little sarah Big World

Month: February, 2012

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!

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…and Some Nights

Some nights it is all about beer, brats, spuds and ladies. While watching Newsies. Did you think those things were not compatible? Did you think that ladies’ nights had to be about wine and finger foods and girl talk and rom-coms? Well think again:

This is real life, Friends. This plus, you know, complaining about things (work, life, boys, etc.), looking up hot boys’ pictures on the internet, giggling over silly and/or perverted jokes, and just…enjoying each others’ company. Mutual love. And Boozies.

That’s when you turn Newsies into a drinking game, Friends.

Some Days

Some days you just can’t win. Some days people expect more of you than you’re willing or able to give, and it is only 9:20 am. Some days you have more things to do than time in which to do them, and it is snowing, and you ride a bike, and you know that nothing is going to be easy or convenient or efficient.

Some days you have to boil potatoes before 10am, just to stay on top of things. (But the steam on the stove makes the kitchen warm and fuzzy).

Some days you know that you are going to get a talking to, and it will not be pretty. You know that you have to tell the truth to some friends, and that it will not be any prettier.

Some days you cry (sob, really) in the bathroom at work for a solid 15 minutes. You pace the halls and take deep breaths, and you are not proud of yourself, but you love yourself and so you say “It’s okay.”

Some days you return to work with eyes so red and swollen that there is no denying what you’ve done, yet nobody says a thing. And that is somehow worse than whatever you’d dreaded them saying.

Some days you roast potatoes, with garlic and rosemary. 

It’s your own recipe, and you use a fancy tip from Cooks’ Illustrated, and they turn out just right.

And you know that, when you get off of work, you will turn those potatoes into potato salad. You will pack up that potato salad, along with some mustard, vegan bratwurst, and beer, and you will go watch Newsies and have a meat-n-potatoes dinner with your girlfriends.

At least that much you can do right. And some days that’s the best you can do.

*       *       *

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

-Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

-Cut some red potatoes up into little cubes. I used 5 medium potatoes, with the intention of feeding about 5-7 people (as a side dish). Leave the skins on for maximum nutrition.

-Boil a big pot of water, then add cut up potatoes to the boiling water PLUS a bit of baking soda. Say…1/2 a teaspoon for lots of potatoes, but only 1/4 of a teaspoon for not so many potatoes.

-Boil for 3 minutes. Then drain. Then let those hot little spuds cool off.

-Toss your potatoes in some olive oil, a bit of salt, and crushed or chopped garlic.

-Spread the whole mess out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with more salt, some pepper, and rosemary sprigs (fresh or not, whatevs).

-Bake/roast for 20 minutes or so, until they are golden brown and crispy in parts and a fork slides easily in. BONUS: you can add some lemon juice for the last 5 minutes of roasting for extra amazingness.

-ENJOY! Try them in a salad with mixed greens, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and tuna. Or not.

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.

Follow Your Bliss

~OR~

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

You don’t have to worry about me seeing you cry, Friend, even though I know that must suck. I’ve been learning lately that it’s much more comfortable to be the comforter than the comfortee.

But I’ve been the comforted one, friend. I’ve needed. I’ve doubted. I’ve been afraid and ashamed for others–even loved ones–to see me cry. I see now that they did not judge me.

And you don’t have to worry, friend, about me seeing you cry, because I love you even when you cry. Even when you wipe tears and snot onto your pretty scarf and then later forget and wear it out shopping. I love you even when you are pretending to be interested in finding new boots and making chit-chat, but really you are a churning torrent of shitty emotions inside and it’s hard to focus on much else. Even then. Even then I love you. Even then you are my friend.

*       *       *

I want to tell you: You did not make a mistake, Friend. You made a decision. Decisions suck bad, but they’ve gotta be made. So you made one, and maybe it wasn’t the best choice, after all. So make another. And another. Keep making decisions until you get to where you want to be. Do not wait for the approval of others! Do not worry about what people will think or how they will judge you! It is your life, and you have every right to fuck it up as you see fit.

(…though you won’t fuck it up, and I think we both know that)

This is not about black and white, right and wrong, good and bad choices. It’s about growing and learning. It’s about becoming strong. It’s about wearing bad-ass boots and a leather jacket and a pretty dress. And red hair–don’t forget the red hair. But you already know about being a bad-ass.

You are, after all, the girl who lived in a tent on Maui.

*       *       *

Think of how much you’ve changed since then, how far you’ve come. And think of how much you’d changed BEFORE that, from who you were in high school, for example. And then know that this, right now, this very shitty, snotty scarf-wearing, half-assed shopping, crying on a friend’s couch time of your life…well, it’s just another part. It’s just the ugly cocoon-y, wriggling larva part. Which means your transformation is not yet complete, and you are free to cry on my couch all you want. And I will still love you, Friend.

Because I know that you will be happy, though it might not be any time soon. I will be here, in the meantime, with tissues, and hugs, and food.

Don’t Mind If I Do

Popcorn and wine for dinner? Check.

Jazz it up with vegan butter and a nutritional yeast/spice mix from Nicole? Of course.

Creme de Cassis in your white wine to make it pink and sweet? Absolutely.

Portlandia clips on hulu and drunk texting? Indulge:

“Man, i was going to tell you to come over earlier, but then i was all ‘Naw, im tired,’ but now im drunk. That is a complete story.”

AND

“Im preparing myself for two months of non-stop female bondage. In the best sense possible”

Sitting on the couch with a huge grin and loving every minute of it? MUST BE A THURSDAY!

 

Scenes from a Coffee Shop

 

 

 

 

Early mornings, watching the city wake up with the sun outside and the busying street. Hot, black coffee. Regulars, like Art, who always gets a glass mug, a palmier, a refill, and tips at the end.

Chatting with the bakers, filling orders, grinding beans. Coffee dust everywhere, perfuming my hair and clothes for hours afterwards.

The hiss and purr of steaming milks, delicate dripping filling huge pots of coffee, and light crunch of flaky pastries. Clinking plates and silverware.

*       *       *

It is not my dream job, not my life’s work, but it is a satisfying way to pass the time.

It’s the Little Things

 

…that make us smile.

Like a belated birthday gift, hand-beaded, and accompanying note. Letters and fonts lovingly scrawled, and the promise of correspondences to come.

Thank you, Bonnie.

Shit Girls Say…and Do

~OR~

Oh What a Night

One great–and probably unanticipated–benefit of smart phones is that you can wake up after a raucous ladies’ night and quickly scroll through your browser’s history to re-live the night before, remind yourself what the topics of conversation were.

Ours included: “hot Neville Longbottom” and “expectorating”.

Also there are leftover drawings of boobs, with both innie and outtie nipples, and a picture of a house (because those two things are related?) on the reverse side of my little sister’s body parts coloring sheet. Yeah.

*       *       *

What I’m saying is that, while girls do say some silly, endearing things, we talk about so much more. More than you could ever guess. Things that would make you blush. Or giggle. Or cry. Or sometimes all of the above.

We tend to drink while this is happening. And eat. Sometimes a sit-down dinner, sometimes a potluck, and sometimes an epic snack-fest. Also sometimes all of the above, as pictured above.

Then in the morning we make breakfast together, and check our browsing history. And laugh.

Then repeat.

Dudes, I totally used-the phrase “much-like” in a recent post, and you did not say a thing.

That is not even a word, Friends.