotards was that we got to do 10 minutes of acrobatics at the end of class and I was a headstand prodigy) and got recruited to be the star of the pink room’s prestigious  “Acro team.”  Once on the acro team, I kissed the blue room of barbie head shavers goodbye and was on my way to becoming a famous dancer.  Except, now I was a little fish in a big pond.  I was the smallest and least coordinated girl in my new dance classes, where everyone could do headstands, and pirouettes, and time steps. I had 2 options, I could either go back to the blue room and drool myself silly, or I could work hard and become the best pink room-er there ever was.  And as you can see by my urine free leotards, and (unpaid) Equity card, I picked the latter.  So here I am a few decades later and still at it.  Still trying desperately to be better.  And the awesome thing is, I am better.  I’ve been working really hard to get things going in the right direction and it’s paying off. The not so awesome thing is that I still find myself getting angry…at myself!

What happens once you achieve the better part of doing better?

I’ve done so much work on becoming More Successful Sarah but am still left disappointed.  Why?  Well, I’m no doctor (unless you can get a PhD in head-standery) but I figured it out.  My brain has just been programmed to see myself as always falling short. It makes perfect sense really.  Being in the entertainment industry means facing rejection on a daily basis. Plus, every magazine I read gives me 27 tips for losing weight, or 97 moves for flatter abs, or eleventy billion sex positions to better pleasure my mate implying that my  weight, ab flatness, and my current 2.5 sex positions aren’t good enough as is .  It’s no wonder I can’t accept the possibility that I’ve already done a good job at anything when the world has been telling me there’s always a better way.

Which brings us to yesterday…

    I went on a mission to buy some lotion.  I really wanted a few bottles of Victoria’s Secret Strawberries and Champagne because it smells like a mixture of strawberry ice cream and losing my virginity. On the downside, I knew that Victoria’s Secret used terrible chemicals that were bad for us and probably tested their products on baby bunny corneas.  On the up side, they always have sales where you can get 117 bottles of lotion for $11 that also includes a free VS bowling ball bag…winner!  So there I was, on my way to get my Straws and Champs on when I walked right by the store Lush.  I peaked in just to see (pocket some free samples) what they had to offer.  I was greeted by an adorable employee named Jaime who told me all about their products. Did you know that Lush only uses natural and organic ingredients?  Did you know that the sh*t they don’t use like banana peels  get put into a compost, then the compost gets sent to some scientists who turn those banana peels into energy, and then that energy is donated to people in need??  Now, I have no idea how energy is made, or donated, or given away, but I figure if there’s a little homeless boy in Kenya running around with a Toms shoebox full of energy, then Lush has got a pretty great company going on.  So, I spent $22 on the lotion, chatted with the adorable employees about the power of positive thinking, daily mantras, and organic hair care and even got invited to a bird and squirrel rescue charity event.

Jaime, my adorable sales clerk.

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Ruth, on a mission to save bunny eyeballs.

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A fun night right?


The Problem

Within 5 minutes of walking out the door I had a panic attack.  22 dollars on lotion!  Who am I?  Mark Ruffalo? Plus, I spent so much time chatting about bird and squirrel rescues that I didn’t have time to pick up my groceries and ended up buying a $12 grilled salmon dinner and completely forgot to purchase toilet paper!  Then it clicked.  My brain was on auto-pilot and punishing me for the choices I made because it assumed that I should have made better choices.

What the f*ck!  I had made great choices! I finally got some lotion, which I needed, supported a company that is making the world a better place, nourished my body with a healthy meal, got to chat with some pretty cool ladies about life, and still had time to pick up a roll of toilet paper on the way home.  What a great and productive evening!

The Solution

   Once I realized what my brain was doing, I took a minute and acknowledged that buying this lotion, eating a salmon dinner, and eventually remembering toilet paper equals a  pretty great day and not a downward spiral towards my inevitable life as a hobo.  Then I went home, slathered my self in my new goo and took some time to write down all of the things I was proud of accomplishing in those 24 hours.  I had 14 things!  Including talking to my Dad on the phone for 20 minutes, writing a kick ass newsletter for my improv company, and making this awesome flyer for our Oktoberfest party.


   I titled the list Night Time Affirmations: The Reasons I love Myself Today…

(insert barf here)

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PS: I keep this notebook on my nightstand to write down weird ideas that I have in the middle of the night.  If you look closely you’ll see that one of my ideas was: how I feel about youths wearing their pants below their asses must be the same way my grandparents generation fealt about homosexuality.  Not my best work, but sometimes you gotta get the bad ideas out to make room for the good ones.  Now back to the point…Acknowledging the positive things I did for myself yesterday was surprisingly empowering and something I realized I should probably take the time to do everyday.  By adding positive daily actions to that little notebook before bed each night, I hope to re-program my nogin into being proud of my accomplishments, and to stop reacting negatively to everything, because although there is always room to do better, sometimes you just need to sit back and acknowledge that you’ve already done your best.  

Hello, my name is Sarah and I used to be a self hater, but now I am a self lover.

And I’m also still really good at headstands…


Day 254: Stuck In Transit-ion

Hey there adoring fans (Penelope Gonzalez)!

I’m a dancer.  I’ve been using this word “dancer” to describe my career ever since my first paid gig at the age of 16, Christmas Around the World.  We each  received a grand total of $60 for 2 months of rehearsal and 2 weeks of shows performed before tens of twenties of people, choreographed by my jazz teacher and performed on a community college stage.  Although when you break it down we only earned .0000002 cents per hour, and I may or may not have danced a holiday jig around a windmill in wooden shoes, I didn’t care.  I was a professional “dancer” and that was my word.

See!  Here I am as a Professional Dancer…


So here I am now figuring out what the next word is.   A new word.  Not that I’ve completely given up dancing, but I want something new.  An exciting career.  Something I can profess as my job title during a conversation with a stranger after relaying my name and location of birth.   I usually tell people that I’m “in transition” but then that always takes a lot of explaining which of course I’m totally willing to do as I am an over-sharer, but it takes a long time and there are only so many subway stops on the train before either myself or the stranger that just asked me what I do for a living has to get off and go to work, or to TJ Maxx, or to the crack den already.  Aside from long winded explanations of what “in transition” could mean to a fellow subway transient, I’ve started to wonder about other side affects of the whole “in transition” thing.   Like, what if I’m using it as a crutch?  You know?  I’ve been talking to people a lot about what I’m going through, and everyone is totally understanding and rather interested in my journey.  It’s also kind of the basis of my blog, and I get tons of feedback from people I’ve never met praising me for sharing.  What if all of this great feedback is lulling me into just staying “in transition” forever because the reality of just having a job is less interesting?  Like those people that lost a million pounds on The Biggest Loser.  They worked so hard throwing Mack trucks and climbing ancient Aztec-ian castles (I haven’t watched the show in a long time, so this is what I can only assume they’ve been doing to stand up to other weight loss competition shows over the years) all the while receiving oodles of praise for losing so much weight at an un-Godly pace.  But what happens next?  When they are now just ordinary sized people?   How do I not become Sarah: The Ordianary Sized Loser?


I brought this idea up to my friend Rebecca, and she told me that the possibility of my staying “in transition” forever would never happen because she and the rest of the people that care about me would kick my ass if I didn’t get a move on after a while, but agreed that Sarah: The Ordinary Sized Loser was a sitcom that I most definitely had to write.  I figured before Rebecca and all those other caring people come for their ass kicking, I should start taking some more steps to get “out of transition” and into a career and life that I want.  In a book that I’m reading (You’re a Badass: how to stop doubting your greatness and start living a awesome life) the author suggests you to take a look back at your life and remember an experience in time where you were totally in your element.   You should especially look at times when your were younger and couldn’t care less about having to pay bills, who will win the electoral race for mayor,  or which Donny Dickwater is giving everyone in Manhattan HPV.  As I was taking a stroll through memory lane, I found a great example of being completely in my element…

The Mr. Howard High School Pageant:


When I was a senior in high school, I was asked to run The Mr. Howard High School Pageant.   Mr. HHS was a reverse beauty pageant of sorts with the school’s Junior and Senior boys competing for the ultimate title of Mr. Howard High School.  Aside from bragging rights, the winner won free trip to the Prom including tickets, tuxedo, limo, and dinner (basically everything a teenage boy would take to prom minus a drunken girl from the rival high school’s virginity).  I said yes, and spent a month pouring everything I had into the production.  I  choreographed an opening number to Men in Tights, got the boys to actually dance and sing all of it including a crowd pleasing kick line finale.   I spent 12 hours splicing music for the swimsuit competition (and by splicing I mean using my boom box with side by side cassette tapes to put all 15 contestant’s 30 second selections onto one cohesive cassette…which would take a total of 11 seconds to do now…).  I got gussied up and sweet talked every limo, tuxedo, and carnation salesman in town into donating their goods.  I grabbed the funniest girl in my class, to write a script and co-host the entire event which brought in so many audience members that the ticket sales went through the roof.  I didn’t sleep for 2 weeks working all night long on this show, and I loved it!  I’m getting excited thinking about it right now, 12 years later.  The minute those boys walked onstage wearing green tights that I convinced the vice principal to include in the budget, and t-shirts that I had burned my fingers ironing on Mr. HHS 2001 logos brought me such pride and mother sucking joy that I wished I wasn’t graduating so I could do the show a zillion more times.

So what does this say about me?  I like putting on shows.   I’m good at taking a bunch of ideas and working them into one.   I like to entertain people.  I’m a good director.  I have an eye for the big picture.  I’m not afraid of hard work.  I’m a pro at smooth talking limo salesmen.   Now what to do?

To be continued…

Day 249: Why you gotta be so mean?

Hey there adoring fans (Mary Trotter)!

Readers, I am frustrated with the world today.

Why are people so mean?

And don’t give me the old “it’s because they’re insecure” excuse.

That’s bullspit.

I’m insecure about a lot of things.  I started a dang-on blog where I list my insecurities on a daily basis for the world (all twelve of you) to see.  And I’m not mean.  Never have been.  Ok, that’s a lie.  I was once mean to Ashley Naimaster in the 7th grade…probably because she didn’t realize that she was  prettier and smarter than me…and she had a 10-speed which was really cool….and then I got wind that  other people figured out that she was prettier and smarter than me and had a 10 speed…so naturally I threw all of her personal items out of our shared locker onto the hallway floor while on a “bathroom break” from shop class for the entire 7th grade student body to see.  Which I will agree was all about my own insecurities, but I was 12.  12 is about the oldest age I will allow “meaness out of insecurtiy.”  Since that incident, I’ve always been very nice.   And if I ever catch myself being in any way mean, it usually lasts no more than 30 seconds, and then I feel all bad and apologize to the person that I cut off with my shopping cart at PetCo…where the pets go.  Plus, Ashley Naimaster and I made up by time we got to 8th grade and are friends on Facebook now so I couldn’t have been that mean anyway.


Which is why my mind is boggled over how mean the people that I’ve been surrounded by are lately.   I finally quit my old job because my boss was a tyrannical, misogynistic, meanie pants who treated the employees of his wine bar like Jews of Nazi Germany, or North Koreans of North Korea, or employees of Disney Cruise lines (I once heard that a guy got fired for having a bottle of vodka in his cabin…so it’s basically like living in Syria when you work for the Mouse) and vowed to never let anybody treat me horribly again.  Life is too short to surround yourself with haters.  But now it’s my new co-workers that are down right meanies.   I just don’t get it. My first day of work consisted of me running around like a maniac while the rest of my co-workers looked at me with that facial expression of disdain where their eyebrows are always lifted….


And the only conversations had went something like this:

Raised-Brow-Co-Worker: Sarah!  (directly in front of 3 other co-workers and a manager) You really need to pay attention.  You have to stab your tickets at the bar or else the bartender will make the drink again.

Me:  (who has stabbed every ticket once the drink is made thus far…because I’ve worked in restaurants for the past 12 years…and I don’t have to tell you that it’s not rocket science) Sure, no problem.  Although, I do need that drink made.  That’s why the ticket hasn’t been stabbed.

R-B-C-W: (equally mad that I didn’t make a mistake, as she was when she thought I did make a mistake) Ugh!  So you need this drink then?!

Me: Yes, please, that would be great.  Thank you!

Why you gotta be so mean?!  All of us are consistently coated in a film of sweat and blue cheese, being mean isn’t going to help anyone here.

Then, my mom called after getting off the phone with my brother, who was worried about his clothing choices because the other students in his improv class were making fun of his polo shirts in their scenes.  Why you gotta be so mean?!  My brother can barely carry on a conversation without getting self conscious!  And he’s working really hard!  He has social issues for Pete’s sake!  That’s why I got him into improv!  Now you’re going to make fun of his polo shirts?!  What’s wrong with a polo shirt?!


It took everything in my being to not get the list of students in his improv class, hop on a Megabus, light bags of Ruby’s (and maybe some of my own) poop on fire and then hurl those flaming terds directly onto the front porches of those meanies.   But I didn’t, because that would be mean, and like I previously stated at the beginning of this long winded rant on social structures in the American restaurant industry, recreational improv classes, and 7th grade girl fights, I’m not mean.

Then, I read this great article that breaks down what’s going on in Syria for people like me who have no idea what’s actually going on and am too afraid to ask because when you ask questions about what seems to be common knowledge to the rest of the world you get this reaction…


And as far as I can tell, the sh*t that’s going on over there has everything to do with people being mean.  So where do I go from here?  I can’t change what’s happening in Syria.  I can’t change the way that people treat my brother.  Can I change the way that people treat me?  I’ve been working on this whole kill ’em with kindness angle, which has been my go to tactic for dealing with meanies for a long time now, but it seems to not be recognized by my new co-workers.   With them, my kindness is lost and all I get in return is more meanness or otherwise being flat out ignored.  I suppose the answer is that I should just continue to be nice and not surround myself with the meanies of the world.  But I still need to make money.  Perhaps I will use my imagination to turn their “Hey Sarah!  Are you ever going to bus that table or do I have to do it for you, you fat cow?!” to “Hey Sarah!  You’re doing a great job!  I’m so glad you started working here.  Maybe later we can go to ikea and pick out new spatulas?”  Whatever I do, I vow to not be mean, and right here and now stand on my soap box and say that I bet if we all took a vow to never be mean, the world would be a better place for all of the discouraged-waitress-polo-shirt-wearing-Ashley-Naimasters of the world!

PS: If you want the abridged, easy to follow article about what’s going on in Syria check this out:

Day 246: My Subconscious made me do it…

Hey there adoring fans (Katie Hoffman)!

It’s been two weeks since my last post: Day 227: R.I.P Tv and life has been great!  I’ve lost 10lbs!  The world is my oyster!  Yesterday, it rained one-hundred dollar bills!  Ok, ok.  You caught me.  I did not lose 10lbs, and One-hundred dollar bills did not fall from the sky (although a pigeon did try to kill me, but that’s a story for another day).  I never realized how much I really was addicted to watching Tv.  It’s like crystal meth for soccer moms, or bacon for my  best friend Mary.  Luckily, I have a sponsor that I can call when I’m really itching for a fix who loves Tv maybe even more than I do (which is probably not the best quality in a sponsor…AA would frown upon this…if AA read my blog…which they probably don’t…because I talk about booze so much that you could lick your computer screen right now and it would probably taste like cheap pinot noir…and because AA is an organization and not a real person with eyeballs and the ability to pass judgement on quarter life crisis blogs).  So,  I had a date with my sponsor Craig (one half of the gay duo featured in Day 203: My first Threesome!) last week and he surprised me with a new way to fill my Tv-less time…


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He picked me up a copy of his new favorite book.

You are a Badass:

How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.

by Jen Sincero

This book is great!  Let me rephrase that…. Pages 1 through 87 of this book are great and I’m totally going to read the whole thing!  I only feel mildly judged when reading this book on the train with it’s super huge, self-helpy title on the cover.  The author is right up my ally (she says fuck all of the time) and the first topic discussed in the book talks about the stuff that I wanted to dive into for my next blog post, which is…

Chapter 1: My subconscious made me do it.

As I’ve been trying to, Live as Successful Sarah (as depicted on Day 221: Life on the Upper Yeast Side), I’ve noticed some obstacles that I’ve been having a hard time overcoming. It seems that said obstacles are caused by beliefs that my subconscious has made up based on information I received as a young-in.   Jen, the author (I’m on a first name basis with her because I believe that if I ran into on a subway platform we would probably have quick banter about how fucking slow the trains are on the weekends, and people that have frivolous conversation on subway platforms are allowed to call one another by their first names) suggests an exercise to try to figure out what kinds of hang ups you have going on in your noggin…

“Take a minute to look at some of the less-than-impressive areas of your life and think about the underlying beliefs that could have created them.  Let’s take the old crowd-pleaser, lack of money, for example.  Are you making far less money than you know you’re capable of earning?  Have you reached a certain income level that, no matter what you do you can’t seem to go above?  Does generating an abundance of money consistently seem like something you’re not even physically capable of?  If so, write down the first five things that come to your mind when you think about money.  Is your list full of hope and bravado or fear and loathing?  What are your parents’ beliefs about money?  What are the beliefs of the other people you grew up around?  What was their relationship with money?  Do you see any connection between their money and yours?”

My list:

1.  I will never-ever have enough money.

2.  People are disappointed with others that have less money because people with less money are not smart enough to receive and take care of an abundance of money.

3.  If I ever receive an abundance of money I should spend and enjoy it right away before it’s gone.

4.  I do not do anything worthy enough to make more than enough money.

5.  Money ruins Christmas.

Damn! I have and always have had a horrible relationship with money.  Why?  My parents had a horrible relationship with money.  And at least some of their parents did too…and then their parents…and then I’m pretty sure my great-great grand parents were cousins so I’m totally fucked.  As a kid the only things I knew about money were that it didn’t grow on trees, there was never enough to go around, and  people that had money were mean, selfish and thought they were better than everyone else.  And oh yeah, it ruined Christmas.  I remember my Dad telling me not to ask for a lot of things for Christmas because we couldn’t afford it, and I could see the stress in my Mom’s heart when we went Christmas shopping, but inevitably we would get everything we wanted because our parents wanted us to be as fortunate as all of the other kids even if that meant that they never bought gifts for each other, or that we had to eat McDonalds everyday for the next 3 months.  God bless ’em.  And I should add that my parents are amazing.  Despite my few flaws, I’m a lovely well rounded human being with clear-ish skin and strong bones.  And tons of my subconscious fucked-upness comes from society and early experiences as it’s all intertwined in my general up-bringing that begins with my childhood and expands to my teenage years.

Other things I’m subconsciously fucked up about and reasoning that I have justified said fucked-upness with:


You have to clean because you are messy.  Being messy means you are a terrible person.  Therefore cleaning enforces how terrible of a person you are.  So don’t do it.


If you fall in love with someone they will dump you and it will hurt.  If you don’t fall in love with someone who falls in love with you, you will dump them and it will hurt.  Therefore relationships hurt.


Eating food makes you fat.  Fat people are terrible people who are frowned upon by society.  Therefore you should always feel bad after eating food.


Naps are rewards for working hard.  Therefore if you’ve done any work today (even if that work was flossing) you deserve a nap.  If you can’t fall asleep because you are not tired from flossing, just lay there for 3 hours.  That counts.


The same thing as napping.

Having nice things: 

You can’t afford nice things nor can you take care of them even if you could afford them.  Instead of buying one nice item worth one hundred dollars, buy 7 times worth twenty dollars and throw them on the floor after using them.


Your brother is good at math.  You didn’t even realize that spending $20 on 7 things is way more than spending $100 on one thing.  Don’t try math, you will fail.

Sense of Direction:

The same thing as Math.


Dogs are awesome and make everything better.  Always have at least one dog but no more than 5 dogs.

So there we go.  A bunch of stuff that I’ve now recognized and need to unlearn.   Doesn’t sound too hard does it?