Thursday, July 28, 2011

Really Mrs. Hickman, You’re Going to Crush a Girl’s Soul Like That?

I did three things in High School that made me feel like I had a proper “High School Experience.” I played Tennis, was on the debate team, and I was involved in drama.

*Let the record show that I was barely mediocre at all of these things.*

Tennis was my favorite, and my debate skills were a dumpster fire, but we’re going to talk about the good times in the world of drama.

It all started in 9th grade (which is in Jr. high in Utah) when I was in the musical Oklahoma… You know, where the wind comes sweeping down the planes.

After that, I didn’t do anything with Drama until my Junior year of high school when I took a drama class. I feel like this was the place I belonged because it is designed to let antsy, impatient, hyperactive kids shine. And I shined! Shone? Shoned. I shoned in that class I tell you!

Then my senior year of drama was the shit. Totally awesome. We were learning how to do deep relaxation and meditation… and we had a student teacher… which meant Nap Time!

In November of my senior year I moved to St. George, Utah (300 miles from where I lived in Salt Lake) and joined a functional drama class which put an end to nap time. It was for the best. I jumped right in to a dinner theater production of some ill-plotted murder mystery. I only messed up a few lines and made a couple wrong entrances. It was fine.

But the real kicker was that everyone in our class had to go to drama competition. REALLY?!! I have to compete in drama? I didn’t even know that was a thing. (Evidentially it is and I actually did well enough that I traveled to State… That may be more of an embarrassing moment than a proud one)

But let’s get to the point shall we?

My English teacher got wind of our success and upcoming travel to compete in the most pitiable town Utah has to offer and thought it would be a brilliant idea to have us perform in class. There were two of us from the team in class. It was a great idea…. It was an awful idea! I did NOT want to do it.

Let me tell you why I hated my piece.

1) I wanted to do something funny and upbeat to compete with, but we needed more competitors in the dramatic category so yours truly got stuck there. Do you know what that means? It means that every freaking round of competition I had to watch a bunch of emo kids recite monologues and scenes from the most depressing movies and books. (por ejemplo, a monologue from when Sybil has a freak out with her multiple personalities, and a gothic boy who I’m sure was reciting a page from his own journal of despair)

2) I couldn’t find a piece in the stash my drama teacher had that didn’t make me want to slit my wrists so I decided instead to memorize a picture book that I liked at the time. I liked it… After memorizing it and reciting it 84,972 times, I no longer like the book.

3) I had to be serious… I am not good at being serious!

So, Mrs. Hickman had us perform in class and my good friend Travis went first. He rocked it. It was from the point of view of a janitor with a quirky attitude. His was so funny and entertaining Everyone loved it. 5 extra credit points for you Travis. Awesome!

And then it was my turn. I already wasn’t feeling it, but I gave it my all. Within the first few lines I had to say the names of the Elephants; John, Tonky and Wanly. BAM!! My teacher busts up laughing, “What kind of a name is Tonky?!!”

“Um, I didn’t write this.”

“Yeah, but Tonky?”

I paused to let her regain her composure. In fact, I think I sat back down at that point determined NOT to proceed. Stupid Mrs. Hickman made me get back up to finish while she wiped the tears from her eyes.

The thing about a main character in the book being named Tonky is that YOU HAVE TO SAY THE NAME FREQUENTLY. And every time I did she would crack right up again.

I was on the verge of tears myself, but not for the same reason.

So, (spoiler alert) when I got to the end and Tonky died of starvation, DIED OF STARVATION, she finally pulled herself together, but it didn’t matter. She had ruined she moment and the monologue, not to mention my pride.

I sat back down, completely humiliated and raging pissed off that I had to endure her laughter, in front of the whole class, for something I didn’t want to be doing in the first place. And then she has the nerve to only give me 3 extra credit points!

“Excuse me, 3? Travis got 5”

Damn Travis.

Well yes, he got more points because “comedy is harder”

You know what’s hard bitch? Being laughed at through my WHOLE monologue.

I carried this experience with me justsoyouknow and did horribly at State. And in the long term, I kind of struggle to be serious in general because, what if I’m sharing something serious and someone thinks it’s funny! What if someone laughs while I’m sharing something important? I’m just trying to tell you that the poor elephants died of starvation but all you can to is giggle at the absurdity of one word. Thanks Mrs. Hickman, you crushed my soul.

But I learned a valuable lesson. Comedy is harder that drama, so be grateful when someone thinks your jokes are funny… I guess…

Monday, July 25, 2011

You’re Motivating and Depressing Me. Stop It.

You know that thing where you get a new friend on facebook that you went to high school with over 10 years ago and you are so excited to see their face again that you spend the next half hour of your life stalking their photo albums and seeing what they’ve been up to.

We all know that’s a thing.

I know I’m not the only creeper out there. Facebook has allowed voyeurism to become acceptable and commonplace… And has caused narcissism to be removed from the DSM, but that’s for another post…

A new facebook friend is an exciting time in the Savannah brain. For those of you who can calmly accept a friend request and move on I shall explain to you what goes on in my head. Hold on, this can get scary.

Example 1: “OMG OMG OMG, Shelbie Turtledove!!!! (Name changed to protect the innocent) I haven’t seen her in 10 years. What in the hell has she been up to??? I have to know everything that has happened in the time that has elapsed because what if I should have been better friends with her because our friendship during this time could have benefitted me in some way.”

Example 2: “Heather Shaplamaman!! Look how fat she got!! I used to be so jealous of her body in high school and look at her now. Oh, damn, she had 3 kids... I guess she’s doing ok body-wise.”

Example 3: “SHIT!! It’s Devon Schnoogly, I had such a crush on him. Let’s look through his photos and see if I’m hotter than his wife. I am. Of course. They look so happy together. Damn that could have been me! Oh, they have 4 kids. I’m glad that’s not me. She’s actually pretty cute. Good for him”

But the last one is the one that gets me all the time.

Example 4: “Look at all of Paul Hammerblammer’s photo albums. They are from all over the world. Oh man! He’s been to India, I’ve always wanted to go there. He looks like he’s having such an adventure in Thailand/Greece/Spain/Germany/Argentina. Now I hate him. He’s been to so many amazing places. What have I done? I’ve wasted my whole life!”

I've spared the really judementally things because I like to think I’m not that kind of person. I'd like to think I can be happy for them and not happy because of them.(Like laughing with them) But it’s still kind of scary.

Every time I see one of my friends who has traveled more than me I feel like I’ve completely failed in my life goals. There is such a big world out there and I have barely even seen a small fraction of it.

But it gets worse.

I worry that because they have been to all these places, when I finally get there it'll be like I'm coping them. As if because they have been there first it’s not an original idea for me to go. Or that their trip is going to spoil my trip for me. I know there is something messed up in my head but when I see people doing all of the things I want to do I feel like I’ve been a failure for not doing these things sooner.

But that’s not all my friends… Oh no, it still gets worse.

The nonsense about not traveling as much as other people makes a litte sense because I really want to travel, but as I look through people’s photos and lives I compare myself to them on every level and think…

I haven’t traveled enough

I’m not married enough

I’m not divorced enough

I don’t have enough kids

I don’t have enough dogs

I don’t ride horses/race motorcycles

I don’t rock climb/camp/swim enough

I don’t have an exotic boyfriend in Peru

I haven’t run in enough races or EVER come in first place

I have too many tattoos

I don’t have enough tattoos

I’m not engaged enough

I don’t live in Seattle/Washington DC/Boston

I’m not artistic/musical

I’m not religious enough

I’m not Atheist enough

I don’t have any family photos of us all wearing matching outfits

Whew!! It’s exhausting in my head! I don’t even want most of those things but the fact that other people have them drives me crazy! Crazy I tell you!

(I have a feeling the crazy might have already been there.)

I need to not be so hard on myself. When people read my blog and they tell me that I’ve done so much and I’m so inspirational to them I just want to grab them by the shoulders, shake them and say “IT’S NOT ENOUGH”

But it is, isn’t it…

So… What do I do? I motivate myself to do more, BE more. And then I remind myself that I just moved my ass to New York and I need to cut myself some slack. I have things going on. I’m busy.

How silly is it that we’re all walking around thinking the same thing of each other; all of us being motivated to do more but the accomplishments of another. As I see the things people do, it makes me want to do more. Yet right next to me is someone who I didn’t even notice that is looking at me and wishing they were doing the things I’m doing.

It’s wonderful!


On that note I want to send a special thanks to some people who motivate me every day to be better and be more. Whether through words of encouragement, constantly loving me, pushing me to do more, or by looking through their accomplishments on facebook, these people make me strive to be better…

Nancy Sadler, Dan Atkinson, Megan Vincent, Celestie Stout, Travis Dutson, Corrie Norman, Angela Phillips, Scott Poole, Ashley Lovett, Rain Gmuer-Johnson, Ashley Gosselin, Becky Fawson, Elizabeth Weaver, Shabnam Shahparnia, Samantha Scheuerman and Kim Herget

I’ll try not to disappoint you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I’m Changing My Last Name to Applesauce

Savannah Applesauce has a nice ring to it.

Here’s the problem, I came into the world with a kick ass first name (no thanks to my dad who, were he to decide, would have named me Cassiopeia. Thank Troll my mom saved me from being a constellation that my dad mispronounces) The trouble I’ve had for the past 28 years lies in my last name.

Vincent left me with three major challenges for the first 20 years of my life.

Fail 1: I am embarrassed to admit this but I struggle pronouncing Vincent. There is something about the N and C combination that gets tangled in my mouth

Fail 2: Vincent is not as spectacular as Savannah. My first name could stand alone (much like my good friend Beyoncé) But alas, the world needs me to have a last name so that order can be maintained (Ladies and Gentlemen, Beyoncé Z)

Fail 3: Vincent is a first name (a problem I still face, but to a greater extent now) if a person at, let’s say, a doctor’s office, was just reading my name, they might call for a Mr. Vincent Savannah. Nope, not me.

Also, Vincent is WAY down there in the Alphabet, making me last for everything during my school years when that was the only reasonable way to get kids into a line.

The year 2003 rolled around and I had the pleasure of changing my last name.

Bonus 1: Lindsay is cute and left me with a super girly name. (If that kind of thing is important. Which it is)

Bonus 2: Major upgrade in the alphabet placement; right in the middle of any line. (Again, another thing that is important.)

Major Fail: Lindsay is a much more common first name than either Vincent or Savannah, plus it’s a woman’s name so it actually matches my face, (so to speak) so the name sticks in people’s head causing me to be called Lindsay by my coworkers right up to the day I quit. COME ON PEOPLE!! Do you really care so little about me that you won’t even try to remember that my name is actually Savannah?!!

It gets worse. Did you know that when you get divorced you have to change your last name at the same time you file for divorce? If you don’t (because you’re some sort of super idiot who can’t read) they will charge you an outrageous fee, give you all sorts of paperwork hell, and treat you as a very suspicious person as they scrutinize your reasons for needing a new last name. (yes I am an escaped convict immigrant who needs to change my identity thankyouverymuch)

So if you don’t change your name back immediately, you’re kind of stuck.

Fine. It’s fine, I can deal with that but when I go to the pharmacy could they PLEASE not be so terribly condescending to me when they can’t find my Rx because they filed it under S for Savannah. It’s not my fault they read Lindsay, Savannah and are complete jackasses.

Whew, let’s all take a minute to calm down shall we.

I thought about going through the trouble of changing my last name but I didn’t really want to go back to Vincent.

I contemplated using my middle name as my last name, which I like, but Savannah Rose is definitely the name of a girl who makes her money in $1 bills.

Savannah Rausch is my pen name and I obviously like it as well, but I don’t want it to be my legal name or that defeats the purpose of a pen name.

We’ve already discussed the no last name issue…

I often feel like I’m having a crisis of identity. A person’s last name tells them where they belong. I can’t tell where I belong sometimes. I don’t feel like I can fit myself into my designated category.

So… I guess that leaves me with the option of making up my own last name. That's an option in real life, you know.

Savannah Applesauce it is.

At least I’ve moved to the beginning of the alphabet!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tao of Hair

My sister said I could write a whole post about my hair and it would be more interesting than her life… Challenge Accepted

I have put my hair through some THINGS! Oh Troll, just remembering the horror of the q-tip, aka Tinkerbell, fiasco leaves me wondering how I could have had hated myself so much.

Actually, when you think about this conundrum, it may be just the opposite. Maybe I had such high self esteem that I thought I looked good... No matter what...

That's gotta be some sort of inflated ego syndrome... or it’s just downright denial… or I was delusional… either way I had some ugg-o hair

But let’s start at the beginning and place proper blame where it belongs… with my mother.
Don't even get me started on those glasses!
I feel as though she started me off on this hideous hair adventure

Fast forward a few years and we arrive at the summer before my senior year of high school. My boyfriend at the time thought it would be so cool to make me blond. So I let him and his friend assault me with bleach. And my bad hair choices have spiraled out of control since then.
Please someone, notice the eyebrows
Cutting it all off and spiking out the back was kind of cute… except it always looked slightly wet… and I had a thing about my sideburns... I feel like the haircut had good intentions but was poorly executed.
And then a perm!!! Why, WHY for the love of Troll, did I not learn from my mistake after getting my first perm at 8 years old? Hair rule #2 (right after Don't Cut Your Own Bangs) is Never Get a Perm. I’m fairly confident in saying I’ve had about 9 perms throughout my life. And one of those my mom did for me at home. Never. Ever. In the history of perms which are already a bad idea, is it ok to let your mom do an at-home perm. Never.

For some reason, this perm is also pink. Someone else should be making my hair decisions.

Finally I pulled it together and dyed it black for a few years and started looking like a normal person. Black is my go-to and my fall back. It always looks flawless and beautiful, and oh so shinny!!

But boring. oh so boring!!

I then started experimenting with red. I love red hair and wish I had it. If I were a guy I would definitely be into redheads. It took me a couple tries to get it right and it was amazing. Amazing I tell you!

The salon's hair-washer/want-to-be-stylist told me that I would soon develop redorexia… It can never be red enough.

And she was right.
Look at my beautiful shinny red hair!!!

I loved my red hair, but as it faded (which red is known to do, frequently) I had to re-dye. Salon quality red is the only thing I’ll trust. My black hair can come from a box and look perfectly fine. Red cannot. That’s how you get pink hair my friends. So I had a fatal choice to make. Do I continue to pay $300 every time I needed to get my hair done?

Before you have a heart attack and die from the price, remember that I live in New York. But please, proceed with the heart attack and imminent death because this is clearly an absurd amount to pay for one’s hair.

And sadly I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Maybe one day when I’m filthy rich from my best selling novels I’ll by ludicrous extravagances like art, shoes, and red hair, but until then I’d better use my money for more important things like food and electricity.

So with a sad soul I had the hairdresser dye my locks (sit down for this) my natural color. It has been 11 years that I've been hiding this pathetic excuse for a brown mop that resides on my head. I wasn’t happy about this decision, but in an effort to save money (and really, I’m not the type of person to spend $300 on my hair of all things) I had to make the choice.

AND NOW!! After all I’ve put my hair through with the perming, dying and multi colored highlights and tints you know what really chaps my ass?

This natural, luster-lacking, dead sewer rat brown I’ve tried diligently to hide all these years receives the most compliments. Out of any color ever to dazzle my tresses, my natural color is the most flattering?

Really people, really?!!!

That's depressing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spain is the Best Country I’ve Ever Tasted

Today I used Dove hairspray so of course I was sent through my magic portal back to Spain.

Let me ‘splain….

When I went to Spain in June 2006 I took along a travel size bottle of Dove hairspray. It was the first time I’d ever used that brand, and when I returned to the states, I resumed using the pretensious bottle of salon spray I was used to.

A few years ago I bought a little bottle for my travel bag (aka, “slut kit” but that’s for a different post) and as soon as I used the hairspray, the smell transported me right back to my host mom, Amparo’s, bathroom. It was an amazing rush as all of the feelings and sensations of living in Spain came back to me. It made me very “homesick” for España.

After using it this morning I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic about my second favorite country in the world (yes, the U.S.A. is my #1. How can it not be you haters) so I thought I’d share a little memory about my trip.

This is on the day I arrived. Keep that in mind as I share my story.
 Spain. Is. Delicious.

And Amparo was an amazing cook.

In the morning she made me breakfast of hot chocolate (Cola Cao) and a tin full of cookies, then she’d send me off to school with some sort of yummy snack.

After school she always had a gigantic lunch waiting for me when I arrived. I would eat until I had to moan, “bastante” and convince her I couldn’t stuff another piece of food into my mouth. When she finally allowed me to crawl away from the table I went straight to my three hour siesta.

We’d sit down to dinner about 10pm every night and eat remarkable food. She made me speak with her in Spanish until I was too tired to remember how to speak English before she’d finally tell me to go to sleep. Which I happily did.

These were just my regularly scheduled meals. I also ate. All. Day. Long. Wherever I was. Whoever I was with. Whatever we were doing. There was always something outstanding to eat.

I. Ate. Spain.

But how could I not!

What is the point of this all you might ask? Well, a weird thing happens when you are constantly eating and when the only time your fat ass isn’t chowing down it’s sitting in school or sleeping. You gain a little weight. 20lbs in 5 weeks to be exact.

No one ever believes me but luckily I have proof… Which I’m crazy enough to share…

And I’d do it all again in an instant.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Same Shit Different Toilet

Career: Pick one You can Live With
In May 2010, in the beginning stages of my plan to leave Utah for my little adventure East, I had a vision. I would focus on my writing, not get my life and my job combined into a tangled mess, and find the mysterious, elusive thing called happiness. I was going to get a menial job doing something mindless so that I would remember that the focal point of life is not a career. (Note: this is for ME. Many people make an excellent life for themselves having a career, I cannot. I’ll explain more) And last, I was going to target my ambitions at becoming a published author.

Before I left, I wasn’t naïve enough to think that moving would get me out of the rut of a professional life I had gotten myself into. I did believe, however, that I had fixed my problem and freed myself of its grasp. I thought I had prevail over my professional shortcomings that allowed me to become so enmeshed in my occupation that I didn’t have a life of my own.

I was wrong.

It started innocently enough. I had a job that I loved. LOVED. I was a Family Teacher, which meant I basically got to be a mother to troubled teenage girls. They lived in my home for the duration of their treatment while I taught them life skills to make them capable of handling their world and the trials they encountered. It was the most rewarding job in the world. I have never shone brighter or lived more fully than when I was working with these girls. In this capacity, my job was my life and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Those are some of the best years of my life and it couldn’t have been so without the entanglement between the two.

The problem arose for me when I overstayed my welcome in a position that I had outgrown but refused to let go of. I held on to the memory of how wonderful the job used to be for me, failing to realize that the circumstances from when I once loved the job were significantly different from the situation I was currently living in. This is when I decided to move to New York.

Before the move I worked through many of my own personal shortcomings and thought that the last endeavor I had to tackle was the one of quitting my job. I failed to realize that because I didn’t conquer the feelings behind my reason for staying, I was destined to find myself in the exact same situation once I arrived in New York.

And so I did. I found myself in a brand new job that put me in the exact same place emotionally.

Ya follow so far?

The problem wasn’t so much my job (although, I will place the appropriate blame where it is due there) but my attitude that my job had to be my life. I had been unhappy for a while in this predicament and after moving I continued to live, not for myself, but for the kids and my employees who worked with these kids. Time and again I put their needs above my own, feeling like that was the only way to be effective in my role.

Can you imagine, I felt the same misery I had in Utah. Shocker.

So, I did the first selfish thing I had done since I started working in this field in 2006, I quit my job and the field entirely. And proportionately felt like a selfish bitch for doing so.

Once I got over my feelings of complete ass-hole-ness, I realized that it is actually ok to do things for yourself. And in fact, one should frequently put themselves first if they want to survive around here. No one else is going to make my life a priority, so I’d better do it.

Now guess what I’m going to do? I'm going to be more dedicated to myself. I’m going to be more dedicated to my blog. I’m going to work out consistently so that I’m not feeling like a body building amazon woman one week, and a margarine pile of squiggy jello the next. And I am finally. Finally! Going to make something happen with the novel I finished over a year and a half ago. It’s time to get this sucker published. If I want to be a writer, I have to start acting like a writer. And the first step to that is to write.

And then write some more.

So wish me luck (or don’t) I’m going to focus on me and my ambitions. I’m going to make something happen, and I’m going to follow through on the plan I started last May. It’s gonna be great.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Owner's Manual for Women

It is a common, CONSTANT complaint from our wonderful, I-don’t-know-how-they-put-up-with-us, men that women are hard to understand, hard to figure out and even harder to please. Many a man has lamented  if they could only have an instruction manual to decipher these emotionally charged, erratic creatures, all of their problems would be solved.

My aunt told me about a woman who did just that. She wrote out all the things she needed her husband to do (and not do) for her to be properly maintained. He followed her manual and they were very happily married. It sounds like she might be some sort of difficult woman to deal with… and very demanding…

But the opposite was actually true.

In my experience, men want to do things to make their ladies happy. The place where women get confused is that they want their boyfriend/husband to just KNOW what they want. How many times have you heard (or said, if you’re a woman) “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you”. How does this statement help anyone? Men don’t go around pissing off their girlfriends/wives just for fun.

*I’m now raising my voice at you silly women*

Then these bewildered men say, “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Not because they are playing mind games, but because they really want to do the things you'd like them to do. Get this, they don’t want to make you happy just to shut you up, they actually want you to be happy! Weird.

*End raised voice… for now*

So, with this in mind, an instruction manual would be a great tool for guys to have, but I am remiss to say that I cannot provide this.

Alas, women are far too intricate and diverse to create one guide that is sufficient for everyone.

However, I CAN do what I do best; share witty anecdotes and sarcastic commentary to hopefully relay some sort of message and impart… what? wisdom?

My Sarcastic and Passionate Advice for Women:

*You better believe I’ve raised my voice again to the foolish, mind-boggling, confused hot messes that are the women of the world*

Tip 1) Say what is actually on your mind. If you’re mad because he accidentally called you Becky in a text message and you want to know who the hell Becky is… Don’t wait three days for a time when you’re having a nice dinner and he asks you if it’s cool that he go to the game this weekend instead of going to the quilting fair with you and you bust out, “Are you really going to the game or are you going out with Becky?”

Tip 2) Don’t say ‘Whatever’ or ‘Nothing’: Thissssssss probably falls under the same category as saying whatever is actually on your mind. Allow me to give you a little dialogue that you may be familiar with.

“Baby, you look upset, what’s wrong.” He asks lovingly

She says with a snide tone, “Nothing” while avoiding eye contact.

“Seriously, you look upset. Do you want me to skip the game?”


Bitch, just come out with it and say, “Who is Becky, and are you seeing someone else?”

Tip 3) Stop it, just, just stop it: Stop all of the idiotic game playing that has gotten you into the mess you’re in and, oh, I don’t know, act like a sane person. He probably called you Becky because of the T9 function or his fat ass fingers are too chubby to be texting. Relax woman, Becky isn’t a threat to you.

Tip 4) (Unrelated but still VERY relevant) If your man goes to the damn quilting fair with you he is some sort of saint that deserves all the love and sex and magic you can throw at him. Oh what, he doesn’t WANT to go and you would prefer him to want to go… Girl, it is good enough that he is going and probably means he loves you all the more because we all know he’d rather be at that game you made him miss.

My Sarcastic and Less Passionate (But still Legit) Advice for Men:

Tip 1) Just be nice. That’s all. Do nice things. Say nice things. Treat her nicely and overall be nice.

Tip 2) If your girl can’t follow the above mentioned advice, drop her like a sack of potatoes and get the hell out of crazy town.

I may have tricked you. Oops, sorry. I made it appear as though I was going to give you amazing advice on how to deal with your women, but instead I gave advice to women on how not to be psycho-pants. Maybe I’M playing mind games…

C’est La Vie.