Writing for the masses...

Or just the dogs.

Reasons I Should Still Be Single #731: I can’t stop cleaning.

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Feature, Life | 1 comment

Reasons I Should Still Be Single #731: I can’t stop cleaning.




I clean. I clean when I am stressed. I clean when I am hungry. I clean when I am sick and have snot running down my face. I clean when I’m really tired and I should be going to bed, but I happen to notice that there may be some crumbs on the counter, so I should probably clean those, and wait, is that a smudge on the cabinet? Do I have some generic magic erasers in the cabinet called Wizardly Wipers that will be able to remove the smudge that is MOST definitely from peanut butter – A have you been eating peanut butter and smudging it all over the cabinets?

I clean a lot.

I consider cleaning a hobby. I think I have to consider it a hobby or I would most likely be horrified by the amount of time I spend on something that is not a hobby nor interest. On Saturday mornings, I often get up, forage for coffee, and begin some sort of cleaning project. Before A can even stumble out of bed and put his glasses on, I am armed at the kitchen sink with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, yelling into the bedroom,


And when he doesn’t seem remotely interested, I began to offer up facts:

“Did you know it’s non-toxic? And we can also use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect our cutting boards after we put raw meat on them? And it’s great for cleaning the bathroom and removing common household stains?”

And this isn’t just Saturday mornings. It’s when we’re trying to leave the apartment to go somewhere and I’m in my dressing room putting clothes away or suddenly organizing the junk drawer (should I keep deck of Old Maid cards in here or my desk?). Or it’s 10:30 at night and I’ve said, “I’ll be in bed in a minute,” when in reality I’ve begun a war against dust on all of the shelves in the kitchen, carefully removing every single decorative 1970s mushroom salt and pepper shaker, trivet, canister, or bread box to then wipe down and painstakingly replace on their shelves.

And it’s not just when it’s just A and I in the apartment. My friends know all about my cleaning (I refuse to call them “issues”) NEEDS. One particular friend knows that I despise when she uses my vintage juice glasses for beer. So she seeks out my favorite vintage juice glass that has beautiful flowers on it…and uses it for beer.

And then there are the days when I began doling out tasks, but in this passive aggressive manner which involves sentences such as,

“Wow, there are a lot of dishes in the sink.”
“Oh, I think the bed is unmade.”
“Have you turned the Roomba on recently?”

When you are a Cleaning Hobbyist you need others to join in on the fun – I am just trying to share my interest with the one I love, dammit.

Luckily for me, A more than tolerates my early morning, midday, and late night binges. He joins in on the fun. Even without my passive aggressive “suggestions,” once he sees me on my hands and knees scrubbing a nearly invisible stain with a Wizardly Wipe-out (did I just change the name of that?) he’s doing the dishes, swiffering the floor, or making the bed. And even better, after I finish letting the sink bubble and wipe it down with a paper towel until I can see my giddy smiling face in the faucet reflection, he knows EXACTLY what to say,

Ohhhh, look how CLEAN it is.





Read More

Hey I can cook! (Sorta.)

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Feature, Food, Life | 1 comment

Hey I can cook! (Sorta.)

Since A moved in and I ceased my bachelorette lifestyle after 3 glorious years of eating over the sink and spooning my dog, I’ve started cooking. Well to be fair, WE have been cooking, as A is a very good sous chef. Unless you ask him to chop something. He’s an incredibly slow chopper. Like so slow it’s almost painful. But he’s always more than willing take on the raw meat, which is my least favorite activity.

So A also came off of the life of bachelor – except where as I was eating yogurt sundaes over the sink, he was eating frozen chicken from the toaster oven.  Combine a bachelor and bachelorette and he began eating yogurt sundaes (except he defiles them with peanut butter) and I was eating frozen pizza (because I refuse to eat frozen chicken.) Overall, it was a bit of a disaster. Enter Plated.

A Facebook ad was constantly advertising Blue Apron, which is a food delivery service that delivers all the ingredients for 3 recipes a week. No grocery shopping, no recipe hunting…so I sent A the link and we tried it. As lazy people that have no experience cooking, we LOVED the concept. But the food was mediocre at best, and the options were limited. I started googling similar services and we found Plated - and have been hooked ever since.

Every week we pick out 3 meals for the following week, everything arrives on Tuesday and we cook together three nights a week. My friends like to tell me that I’m not cooking, that I’m cheating, but we still have to prep and cook every meal – we just have all the ingredients at our finger tips, down to pats of butter. We joined in August and have only skipped one week – so according to plated we’ve plated 84 dishes (or 42 meals!) I mostly like plated because they have really innovative recipes – we’ve made everything from sliders to chicken en papillote. A lot of the other services I’ve looked at seem pretty boring or lack options.

So, tonight we made salmon burgers (slideshow below!):

If you want to check out Plated, you can get free plates with your first order and it’s totally worth it! It’s $12/plate (though we’re grandfathered in at a lower price point because we’ve been doing it for so long now) and you can do it with or without a monthly membership. The membership gets you the cheapest price per plate, which is what we do.

Have you tried Plated or a similar service? What did you think?

Read More


Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in Feature, Life | 3 comments



I’m always in the middle of several books. I have a pile of poetry books from the press I work for on my nightstand. And A bought me the final book in the Margaret Atwood Oryx and Crake series. The most consistent thing I’ve been reading is Paul Auster’s Brooklyn Follies. I’m a big fan of Paul Auster both fiction and poetry alike. Despite having a Kindle, I still love having a book in my hands that I can throw in my bag or put on my nightstand.


Everything Christmas! A and I cut down our own tree at a local farm. We went on a cheesy hay ride, wandered around hills for about a half hour until I deemed one tree the perfect one, and the A chopped it down. A was the perfect height for measuring our tree – our ceilings are a little over 7 feet, and A is 6’4″ so I made him stand next to at least 20 different trees. It’s my first real tree of my own, I’ve always had fake ones and it was really lovely to wander around the tree farm, drinking hot cocoa and eat cider donuts, and then drag our tree upstairs and put it up together. And now it’s equally as fun trying to prevent the dogs (coughHamicough) from stealing various items from the tree. So far the only casualty has been a Darth Vader santa, and Ham has enjoyed destuffing it and running around with the apartment with it and I’l all about seasonally appropriate toys! We’ve also watched The Muppet Family Christmas, Elf, eaten McDonald’s holiday pies (AMAZING), looked at Christmas lights around town, and worn out the She & Him Christmas album.



Next Gen. At first I was a little taken aback at how entirely campy the first few episodes are – I didn’t remember that aspect of it at all. The pilot is filled with Q and I didn’t know what to do. So I started putting it on in the background and only half-paying attention to it while I did other things. But it’s progressively become the amazing show I remember, with Picard consistently sassing Data, Worf being super angsty, Beverly having the best sexual tension with Picard, and Q appearing from time to time to eff everything up. An of course Picard yelling, “SHUT UP WESLEY!” And I mean, every girl that has ever watched this show has a crush on Data right? Fav quotes thus far:

“SHUT UP WESLEY!” – Captain Picard

“Klingons appreciate strong women.” – Worf

“Data, let’s proceed without the pipe.” – Captain Picard


The season! November & December are my favorite winter months. I love Christmastime. Lights, trees, music, pine scented candles! Seasonally appropriate toys for the dogs! Seasonally appropriate TV episodes! SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE EVERYTHING! The Christmas Fire on the TV!


Working On:

The blog. It feels so good to have a, as I would like to deem it, “winter hobby,” that feels so productive. It’s so satisfying writing down blog ideas, being back on twitter, getting back into the swing of it. And it’s nice to have A coaching me along the way with various CSS and HTML modifications – so useful! I’m also working on writing poetry again – some college friends and I are going to have an informal workshop group so we can all work on various writing projects this winter. Also, delving into the poetry that we publish at the press has been trickling inspiration into me as well.


YOGA. I’ve been going to a community yoga class every Sunday for four weeks. I first thought it would just be a one-time thing for me, but I kinda fell in love with it. With the other workouts I do, including a bootcamp class, Yoga feels like a treat every Sunday. Not to say it isn’t a challenge, because it  most certainly is, but the stretching out of my muscles and the increase of flexibility are noticeable not just after a class, but during class. I like the measurability of results and how relaxed I feel afterward. I’m already looking forward to tonight’s class!

 What are you up to today?

Read More

The Life and Times of a Pedestrian

Posted by on Dec 14, 2013 in Life, Reviews | 1 comment

It’s no secret that I don’t drive. It’s pretty much a Fact of Sarah that I do not drive. Nor have I ever driven. I mean I’ve driven around an empty parking lot at an old dog race track a few times. And once I drove my brother’s Audi down my parents’ road and then hit the gas instead of the break and hit my other brother’s car. I was 15, okay? So besides those very few instances, I never learned to drive. I’ve always had a non-driver’s ID or used my Passport for ID. And I walk everywhere. Which wouldn’t seem so unusual if I lived in an area that was walkable or had even remotely functional public transportation. But I’ve survived as a walker…but not without it’s trials and tribulations. So, welcome to…


So my old job had a 2 minute commute. Out the door, turn the corner, boom, hey work, what up. It was lovely. I went home for lunch everyday with A, got to see the dogs, could compulsively clean as I saw fit and always got to open my Birchbox and ipsy at lunch. (I have priorities.) But now with my new gig, I have roughly a 12 minute walk. To me a 12 minute walk is nothing – I mean I take an old lady cart to the grocery store, I’m a seasoned walking professional. However, I did not count on the fact that I would be walking through the tundra of unplowed sidewalks and nearly dying on a daily basis.

So each day on my walks to and from work I keep trying to come up with better ways of walking – because let’s face it, that 2 minute commute ruined me. I’m spoiled.

So, I’ve got winter boots. I’ve got a scarf. I added a second scarf to wrap around my face as well, because damn, it’s windy, but that scarf keeps coming undone. I have touch screen gloves to control my iPhone and Spotify while I walk and then I lost my over-priced amazing headphones. And my hands get cold. I bought a new coat this winter (since A deemed my long 1980s old lady coat “uncool” because suddenly he’s Mr. Fashion) and it’s wool and adorable and belts and the waist and LETS IN ALL THE COLD. 

And then there is the fact that I happen to be walking down a street that seems to be littered with people that try to talk to me. Or drunkenly stumble into me. Or yell out, “HEY CAN I TALK TO YOU FOR A MINUTE?” as I’m bustling by with my Great Gatsby bag trying to look terribly, terribly unfriendly. So here’s the picture:

Me:  Wool coat, two scarves, one wrapped around my face and the ends flapping in the wind, a very large grey wool slouchy hat, grey winter boots, Gatsby bag on one shoulder, purse cross-body, usually giant cat-eye glasses that are fogging up due to the scarf on my face and the entire time I am looking down to a) try to avoid the icy spots that are going to cause my death and b) avoid eye contact with any of the people that nearly stumble by me or ask to speak with me on the sidewalk across from a bar that got shut down for too many violent outbursts requiring police response.


But there is a bright spot in my trials and tribulations thus far. After writing and rewriting a Letter to the Editor to the local newspaper in my head on my daily walks about the state of the town sidewalks, A’s brother bestowed upon me an early Christmas gift of…


YAKTRAX! Oh, hey lifesavers. In the two days I’ve had these, I haven’t worried about slipping and falling because these actually grip the snow.


I actually enjoyed my walk home from work the other day – I could walk at a normal pace, I didn’t slip once, and when I got home they peel off easily. They’re also small so you can throw them in your purse if it’s supposed to become treacherous later in the day. Overall, A+ from this pedestrian. Oh and I just wore them home from a tea party tonight and they do indeed glow-in-the-dark!

Winter Walkers – what are your must-have items?

Read More