How Much is That Doggy in the Window?

This past weekend Matt and I made a trip out to Pennsylvania to visit a Shiba Inu dog breeder.  In Brooklyn there are tons of Shiba Inu’s walking around, and each time I see one, I squeal with delight at their cuteness.  They look like little foxes with their fluffy, flouncy hair.  Maybe my affinity for the breed dates back to one of my favorite middle grade books, Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl, or maybe it’s simply because these pups are just so darn adorable!  Either way, all I know is that when I walked into the breeder’s home and four or five Shiba’s greeted me, I fell head over heels in love!

See what I mean?

See what I mean?  Cuuuuuuuuuuuute!

Now don’t get too excited, Matt and I aren’t the proud owners of one of these pups yet.  The breeders are very serious about their dogs and they won’t sell them to just anybody.  There is an interview process before you can take one of these guys home.  We’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed that we are chosen, and in the meantime, we’ll be mulling over puppy names.

How about you?  Do you have a dog?  If so, what’s the breed and what’s his/her name?

~The End


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I Don’t Care If It’s A Hallmark Holiday, I’ve Got A Valentine…


I Don't Care If It's A Hallmark Holiday, I've Got A Valentine...

“Our dreams, and they are made out of real things, like a shoebox of photographs with sepia-toned lovin
Love is the answer for at least for most of the questions of my heart
Like, Why are we here? And where do we go? And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together.”


To the Poor Sap Whose Screenplay is Not Getting Picked Up…

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 12.50.22 PM

Dear Poor, Unfortunate Writer,

Today I spied your screenplay being read by a woman sitting next to me on the subway.  She read it off of an iPad, page by page, scrolling down every thirty seconds or so.  She seemed to read your writing diligently and carefully, never skimming passed the boring parts (if there were any.)

For a second I thought she might be an actress, but generally when actresses read screenplays, they read them from hard copies with scribbled notes in the margins, and they quietly recite their lines.  Occasionally they purse their lips and admire their reflection in the windows located across from them, causing random men to think they’re flirting.  The woman reading your screenplay didn’t do any of those things.  She was all business as she read with furrowed brow skepticism, a few times shaking her head back and forth (in a good way or bad way, I couldn’t tell.)

I was dying to know what she was thinking, so when she whipped out her iPhone, I knew I had to discover the truth.  I couldn’t help but peak as she furiously punched letters into a text message.  She wrote, “It’s boring…who cares about a wannabe monster who shows people his heating bills?”  Whoever she was texting agreed, and they went on back and forth about how they didn’t like it.

As simple as that, you were out.

In your defense, I actually thought your story sounded kind of interesting.  A wannabe mobster who runs around showing people his heating bills?  I’ve never seen anything like it that’s for sure.  Was it a comedy?  A drama?  I was already invested in your story and I had never even read it.

So, there’s that…

I guess I felt a little defensive on your behalf, because I’m getting ready to have my screenplay critiqued by my classmates next Wednesday night.  All of the potential writers in my class (all of which are really talented) sit in a circle and analyze each others screenplays.  The feedback isn’t all rainbows and lollipops, either.  It’s brutally honest, and I can definitively say that I’ve never sat in on a class where everyone agreed that someone’s creation was simply amazing and that there was nothing negative to say about it.  So, Poor Sap, I understand what it’s like to put your stuff out there only to receive feedback like:

“Your main character didn’t grab me…”

“Your story is too quiet.”  (Whatever that means…)

“Too much wordy dialogue.” (But I like wordy dialogue…)

“Why are we supposed to care about this character and their journey?” (Because I wrote it, and I care!!)

Getting a negative response after you’ve worked so hard is tough, but it’s part of the process.  Poor Sap, I hope you sent the wannabe mobster story to lots of other agents, and that someone ends up loving it, and if they don’t…

Keep writing.

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Five (out of many) Things I’d Like to do Before I Croak…

1.  Participate in a Dance Flash Mob

Look at Mitch go.

Dance it out, Mitch.

Did anyone see when Mitchell from Modern Family danced in a flash mob to “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue?  I knew in that moment that someday and at some point, I would have to dance in a flash mob.  I have no idea how these things are arranged or orchestrated, but it’s something that I simply have to do in my life.  In terms of a song I’m not really sure what I’d like to dance to…okay, I lied, I know exactly what I want to dance to:  “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston.  Don’t judge me.

2. Reform a Bully

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 11.16.21 PMMy heart breaks when I read stories in the news about kids bullying each other.   I haven’t talked much about it in the past, but I was bullied a little in middle school and high school.  Nothing super crazy, but when I was a very tiny sixth grader there was a much bigger eighth grader who used to scream in my face every time she saw me in the hall.  But the worst of it was probably in high school when a girl twice my size and weight threatened to beat me up.  She never laid a hand on me, and in the end everything turned out okay, but all it takes is a news flash across the television screen about a new bullying incident to bring it all back.

That’s why I’d like to reform a bully.  Maybe I’ll get involved in a local outreach program, I’ve heard of them popping up around the city.  I’d like to make the bullies understand that putting someone else down, no matter how much you feel validated, doesn’t make you better.  It makes you mean-spirited.  I’d like to find out what they’re so angry about.  I’d like to find out why picking on someone else makes them feel good?  But most of all, I’d like to ask them if they’re someone their parents would be proud to call a son or daughter?

3. Give a Really Good Speech.

Hang in there, Colin.

Hang in there, Colin.

Does anyone remember this scene from The King’s Speech when Colin Firth gets up to give a speech and stutters profoundly?  I do, because I can totally identify with it.  In fact, I’m scarred from that scene because  I also Hate. Public. Speaking.  I hate it I hate it I hate it.  It’s horrible for me.  It’s weird because I could get up and perform in a stage play with no problem, but to get up and speak off the cuff is simply torturous.  That’s why my hope is that at some point I will master the art of speech giving, because it really is an art.  I better see if Geoffrey Rush is available for training…

4.  See Paul Simon in Concert

Paul, would you please play in New York already?

Paul, would you please play in New York already?

I can definitively say that Paul Simon is my favorite artist ever.  His album “Graceland” pretty much changed my life, and I could never get sick of listening to it.  Throughout my life I’ve been to tons of concerts, but I’ve never seen my favorite singer!  What’s up with that?  I can’t say I haven’t tried to see Paul Simon.  I regularly look up his tour dates only to find excessive concerts scheduled overseas.  Ugh.  I think I have to face the fact that if I want to see him bad enough, and have the religious experience that I’m sure I’ll have, than I might just have to travel (perhaps very far) to do that.  I know it sounds dramatic, but if I don’t, I’m worried that my life won’t be complete.

5.  Take a Gondola Ride Through Venice, Italy

If you've done this, I'm jeal.

If you’ve done this, I’m jeal.

I’ve never been to Italy, but I’m dying to go.  The one thing I’d love to do is take a gondola ride through Venice, Italy.  I’ve heard mixed reviews, with some people saying that the experience is overrated, that the water kind of smells like sewage, etc., but I don’t care!  I want to do it anyway and I want to do it soon.  I think I might have to win the lottery first…

What are some of the things you’d like to do before you croak?

~The End

Sarah Smiles Awhile 2012…

I thought some of my loyal readers might get a kick out of this.  It’s been a good year for Sarah Smiles Awhile, and I’d just like to say that I really do appreciate all of my readers and the comments.  A special shout out to Prenin, Pink Ninjabi, Barry Sullivan, cravesadventure, and of course my mom and dad (heehee) for being my top commenters this year!  Thank you again for all of your support and Happy New Year!

Sarah Smiles Awhile will be back in January…I’ve been busy enjoying Christmas cookies, time with family, and finishing my novel.

Talk to you all soon


Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses…

It’s my birthday today!  Hooray~

I’m having a very musical theater birthday this morning and listening to Ethel Merman’s Everything’s Coming Up Roses.  It feels fitting, especially because on this milestone of birthdays, I surprisingly don’t feel old.  There’s no big age crisis going on over here, and to be honest, I kind of feel like sh*ts just getting good.

Listen to good ol’ Eth –> Everything’s Coming Up Roses

This past weekend, Matt surprised me with a quick trip to Vermont where we stayed at an awesome culinary resort.  We took a cooking class where we learned to make homemade pasta from scratch with mushroom alfredo sauce, grilled romaine salad, chicken, and mini chocolate lava cakes with homemade banana ice cream.  We had a great time checking out Vermont and getting into the culture out there, which is very laid back and a refreshing break from the chaos of New York.  We hit up the little shops, and checked out the beer brewery Magic Hat, which was very cheeky and fun.

On the ride home, I begged Matt to stop in Connecticut so I could see Yale and the theater that I performed at a million years ago when I was in Les Miserables.  So, we took a little detour and walked around CT for a little bit.

Of course we hit tons of traffic on the way home and of course there was tons of rain to boot, but we’re back in Brooklyn and it’s my birthday and I took the day off from work but I still have lots of homework because next week I have finals and that kind of stinks but that’s ok because it’s my birthday and everything’s coming up roses so hip hip hooray.

Well hello, Vermont.

Well hello, Vermont.


And hello, ice cream. Vermont is where Ben and Jerry’s was birthed. They even have a road called Cherry Garcia. Awesome, right?

Where we stayed

Where we stayed.

The hotel

The hotel

Our instructor for the cooking class.  He told us lots of celeb gossip about people he's cooked for.

Our instructor for the cooking class. He told us lots of celeb gossip about people he’s cooked for.  Shhhhhhhhh….



The Magic Hat brewery

The Magic Hat brewery


Inside the brewery

Getting crazy.  Not really.

Getting crazy. Not really.


Goodbye Vermont.


Hello, Yale, nice to meet you.


Yale campus at night.

So, this is 30, eh?  I’ve got to tell you, I’m hopeful about 30.  I think this is going to be my year.

And as Ethel would say…

“Curtain up, light the lights, you’ve got nothin’ to hit but the heights.”

~The End.

Phil Dunphy for President, Yo.

I have a confession.  I love Phil Dunphy.  Don’t worry, my husband doesn’t mind.


Such words of wisdom, Phil!

So, there are Jerry Seinfeld’s (eh, pretty funny), there are Larry David’s (um, ridiculously funny), there are Ray Romano’s (definitely a good time), and there are Al Bundy’s (hey, he had his moments), but no one and I mean no one is funnier than Phil Dunphy.

I’ve always had a quirky sense of humor, and I don’t usually find the conventional stuff, knee-slapping hilarious the way a lot of people do.  I need originality, I need ridiculous, I need absurd, I need you to cross the line, and then I need you to cross it again and again.

I love to laugh, but to be honest, it’s not that easy to make me lose it.  I’ve been known to sit in on many a Will Farrel movie and not so much as crack a smile.  But Phil.  Well, there’s just something about him that makes me laugh until I pee (not literally, but well, you know what I mean).

You know what?  Rather than tell you, why don’t I show you?

I think what’s so awesome about the actor who plays Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) is that in his Emmy speech for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, he alluded to being a struggling actor prior to Modern Family.  He had been in the business for years doing odds and end roles, but not gaining much recognition.  Landing a part on a hit sitcom for your first big break?  Not too bad.

I was late to hop on the bandwagon of Modern Family.  This semester at school I’m taking a sitcom writing course where we study Modern Family episodes, and then for a final project we’ll write one of our own.  I had never seen the show before, and I have to admit, when my teacher announced that it was the only show we’d be studying, I had my doubts.  I felt like all the good stuff had already been done.  I was wrong, and immediately realized that after watching the pilot episode.  Somehow week after week the writers come up with new ideas that highlight each of its hilarious cast members.

Really, what I’m trying to say is that if you don’t have this show in your life, than your missing out big time.

On a side note, Phil Dunphy was the only thing that got me through this recent President election.  While the Facebook feuds were blazing, I chose to take a neutral standpoint and simply say: Phil Dunphy for President, yo.  If Phil was Pres he’d definitely make us laugh, and I think we could all use more of that.

~The End

Photo from