Tag Archives: Okie

The Electric Christmas Card: It’s not lazy, I wrote like 2,800 words!


I rewatched Seinfeld this
year. It’s funnier if you live on the East Cosat.

Festivus is tomorrow, Hanukkah is behind us, Christmas is two days away and Kwanzaa
starts the day after Christmas, which coincides with Boxing Day.
Folks, we are in the thick of a holiday season that grows bigger
each year. And as usual, I’m as tardy as ever. Because I suck at
holiday correspondence, and frankly all correspondence, I have
turned to the Internet to let ya’ll know I’m not a cruel,
heartless, thankless wench this Christmas. Yes, I’m letting my blog
be my Christmas wingman. Consider it an effort to be green, but
know that really, I’m lazy and pressed for time, a noxious
combination that really cuts into my sitting around time (Trey,
that’s one of my favorite lines of yours.) So with those caveats
out of the way, I’ll turn this into a yearlong wrapup. But first,
happy holidays to all, and thanks for tolerating me this year. This
year, like the one before it, has been a complete blur. I started
out the new year working, and that trend continued at least five
Even the geese that live at ESPN have a job -- pooping on

Even the geese that live
at ESPN have a job — pooping on sidewalks.

days a week
for 52 weeks. It’s like those people at ESPN expect me to come in
FIVE DAYS A WEEK and work! Actually, I love my job. I have
continued to become more and more entrenched in Connecticut life,
and it’s starting to feel like home. People still don’t understand
my accent all the time, but I don’t understand theirs either, so we
just usually laugh at each other and call it a day. One co-worker
of mine, Brian Tully, likes to point out when I really slip into
Okie. It’s funny because when I lived in Oklahoma, I often got
accused of not sounding country enough. One time someone said I
sounded like I’m from Boston. Well shit ya’ll, I just don’t know
where I stand! But back to work, which has been what I’ve done most
of this year, and with glee. I love my job, love the people I work
with and am challenged each day to immerse myself in the mode of
TV. My print journalism ways are falling away, and I find myself
straying from AP style more often. I don’t like it, but it’s
Can you believe ESPN promoted this person?

Can you believe ESPN
promoted this person?

I was promoted in September, from
associate news editor to news editor I, which bumps me into the
management pool. It’s nice, and a nice pay bump. With the
promotion, I adopted a fake British accent and started wearing
full-length gowns and white gloves to work, along with minks and
diamonds (that’s for you Ward, who said I sold out to the corporate
monster and was now part of the 1 percent.) Still, it was a sellout
that I was willing to do. And the day after my promotion went into
effect, my job got more complicated. I feel I’ve earned it, and
hope to keep earning it as I go. I thought it would be fun this
year to write a weekly football column to send to our anchors,
analysts, producers, etc. It was called “Under the Radar Love.” And in typical Sarah
style, I bit off more than I could chew. It was designed to
showcase some of the games that might slip through the cracks in a
society obsessed with SEC football. It worked, and it was fun to
write, but I became like a crack fiend with it, toiling over
numbers and stats and patterns to try to come up with new entries.
I call that success! I’ll probably be doing it again next year. And
for my Okies out there, Oklahoma schools were
mentioned in nearly every installment. They had kind of an
under-the-radar year, so it worked out well. I’ve become the
sort-of Twitter Girl on my news desk, and I’m trying to come up
with new ways to implement guidelines in the finding of and
fleshing out of tweets. I won’t bore you with gory details, but
know this – I follow the maximum amount of people (2,000-ish) and
am on Twitter for at least 10 hours a day. So if you thought I was
rampant on Facebook, wooh boy, lemme tell ya.
I'll miss the river flowing next to my house...

I’ll miss the river
flowing next to my house…

I moved from my quaint little
riverside town of Collinsville, Ct., to bustling Bristol, Ct.,
because I was really tired of the drive. I work until 3 a.m. at
least twice a week, and often have to be back at work by 2 p.m. the
following day. So it made sense to me to cut out the drive time.
Plus, my friend/colleague/supervisor Ken got engaged and decided to
move elsewhere, opening up a fantastic house for me to live in. I
moved right after Thanksgiving, and my stuff is kind of getting
settled. My cat Penny has taken over the second floor of the house.
I haven’t seen her in a month, but she’s eating and all that, so I
know she’s alive. Or I have really hungry mice up there. Leon is
basking in having a fenced backyard again. He’s back to his old
pre-move-to-Connecticut self, frisky and butt-waggling. He’s 8-ish
now, and a little gray around the eyes. But who among us isn’t? Not
to say this in the same breath, but my old family is doing pretty
well too. I’m still single, unless you count my spouse ESPN. I hope
this singlehood doesn’t last forever, but if it does, I’ve reached
that point in my life where I’m not waiting anymore. I’m doing all
the things I was meant to do – travel, explore, work, write, enjoy
my many blessings. It would be nice to not have to do it alone, but
I’m extremely picky and I’ll know it when I see it. I haven’t seen
it yet. And Ryan Braun is engaged, so really, why
bother? {Side note, I became a huge baseball fan this year. Not
strictly because of the aforementioned/sexy Braun, but also because
I think I finally understand it. I found myself this year applying
baseball knowledge to real-world situations, like algebra. I
finally get it. And baseball people are just cool people. It’s
something more Okies should embrace. }
My dad and Melissa at Keuka Lake.

My dad and Melissa at
Keuka Lake.

My dad and Melissa are still in Colleyville, Texas, and Melissa
announced earlier this year that she is retiring from American
Airlines after a really long career with them. Just like every
other corporation, money is somehow tight and she’s taking a
buyout. She’ so great and so boisterous and full of life, I know
she’ll be doing some other job in no time, living life to the
fullest. She continues to be an inspiration and I’m so lucky to
have her in my life. My dad had a minor health scare – well, he
played it minor, I of course had a meltdown – but he’s in great
health again and still kicking ass. He continues to be my best
friend as long as we don’t get into political talk. My sister
Natalie is expecting her first child in March, and I’m planning to
go to West Palm Beach to see her and Baby Boy Garrett shortly
afterward. I’m so proud of her, and she’s just beautiful in
pregnancy. She’s beautiful all the time, but she just positively
glows right now. She hears every single one of my problems and is
so good to me, as she always has been. She is the glue of our
family, and having her son will be yet another tether that keeps us
together. My sister Lila is raising two perfect boys – I got to see
my nephew Jesse, a senior, play basketball while I was briefly in
Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. He’s really good, and has gotten offers,
both academic and athletic, to go just about anywhere in the United States. I’m trying to
Me and Stacy at ESPN in the most-humid part of
the summer.

Me and Stacy at ESPN in
the most-humid part of the summer.

talk him into coming
to UConn. He says it’s
too cold up here – but it’s so close to so much great stuff. JT is
the cutest child ever born, and he’s precocious and charming and
doll-like. She’s got her hands full with him. I’m dragging my
brother Nick to Bristol at some point – he graduated a few days ago
with a master’s in kinesiology and now awaits a dream job. He wants
to be a strength coach. Anyone who’s seen him knows he’ll be good
at it. But I’m forcing him to come see me next year – he helped me
move with two cats and a dog in the car and a bitching sister
driving, so I can understand why he’s hesitant to come back. I’m so
proud of him – he just skated through his master’s degree without
an iota of effort it seems. He’s just too smart for his own good.
My sister Katy lives in Seattle because she wanted to be as far
away from me as possible, I guess. She’s loving life and doing
great, working as a bartender in a hip establishment. She’s hip and
cool, she’s got a super-nice, hilarious boyfriend (Robbie) and
she’s entertaining entrepreneurial possibilities. She’s a dreamer,
and that’s what I love about her. She’ll do what she wants when she
wants, thank you very much, and she’ll be damn good at it too.
She’s so much like me – sad for her! But she’s more self-aware and
confident than I was at her age. She’s just beautiful and
wonderful. Anna and Joel live on the Southside in Chicago – they
moved away from a ritzy area to be with the regular folk on the
Southside, very similar to my move to Bristol. Anna is closer to
graduating from nursing school, and Joel just completed his
theology program. They’re two of the most-fun people I’ve ever been
around, and I’m not saying that just because they’re family. I
honestly don’t know anyone like them, and I cherish every moment I
get with them. We spent several days together at Thanksgiving and
it was basically a laugh riot the whole time.
My cousin Ryan lives here -- and manages to go
to work every day. Wow.

My cousin Ryan lives here
— and manages to go to work every day. Wow.

I got to see
my California cousins (well, two of them) a lot this summer! As
well as their mom and dad. I finally got to go to our family
reunion on Keuka Lake this summer, a trip I’ve only made once
before. Keuka Lake is one of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.
I spent a week with my dad and Melissa, Aunts Sandee and Maribeth,
and Uncles Jack, Rick and Steve. My cousins John and Ryan were
there, and again, laugh riothood ensued. Dear God I love those
boys. It was a week of fun, sun and frivolity. Our cottage was next
door to a bar. The water was about 10 degrees, so swimming wasn’t
the norm. In that time, I also got to meet/see a whole lot of
family I haven’t seen in YEARS or ever met, my Troll cousins, who
live in upstate New York and Alaska. It was so great getting to
spend time with this part of my family. They’re the artistic side
— so much I could learn from them. I look forward to many more
gatherings with them.
My first trip to NYC, this was the first thing I
saw when I left Grand Central. Okies. We're everywhere.

My first trip to NYC, this
was the first thing I saw when I left Grand Central. Okies. We’re

A few days after returning from Keuka, I went
to Los Angeles to work from the ESPN offices in downtown LA. While
there, I got to meet my cousin Richard’s daughter Maelle, who is
eight months old now. She’s gorgeous, and her mom, Kay, is doing
all the heavy lifting while Richard finishes up his Navy assignment
in Meridian, Miss. They live in Mar Vista, and my Auntie Maribeth
is often there to help. She, Kay and I had a luxurious dinner at
home with Maelle, and I was so glad to be able to have the
opportunity to travel for work AND see my family. My last day in
LA, I elected to take the redeye out of Cali so I could hang with
my cousin Ryan in Laguna Beach. He’s a pilot and showed me around
where he works, then we spent the day in beautiful Laguna Beach
where he lives across the street from the Pacific. Holy crap, I
could’ve gotten used to that. I LOVE the East Coast, but I can see
myself in California should the opportunity ever arise. Ryan and I
went to a great restaurant, offended and were offended by an
accusatory bartender, then wandered around Laguna Beach so I could
find souvenirs. I took two trips to Oklahoma-Texas this year, the
first time to go to a mini-college folks reunion and the second for
Thanksgiving. Both were great, and I got to eat Taco Bueno both
times. What the Connecticut folks refer to as Mexican food makes
Bueno look authentic. I got to hang with Renae, Trey, Oliver, Mark
and Margaret a couple of times, and shared a trip to Dallas with
Elena, which was an unexpected, wonderful event. Nothing like being
in a car with an old friend for more than four hours to make the
trip go by quickly. washmonI traveled by train to go
to Washington, D.C., to see Natalie and our nation’s capital. I had
never been, and went on no sleep, so the train ride there was kind
of a sleepy blur. I’d also never been on a train, so that was cool.
But we saw just about everything I’ve ever wanted to see, and of
course, I bawled like an infant at every national monument. My
sister the archaeologist knows everything, so she was an excellent
narrator/companion and didn’t shoot me in the face when I started
complaining about blisters. (Nat, I’ve since bought good walking
shoes, so please give me another chance.) jaI went to see Jane’s
Addiction in Waterbury, Ct., in March with my Tahlequah/Manhattan
friend Clark Brown. I saw Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey with my
real-life Jersey Girl friend Fran Rotella, who entertained me
greatly with fantastic Italian food and diner grub. I’ve had pork
roll – it’s not just something Ween made up and sang songs about.
It’s like sausage and bologna had a baby. And it’s heaven. The
Italian place we went to in Jersey was across the street from where
they filmed several Sopranos scenes, so yeah, pretty authentic. I
went to New York City twice, and I’ve got many more in me. I fell
in love the second I stepped into Grand Central Station. It’s
intimidating, but awe-inspiring too. My plan is to stay at the
Carlyle Hotel in January so I can see how the other half lives. As
my dear friend Stacy Pratt reminds me, we earned our money, and the
starving poet in each of us won’t hate that we’re making money now
and possibly spending it lavishly. I hope she gets to go with me on
my trip – she lives upstate. She and her husband Joe came to
Connecticut over the summer too, and we got to spend a few days
See my Rosie O'Donnell face?

See my Rosie O’Donnell

The funniest thing that happened this year was
meeting Snoop Dogg while I was under dentist’s anesthesia. I had
four shots of Novocain in my face and had to go to work for a few
hours – no makeup, messy hair, stretchy pants – and of course,
Snoop was there. I had my picture taken with him, but felt the need
to tell him about my harrowing dental visit. Snoop told me I was
beautiful and wrapped his 6-6 frame around my shoulders for a
picture. I look like Rosie O’Donnell in the shot, but he is
grinning like only Snoop can. So at least I can say, I made Snoop
Dogg and his posse laugh.
A typical NYC Saturday - random free concert in
Bryant Park.

A typical NYC Saturday –
random free concert in Bryant Park.

I also met Mike
Gundy, Donovan McNabb and Jerome Bettis. I saw lots of other famous
people but was either too intimidated or too busy to go talk to
them. I truly have a dream job. It’s an insane, brain-draining
dream job, but it’s great nonetheless. Jerry Rice being in the
newsroom still makes me giggle maniacally every now and then, but I
am getting used to it. I attended a summit of bureau reporters and
producers that was like meeting the Mount Rushmore of sports
journalism – it was so fun. I am so glad I found my calling, and am
thrilled to be working in such a fun medium as sports and in such a
large spotlight. I hope it doesn’t come off as braggadocios – I
still just feel extremely lucky. The Thunder made it to the Finals,
which was the sports highlight of my year. The second best sports
story of my year was the Brewers being 14 KDgames out of the playoff
picture and then getting to within 1.5 games before injuries and
the Nationals came to town. And the most important part of the year
was that we all made it through the Mayan Apocalypse without too
many scratches. Of course it’s only the 22nd. Seriously though,
thanks for reading my slop and for supporting me. Happy holidays,
and please keep in touch. You don’t have to write a novel like I
just did. And if you find yourself in the Northeast quadrant of the
United States, come on up to Bristol-town.

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Filed under Brain Disorders, Connecticut, ESPN, Family, Fun!, General Nonsense, Kevin Durant, Moving, New York, Oklahoma, Politics?, Sports, Tahlequah, Travel, TV

Oh, how I long for severe weather

You’d think after BlizzFest 2011, you know the one — the one that dumped two feet of snow and ditched the diets of countless Oklahomans — that I’d be tired of crazy weather.

If you think that, you must not be from Oklahoma. Snow is rare, and we don’t flourish in it, but the other stuff — heavy, lightening-rich, tornado-producing storms of early summer — are what we live for.

A tornado from 2006, obtained from The Interwebs.

As I type this, I’m watching the Oscar Red Carpet preshow, but I’m less interested in that and more in the weather warnings that are sporadically appearing and rapidly making me jealous.

The northeast sections of Oklahoma are now under tornado warning, and it’s moving up to flat-ass Kansas, where they don’t truly appreciate good weather. Yes, I call this the good weather. My favorite season in Oklahoma is storm season. It’s fun, it’s energizing, and I think, perhaps, all those dips in barometric pressure arouses us Okies. It does something to our sex drive, I’m telling you. I bet we have more January babies than most states because of all the pre-storm humping. Just a theory.

It’s also a damn fine lesson in Oklahoma geography. In no other season can you learn about really small towns in Oklahoma, with names you could never believe: Pink, Greasy, IXL…  it’s enriching.

This late-February ruckus in the weather pattern is just more proof that climate change is indeed upon us. Oklahoma received more snow this year than in any season before. Now, on Feb. 27, it’s 73 degrees outside and tornadoes are forming in Osage County (those lucky stiffs.)

If you’re reading this and you think I’m crazy, I’ll just solidify it. A few years ago, my old roommate and I were barbecuing on the front lawn. We were working nights, and were both off this day, so we were cooking a late lunch. It was dusk, muggy and hot, the perfect conditions for severe weather. We cooked anyway, and The Smell overcame us — it’s an ozone-rich, earthy/grassy smell, and it’s divine. It means the sky is thickening, the clouds are holding water, the humidity is increasing. We barely acknowledged it, just continued cooking steak and vegetables.

The tornado sirens went off. The dog was outside with us, lying on the driveway, and his ears went up, he stood up, then he was back down. We looked around, heard some thunder, saw some lightening and kept cooking. We were more in awe of the beautiful lightening and how it was helping us see how the steaks were coming along. The sirens ceased. We stayed out. We ate in some lawn chairs on the driveway, the sun was gone by this point, and another round kicked up. The air changed. The atmosphere seized and sizzled. The sirens went off again. The dog go up and walked to the door. We followed his lead, but only because only then did it seem like shit might start gettin’ crazy. It rained like crazy, and the ol’ roommate went out on a ladder and started cleaning the gutters during the storm. With sirens going off. So not a stereotypical gay man sorta thing to do.

All I’m saying is this: true Oklahomans take a tornado siren as a cue to get on the porch, not in the cellar. It’s a sad fact that in Oklahoma, home to so many freshly born tornadoes,  red dirt and clay can’t sustain basements. Few of us have cellars — they’re so danged expensive — so we all have some room in our house wherein we know to go if it’s really serious. And we’ve got our Super Talented Army of Meteorologists to tell us when it’s really serious. Until then, we’ll be on the porch.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Oklahomans are often part-Cherokee, and always part-meteorologist.

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Filed under weather

The Time I Ate Ketchup from the Dump

I have had plenty of not-so-graceful moments in my life. I had a spell my freshman year of college that every time I saw this one girl Lonni I fell down. I’m not sure why she caused me to fall, but I’m blaming the fact that she was tall and statuesque and somehow altered my gravitational pull.

Me as a 1-year-old

I was a cute kid. I'm celebrating my first birthday in this photo. From here on out, I was an idiot.

One of my least-fine hours came when I was 4 or 5… I’m hoping more toward 4, because the older I was when this thing happened, the closer I am to being full loony.

My stepdad’s folks, whom I called Nanny and Papa, were wonderful people who lived in the sticks of south-central Oklahoma (Healdton, for you Okies) and they’d come to the Big City of Muskogee to our house every now and again. They always packed their own coffee (Sanka!) and have these adorable 1960s style suitcases that I loved.

During one of their visits, which were rare, we went to the county dump. I’m not sure why we’d take my Papa, a World War II vet who was in the third wave at Normandy, a fine man who worked for Mobil Oil and sang Hank Williams to me, to the dump. Not to mention my Nanny —  who cut all the peanuts out of Snickers bars for me (I don’t like nuts in chocolate now, and I certainly didn’t then), who gave me Honeycomb and grape juice every morning and always had snack-size Milky Ways in the freezer and made the absolute best biscuits I’ve ever tasted – why would we take dear Nanny to the dump?

We must’ve been looking for something, doing a bit of salvaging. My stepdad and Papa, as well as my mother, were builders who knew how to do everything. Papa was a carpenter and also knew machinery, and my stepdad was an electrician in the Navy who taught me and mom, and especially my brother Nick, how to do stuff we had no business doing.

Anyway, this fine Saturday morning we went to the dump. I remember being in awe of all the shit piled up everywhere. My mother, being the germaphobe that she was, of course instructed me not to touch anything. You think I listened? Of course not! I’m surprised I didn’t lick everything. I was a weird kid.

Which brings me to my point: I guess they should’ve fed me before taking me to the dump. I remember being hungry, and I remember I was wearing a cute top and wishing I could roll around in the dirt, but instead being restricted from rolling, or we wouldn’t go eat afterward.

A Heinz Ketchup Package

The object of my affection at the dump.

Well, they should’ve packed a snack. Because I saw a pack of ketchup from McDonald’s at the dump – on the ground, amid all the trash — and I picked it up and tore it open with my teeth and sucked all the ketchup out.

Yes, I did this. Yes, I realize I shouldn’t be admitting it. But I live to entertain you, and I’m sure every one of you did something dumb like this as a kid. Maybe not THIS dumb, but hugely stupid nonetheless.

My mom, God rest her soul, wanted to lay down and die that moment. She yanked my arm and slapped the packet out of my hand. My stepdad, the Master of Germaphobes, got this revolted look on his face. I remember starting to feel guilty and stupid.

My Nanny and Papa? They laughed, probably more at the parents than me. They knew I’d survive, that it was something all stupid kids do. But I’ll never forget that look of shame and revulsion on my folks’ faces.

And they didn’t let me forget it, either. I’m pretty sure we went home without going out to eat after that, and that was the saddest moment ever.


Filed under Childhood, Food, General Nonsense

Yes, I missed “That Game”

My Neighbor's Prius

If you look closely, you'll see a Prius buried in the snow. You Yankees may be used to this, but us Okies thinks it's the End Times! And can certainly make you not care about the Super Bowl.

I’m a big-time sports girl, always have been. But it was made worse when I spent five years as a sports copy editor for the Tulsa newspaper. Don’t know if y’all know this, but football’s kind of a big deal ’round these parts.

Anyway, I missed the Super Bowl. My ex-gay husband (he’s still gay, but now married to another gay guy and no longer living with me, as that would be weird… and we were never really married, but I digress) and I were on the phone today and he asked me what I thought about the game. And I had nothing to offer.

I’m not going off on a stereotypical rant here, but when did he start watching football all religiously and I start not giving a shit? Again, I blame BlizzBeast 2011, the Thing That Should Not Be, which has made life miserable since February began.

As if February’s spelling wasn’t all stupid and French already, now it’s ruined thanks to snow. The Holofrost (I can’t take credit for that; I read it on Facebook) is still kicking my ass, and will continue doing it until Round 2 clears on Wednesday night, which will mean I have to stay at a HOTEL, away from my PRECIOUS DOG and CATS, so I can WORK, which I why I called the Ex-GH anyway, because he has to care for these poor defenseless animals in my absentia. But again, I’ve gotten tangential.

So I watched about a quarter of the Super Bowl, then had to forage for something to eat among my depleted cabinets… and I ended up making fried chicken. Yes, I know, it was hard times, huh… but I got all distracted in flour mixtures and iron skillets, and lost track of the game. Then the Packers and their foxy quarterback made it all boring by being so foxy and good, so I quit watching and turned the TV to “Big Love.”

I chose Bill Paxton over Aaaaaron Rodgers (he has too many extra letters, might as well add more) and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, the foxiest brown man alive. OK, Benicio is hotter, but Mike is more brown. I love the spectrum of skin colors. It’s what makes me me! But Bill Paxton is not hot, and “Big Love” was recorded! What’s become of me?

But the Super Bowl is just so… overdone. And don’t get me started on that train wreck who sang the National Anthem. I think there should be a new rule. If your name is not Whitney Houston or Whitney Houston Jr., you don’t need to apply.

And if you’re WH Jr., you”ll still have to audition.

I kinda feel sorry for Fergie. I could hear her trying to sing over the obvious sound problems while my chicken was turning Golden Brown and Delicious. And I saw a few commercials. The Doritos one where the guy brings back his friend’s gramps was great.

So yeah, I saw all the really girly parts of the Super Bowl, which is kind of bizarre. Come to think of it, I only watched a few bowl games this year, and I have only watched about three quarters of hoops so far.

Could I be losing my sports edge?

I’m starting steroids. Tomorrow. If I can get out of my house.   Goddamned Snow/Mongorians.


Filed under General Nonsense, Sports