I recently spent about three hours perusing an inspiring fashion/beauty/interior design/advice blog created by an acquaintance from high school, and it got me thinking.  How do girls like this exist, and how does one obtain such a status (maybe I should have read the advice entries more carefully)?  Who are these goddesses of high fashion?  Are they instructed by elders or do I lack some gene that codes for the proper application of shadows and shimmers?  Horrors!  Is something missing from my otherwise flawless DNA?!  The answer is obviously “no”, yet I can’t shake the feeling that at some point I missed a vital part of becoming a woman.

Though I’ve never been the coolest kid on the block (which isn’t saying much considering I grew up on a ranch and my closest neighbor was a mile away), I’ve at least always considered myself intermediately fashion savvy and about a 7 on the chic-o-meter.  Based on extensive research into photo evidence from my past, however, Sarah is downgraded to a 5.3 on her good days.


And THIS was a good day

This delusional and false sense of a fashionable self can be attributed to one of two opposing, and equally wrong, schools of thought, depending on how I am feeling.  I have supported my points with examples from sixth grade, arguably one of the most severely awkward years of my young life:

1. Sarah picks ONE stylish element of the moment and sticks to it.

Result: An electric blue cream eye shadow pencil from Claire’s loses its cool when paired with an oversized Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, ill-fitting Canyon River Blues jeans (damn you, awkward chicken legs!), and Reeboks.  Keep in mind this was sixth grade.  Electric blue eye shadow was ‘da bomb’…the rest, not so much.


I’m not kidding about the chicken legs, folks. Try finding jeans that fit those suckers.

2. On the other side of the spectrum, Sarah sometimes opts to pick EVERY stylish element of the moment in hopes that the more trends she abides by, the cooler she’ll be.


The time was 7:00 AM, and I was in a rush to get ready.  Logically, I grabbed the coolest things I could from my closet as to not waste any time.  The result was perhaps the most ghastly thing any middle-schooler has ever worn, and assuming you, Dear Reader, were once in middle school, you understand how gruesome this imagery is about to get.

The pants were from Limited Too.  Lilac.  Covered in silver glitter.  Bell bottoms.  High waters.

It was cold out, so I grabbed my favorite and coolest pullover hoodie. It was two sizes too big, but it was Hurley, and therefore ensured I would catch the attention of all the cute skater boys. It was also red.

Just in case that wasn’t eye-catching enough, I pulled on my new white and orange Osiris D3 skate shoes.  You know the ones.

And in case you don't, here they are

And in case you don’t, here they are

According to middle school mantra, the greater the likeness your shoe shared with a jumbo marshmallow, the cooler you were, and these were about the puffiest of them all.  These shoes may have been my saving grace on any other day…if it weren’t for the fact that my thighs were about as big around as my ankles, making me look like a giant bird (Seriously, take a moment and combine those last two photos in your brainspace).

Alas, I consistently chose to ignore this fact and wore them every day for three years.  Rocket Dogs also sometimes made an appearance.  Don’t act like you didn’t either own a pair or desperately desire one!

To top off the look, I put my hair up in two very high pigtails.  There may or may not have been scrunchies involved.  I carefully pulled out two long, thin strands of hair to frame my tiny face, looked in the mirror, and thought, “Perfect.  I look like a blend of Lizzie McGuire, Avril Lavigne, and all of the Spice Girls.”  Then I slapped on some of that blue eye shadow for good measure, sparing no part of my eyelid.  It’s moments like these that I seriously question my sanity.

So. Cool.

So. Cool.

The saddest part is that this atrocity against all that is fashionable, otherwise known as Sarah, is still taking place.  It’s an inescapable part of my being.  Right now I’m thinking, “Wow, that outfit I wore out to the club last night was soooo trendy.  It’s a shame I didn’t run in to any cool girls from my past to prove that I too can look cool.”  In ten years, I will undoubtedly look back at pictures from the evening’s revelries and experience the same queasiness I do when thumbing through old yearbooks.

This will undoubtedly be one of the aforementioned photos

This will undoubtedly be one of the aforementioned club photos

I just have to live with the fact that I will never live up to society’s style expectations of a woman my age.  Unless of course Jellies are involved.  Jellies were the pinnacle of the fashion industry, and on this point I will not be swayed.

If someone finds me jellies in adult sizes I will wear them every day for a year.

If someone finds me jellies in an adult size 7, I will wear them every day for a year.  And I’ll do it proudly.

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CHRISTYISMS: Express Yourself!

Idioms can be confusing, especially for ESL students…and my mom.  I’m sure many of you out there have botched a common expression or two, but 2012 was an especially productive year for Christy when it came to twisting (or downright butchering) established American phrases.

Here's hoping 2013 is even better!

Here’s hoping 2013 is even more fruitful!

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

1. It’s like having a milestone around your neck.

Who knows, perhaps milestones are heavy too.  Metaphorically speaking, they could indeed be heavier than a millstone.  I’ll give you half credit on this one, Mom.

2. Cross your T’s and Q’s!

While you’re at it, kiddos, why don’t ya dot your I’s and P’s as well.  And mind all four of them.  Again, half credit.

3. Oh well. Another one beats the dust. Ooooh (tone of frustration), it’s hits the dust, isn’t it?

Ooooo, SO close.

4. He knows it by hand.

I suppose if He is blind, then your point could be argued.  I’m gonna go ahead and assume He also has a heart though.  So, your point is null and void.

5. You’re smarter than…a cub in a tree?  A coon dog that’s treed?

In her defense, a cub is a bear.  And, I may be going out on a limb here (pun intended), but a cub in a tree could be the average bear.

If average is this cute then yes, I am average.

If average is this cute then yes, I am just your average girl.

A coon dog being driven up a tree, however?  Now, that’s something I’d like to see.

If you’d like to read more funny things my mom says, just select Christyisms from the drop down menu on the top right of this page.  More to come soon!

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My New Year’s Irresolution

Happy 2013, Everyone!  I know you’re expecting a list of resolutions, but the only thing I’m resolute on this year is not making a list of resolutions.  I’m not trying to be a fatalist.  In fact this is an attempt at the opposite.  Just hear me out.

I went to the gym last night, expecting every cardio machine to be taken and the lifting area to be packed with new faces, glistening in a gleam of newfound inspiration and dripping with determination.  It happens every year.  Everyone is guilty.  2009 was my year to lose 10 pounds.  Fail.  2010 was my year to get into grad school.  Fail.  2011 was my year to stop eating sweets.  EPIC fail.  2012 was my year to write once a week for my blog.  Obviously, another fail.

But for one reason or another, dearest Reader, the gym was empty – completely desolate and devoid of human life.  At first I thought, “Did the Apocalypse come a little later than expected?  In the time it took for me to walk from the parking lot to the gym, were human souls obliterated leaving me with nothing but my pick of the treadmills?”  My hypothesis was soon laid to rest as people began trickling in and out, but it was still not the post-holiday crowd you’d expect.

Check for zombies.  All clear.  The treadmill closest to the TV is MINE!

Check for zombies. All clear. The treadmill closest to the TV is MINE!

During my run, I began pondering the concept of New Year’s Resolutions.  We rarely follow through with them, yet we continue to make them at the start of every.single.year.  Why? Have all these people not at the gym realized something I haven’t?

I’m no expert on the human psyche (don’t listen to my B.A. in Psychology…it’s lying), but here are my conclusions on our continually unquenched desire for a clean slate.  It’s a wonderful concept, isn’t it?  Brand new year, brand new life?  But the truth of the matter is the only purely clean slate we ever get is the one given us at birth.  Every single action, thought, and word both spoken and received have piled up on that slate and created a beautiful person.  That is what has made me who I am today.  And I love me.

Yes, there are changes I’d like to make, but those should be a result of gradual and continual lifestyle change, not sudden, random acts of self-control.  We all know those rarely work.  We see it every day with futile crash diets and cleanses, weekend retreats and workshops.  True change will only come from a complete transformation of the way we view ourselves and our lives.  Recognize who you are now and who you want to be, and then re-mold your attitude, not your actions, around that.

So, this year I’m just going to continue building upon that clean foundation given to me 24 years, 5 months, and 2 days ago.  I am a temple, a beautiful palace constructed by myself and those around me.  Rome wasn’t built in a single year, much less a day.  Why should I expect something as complex and beautiful as a living being such as myself to accomplish as much?  I will keep on patching holes where they need to be patched and shaving off lumps and bumps as I find them.  Maybe I’ll even change the direction in which that building is rising.  Regardless, I have hope that the only lasting, fruitful changes I can make will come from my heart and a fresh lens of perspective on my body, soul, and mind.

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  • Why is there a chalkboard in the hallway in “Goodwill Hunting”?
  • Who named our wireless router “FBI Surveillance Van 1”?  I’m guessing you, Little Brother.  Bravo.
  • Who else thought the McFlurry spoon was also a giant straw?
  • Who else thinks it would be a good idea to add a straw function to the McFlurry spoon?

    I shall call it: The Sip ‘N’ Scoop!

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Let’s Get Weird

Everyone is weird.  There’s no questioning that logic, so don’t even do it.  Actually, do it.  I dare you to tell me one person you don’t think is weird, and I’ll tell you why they are.

If you say Tyra, we can’t be friends.

My point being, eccentricities are fantastic, and one of my favorite ways of getting to know someone is by discovering the strangest quirks about them.  I am strange by nature, and I make it no mystery.  I am the girl that walked into my dorm freshman year and introduced myself to my new roommate (and complete stranger) by saying, “Hi, I’m Sarah.  I love peanut butter.”  Awkward is always the best way to go in stressful situations.  Are you shocked that we remained roomies for five years?  Well, I’m not cuz she’s just as weird, and that’s why I love her.

We’ll save Roomie’s bizarre traits for another entry (JK, girlfriend…unless that’s kosher in which case I’m totally into it) and learn a little more about Sarah’s strange obsessions.  Alright, let’s get weird.


Don’t ask me why, but I find skin to be the most fascinating thing in the world.  I mean, take a second to simply look at your skin.  Like, extremely close.  Go and get a microscope if you wish, I don’t care.  Look at that diversity of ridges and valleys and holes and colors and textures!  I’m getting so excited just thinking about it.

The fun doesn’t stop there though.  There are all sorts of activities involving skin that bring me immense joy.  As a child, I didn’t mind sunburns purely for the fact that they carried with them the prospect of peeling dead skin off my body.  One of my equally weird friends shared this obsession.  We used to play a game called Who Can Peel the Biggest Piece.  Gross, you say?  No.  Awesome.

Scabs are also terrifyingly wonderful.  The progression of healing that takes place is incredible to observe first hand, but mostly they feel cool.  If I have a scab on my skin, I guarantee you I’m subconsciously touching it all day.  Pore strips are another phenomenal way to interact with your skin.  I literally jumped up and down and couldn’t stop smiling

It’s harder to peel my eyes away from this photo than it was to peel the strip from my nose.

the first time I used a pore strip.  All that was in my face holes?!  And that brings me to my next strange obsession…

Cleaning crevices

True story: as a child, my favorite bath toy was a small wind-up alligator that swam around my bubbly baths.  Not because he was fun to play with.  No.  Because his tail was pointy and I could use it to clean the crevices around the bath drain and spigot.

Baby Sarah is now 23 and still indulging in the same small pleasures, but with grown up things like jewelry.  No less than twice a week, I remove the studs from my ears and proceed to clean dead skin and dust from the tiny spaces between the prongs holding the gem in place, the earring back, and my piercing itself with a tiny toothpick and/or my fingernail.  The satisfaction is overwhelming.

Other crevices of interest include body parts such as the belly button (I have a piercing so extra gunk gets built up in there for extra exciting cleaning seshes), fingernails, and behind the ears.  Call me weird, but you know you’re gonna go home and try it.  Just for a second.  Just to see how it feels.

Crime scenes

I can’t sit through the cheesiest of all horror movies without spending the next three nights sweating out the dark in constant fear that a deformed ax-wielding serial killer is peering through the crack in my closet, waiting for the opportune moment to pounce and cut me into a billion pieces.  Strangely, however, I find researching gruesome murders to be one of the most intriguing ways to spend my time.  The more heinous and horrendous, the better.  I know, I don’t get it either.  It’s probably a result of my innate need to psychoanalyze people.

Also because research doesn’t involve this guy’s terrifying narration.  Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep (or visit a pet store) for weeks after this one.

CSI is obviously my favorite show (only Las Vegas, which would go without saying if you were a true fan).  In my free time, I Google notorious criminals and gory crime scene photos.  Favorite books include “In Cold Blood” and anything involving serial killers.  I once traded assignments with a friend so that I didn’t have to make a hat from a bag.

That’s right, I prefer reading an entire book about Columbine and writing a 5 page research paper about it for a class I haven’t taken in one day to doing kindergarten inspired arts and crafts.  I’m pretty sure my morbid obsession and my friend’s head wear obsession were evident, as we both received a well deserved A+.

A paper hat befitting a lady

Plastic wrap

Lastly, nothing can compare to the marvelous invention that is plastic wrap.  Its scent is so unique and unparalleled by any other plastic product.  If there were a Saran wrap air freshener, I’d have one in every room…and my car.  It’s also so sticky and functional.  That’s all really.  I guess you’d just have to watch me tenderly wrap food in it to fully understand how highly I revere this singular culinary sensation.

So that’s me in a nutshell, really.  A young skin-obsessed lady with the urge to clean small spaces and sniff plastic wrap while she watches CSI.  Oh em jee, guys.  I sound like a total serial killer.  Tell me weird things you do to make me seem less suspect.

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CHRISTYISMS: Blurring the Lines of Reality

Whether it be fairies, centaurs, wookies, dragons, leprechauns, or garden gnomes, I revere mythical creatures as the most majestic beings to ever grace Imagination Land.  How glorious would it be to ride atop a pegasus and play amongst fluffy marshmallow clouds with winged babies?  Or to own a phoenix?!  Who doesn’t want an immortal firebird whose cry is a lovely song and whose tears can heal any wound?  Jimmy Talon (yes, that’s the name of my phoenix) and I would be best friends forever, I just know it.  But I digress.

Judging by the fact that Mom’s favorite genre is fantasy fiction, I’m gonna go ahead and guess that she loves mythical creatures too.  Sometimes, however, part of her brain gets lost in the sparkling seas and sprawling glitter fields of Imagination Land, never to return again.  This often brings figments of her imagination to life and conversations like this happen:

Scene: Playing 20 questions (if you’re not familiar with this game, see description and rules here). We’ve deduced it’s a four-legged mammal with hooves.

Me: Ok, Mom.  Your turn to ask a question.

Mom: Hmmm…long dramatic pause…Is it alive today?

Me: Yes.

Mom: Oh, bummer!  I was thinking it was a unicorn.

Me: You know those aren’t extinct, right?

Mom: Really?!

Me: Yeah, because they never existed in the first place.

Mom: *Gasp* Really and truly?!

And then sometimes the reverse occurs:

Me: Hey Mom, do you wanna do a crossword puzzle with me.  They make you super smart.

Mom: Oh, fine.

Me: Ok, first clue.  What is a 7-letter word for a mythical sea creature?

Mom: Seahorse.

Me: That’s 8 lette…wait, what?  Mom, those exist in real life.

Mom: Well!  I’ll be damned!

Sometimes I envy your reality, Mom.  Tell Jimmy Talon I say hello.

Look at him in all his majesty!

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Igloo Fairies

In an attempt to culture Boyfriend, I put on my best “The Answer is Yes” face and told him with my eyes that he would be attending not one, but four whole ballets in the next five months.

Hey, do you LOVE my blog or what?

As if that’s not torture enough, he was also informed that we would be accompanied by my parents.  I know this sounds like a twisted “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” type of evil plot, but if I have to suffer through watching 8 consecutive hours of Teahupoo, you can sit through a cumulative 10 hours of dance with me.  At least no one faces imminent death when they walk into the theatre (I spell that last word that way cuz that’s how fancy British people spell it…and how I say it in my head).  Not to mention, the pre-show dinner, drinks, AND the show itself were funded by the Bank of Sarah’s Parents.  So stop feeling sorry for Boyfriend.  He’s busy being cultured.

Well, it’s been five months.  Everyone survived the four shows, and I’ve carried away two very important life lessons from this experience.  First, Dad is never allowed to attempt anything he sees on stage ever again.  I understand that some of the dancers move like high-ranking officers of the Ministry of Silly Walks, but that is not grounds to sashay and high kick all wobbly-legged through the streets, Dad.  Yeah, that actually happened.

Secondly, and most importantly, a minimum of 2 adult beverages must be consumed for your maximum viewing enjoyment.  Writing this now, I realize my father’s erratic dance-walking may have been a result of lesson #2, but based on the fact that he raised me, I’m gonna go ahead and say it would have happened regardless.

You may be thinking, “Duh, I’m an adult.  I pregame everything.”  However, I find that being tipsy for the ballet is imperative, as it activates the imagination and floods the mind with fantastical thoughts that JK Rowling couldn’t come up with in her wildest dreams.

But unicorns could. Even their poop is magical.

This brings me to Act II, Scene II of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève (Swiss people spell it fancy too), Les Sylphides.  It was tactfully preceded by the light-hearted and comical Spectre de la Rose, which set the mood for the final act of the final show in Boyfriend’s first dip into the pools of culture.

The curtains opened.  The stage was bathed in an icy blue glow.  Black, snaking stripes covered the floor and climbed up the walls; haphazard grid lines created an igloo against the backdrop.  A single fairy dancer skated across center stage.  Igloo.Fairies.  Yes.  This was going to be good.  What’s this?  Suave cavorting  gentlemen are wooing the fairies with their superior footwork and gravity-defying bounds?  And now their all playing drinking games at their magical frozen ball?

Clips from Spectre de la Rose and Les Sylphides

You can guess where it went from there.  Needless to say, that was probably not exactly what world-renowned choreographer Benjamin Millepied (you may know him as the choreographer of Black Swan and Natalie Portman’s baby daddy) had in mind when collaborating with set and costume designer Paul Cox.  (Geez, Paul Cox, stop being such an over-achiever.)

…Or was it?  Upon further research, and just to prove to you all that I have an exceptional and wildly active imagination, enhanced by the dazzling effects of alcohol, I discovered that I wasn’t that far off.  Millepied’s rendition finds its roots in an historical ballet in which magical imaginary female beings dance for some dude that’s great at poetry.  And poets from the 20th century were probably always drunk, right?  And what is poetry for if not wooing the ladies?  Whoa.  Did alcohol just make me better at interpreting art in its finest form?  Yes.

In conclusion:

  • There should be a law banning dads from dancing in public
  • Alcohol makes you good at culture (and bad at grammar)
  • Sarah is the best girlfriend in the world
  • Mission: Culture Boyfriend was a great success
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