Blah, Blah, Blog

The entire concept of blogging eludes me. I do it on my own time, but its more a cathartic, personal exercise in journal keeping than anything else. So it was confusing for me to suddenly have structure tacked onto my ritual of posting photos and lines from songs, poems, quotes, etc. My "Sarah in Real Life" blog is more of a collection of beautiful things than original thoughts or ideas.

But here we are, the end of another semester. And the end of this blog.

Part of me enjoyed writing for me again. I mentioned Robert Fulghum earlier and how he influenced my writing.  I think I can definitely detect shades of Bob in many of my posts. They are often in a sort of organized stream of consciousness format. I start with one random idea and one thing leads to another and BANG I'm talking about how chopsticks are symbolic of our roles in life or something like that.

It was difficult to keep this blog on track considering the audience of an English Class. Many days all I wanted to do was vent. I think on the whole it ended up being a mixture of both efforts.

A blog is essentially an invitation for the world to peek inside your head. Now given the state of the world today, this isn't really surprising. However, most of what comes up on a log is a lot of blah. Not always. But sometimes. Most of the time.

With that in mind, I'm tempted to say that in the end, it doesn't matter what I think, but what you as the reader liked. But that would be a lie. It matters very much what I think about my contributions to this. It is me in a handy technological archived package. On the whole I like it. So there.

(But I really hope you've liked it.)

I Feel Like I Should Apologize for this One....

So as I have contributed to this wonder of blogging awesomeness, I have often thought back to one of our earliest classes where we delved into the black hole of all conversations: Twilight. As my parting gift to all I have decided to post what I have been avoiding all semester in an effort to maintain an adult and serious tone here at Freedom and Fire. But really, this is just to good to keep to myself forever. What follows is my best friend's little brother's review of New Moon. It is the definition of epic. And awkward. And just the sort of thing a fifteen year old would come up with.

So today, my mother came up to me and said, "Hey, wanna go see New Moon today? Don't think of that as an offer as much as a command." So I looked up the movie times, and saw that The Blind Side was also playing. So I went, thinking that I could get away with a last minute change. So when we were about 10 minutes away from the theater, I mentioned that The Blind Side was playing. My mother, being the generous person she was, told me that I could go and see The Blind Side if I wished. Then, she pulled her deceitful tricks. At the movie theater, she asked me which movie I wanted to see. I told her "The Blind Side". She then told the worker, "Hi. I'd like 4 tickets for New Moon". She then told me, "You can go to whichever one you want, but the candy and popcorn go to New Moon." So, being deceived by my mother and popcorn, I walked into the Teenage Girl Abyss. Here's how the movie went (from what I saw).

First, I sat through trailers for various chick flicks that only girls and their reluctant boyfriends would ever see. Then, I went to the bathroom. When I came back, a girl was giving Cat Stevens a hug on screen. Then a bunch of awful writing/acting occurred before my eyes, before there was a fight scene between two members of a gay pride parade. The fighting was very Gay-Matrixy. The Gaytrix. I then went to the bathroom again. When I came back, the pale guy broke up with the chick with awful acting. She then walked around like she was a zombie (Without the gore :( ). She then started hanging out with Cat Stevens. I walked to the bathroom again. When I came back, Cat Stevens turned into an angsty David Archuleta. Then, he turned into an awfully animated wolf, and attacked Bob Marley, and some random chick with Rodman-Esqur hair started running around. Then suddenly, the chick realized that she sucked at acting so she jumped off a cliff, and the Rodman chick disappeared in the water. (I have a theory at this is a Cat Stevens trip.) Then, David Archuleta saved bad acting chick. Then, they all went to Rome to save vampire-Harvey Milk. Then, I went to the bathroom again. When I got back, they were all in with a bunch of gay French guys. After more Gaytrix fighting, they all walked out in the anticlimatic ending. Then, there was another 10 minutes of her debating whether she should be a vampire or not. Then, Harvey and David had a fight, to which the angsty David left angstily. Harvey then shocked the world and proved he was straight by asking the GIRL to marry him. At that point I couldn't help but scream, "Cedric Diggory!!".

And now for my review. Many of you are confused as to why I admire Edward and hate the movie. While Mr. Cullen is a good key for telling what the modern woman finds attractive, I do believe that he would do better in a different setting, IE not in a world that sets the bar so high for a guy such as me. I do not think that he should be in a film that the average man hates so much. So while I support Edwards attractivenessity, I do not support his actions. Also, Jacob is 10 years old and has a photo shopped body. So I will continue to admire and envy Edward Cullen, but I will not support his teenage lifestyle. 

Though this is undoubtedly less refined than many of us collegiate folk are used to, to me it is a wonderful example that books (or in this case book adaptations) mean something different to everyone. Some are Twilight indifferent. Some are consumed by it. But isn't all of life like that. "To each their own" they say. And it's so true. We all are distinct. We all have tastes specific to us and our lifestyle. We don't have to love it all. I don't have to enjoy what you do, nor do you have to light up at all of my interests. 

Thank heaven.


A good book.

Is like Cake.

For the soul.



And leaves you

wanting more.

Spring Forward

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil. 

It was sunny today. I've come to realize since being in Utah that I am solar powered. I work really well with lots of sunshine, but when its cloudy and dark I only run on half energy. 

I don't enjoy it. 

I try to find beauty in snow and mountains and crisp air. But it's a lie. 

I love that feeling of walking out of an air conditioned building with flip flops on and feeling the warm breeze wrap around me like a blanket. 

I love seeing the sunlight of late after noon filtering through green leaves and watching sparrows dive in and out of branches. 

I love summer. 

But spring is nice too. 

Spring is green and lively and like a scene from a Disney cartoon. 

In California, spring is a more temperate summer. In Utah, spring can't seem to kick winter's trash. 

Man-up spring. 

You only have two weeks to show me what you've got before I go back to California.

Where it's warm.

Me and Billy Bob

For the sake of blogging about it, I recently sat down to finally jut down a William Shakespeare Pro/Con list. I hoped it would be a cathartic experience, that maybe I would be able to find some joy and enthusiasm in future attempts at Shakespearean anything. It didn't work.

Here's my Pro:
His work influenced and inspired countless authors who produced works that I love.

And that's it.

I have little patience with the man. His sonnets aren't too unbearable, but the plays! First of all, they were meant to be watched, not read. Honestly, how much time would be saved and how much would the participation increase if teachers showed the movie version of the play instead of everyone pretending they were actively reading it at home. Even then, though, the plots are so far fetched an ridiculous. I once had someone say to me that their favorite thing about Shakespeare is that every one dies in the end so there's no risk of a sequel. I'm on their team.

In my mind, Shakespeare was great for what he was, and I'm not questioning his genius, but rather doubting the relevance of his complex and largely unrealistic scenarios in today's world. I can appreciate the themes and morals that he incorporates, but why an;t we examine those in works that are more applicable to modern life.

You're The Top

Here's a sort of "TOP 5" List of books that have inspired me to read in my life to this point and things that I have been inspired to read from the Author Spotlights this semester. These are in no particular order.

  1. Silent to the Bone
  2. The Outsiders
  3. A Long Way From Chicago
  4. Peter Pan
  5. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
All excellent children's books that I have read and re-read at various points in my life. I love them all, and plan to one day share them with my kids.


  1. North and South
  2. The Chronices of Narnia
  3. The Catcher in the Rye
  4. A Tell Tale Heart
  5. Pushkin Poetry
Thanks to everyone for your wonderful presentations and recommendations. This summer's reading list just keeps getting longer!

The Incredible Fulghumowski

For my ninth Christmas, my mom  stuffed my stocking with a surprise. And by surprise, I mean one of those things that comes with the "Oh......Thanks....." reaction.

It was a book. A paperback book with no pictures on the cover. It looked like a "grown up" book. It looked boring. It hardly looked like anything that would change my life.  But it did.

Because of Robert Fulghum's It Was on Fire when I Laid Down on it, I am a better person. His philosphical, amusing essays examining the value in mundane, everyday experiences molded my mind to think the way it does, and inspired my hand to write the way it does.

I am in this class because I read that book. And every other book he ever published. When I am bored, on a trip, in the mood for something all at once light and inspiring I turn to Fulghum. He has been there for many years and as soon as this semester is over (two weeks!) I plan to settle down in the park with my dogs, a smoothie and Robert. Yes, please.



When I was a little girl there was this show on the Disney channel called the Torkelsons. In one later episode the father yelled at his ditsy daughter when she failed a class," It's English! You speak it everyday!"

Don't I wish.

We speak to each other everyday. In a common language. Mostly. But sometimes its hard to find words to express what we really feel, what we really think.

I love to study art. I am not an artist, yet the history behind human expression fascinates me. To look at a painting or a sculpture and see the way that society, religion, war, and life in general

The thing about art is that it can be beautiful in its rawest forms. So much can be said on a canvas of colors - colors without form or subject but broken down into their utter essence, a language without words.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

It seems so long since last I saw you here.

Your lush green hues have faded back to brown.

Oh, summer when again will you be near,

Wafting the scent of flowers all around?

Barren winter’s grasp has taken hold,

In naked trees the birds rest silently.

The sun burns weak behind a cloud so bold,

Warm rays a distant memory for me.

And yet the pansies still held onto life.

Even when snow and slush with harshness fell,

Under an icy blanket did they fight

To once again with purple colors yell.

In four short months I’ll bask beneath your glow,

A time I yearn for more than you can know.


For the first time in my life, I met a girl who doesn't like Jane Austen. She says she just can't understand the appeal. That her dialogue is great, but the parts in between are so dry. The half of me that only got part of the way through Pride and Prejudice before renting the movie agrees with her. The part of me that has watched this scene a million times doesn't.

What is it with women and Jane Austen? For me it is that warm feeling that wraps around your heart and slips down into the pit of your stomach at the end of any movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. A happy ending. That is why we love her. Some may claim it is the complexity of the characters or the flourishing language, but when you get right down to the nitty-gritty of it, we love her because she writes about love. And who wouldn't love that?

And They All Fell Down

Sometimes all that's left to do is fall. 

Fall out of the nest, fall into love, fall down because you're laughing so hard you can't breathe or because it's become to hard to hold yourself up any longer in spite of the tears.  In the times where you fall, good or bad, you lose a piece of yourself to someplace, someone, or something. Which is unsettling for a moment until at last you realize that you've found a new piece to replace what you lost. Perhaps this is a fond memory or a hard lesson, but regardless it is stronger that the one before. 

"Come what may and love it," was Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's delicate way of reminding us all to man up. These are my favorite words, but are ones all too quickly forgotten when comfort is fleeting. In life's darkest moments I turn my heart to Heavenly Father and in the quietest parts of my spirit whisper, "Cue the Sun." In other words, "Turn the lights back on please, it's gotten rather dark down here." 
Sure there are stars and sometimes a moon to light my path; flickers of guidance or happiness that quickly fade. Once they may have been enough, but not now. Now I am grown and have experienced the clarity that comes from the sunlight, from the light of Christ.  Why then do I forget this truth so quickly and ease along once again to a life of night or twilight at best? It's hard to say, but not really. Pride always goeth before the fall. I am proud. I am human. But what kind of excuse is that? Yes I am human! I am a daughter of God, the crowning glory of his many creations. So today I ask my Father to please, "Cue the Sun. For not even the mighty sky could fill the space you left behind." Or rather, the space I left behind. Because when the distance between us and our Father in Heaven grows, guess who moves?


Some days are magical.
Some days are mundane.
But every day has a spark of beauty.
The lightning illuminating the vast sky.
The crackle spring's last snows beneath my feet.
A kiss on the forehead.
A sweet glance between friends.
In these moments, routine melts away and I really feel.
Contentment and longing, joy and melancholy.
It does not matter.
I feel alive.
My heart beats a story, a secret for the soul.
I feel the rush of the world fill my lungs with vibrance.
My eyes open to a twist in my story.
Who knows where it will lead?


Marcel Duchamp was a fixture in the world of fine art during the period before 1940.  
(He was the guy responsible for the urinal with a sharpie signature featured last week.)     

However, when one approached him with the familiar “What do you do?” question his answer, like his art, was an unorthodox one.

“I am a respirateur.”     

A breather.     

Duchamp figured that he spent more time breathing than anything else, and had gotten pretty darn good at it too.     

The world we live in thrives off labels, and what better way to figure out who a person is than by asking what they do.     

It’s a thinly veiled attempt to clarify social status. Stereotypically speaking, a doctor is affluent and well educated; a mechanic, not so much.     

In the business world, this question is answered with the exchange of a 3 ½” x 2” piece of     
card stock that contains information summarizing a person’s existence.     

Even the government is in on it. Forms for everything from the IRS to the DMV have a blank for  “Occupation.” In other words, tell us what you make money doing, so we can determine who you are, and better understand how to deal with you.     

For the majority of our young lives what we did was defined by the sports or instruments we played. In a broader sense we have been classified as “students.”     

Now though, as we grow closer to the real world and begin to get jobs of our own, perhaps it is a good time to reevaluate the question in the exact same way Marcel Duchamp did.     

What is it that you do?     

I know a gentleman who approached the question in a similar, if not as flippant manner as the    famed artist. His reply was simple. “I teach my children.”     

This method of thinking has inspired me to reconsider my role in the world. I am not only a student, or even a writer.     
I am a daughter, a napper, a     
I am a missionary, a playmate,     
a friend.     
I am an instigator.     
I love my family.     
I dream.     
I am a citizen.     
I am a critic of food, art, music,     
movies, and books.     
I laugh. I cry.     
I teach. I learn.     

If I had a business card summarizing what I do, it would be say only this: SARAH. What I do is be the best Sarah I can be, in all my varied forms. 
Every decision I make is part of a constant effort to grow and improve the person I am. Whether it’s how I approach school, family, or church, the object is the same.     

Be better.     
Be more.     

In the end, the ways in which people make money won’t amount to anything more than stuff, and like the old adage promises, you can’t take it with you.     

Everything in life comes down to how you spend time doing the things you love with the people who mean the most.     

Happiness cannot be gauged by the number of zeros in a pay check.     

Because making a living and having a life are not the same thing.     

I Wish I Knew Now, What I Knew Then

I found this copy of a newspaper column I wrote for my high school paper a week before graduation. Oddly enough, what I wrote to my peers a year ago is exactly what I needed to be reminded of now. Funny how that works. This was from the perspective of "before", of someone who was excited and optimistic about college, freedom, adulthood. Now, reading it from the perspective of "after", all I can say is that I wish I knew now what I knew then.

Every little girl knows the story of Cinderella. A beautiful but ill fated girl grows up living a hard and mostly cruel life. She is oppressed by the lazy, worldly and spiteful. To this, we all can relate in some way or another. Life is full of trials and at some point we all ask, “why me?”

Still, though, everyone looks forward to the magic. That moment when we least expect it for our fairy god mother to pop up out of nowhere and offer us a free ticket out of our suffering. The glorious instant when our Prince Charming, our saving grace, steps up and presents us with the opportunity to experience three magic words: “Happily ever after.”

Cinderella caught a nice break. She had a rough start but an undeniably great finish. On the other hand, she was stuck waiting. Instead of stepping up and going out and getting her man she let herself be walked all over by jerks until all the forces of the universe miraculously came together to make her happy.

Reality would frown on this fairy tale, because sadly, life is not so perfect. It cannot be divided simply into segments of bad, good, better, and best.

Life is muddy. It is messy too. And no matter what we all wish for, no one is going to hand us a happy and easy life.

The past four years, seniors have lived in a way that could be compared to Cinderella’s (sans the talking mice and pumpkin cars).

We have worked hard through the ups and downs thrown at us by teachers, parents, and life in general. There were moments when everyone but us got everything we wanted, and at the point when we were about to give up, the lure of a happy ending was dangled tauntingly in front of us.

Graduation. We can almost taste it.

Unfortunately, our story doesn’t end the second that diploma hits our hot little hands.

Unlike Cinderella, we live on. The story of our lives doesn’t end, just the chapter. And the best part is, we get to write it. Fate will not control us; we are in charge of our happy ending.

Who knows where we will be in ten years? I don’t. I have hopes, of course, but there’s a lot of life to live between now and then.

Some of us are entering the real world with a plan, an outline of what’s next in our story; others are making it up as they go.

My advice to all is the same as Abraham Lincoln’s: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

And don’t forget, no book is endless. Robert Fulghum said this: "I’ve never understood people’s attitude about life. Just once, when someone calls and says, ‘My doctor just told me I have a limited time to live,’ I’d like to say, ‘You didn’t know?’"

So make the most of every moment. Live fully. Not fast or fabulous, but completely.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson declared, “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people, and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

So, as you embark on a new chapter, aim to succeed! And when you walk next Thursday night remember Winston Churchill’s words, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”