Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reason 617 I Do Not Deserve My Husband

8 PM last night, my eyes are so sore light of any kind hurts them and we've made our apartment complete darkness. I sit on the couch with sunglasses on watching TV between my fingers (I have them held up over my face because even the TV is too bright).

Sam stands in the kitchen, flashlight in his mouth, stirring our mac and cheese for dinner.

That's right, people. Not only did he make us a briliant meal, he did so with a mini mag flashlight as his only source of light.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A little rambling. As always.

Going back to Kansas is hard for me. For lots of reasons. I spent a good part of my life wanting nothing more than to leave, see the rest of the world - explore what WASN'T Kansas. I was itching, begging, yearning to be set free from the state, that as far as I was concerned, had shown me all it had.

Don't get me wrong, though, I did, the minute I stepped foot in my new "home" of Sarasota, Florida, miss the great powerful winds, the earth-shaking thunderstorms, the clear crisp sun and sky on a summer day. I knew I had had it good and wonderful for a time. But I was ready to explore other places, other things. And in that first four years away, I discovered something else, too. That while Kansas had been "home," so could anywhere else I would be. My roots traveled with me.

I did end up moving back, though. I got a job, I returned to family. I started a grown-up life. But the pangs of leaving my just-recently-found home were as fresh and deep as when I had left Kansas the first time. Only now I yearned for endless blue ocean, the smell of salt and the laughter of friends coated in paint and chalk and charcoal.

My definition of home became refined. Sure it was bits of the place I was, the physical world that surrounded me. But even more it was who surrounded me. And that has stayed constant over the years no matter where I was. In fact, it gave me the courage to go wherever my heart told me to - knowing there would always be a place, somewhere - to go back to. That there would always be people to whom I could come home to - no matter where any of us were. In Kansas City home became defined by the Sarahs, in New York it's Sam; in every place I have ever been it is less what as it is whom. And, the dearest home I've had, the most lengthy and enduring has been the one I grew up in. Kansas has repeatedly served me well. It has unerringly given me people who are amazing and talented and wonderful and loving. And when I return to those vast plains, it is a chance to be closer to them and all the memories we created there together. Because, well, honestly, in the oast 13 years, I haven't been.

This has been a hard realization for me to come to terms with. Since I first left for college, I have always been the one who lives far away, the one moving away, the one just visiting. I have been the one who hoped for visits that were never quite doable, for stays that were never quite convenient. I was the one who got on the planes, or in the car, and traversed the miles. Because I could. Because it was easier for me. Because one traveling is easier than four. Easier then six. Easier than just two. Because it always felt I had to somehow make up for the fact that I chose to be far away. Though the kicker is - it never felt like a choice. It always felt like I was just following the path laid before me. And this continues to this day. Being the one far away. Being the one not there. And sometimes, oftentimes, it breaks my heart a little.

Because I want to be there. But at the same time, part of me believes even if I was there - I'd still be somehow outside. That it's too late. That it's not who I am. Or who they want from me. I fear being a close enough to be a part of all of the madness, the wonder, and being left out because it's never worked any differently. Sam says my fears are unfounded. Unfounded perhaps, but hard to shake.

And it's on my mind a lot. The question of our recent trip seemed to be "when are you coming home?" It's hard to answer. It's never as easy as "of course! I want to! Tomorrow!" Even though some days that's true. Especially the week after we return from the wide open spaces, big skies and awesome family. But then we get back here and I look around and think to myself, how could we possibly leave this city? How could we possibly give all this up?! I'm in love with this place in a way that's very hard to put words to. I always have been. And now that Sam is here with me, well. It is even more intoxicating and amazing than ever.

I think Sam and I share the feeling of somehow always being the one coming home from far away. There's good in that. It's not all sadness and isolation. Quite the opposite. There's independence and freedom and adventure. It really is just the two of us facing the world, and so far, we've been pretty kickass at it. We're planning world trips and picnics in Central Park. He's producing Mets specials and I'm working on a series of paintings to submit to a gallery. It feels, at times, we couldn't possibly exist anywhere else in the world. How could we?

I know we will someday. And someday, perhaps, we'll be back in Kansas. I can't say for sure. I know wherever we go it will be some where the two of us can be happy. That whatever path has led us here has done well so far, and we'll probably follow it to the end. Where the end is, however, is information I'm not quite privy to yet. But I trust it. Despite my fears and my missing and my anxiety about what may lie ahead, I do trust the world will, as it always has - take us where we're meant to be.

But I will confess that part me of hopes that's Kansas. Sam says that he can tell little Sarah and his family are definitely the one-two punch. And he's right. "The Divine Miss S is the final kick in the pants," and again he hits the nail on the head. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that being the one far away isn't so bad.

I've been lucky. I've been blessed.

The people that have always made up MY home are always there waiting with a soft place to land. And who knows, maybe I'm just Taking the Long Way Around.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I have a million things to write about the trip back. A thousand thoughts on Kansas and friends and family. But for now, I'll just update you via pics on what was a FANTASTIC weekend. And you know, show you what I wore - I know you're all dying to see. ;)

First - we got to hang out with these hooligans and it was fantastic.

They were wedding rockstars, running errands and anwering the call of duty in an awesome fashion. And then they still managed to totally stay up til all hours chatting with us. I think some of my favorite times have been spent on the Gilchrists' back porch.

Sam asked if I missed Salina as we drove out and I could honestly say no. Just the people, and the fact that Salina symbolizes - in my head - that magical time when we were all in one place; full of hope and plans for great futures. It's nice to go back knowing all our dreams weren't as impossible as people told us then.

Whenever we go back and see family Sam is the quintessential pied piper. It's fun to see the kids flock to him, and I gladly take a seat at the next table so they can sit near him. The kids in this family are FANTASTIC. And absolutely adorable. I spent all weekend telling people I was ready to box them all up and sell the cuteness.

The wedding and reception were awesome. All the kids partook quite extravagantly in the punch and I love that there's a certain point in all the pics I've seen where they all have punch mouth - just like this:

And for those of you wondering if the self-centeredness of this blog has let up - the answer is, of course, no. Here's me before the wedding in the first picture taken of me I like since MY wedding:

And here's the cutest pic of Sam and Challey enjoying a dance: (Notice, punch-mouth still in full effect.)

We even got in a game of whiffle ball at one point, which was fab. Sam and Joe stayed up til the early hours after the wedding playing All-Star Baseball, of course. But in my opinion nothing beats a good family game of the real thing. Or well, the real thing involving paper plate bases, styrofoam bats and coaches under the age of 8.

And, of course - the whole reason the weekend was wonderful. The people there in that picture below. I think I'm as in love with all of them as I am with Sam, or at least ridiculously close. I feel SO BLESSED to call these people family. I kept looking around this weekend in just shock as to how lucky I am. It was really amazing to get to spend a couple days with them.

They've truly made Kansas "home" again for me.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

200 Days

Painting By Chagall - The Weepies

Thunder rumbles in the distance, a quiet intensity
I am willful, your insistence is tugging at the best of me
You’re the moon, I’m the water
You’re Mars, calling up Neptune’s daughter

Sometimes rain that’s needed falls
We float like two lovers in a painting by Chagall
All around is sky and blue town
Holding these flowers for a wedding gown
We live so high above the ground, satellites surround us.

I am humbled in this city
There seems to be an endless sea of people like us
Wakeful dreamers, I pass them on the sunlit streets
In our rooms filled with laughter
We make hope from every small disaster

Everybody says “you can’t, you can't, you can't, don’t try.”
Still everybody says that if they had the chance
they’d fly like we do.

Thanks for keeping me flying, Love.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Say I am You

by the Weepies is a great album. And, I know, my musical taste has wavered from the "good" in the past, but seriously, people. I listen to this album and I'm torn between standing in the wind with sun shining down on my face and immediately running home to pick up a paint brush. Both feelings are of absolute joy. So go. It's on iTunes. It's ten dollars well-spent.

In addition to listening to this album nonstop while I work at the highest volume possible through my headphones (which is remarkable, honestly, as the IT guys here ROCK and gave me killer speakers for my machine since I work late so much), my life this week has been pretty nondescript. Work. Sleep. Whining we don't have peanut butter. Or bread. But being too lazy to in fact get such things.

Yeah. That covers it.

I have also been scouring my closet for what to wear to the wedding next weekend. I know it sounds ridiculous - but I feel like I'm entering a time in my life where I have to look at things and make the call - too young? I mean, seriously, it's weird. I don't like it. But it's true. There things I should no longer wear as I am too old.

Eeek. It kind of hurt to say that. But it's true. I'm a little lax in how I define these things, but sometimes I just look and think um, only appropriate if someone else has to buy your gin and tonic. This might be less a reflection of age as it is of snobbery. Funnily I'm more okay with the snobbery than I am of the adult-ness of dressing my age. Anyway, I'm wearing this cute little dress I have I love, but it's on the verge of being. Hm. Not me? Too young? I'm not sure. But I've been putting a ridiculous amount of thought as to *how* to wear it and if it will all be okay in the end. And it will. In that way that anything you wear to a former lesbian's catholic wedding is okay.


Anyway, as you can tell, I'm feeling a bit scattered lately. I have a concussion which is funny. I hit my head Thursday night and by Saturday morning I was curled on the couch almost crying from the headache that had settled in my SOUL and then Saturday when we went out to dinner I forgot what I ordered and had an inner hissy fit for fear I would not get THE WORLD'S GREATEST FAJITAS EVER because I had ordered something else by accident.

It might be important to point out right now that in the five years I have lived here and ordered dinner at this restaurant I have never, not once, ordered anything else. But Saturday night? I was convinced I had ruined my meal because I couldn't remember what exactly I had ordered.

And I found this totally normal. It wasn't until I called my dad to ask how long said headache should last before I should probably ask someone with, you know, a medical degree about it and then regaled him with my weekend activities that he mentioned that short-term memory loss wasn't exactly NORMAL and what I had, according to my descriptions of my weekend in all its glory, was a concussion.

Good to know.

SO I've spent the week popping Excedrin and putting off calling the doctor. The knot on the back of my head has gone down, I'm no longer falling asleep at 7pm and I remember what I had for lunch. SO things are good. Or at least approving.

And, PS, I'd like to thank David Leigh for technically giving me said concussion when he made me laugh so hard at the baseball game I was forced to tilt my head back with great force to let my guffaw properly tumble from my mouth, landing on the metal post that separated our field box seats from everyone else's.

And PPS, I'll blame the Tribune since they were their seats. And Sam. And John C. Just cause I can, as they were there and it's possible they were involved in whatever I was guffawing at.

Um, yeah. Have a great weekend, poppets! And make sure you buy this album. It's tops. Though you may want to wait til next week when I'm not concussed to take my advice on purchases. It's your choice.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gotta Have You

It's not been the best week - punctuated with a concussion I gave MYSELF during the Mets game Friday when I was on my date with Dave. (Another entry altogether.)

Sam's carried the brunt of this crappiness, of course. I've been tired and not felt good and have been having a really stressful week at work. Nothing major - just not working up to the standard I have for myself. And that's the most frustrating at all. But anyway, I figured today I share with you my new fave band as well as publicly thank my husband for not shooting me yet to put me out of his misery. And for telling me, every day, I have a refuge.

Gotta Have You by The Weepies

Gray, quiet and tired and mean
Picking at a worried seam
I try to make you mad at me over the phone.
Red eyes and fire and signs
I’m taken by a nursery rhyme
I want to make a ray of sunshine and never leave home

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you.

The road gets cold, there’s no spring in the middle this year
I’m the new chicken clucking open hearts and ears
Oh, such a prima donna, sorry for myself
But green, it is also summer
And I won’t be warm till I’m lying in your arms

I see it all through a telescope: guitar, suitcase, and a warm coat
Lying in the back of the blue boat, humming a tune...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Turn it up! Bring tha noize!

Guest blog'n Sweet Sammy style...

Yo peeps, I'm black is back, all in, and if you stick wit me we're all gonna win. Ok, enough PE fo' now.

This past weekend kicked our collective asses. I got to live my dream of covering the Mets and my beautiful wife and I rock'd it out Sunday after Mist, Leewee and I destroy'd Friday night.

- Two days of all-access to Shea Stadium and the NY Mets.
- Interviews with several Mets players (David Wright, Xavier Nady, Billy Wagner, Chris Woodward...) and several Mets Execs.
- Watch part of two games in a series where the Mets beat the Braves.
- Ate like the GODS courtesy of Misty... Chicken Caprasi, OMG, Chicken Caprasi. Sooooooo goooooood!
- Buddy Dave and I go out like Irish Rock Stars courtesy of The GAF and countless pints of brew.
- Public Enemy Concert, hosted by Ice-T.

Amazing weekend. I'm helping to produce a Mets special for WB11 that will air the night of the first Subway Series game this year... which I'm missing... that's right Carrie, THAT'S how much I love you. But anyway, it's been a blast, got to play sports journalist for a few days and get full access to Shea, on two gamedays which rules. The Public Enemy concert was amazing, Chuck D is still one of the best rappers out there and there's no experience quite like Flava Flave. I guess all that's left to be said is...


Monday, May 08, 2006

David Wright and a little Public Enemy

SO this weekend started out pretty slow - Sam and I took turns sleeping on Saturday. I got up early to see Dave the best best-friend-in-law ever off at 9am and then cleaned and picked up til about 1:30 where I collapsed on the couch for a must-needed nap. Sam woke up at 2pm. Ha. (Thanks to Dave and the Gaf, our local Irish pub, keeping him up and out til 5am). We eventually both were awake enough to go grab some food at Ariba Ariba and then went back home to relax, and big surprise, go back to bed.

But Sunday. SUNDAY was full of excitement. We headed to Shea at 9am and did some of this:

Okay, so that's SAM doing something. Specifically, interviewing David Wright . . . here's some more just cause:

But then we were fans for a bit and got to do this:

And this:

And a little of this:

Those are Cliff Floyd's bats. HIS BATS, people. I was very excited. I *heart* me some Cliff Floyd.

I even got to meet Mr. Met!

And then we got comped some KICKASS seats for the game. Which was awesome. I'm being brief here only 'cause I'm hoping Sam will write a bit here on this whole fun-ness as I feel I cannot do it justice. But anyway - we had great seats ,but had to leave early to get home and change in time for the PUBLIC ENEMY CONCERT. Hosted by Ice T.

That's right, my homies. Straight from the game to some killer hip hop. It was a lovely Lord's Day. Further proof you just dont' get cooler than S&M in the city.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

An Athlete

This week I'm starting my path to athlete-ism. I dared refer to myself AS an athlete at Borders the other day, clutching my 13-week running program book, and I thought Sam might pass out from laughing.

So I'm calling myself an almost athlete. For now. I'm working my way up.

And yes, it's a RUNNING program. But don't get all up and impressed. It involves a lot of walking. I like walking. I like sitting even more, but alas my ass is getting large enough to tell the world how much I love sitting, so I'm trying to love other things now. Walking and running seem good choices.

So in 13 weeks, in THEORY, I should be able to run a 5K. Now let's be real and say that of course "running" as the word is commonly used and defined (via good ol' Mr. Webster) is "to go rapidly or hurriedly." Well, I looked it up and I'll be more akin to THIS Webster's definition: "to go faster than a walk." Which, well, is pretty slow. I mosey, mostly. So my starting speed is already below average.

But I'm okay with that. I want to try to do this. For more reasons than I can list. And, you know, it's a start. Someday when I call myself an "athlete" Sam won't be able to so much as snicker.

Mostly. Maybe. Well, perhaps I can come close.

He Puts Diamonds on the Soles of My Shoes

This song makes me happy. And I think it's de-lovely romantic, not that I see Sam and I in it much in the literal sense - I'm certainly not rich, he's not poor - but there's something about the lyrics that speak to me. I imagine how this boy makes this girl feel, how she must act, and walk and talk, for him to say she has diamonds on the soles of her shoes. How he gets dressed up for her and takes her out, how they find simple happiness asleep in a doorway . . . I don't know much - but I think I know how she feels. Why she loves him. I guess the real question in this song is why does *he* love her?

My next painting may just be one of Sam and I resting our doorway, here by our bodegas near middle broadway.

(a-wa) o kodwa u zo-nge li-sa namhlange
(a-wa a-wa) si-bona kwenze ka kanjani
(a-wa a-wa) amanto mbazane ayeza
She’s a rich girl
She don’t try to hide it
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

He’s a poor boy
Empty as a pocket
Empty as a pocket with nothing to lose
Sing ta na na
Ta na na na
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

People say she’s crazy
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Well that’s one way to lose these
Walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

She was physically forgotten
Then she slipped into my pocket
With my car keys
She said you’ve taken me for granted
Because I please you
Wearing these diamonds

And I could say oo oo oo
As if everybody knows
What I’m talking about
As if everybody would know
Exactly what I was talking about
Talking about diamonds on the soles of her shoes

She makes the sign of a teaspoon
He makes the sign of a wave
The poor boy changes clothes
And puts on after-shave
To compensate for his ordinary shoes

And she said honey take me dancing
But they ended up by sleeping
In a doorway
By the bodegas and the lights on
Upper broadway
Wearing diamonds on the soles of their shoes

And I could say oo oo oo
As if everybody here would know
What I was talking about
I mean everybody here would know exactly
What I was talking about
Talking about diamonds

People say I’m crazy
I got diamonds on the soles of my shoes
Well that’s one way to lose
These walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of your shoes

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

In the spirit of telling stories of weird criminal things that happen in your apartment building - I offer this up from 215 East 29th.

They sat, a little crowded at the end of the floor. The three of them sharing the narrow wall between doorways, staring across the hall at the police-taped, sealed door in front of them.

Between them, resting in an old Tupperware lettuce-spinner was a bottle of cheap red wine surround by ice cubes hurriedly broken from their trays. It was as if they had the whole building to themselves, the other six floors amazingly silent. Though they always felt like this, that they lived in this building alone; filling one floor between themselves and "the crazy old guy" they would pass in the elevator, who lived in the fourth apartment on the floor. It made them feel college-like again, this hanging out in the hallway as if it were an addition to their apartments- only this time there were no R.A.'s or homework deadlines to haunt them. And the alcohol of course. They could have never hung out in a dorm drinking alcohol from coffee mugs in the hallway, or at least not advertised it so summarily with the homespun ice bucket.

That had been Natalia's idea - the ice bucket. They had all retreated into their own apartments for their glasses - mugs, rather. Each had had wine glasses, but it seemed too celebratory for their purposes tonight.

Tonight they were holding a memorial service, of sorts, for the crazy old man.

"I heard he was really ill, and it was a mercy . . ."

"I only met him once and he screamed at my boyfriend for five minutes straight."

"He borrowed my phone once. He never complained about my music."

Three girls, sprawled on the dingy red-tiled floor of the hallway, trying to decipher who this man was. Never caring while he shared walls with them - but now - now that his presence was so prevalent behind the police tape - there was an urgent need to know. A swapping of facts and rumors, rare sightings - as if he were a Yeti.

"He had these really long fingernails . . ."

"And that cane . . ."

"With the scraggily hair . . ."

Two of them still had their work clothes on, this being a somewhat impromptu gathering. The third was dressed in thank-god-I'm-home-attire: sweatpants with a bandana tied haphazardly around her head.

They sat for hours, the conversation eventually surpassing this man and his mysterious story and moving on to normal everyday getting-to-know-you things. Who worked where, when everyone moved in, why they had never really spoken before. They huddled there in the walkway, mugs cradled, sipping their wine and giggling over meaningless things. Talking with their hands at points, spilling the red liquid on the floor. Running into their respective apartments to grab chips, or bread, or answer a phone. They sat there, sharing stories and giving advice on menial matters until the early morning hours.

Three girls who shared a floor who had never met.

Not until the guy in the southwest apartment was murdered.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


A couple of the people I've been working with lately have become some pretty cool friends. They have me laughing at regular intervals and basically make what could be a hellish project something I look forward to figuring out. Last Friday we went rollerblading and on the way back my friend David asked to hear the story of Misty and Sam. It was probably more an act of kindness on his part, as I'm sure he has already heard it. But I love telling it and I surely started at the beginning and told him the whole story. And he listened and stopped and asked questions and three miles later we were saying good by and I was all full of this magical mix of new friends and new adventures awaiting just around the corner and old stories and home waiting for me a mere block away.

It was pretty nice. Awesome, in fact.

And, if you read this at all, you know I can't talk about how in love I am with Sam enough. Mostly because I had kind of given up on such a thing happening to me. (And yes, I just referred to Sam as "such a thing"). It was for the birds, I decided. Or at least not for me. I had a life and plans and hopes, and perhaps, perhaps there wasn't room for another person. Another force in my life. And I had made peace with that. And then I met someone who also had plans and hopes and wasn't looking for anything big or crazy. Who wasn't sure how another force would work in his life - and yet, us coming together seemed the most natural thing in the world. There was no eminent compromise, no letting go of the dreams and hopes. Just a celebration of them, a curiosity of them. A wanting to know more. There were nights of talking 'til then sun came up. Endless evenings on the phone, afternoons filled with emails and IMs. It seemed from the beginning we had stories to tell. And looking around now, it's comforting to me those stories haven't slowed. The plans haven't changed. The dreams didn't dissipate.

And I guess, that's the beauty of it. That we've lived lives worth celebrating, for their hardships and their triumphs, even before we met each other. We are still learning new things, still sharing new stories. And I'm lucky that I've found someone like that. Like Sam. Who celebrates all the stories that came before as much as the stories we're living. I don't think that's easy to find.

And for someone like me, who so loves her stories, it's priceless.

The beauty being of course, that the best stories? They're yet to come. Creeping over the horizon to reveal days I've yet to even dare dream of.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Or May Day, or four days before Cinco de Mayo - or whatever you want to be celebrating. *My* house will be celebrating today in full force.

I love this holiday - maybe for the childhood memories it brings of making small paper baskets filled with homemade paper flowers to leave on neighbor's doors . . . or perhaps because it always seems to signal, truly, the end of winter. That finally we have made it into the clear. The trees are budding, the garden is lush . . . the world is awake again, and what's more - thriving.

I love how that feels. How it looks. How it makes me feel.

I'm looking forward; hopefully, expectantly, happily. To wonderful possibilities from a wonderful place.

I am thriving.