Throwing Orange Flags

Yesterday was the Day of Misplacing Everything.

Duck!2I would go in the sorter room to find a book on a shelving cart and go out on the public floor with the item in hand, and somewhere between the door and the patron, the item disappeared.  I backtracked and found the things—except for the time the patron reached out and took it from her table as I stared at my empty hand—but I’m sure I never put them down.

My travel mug was never where I thought it should be, even when I finished its caffeinated contents.  Twice.

PencilsI never had a pencil when I consciously needed one, even though there were penciled hash-marks on my stats sheet, which implies the existence of at least one.  This mystery was solved, sort of, when our page appeared at the desk near the end of the day with a handful of pencils.  “These are scattered all over the place,” she said.  “Did a little kid grab some or something?”  “No clue,” I said, nonchalantly shoving one behind my ear.  Two minutes later, a coworker handed it to me.  “You dropped this.”  I could see how she came to that conclusion, but I knew the truth—it had dropped itself.

My phone also drifted around in this manner all evening. If I was in the bedroom, it was in the living room.  If I was in the living room, it magically relocated to the kitchen.  If I was in the kitchen, it promptly moved itself behind the breadmaker.

And then there’s the stack of Sunny’s clean underwear, which evaporated somewhere between the clean laundry hamper and her dresser.*  You could argue that this one isn’t my fault, but Sunny’s talents at making things disappear had to come from somewhere.Dear Me

My copy of Peter Ustinov’s autobiography kept relocating to the bathroom, but that was convenient, so I told it to carry on.

But it was obvious to me that something was going on.  Either small, localized portals are opening up and things are falling through them; inanimate objects have decided to mess with me more than usual; or my short-term memory is finally coming unmoored.

I’m pretty sure it’s at least two out of three, and since I’m more of a self-aware magical realist than a scientist, we’re going to go with anthropomorphics and that last thing I said, whatever it was.

Since the need to lecture, apologize, and apparently amuse lifeless items is deeply ingrained in my core belief system and ginkgo biloba sound like something that clogs up the filters in your aquarium—for all I know, that’s where it comes from—I need some other method of pinning down the things I need and remembering where—and what—they are if they momentarily leave my direct line of sight**

I know there are little lo-jacking systems for your stuff, along the lines of the keyfob that lets you know where your silver Honda is in a large parking lot full of Silver Hondas by making it beep loudly, thus scaring hell out of the elderly lady innocently walking by, which also helps identify the spot.***

But a system like that depends on being able to put one’s hands on their fob (Oh, hush.) whenever they feel the need (Hush, I said.), and if my keyring wasn’t in desperate love with the lanyard of my work ID, I wouldn’t have a chance of locating either.  I’d have to stalk elderly ladies in the parking lot, hoping one would have a Pavlovian reaction to my car from a previous encounter, and people tend to misconstrue behavior like that, or so I’ve heard.

What was I saying?  Oh, right.

So as amusing as a beeping remote or coffee mug might be, I’ve decided on a more subtle method:

Warning Cone Flag

I’ve decided to plant orange flags on anything I set down, even for a second.  I’ll need seven for the average work day and maybe a set of ten or fifteen for home use.  And one for the roof of my car, which I hope will keep the AARP from sending me strongly worded letters.

The flags will be collapsible and carried around in a quiver.  I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with the cones, which are necessary for stability . . . which I assume upon re-reading this post, is also something I should be working on.

I’ll just go put a flag on that.


*You could argue that this one isn’t my fault, but Sunny’s talents at making things disappear had to come from somewhere.

**Hey, blinking is semi-involuntary.  Just out of curiosity, how many of you consciously stopped blinking when you read that?  Weird, right?

***I think it also locks and unlocks the car doors, but that’s clearly a secondary function.

^Because my purse is a Bag of All Holding, not a Bag of All Finding.



Random Thursday: Erinaceinae Emeritus, Suckered Sandalium, and Monomorium Moratoriums*

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Sorry about skipping Tuesday’s post.  I was too busy avoiding anything to do with writing—like a boss, might I add.



Hedgh og

I certainly understand why this might make someone a bit prickly . . .

I see what you did there


Candy Ants

Candy AntsSo.

The ants came marching one by . . . one thousand . . .  into our kitchen last weekend.

Our regular exterminator is out sick and his sub couldn’t get here until this afternoon.

Which means I’ve been phantom itchy for days.
I’ve been scratching and slapping at hordes of absent insects
like an imaginative hypochondriac with ants crawling all over her kitchen.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate all the things that ants do, like keeping the termites from moving in and breaking down the soil and upholding the matriarchy and all that.

But I’m ready to take a flamethrower to the pantry, just to make sure . . .


Pure Mashy Brilliance

My only complaint is that we can’t get a clear look at Hawkeye.

I’m betting if we could, he’d be Toto.



I’m Gonna Need Seven More of These . . .


 . . . and a Chiropractor.


Nope, Nope, Nopidy, Nope, Nope.

Bringed you a fly

Unless he eats ants.

Then I’d totally give him the run of the kitchen
and fond thoughts from my nearby hotel room.


Tying it All Together**

Kev:  You Thursdayed up?

Me:  I need another video.

Kev: What do you have so far?

Me:  Well . . .

Five minutes later, in my inbox:

Well, played, Earworm King.  Well played.


* Hey, if I had to look all of this up, you have to look it up.

** Except the other video.  But that’s where the random comes in, right?

Random Thursday: Variables, Miracles, and a Hidden Squid

Random is as random does.


In Case You Were Wondering:

List of You

(Yeah, Vonnie—you got me)


Sarah’s Spirit Couch

Couch Potato

Judge me all you want, but let’s call a spud a spud.

‘Cause “spud” is fun to say.

Spud, spud, spud, spud, spud, spud, squid, spud, spud, spud, spud, spud . . .



Mathematical Brain Owies

Yes, this is cool.

No, I can’t even.


How to Bring Out That Vein in Your Beloved’s Forehead

Love Lists

Look, you can see their heart beating,
right above their beautiful, bulging eyes,
just for you . . .


Now, THIS is Math I Can Get Behind

Holy Shift

So to speak.

This had Janie on the floor laughing.

I’m expecting a call from her leadership camp any minute now.

In other news, I’ve stopped assembling Thursday posts with my headphones on . . .

(Dang it, Kev—quit undermining my parental authority)


Ice, Ice Baby:

Marty Ray-–who reminds me of my BIL in more than one way—is a true magician.

Behold, for he hath performed the miracle of the age:


(Thanks, Roy!)


Wondering about the hidden squid?

It’s in here somewhere.

Go back and look—I’ll wait.

Random Thursday: Everything is Awesome!

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

No charge for the earworm!


Best Wedding Cake Ever—Lego Division

LEGO Cake by Cupcakes by SJ

According to the Facebook page of Cupcakes by S-J,
which is (who is?) based in Basingstoke,
credit for this cake goes to the owner of the page and her father.

Looks like everything IS cool, when you’re part of a team.

Especially cake!


PInata skin rug

And all this time, I was just saving the ears and the tail . . .


One Duck, Snoring

That’s it.  That’s the video.

You watched it twice, didn’t you?  Just to show someone else?  Thought so.

(Thanks, Teresa!)




“Mom!  I have to show you this!”
“This!  Watch this!”
“Huh.  Yeah,  that’s a neat ide—oh, wow!”

Picture a hot glue gun—the kind where the dried glue sticks go in one end and hot glue comes out the other in a guided flow.

Make the glue gun pen shaped.  And swap the glue sticks for colored plastic.

Like this:


And then draw with it.

Like this:


Jane and I are already pricing them.

Considering the cost of 3D printers, this freestyle pen is completely reasonable, and the refill costs aren’t too bad, either . . . unless you’re a Wesson and spent half an hour pouring over the possibilities.

” . . . yeah, I know . . .”



Johanna Colón, center stage, proves that on that dark day when Aretha is no longer with us,
she will still be with us.

Random Thursday: Roses and Gnomenclature

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

This post was made possible through timely and weirdly synchronous e-mails from caitlin and liligrif, who have been keeping me in random for a while now.


I’m a Doctor, Gnome, not a . . . never mind


Trek Gnomes are the brainchildren of the lovely weirdos over at ThinkGeek.


A Bouquet of Roses for Who(m)?


Bouquet of Roses

(and also for Lyra, because I miss her)


March of the Gnome-Eaters

My friend Caitlin, who is an amazing writer (see?),
sent these to me last month because she saw them and thought of me,
or, rather, my caffeine gnomes:


I hope she was thinking of the gnomes . . .


Seriously, these Gnome Eaters—
or Gnome Be Gones, as they’re professionally called—
are the awesome, though they remind me more of my caffeine gnomes themselves
than of something that will ward them off.

Either way, I love them.

If you love them, too—
or will admit a weird fascination with them—
check out metal-artist Fred Conlon’s website at

Thanks, Caitlin!


Random Dance of Victory

Technically, Keith Apicary, who is one of the alter egos (or alter ids) of actor and dancer Nathan Barnatt, is not a gnome.  Or a rose.

But he’s certainly random:


The Year of Gnomage

A few years ago, artist Jessica Peill-Meininghaus pledged, amid the chaos of her life,
to make one felt gnome a day for an entire year.

She did this to teach herself about follow-through, the satisfaction of completing small things,
and, I assume, grim determination.
And also felt gnomes.

And then she wrote a book about it.

Gnome Project peill-meininghaus

I haven’t read it yet—I put a hold on the library’s copy—but I already like it.

Not just because I could use a little follow-through in my own life,
but because her gnomes are exactly like the ones in my old, tattered, much beloved,  field guide:

Gnomes Wil Huygen

When I was a kid, I pored over this guide and searched the woods for signs of them.
Since I knew would probably never meet one for real, I begged my parents night and day would have happily settled for a Gnome doll.

My mother, who had started my obsession by buying me Wil Huygen’s guide, drove me a long way to a special toy store that supposedly carried them, but when we got there, the content of the box looked more like a befreckled Dopey in a fake beard than the dignified denizen of the forest I was expecting.

I declined and she agreed—and bought me several little china renditions, instead.  I still have ’em.


But it looks like Ms. Peill-Meininghaus has provided the solution to my childhood wish.

Maybe I’ll give myself a year to figure out how to make one . . .


Stick Figure FTW!

Jane showed me the first one of these, and I ended up following them through to the inevitable end, which is my favorite.

Again, not a gnome nor a rose, but totally random BAMFery: