Archive for August, 2009

When I was younger than I am today, with less responsibilities… I would often find myself in the precarious situation of insanity from boredom. And what is one to do when they are insanely bored? Reading, music, or video games were usually my first picks… But my dad, my sister, and I also created a fun sort of game… and it was called “The Big Book of Useless Information.” This might not sound like a game to you, but to us it was a challenge to come up with some tidbit of knowledge, some artifact of thought that was bigger, better, and MORE useless than the previous. We didn’t ever write any of them down, we would just be bored and start off with, “And another item for the Big Book of Useless Information: Did you know that…”

Reminds me of the little boy ‘Ray’ and Jerry Maguire:
Ray: D’you know that the human head weighs 8 pounds?
Jerry Maguire: Did you know that Troy Aikman, in only six years, has passed for 16,303 yards?
Ray: D’you know that bees and dogs can smell fear?
Jerry Maguire: Did you know that the career record for hits is 4,256 by Pete Rose who is NOT in the Hall of Fame?
Ray: D’you know that my next door neighbor has three rabbits?
Jerry Maguire: I… I can’t compete with that!

I wish I could remember some of the things we used to rattle off. My dad has a whole brain full of these little quips… not to say that your brain is chock-full of useless information Dad! 🙂 But it was SO long ago, and I have been out of the house now for over 10 years, and suddenly today I miss it. About two or three years ago I actually found a book with our exact premise that I bought my dad for Christmas titled, “The Book of Useless Information” ~ by Nathan Bonham.

Anyhow, I know I’m a bit rusty but I’ll try my best to be informative and/or entertaining!

*Did you know that a Useless Information Society was actually founded in 1995? They have regular meetings to swap nuggets of trivia and useless information.

*Did you know that right now there is something called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating in the Pacific Ocean that is roughly twice as big as Texas?

*Did you know that most people don’t know the difference between a Cicada and a Locust? The difference? Cicadas have an annual variety that hatch and mature every year on their host trees (and can be heard ‘singing,’ ie: screeching, on hot summer days), and a periodical variety that spend anywhere from a few to 17 years as nymphs feeding on tree roots before maturing into adults. “Locust” on the other hand, is a general term for the swarming phase of the horned grasshopper.

*Do you know where the name iPod came from? It was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase “Open the pod bay door, Hal!”, which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship.

*FYI: Be aware that the term “non-toxic” is for advertising purposes only. It has no regulatory definition by the federal government.

*Did you know that the anthrax attacks of 2001 were more than likely carried out by a pro Israel, religious, republican, military US citizen? That’s right, someone working for the FBI… someone who sent letters to two Democrats on the US Senate, and also to the head offices of five, so called, “liberal media outlets.”
BTW: People who define themselves by hatred and judgement really piss me off.

*Did you know that I have not one, not two, not three… but FOUR nicknames at work?
Listed in the order they were given: LuLu, Lu Beaty, Sara Bell, Cyber Sara

*International Laws: Did you know that; in France it is against the law to name a pig Napoleon. In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle. In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk. In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague. In Japan it’s illegal to talk on your cell phone while riding a bike. AND DID YOU KNOW IT’S POSSIBLE THAT DUMB LAWS ARE NOT DUMB… BUT ACTUALLY OUT OF CONTEXT OR COMPLETELY MADE UP??? (I can’t believe there’s a wiki entry for “DUMB LAWS”)

*Did you know that despite rumors that the lovable character Cookie Monster from the PBS series ‘Sesame Street’ had changed his name to Veggie Monster… he [Cookie Monster] appeared on the Colbert Report to clear things up:

On a side note: A co-worker and I are planning to start an Internet rumor that Oscar the Grouch will now be moving into a recycling bin.

*Did you know that Jack White of ‘The White Stripes’ married model Karen Elsen on the confluence of three rivers — the Rio Negro, the Solimones and the Amazon… by a traditional shaman priest on a canoe at the exact point where the three rivers met?

*Did you know that the Talking Heads named a double live album “The Name of This Band Is TALKING HEADS” in response to general opinion that their name was THE Talking Heads.

*Do you know what Christopher Columbus named his ships for? His own flagship, the Santa Maria was fitted out in a place called El Puerto de Santa Maria, and it was the winter headquarters and base for the Royal Galleys of Spain. The Pinta means the “Painted One” or “Spotted” and was the fastest in the fleet. The nickname was given to the ship for reasons unclear…and the Pinta’s real name is not known. Nina means “Little Girl” but was originally named the Santa Clara… the nickname was probably derived from a pun on the ships owner, Juan Niño.

*Did you know that one of my friends owns a bee hive? And it yeilds around 2 gallons of honey a year… and sometimes he feeds his bees. They ‘eat’ sugar water.

*Did you know that 80% of the time, on the Saturdays I work, I don’t wear make-up? The other 19% I don’t wear mascara or lipstick… and 1% of the time I actually look decent?

*Did you know that you shouldn’t kill Dirt Daubers!?! They mainly eat Black Widow Spiders.

And did you know that BY ALL MEANS you should keep this nonsensical blog going with your own additions to the Big Blog of Useless Information? 🙂

Waking up at 6am every weekday is for the birds! I miss the freedom and privilege (that not everyone has) of sleeping in until 8:45-9am on Wed and Thur. ***disclaimer*** If you are a teenager, or for that matter, an adult that sleeps past 1pm for ANY other reason besides working 2nd or 3rd shift… then GROW UP! You’re missing the whole day! 😉

Today was like any other ‘wake up early, take the kids to school, and go run day’. I got to press the snooze button one extra time (on top of the normal 3 times.) Because I don’t really care to be THAT girl that takes a shower to go work out. Then I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and realized I better go play tooth fairy before Lathan woke up and I blew the lid off of the whole horrendous lie that parents have been keeping up with for decades.

Luckily, the tooth fairy snuck in and out without being detected… and mommy had the boys dressed, fed, and their teeth and hair brushed before I even realized it was raining.

RAIN?! I live in the world of Sara’s plans don’t get ruined by anyone or anything… and rain was not in my plans to go to the park and have a nice beautifully sunny 3 mile run in the cool breeze of the early morning. And I don’t have the ability to turn back time in order to NOT press snooze 4 times, wake up, take a shower and get ready. BOO. I called Peter and said, “WHY IS IT RAINING PETER?! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GO RUN?”

“Why don’t you run in the rain, it’s just sprinkling.”

Duh…you’re so smart honey. Why didn’t that occur to me? I guess I had thought about it. Or maybe my thoughts were along the lines of sitting in my car until the rain stopped, and THEN running.

Long story short, I ran in the rain. And it was awesome! I tucked my iPod under my shirt after a made an invigorating playlist, and then I was off! Holdin’ steady at 3 miles in 20 minutes!

Sara’s Running Playlist:
(In the order in which they were played today: RANDOM)

1) Dan Auerbach- I Want Some More: killer beat, with a foreboding I’m gonna kick some ass feel to it.
2) The Black Keys- I Got Mine: think I might get burnt out on this one soon… only because I have put it on every single playlist I’ve made since I got it. Yeah, it’s THAT GOOD! Plus the beat is so strong it actually makes you feel like it’s willing your legs to propel your body faster and harder.
3) Talking Heads- Slippery People: best running song of ALL TIME! I don’t think the Talking Heads will ever get boring to me, they always sound new and fresh, and different… and with lyrics like “We’re gonna move… RIGHT NOW! Turn like a wheel inside a wheel!” AND a minute and a half of insanely fast paced percussion at the end??? Seriously!? Who are these guys! I love you!
4) Matt and Kim- Daylight: Yes, this is the song featured in the Bacardi commercial… and you know what? I DON’T CARE! I still think it’s cool regardless of it’s commerciality! It’s got a killer hook that makes me actually bob my head like a moron while I’m running… that, and I sing the only word of the chorus that I know after humming the rest, “hmm, hmm, hmm, hum hmmm DAYLIGHT! Hmm, hmm, hum…”
5) M Ward- Chinese Translation: this is a beautiful folk type song with great progressive harmonies. It helps me to calm down my breathing and to focus on the task at hand. Great for the nightmarish hills. I need everything I can muster… because those are the places I like to push myself harder. (ie: inclines, sunny areas… I try to run faster and harder… to be done with them sooner!)

Not Played Today:
Talking Heads- Road To Nowhere
The Black Keys- Strange Times (killer running song too)
Mean Monsoon- Dan Auerbach
Van Morrison- Into the Mystic
Dire Straits- Sultans of Swing

First Days

Posted: August 25, 2009 in family and friends, favorites, nostalgia

I have a pretty decent memory when it comes to my childhood. I remember things from when I was 3 even… mostly traumatic, like smashing my two front teeth out on the refrigerator. But I also remember bits and pieces of things, like my parents sitting around the Atari playing Space Invaders. A little later, I remember my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Brown was blond, and very sweet… aside from the one time I got in trouble in her class, during circle time, for talking. I still feel like I was the fall guy for answering the other troublemaker kid during story time and then taking the blame for it. But come to think of it, anytime I got in trouble as a child my memory blames someone else… like the time I got in trouble for taking the other troublemaker kid up on a dare to go get a drink from the water fountain while the teacher was out of the room. Of course as soon as I put my lips to the germy little fountain our teacher walked back in and I was sent to put my head down on the table. That was devastating to a tiny little perfectionist such as myself. I cried the whole 15 minutes.

Which brings us to my dilemma… Somehow, I think something I do or say will be burnt onto my children’s brains for all eternity, just as Space Invaders and my ‘time outs’ have been burnt onto mine. Somehow, I feel like I need to handle every moment of their childhood just right, give them all the right tools and insight for school, for friends, for self esteem… all the while, not ending up as the mean, overpowering, overprotective mom memory. I guess it’s a sort of paranoia… that makes me relentlessly aware that I might somehow screw up my kids. Why am I so worried, after all, I’m not THAT screwed up right???

Lathan and Riley have been in ‘Child Enrichment’ classes (ie: DAYCARE) for some time now… so the gut wrenching overprotective mother panic of dropping off my poor sweet unsocialized children has long since worn off. But all that came crashing back when I realized our summer was coming to an end and I was going to turn in to a PTA mom in just a few short weeks, as Lathan started kindergarten.

Lathan has always been shy. Well, maybe shy isn’t the right word…. Reserved. Lathan has always been reserved. I used to worry so much that he would never make friends at school because he was never the one to initiate interaction with other kids. He was always resigned to be whatever anyone told him to be. As a baby, other babies would take toys away from him and he wouldn’t cry, he would just put on an “oh well” face and move on to something else. I think that’s why in preK he made friends so easily. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone so sweet, and so willing, and so… non-objecting?

I tried to force my gregarious nature on Lathan when teacher after teacher would say, “Lathan’s so quiet.” As if that was some sort of ailment, that he was well behaved, and quiet.

I would tell him, “Lathan, to make new friends all you have to do is tell them your name and ask what theirs is.”

He would just stare at me blankly, like the information wasn’t even remotely necessary. And, as it turns out, it wasn’t. Somehow, over the past two years Lathan had become the popular kid. We would leave and children from other classes would shout, “BYE LATHAN!” Kids from his class would stumble over each other in order to give him hugs goodbye. And the girls practically fought over him…. Lathan was an oak, (pardon the Tombstone expression) shrugging them off by simply saying, “I don’t have a girlfriend.”

My confidence in him has been continually building, just as it did when we went to ‘Meet the Teacher’ at his new school. Even though he would be with all new kids in an all new school, he seemed absolutely overjoyed to reach this milestone. He said hi to the teacher, checked out his cubby and his desk… as I filled out a FULL page of non-essential information to give to his teacher with lots of embarrassing babbling about how ‘Lathan has a sweet heart’ and is ‘very artistic’, ‘has two loose teeth’ and ‘is really coming out of his shy shell.’ I might as well of said, ‘also likes long walks on the beach.’ Not to mention leaving my cell phone #, email address, and emergency contact info.

Cut to everyone at work heckling me about being the ‘baller’ on the first day of school… to which I completely agreed, in my self-deprecating way. Yep, that’s me… Sara, the ‘ballistic crier’ mom. I just knew I would cry buckets. But surprisingly, I only broke once on the first day. And it was before we even left the house.

Lathan woke up to the nutritional thought provoking breakfast of choclate donuts and blue ‘Frost’ Gatorade (his favorites.) I snapped a couple of photos of him and his brother on the front step and when we were coming back inside Lathan smiled at his daddy and then sheepishly looked back at me.

“Mommy, what do I say to make friends again?” he whispered.

RIGHT THERE. That’s when I cried. I bit back the tears to reply, “Just tell them your name and then ask what their’s is.”

Then I turned to Peter tears flowing freely and I mouthed, “DID YOU HEAR THAT?!” Smiling that tight lipped, as if trying to hold back the sobs, ‘my boy is the sweetest boy on earth’ smile.

And then my sweetest boy on earth went to his first day of kindergarten… said hi to his teacher, gave mommy and daddy a quick hug, sat down and started coloring his A,B,C’s.

First Day Of My Life (Album Version) – Bright Eyes

Crinoid Fossil Bracelets

Posted: August 22, 2009 in going coastal, texas

Crinoids were animals even though they resembled plants and have been called sea-lilies and feather stars. They have five-part symmetry and are kin to urchins and starfish. The best estimate I have found is that they are older than 320 million years old. They lived during the Carboniferous Period and during a mid-Carboniferous drop in sea level there was a massive crinoid extinction event. Texas was covered in ocean and large deposits of limestone and coal were forming at the same time. These crinoid fossils became imbedded in the limestone and millions of years later, erosion and expsoure have released the crinoid fossils back into the rivers and lakes of Texas. All of the crinoid fossils used in the bracelets that I make were found in the Brazos River. Check out this great wiki entry about the Carboniferous Period:

And BTW: I find it almost painful to part with my crinoid fossils, so that is why my bracelet listings are few and far between!

Naturally waxed hemp bracelets featuring crinoid fossils from the Brazos River, double the hemp twine for added durability, and an adjustable knot closure for a perfect fit! Completely unique, no two are alike! NOTE: lots of room – unisex size

Texas crinoids are millions of years old. Texas was once covered in ocean and these crinoids moved about on long stalks (unlike modern day crinoids.) Fragments of these stalks were embedded in Texas limestone and after millions of years of erosion they can readily be found along the banks of the Brazos… that is, if you have a good eye for fossils. Native Americans used them for jewelry making and as currency, and in the 1700’s they were popularized by their use as rosary beads.


Bracelets available at:

Band of Skulls

Posted: August 15, 2009 in music, reviews, rock n roll


Posted: August 10, 2009 in music, reviews, rock n roll

I was the girl that would have held out until the end of time… and then a day after that… before I would have willingly sat through ‘the Notebook’ with my girlfriends. But eventually I cracked due to back-to-back airings of it on TBS or Oxygen (or some other girly cable channel) on a quiet Friday night with my man.

Peter nonchalantly says, “Hey, you want to watch the Notebook?”

I laughed it off thinking he was joking… and then only became genuinely horrified after I realized he wasn’t even mildly joking and that he actually intended on watching the movie with me. So there we sat… watching [gag] the Notebook. I was spouting off blasé critiques and jokes, and Peter was either out of his mind, or actually getting into the storyline. Regardless, we didn’t even make it to the half way point before we both started yawning, and I contemplated backing out even though I had somehow made it this far… possibly just to say I could. Peter, of course, fell asleep shortly thereafter and left me alone with Ryan Gossling and Rachel McAdams to fend for myself.

What happened next was truly shocking. I actually started to plan my potty breaks so I wouldn’t miss anything. And then I started wedging the pillow into my lap so I could sit up and concentrate on key moments… and then??? I cried. A LOT.

Ok, so I admit it! I liked the Notebook. And I refused to tell Peter the ending in the hopes that we would watch it again. I caved, and I liked it.

This is all besides the point mind you…
Today I stumbled upon Ryan Gossling’s band ‘Dead Man’s Bones’ and I think I love them. The record is coming out October 6, 2009 and I’m pumped. Check out the videos (especially ‘Name in Stone’).

And yes! That is Ryan Gossling singing, and playing the guitar, AND the piano!

Pause my playlist first of course!

Subterranean Homesick Blues

Posted: August 3, 2009 in music, rock n roll