Oregon Fail

Get ready for a blast from the past. It’s 1994 and you’re back in elementary school. It’s Wednesday, so it’s time to go to the computer lab for activity. You have your choice of three games: Reader Rabbit (weak), Math Blaster (super weak), or everyone’s favorite–Oregon Trail.

It’s funny, I never remember actually seeing the cover of the game at school, but when I looked it up on Amazon, I was astounded at how awesomely detailed the illustration is on the front compared to the graphics of the game.

One of the best parts about Oregon Trail is that you got to name all the people in your wagon after your friends. So when the inevitable “Jenny was bitten by a snake” pops up on the screen, you can laugh and point at Jenny. Or you could just name your characters “Poop” and “Boogers.”

There were always crazy things happening in the game:

  • You ford the river every time, no matter how deep, and lose all your shit because you’re a cheap-ass and don’t want to pay for the ferry.
  • Suzy gets a broken shin bone.
  • You never buy extra wheels, and then, of course, you break a fucking wheel.
  • Somebody always gets typhoid fever and you spent all your money on hookers, so you can’t buy medicine for them.
  • You go out and shoot 50,000 buffalo like it’s fucking Duck Hunt or something. Then all your meat goes bad and you get dysentery.
  • You catch a venereal disease from one of the Indians.
  • You smoke peyote with Chief Black Foot and he jacks all your shit.

But it was always the best when this message came up:

No matter how you played the game, you never fucking made it to Oregon. And if you did, everyone hated you. In fact, we still do.

Rich people, Chubs, and just saying “Phuket”

Tuesday afternoon Oz and I made the two hour journey down south to see a few bands play. We did the same thing we always do when we go down to Boca Raton: gawk at rich people. Their cars, houses, offices, boats. Nothing is safe. After walking around the mall and laughing at all the things we can’t buy, we decided to take a drive down to Deerfield beach.

Do you ever think that some people just have TOO much money?

A law office on Federal Highway

Then, to kill some time before the show, we went for a stroll through Target. A Target that has two stories (!).  At the risk of looking like a country bumpkin, I had to snag a picture. Don’t worry, I hid in the candle aisle. I don’t think anyone saw me.

An escalator? In TARGET?

After that, we hopped in the car and headed to Nick’s house where we dumped off our stuff and got pretty:

From there it was a quick car ride to downtown Ft. Lauderdale to Revolution Live where Emory, August Burns Red, an Underoath were playing.

Once we got our tickets scanned and wristbands attached, we headed into the mouth of hell. It was about 120 degrees inside the club and the air was so wet and heavy it felt like it would crush you to the floor. The first band was finishing its set, but it already smelled like sweaty hair. As we pushed through the crowd, I started taking mental notes on all of the ridiculous people that were there. I noted several different types of people:

  • 12-year-old girls with fake IDs, miniskirts and black hooker boots. They mostly tried to look cool while getting pushed around and spilling their beer on each other.
  • Long-haired, sweaty, shirtless guys who were moshing on the lower level.
  • Tall, gangly guys wearing baggy ’90s Jnco jeans, black mesh T-shirts and as many chains as they could physically carry.
  • Emo losers with multiple lip rings and black hair matted down to one side with sweat.
  • A random high school math teacher who was there by himself.

Once we’d pushed our way to a spot where we could see the stage, the drums started beating, the band was on stage and the crowd went insane. The whole room reverberated with the sound of August Burns Red and you could feel the bass in your heart. The crowd pushed back and forth while people flew through the air.

August Burns Red

Unfortunately, all we had was Oz’s camera phone to document the concert with. Our favorite band member was the chubby guitarist, Brent Rambler,  who was wearing a light blue polo T-shirt, jeans and flip-flops. He rocked the shit.


August Burns Red had a really clean sound. The bass was tight and there was very little distortion on the vocals, which were much deeper in person than on the album. While the breakdowns rumbled, Jake Luhrs, the lead singer, swung his microphone around on the wire and jumped up on the front speaker. He screamed as loud as he could and beat his chest to the beat of the double bass. At one point during the set, Rambler even broke a guitar string, but the other guitarist picked up his part and the performance was seamless. They saved the best two songs, “Back Burner” and “Composure” for last. A stellar performance.

After their set, we pushed our way outside to get some air. What really sucked was that the “porch” was a twelve by twelve foot space with about 40 people crammed into it. Everyone was smoking and ashing on each other. Then it was back inside for Underoath. Neither of us were super thrilled about seeing them, but we stayed for a few songs. However, when it started smelling like a hot pile of garbage, it was time to leave. I really think somebody shat themselves.

After the concert we got some much needed Slurpies at 7-Eleven and drove back up to Boca. There we saw my favorite sign of the day:

When you just don’t care anymore: Phuket Thai.


Wave Gotik Treffen: Let’s go!

I’ve wanted to go to Europe for a very long time. I find myself becoming extremely jealous when I hear other people’s tales of backpacking and European adventures. Oz and I often discuss going to Scotland so he can visit his home country — his mother’s maiden name is Dewar, as in Dewar’s scotch whiskey.

It was a strange morning, yet kind of normal for us. We listened to Darkwave, VNV Nation, and Johnny Vicious house mixes while I made breakfast. Then, Oz brought up Wave Gotik Treffen, the world’s largest festival for “dark culture,” which takes place in Leipzig, Germany every May 21-24.

Upon first glance, it looks like a Hot Topic festival.

Smiles: a rare thing at WGT.

But this is the real deal, folks.

At Wave Gotik Treffen, there are a variety of people. From Victorian Goths to gutter punks, to steampunks, there’s a little something for everyone. But it’s not just about the clothes and make-up, it’s about the music. WGT offers more than 150 bands and artists from various backgrounds  such as Gothic rock, EBM, Industrial, Noise, Darkwave, Neofolk, Neoclassical, Medieval Music, Experimental, Gothic metal, Deathrock and Punk.

Oz and I are both kind of scared of the festival, but we’re also very intrigued. I’d love to go experience something completely different like that, if only for the fact that I could blog about it after. Plus, Oz looks great in eyeliner.

Baltimore wedding

The second wedding I went to was on Sunday in Baltimore and was for my aunt Ellen and her fiance Barry. Ellen’s friend Vicky, Grandmom and I helped Ellen get dressed in the upstairs portion of the Elkridge Furnace Inn.


Ellen putting on her veil.


Ellen and Grandmom standing by the window overlooking the courtyard.

It rained the whole day, but right before the outdoor ceremony at 2 p.m., the rain stopped and the sun came out. Ellen asked me to read a poem during their ceremony.

LOVE By Roy Croft
I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

After the ceremony, we had hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while the Ellen and Barry took pictures. Then we had a delicious dinner:

  • Salad: Poached pears, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and blue cheese over baby spinach with a champagne vinaigrette.
  • My Entree: Airline chicken breast served with a red cabbage, apple and sumac slaw, apply brandy butter sauce and a savory walnut and onion bread pudding.

The food was to die for.  After dinner Ellen and Barry danced to “How sweet it is to be loved by you,” by James Taylor, and the night was over.

My gift to them was an portrait painted in oils that measured 22×28 inches.


Baby shit: My trip to Baltimore, Part I

I’m sitting on the plane getting ready to take off for Baltimore for wedding number two this weekend. I highly suspect that the baby in front of me shat himself before boarding the plane and the parents were simply too lazy to change him. So now it smells like baby shit. Yay.

Now there are two small brown hands peeking out from the seat in front of me. Part of me really wants to touch one of the hands to see what it does. Maybe it’ll be like my cat with his paw under the bathroom door swatting desperately at the air for more contact. Or maybe the hands will recoil and a squeal will emerge from the creature in front of me. Perhaps he’ll peek one of his little eyes through the crack between the seats. I really want to mess with this kid because he keeps banging into the seat and shaking the tray table on which I am writing. Plus he smells like shit.



Adios, Mexico trip

It deeply grieves me to say that I won’t be able to go on the off-campus Mexico trip this December. At this point you’re probably asking: Why, Sarah? Why aren’t you going on the two week, fun-filled, journal-tastic fiesta? The answer, my friends, is simply: money. I knew it wouldn’t be a cheap trip, but I didn’t realize it would be that expensive.

The tuition for the “Writing About Place” class is going to be $3000, which I fully expected, and am sure that my scholarship would cover it. Then it comes to the $3500 in travel and accommodation fees, which just seems astronomically high. Plus you’d want to have about $500 extra for spending (margarita) money. So that brings us to a grand total of $7000. Wow.

At first I considered possibly taking out a loan for the $4000 fees and worrying about it later. I already have a bunch of loans anyway, what could a little more hurt? But really, it’s just a bad idea altogether.


I received a suggestion from a very good friend who said, “Why not just wait until you’ve graduated,and then go on a trip?” That does make a bit more sense to me, that way I can travel student-style, stay in hostels and save money.

I guess my dreams of writing the next “Eat, Pray, Love” are crushed for now. But I’ll be able to do some travel writing once I’ve graduated in the spring.