little sarah Big World

Tag: dancing

Booze

~OR~

Do I drink too much? Very well then, I drink too much. I am large, I contain multitudes of reasons for drinking.

Tuesday. I love that the liquor store is still open when I get off work. (All the way ’til 7pm! Way to be, Utah!). I like feeling grown-up for buying Bulleit instead of Jack Daniel’s. I like cradling my brown paper wrapped bourbon in the crook of my arm like a baby on the walk home walk home. I like putting on my PJs as soon as I get home and drinking bourbon with water. I love a long bath with a stiff drink to keep me company and Tibetan take-out. I love closing the blinds, pushing back all the furniture and turning up my sweet new speakers for maximum danceability.

I don’t like working from 6am to 6pm with an hour-and-a-half lunch break that I use to run errands and bike home, where I arrive sweating and immediately begin to dread returning to work.

I don’t like puking in my mouth a little bit on the way to Second Job, because I have stress-induced acid reflux and spit up like a damned baby. Because I ate too fast and then drank water (breaking all the reflux rules!), and because I have developed a Pavlovian response to Second Job that causes stomach cramping and increased bile.

I don’t like feeling that my boss could not be happier to see me go, or rid of me soon enough.

I don’t like crying on desk, having to dry my eyes with tissues and pretend it’s allergies (in November? Really?). Because I’m never sure that I’ve made the right decision. Because breaking up is hard to do, after 5 long years of service. Because I just want a familiar face, a friend, a warm tight hug…but instead there are children screaming and crying, and it pierces my thin skin, and it grates my nerves, and it doesn’t stop.

I don’t like that at all, Friends.

But I do like drinking. And the liquor store is still open.

 

Kitchen Time

I have been working so much, Friends. Too much. Too much work, too much play, not enough Sarah Time, which (honestly) tends to just be Kitchen Time.

Read the rest of this entry »

History

I remember:

-Giant fake sequoias and a rising sense of panic, an urgent text–“I feel supremely un-okay”–and then reassurance, caring

-A long drive that turned out to be so much more perfect than a short one

-Your hand on my leg

-Almost crashing, over and over, but not really feeling scared

-Drinking bourbon straight from the bottle

-Holding each other, frantically, because this was finally real. It was touchable.

-Crying in the bathroom; missing my friends

-3 hours of sleep

-Watching you drink a mug of coffee, black

-A drive that I never wanted to end

-Waiting for you outside the bathroom

-Your hand on my back

-A long lazy lunch

-“Where does he think I’m from?”

-Stealing kisses in the car

-2 hours behind a budget truck (high centered), and absolutely not caring. Being content, just to be there. Just to be near you.

-Skipping a nap and dinner in favor of tall glasses of whiskey

-Being unable to get up off the couch

-A ridiculous party, never-ending laughs, running home, pretending to be asleep

-Piecing together the night before

-Popcorn for breakfast

-Coming home sweaty after a run to your smiling face

-Changing with the door wide open

-Screaming Turkish music, and meeting new people

-Feeling like I ought to live up to expectations; feeling unable to do so

-Being so, so cold all of the time

-Long walks

-A secret spot

-Saving the end of the story for later

-The Giggles

-A night in with mota, wine, and The Tip of the Iceberg

-Waking up earlier

-Talking for hours in bed, and an internal sigh of relief

-Teaching each other

-A complete meal (bet you anything those pancakes weren’t vegan)

-A walk on the beach

-Watching you watch me watch you smoke

-Hanging out, looking at pictures, smoking, talking

-Meeting my twin!

-SLAYING IT at karaoke

-After being so nervous and anxious that I was about to ask to leave

-Because karaoke is infinitely scarier to me than any other performance

-Because you were drunk and instantly so comfortable with me, while I felt uneasy. And guilty.

-Out of my element

-A failed dance party of two

-Your eyes

-A quick drive to the airport, and goodbye for now

*       *       *

I don’t remember perfection, but I remember everything. The amazing parts, the scary parts, the anxious parts, the hunger, the hangovers. It wasn’t perfect, and I am not perfect. I am real, and so are you, and so is this.

As real as the pain of its absence.

As real as the relief of its return.

¡Hola de España! no.7‏

The epic conclusion!!!

New here? Catch up by reading these:

 ¡Hola de España!

¡Hola de España! #2

¡Hola de España! no.3

¡Hola de España! no.4

¡Hola de España! no.5

¡Hola de España! no.6

*       *       *

This will be my last Hola de España. Que triste, ¿no? But I definitely have ganas to come home and be with my friendships and my family in Utah again. Being here has REALLY enforced my appreciation for how unique Utah and Salt Lake City are. No place like it in the world. Even if we do have ridiculous liquor laws.

So…I cheered up in Valencia. I started busquing again, making money, and that’s always nice. I played really well there, and maybe now I’m addicted to the thrill of performing in the streets. Hopefully there’s a patch for that, because no way is it going to be the same in Utah. I also went to the movies two nights in a row in Valencia, the highlight of which was seeing ‘Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay’ in Spanish. Except here it’s called ‘Dos Colgados Muy Fumados,’ which I think translates to ‘Two Very Stoned Stoners.’

Then, on the bus from Valencia to Barcelona, I sat next to this Italian kid named Francesco, and we got to talking (in Spanish, because his English isn’t too hot. And I don’t speak Italian…), and he said that they had an extra room in his flat where I could sleep. So, now I have my own room in an apartment in Barcelona for free for the week. Awesome, no? The other people there are a Chilean girl named Viviana and a boy from Brighton, England named Josh. So it’s all very international, which is a pretty good representation of Barcelona, as a whole. Since I’ve been here (since Sunday) I’ve hung out with kids from Peru, Argentina, Chile, England, Spain, the US, and then a ton of Italians.

Oh, and I’ve been hanging out with my amigo Brett from the U of U. Viviana took us dancing last night. And of course all of this has been very good for my Spanish. (Carol: De verdad, chica, podemos hablar muchisimo en Español cuando yo vuelva, porque ya hablo tanto mejor . Podemos hablar TODO EL TIEMPO.)

Tonight I’m gonna go check out La Sagrada Familia with Brett, and some other Gaudi building. We already went to Parque Güell, which was crazy and beautiful. I’ve also been to the beach here, and I’ll probably go again before I leave. Then I’ll be back in Madrid on Friday, and then home on Sunday in time for supper (which had damn well consist of spicy cheetos, is all I’m saying…)

Oh, and we went and got pinxos and this dark red champagne-like beverage in a bar here that was SO packed. Like, think of when you go to a concert at a really big venue, and when the main band comes on and everyone rushes the stage, and you’re all pressed in together. It was like that. For, like, 45 minutes while we ate and drank, standing. Apparently this is typical in Barcelona, and I actually had a really good time.

People keep asking me which part of Spain I’ve enjoyed the most. It’s really hard to say. I mean, I’ve only been i n most spots for a handful of days. And they’re all so distinct. Barcelona is very Metropolitan, with wide streets packed with people from all over the world. The Gaudi stuff is just icing on the cake. And I liked Valencia, because of the park in the dried-up river bed. I rented a bike there on Sunday morning and rode for an hour and just thought my thoughts and smiled. I liked Alicante, because the beach is right in the middle of the city, and so is the castle, and it’s filled with shady pocket parks, and it’s just got something special about it. I guess La Mata wasn’t that cool, but I had a good time there. Madrid was amazing, but incredibly hot. And I met so many people there, and Laura and I became good friends. I already have plans to return to her. And being there when Spain won the Euro Cup? How can you beat that?

And of course, of course, I loved Oviedo. She’s beautiful, and very sophisticated, and utterly unique. And the people there definitely appre ciate their classical music. Add to that no tourists and a million beaches that are just a bus-ride away, and what else can you say? Oviedo will always be in my heart.

But soon I’m coming home, and nothing is better than home. I miss you all dearly, and I can’t wait to see you. It’s been great. ¡Hasta ahora!

-love, Sarah

p.s. Plus I am so freakin’ tan, it’s going to blow you away. Ha!

*       *       *

And that was that. Then I came home, broke up with my boyfriend, started hooking up with another, younger guy, lived in my parent’s friend’s basement and anxiously began my last year of college. It made for a great diet.

Things I didn’t say in the emails:

-Kevin (the quiet boy) became my boyfriend of right now, after much drama and hesitation on both our parts.

-I came as close to getting sexually assaulted as I will hopefully ever come by the Italian guy in Barcelona. Just so you don’t think that traveling like this is without risk.

-I fooled around with Michael in La Mata, even though he was a dick to me. I normally don’t date jerks, but apparently in Spain I do, because Jorge was a dick to me, as well, though at least he was very upfront about having “la polla pequeña” (his exact words). Honesty can only get you so far, though, and it certainly won’t get you off.

-Also I don’t know if it comes across just how lonely and confused and cranky I was. I hated traveling alone. I hated being by myself, with only the guilt of my impulsive decisions for company. But now I love traveling alone, more than most anything. I guess it’s just…back then I didn’t know myself very well, or love myself, and now I do. Now I’m my favorite person to spend time with. And I guess we can call that growing older. I used to constantly wish to be able to go back in time, try again, start over. But I almost never wish that now. I’m happy to be where I am.

Which is to say: home.

Going Out in Valpo

-OR-

And to think, this all started in a church…

…where we went to hear classical guitar. And eat Oreos. Then we drink wine from mini bottles on top of an overpass. And then we went to a bar/club.

…where we drank more, danced to live rockabilly music, hit on the coat-check girl, got hit on by inexpert boys of all nationalities, and danced ’til the wee hours of the morn.

Then I walked home alone, got lost, and asked some sailors for direction. I was maybe still drunky when Brett woke me up this morning to catch our bus.

Don’t tell Mom.

Savor

I had to text my Eric friend the other morning to ask him, “…where did all of this self-love come from? Im enjoying it, but i also find myself asking ‘why now?’ “

Because I don’t fully understand it, Friends. Something I’ve been striving for for so long–a sense of grace, of calm and peace and joy–is suddenly within my grasp. All I had to do was let go.

More and more I spend my time as I please, and every moment–every movement–seems delicate and sweet. Like making lists, reading in bed right when I wake up, tidying the apartment, and baking banana bread.

It was a rare slow morning, a “day off” I believe it’s called, though it’s been so long, who can remember? So I blissed out, enjoyed every aspect of it. The soft sunlight shining in through the kitchen window, circles of brown sugar and white flower. Soothing stirring and pouring motions. Listening to the Temptations and wearing a fancy apron. All of it.

And so maybe you folks will not be as into these photos as I was, but I seriously appreciated every step in the process, every angle and curve. Therefore, I documented:

I like the way everything comes together with baking. You measure, mix, and it’s like magic, the way it turns into something more than the sum of the parts. Except when its a disaster. Then I throw a tantrum. But not this day. This day I had a morning to myself, a spot of sunlight to dance in, and a delicious chocolate chip banana bread muffin.

…which I could only eat half of. So then I stopped. Just like I stopped going to CrossFit, for the time being, because I prefer running and yoga to weight training.

I think this is what they call “listening to your body and your self,” which is also a novel approach for me. Because a easy, peaceful morning can just as easily slide into a 48-hour work week, leaving me with an eye twitch and a need to seriously re-asses my priorities.

Because lately little sarah Big World Traveler would like nothing more than to settle down for a minute, commit to the plans I’ve made for right here, right now. Work less, relax more. Then maybe more mornings could be filled with baking, blogging, and self love.

As opposed to, you know, waking up at 5:30 and working until 9pm. I don’t want that anymore. I want to savor the moment.

The Seasons, They Go Round and Round

~OR~

We’re Captive on a Carousel of Time

(Joni Mitchel)

Ah, but where does the time go? It seems not even a year ago that I was making Passover puns in poor taste…

…probably because it wasn’t even a year ago. Sometimes seder  has to be moved up a few weeks, to accommodate world travelers. And–as Joey pointed out–it’s usually “a bit more reverent.” Listen, we do what we want.

But oh, we have fun.

Except…except this year’s (early) Passover seder turned into a metaphor for my life:

Everyone was having a good time eating and drinking and wanting to dance all night, but then they all got distracted talking about relationship troubles and babies and the seasons of our lives.

And I still just wanted to dance.

Baking Give-Away!

~OR~

Seriously, Friends, Why Aren’t You More Excited to Contribute?

 I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, because I haven’t been baking as often.  WHAT WAS IT THINKING?! Guys, baking is awesome. It is so much fun, so soothing, such a pleasant early-morning activity. I listened to my Harold Arlen compilation (he’s the guy who wrote “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) and threw together a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal lovelies.

I used the recipe from inside the Quaker Oats drum…

…but I changed pretty much everything about it–flax instead of eggs, applesauce instead of butter, less sugar, no raisins, etc. I’ll post my recipe at the end, for those of you into mutant vegan cookies.

At first I wasn’t going to photograph this little venture, because I had already forgotten to document it step-by-step. Then I remembered that I don’t even LIKE doing step-by-step recipe pictures. I just like taking pictures of that which I find to be elegant, graceful, lovely, and delicious. Like this:

I will never tire of the sunlight coming in through my kitchen window. It warms my heart and soul. And my body. In fact, when I have time, I warm up in the morning by having Dance Party of One: Morning Edition in the little patch of sunlight on the carpet between fireplace and kitchen counter. The soundtrack? “My Girl” station on Pandora. Try it.

*       *       *

I baked these little beauties to say “Thank you.” Some for Robyn, who lent me books 2 and 3 of the Hunger Games series (the crack-cocaine of YA lit), and some were for Marcela, who lent me workout pants at CrossFit when I had mistakenly packed my black stretchy workout top instead of my black stretchy workout pants. An honest mistake.

Saying thank you is important to me; I want people to know that when they go out of their way to make my life more pleasant, it is a big deal. It is a cookie-deserving occasion. Plus, you know, I like to bake things and wrap them in brown paper and admire them in the sunshine at 11am.

In that same spirit, I want you to know how much I appreciate YOU, dear Friends! AND I need help. I’m going to ask a favor, and I promise you that your help will be duly rewarded. With baking supplies:

Here’s the deal:

1 – Sister Nikki gave me baking stuff for Christmas, which is awesome. I always need more dishtowels, and now I have a pie crust protector and other fun baking goodies. But now I have two flour sifters and two rolling pins. That’s too many! So I want to give away a 3-cup flour sifter and a wooden rolling pin. To you!

2 – But you’ve gotta do something to earn it. See, I’ll be away for a few weeks in May, unable to keep up my (admittedly half-assed as of late) blogging schedule. I need content, Friends.

3 – I want YOUR favorite vegan recipes! Send me your favorite recipe, along with some notes (if you like) and some photos. Get creative! Do it! The best recipe/notes/picture combo will receive the rolling pin and flour sifter! Yay! But runners-up will receive post-cards from my top secret vacation destination. Everyone loves to get postcards, right?

*       *       *

So that’s the deal–send your recipes, words and pictures to littlesarahbigworld[at]hotmail[dot]com. Also your mailing address. You have until March 31st, winners will be announced April 1st. No joke!

Now get a-bakin!

*       *       *

Sarah’s Super Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

-1 c applesauce (unsweetened)

-3/4 c brown sugar, packed

-2 Tbs ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbs water

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp salt

-3 c oats

-1 c chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 350°F

-Whisk together flax seed and water with a fork. Set aside.

-Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a smallish bowl. Also set aside.

-Blend applesauce and brown sugar in a large bowl, then add the flax mixture and vanilla, stirring well.

-Add the flour mixture to the applesauce mixture in three parts, stirring well. Then add the oats. It will seem like way too many oats and you will think “This is CRAZY,” but just go with it. It’ll all come together, promise.

-Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips. Then drop by the spoonful onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

What You Missed at the LEO Party:

A Sarah Custen Guilt Trip

Let me just start off by saying that I don’t even understand why people pass up the chance to gather, eat, drink, and be merry. I do not accept excuses of upcoming tests, family obligations, or illness. I demand that good times be had by all, whenever the opportunity presents itself.

I am a highly-biased reporter, is what I’m trying to say.

So for those of you who simply could not make it to the wonderful and magical and cooperative LEO Holiday Party, here’s what went down.

There was food. Delicious food. I personally enjoyed two different types of ham, some sort of marinated tofu magic, corn-n-veggie salad, and roasted cauliflower. Also rice. But that was so much more! So many epicurean delights! I ask you: why would anyone pass that up?

There were desserts, plural. Myriad, really. Maybe you feel like this doesn’t apply to you, because you are lactose intolerant, or celiac, but did you count on…

…dairy-free, gluten-free strawberry-coconut cupcakes?!?!? Because those were there. I know, because I brought them. And did we enjoy these treats in isolation? Did we stuff our faces and then run home to our DVRs? No we did not!

We socialized! Oh, man, we socialized so hard…it was CRAZY.

Also Whitney Houston played. RIP, Whitney.

Also there was booze, and afterwards, there was more booze, at the Red Door. That’s what we call an after-party.

Then after that I left to go out dancing. Lately I have a need to dance bordering on clinical.

ALMOST AS GREAT AS MY NEED TO SEE ALL MY COWORKERS’ LOVELY, SHINING FACES AT THE LEO PARTY. And you wouldn’t want to deprive a girl of camaraderie, would you? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.

See you next year!

Having it All

~OR~

The Best of Both Worlds

Fridays are usually pretty low key for this gal. I like to spend the evening at home, eating a salty delicious dinner (in this case, salad, but nachos are also acceptable), baking, and drinking wine.

Then I usually move the furniture back so that I can dance around by myself like a woman possessed. POSSESSED BY THE NEED TO SHAKE IT.

And that’s fun. But sometimes I think that maybe I’d like to be dancing with others, socially, and also drinking with others, socially, and also just, you know, socializing. I mean, salads are cool. And baking is therapeutic. But sometimes I am like Ariel, and I want more. I want to go where the people are, and I wanna see…I wanna see them dancing.

BUT WHY CHOOSE, FRIENDS? Why not eat a salad, drink some wine, bake some thangs, dance around by myself, and THEN go to a divorce celebration party for my brother’s girlfriend, drop off some hideous (and therefore un-documented) vegan cookie failures AND some amazing deviled egg SUCCESSES:

…then meet up with ladies at a hotel where there is chocolate vodka which tastes just like these dolls (in a good way), and then go out dancing at a club/bar/meat market called The Hotel to dance, smoke hookah, and otherwise run amok?

Why not, Friends?

Have your cupcake dolls and drink them, too.

*       *       *

Gluten-free (and paleo-approved) cupcakes/muffins courtesy of Joy the Baker! (Frosting is not Paleo, though. Nor am I)

Ugly failure cookies ALSO from Joy the Baker! I think I effed them up by substituting applesauce for butter and flax for eggs, which I do ALL THE TIME, but apparently that magic trick has it’s limits. Feel free to tell me if yours turn out anything at all like the picture, though, as mine did not. At all.

Salad courtesy of ME! Like this: mixed greens, radish sprouts, tuna, cranberries, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast and Annie’s Light Goddess dressing.

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