Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coolest (Thesis) Idea (Ever).

I haven't checked it out yet, but it is the brainchild of my friend Brittany Watson, who has better taste and more personal class/loveliness than just about anyone I know.

Academedia revolution! That's what I say.

Spread the (design/media/academic) word.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Do you ever have days

on which you want to be covered from head to toe? No skin showing at all?

I think it's my way of staying in bed. While going to work.

Hopefully it's not too hot today.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Would you rather have your president be fat or your lawyer be a terrible speller?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recipe: Soda Cracker Pie

Adapted from the recipe by Grandma George, heaven bless her.
In a cold bowl
  • beat 3 egg whites until stiff
  • then add 1 cup sugar
  • then add the crumbs of 14 saltines (which you've procured from finely crushing 14 saltines in a ziploc bag)
  • then add 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • then add 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • and finally, add 1 tsp vanilla.
Fill buttered 9" pie pan with pie goop. Push the goop up on the sides.

Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees, until it looks solid (not goopy) and golden brown. It will be puffy.

Remove it from the oven. It will fall.

Cool it. Slice fresh peaches or nectarines thin. Fill pie crust SO FULL. Add whipped cream (or even Cool Whip) to your liking.

Eat it before anyone else does.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Pictorial Updates

1. Le dessert du triomphe.
An impromptu dessert made for the birthday of one Jeff S., during a recent spur-of-the-moment, whirlwind weekend in Rochester. Ingredients: one half-gallon of vanilla bean ice cream; one half-gallon of chocolate ice cream; one layer of homemade whipped cream with lemon zest; fresh mango, blackberries, and raspberries; shredded coconut; and tall skinny candles that turned out to be almost impossible to blow out. Can I tell you the truth? It was amazing. We were all surprised.

2. Kayak thumbs.
The remains of a short kayaking adventure in the Chesapeake Bay, had as the capstone outing to a perfect Memorial Day weekend spent lounging around a house on the water with friends. In real life, the sores are pretty dramatic. And liquidy. (Are my hands really that sissy? I need to get out more.) But no regrets. The weekend was perfect.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


It's been forever. And this comment isn't something big (it's small) or original (Louise wrote it). But I want to make it mine.

Louise wrote the following as a comment to her own post. Read the comment here:, and the post here:

To increase the likelihood you'll do one of the two, I'm reproducing the comment here. God bless Louise Plummer.

I forgot number 101: Learn to say no. You may have to practice. Never say yes right away. Say, “Let me think about it and I’ll call you back.” Then call back and say no. This is hardest to do when people you love ask you to do things you really really don’t want to do. “No, we can’t drive across country to be home for Thanksgiving this year.” “No, I can’t be on the R.S. enrichment committee.”"No, I’m not coming to choir practice at seven in the morning on Sundays.” I’m not doing anything early mornings. Get used to it.

Stand up for yourselves, anxious ones. Plan anxiety into your life. I need a long morning. Right now, I’m so nervous about my fiction writing that I have scheduled one hour a day to write (instead of four) and think I’m successful if I write one paragraph. But here’s the thing: books get written one sentence, one paragraph at a time, one hour a day. I can’t worry about those people putting out a book a year. I’m just not one of them. I can’t worry about anyone but me.

I think walking to the mail box is good exercise. Hot chocolate is good too–anytime.

Don’t you all see it? Most of the world is terrified. We’re rabbits on a chopping block. It takes a lot of faith to get over that view. It’s why people drink, smoke, eat too much, have unsafe sex and kill themselves. That’s why we watch too much TV, play too many video games, stay in bed. We’re scared to death. Recognize it, embrace it, expect to fail occasionally, and move on.

Decide to be a believer. Decide to be terrific in a doddling sort of way. When Jesus gets tired of crowds, he always walks away. Read the gospels and see how often he walks away. No THAT’s taking good care of yourself.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday in Sunbury

I spent Saturday in Sunbury, PA, with the lovely Reija M. Turns out, Sunbury is halfway between Rochester and my house in VA, so we decided to meet there, to hang out in the middle. I rented a car, borrowed my roommate's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book on tape, and drove the 3ish hours to mid-PA, where Reija waited for me on a swingset in a park built like a fort.

It was awesome.

We ate dinner at the restaurant in the first building in the world to have electricity. (Sunbury, PA, is the first town in the world to have been wired with electricity.) And we saw the Susquehanna (but only once we climbed over the flood wall); a 19th-century fort-like prison that is still in use (despite a lawsuit pending about the inhumane conditions for the prisoners inside); and rows and rows of houses and stores, all charming, sad, and/or cute. Sunsbury is definitely a place with history. Now for Reija and me, too.

Read Reija's account/see more pictures of my awesome Saturday here:

Having friends/Reija rocks. And so does America. And No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I commend them all to you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lettuce Eat

Lettuce is my new favorite thing to eat. I crave it all the time. I don't know if it's the roughage, the wateriness, the almost entire lack of calories. Something.

I eat it under eggs. I eat it with grilled onions. I buy a salad and then buy more lettuce to add to my salad.

And I've been dreaming--for a week now, maybe two--about eating pizza on lettuce. (Not lettuce on pizza, as, I was told, is sometimes sold in restaurants like the California Pizza Kitchen.) But pizza on lettuce. A piece of pizza--pepperoni is my favorite these days--cut into bite-sized pieces and put on top of a bed of Romaine. Fresh, watery, piled high, topped with scattered pizza bites.

Oh man. Lettuce. LETTUCE.

I'm dreaming of lettuce tonight.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Today in Relief Society

Stephanie: (whispering) Sarah, do you feel like that?

Sarah: Like what?

Stephanie: Like what that girl just said? Like sometimes you're on a roller coaster--and you feel up because you're confident that God loves you and you're doing what's right but then you hit an obstacle and you feel down and everything is hard. Do you feel like that?

Sarah: Um. I don't know. In some ways, but not all ways. Do you feel like that?

Stephanie: No. (pause) But maybe I should. I like roller coasters. You know like when you're going up and then you come down and you're like whoo!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dozy Daisy and Zilly Notwithstanding*

You know how word verification words tend to be fake words that have real-word-like characteristics? Spotus. Linita. Flackel. Like aliens posing as humans. So close, but not quite right. Creepy.

I wanted to comment on a blog the other day, and this came up as my verification word:


I looked closer. Was I mis-seeing things? I mean, my eyes have been getting worse. (It was five years ago that I got my eyes lasered.) But maybe the screen resolution? the colors? my perpetual tiredness? I tried other options: clouns. dovns. clowms. Nope.


Apparently, clowns are creepy enough.

* My roommate Jeanette recently met two professional clowns at the LDS temple in London. Or rather, she met two people who were at the LDS temple who were also professional clowns. They're married. He's Zilly, and she's Dozy Daisy. And they were super nice to Jeanette. Which is not a silly thing! So, they're excepted.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

For KT on her birthday

(The only picture I have of the two of us. We don't even look like we know each other well. This is totally ridiculous and must be remedied.)

Somehow, this says most of it:

"Thank you for the books you sent which connect
quite specifically to everything I have been thinking of
for the last 12 years."
(Naomi Shihab Nye doesn't come between us as much as she calls it like it is
and then leaves us to talk and live it out.)
You have given me bobby pins that fit this description.

I have to tell you, I live my life so it's more like yours.
The comforter
is only the first thing. You'll notice, it's gold. Not unlike your curtains.
The dishes, the lovely boxes of matches, the yellow gold earrings--
these are things
everyone sees.

But also, the way you read your scriptures in your bed in the mornings.
The way you make events out of Wednesdays.
"I'm going to lunch with Samantha
and then to the mall. I think I'll leave work at 3, 3:30. Bye!"
Then you'd come home later than usual
and from the temple.

The way you finger the stereo while you're driving, flipping confidently
through all six CDs. Or thousand. However many you're listening to right now.
I always wanted your long fingers.
(However, I do not plan to begin changing lanes in the middle of intersections without signaling. This is thrilling
but I am risk averse.
I am, after all, a lawyer.)

And the way you love the Word. And the women around you.
And the way you make goals
for yourself
writing them in big letters on your mirror.
You do not mention them to us
but you leave them there.
And I see them when I come in to borrow your jewelry
when you are not home.
(And the markered note that said, "Please ask before you borrow jewelry. Thank you!")

You are always up for a talk on a bed, for a cuddle, for a tea party, for good pancakes, and lemon curd.
These are the concrete details that make life well lived.
This is not just the English teacher in me speaking.

This is the observer, the roommate,
the one who would watch you from across the chapel
and wish you were walking down the aisle
in your gold heels and herringbone skirt
towards me.

The one who is glad we share hair color so sometimes people mistake me for you, or say,
"Man, you looked like KT just now. You guys could be sisters."

At some point, it might sound to the world
like I've stopped talking about you
but listen close.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Reija added this to our conversation re mini-crushes:

If you don't read her blog regularly, you should. It's genius and beauty.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Going Public

See my first NY Times appearance:

Just a comment, but still. I'm working my way into the real world.

(But not of the real world. Don't you worry.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Discussion Topic: The Mini-Crush

1. First you have a mini-crush*.

2. Then what do you do?


*I would define a mini-crush as a crush about which you are excited but for which your heart is not actually on the line. I'll also accept discussion re the definition of mini-crush.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Civil Action

You know how sometimes you read a book about a doctor or a nurse or a teacher or a female train magnate and you think, "Man, I really wish I were a doctor/nurse/teacher/female train magnate"?

Right now I'm reading A Civil Action, a novel on which a John Travolta movie was based. It describes this case in which a group of families sue some companies for dumping chemicals into the groundwater and inflicting the town with bad health and an unusually high incidence of leukemia, even before anyone knew that things like chemicals in groundwater could cause leukemia. It's pretty great.

But I'm reading it, and I keep thinking, "Man, I really wish I were a lawyer." And then I realize, I AM!

Also, pretty, pretty great.

(Also, lest you wonder, the stuff I do at work is actually pretty much like this. Not personal injury stuff, as in in this book, but some big cases, important. Interesting. So cool! Makes me want to go to work early on Monday.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sarah, Esq.

So I'm a lawyer.

It happened today at noon, Eastern time. I walked into the Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York, and walked out Esq.

I will say this: The ceremony was nice. Very nice. Like a mini-graduation, with 700 other students (okay, like three times bigger than my law school graduating class), led by a panel full of NY Supreme Court Justices, and a soloist who sang, "Count Your Blessings" from A White Christmas. ("When I'm worried, and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, so I fall asleep, counting my blessings.")

And the justice who was leading the ceremony followed the keynote speaker's talk with these words: "Thank you, Honorable Dunne, for that special and meaningful speech. It was so--special and so--meaningful. Thank you."

Great. All great.

Anika drove down from Syracuse (thanks to her friend for taking the children today) and Elizabeth J. (a former roommate from Austin, newly, NEWLY moved to Albany, of all places) came, too. And it was lovely to have them there holding down the fort for friends and family. We went to lunch afterward and ordered chicken enchiladas, and then all made our way to Syracuse, where Elizabeth and I are hanging out with Anika's family for a few days. Reija will join us tomorrow too, I believe. If my stars are aligned correctly. Turns out, upstate New York is a great place to be.

Upstate New York: Walk in a girl, walk out a lawyer.**

*The great Anna Kohler Lewis used to have a sign hanging over the door of her freshman dorm room: "Walk in a girl, walk out a legend." Pretty much encapsulated Anna's freshman year. And, the rest of us hoped, our lives, providing we lived long enough.

**Also, I'm not yet licensed to practice in DC yet. Just in NY. I have to file some paperwork, etc., to be licensed in DC. Then I'll be a real attorney, with business cards and everything. A new day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In case you were wondering

These are my inauguration day plans:

1. Wake up.
2. Check the weather.
3. Look at my bike.
4. See how I feel.
5. If I feel okay, bike the 4.5 miles down the trail that goes right past my house all the way to the National Mall; park my bike at the free bike valet by the Jefferson Memorial; battle the crowds; see the sights; feel the feelings; be one with the people; get cold; come home. Watch the rest of the festivities on TV.
6. If I'm feeling homebodyish (or cold), stay home. Watch TV. Or a movie. Do some work. Nap. Try to figure how I'm going to explain to my children and grandchildren why I did not go into the District on this historic day.
7. Eat food, no doubt. No doubt.

Note: My office building will be closed on Tuesday, because it's one block from the parade route, so no commute for me.

Yay for popular presidents!

Friday, January 16, 2009

When one is cold (or in need of comfort)

one needs a hoodie.

This truism leads me to two thoughts:

1. The Hoodie Foundation. Maybe I should start a non-profit the sole mission of which would be to distribute hoodies to (1) the underclothed (e.g. the homeless, the scantily clad, the poor), and (2) the undercomforted (e.g. orphans, cancer victims, earthquake survivors). Think of the cross-cultural, multi-demographic populations this would serve. Maybe we could partner with this new college intern in my ward who, after she's done daylighting as a grunt in Sen. Hatch's office, goes to her newly rented office space on K Street, where she oversees her three East Coast employees (she may or may not have an office in California) (and Utah), as they work on establishing a non-profit factory in Rwanda that will commercially extract fibers from banana plant refuse, which they will then sell to another factory in Rwanda that makes, of all things, fabric from the fibers. Apparently, very soft, very durable fabric. (Sometimes they even mix the banana fibers with silk for high end apparel.) I know. I know! I know. The banana fiber craziness (and her awesomeness) totally aside, consider--super soft hoodies (made from banana plant refuse) for all. The Hoodie Foundation. Making Millions of Heads Happy.

2. Hoodie Suits. I have, on occasion, ridden the elevator from the first floor to the thirteenth, thinking the whole time: I wish my suit were pinstriped. And I wish it had a hoodie.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Better Adult

Fruit Trees by the Lake, Gustav Klimt

I've been thinking a lot about adulthood, now that I'm clearly here. Adulthood has been dawning on me gradually. I think part of me has always felt middle-aged. I used to say, "I feel like a grandma." Said it quite often, actually, until my then soon-to-be boyfriend said, "Sarah, no one wants to date a grandma!" Excellent point.

But I remember being a newly elected 10th grade class president, wandering the decks of an end-of-freshman-year party we had on a boat, listening to my classmates throw up in the bathroom. (It wasn't from the water; it was from the alcohol.) And I felt so old then, so old.

I've been growing into my skin ever since. I went off to college and became financially independent. (Though my parents have bailed me out with airplane tickets home and a few generous checks now and then, which they have never held against me. Thank you, parents.) Did my own taxes. Started buying my own "art." (Cheap prints of Klimt I hung on my wall.) Taught a year of high school. Moved to Texas. Got an array of jobs. Traveled. Made Important Life Decisions (to move there, not to move there, to apply to school there, not to marry him, etc.). I bought two cars. I graduated from law school.

Now here I am, with a bedroom, a bathroom, a car, a job, a commute, a professional wardrobe, a secretary. I'm 28. No longer beta. A full adult.

But still sometimes I miss the bus. I have few well-running routines. My finances are moving forward but sometimes only by the skin of my teeth. I'm sure that at some point, I will be good at much of this. Or at least, it will feel more normal. I'll have savings. I'll actually use my dental insurance. I'll be more likely to remember to bring the garbage to the curb on Thursday nights than to forget. At some point?

And then I wonder, surely God meant more for adults than just this, a competency at routine. And I wonder, What is adulthood anyway?