Sarah

Spaghetti

I heard this spoken word poet do a TED talk that was wonderful…though, sadly, I find I cannot remember her last name to look her up again. All I remember is that she talked about being named Sarah.

‘Sarah’ has been a very popular name in the U.S. as well as countless other countries around the world. Variations on the name include  Sara, Sarai, Sari, Sadie, Zara, Amira, Armelle, Damita, Zarita, Gimbya, Nimeesha, Jahzara, Panchali, Farsiris, Parmida, Yepa, Tazanna, Umatilla, Wealote…………I could keep going.

It’s an extremely popular name partially due to the biblical Sarah/Sarai, wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. It means “princess” in Hebrew.  According to nameberry.com, Sarah/Sara was in the Top 10 most popular baby names from 1978 to 2002. I was born in 1990, so there you go.

Anyway, this Poet Sarah from the TED talk performed an amazing poem at the end of her talk wherein she said something to the effect of–and, keep in mind, this is not a direct quote from her. I can’t find the talk video anymore–the following:

My mother named me Sarah. It’s a biblical name. Sarah was very old and had no children. Then God told her, “Sarah, you’re going to have a child.” She was around 90 years old. Having a child was an impossible feat.

God basically said to her, ‘Sarah, you’re going to do something impossible.’ And what did she do?

She laughed.

And laughed.

And laughed.

My mother named me Sarah to remind me that, when faced with the impossible, be brave enough to laugh, and then be brave enough to make the impossible happen.

I love this. It gave me a new outlook on a name that I disliked for the last 15-20 years. In my first class on my first day of my first year of high school, I was one of five Sarahs. We all laughed about it, asked about nicknames or middle names, and realized that four of us (myself included) were also Sarah Elizabeths.

Great.

Then the bell rang, first period ended…….and THREE of those Sarahs followed me to my second period. We all played violin.

Brilliant.

But that Poet Sarah, she made me rethink the name. She put a new twist on something that I always thought was too common, and she added some shine to something I always thought was too dull.

My name is Sarah, and I laugh in the face of the impossible. 

Man, it’s been really hectic ever since the world ended.

opportunity

I must be honest- usually, I look at images like the picture above and don’t like them at all. Tumblr and Facebook are full of these faux-inspiring (and often misquoted) sayings matched with some obscure background photo, so I encounter many of them in my day-to-day tromps through the internet. It is customary for me to react to these images with a face like the one below…

nye

That particular quote on books and pages and “Opportunity-with-a-capital-O”, however, is something I like very much. With the new year upon us (and the past year full of hardships and tragedies, some quite fresh in our minds here in America and elsewhere around the world, I’m sure) I feel quite comforted by Edith Lovejoy Pierce’s words on blank pages. Lord knows I have plenty of empty notebooks, sketchbooks, and journals just waiting to be imagined upon. This is one of the principle reasons I love the beginning of a new year- that Opportunity for which we’ve all been hoping.

This upcoming year is going to be a very challenging, exciting, amazing, and unfortunately heart-hurting (more on that later) year, but I am ready to rise up to meet it with a fervor that’s built up in me recently, a fervor such as I haven’t seen in the last 2 years at least. Changes are the main thing coming to the life of this tiny 22-year-old, and I mean to make the most of what’s thrown at me.

Whoever you are, wherever you are reading this from, I have one wish for you this new year:

decide what to be and go be it.

On a lighter note, here’s a picture of me getting a carburetor for Christmas!

nye2

In the mug this evening

I GOT NEW MUGS! NEW MUGS ARE MY FAVORITE!

So I have this growing obsession with interesting/funny/awkward/weird/inappropriate/clever coffee mugs. I have collected 3 good cups in this category so far, and I thought I’d share them with you. The first two are an homage to my humor muse blog hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com and the third IS ONE I ACTUALLY MADE FROM AN ACTUAL PINTEREST TUTORIAL THAT DIDN’T ACTUALLY BLOW UP IN MY FACE LIKE ALL THE OTHERS. I feel quite accomplished. Here are the ones from Allie’s site:

“I can do anything.”

“I procrastinate and that’s okay because I’m ten times less likely to become a serial killer.* (*rough estimation)”

And here is the one I made (in photochronological order, a word I just made up):

Things you need:
1. Normal, boring coffee mug
2. Permanent Marker(s)
3. Oven

Step 1: Write stuff on your mug. Or decorate it with your doodles. Do whatever you want, just MAKE IT MORE AWESOME!

Step 2: Preheat your dirty, spaghetti sauce-speckled oven to 350 degrees. Wait for that annoying buzzer. Maybe clean off your oven while you wait. Maybe eat more spaghetti instead.

Step 3: Wait MOAR for oven to preheat. Add MOAR awesome to your mug’s design.

Step 4: DON’T BE STUPID LIKE SARAH, LEARN FROM SARAH’S MISTAKES. Put your mug UPSIDE DOWN directly ON THE OVEN RACK, NOT on a baking sheet (as shown). Putting the mug on a baking sheet will ensure that everything you can’t manage to scrub off of the baking sheet will leap onto your pretty, clean mug and you’ll spend 20 minutes trying to clean it off.

Step 5: Go watch YouTube videos of cats, infants, cats acting like infants, and infants acting like cats for 20 minutes.

Step 6: Carefully remove mug from oven (it WILL be hot!), let it cool, and ENJOY HOW MUCH COOLER AND MORE ATTRACTIVE YOU ARE DUE TO YOUR NEWLY CUSTOMIZED COFFEE MUG.

Lizzie & Kitty & Jane & Darcy & Bing Lee

Do you like “Pride and Prejudice”? Do you like funny YouTube videos? Do you like to see young people getting interested in classic literature through the media sources we have available in the year 2012?

I do. I like all those things. Most importantly, I like people who make reading (and literacy, on a larger scale) cool again. It is for these reasons (and more that involve girlish squeals and shirtless men) that I LOVE The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a YouTube project wherein a group of very talented young adults retell Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1.) as if the events in the novel were happening in 2012 and (2.) THROUGH VLOG EPISODES.

I can’t express fully how awesome I think this idea is. The link above will lead you to a playlist of Lizzie Bennet’s videos (of which there are 61 in total!!!) wherein she tells about her daily life, from dealing with her maniacal mother Mrs. Bennet to worrying about the actions of her younger sister Lydia (who now has a spin-off vlog of her own…you’ll love her if you’re a P&P fan already, she’s absurd and perfect) to stressing about the happiness of her sweet older sister Jane (also perfect….THEY’RE ALL SO GOOD).

In projects like the Lizzie Bennet Diaries I find my hope for classics like Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Put Keira Knightley in all the Blockbuster’s you’d like, but until you make the stories of the classic interesting to those who do not like to read classics, you’ll just have a small group of interested people. Make the stories accessible to this emerging generation and the tales will survive and prosper for centuries to come.

LINKS:

Lizzie Bennet’s YouTube channel

WATCH ALL THE EPISODES (you don’t even have to press NEXT, it’s a playlist!)

Official LBD site