Of Coins


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My name is Sarah, and I’m not a penny hater.

People hate coins. Copper crap. Silver shit. Gold garbage – all nicknames given to our money. Ultimately, a lot of people who I know try to avoid coins by paying in exact change or leaving excess coinage in a tip jar. Most of the folks that I come across loathe coins because they way down their wallet. It’s too heavy, they say. My pocket/purse gets too bulky, they whine. But very few complain because of the reality that it costs more to make a penny than a penny is worth. The poor dears simply find coins inconvenient.

Even though I know that John Green (from the video above is right). I still don’t hate coins. Sorry John. As far as I’m concerned until pennies become discontinued I will happily keep them. Because it’s still money! That’s something I’ve never understood, coins are still money yet people think of them like they’re gravel.

Coins are often treated like the free coffee available at rest areas along the freeway, whereas a bill is an espresso – but guess what? It’s still coffee, and sometimes, you need that free coffee so you don’t fall asleep and swerve off the road.

I’ve had people hand me their change of 98 cents because they can’t tolerate circular money. I’ve seen several customers reject their 75 cent change. I know a lot of people who keep coins in large jars and decorate with them instead of investing. Recently I took all the change that I’ve acquired over the past few months (mostly pennies), rolled it up, and deposited $26 worth of coins at the bank. And guess what? They accepted it! It’s true that pennies aren’t cost efficient in terms of their creation, but I was able to fill up on gas with them, for that I’m grateful.

So yeah, I don’t hate quarters, nickels, and dimes – not even pennies.

Maybe I will when I’m no longer a starving recent college grad and can afford to whine over a heavy purse. I’d rather complain over the politics behind creating coins in the first place, that is, if I were to join Team Coins Suck. But I’m still too poor to properly care about the issue. So for now, if digging through a pile of coins is what allows me to buy my vanilla latte in the morning, so be it.

Coin Jar

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Of Fireworks

Fireworks GIF

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Fireworks are a tradition in many cultures during celebrations and festivals. America is no different on Independence Day. Most people love fireworks. They leave early to get good seats, they spend a ton of money on buying their own, and they ooo and ahhh at the night sky as it fills up with sparkling blues, pinks, greens, and gold. Sometimes those that buy their own are too eager to wait for the sun to go down so they pointlessly light a few fireworks in the daylight just to feel the thrill of the BOOM!

Personally I don’t like fireworks. I love fire: campfires, candles, burning paper for no apparent reason, playing in wax and making a scented ball. But fireworks, ugh, they’re too loud and too bright. The reason why I hate them is why 99% of the population loves them. I sit there with my ears plugged throughout the show waiting for it to end, bored and annoyed by the bright balls of colorful fire in the sky.

When I was little I used to yell out the colors as they made their splash against the stars. It was a fun game, and if you try it (which you should) I guarantee eventually you’ll get your colors all mixed up. You’ll start calling green as gold, blue as pink, or white as red. It’s very entertaining. I don’t know when I became a firework hater, but as I got older I simply lost interest. Unless there are sparklers around, I could play with those for hours.

Tonight I won’t be forced to go to a firework show, as I usually am, because I agreed to take someone’s closing shift. Woo hoo! I’m pretty thrilled about this. I love America and wish it a very happy birthday. But I will not have to sit on the floor, squinting my eyes, with my ears plugged this year.

And for that I am very grateful.

Happy 4th everybody!

Of Piles and Piles of Books

Girl Reading in the Woods

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I need to read more. They say that the more you read, the better you write. I’ve always said that a cliché’s a cliché for a reason. Let’s get reading …

I have a pile of books by my bed on my Read Now Bitch list, and even more on my book shelf. Last week I got three new books from a free books shelf, and I have an ever-growing list of books I want to buy. Yet, I have no time to read these stories. I am partially into The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Most books that I start I WILL finish. Even if I think the book is simply dreadful like Rose of No Man’s Land by Michelle Tea. Warning, spoilers: young girl named Trisha gets a job, loses job, meets a girl named Rose, Rose throws her gross tampon at a guy (I swear these girls never bathe or do anything remotely hygienic), they do a lot of drugs (a lot), drink a lot, steal, Trisha has sex with Rose, then gets a tattoo, Trisha figures out that she’s a lesbian, Rose says she’s straight, this angers Trisha, they part and go back home, Trisha’s sister lost her Real World Audition tapes, The End. The whole thing is written with intense teenage angst and bizarre dialogue formatting, but damn it, I finished the book.

Then there’s a couple that I have never made it past the first thirty – fifty pages. Some of those are considered classics: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Other’s are books that looked interesting and were on either a best seller list or employee picks section: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

Still, I need to read more. I need to finish every book I own no matter how nauseating it is. And if I can’t bear the sight of it after completing said book(s) I will donate it(them) to some other person who may in fact love the story. I am not so cocky as to say that my opinion is the best, but I do have high standards. Often I think it’s more fun talking about or buying a book than actually reading one.

However, when a book comes along that defies that norm, it’s something amazing. And my Books I’m Ecstatic Came Into My Life That I Need to Own and Lend to Everyone I Know is much longer than my hate list: Looking For Alaska by John Green, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella.

I could write lists of books I love, hate, and want for hours.

Of Lazy Writers

Once Upon a Time

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I’m too lazy for fiction.

Fiction requires thinking outside yourself. Or taking part of yourself: beliefs, issues, passions, opinions and magnifying that in a realm of people who are … well … not you.

I love writing.

I love reading.

But I hate starting.

Thus, I’m too lazy for fiction.

In the realm of non-fiction I essentially write about me, and I’ll be honest I enjoy talking about myself. And if you’re a creative writer and claim to not – I dub thee a liar. I take an experience that I think others will find entertaining or will touch their soul. I make that accessible and enjoyable through creative prose and metaphor. Sarcastic tone and action. Sincere emotion and simplicity.

Non-fiction is easy. And is typically what I write in my spare time. I can start my assignments two or three hours before they are due and no one would ever guess. No one ever does, nine times out of ten I get rave remarks and have my grammar corrected. Grammar that I didn’t have time to go through and thoroughly revise. Comma happy nazis have issues my work, I am not a comma heavy writer. They, can, get, over, it, let, it, go.

But fiction. Oye!

I’m excited but nervous for my fiction workshops. In this genre I don’t generally view myself as exceptionally talented. I struggle with plot and content. I fidget with characters. I fail at using proper dialogue tags. I spend hours on a few moments only to decide in the rewrite that I don’t actually want to keep that segment. It’s a love hate relationship. But when I do accomplish something that I like and other people respond positively to, I am overjoyed. The personal satisfaction I get from doing something great outside of my comfort zone is a superior feeling to staying where it is easy.

Even so, I’m too lazy for fiction.