Ending the Inner Grinch

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Well...vacation has been AH-MAZE-ING so far.  Since 3:30 last Friday I haven't been doing much.  I have been very productive at relaxing, "celebrating", and sleeping.

I have been running at top speed for the last semester.  School has DEF been a full-time job, and work (that I love) is for sure a full-time job.  I have enjoyed being so busy, but I am loving having two weeks off.

Besides just getting two weeks off, I really feel like I'm embracing the holidays this year. 

I'm a very celebratory person, but Christmas has always been one of my least favorite times of the year.  Growing up Jewish in Reno almost made me resent the holidays.  As a little girl I would get upset that no one knew what Chanukah was.  It would frustrate an 8 year-old me that people would wish me a Merry Christmas. When I was editor-in-chief of  my high school newspaper, I fought my whole staff against naming our holiday edition of the paper the "Red and Green".  I was so against the name change because it's obvious Christmas reference that I even got my rabbi involved.

Looking back to some of those past...well...let's call them "shinanigans" I can't help but laugh (but also shake my head).  Maybe it's just because I'm getting older.  Maybe it's because I'm more tolerant.  Maybe more open-minded?  Or dare I say...maybe more mature? 

I have realized that those sentiments of the past don't reflect my current mood or opinion.  I have realized that I love the holidays.  Yes people get crazy when it comes to shopping, but my general opinion is that people are in a better mood at this time of year.  And I love all of the celebration.  All of the bringing people closer.  I'm thrilled that I get to see so many people and great friends that I haven't had time to connect with these past four months or so. 

I still find Christmas Day a bit depressing.  When the rest of the world is closed and with family, opening presents, watching football, etc...I'm home, trying to keep myself entertained.  As a kid my mom would take us to the movies.  I remember a great year in Vegas where we spent the day riding the rides at the MGM Grand.  Now that I've gotten older some of my friends have taken mercy on me and have invited me to their Christmas Dinner.  I love being included in other families traditions.

Christmas CHEERS
And I think that's where I have re-found my love of this time of year.  I have realized that there is really no point in being resentful towards people.  Unless people know me, there is really no way someone would know that I'm Jewish.  Now, when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, instead of being pissed off, I'm just thankful that someone took the time to say SOMETHING to me at all.  Everyone is usually so caught up in their own worlds that a greeting can be rare.  The holidays seem to bring out the good in people.

I used to call myself The Grinch. And I guess I still have a fondness for the green guy. He too hated Christmas, until he had a change of heart...LITERALLY. The Grinch's heart starts off "two sizes too small" at the beginning of the story and grows three sizes by the end.

Holiday-Hater NO MORE!
 As we are just a couple days away from Santa's arrival, I'm actually going into this year's season the happiest I can ever remember being. I feel like I'm glowing and am so filled with love and good cheer.  Instead of being down about Christmas Day, I will be busy this year.  Plans are in the works and I'm looking forward to spending my day with those who are close to me.

But enough with all this mushy stuff (see...what's gotten into me?!?!). 

Free at LAST

Friday, December 17, 2010
Have I mentioned how much I love my job? 
 Besides the fact that I love what I'm doing, I love my co-workers, I love my kids,
and love how rewarding my work is....I LOVE THAT I GET A WINTER BREAK!

Yes, that's right.  I get the next two weeks off from work.
I don't think I've really had a Winter Break since I was in high school.

And how am I planning on spending my break? 
I want to do as little as possible. 

Yes I have some house cleaning to do (and a reorganization of my garage). And I plan on taking some excursions, spending time with my friends, celebrating the holidays, catching up on things saved on my DVR, relaxing, blogging, and hopefully doing some pleasure reading.

Snow in the Biggest Little!
As snow has been falling all day,
I couldn't be more in the holiday mood.
Now I just need a cup of (spiked) hot chocolate to celebrate!

My Year in Review

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Each year, TIME Magazine chooses their person of the year.  This person is someone who is influential, has made a difference in the past year, and is someone who is recognized by all.  Past recipients of this award have included Barack Obama (2008), Rudolph Giuliani (2001), Martin Luther King (1963), Queen Elizabeth II (1952), Mohandas Gandhi (1930), and the list goes on. The magazine started choosing their Person of the Year in 1927.

Yesterday, the 2010 TIME Person of the Year was announced.  Was it Julian Assange (the man behind WikiLeaks)?  Nope!  How about Hamid Karzai (the elected leader of the volatile nation of Afghanistan)?  Try again!

The recipient of this year's award is the second-youngest individual ever to be named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year.  The co-founder of the power-house, social-networking site Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg graces this year's cover.
Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook
 Although some people may question the magazine's selection, I think it couldn't be more appropriate.  Through the creation of Facebook, millions of people world wide are connected.  If that's not amazing, check out these stats:

~ Facebook welcomed its 550 millionth member this month ~
~ One out of every dozen people on the planet has a Facebook account ~
~ The webpage is translated into 75 different languages ~
~ Collectively, more then 700 billion minutes are spent on Facebook every month ~
~ Last month the site accounted for 1 out of 4 American page views~
~ Facebook's membership is currently growing at a rate of about 700,000 people a day ~

There is no doubt that Facebook has changed the way we relate to one another.  Can you imagine a world without checking status updates and viewing people's uploaded pictures?  Through Facebook we are able to get a glimpse into someone's life without actually speaking to them.

As I have mentioned before, I am a Facebook-Addict.  I can't remember the last time I went a day without visiting my favorite website.  I update my status virtually everyday, and some days I update multiple times. 

Looking back through my status posts from the last year is like getting a glimpse into what went on in my life during 2010.  As I have said before, I use my updates more of a journal/chronicle of my life.  While people used to write things down on paper, I do it electronically through Facebook (and now this little blog).

Check out my "collage" or highlights from a Year-in-Sarah

In one year, I: loved my job, hated my job, lost my job, enjoyed FUNemployment, despised unemployment, interviewed a lot, got a NEW job, and fell in love with the job I now have.

I: felt blessed for my fabulous friends and family, drank (and was hungover), ate, celebrated (holidays/birthdays/Sunday Fundays), danced, laughed, loved, experienced heartbreak, and went on vacations/trips (Vegas MANY times, Baltimore, San Diego, wine country, and the list goes on).  

The top 10 words that I used in my status this year are:
1. Happy (42 times)
2. Weekend (29 times)
3. Friends (29 times)
4. Love (24 times)
5. Vegas (23 times)
6. Night (23 times)
7. Can't (22 times)
8. Please (20 times)
9. Fun (18 times)
10. Dinner (18 times)

I find that these ten words are a very accurate in describing me this past year. It's crazy how much a few words can say about a person.  It's been an interesting year, and DEF one filled with changes and transitions.  It's been an unusually tough year, and although I had some fabulous moments I am looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store!

If I Had a MILLION (or more) Dollars...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The holiday's are supposed to be a time about giving.  A time to be thankful for what we have.  A time to spend time with our family and those we love. 

I think the key word in what I said above is SUPPOSED TO.  As I have gotten older, it seems to me that the holidays have really become a time for mass consumption and overspending.  This year, millions of people nation-wide flocked to stores on Black Friday to find whatever deals they could.  A riot took place in upstate New York as crazed shoppers rushed into a Target.

Is this really what the holiday season is about?

Being Jewish, I (obviously) don't celebrate Christmas.  I don't wake up on Christmas morning to dozens of presents to open.  And to be honest, I haven't "cashed in" on the eight days of presents and loot, that people think goes hand-in-hand with Chanukah, since I was a child. 

As the nation is dealing with one of the hardest-hit economies in decades, you would think people would be more conscious of their spending habits.  I have honestly found just the opposite. 

Look at all of this ridiculous stuff people, who have money to blow, are buying!!!!

24k Gold Pills
Ever wanted to shit gold?
The tag line on these outrageous pills are: "Indulge your 'inner' self with these 24k gold leaf capsules. 
Digest to increase self worth."

Created by artists and visionaries Tobias Wong and Ju$t Another Rich Kid, these pills are for people who have so much money and are looking for a good way to waste it. 
For a mere $799 you too can own these gold dipped pills that are filled with gold flakes. 

At first I thought there may be some health value to these.  Maybe some healing powers of gold? After reading some reviews, I discovered there is no redeemable value to these except for bragging rights for ingesting a shit-load of gold.  And when I say shit-load, I mean shit-load. 
People who did take these pills reported  no side effects except for sparkly poop.

Thanks but no thanks, I will pass on this one.  But if you ARE interested in buying these gold pills,

Diamond Encrusted iPhone
Bling Bling...you have an incoming call!
Now, I'm DEF a girl who LOVES her bling.  They do say diamonds are a girls best friend after all.  This phone however, takes bling to a whole new level.  You can make your calls and text your friends in style with this modified iPhone.

It features (get this) 500 flawless diamonds!  It includes a SEVEN-CARAT pink diamond inserted into the navigation button that is set in platinum and rose gold.  And if pink diamonds aren't your thing you can also get a clear seven-carat diamond instead.

The cost of this beauty? ONLY $8,000,000!!!

Only thing missing is the diamond encrusted worm.
A Mexican distillery recently created what they're hoping will be the world's most expensive bottle of tequila.  This ridiculous bottle is covered in FIVE POUNDS of platinum and is encrusted with FOUR THOUSAND diamonds (over 300 carats of bling).  The bottle is named "Diamond's Law" by the distillery, and is estimated to cost (wait for it) $3.5 MILLION dollars!  The liquid inside is a mixture of three different tequilas that have been aged up to seven years.  This one bottle took over 20 people to make.

Although it would look pretty on a shelf, I could think of a million other (BETTER) ways to spend that money if I had it.  How about a house? A car?  A plane?  And if I did need some diamonds in my life, I prefer to have a copy of that engagement ring that Kate Middleton has on her finger....

A Bear with Golden Hair
A teddy bear that makes all the others look like play-things....
At first glance, this looks like an ordinary teddy bear.  Made by a toy company called Steiff, which claims to have made the world's first teddy bear EVER, they commissioned this golden bear to celebrate their 125th Anniversary. 

This unique bear is actually quit a collectors item.  Its fur is made of REAL GOLD and its eyes are made of sapphires and diamonds.  Although you can find versions of this bear made out of cotton, this bear has a mouth made of solid gold, fur made from gold thread, and eyes with pupils of sapphire and irises made from 20 tiny diamonds. Only 125 of this limited edition "Jubilee Bear" have been produced.

And the cost on this adorable bear...$71,500.

So as we are just a handful of days away from Christmas, I wonder what everyone is hoping to "get" this year.  To change things up a bit, I made some of my friends presents.  It's a craft one of my friends had posted on her Facebook that I thought was really fun.  I will post the project on my blog after the holidays so I don't blow the surprise for my girlies who are receiving this. 

As 2010 comes to a close, I have realized getting two weeks off is present enough for me.  Have I mentioned how much I enjoy working for the school district?

Oh...and to any of you out there who are feeling a bit generous this year, I will be happy to receive any of the above lavish items.  Well, except for the gold pills...sparkly poop will be wasted on me. 

The Color of the Year Is...

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Each year, Pantone chooses a color of the year.   

Last year's Pantone color was turquoise
After a rocky 2009, the color experts chose this color
because of it's calming effects.

As we enter 2012 a more vibrant color was needed. 
Thus, HONEYSUCKLE has been dubbed the 2011 color of the year.

Pantone Describes HONEYSUCKLE as:

A Color for All Seasons
Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it.

According to Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman, “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going –
perfect to ward off the blues."

I am personally thrilled with this year's color choice! Although I usually envision honeysuckles being white or white with a honey yellow tone, the shade that Pantone has chosen is a vibrant pink! Nothing screams happiness and positivity like the color pink.  This color's eye-catching hue is striking! It's not only a color I already wear, it's a color I can't wait to add more of to my wardrobe.  We are already starting to see this color hit mainstream...

So as we enter 2011, I say...BRING ON the sweetness, confidence, amazingness that is HONEYSUCKLE!

If I Only Had More Time....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

After a LONG hiatus from my writing, I am making my return.

This past month or so has been beyond crazy and busy.  I find myself wondering at the end of each day, where all my time went.  I feel like my head won't stop spinning.  I'm finding that I am barely able to tread water enough to keep my head from sinking. Should I add another analogy here?  Or did I make my point?

I am the busiest (and honestly the happiest) I've been in a long time.  I am however finding it difficult to get everything I want to done in a day (or even a week) and struggle with maintaining my obligations, relationships, friendships, and social calendar.  

I feel as if I'm being pulled in a million different directions.  I can't seem to make everyone happy.  Hell, it sometimes seems as if I'm disappointing people daily. 

I've come to the realization though, that I will never make everyone happy at the same time.  As long as I'm doing the best I can do each day, and I'm happy, that's all that matters at the moment.  If my friends, family, coworkers, and other people that I come in contact with don't understand this, then c'est la vie.  This is MY life...and I will live it the way I see fit.

Time Management is DIFFICULT when you need MORE TIME!

So with all of that said, I have created a list of the things I have neglected and wish I had more time to do:

Sarah's "If I Only Had More Time" List

 Get back to blogging everyday.

Stay in better communication with my family.

See my family (esp the ones who live in town) more often.

Tackle my mountain of books that I have accumulated over the last year or so...I MISS PLEASURE READING!

Study more!  Need. To. Get. Myself. GRADUATED!

Spread my time more evenly between my friends...I miss spending time with my Besties.

 Pre-plan my meals and cook dinner every night (or at least most nights).

Get to the gym at least 5 times a week.

Keep my room clean, and my laundry folded/hung up.

 Love my kitty more...I think she's upset that I don't have as much time to give her.

Get AHEAD with my work so I'm not always rushing to keep up or playing catch-up.

Try something new...LIKE ROLLER DERBY!

Clean my garage.

Winterize my poor little backyard.

Purge my closets and donate some clothes (or more realistically BAGS of clothes) to charity.

Now that this list is created, will I be able to tackle some of the items on it?
They say that if you put an idea to paper there is a better chance it will get done.
I guess only time will tell....

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