November 25, 2010

For lack of creativity.

Due to my apparent lack of inspiration over the past few months, here's a little Thanksgiving treat for you.

Things Carla Sawatski is thankful for:

1. Grace. Because I've screwed up a time or two.
2. The Razorbacks. The hope they give me. The hope they take away from me.
3. Friends who send personalized holiday text messages.
4. A dog who loves me, but hates mankind.
5. Budweiser Light.
6. My ability to continue to exemplify humility, even after I slaughter all of my Words with Friends opponents.
7. The Shurley Method. The educational tool that is largely responsible for my grammatical proficiency, thus providing multiple opportunities for me to bestow correction on those less fortunate.
8. Apple electronics.
9. The ability to identify a person by his or her phone number... and not be creepy about it.
10. My mom and dad's decision to build a house on top of a mountain, so that I can improve my cardiovascular health on my Thanksgiving morning run. Otherwise known as The Thanksgiving Death March of 2010.

Mostly I'm thankful for the people in my life. My sister, who makes my life funnier. My brother, who allows me to live in the comfort of his shadow. My mom, who is the most generous and selfless person on God's Earth. My dad, who provided a nearly impossible standard for any man to live up to. And my generous supply of friends, even those that send mass text messages.

Happy Thanksgiving. I'm going to go eat myself stupid now.

August 30, 2010

Cut off.

I'll be the first to admit that this has been a slow process. I might even venture to say it's been a long time coming. Either way, as of August 2010, I have officially been cut off. Over the course of the past year, my mother has slowly but surely cut away any and every financial tie that she once had to me.

It started subtly. When making a trip to Little Rock for the weekend, the time will inevitably come that one must fill her vehicle with gasoline in order to make it back to her previous location. And if you can't figure out who the "her" is in this scenario, well... I really have no words for you. I digress. One such day rolled around in May 2009. Master's degree in hand. Paycheck in the near, but not near enough, future. After my Sunday afternoon nap, I casually eyed my mom's purse as I told her that I would probably hit the road after I filled my car up with gas. Her response was as follows: "Ok, well it's been nice having you here this weekend". Uh oh. Avoidance at its best. It was all too clear where this was going. "Well, can I use your Sam's card?", I replied. This was my passive-aggressive way of asking for the American Express that rested on top of that Sam's card in T-Money's wallet. When she said I could, my heart fluttered with joy. Praise the Lord. However, when she made a beeline for her purse and only handed me one card, I felt like I did when she told me that my beloved goldfish, Goldy (my creativity astounds even myself), of 3 faithful years, had passed on to the other side. And as I filled my car's tank with gas and watched that meter climb and climb and climb, I felt it... Snip.

The second blow came exactly six months after I finished graduate school. I know this because apparently you get a six month grace period before you have to start paying back your student loans. Student loans? Ohhh, so that's where that money came from. Snip.

I'll admit I brought this next one upon myself. I wanted an iPhone. And I wanted one badly. In fact, I wanted one so badly that I abandoned my family's plan, switched providers, and knowingly began paying my own phone bill. But, I'm not going to even act like this was a mistake. I have Words with Friends. And you know, you really can't put a price on that. Snip.

So here we are in August of 2010. A couple weeks ago, I made the trek to Little Rock to see my beloved mother. Exhausted from working all day and making that monotonous drive for the billionth time, I opened the door to the familiar smell of the house I grew up in. Ah, home sweet home. I cruised straight back to the room where I spent the better part of my childhood, dropped my bags, and sorted through the mail that my mom had neatly stacked on my dresser. Wedding invitation, baby shower invitation, wedding invitation, requests to donate money I don't have to my respective alumni associations, wedding invitation... And then, there it was. Right there at the bottom of the pile. The bill for my car insurance. Well damn. My life as a dependent was officially over. That was the final straw. A straw to the tune of three-hundred-and-some-odd dollars. Snip. Snip. Snip. Crash. Burn.

So here I am, just me and the real world. Overwhelming people with my mediocrity on a daily basis.

July 21, 2010

Back by popular demand.

Let me start by stating the obvious. It's been close to 4 months since my last post. Due to countless phone calls, numerous cash offerings, and masses of picketers standing outside my door requesting my return, I've decided to finally make my highly anticipated comeback.

When I sat down to write this blog, I literally had no idea what I was going to write about. That is absolutely still the case. And you can take that to the bank.

So, we'll start with the personal. What have I been doing for the past 1/3 of the year? Well, during the time of my sabbatical, I have moved. Twice. I have gotten cable in my room for the first time in 14 months, but who's counting? I have committed to, and subsequently renounced my commitment to running another half marathon in September. I have been scheduled to attend 10 nuptial ceremonies. Of which I have attended 5. If you're reading this and I didn't attend your wedding, I hope you went ahead and proceeded with the ceremony. And, your gift is on the way (read: your gift is resting on a shelf the store, but will be purchased shortly).

And we're going to end with the personal. Because that's all I've got.

March 31, 2010

I make awkward look good - 2nd edition.

Here's what you've been waiting for, folks. The second edition of a look into my life as a pre-teen. As I was scanning through some of my old posts, it occurred to me that following the title of a blog with "1st edition" not-so-subtly implies that there will be a second edition. And I always deliver on my promises, in my own time. So, here it is. Enjoy.

When I think back to 7th grade, there are three things that stick out to me like Kirstie Alley would at... well anywhere really. At the forefront of the memories I have of the 7th grade are my overalls. I legitimately remember having four different pairs of overalls, and I allowed myself to choose from my assortment one day per week. If Friday came along and I had somehow managed to pull together four different private-school-dress-code-appropriate outfits that week, overalls it was... no questions asked. The second thing I remember about 7th grade was my desperate need for some sort of hair-straightening device. At some point before God's gift to woman-kind came along, my mother should have broken the bad news to me that my hair was unsuitable to the public eye, laid my head on the ironing board, and actually ironed my hair flat. But we've already discussed my hair issues at length. Pun most definitely intended. The last thing I remember about the 7th grade was that I was a tomboy. And I don't mean your Erin Andrews type of tomboy.

All three of these memories culminated into a moment that changed my life forever. It happened in Ms. Walker's 2nd period Social Studies class. Everyone in my class was assigned to write an essay about what we wanted to be when we grew up. What this had to do with Social Studies? Your guess is as good as mine. But nonetheless, there I sat... a tomboy in overalls with unmanageable hair. Now that you have a mental picture...

I can imagine that this was a fairly difficult assignment for most 12-year-olds. Not for this one. You see, I had just recently defeated the defending champion of the one-on-one tournament at Christian Competition's fourth session summer basketball camp. Clearly I was made for big things. Namely, the WNBA. Yes, you read that correctly. The Women's National Basketball Association. The fact that I stood at a grand total of 5 feet, 2 inches tall (if I'm lying, and 5 feet even if I'm being honest) and had a vertical of no more than 6 inches was completely irrelevant. As was the fact that I was, and would always be, white. None of that mattered. This was my destiny, and I finally had the chance to let the world know about it. I went home, whipped up my story, and headed back to school the next day.

If I could tell the 7th grade version of myself anything, anything at all, I would tell her to be just a smidgen less cocky about her dreams of dominating the WNBA. That way, what was coming next wouldn't hurt so much.

We were required to read our stories aloud to the class the next day. My classmates jabbered about their dreams to be teachers, doctors, and lawyers. Ho-hum. I actually felt sorry for them. Healthcare? Please. I was going to save this world one jumpshot at a time. So I stood up, cleared my throat, and informed twenty-two 7th graders of my fate in this world.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting a standing ovation followed by an impromptu autograph session. I'm sure you will all be shocked to hear that neither of these things happened. I was as baffled then as you are now. After all, I was always picked first for trashketball.

It was nearing the end of the class period, and my teacher had the floor. Everyone was all ears. She commented on the nobility of a girl's dream to be a veterinarian, the grandeur of another's aspirations to be a firefighter, and then she laid her eyes on me. Without flinching, she politely (read: venomously) told me that "there isn't a very good chance that you'll make it to the WNBA"......... WHAT?! No seriously, WHAT?! I felt the blood rush from my face, and I subsequently broke into a cold sweat. Who is this lady? And since when is a 12-year old not allowed to dream? Am I even still living in AMERICA? So many questions left unanswered. Ms. Walker was saved by the bell.

I left the class and gave myself a pep talk. Well, that's fine. That's just one person's opinion. It would be my motivation, provided that an awkward, junior high girl is easily motivated when an authority figure, for no reason at all, removes the wind completely from her sails. It was the beginning of a long, slow death to my dream.

Ultimately, I do blame this teacher for why I'm not currently making it rain from 20 feet out while rubbing shoulders with Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoops. However, I'd also like to extend my sincerest gratitude to this same teacher for not allowing me to become a part of the mockery that is women's sports in general. Besides, four years later, I made the executive decision that coming home after school and taking a nap was far superior to running the circumference of the football field in less than a minute ten times and being expected to live.

So Ms. Walker, no harm, no foul. I guess I can finally admit that you were right. I didn't make it to the WNBA... yet.

March 7, 2010

Here goes absolutely nothing.

The purpose of this entry is certainly not to boast. However, in a much more real sense, it absolutely is. I ran 13.1 miles this morning, and I only wanted to hurl my body into oncoming traffic one time. And if I'm being honest, it would be more like three times. Judging by the fact that I'm still living, I'm chalking this one up as a W.

But it didn't start out that way. The race packet kindly suggested that runners arrive to the race 45 minutes early to A.) find their corral and B.) give them an adequate amount of time to completely freak out about their impending doom. Well, luckily it didn't have to come to that for my sister and me. When we were approximately .2 miles away from the start line I casually asked my sister, "Did you already put the time chip on your shoe?". What I received as a response was a look of horror and disgust along with the words, "YOU SAID YOU HAD IT!". Uh oh. In my defense, those words actually never came out of my mouth. I told her I put everything that was laying on my bed in my packet. Unbeknownst to me, that didn't include the one thing we actually needed. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Plus, it's about time that girl learn some responsibility. Geez.

Long story short, Treva purposely ran a red light (just want that to be on the record), and we made it to the start line with 25 minutes to spare. Typical Sawatski style. Never late. Never on time. Always early.

Crisis averted. En route to the race for a second try, time chip in hand.... or on foot.

So for your enjoyment my narcissistic tendencies... a brief overview of the race:

As we're standing at the start line, trying to act like we know what we're doing, we take it upon ourselves to poke fun at most people around us. We casually joke about wishing we had brought our ankle weights... just to make this a challenge. We laugh at the fanny packs containing bottled water and energy gels. Must be a rookie. Little did I know that an hour and a half later, I would have literally knocked someone upside their head, stolen their fanny pack, and left them for the buzzards. Lucky for them, I couldn't find someone with a fanny pack when that urge struck.

Miles 1-7 were pretty standard. I felt pretty good, and after going over the Broadway Bridge I actually formed this sentence, "this isn't so bad". Famous last words.

I'm holding mile 8 personally responsible for my first thoughts to take my own life. I had been told that the course is basically flat after you go over the Broadway Bridge. I should have asked that person to define "basically". What that person failed to inform me about was the steady incline on mile 8 leading up to the Capitol. It was painful. Partly because I didn't expect it, but more-so because it sucked.

Immediately after climbing that hill, we came to a water station where someone was handing out GU energy gels. At that point, it could have been crack cocaine and I would have gladly ingested it if it was going to give me a boost of energy. After downing the packet of vanilla flavored hair gel, I thought I might expel it and the rest of the contents of my stomach onto the street due to its absolutely atrocious aftertaste. Luckily, the people around the corner quite literally saved my life with 1/8th of an orange. It was clutch, and after that I was good to go.

For about 2 more miles. I had absolutely no idea what mile we were on at the time, but I was thinking we had to be getting somewhat close to finishing. Then how could we still be running away from the finish line? Oh, it's because we still had a 5k to go. So as I approached the mile 10 marker, and even more rapidly approached my untimely death... I set my eyes on the lucky fella' who was going to give me my Gatorade. Even in my muddled state, I noticed that this person looked strangely familiar. As I got closer, I realized that the place that I had seen this person was on TV. That person with my Gatorade in his hand was Jim Bob Duggar. And that, my friends, was the fuel I needed to finish those last 3.1 miles. Thank you, Jim Bob.

I don't remember the specifics of the last time I wanted to throw myself off a bridge, but it definitely happened... of this I am sure.

So, in summary, I got to cross something off my bucket list while beating my own personal record of.... never having run a half-marathon before. So, I've done it. And for the record, Johanna and I finished with the exact same time, but I placed one ahead of her. Some may say that it's because of some alphabetic issues, but I don't believe that at all. Boom shaka laka.

February 8, 2010

25 for 25

Lord have mercy, I'm 25. And in honor of this momentous occasion, I've thought of 25 things that I want to do when I'm 25. Because I think that has a nice ring to it. And I need some things to do.

1. Run a half-marathon. Old news.
2. Read one book per month for a total of 12 books. For the nerd in me.
3. Be the object of someone's "missed connection" on craigslist.
4. Fly somewhere alone. But more than that, I'd like to mysteriously lounge at the airport bar stirring my cocktail with the straw and then seductively eat the olive off the toothpick. Who is this girl? Why is she alone? And why is she drinking at 7 a.m.? Is she meeting up with friends for a vacation? Going to visit her sugar daddy? Interviewing for a fancy job in a trendy city? Actually, none of the above, you creeper.
5. Go to a Cardinals game. Because it's a crying shame, and frankly quite hypocritical, that I've never been to one.
6. Go to at least 3 places I've never been.
7. Go to fewer weddings than I did in 2008 and 2009, which is 17 and 14, respectively.
8. Have 25 followers on my blog. This one is up to you, people. Bite the bullet and admit that you read it.
9. Conquer Super Mario Brothers, Wii edition. Dream big, kids.
10. Fit into my prom dress. Cue suck-in.
11. Use my friends Go visit my friends who live in cool places.
12. Conduct an undercover investigation on why I lose a sock every single time I do laundry. More than anything in this world I'd like to solve this mystery and put those socks in their place. Which is in my drawer, rolled tightly with their mates.
13. Start answering my phone and responding to text messages in a timely manner. Because I hear that's what having a phone is for.
14. Stop judging people based on their grammar.
15. Talk about cutting down on the number of "that's what she said" jokes I make but not actually doing it because it because it's too hard.... long pause.... that's what she said.
16. Buy a pair of skinny jeans. And wear them.
17. Take tennis lessons and play competitively if it turns out that I don't suck.
18. Go into Target one time and not come out with a V neck t-shirt. Just one time.
19. Finalize my list of "celebrities I'm allowed to cheat on any boyfriend with".
20. Not go green.
21. Keep breaking hearts and taking names.
22. Come up with 4 more things to do during my 25th year on this earth.

Ba-deep-ba-deep-ba-deep that's all folks. Stay tuned.

January 10, 2010

Arkansas in all its glory.

It's no secret that I'm head over heels in love with my state. The great state of Arkansas. The Natural State. Some people don't appreciate Arkansas as much as I do, and I feel that it's my personal responsibility to convince them otherwise. But that can't be done without allowing me to be your tour guide. So Sara and Sara, this is for you. Y'all should abandon Memphis immediately, jump on I-40 west, and make the journey to Fayetteville, Arkansas. The following are the top 10 reasons you will not be disappointed:

10.Do you eat Tyson chicken? Shop at Wal-Mart much? Come see where they started. Doesn't get more exciting than that.
9. As of September 2008, Little Rock, Arkansas was the farthest West that Sara Harvey had ever been, courtesy of yours truly. I'm all for expanding people's horizons, even if it is just an additional 200 miles.
7. While nothing in our history together makes me think that we would want to go hike a mountain, the opportunity would be there should we so desire.
6. You'll hear the famous Hog Call a minimum of 15 times over the course of the weekend. And I know you've missed that. Woo Pig Sooie.
5. Possible celebrity sightings: The Duggar family. That's really it. But there's 21 possibilities right there.
4. You can see the poof in its natural habitat. Sans Bump-It.
3. Dickson street. A less... urban Beale Street.
2. You could go an entire weekend without having to dodge a single motorized wheelchair on the street. Plus, your chances of living increase exponentially.
1. I turn a quarter-of-a-century years old on February 8th, 2010. And you two coming to Fayetteville would be the best present I could ask for. That, or an iPhone.

I think I've made my case.

December 13, 2009

Back to reality

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I haven't written a blog in a while. In a long while. During the time of my absence you could have conceived, birthed, and raised a child. I get it, and I apologize.

I was on top of the world back in October when I placed 4th in a writing contest, as I'm confident you'll remember. Since then, I've been dodging paparazzi, adopting children from Africa, shaving my head, and getting chased down by Swedes bearing golf clubs.... you know, typical famous people stuff. But I want my old life back. I'm sick of the fame. Sick of the fortune. I'm a normal person, just like you. I just want to be Carla again.

This is precisely the reason my sister and I have decided to set a totally normal-person goal for ourselves. A fairly lofty remarkably long goal actually. miles long to be exact. That's right. The Sawatski's will be running in their first, and likely their last, half-marathon on March 7, 2010. Why? Because I always said I never could. And who better to prove wrong than yourself?

I consider myself a fairly athletic person. Whether or not my high school box scores reflect that is beside the point. I have professional athletes in my immediate family. And I'm not one to brag, but if I was, I would mention that I have five, count them FIVE, intramural championships under my belt. But like I said, I'm not one to brag. In light of this, up until about a month ago, 13.1 miles was approximately 12.1 miles longer than I had run without stopping in the past decade. And that is a fact.

That being said, I don't think anyone would dare accuse me of being a "runner". If everyone I ever knew did an acrostic of my name and were forced to come up with one word to describe me that began with an R, "runner" is the last thing I would expect to see. Radical? Clearly. Radiant? Obviously. Realistic? Affirmative. But Runner? Not a snowball's chance in hell. I wake up sore if I even have a dream about running. My high school track career spanned the course of a single day. That brisk, April morning was the exact morning that I discovered that I'm not fast, I can't jump, and passing that baton thing is infinitely harder than it looks. But I got to miss a day of school, and that's what counted.

My official word is that this is not a publicity stunt. But I also can't promise that Johanna isn't Tiger Woods' alleged mistress #17. I can't promise that she is, either. That's really for the public to decide.

October 26, 2009

I make awkward look good - 1st edition.

I love a good awkward situation. Because I try not to take life too seriously. And because they're freaking hilarious. I would venture to say that I thrive in awkward situations, revel in them even.

This may be directly attributable to the extensive amount of time that I spent in what one would define as "The Awkward Years". For most people, this formidable period of time is synonymous with "The Tween Years". These years, according to Old Faithful (Wikipedia) span a period of approximately 4 years, roughly between the ages of 10 and 14. To that I would like to give Wikipedia a big, fat HA. My awkward years covered a record-breaking 12 years, beginning around age 6 and ending (I think) as I approached 18 years old.

Throughout these years, I had three of the greatest haircuts to ever fall on mankind: The Bowl Cut, The Bowlet, and the I-got-bored-in-class-and-cut-my-own-bangs style. Allow me to elaborate.

1. The Bowl Cut. This is your classic cut, sported by none other than Moe Howard and of course, myself. If you're not familiar with the bowl cut, it's pretty self explanatory. Just imagine my mom taking a bowl out of our kitchen cabinet, turning it upside-down on my head, and then slashing off all visible hair. Remove the bowl from my head and what do you have? A masterpiece. Especially for a 6-year-old girl who already wears her older brother's hand-me-downs. Let's suffice it to say, no one had me mistaken for a fairy princess.

2. The Bowlet. Most of you have probably never heard of the Bowlet before. That's because I made it up. This is a style that I wore between styles 1 and 3. Which is why it is number 2 on today's list. Allow me to paint a picture for you. The Bowlet is a combination of two of the most recognized haircuts to date: the bowl cut and the mullet. From head-on, this looks like your standard bowl cut. However, when you rotate your specimen (in this case, me) 90 degrees to either side, you notice a bit of a difference. Where, at one time, my hair was at an even length around the circumference of my abnormally large head; now, there is a gradual down-and-back slope beginning at my ears. This slope continues until the back of my hair reaches just below my shoulders. I feel fairly confident that my sister and I are the only two people to ever display this do. How's that for fashion forward?

3. The I-got-bored-in-class-and-cut-my-own-bangs style. Do you have a picture in your head? Is it awful? I assure you that my reality was much, much worse than what you're seeing in your mind's eye. Let me guess, you're picturing uneven, jagged bangs across my forehead? Yep, worse. What about bangs that hit midway down my forehead? Ha, I wish. Oh no, this little attention-grubbing 9-year-old went for the let's-see-how-short-I-can-get-one-side-of-my-bangs-while-leaving-the-other-side-the-same-length. I remember this day like it was yesterday. I was in Mrs. Cox's 4th grade class. We were talking about the rainforest that day. Since I had absolutely no interest in this whatsoever, I decided to get out my blunt-tip, Fiskars scissors and get to work. I cut off the first inch and felt the power flow through my veins. It was the gateway cut, and I was in for a trip. The next thing I knew my classmates had begun egging me on. On the back row I even heard someone whisper, "she won't cut them any shorter than that". Watch me, Michael. I kept cutting. And cutting. And cutting. Until voila. The final product. I essentially had a buzz cut on 3 inches of forehead space, leaving the remaining part of my forehead with normal, 9-year-old bangs. In case you're wondering, there's absolutely nothing you can do to fix that. And ohbytheway, there's also not much you can do to hide that. For the next year, I parted my hair to the wrong side, swooping my remaining bangs over the damaged side. I was hot. And all 9-year-old boys wanted a piece of me. All of them.

If you notice the title of this blog, it suggests that this will not be the only entry about my awkwardness as a child, adolescent, pre-teen, and teen. I am not certain how many editions there will be, but based on my life experience, I assure you that I have enough material.

October 21, 2009

4th place.

Y'all (all 21 of you) should know that as of October 21, 2009... I am officially famous. And by that, I mean tied for fourth place in a virtually (pun intended) meaningless writing contest with my next of kin. Out of 80+ entries, I'll chalk that up as a W. Partly because over the years I've gotten quite accustomed to being almost good enough at everything. Which, ironically, is what the contest was about. And this is easily the most excited I've been to win absolutely nothing, save a bit of a boost to my ego. So for that I thank you, Mark Titus. And thanks for correcting my typo. That could have been fatal.

Click here if you're interested. Which you should be. I'm just saying.