shock and awe

February 8, 2013

I obviously need to blog more. And I obviously need to post more pleas for help, advice, goods, and materials on this blog. Because guess what? Someone bought me Mumford tickets.

Shock and awe.

This is how it went down. I woke up this morning, oddly before my alarm went off. I shut my alarm off; my alarm as of late has been the Sleep Cycle app. Each morning when I awake it asks me what kind of mood I’m in when I wake up, providing one of three options: 1) green smiley face, 2) yellow somber face, or 3) red angry face. I am not a morning person, so it’s generally a yellow and on occasion, red. I should have known something good was in store because my first inclination was to choose green. Odd considering my sleep quality for the night was only 66%, but that’s besides the point and we don’t need to debate the merits of this app here.

After waking up on the right side of the bed, I did my usual routine – check all email inboxes, twitter, Facebook, and foursquare while lying in bed. This generally takes about 15 minutes and always means that I will be running around at the very last minute trying to get out the door. All because I didn’t set my alarm early enough to plan for the 15 minutes utilized to check every possible social media outlet prior to getting out of bed. Again, besides the point.

I make it to my gmail account and find a number of messages. A never ending email thread from a friend (JK) containing random banter. An email from Dave asking how bad the damage was (he apparently read my blog and wanted more info – whoops, thought his mom told him). Then, another email that simply read:

Happy birthday elder Barber.


Two attachments were included with the email.

My first thought upon reading this was that Ant was playing one of her usual jokes on me, so I’d open it to find something utterly absurd, hilarious, and very characteristic of Ant.

My second thought was to question whether it was actually my birthday. I honestly had to contemplate this. Not surprising considering last weekend I couldn’t remember my own age. Picture this. After a wonderful day of skiing, a couple of us wound up at a bar on Capitol Hill to catch the Superbowl. A friend, Sally, and I were randomly talking about another friend of ours who we’ve known for years but always seems to remain the same age. Jokingly, she said that she’s always known him to be 37. But he can’t still be 37! Sally then asked me how old I was, to which I responded “33.” But, I began to question my own response. Am I 33? This led me into straight up panic mode. First, because I couldn’t remember my own age. Second, because it was starting to dawn on me that my initial response was likely incorrect – I may actually be 34. I even texted Mo for confirmation.

Sara: How old am I?
Mo: Old.

Awesome. Not receiving confirmation from Mo, I was forced to do the math: birthdate minus current date. The inevitable was then confirmed – I am 34. Continue freakout mode and the realization that I am edging ever so close to 35.

Back to the issue at hand. After first thinking it was a typical Ant joke, then questioning whether or not it was my birthday, I proceeded to open the email to find two floor seats to the Wednesday Mumford show.

Hold up, I think. This was too improbable and cannot possibly be real. These tickets are running at $250 a pop right now on Stubhub. So my third thought, since I was still in bed and groggy:

Am I still dreaming/sleeping?

After staring in amazement and pure awe at the tickets, opening both attachments, and re-reading said email, it did indeed appear to be true. Ant had sent me two tickets to see Mumford on Wednesday night. Not only that, but they are coveted floor seats. All as a birthday gift, and my birthday is not until August (I think).

Currently, I am floating on a cloud of excitement. After a week of hell at work, this really takes the cake. What a day so far. I don’t even know what to say or how I could ever repay Ant for this amazing gift. I’ve already blocked out my Wednesday afternoon so that my friend and I can get to the Patriot Center early for a prime spot. So. Damn. Excited.

Thank you Ant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have no idea how I could ever repay you for this. Simply amazing.


The Jean and Dave wedding

February 6, 2013

Wow. It is with great happiness that I announce the wedding of my sibling, Jean, and Dave. Okay, it was two weeks ago, so I’m a little late. But I’d just like to once again give credit where credit is due…it was Jean and Dave who prompted me to start this blog. Thank you, bro and sis. And now, they are happily married. My blog readers thank you and congratulate you on this happy union.

Now, what can I say about the wedding. So much…but yet, so little at the same time. So much happened, and the whole weekend was so fun that I managed to write out a list of all funny things that happened for fear that I, Sara, would forget them all in due time. I did this because I can pretty much guarantee that in no less than 3 months, many memories will be lost. I have the worst memory of all time. I say “so little,” because I mayyyy have overindulged a bit at the reception. A lot of the end of it is blurry. I remember going crazy when the song “Paso,” by Sak Noel came on. Meaning, I was literally jumping around as though I was at a Sak Noel concert. I remember my toast, and Liv’s. I vaguely recall a bus ride back to the hotel and gazing up at the full moon saying that it meant something crazy was going to happen (nothing crazy happened to me specifically, but that sure did come true for others). Then, thankfully, I stopped drinking. Oh wait – a couple of pictures of me at the hotel bar show me drinking PBR, albeit painfully. Anyway, it must not have been much because the next day I realized I had left my credit card at the bar with an amazingly high $5.23 bar tab. Why did I move to DC?

Now, I can’t post everything that happened at the wedding on the blog, you crazy kids. Some of it is G rated, and some of it…R. Actually, is there a rating higher than R? Because that is what I would rate this wedding at. Those implicated will remain nameless, of course. Because what happens in Middletown, CT….stays in Middletown, CT. And that is all I can say about that. If any friends who were at the wedding would like to see my own personal list of wedding memories, please contact me and I will provide the list on an as requested basis. Thank you.

That being said, for my other sister’s wedding last summer, Liv, I posted her wedding toast. I figured I’d give Jean and Dave that same honor here by posting my toast for their wedding. So here you go…

Thank you John.

John was our DJ, and ironically, friend from home. I was even more tipsy for this toast than I was Liv’s, if that is possible, but I am pretty sure I said this again.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jean’s older sister, Sara.

Insert loud cheers from crowd. I wasn’t expecting this, so I ad libbed…

Okay, everyone knows me.

I don’t have an ego at all.

First, I’d like to thank everyone for braving the cold and the distance to spend this amazing day with Jean and Dave.  This has been a much anticipated wedding celebration, so we have a lot of expectations to live up to (no pressure).

Not kidding about it being much anticipated. Ever since the Jean and Dave engagement last year, we knew we were in for a wedding treat.

As many of you know, Jean has quite the strong personality.  She knows exactly what she wants and when she wants it, and she knows how to go about getting it.  She also has no problem saying exactly what’s on her mind.  For example, one time Jean was visiting me in DC before she moved there.  I introduced her to my neighbor (neighbor Paul), and Jean, being a dentist, immediately noticed that he had a crooked front tooth.  By way of introduction, she said “hello,” and then followed up with “you know, I can fix number 10 for you.”  Something you say to someone immediately upon meeting them. 

Dave’s a bit different.  He’s more calculated in all his activities.  He also has a much more calming nature about him.  He’s not an intense person like Jean, but rather, he knows how to calm her down in intense situations.  So while they have many similar interests, I think it’s their different personalities that attract them to one another.  Their opposing personalities also make them better people together.  Jean has taught Dave organization, structure, and promptness.  And amazingly, I think that Dave’s calming nature has rubbed off on my sister.  

Take, for example, a recent event some of you may have seen described on Jean’s Facebook status.  On the drive up from DC for the wedding, we had a bit of a mishap. On the top of our car there was a carrier that held all of their ski gear and other items.  While driving along I-95, we suddenly realized something was amiss with the carrier, so pulled over on the highway.  Dave got out to investigate, only to discover that he had neglected to lock said carrier.  Defeated, he got back into the car, sat down, and stared blankly ahead.  He then informed us that Jean’s ski bag, which contained two of her favorite pairs of boots, was gone.  He looked like he was going to cry, and frankly – looked a little bit scared.  Expecting the worst, I braced myself for the imminent wrath of Jean.  But, I was pleasantly surprised.  Jean, realizing that Dave obviously didn’t do this on purpose, and that the only reason for this occurrence was him being extremely overtired, miraculously said “it’s okay.” “It’s okay?!”  I was seeing a whole new side of Jean.  The pre-Dave Jean would have lost her temper and yelled, but my sister was instead even tempered and…calm…patient.  She was taking on the role of Dave!

So as I’m telling this story, I’m looking at the audience but also at Jean and Dave. Mid-story, I see Dave gesturing to add something to the story that was not prepared. Not wanting to mess up my flow, i.e. eff up the speech, I did not say this. But what Dave was trying to get me to say was that the reason the carrier was left open in the first place was because I had asked him for the keys to go back inside to help Jean bring the rest of our items out to the car. Normally, Dave leaves the key in the carrier while loading it up and then locks it before closing the lid. Well, since there was no key in the carrier when he went to shut it this time (because I had it), naturally, he was insinuating that it was my fault the lid was not locked. He wasn’t going to blame it on me, but he just wanted to let me know that was the reason. As only a true bother should. Carrying on…

Of course I say these things about my sister, but she’s my best friend.  We are super close and have been all our lives.  To that end, I am overjoyed that she’s found someone who makes her a better person and who treats her like the amazing individual that she is.  And I can’t say enough good things about Dave, or “bro” as I have been calling him ever since they got engaged.  I couldn’t have asked for my sister to have found a better person, and I know Dave will treat Jean right for the rest of their lives. 

And with that, I’d like to offer a toast. 

To Jean and Dave.  That they lead a lifetime of happiness in their marriage, that they remain the best of friends, treat each other with respect and dignity, and continue to love, trust, and cherish one another as a happily married couple should.

Okay, I just realized that I can’t end this post here. There are actually far too many ridiculous memories that actually are bloggable that I can post here. I will tease you with a few now:

  1. Standing at the alter, the deacon opens with “We are gathered here today to witness the marriage of Sss….. (awkward pause) Jean, and Dave.” Wait, WHAT?! Did I just hear correctly? Did she almost say MY name rather than my sisters? Gathering from the look of Dave, and his best man right behind him, who were both looking at me with a “did that really just happen” look of pure amazement, I did not imagine that. She almost married me to Dave. Mind you, this is mid-ceremony. But the look on Dave’s face as well as the look on the best man’s face led me to naturally burst out in laughter…at the alter. It was like being in church back in the day when me and my sisters could not stop laughing, even though we knew it was entirely not appropriate to laugh at that moment. But this wasn’t just like I was sitting in a pew during a Sunday service. I was in the spotlight, at the alter….and I could NOT STOP LAUGHING. Thanks Dave for the look on your face that led to my uncontrolable laughter. It wasn’t until Liv started punching me from behind that I realized I needed to get a grip. Does someone have this on video?
  2. Wedding party being introduced to the reception hall to Gangham Style. Wouldn’t have been my first choice in songs, but, guys…this was good. At least, my tipsy ass thought it was good at the time. Each couple walked in doing their own dance. My favorite was probably the one in which our friend Stephen and M walked in normally but then halfway started doing the ridiculous dance that Stephen is infamously known for. I can’t even describe how ridiculous the dance it, but trust me on this one – it’s ridiculous. Something between the Elaine Sienfeld flailing arm thing combined with this odd kicking motion. After each couple rolled in hot, we slapped hands walking down the entire (9 person deep) wedding party line like we were coming in from the baseball field. It was then that I knew….this was going to be a fun wedding.
  3. Ant’s toast. If you were there, I need not say more. This was hands down the best wedding toast I have ever witnessed. Heartfelt, hilarious, not too short or long, with props…this thing could not be beat. Ant is introduced, but doesn’t jump up from a table. Instead, she makes an entrance by opening the front door to the reception hall dressed as 5th grade Jean. Mind you, Jean had the biggest “shark” in school. For whatever reason, when we were growing up at the time it was very popular for girls to hairspray their bangs straight up into the air as high as possible, looking similar to a shark fin. So Ant strolls into the reception hall upon introduction with rolled up jeans, a silk shirt, a tie….and the shark. That in itself was amazing. But the toast was hilarious and awe-inspiring. Thank you Ant for the amazing toast. It will never be forgotten.
  4. Similar to Liv’s wedding, and many thanks to John, we literally just danced our asses off for three hours. Some good stuff there. I recall some solid dance offs between characters of all ages from both sides of the family. And I wouldn’t recall this but for pictures, but at one point a few people decided to lift the bride off the floor into a plank-like, dirty dancing type situation.
  5. I also recall honestly contemplating with Elle doing a wedding party pyramid at 9pm sharp. All we needed to do was send the pyramid hand signal to John that we were ready to go, and we’d create the biggest pyramid of all time in wedding attire. What more could a bride ask for? Sadly, this did not happen until about 1am at the hotel bar, but the entire wedding party was not included. The bride did end up on the top and we have the picture to prove it. Good stuff right there.
  6. This last bullet has nothing to do with the actual wedding ceremony. But it does have to do with the carrier. Full circle. For a reason still unbenounced to me, my sister and Dave wanted good old Sara to drive them to the airport in Newark to see them off on their honeymoon. This would then require me to continue to drive their car back to DC. Thinking I’d be driving an automatic vehicle when I agreed to this, I said yes. But, I was stuck with Dave’s father’s stick shift. Mind you, I can drive a stick shift. Or at least, I could back in high school. I’m not sure what happened over a 15 year span, but let’s just say…I’m a little rusty. Highway action was fine, but when I finally got back to DC, blame it on being hungover from the wedding, blame it on exhaustion, whatever…I was stalling all over the place. To make matters worse, I had to parallel park it at my place by backing uphill into the parking spot. This consisted of me finally edging in, but not far enough back. I was literally leveraging the car in front of me by using it to prevent me from rolling down the hill while I attempted to reverse, but not too fast for fear of hitting the car behind me. Before being on the verge of tears, I gave up and left the car parked way too close to (i.e. touching) the car in front of me and also way too far away from the curb (so pretty much in the middle of the road). Panicking that I wouldn’t be able to get out in the morning, I called Dave’s parents to see if they could come get the car. To no avail. I was left with the car and had to drive it to work the next morning. Which wouldn’t be a big deal except that I forgot the carrier was on top of the car. So picture Sara moseying along to work, no stalls yet at all so I’m happy. I peel into the parking garage at full speed, forgetting that the carrier is on top of the car, and not noticing how low the garage ceiling is. You see where this is going. Car goes into garage, car and carrier manage to somehow squeeze through the short distance between ground and ceiling. After I get into the garage, I think maybe some ice has fallen off the top and that’s what the odd noise was. But that’s when I realize….I just scraped the carrier on the top of the garage. Just awesome. I proceed to stall about 5 times before parking the car. Luckily no major damage and Dave’s parents were able to extract the vehicle and carrier from the garage without incident, and then the thing was out of my hair. Just some more fun in parking garages with Sara.

And with that, I will end this blog post. Guys, this wedding was so much fun. Weddings as of late have been fun, but it is hard to get such an anticipated celebration to actually live up to the hype. Well, this actually exceeded expectations. I am still amazed that so many of our friends were able to make the treck from all over for this awesome celebration. It was so great to have our family and friends all gathered in one place at the same time. In the words of Elle, “this wedding topped all Dewey trips and NYE 2009 combined.” I didn’t think that was possible. Thank you.

Did I get married? haha

holiday travel

November 22, 2011

I’m officially in vacation mode already, even though I’m not leaving for Thanksgiving until early Thursday morning. Office is relatively quiet, workload is light, and all is calm. Ha – I say that, as I just got called into a 6pm meeting.

Anyway, UBG is taking it to the streets and hitting up Chicago in a few weeks. I have never really done Chi-town, so I’m excited. To that regard, I just booked a hotel for the weekend, and received this note in response:

Well hello there Sara,

We’ve received your reservation and wanted to ask if you’d like anything special while you’re with us? Let us know, and we’ll be happy to provide whatever you want, whenever you want it. Give us a call, your wish is our command.

Really. Whatever I want, whenever I want???!! This sounds too good to be true. I’ll give them a call beforehand and ask them to have a few hot men lined up in the room surrounded by rose petals. That would work out nicely.

On a related front, congrats to my sis Jean and future brother-in-law Dave on their engagement. If you didn’t know, these two were the inspiration for this blog, and to that I am unendingly grateful. Without you, A Day in the Life of Sara would not be possible. Super happy for them, and also fairly impressed with my ring size guessing ability. Lot’s of weddings coming up in 2012. Tis the year of the wedding.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll be traveling in style on First Class via the Acela. Don’t even ask how I managed to finagle this deal, but I’m pumped. Since wi-fi is now available on Amtrak, maybe I’ll grace you with a blog post along the way. Similar to when I was riding on the Preferred Car in Spain. Those were the days.

Enjoy family, friends, food, and fun! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. 🙂



January 25, 2011

I went skiing a few weekends ago. No, not out west; as you may recall we went to Snowbird in Utah for a long weekend last February. Oh, the memories. This time I figured I’d get some practice in locally at Whitetail in Pennsylvania, in preparation for another trip out west at some point this winter. In attendance were myself, sister Jean, her boyfriend Dave, Wheels (Tier II Asian), and newbie to the blog, Paul. A few notable happenings occurred, summarized below.

The Moguls
In an unexpected twist of pure joy, my friend Hung (Tier I) decided to come along at the last minute. My lifelong dream is to ski with Hung. Just knowing his anything goes, risky personality, I knew that watching him ski would be hilarious. Well, he lived up to the hype. We were skiing some moguls at one point, and Dave was trying to teach Hung how to better maneuver them. Hung did a run, but apparently he wasn’t giving it his best effort for Dave’s tutorial. So he proclaims…

Wait, let me put my shit into it.

Meaning, let me give it my all and watch this. Well, Hung put his shit into it and went flailing wildly only to take a hard fall. We all agreed that Hung should not put his shit into it moving forward. In fact, since that time, he has gone skiing again and has managed to dislocate his shoulder with the possibility of the bone being chipped. This is what I love about Hung. Him putting his shit into it.

Me skiing some fresh pow. In my dreams.

The Lift Incident
There are five of us on the “difficult” side of the mountain, where a double black diamond seems like a blue after having skied Snowbird. But nonetheless, Dave, Jean, and Paul are on the ski chair in front of us at the lift. Hung and I are about to board the lift, which is a four seater. Something must have gotten lost in translation, because I heard the ski attendant direct us to let the couple in front of Hung and I go on their own chair. Well, Hung heard differently, and told me to hurry up and board the chair along with the couple in front of us. Clearly, the couple heard the same thing I did, because as I came up to the chair entirely too late, the woman somehow ended up on my lap as the chair was lifting from the ground.

At this point, she’s yelling for the ski attendant to stop the chair. My attempts to push her off of my lap and onto the seat next to me so we could go happily on our way up the mountain were not working. She was making every attempt to get off of the chair. Somehow, this ended up in a shouting match between Hung and the woman, that went something like this:

Woman: Get off of me! Get me off this thing!!!
Hung: Calm down lady, we’re just trying to get up the mountain.
Woman: Get off me! Let me down!!  What are you people DOING??!!
Sara: Sorry, we didn’t mean it.
Woman, screaming wildly: What are you doing!??! Get me off this chair! You people are crazy!
Woman, losing control: Don’t you talk to me that way! These people are crazy! Let me down!!!
Sara: Sorry, we didn’t mean it.
Husband: What are you doing to my wife?
Sara: Sorry, we didn’t do it on purpose.
Woman: Stop this chair! I’m not riding up with them. I’m leaving!
Hung: GOOD RIDDANCE! (I would not want to get on Hung’s bad side.)

I guess it could have been worse. What the hell?

Chair stops. Woman and husband depart in fits of rage, and Hung and I are left going up the mountain on the four seater chair by ourselves. I look up to see Dave, Jean, and Paul on the chair in front of us…they had witnessed the whole thing and were really enjoying themselves, laughing hysterically. What just happened?

It’s not like I wanted this woman on my lap. Yet, she was acting as though we did it on purpose. Seriously, lady? Yes, I want you to ride on my lap on the chair lift up the entire mountain. I did in fact get on the lift behind you on purpose, so that you could ride on my lap. Little joyride up the mountain for me.

In summary, it was just another day on the slopes for us. Memorable for sure, and it may be difficult to top the remainder of the season. However, quick note to self for next time: try to get on the lift next to everyone as instructed and not directly behind someone. Readers, take heed.

what did YOU do this weekend?

April 19, 2010

I forgot to describe the events that transpired on Friday night. How shall we say this?

Sara is reverting back to her college years?
Sara acts like she’s 19?

Something along those lines. So how did YOU spend your weekend? Your friend Sara here, well; I did a kegstand. Yes, a kegstand. The last time I did a kegstand, if I have ever really done one (I can’t remember), was back during my days at UConn as an undergrad. And even then, did I do a kegstand? There is no telling. Well, I did one Friday night. My sis, Jean, had a surprise party for Dave, who is back in town after his 3 month skiing hiatus in Utah. Surprise went well, minus the fact that the person who was supposed to answer her phone for the warning call (Aly…one of my halfy Asians) didn’t answer it, and I decided NOT to lock the door to my sister’s place, thinking Jean would open the door, and not Dave. Oh well, he was surprised up until he got to the door and heard our big mouths blabbing away inside. Woops!

Here's me doing a kegstand. Earlier in the day, I got married - forgot to mention it.

Anyway, a few hours after the “surprise,” someone (D) decided it was a great idea to do a kegstand. A few people later, the crowd broke out in chants of “Sara!  Sara!  Sara!” (replace with real name here if you know it). At first, I tried to ignore it. I did my best. But the crowd was relentless. I was wearing a dress, so threw on a pair of my sister’s UConn shorts underneath, which now that I think about it, was very appropriate considering the last time I did one was at UConn. I am not the biggest of drinkers, let alone someone who would do a kegstand, so this is probably why everyone thought it was best to pick on me. Little do they know, however, that while I was up there for 11 seconds (good/bad?), only a tiny bit of beer went into my mouth. You see, I figured out a secret. Spray from the tap, but there is no way you can gulp all that beer down at once. I just let it drip out the sides of my mouth and no one could see it. At that rate, I could have gone for 22 seconds, which would have been perfect because then I could have beat out Stephen who was up for 21. Next time.

Later on this summer, I hope to perfect the kegstand.

My goal moving forward will be to start them early and often.

So there you have it. At 31, your friend Sara is still doing kegstands. And this is precisely why I have a blog.

heading to Utah!

February 18, 2010

Hey kids, just a quick note to let you know that I am going to take another mini-hiatus from blogging. Just for the long weekend, don’t you worry. I am heading out this afternoon to go visit Dave in Utah.  Dave is my sister’s boyfriend, and she is not coming on this trip (mwahahahahaaa). It’s just me and Alex this time around. I am a tad bit perturbed though because my sisters will be skiing up north this weekend, having some good familial bonding time without me. I guess I can’t complain much though since I will be on one of the best mountains in the country. Booyah

Anyway, I am BEYOND pumped for this trip, because I have never been out west to ski. Utah has not been getting that much snow recently, but low and behold, Dave just informed me that they may get two feet of it tomorrow. I told him a few weeks ago that I would bring the snow with me from DC, and I guess it panned out. Double booyah

So excited I can not even describe. On that note, wish me luck that I do not resort to drinking on the flight out there. I hate flying; scared of heights and also borderline claustrophobic. Ordinarily, I’d have a drink if I start panicking (this happened once on my trip out to Vegas), but I conveniently just gave up drinking for Lent. Yes, that’s 40 days with not even a sip of alcohol folks. Let’s hope I don’t have to resort to booze on the plane today.

If I don’t get anything posted this weekend, see you all on Tuesday!


November 25, 2009

You know what’s great?  Being so productive with my time.  I’m about ready to head to bed (it’s 12:30am Wednesday morning), and another blog idea pops up in my mind.  Of course, this requires that I write it down immediately for fear of losing the thought. But really, what am I even blogging about here?

Question posed to me by random person in my mind – “So, what did you do last night, Sara?”
Sara – “I facebooked and blogged.”

Awesome.  And I wonder why I can’t get my damn ass up half the time to make a 7am run, or why I haven’t yet packed for Thanksgiving this weekend.  As I’ve said in the past, facebook is going to be the end of me.  And now blogging.  I probably will never make another morning run.  Thanks again Dave.