According to Sarah

Bookish Meme…

Special GET WELL shout out to BUD!  Hope you have a speedy recovery!

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we try to credit the blog that we stole it from. We also provide a link to the victim’s meme in our “Previous Victims” widget. (It’s our way of saying “Thanks!”) Sometimes we edit the original meme, to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, to select the best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from this new meme or recently asked questions from a previously featured meme.  
Cheers to all of us thieves!!! 

Bookish Questions

1. How long did it take you to finish your last book?  3 months

2. How many times do you stare at your bookshelves each day? 3

3. How many Goodreads friends/books do you have? 0

4. Do you ever quote books in public? No but sometimes on facebook

5. Do you ever re-read books? Yes!

6. Do you judge a book by its cover? No. I do have a three chapter rule. If by chapter 3 it doesn’t grab  me, I am done.

7. Do you take pictures of your books before you read them? Yes and post it on facebook as my currently reading book.

8. What are your biggest distractions from reading? Life and time or lack thereof.

9. Where is your favorite place to buy books? Book sales at a local library or street fair

10. Do you always have a book with you? Most days

11. Do you read during breakfast?  I miss breakfast so no reading at breakfast

12. How many hours a day would you say you read? 2

13. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago? Less

14. Do you consider yourself a speed reader? No. Most definitely not

15. Do you read in bed? Nope

Ghost story…

When I was in high school I lived  with my paternal grandparents. It was a house I on occasion lived in as a child due to family circumstances. It was an old house with a history and we, the kids, would try scare each other and added our own details to scare the younger of the group.I come from a large family.

In high school I lived there alone with my grandparents and stayed in the bedroom in the basement. It was basically an unfinished apartment. It had its own bathroom, an extra bedroom and a kitchen but it was unfinished in that it still felt like a basement and the all plumbing was exposed and the floor was concrete. I probably should mention that I also happened to dabble into things otherworldly. I played with the Ouija board and read tarot cards for a nominal fee.

Sometime toward the end of my senior year I was trying to get some extra zzz’s but the sun from the small windows I did have was becoming too much of distraction so I decided to move into the windowless room to sleep. It worked for about a whole 30 minutes before I had a dream that the little boy I had spotted around the house was yelling at me to go and get out, reminding me this was HIS house. I rolled over and told him to fuck off and he pushed me. I did not feel myself fall but when I woke up I was on the hard, cold concrete floor. After the initial shock wore off I jumped up and ran upstairs to tell someone. My grandmother listened patiently and then said ” well who told you to tell him to fuck off?” She was not the least bit concerned. She added that I had been complaining about a little boy bothering me since I was five years and that in fact I used to walk around the house turning on all the lights because he was bothering me. It apparently was the only way I would not see him.

The last time I saw the boy I was a grownup that had been married, had a baby and been divorced. I had a dream about him in the house and him complaining he would be homeless soon. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. A year later I make it back to my hometown and went to see the old house but it was no longer there. It had been knocked down and a three family home stood in its place. I never dreamed of him again after that.

October 7th, 2015

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on October 07, 2015. It is being delivered from the past through

Dear FutureMe,

This is a difficult time for you emotionally and as usual financially. No matter how many OT hours and work from home hours you do it never seems to be enough to live more than just from paycheck to paycheck. Here is hoping that you have figured out a way to ease your financial abyss. I hope it does not include going to back to school just to make ends meet with the refunds.

You hate where you stand at work. You sense an confrontation looming on the horizon. Here is hoping it doesn’t happen and if it does it is on your own terms.

You are having frequent panic attacks. They have left you crying uncontrollably and shaking you in your sleep to the point you have fallen off the bed while you sleep.

You have lost an interest in getting out and doing stuff. You have put effort to connect with others but nothing has come of it. It has been draining. The amount of effort you have invested has highlighted how alone you feel deep inside.

You worry constantly about the child. You feel helpless in not being able to help her. I hope in a year things are looking up for her.

Since this letter to myself things got better and I even bought a car more out of necessity than anything else. Then things went back to more of the same and for a brief time downright dire. I spent 4 months in a candlelit, no cable to watch tv and eating once a day at best, on a good day kind of lifestyle. It was worse than the time I was I unemployed. I got hooked on scratch offs in hopes of turning my luck around which of course made it worse. Short of the recent Thursday disaster things have been stable most days.

Work has improved and the added duties have helped breakup the mundane nature of my job. It got even better when one of the toxic people in the office went on medical leave. Unfortunately they return on Monday. They visited on Friday to check in and you could see the dark cloud around them and the negative energy they bring to anything.

The panic attacks are less severe. Yay for meditation, writing and long drives.

I still have no interest in people and the things I used to love before. The medication helps.

I still worry about the child. I have taken to pushing them to think for themselves and ask themselves what they want as opposed to relying on what I might think on something. I still share my thoughts if asked directly but I don’t give instructions. They need to learn to find solutions. Life is all about problem solving.

Musical Meme..

  1. Where did you grow up? Newark NJ
  1. Where do you live now? NJ
  1. What do you think about religion? I am not a fan of organized religion. I am currently a non-practicing catholic. I am more spiritual.
  1. When did you start using online social media? 2007
  1. What did you study to be? A journalist/English teacher. A work in progress.
  1. How are you at this point of your career? At a standstill. I am at the brink of middle management but I have been told that I have hit the glass ceiling at my job.
  1. Do you use your real name on a blog? No. Absolutely not.
  1. Do people you work with read your blog? I hope not.
  1. Are you on the job market? I am on the fence. I have a full-time job but I am open to more opportunity.
  1. If you could go back in time to meet someone famous but now deceased, who would it be? Jesus Christ

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

August lessons…

This summer started off rough but ended on a pretty good  note. Financial woes still persist but I take them in stride now and less panic. Panic does nothing to improve a situation.

Ten things I have learned in the month of August are:

  1. Life is too short to be miserable. It is not a new lesson but one reinforced by demise of a new friendship. It was short lived and hopefully behind me. I need to surround myself more with people that get me and love me warts and all. Gone are the days where I accommodate childish demands from grown people.
  2. I love to travel. It needs to be something I explore more throughout the remainder of this year and into the new one.
  3. People make time for those things they truly want to do. Also not a new lesson but one worth reminding myself of when others make it seem like I expect too much.
  4. Family is all that matters but not all family matters the same. Love all your family but value them to the same level they value you.
  5. Writing makes me happy. It is something I have grown lax with lately and I feel disconnected from life without it. I must make more time for it.
  6. Find what makes you happy and then work on it, foster it and it will bloom. Timing is everything.
  7. I want to invest in my spiritual side more. I am not a religious person but I like to feel spiritually connected to something greater than  myself.
  8. Establishing your goals and limits at work will pay off eventually. Unfortunately not so much financially at this time. Networking is important.
  9. Driving helps clear my mind. Whenever something is weighing heavy on my mind driving clears it right up or preps me to tackle it again.
  10. I want to find my “person”.

Martial Arts Meme…

Sunday Stealing: The Martial Arts Meme
Who was the last person that you held hands with? I high-five’d my co-worker if that counts. I was letting them know they had done a great job.

Are you loud, outgoing or shy?  I am all of these things except loud depending on who I am with.

Who are you looking forward to see? My family

Are you easy to get along with? This really depends on who you ask and when you ask them

Have you ever given up on someone, only to let them back into your lives? Why? Yes. Later today I am meeting up with an old friend I officially ended friendship about a year ago. I reached out recently to assess if we should rekindle the friendship. There were more pros than cons.

If you were ill, which TV doctor or nurse would you want to take care of you? Dr. House or Dr. McDreamy

Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable? Not at all. It does make others in my life uncomfortable

Who was the last person that you had serious conversation with? My bestie from high school

What was the last text message you received about? Setting up a happy  hour with my defunct book club girls.

Do you believe in luck and/or miracles? I believe we make our own luck.

What good thing happened this summer? I traveled to Toronto, a part of Canada I had never been before.

Convince us why we should or should not believe in life on other planets? If we are the most intelligent life form out there then we were always doomed.

Who was your first crush on? A neighbor boy that was/is a year younger than me.

Favorite part of daily routine? Bedtime

Do you like your neighbors? Despite thin walls they are very discreet. I really love that about them.

What’s your worst feature? I overthink things I should just make a decision on.

Have you ever had trust issues? Hahahaa….Yes! Still do

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday! 

The Mad Hatter’s Meme

Cheer to all of us thieves!!
Sunday Stealing: The Mad Hatter’s Meme

What’s the meaning or inspiration of your blog’s title? Starting over Sarah. This current blog was started when I started back at school.

What do you consider your biggest strength? My ability to see both sides of a situation.

What do you consider your biggest weakness? Even though I can see both sides of something I focus on my own best interest.

Tell us why we should like your favorite band. U2 is a classic

Who is your favorite model of all-time? Why? I don’t follow models

Does it bother you when people talk about their pets? Why? Yes. It is annoying to hear the stories of how smart their furry babies are.

Tell us about your favorite holiday. Any holidays that I get a day off from work.

What was the last fabulous meal that you ate? Where were you?  Anything with a steak involved

What’s your lucky number and why? I don’t have a lucky # but I have a favorite one, #5

What are five things you hate? Lying, beer,shoveling snow,driving in rainstorms, bad kissers

What are five things you love? truth,sex,good kissers,a good book,long drives with loud music

Tell us a secret you can because other than us, who’ll read this anyway? I love twinkies

What is the favorite body feature of yourself? My eyes

Is there a tattoo that you want? If you don’t have one, gun-to-your-head so you have to get one, what would it be? A flower

What do you love about yourself? What do you hate about yourself? Who is someone you miss? I love hair and hate my teeth and I miss my dearly departed grandparents.

Random Recap…

After a long drive weekend I embarked on yet another one but with a better purpose. I was able to spend some quality time with the kiddo. A couple of things I have realized, she is no longer a kid and she is not quite yet an adult. To live and observe too much disables your ability to move forward. My kid for better or worse is an avid observer but not much of an executor. She has little faith in her capabilities to do stuff so she defers to others but then complains we control her life. Since she defers to us to make decisions we in essence do control most aspects of her life. Fear of failure seems to hold her back. My hope is one day she sees failure not as a bad thing but as an opportunity to learn things about herself or of things around. I will find it difficult myself to move forward until I feel she is ready and able to take care of herself. The worry sometimes overwhelms me and I am sure it does her too.

Another random thing I learned in the last couple of weeks is that I wait for no one. I refuse to not do something just because I can’t find others to do them with. I have wanted to get to Toronto for years. For various reasons, mostly financial I had not done so. Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and made the trek. In what would take most people eight hours it took me roughly twelve hours to drive from northern New Jersey to the Pearson airport area. A few things I had not taken into account before embarking on my journey was the cell service situation. Even though it is the same continent it is still in fact a different country and so it is silly to assume your service will work there too. About fifteen minutes from my hotel I lost GPS signal and all ability to make calls. I should be happy I made it as far as I did. Thankfully I had checked ahead of directions and made good mental notes to get me to the general area of my hotel and my general good sense of direction. The other thing I had not anticipated was my need for frequent bathroom breaks. Age does really affect your tolerance to sit in one position for long periods of time. I also wished I had paid closer attention in science and math class as a kid to better understand Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion or the kilometers to miles thing. It would  have made trip less confusing.

Project reconnect with my facebook fan base is a work in progress. So far I have met up with an old co-worker, and two old blogger friends. I want to only have people on my facebook that I actually know and have met at some point. I do post a lot of person on there mostly for the family so if you are able to see my pictures and stuff I want to have had met you at least once in my life. There is still one person I have yet to meet in person but attempts have been less than great. Like I said, a work in progress.

The old co-worker was a lady from my first job in NJ and the last time before last we saw each other was randomly as we waited for the bus to get home. I installed messenger and we made plans. It took three months but finally our schedules worked out and we met at a local panera bread. It was a relatively pleasant thirty minutes of my life, maybe forty-five. We caught up, took some selfies and were on our way. We had some distance plan to do it again but who knows.

The first blogger friend was my Canada contact. We met almost a decade ago in another incarnation of my life blog where I kept things pretty personal. Once that blog went down we migrated to facebook friend status. After many failed attempts, mostly due to my financial situation we made it so. She met me at my hotel after I lost all GPS capabilities and could only connect via the free wifi from the hotel. We had a nice dinner, took a selfie and I spent the rest of my time roaming Toronto alone. I am pretty resourceful and got around pretty easily.

Today I met up with the second blogger friend that has migrated to facebook status. We had met in person about eight years ago when I moved back to NJ. We had made plans since Wednesday that kept falling through but today we met at a local starbucks and talked for a little bit. It was nice but something was off and not necessarily in a bad way just off. I am glad there were not many awkward silences just at some point talking in circles. A nice person though.
I do love traveling and I think I will do more of it going forward. I just hope my car can take the abuse and survive the winters.

Random Act of Kindness…

Just when I had lost all hope for the new generation an example comes by and shows me not all hope is lost.

This Saturday I went to a local wine festival when the temperature outside was set at hell. I should have known better than to be out and about. I should have stayed home and drank more water.

When I got there the parking was full and I was detoured around the corner and up a hill. The walk down was not so bad but on the way back I ended getting light headed and nauseous. I stopped often and tried to gather the energy to keep up the hill. At some point I said fuck it and pushed myself to move forward and it worked until I got mid way through the last part and I had to hold onto the fence to keep from falling down. As I was falling down I heard basketball being played nearby and I steadied myself up and managed a wave. The teenager playing saw me and waved back. I waved again signaling for him to come to me and he ran over and asked what I needed. I muttered I could use some water and off he went. I slowly walked over to some nearby steps and sat with  my head down. The teenager came back with four bottles of water, and a cold wet rag to put around my neck. He seemed genuinely concerned and after a few minutes of awkward silence he suggested I go inside his house because of the central air. I hesitated and asked where are his parents and replied not home. When I stood up I got dizzy and followed him toward the house. I mentioned off hand he should not make it a habit of taking in strangers. He said I seemed safe. He guided to his sitting area(foray?) and got me more water. His little dog came up to me and tried playing with me. Once I could muster the energy I petted him and such. After about another fifteen minutes I said I should go and thanked him for his kindness. As I made it to the door he ran behind me and offered to walk me to my car but I said I was fine and thanked him again for his niceness. A few feet away I got lightheaded again and I asked some nearby random adults to give me a lift to my car and they reluctantly agreed. Once I got to my car I drank the remaining bottles of water as the air conditioner chilled the car. I drove home and did not leave the house until the following morning.

Kindness is free. I wish more people believed in it. It can be dangerous and sometimes inconvenient but it could save a life one day.

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