A Game for the Road

November 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s all fun and games until someone can’t think of anymore trivia. That makes no sense yet. Moving on.

My husband worked with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Tour this fall. On their road trips they played a game that Josh and I will probably continue to play on our road trips for years to come. This game is especially fun between two cars on walkie talkies (or phones if you’ve already joined the 21st century), but can also be played with a single car full of people. I like to call it:

20 Questions Trivia Stump (…which makes it sound like it’s got a wooden leg. Moving on.)

Team A thinks of a person for Team B to guess. Before B can ask a question about the mystery person, B must come up with a trivia question to stump A. If B can stump A with a trivia question, B gets to ask a yes-or-no question about the mystery person. For example:

Team A: I’m thinking of a person.

Team B: What was Doris Day’s first movie?

Team A: Calamity Jane.

Team B: Wrong. Romance on the High Seas. Is your person a man?

Team A: Yes.

Team B: What do James Garner, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart have in common?

Team A: They were all from Arizona.

Team B: Wrong. They were all in movies with Doris Day. Is your person fictional?

Team A: No.

And so on. After 20 questions of trying to figure out the mystery person, Team B should be able to guess who the mystery person is. If not, Team A has won. Yada yada. You get the picture. Rules include:

  1. Mystery person must be a generally “known” person. Don’t pick your Aunt Clara Bixby whom no one else has met.
  2. All trivia questions must have known answers. Don’t ask, “What was the first movie that Doris Day and Rock Hudson did together?” if you don’t know what it was. (It was Pillow Talk. Please tell me you knew that. I’m sure you knew that. Moving on.)

It’s all fun and games until someone can’t think of anymore trivia. See? I knew that sentence would work somewhere in this post. I hope this made-up game entertains you – or at least inspired you to make up your own game for the road. Enjoy.

some dogs are bored by this game. most dogs are bored by this game.

Fear and Bravery

July 30, 2012 § 6 Comments

When I was in college, I really liked this boy. He was totally a BMOC (Big Man On Campus), and I knew I could make him happy for the rest of our lives. My senior year, I asked him out to a group event, and he said yes. About 20 minutes into this event, I knew I never wanted to date this kid again.

It took a lot of bravery to ask this BMOC out. I’m so glad I did.

When I was a junior in high school, they brought on French as a language option instead of Latin (cake class), Spanish (cake class), or Computers (ew). I knew this new French class would be a lot of hard work, but I desperately wanted to discover the language of my heritage. By the end of two years of French classes, I spoke fairly well and discovered that I have a knack for understanding language.

It took a lot of bravery to begin and continue French classes. I’m so glad I did.

I’ve always struggled with what I want to do with my life. I’m good at a lot of things, but there are few things that I really love doing that will bring in revenue. (Why does no one pay me for each pin I post?!) There is some memo in my subconscious that says I have to have a career. After all, I have two undergraduate degrees and lots of special skills – surely I should be the CEO of something. (Or, at least the Administrative Assistant to the CEO.) If I don’t have some sort of a career, I’m just a bump on the log of society. I am a sponge in our marriage. I’m that girl who never really amounted to anything.

I was struggling with this thought last week, and as I cried in the bathtub, Josh kissed my forehead and reminded me to just enjoy living. In trying to figure out what I’m meant to do, I forget that I need to enjoy what I’m doing right now. Comparing is such a killjoy.

I enjoy theatre. I enjoy being involved with theatre to the point of affecting the culture around me. My skill in the theatre world is acting. I’ve discovered that I enjoy it enough to put the hard work into the details. And you better believe it’s hard work. This isn’t a new idea – I knew I wanted to be an actor since before Josh and I were married. But, suddenly he is done with school and starting professional jobs, and now it’s my turn to step back from a high-paying job and hone my acting skills.

It’s a little insane to take the plunge into doing theatre for a living considering that my husband is also an actor. But, we’re young – we don’t know yet that you can’t live on under $1,000/month. And, if I don’t take this brave step, I know I will regret it. I want to be able to say

It took a lot of bravery to become an actor. I’m so glad I did.

It’s possible that I won’t want to be an actor somewhere down the line. But, this is right for me right now. There is a lot of hard work ahead of me: a lot of disappointment, rejection, and frustration. But, there is also a lot of joy ahead of me: daily creativity, a sense of community, and affecting the culture around me. It’s less of a Career choice and more of an Enjoy-Living choice. May it never be said that I was afraid to take a chance.


Fear can be one of the most destructive emotions. It is, of course, also very important, in that fear sometimes stops you from doing stupid things. But it can also stop you from doing creative or exciting or experimental things. It can cloud your judgement of others, and lead to all kinds of evil. The control and understanding of our personal fears is one of the most important undertakings of our lives.”  – Helen Mirren

Dog Hangouts

April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I did something today I thought I would never do: I took our dog Harper to Doggie Day Camp.

happy puppy!

I got a call from our landlord telling me they’re showing our apartment in 15 minutes so I had to have the dog out of there. (Yeah. Fifteen minutes is barely enough time to get home from work, much less make the house look half-way presentable.) The landlord planned to show our apartment multiple times throughout the afternoon, so I either needed to keep Harper with me at work (a discussion worthy of its own blog post) or send her to a doggie day care.

Doggie Day Care: the epitome of American overindulgence in materialism and laziness. “I am not walking the dog in those filthy streets. I’ll get my exercise in the gym, and he can get his at day care. I don’t care what it costs.” “My child goes to day care, so my dog should, too.” “I love my dog, but I hate how hyper he is when I come home from work, so I’ll send him to doggie daycare so he can play and get worn out so I don’t have to deal with his hyperness.”

…or so I assumed…

With the help of our veterinarian, I quickly located a reputable Doggie Day Camp in town. When we got there, I was greeted by 4 people behind a counter. Oh, and about 20 dogs. Just hanging out. My dog doesn’t really know how to do that unless she’s tired. Ah. That must be it – these dogs have been playing for four hours, and I’m interrupting their after-lunch nap time. Cool.

Harper was super excited to be there – excited enough to poop in the lobby on their carpet. One of the employees immediately took her to the back, cleaned up the poop, and pleasantly excused her sudden bowel movement as “nerves.” Cute.

There were a lot of people working there – the [many] dogs get a lot of attention. They get to play on a doggie playground, in a doggie pool, and with doggie friends. This place might be cooler than any hangout I’ve ever been to. I was suddenly jealous of my dog’s good fortune. Clever.

When I picked Harper up at the end of the day, she was excited to see me, but it was more of a “Hey, let me show you my new digs” rather than “My friend! Take me home! Take me home!” Harper’s report card boasts that she enjoyed herself, so raise your glass to that.

hey, that was pretty fun. i want to go to there again.

Fine, then! Doggie Day Camp is cool if you find a good one. It did well for us in a pinch, and I’ll probably have to spend that $16 to send Harper back  from time to time just to show her how much I love her. Darn it.

New Year’s Resolutions

December 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Only 50% of my resolutions from 2011 were realized: I did try to grow my own cilantro, but I did not learn the Sun Salutation (who has time?). Here’s hoping I can do better in 2012.

Happy New Year!

Josh and I are making our New Year’s Resolutions together this year. I very seldom make more than two resolutions – I often don’t attempt any resolutions – but this year is different. All three of these resolutions are lifestyle changes that we’re hoping to implement. We’re going to make every effort to keep these resolutions for years to come.

1. Buy nothing new – Josh and I are striving to buy nothing new this year; anything we buy will be thrifted or vintage. (Exceptions: we will purchase new food, underwear, socks, and/or shoes.) I’m excited to see how our needs are met!

2. Eat only best – This is not a diet except in the sense that it is what we eat. Diets are for people who want to fail! Boooo to diets. Instead of “we don’t eat this,” we are going to undestand that we can eat anything – but we choose healthy foods close to the natural source. It’s a different mindset, not a restriction.

3. Be active now – Part of being healthy is being active. I sit at a desk all day long, and my hips are nice and plump as a result. This is not about being skinny – this is about being healthy. I need to take the dog for a walk and get my heart rate up – that’s a win/win situation.

OK, those are the goals – now keep me in check! I think 2012 holds promise of being a pretty good year. I learned a lot of stuff in 2011 – I learned that I don’t want to work in an office the rest of my life, I learned about vintage pipes, I learned I have pretty good taste, I learned banjo & a bit of mandolin, I learned it’s really hard to get a puppy to come on command, I learned I am so not ready for kids yet, I learned that I kill plants (OK, I knew that one), I learned I have a need for theatre, and some other useful stuff. I’m excited to see what I learn in 2012. Here’s to a New Year. Cheers.

Soda Jerk, Italian Style

October 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I need something smoother than pop but thicker than water, milder than coffee but sweeter than juice.

Soda Jerk passing an ice cream soda between two fountains (from Wikipedia)

Enter: the Italian Creme Soda. It’s smooth, creamy, sweet, and remarkably easy to make at home!

I made my own syrup since I was out of Monin. I combined 2 cups sugar and 1 cup tap water in a pot on the stove. I heated and stirred until the mixture was combined. Once it had become a smooth syrup, i added a small bottle (1 oz.) of raspberry extract. Then, I added some food coloring. (It should have been red to go with the raspberry flavor, but I was out of red. So, I used the next best thing.) I let the mixture cool until I could touch it, and then I put it in a glass bottle to store. I’ll keep it in the refrigerator until it’s gone – or for up to 1 month.

my Green Raspberry Italian Creme Soda

Make one for yourself. I promise it will make you happy.

For Fun

October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Josh and I have perfected the art of doing fun things for free. (We had to – we’re gonna be starving actors the rest of our lives.) Being creative with photography is one of our favorite pastimes. 

We’re not professionals by any means. (I mean – we use iPhoto to edit our stuff. Picnik if we’re feeling super clever. Nothing fancy.)


We’re usually our own subjects. We brought Harper along, so she got to join in the fun.


So curious…


We love our ukulele, though. Clearly.


What do you do for free (or inexpensive) fun? We like to take picnics to the park, walk around Downtown, go thrifting, or just sit on a park bench and make fun of people.

Write Stuff Down

September 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t keep a journal. I should; I know I’d remember things a lot better if I did.

Mom wouldn’t let us keep the whole newspaper, so I took a picture of it and put it in my scrapbook. I was really into scrapbooking in 2001.

Ten years ago on a Tuesday morning in September, our chapel service at school became less of a sermon and more of an expansion on what had just happened in New York City that morning. In the wake of that ugly event, our English teacher had us write down our thoughts on the attack on the World Trade Center:

Great Day in the Morning

It was a day just like any other day. At 9:50 am, we were let out of our second period class to go to chapel. A friend stopped me and asked with wide eyes, “Sarah, did you hear what happened? The World Trade Center and the Pentagon were hit by airplanes! We heard about it last period…” Her voice droned off. At first, I thought she was joking; I could not believe it. Is the President all right? Is new York in flames? How many people are dead? How did two planes happen to crash into two of the most important buildings in the United States in the same day – the same hour?

In chapel, we found out that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed. Gone. I could not imagine New York City without the World Trade Center buildings. Now, movies that I watch set in New York City and pictures taken prior to the tragedy will seem like a sad, distant memory. Remember when New York looked like this?

For the rest of the school day, we watched the news on the classroom televisions. The devastation came to life as we watched replays of the airplane sinking into the side of the North Tower and looked at the rubble standing six stories high. It was all so heartbreaking. I could not help but shed a few tears for the children who lost their parents, for the parents who lost their children, for the citizen who lost his best friend. This tragedy certainly brought America to her knees asking for God’s help. Isn’t it interesting to see how quickly she has gotten off her knees? What will it take for our nation to truly turn back to God?

Not only do I see that my writing skills have grown (thank goodness), but I see that the tragedy of 9/11 deeply affected a high school senior from Cleveland. Thanks, Mrs. Jaggard for making me put my thoughts on paper that day. To write things down is to remember things a little better. September 11, 2001 was an event that needed to be remembered for what it was – not romanticized, and certainly not forgotten.

p.s. On days like September 11 I am proud to come from a family of firefighters and police officers. First responders are my heroes: Thanks for doing what you do.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Inspire category at Clever Days.