stranger encounters

sometimes, i accidentally make eye contact with people. it has led to the following this week:

home depot: a much, much older guy started talking to me about his cabin and how it desperately needed a woman's touch and some photos of birds (but not of horses running across the sand), and also how he has a very sensitive nose and could smell if someone had chewed gum within the last hour. as i was edging away he told me "you're a fine looking woman. i'm not dead yet, you know" and then he winked at me. i think it was because i was wearing an argyle sweater.

post office: i was standing in line when the man in front of me turned around and shouted "you must be greek!"
me (after jumping back a foot because a man had just shouted into my face): "no, i'm not greek."
man: "ah, you are british!"
me: "nope. not british."
man: "and you say you are not from greece?"
me: "nope, never been to greece."
man: "i haven't either. never been to greece. just like you. i am from macedonia. MACEDONIAAAA!"
me: "oh... that's cool"
man: "yes, yes, i love macedonia. i am from macedonia you know."
me: "yes, you mentioned that."
man: "you know, alexander the great was from macedonia."
me: "i didn't know that. that's interesting."
man: "yes, you know, he was the greatest man in the all world. the greatest man! and from MACEDONIAAAA!"
me: silent.
man: "alexander the great, you know. you know alexander the great?"
me: "yes. he's... great."
man: "he's going to be great again, you know. you know he will again be the greatest man in the whole world. that's what the prophecies say. it's going to happen soon. yes, that's what they say. alexander the great from macedonia is going to be the greatest man in the world again. in macedonia. i am from macedonia, you know... you are greek?"
me: "yes! i am greek."

sometimes i feel just like the little boy in church who, when i smiled at him, whispered "please don't look at me". but at least there's always a story to tell.

but other times you meet the most interesting people. like the blueberry man angie and i met in bryant park while we waited out the rain. he has lived in the same tiny apartment for twenty years and develops his photos in the bathroom. he and his friends have gone to almost every movie at bryant park since they started showing them. that night he had brought freshly baked ratatouille. every year he harvests and photographs the blueberries in maine and makes his own blueberry jam. did you know blueberries grow like ground cover and are harvested with a dust pan thing? we didn't either. and he is planning on building a giant portable blueberry field as a museum exhibit. he was fascinating.

and, just for good measure, a random story. last month i dropped my ice cream cone at chick-fil-a. i was laughing but then randomly started crying (?) and the teenager walking around handing out mints felt bad and got me a new one. yes, i'm twenty-four. no, i was not too ashamed to accept the new cone. it was delicious.



two weeks-ish ago mike and i celebrated our fourth anniversary. four years married + four years pre-marriage = fewer and fewer years where i remember life without mike (which is great, because those years involved bangs fluffed to the sky, holiday themed braces, doc martens, and a lot more crying).

we celebrated a little early by heading up to boise to see the broadway tour of les miserables. we figured if we were going to drive five hours we might as well splurge to get good seats. i'm so glad we did. we sat on the front row about ten feet from the stage and were completely surrounded by the music and able to see every expression and detail. it was incredible. an added bonus was at half-time/intermission when we were able to witness packs of people pointing and gawking into the orchestra pit. sort of like the hippo exhibit at the zoo. super entertaining. after, mike was humming some of the songs. he won't admit it in public, but he loved it. and i love him for taking me to see it.

our dinner that night was a hilarious fail (i'll set the scene: middle eastern restaurant in a grocery store, rescue 911 playing on a vhs in the background, intense conversations about guild wars and fantasy personas from the girls behind us, and really, really dry chicken) so we tried again on our actual anniversary. mike chose Pallet, which was a thousand and seven times better. the building is beautiful and we had one of the best desserts we've ever eaten - a warm walnut shortbread with melted chocolate and caramel inside and ice cream with berries on top. mmmmmm... it doesn't beat the blueberry concoction in st. thomas, but i'll still dream about it for weeks.

a lot of my bfa friends think mike should be sainted for putting up with me. i would be the first in line to put him on the list. he's really patient, hilarious, thoughtful, and has never abandoned me when i've gotten myself into a tight situation... or two... or fifty. even at three in the morning. i never thought i would get married young. i was not going to be one of those girls. but clearly someone who knows me better than i know myself knew i would never survive past twenty without mike. he's still the best person i've ever met.


summer sabbatical

in junior high i discovered a beautiful thing: a mental health day. a day where i do whatever my brain and body needs most. sometimes it's judge judy or eight bowls of cereal; occasionally it's going for a long run or picking up a book and not moving until it's finished. whatever works to clear my head and help me sort things out. something different.

this summer turned into one long mental health day. one day i'm busy and frazzled over projects and orders and deadlines and exhibitions and the next day... it's all over. i'm graduated. i'm done. there's time and space and no rush for anything.

i always thought i would start working full-time right away. i love working. i love money. it makes sense. but i needed time to slow down. to re-prioritize. to spend days writing and exploring and watching too many documentaries (walmart is evil. none of our food is real. too many kids are medicated. the government is corrupt.) i figured myself out a little bit more.

and that's how i spent my summer. it was glorious.

also, i joined instagram. a year late. my username is saramharding if you're into that.

one - view from hipster williamsburg where we ate and ate. two - hometown harlem. 
three - the laundry mat where you always came home with a story. four -  my favorite sign on the way to visit my favorite people at martha.

one - amateur night at apollo theater - people cheer! and boo! and drag them off the stage! two - belmont, where the boys bet and won... and lost.
three - awesome and amazing angie at dylan's candy bar - she's the best. four - rainbow candy is my personal heaven.

one - central park. two - waffles from the best food truck. 
three - delicious katz's deli with lyns and annie. four - NEWSIES! it was incredible.

one - the gugg - amazing exhibit all about texture. two - some of my favorite art from lichtenstein at the met. 
three - self-portrait at the clouds exhibit on the roof. four - view from the roof overlooking central park.

one - mood fabrics! we saw swatch... he looked slobbery. two - project runway with ang! so many stories. heidi is glamorous. i want tim to be my fairy godmother.
three - shakespeare in the park. four - september eleventh memorial.

one - grand central. two - inside, where lyns and annie and i ate four (five?) different desserts at once.
three - mikey at the mets game. there was loooooots of baseball this summer. four - public library. love.
one - i think this was st. patricks. gorgeous cathedrals everywhere. two - girls night with abbie! who is even more incredible in person. wish i got a picture with alexa... ang has incredible friends. and friends = desserts. three - diamond unicorn from tiffany's. i need it. four - the highline. favorite internship lunch spot.



somehow, my little sister kate graduated from high school yesterday. today, she turns eighteen! but for some reason i still think of her like a five year old. i guess that's what happens when you're the baby. since we're missing out on all the festivities and i'm not there in person to ramble (which i know my family is dying without) behold: a post all about kate.

kate is the only sibling who i remember being excited for. i was six, and before she came home i practiced the house tour i would give to her to introduce her to everything. specifically, all of jess's stuff that i wasn't allowed to touch and lara's ballerina music box. i was also determined to teach her to talk right away so she could tell me all about heaven before she forgot. but she was stubborn. i even tried the blink once for yes, twice for no idea. it didn't work out so well. mostly i was curious about unicorns i think. and if you got to eat ice cream.

kate used to be terrified of the wind. she would camp out in the basement for hours if it looked like a storm was coming. the other thing that drove her crazy (like full meltdown) was if our back gate was ever open. and with six older brothers and sisters i think we might have left it open on purpose once or twice...

she's always been super sweet and friendly. we went on a church history tour and she was five-ish. by the end of every tour she was up front with the guide, holding their hand and best friends. pretty sure we scored extra nauvoo bricks because of kate.

kate's never been afraid to be her own person. everyone else in the family played sports. steve, jess, and jeff played basketball. jenny, lara and i played soccer together. naturally my parents thought kate might be into soccer too. the rest of us were pretty competitive and played club/high school sports forever. kate was the opposite. she was the girl always waving at the sidelines, picking dandelions when she was playing defense, and skipping in circles with her teammate if they scored a goal. it was awesome. she's genuinely happy when other people are happy (even if it was the other team).

she's really smart. she was sort of mortified when we found out that she was academic girl of the year in ninth grade. she didn't want anybody to know. this year, she shocked us all when she was in the homecoming pageant as deca president. she was beautiful and funny and the whole time i watched her up on stage i couldn't believe it was my little sister. she does so many things that i would never have the courage to do.

it's funny that kate is the youngest, because she might be the most mature out of all of us kids and such a good example to all of us. it seems like she gets the short end of the stick a lot, but you would never know it from her attitude. she's going to uvu on a full scholarship this fall to be an asl interpreter. she's going to be amazing.

happy birthday/graduation katers!


opinions please.

i've had a really lovely cold this week that has resulted in watching a lot of terrible tv. like one tree hill. it falls into the it's-so-bad-it's-good category. and nothing goes better with poor acting than online shopping. this week the theme is furniture.

like this couch. i neeeeeeeeed it. the only question left before purchasing while it's like 72.89% off is which color?


or dark?


oh yeah, packing.

we leave for new york tomorrow. i'm debating between packing or just walking onto the plane with my summer reading list and buying a whole new wardrobe when we get there. lucky for me, mike is taking a nap right now and agreed that new clothes is a great idea if i would just leave him alone.


looks like i'm all packed.



and after many promises, our group stop motion piece. so much time. blood. sweat. oreo cookies. tears. oh amanda knight hall, i will have so many fond and delusional memories of you. the complete margins exhibit is still on display in the harris fine arts center for the next two weeks (on the main floor) so if you're in the area and actually know what the HFAC is stop by and meander through some aesthetically pleasing posters. the whole project will be online at marginsproject.com in the next few weeks.


a little sale.

... and here's why. it's a story.

when i first got into the bfa i couldn't work full time anymore. (let's not discuss how painful it is to look at my entrance portfolio. it was thrown out the second day of classes that semester). i'd been taking around 10 credits a semester for two years so i could work, and with the bfa it was impossible to do that anymore. there is only one class of students a year so your schedule is decided for you. it's a packed schedule too. each class is three hours long, so you're usually in class all day and then up all night trying to get projects done.

well, i like saving money. i like dave ramsey. and between our bank account and dave ramsey swirling in my little head i knew we would have a problem earning a quarter of what i used to make. having to go from a pretty salary to working fifteen to twenty hours a week at a student job (which i love) just wasn't going to cut it for me. our mint account got sad just thinking about it. and in my childish heart, this scene just made too much of an impact.

our main goal was to graduate, but it was also important to graduate debt free and with savings so we could be ready for whatever happened next.

so i started selling posters. it took a few months for it to get going, but since then the sales have been pretty solid. and because of it we've managed to hit our goals. we paid for college selling pieces of paper. i love the internet.

so the sale is a big thank you! to everybody who helped and supported this quirky idea. we reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally appreciate it.


and then i ate a half-frozen chimichanga with a spoon.

i drank my first mountain dew.
my bfa show is up.
curiously, half of my big toe (the left one) is numb. it has been since mike and i spent two days putting my show up. it's rather odd. and mike doesn't believe me. but i have nerve damage people, i know it.
we finished our epic stop motion piece. and our display. it's also up.
i stayed up for a day, and a night, and a day, and a night, and a day getting my portfolio ready last week. head back to campus after dinner. work furiously until seven am with nbc playing the same office episode over and over again (oops, sorry patsy). and then run home to shower. on the third morning i got into the shower with my socks on. i'm not ashamed of it. (but it did take sixty seconds to realize that something didn't feel quite right...)
i had my last portfolio review.
i was sad (a little). i'm really going to miss the program.
i only have nine emails in my poster inbox. the last time this happened was never.
mike and i are (fake) graduating in two days.
we're really excited.
i need to get away from the blasted vending machine food. i'm afraid it will haunt me for the rest of my life.


question: what has kim kardashian, angry new yorkers, and a girl who hasn't slept in a few days?

answer: my bfa show!

opening reception is this wednesday night, april 4th at 6:30. the show will be up until april 20th in gallery 303 at the harris fine arts center.

come one, come all.


the eleventh hour

elder holland's talk this afternoon was the most perfect message i've ever heard.

(and i hope it doesn't snow tomorrow).



the past two days have just kind of been a gray blur of meh. school. meh. the weather. meh. every piece of news i got. meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. i wish you could opt out of receiving some tidbits of information. no thank you please.

i've just been in a bit of a funk. it's probably because i haven't washed my hair in three days. you can judge me. just a bit of honest blogging, no pity party required.


frozen planet

new favorite show. it's on sundays at nine (as in right now) and it is beautiful and interesting and funny. who knew you could get so emotionally involved rooting for a penguin to outrun a seal?


too sleepy to think of a title

girls night. thursday. kaylene, angie, sharla, angie, lyns. i actually planned on taking pictures, and forgot my phone. just envision...
brick oven. a theatrical waiter, lemons & limes! crazy times, and we decided lyns needs a punch card for the er. especially with mollie. italian sodas at annie's, giftbags from kaylene, and chatting and giggling up until the last minute before midnight and heading to the theater. hunger games! the audience almost rioted when the opening scene to john carter started playing, i'm for gale - 100%, and the movie was excellent. not perfect, but pretty great. and the scene with rue. brilliant. the whole theater was sniffling.

finished project runway all stars while making stop motion props. what is the host's name? she's so meh. happy with the winner. loved the final shows. but project runway is no project runway without tim gunn. he's integral.

16 hour long haul non-stop filming and we wrapped up our motion piece last night (morning?). hooray! now to edit the thing. the akh sort of looked like a bomb went off. and today it's time to finish my bfa show, answer lots and lots of emails, and grab some cereal. it's almost spring. life seems so much more productive when it's almost spring.


living at the akh

our senior class is working on a sweet project right now about work+life+balance. right now it's pretty ironic since all of our schedules are so crazy trying to get the project done. my group is shooting a stop motion piece, which means for the last few weeks our mondays, wednesdays, fridays, and saturdays have been spent at the amanda knight hall clustered around a four foot table pushing pieces of paper one centimeter at a time for each photo. after ten or twelve hours of that your eyes sort of feel like they're going to fall out. below. our hardworking team (minus me and arien), the dreaded beach scene, and the commute scene that took fourteen hours. but cars are pretty adorable. final piece coming soon.

last night at dinner our nephew ry leaned over to mike and whispered, "don't worry, just pretend we're living in china." it's our new motto.


invitations and such.

i sort of put doing wedding invitations on hold last year since we were in new york and the posters/school/life has been busy enough. i still managed to get a few done though, and i took some photos last week to send to my cousin brittni since she's getting married in a few months and i need to prove i'm somewhat legit. ignore the inconsistent lighting - i'm no photographer. hopefully after i graduate i can get started doing more invitations. despite working with some craaaaaaazy people in the past it's pretty fun.
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