Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register Online Editor. Follow her misadventures as a 30-something finding her way through life in Simple & Sassy, which runs every other Sunday in the Napa Valley Register.

Napa Valley Register online editor and Simple & Sassy columnist Samie Hartley is blogging about her experiences at this year's Napa Valley Film Festival. She will be checking in throughout the festival to share her thoughts about the festival and the films she sees. She's bringing her hu…

I decided I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself in front of 17,000 people. Free movie tickets just aren’t worth that kind of humiliation no matter how brief or forgettable the experience may be.

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The first Olympic Games I remember is the 1994 winter contest in Lilllehammer. I remember it mostly because I had to do a school project about the sports, but I also remember it because it was the year Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan squared off on the ice in the most epic figure skating ba…

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Film Fest fans aren’t letting rain stop them from traveling the Napa Valley in search of something that will entertain and inspire. Chuck and I left two hours early this morning to make sure we had enough time to make to St. Helena (We live in Solano County), find our venue and find parking …

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Sometimes the title says it all. “A Happening of Monumental Proportions” -- that’s a title that intrigues me. The synopsis sold me. The story is about a man who gets fired right before he is about to give a presentation at career day at his daughter’s school. Oh and there was a dead body fou…

Maybe it’s because it is a Wednesday morning or because this is a screening of three documentary shorts, but Chuck and I are easily the youngest people at the Copia Theater. No matter. Our Napa Valley Film Festival experience has officially begun.

To say it’s been a stressful week would be the understatement of the year. I live in Solano County, away from the threats of the wildfire, but I have family in Napa, and of course, I work here and a majority of my Register family is in Napa County.

To the casual observer, I probably seem like I have a tic, a ceaseless need to wipe down sink areas in public restrooms. Ladies, you might have seen me. I wash my hands and then proceed to use my paper towel to clean up around the sink I’ve been using. If there is time, I will tidy nearby si…

Dear Internet, what’s happened to you? You used to be a source of information, quality information, but now, you just fill my head with useless factoids and random nothings. I’ve known this for some time, but I have to draw the line at squiggle eyebrows.

Nearly all my celebrity encounters have been business related, and the ones I’ve managed on my own time have been just as brief. So to be invited to not only meet a famous person but also hang out for a bit? That’s not part of the routine.

I have the habit of overthinking things. The more options I have, the more details I have to turn over in my mind before I can reach a satisfying decision. And don’t even think about rushing me. If I have the luxury of taking my time, I’m going to take all the time I need.

When I lived in apartments, I didn’t bother getting to know my neighbors. People moved in and out all the time, so I didn’t see the point in getting attached.

It’s been 48 hours, but the tip of my right thumb is still numb. Apparently, I am out of practice in the button-mashing department.

I was about to leave my desk to head into a meeting when my phone chirped indicating I had a text message. I had just enough time to see who the message was from and determine if it was an emergency situation or not.

I was having one of “those” days – the kind of day that sinks its pesky little fangs into your soul and starts sucking away at your life force.

I decided months ago that I wouldn’t be spending my birthday with my husband. Back in September, I asked Chuck if he’d mind if I jetted off to Las Vegas to spend the night with some guys I knew, and he was completely fine with it. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve ditched him to go…

I guess it serves me right. While eating breakfast, I was reading an article in which a man was quoted saying he wished he could go back to the days before cellphones. I scoffed as I chowed on Cheerios. I’ve had a cellphone for half my life. It’s difficult to imagine life without one.

I love Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a day to eat, drink and be merry and watch a parade of advertisements that are periodically interrupted by a football game. At one point, the ads will be delayed for an impromptu concert that will likely be more remembered over the actual game years from now be…

When I go to a hockey game, I’m there for the hockey game. I dress up in my fan gear, strap on my Sharkie backpack and prepare to scream, cheer and wail for three hours. This year I’ve added a teal wig to emphasize my love for the San Jose Sharks, my team of choice since becoming a hockey fa…

This digital age we’ve all cozied up to has a constant buzz of useless information as various people and organizations clamor for my attention, but I just don’t care. I try to tune out all of life’s noise that has zero impact on my life.

I’ve been to a handful of office Christmas parties hosted by a variety of employers, and they all tend to be memorable for the most awkward reasons. I’ve been chased by the boss’ tipsy wife, recruited for a search party to find a drunk coworker who stripped nearly naked and ran out into the …

My credit card company always has my back. Whenever a suspicious charge appears, I get an email asking if I was aware of the unusual purchase. The company even takes the liberty of freezing my card if a purchase seems alarmingly unlikely based on my shopping history.

Now that the gifting season is in full swing, we are being inundated with gift guides on what to buy for your movie buff best friend, coffee queen co-worker and crazy uncle Larry. These guides intend to be helpful and to get you thinking outside the box, but what if you hadn’t planned for a …

The day after the election, I decided I needed a social media break. As online editor at the Napa Valley Register, I spent most of my workday wading through readers’ reactions to local, state and national election results, so when I got home, I vowed to only check my email and then lose myse…

I’m a bit of a contradiction. I don’t believe in vampires, werewolves, zombies or witches who fly on broomsticks, but I love the rebobs of Napa.

It wouldn’t be very neighborly, but if this phone exorcism doesn’t go well, I’m throwing my phone into the backyard and locking the door before I run and hide under a pile of blankets.

I love a good mystery, but searching for the source of what could only be described as a “poop smell” was not a quest I was looking forward to.

I don’t mean to be a backseat sportscaster, but the Summer Olympics were difficult to watch. Gold medal after gold medal, it seemed like the commentators and experts all said the same thing: “This is something she’ll never forget” or “He’ll always remember this moment.” I hate to be the down…

Editor’s note: Today we begin running “Simple & Sassy” on Sundays rather than Mondays. It will alternate with Maria Sestito’s column, “Jersey Girl.”

“I don’t understand why won’t you let me lick Will Smith,” I hollered as my husband held my hand and pulled me away like a parent would a stubborn child.

My mom tells me she should have named me Grace since grace is a quality I lack. I was a clumsy child who grew to be a klutzy adult. It is a miracle I haven’t broken a bone yet in my three decades, but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before I do.

This is the last column I will write from the Register “news” trailer stationed in the parking lot of our longtime home on Second Street. The whole crew is off to new digs on Soscol Avenue, and while I’m looking forward to the move, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic.

Most of the Register’s editorial team has gone for the day, but here I am sitting on the floor next to the printer toiling away. I’m using my 15-minute break to sort books, dozens and dozens of books for our Little Free Library, and I’m happy as can be.

I try not to do this too often, but sometimes I have to set aside my simple and sassy ways and drag out my soapbox. If you want a silly story, check back next time. This story is a bit different.

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my Disney vacation? That was two months ago, but the Disney bug still has me in its clutches. So I decided to dream bigger. I love Disneyland, but now it is time to take on the world – Disney World.

Typically, my husband and I don’t fight for the TV remote, but I know better than to ask for TV time during the month of May. It’s quality sports viewing time. Baseball is back in full swing, and its playoff season for pro hockey and basketball.

Today’s column is brought to you by whiskey and sour. I like to have a glass of wine when I’m unleashing my sassy charms, but I need something a bit stronger for this one.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a bit about why he thinks adults who go to Disneyland without children are weirdos, but I’m happy to be a weirdo. I don’t care how old you are – Disney is a magical escape from reality that one needs from time to time.

There is nothing more terrifying for a writer than a blinking cursor pulsing on a black page when you are on deadline.

My friend Amie is always saying that we are getting old, but I refuse to believe that, especially since I am a year older than her. I recently celebrated another birthday, and things in my 32nd year are off to a decent start. Being 32 feels a lot like being 31, which felt the same as being 30.

Despite my best efforts, I can’t shake my Type A personality. My mind is in constant motion, picking apart everything in my life and over-analyzing conversations that have probably already been forgotten by those I was speaking with. It’s just how my brain is wired. My overactive imagination…

Rarely does my husband offer any enthusiasm when handing me the mail. The pile is typically the same — bills, charity donation requests and magazines — so there’s no need to get excited, but today he had a smile on his face. “I think your new driver’s license arrived,” he said.

I don’t understand Valentine’s Day. I haven’t since the fifth grade. Once you stop trading little cards with your classmates, Valentine’s Day becomes a day that can only be two things: an epic surprise or a sour disappointment. Besides, why is this the one day I have to go out of my way to m…

I know they say don’t sweat the small stuff, but when you get a jury duty summons in the mail on Christmas Eve, you have to wonder if the world is out to get you. Merry Christmas from Solano County. Bah humbug.

I’m not sure how many modern girls’ nights include a trip to the movies to see “Star Wars” but that is what Amie and I had planned. When I suggested seeing the record-breaking flick, Amie responded to my text with “What????”

The last week of the year is probably my least favorite of the 52. You’re coming down from your holiday high and returning to your routine, but the promise of a new year suggests the opportunity for a new and better you.

I haven’t had a California Christmas in five years. My husband and I have spent the past holidays playing standby roulette with fellow air travelers in the Midwest while visiting my family in Indiana. Being stuck in an airport breaks your soul, yet I’ve come to find it builds character. But …

Mothers and daughters have been at war for centuries, but the “war” between my mom and me would only last four hours. There was no bloodshed. The claws didn’t even come out, but there was some trash talking.