Saturday, December 31, 2005

New year's resolutions...

In 2006, I resolve to be more creative, more organized, and stuff. I've decided I don't want to leave my lovely garret, but that means I have to embrace it and that means changing a few things.

  • A space for doing puzzles
  • A space for crafting
  • more bookshelves
  • deciding about where I'm going to sleep--the TV room or the kitchen
  • being organized enough that I can entertain

Other things I want to do in 2006:

  • join a health club
  • get my finances organized
  • start walking in the mornings again
  • get basic cable (so I can watch abc and cbs, upn and the wb!)

Things on tap for 2006

  • a writing class at the UP (but I have to sign up, silly!)
  • a trip to Baaa-ston and then Susan and hopefully some Maine friends

Things I want to buy in 2006:

  • A DVD player

Things I will buy in 2006, without even trying:

  • books
  • milk
  • haircuts

So, to these ends, I went upstairs and browsed for ten minutes. I got a video called You can do it! Decorating (which could be a real dog); The New Apartment Book; One Room Living; The Nook Book; and Breaking the Rules. (Yes, the last one is also a decorating book.)

I think I want a new shower curtain--my current one, though lovely, is almost 8 years old.

I'm thinking a trip to Office Depot on the way home might not be a bad idea....I definately need cheese for my quiche (one for tonight's potluck, one for tomorrow's gathering). LOL--I know you don't get cheese at OD, I'm just writing stream of consciousness, silly!

"May I have your attention please, the library will close in thirty minutes!"

fun with blogs...

So I was surfing opb (other people's blogs) and found this gem: "And then Hitler washed their brains." I laughed out loud, and the kids sitting playing computer games stared at me.

Also, in other news, my boss thinks it's hysterical that her initials are on my liscense plate. Wow, I never noticed that. She served me a lovely lunch at her house (she's telecommuting after surgery).

More later. On to find out about the historical Mulan for a 4 year old.

Friday, December 30, 2005

books books books (mostly children's picture books)

Well, it happens once in a blue moon--I am barcoding children's books. So I'll amuse myself and you by commenting on them...

  • Apple Pie 4th of July--a FAVORITE!
  • Alphabet under construction--Denise Fleming, who I saw this fall at the Fall Festival of Children's books. Her books are not "illustrated" per se, but papermade--as in, she makes the paper with the illustration on it. Oh, I'll find a link that explains what I mean. It's very cool.
  • The finest Christmas tree by Hassett: very cute. Pictures are painted, remind me (sort of) Grandma Moses. It's cute but trite.
  • Cold Paws, Warm Heart--I'm sorry, I don't think it's all that great. A girl warms up a lonely polar bear by giving him a hug. Even the illustrations aren't hot stuff...
  • A is for Artist: an alphabet--THIS TAKES THE CAKE!!! It's British (hence c is for colouring) and absolutely wonderful!! For instance: N is numbers, nest (and it's a nest made out of numbers!) The worms in the birds' mouths are numbers 1, 2 and 3. If you don't look at another picture book this year, this is the one!! I want it!!!! Hands is particularly beautiful. And why would a 34 year old woman want an alphabet book? Because this is the most creative book bar none that I've seen come down the pike. I have to move on, but CHECK this book out!!
  • Unrelated DVD moment: Herbie Fully Loaded!! I was on the holds list for months--and my voice is squeaky like a mouse, "It's finally here!!" Hate me if you must, but I love Lindsay Lohan. I am also a big Herbie fan.
  • Unrelated book moment: a philosophy book on unrequited love called Loves me, Loves me not, the ethics of Unrequited Love. Since I feel like the poster girl for this phenom, I thought I'd see what Laura Smit had to say on the topic. I didn't realize it's actually also a Christian book. I am very much looking forward to reading this...
  • back to kids bks: Curious George gets a medal--my favorite CG book! I love it when the room is filled with lather! Also I like the chicks with the mom hen on page 17 when George is getting the pump from the shed. Also, my keen librarian mind has determined that our copies are on the wrong record. When a paged book is on an unpaged record, one wonders. Also, I measured, and all the copies are 27cm, not 19!! No one will die, but it is nice to have books on the correct record.
  • OMG--these books are adorable: Bing! Paint Day, Yuk, Get Dressed, and Something for Daddy: in which a sassy rabbit deals with getting dressed and having an accident, painting and making all the colors brown, deciding he doesn't like tomatoes, having a time out....the books are smattered with phrases like "it's no big thing" and "it's a bing thing" which I imagine could get old, but at first glance, these books are honest (which kids appreciate) and funny (which we all appreciate.) I would look at these before you go out and buy them as a gift (gift books shouldn't be about having accidents and not liking tomatoes unless you are REALLY good friends) but I would definately think about checking them out at the library. Also, the pages are durable (ie harder to tear) and the books are the right size for small hands. Ted Dewan is the author/illustrator, who was just shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Illustration award (okay, I read the reviews, so sue me!)

I'll publish now...more later, mayhap.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Show and Tell catch-up: treasured art

It's Thursday night and I'm usually scrambling to take S&T pics. Tonight, however, I put together my new Target purchase: a lamp! (to replace the one you saw in last week's S&T) and am now downloading some "catch-up" S&T pics. It's Thursday night and I'm usually scrambling to take S&T pics. This first one is Charles, a painting that has made me want to recreate it my entire life and has given me a fascination with branches, a fascination I share with Babelbabe. People always assume Charles is some well known artist. Truth: my parents paid $8 for it at or in front of a Kmart soon after they got married. As the oldest, I call dibs on it.
This one is one I inherited from my grandmother. It is a print of a painting that I think hangs in the Met. It has always been in the room that my parents slept in when they visited my grandmother, and been a favorite.

One may not load, though...we'll see. Y'know what, I need some popcorn!! Oooh, it loaded. This is a still-life that I drew when I was in 5th grade. My parents won't hand it over, so it's theirs till they die. Luckily, I get to visit it often. My teacher was Mrs. Drown, and she wrote me a personal note on the back. She is the granddaughter of one of the stained glass artists for the National Cathedral, where my dad is a docent (tour guide).

Sam the Eagle makes me laugh!!

This is the best thing since sliced bread--it's the balcony guys from the Muppet Show doing movie reviews. You have gotta see Sam the Eagle do a review of Walk the Line--it's priceless!

Thanks Tasha!

Happy New Year minus a few days!!

I'm very excited about the changing of the calendars--I have a page-a-day that is of "Fabulous Broads" for the desk (and it has an online feature!) and my wall calendar is of books!! I get one every year from the American Bible Society--2005 was calligraphied verses, which I loved, but I think this year will be nice too.

Off to the P.O.--I need stamps and stuff. Apparently stuff is dirt cheap at Target and Old Navy...and I don't have to be at work until 4!!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Firsts, Lasts and stuff

A bunch of firsts:

First Best Friend: Julianna in Kindergarden. We were going to go to NYC and be ballerinas. Our favorite color: Pink, of course!
First Kiss: In a dark auditorium my senior year of high school. Started a doomed quasi-relationship with a guy who was “dating” 5 other girls.
First Screen Name: The city where I lived, my gender, and my age at the time. First Pet: Two goldfish, Guitar and Vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaner ate all the food so Guitar died first. They lasted less than six mos., I’m thinking.
First Piercing: Ears at 13 at a booth at Tysons’s Corner Mall. First Crush: Troy Zepeda. I was in 3rd grade, he was in 6th? I almost disowned my best friend when she ratted me out—I found out the day before she moved to China. I watched a black and white movie on TV and heard John Lennon’s Imagine that day. I have since always hated that song.
First CD: The Chieftains Bells of Dublin. Purchased for me by a friend who thought I owned a CD player.
First Car: Maroon Lancer. I totaled it within a month, right after discovering I’d have to replace the radiator.

7 Lasts.

Last Alcoholic Beverage: cherry soda and rum.
Last Car Ride: today, to work, weaving in and out of traffic to make it to work by one pm.
Last Kiss: Do I have to answer that?
Last Movie Seen: Narnia: the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe: ADORED IT!!!
Last Phone Call: From another library, wondering if we had a particular book. No, it hasn’t been out since last summer, so we think it’s missing.
Last CD Played: Dive 3, a CD of worship music by the chapel at Hope College, where my brother graduated from last year.

6 Have You Evers.

Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Friends: No.
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Define break the law.
Have You Ever Been Arrested: No.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: No.
Have You Ever Been in love: Yes.

5 Things.

5 Things You're Wearing: Ring with three amber stones, khaki’s from Old Navy, new lavender sweater (Christmas from mom: Liz Claiborne, new!!), two earrings.
5 ThingsYou Did Yesterday: Had lunch with an old friend; had a good discussion with my mom; rode the DC Metro; flew from DC to Pgh; took a really long nap.
5 Things You Can't Live Without: Music, Laughter, Hope, Books, and Oxygen. (This reminds me of GK Chesterton’s answer to what books he’d want on a desert island: boatmaking manuals and an atlas!)
5 Places You've Been: Warsaw, Poland, Orebro, Sweden, Butte, Montana, Niagara Falls (both US and Canadian sides), Belem du Para, Brazil.

4 things I like to eat: (cause I can make up categories)
Pizza, Pies (especially Pumpkin and Lemon Merengue), Ice Cream, and Popcorn.

3 People You Can Tell *Almost* Anything To (in no particular order).

1. Susan Fry
2. Babelbabe
3. Lilly

2 Choices.

1. Black or White: Black.
2. Hot or Cold: Cold.

One thing: I'm watching it right now: the Santa Clause 2. Right about now, Santa is falling for the principal, hmmm....

Leaving, on a jet plane....

This is a little weird.

Background: last year when I flew from Michigan to Pittsburgh, after my brother's graduation, the weekend my grandmother died, I sat next to a woman whose mother had just died, she was just coming from the funeral, etc. We talked and it turned out she was neighbors with the secretary at my library.

Last night, on my flight from IAD (Dulles International) to PIT (Pittsburgh International), I sat next to a woman whose dad had died that morning, in Pittsburgh. I chatted with her, telling her I had a book and could read, if she didn't want to talk.

Her dad had been a truck driver. His name was Larry. He was 77.

I wanted to comfort her but didn't know how except by just talking to her, sharing my experience with my grandmother's death last year and listening to her experience. I told her how great Narnia had been and she said she might take her daughter, who is 18.

I doubt I'll ever see this woman again, but I hope that the conversation we shared helped her. It certainly took my thoughts off Christmas.

Home sweet garret

Alright, I'm back, and I can't believe no one loved my coat or at least was amused by my lamp solution. There's a comment box, so use it!

I came home, turned on my computer and it promptly crashed. I set it back to an earlier "save" point but unfortunately that date was before the date when I updated my virus control. It's a bruhaha that I will save you from.

And now it's the time I thought it was when I was awoken with a wrong number. So I'm phoning BB and getting some breakfast and off to therapy!

Here are some previously unpublished snippets:

insomnia snippets:

We had a lovely matinee of the Narnia. Some parents hadn't realized how scary it would we had a four year old chatterbox Cathy...alas. But I loved it, it was such a wonderful movie. When it was over, we all clapped. We are in a golden age for children's cinema, I think--we all clapped at the end of Harry Potter 4 too.

I see symbolism, yes, but not a Jesus/Father=Aslan translation that so many of my Christian brethren seem to want to peg. I'm in there that these are wonderful stories that EDUCATE the larger more beautiful story, but allegory, no. Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory. It is word for word meant to symbolize the pilgrim's trip to heaven, ie the Christian life. Narnia is just a good story told by a guy who happened to be a Christian, and while the story does emphacize good over evil, anyone who wants to analyze it more than that will have this in their ears when they talk to me: la la la la, I don't hear you! My mother said, but it is allegorical, yes, mom, it has qualities of an allegory. My sister, dogmatic as ever, said I'm sure I've read whatever research you have and blasted into a full story of the Magician's Nephew, with spoilers, but what the heck, now I want to read that book. As I say often to dear Bep, TAKE A CHILL PILL.

Lewis himself didn't want to create didactic 1=1 stories, but stories that spoke to the fairy tales he loved as a child. (see Surprised by Joy) Tolkien too. (no, I still haven't read LOTR, but I've read the criticisms...) Lord save us from the parents who think Narnia is going to make their children better Christians (and hence bring four year olds!!)

I am grumpy and insomniac...I wonder what else I can grub up to eat...cold mashed potatoes. I wish to be in my own kitchen where blindfolded I can find a spoon. Here I find knives, forks, ah, yes, a SOUP spoon...oh here they are, the normal size spoons.

A list, for blackbird: 5 signs it's time to go home: (from DC to Pgh)

  1. You start checking when you can go to a Penguins (hockey) game and think, ah, the one against the Washington Capitals looks good! (Go Pens!!)
  2. You have a discussion with your mom about your future which ends with you in the bathroom.
  3. You have a discussion with your dad about money (ie your future) which ends with him saying "I don't want to be your Jiminy Cricket"
  4. You have a discussion with your dad about your cholesterol (which by the way is great!)
  5. You think of last year's tsunami as happening when you were in DC so you want to go back to Pgh where you don't listen to public radio news programs. (And when did American Public Radio become American Public Media????) or read the Washington Post or any newspaper.

I regret that I didn't get more sibling time, but as we are two families (the SL+parents, then the Irish twins+parents) I often get more parents time than siblings time when I visit. A sad commentary on something, I'm sure.

Also, I took lovely pictures (few, but lovely) which I will download when I return HOME!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

This is a test...

of the insomnia alert system. If you are awake and in need of food, there are cold mashed potatoes, ham, and corn souffle.

Stay tuned...

Monday, December 26, 2005

A book I would mail to everyone I knew if I was really rich

The other day I was Christmas/Birthday shopping in the local Borders. I prefer Fox books for the nostalgia factor, but this particular Borders is in a mall that our library used to "live" in, for about a year, when we were renovating. I also get my hair cut at this mall. Anyways.

Oh, Birthday/Christmas is a true season in our family...mine begins the season on Nov 28 and my brother punctuates the pre-Christmas season with his on Dec 20. My sister punctuates the post-Christmas/post-New Year season with hers on Jan 3.

Anyways, I have rarely allowed myself anything at Borders or Fox books in past years, but this year I've had a windfall and so I allowed myself one trade paperback. And dear reader, it was this one, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.

It is a true gem. I am currently on p. 143, which features, "More Miles,'' "Movies," and "Mr. Koch."

I am at my parent's house, where the keyboard always wants to give me double '' or ''"". It is annoying and yet a little endearing, because I am at home in the imperfection of it all. It reminds me that it is nice to be here and nice to be there.

"I was interested in your blog," my mother said as she wiped the counters. She was worried that I was suicidal since I mentioned it in my "Christmas address." (note the use of quotes...each time, I get double.)

We are listening to Amahl and the Night Visitors. My mother is informing my father that the kings have arrived. I do that too--tell someone something out of context, expecting them to get it, and sometimes they do.

My mother is talking to the phone, as in "Hello phone, annex" (which is the name for where my brother lives, 3 (count em) blocks away.) He didn't spend the Christmas eve with us (which I so dearly wanted) because there is no bed for him and Santa wanted more time in the living room for him to be able to sleep on the hide-a-bed there. (Which I did, many years, when Grandma came to us for Christmas.)

"This is my box, I never travel without my box," sings the king.

This is the second Christmas without Grandma. She died last year on the day my brother graduated from college, Dec. 7. She was 99, shy 100 by two and a half months. I love the fact that both my grandmothers had the same birthday: February 18. It's as if all the differences my parents have, they have this one glue. My dad's mom died when I was ten, after Beppe came to us and while my mom was preggers with James.

Right now the kings are describing the Christ child. I love Amahl so. My mother and I went to see it one year at a church when I was in junior high. (That was when there was junior high, not this intermediate stuff.)

Alright, I think I need to go get dressed. We're having pancakes Chicago time, my mom tells my sister, which merely means an hour later than the nine o'clock that was broadcast as the pancake time last night.

Next time, about my relatives who went to China--we saw 5 of 9 packs of pictures. She was a photographer as a teen and uses a 35 mm and is an art teacher now, so it was not dull at all. I adore it that I love my famliy--I hope I marry a man who feels the same way, a) and b) that I love his family--I don't want this whole "in law" pressure that my friends talk about...

"Thank you Thank you" sing the kings. Ah, how I love Amahl.

I was suicidal for 10 minutes on the drive home on a Tuesday before Christmas, the first such occasion in many years. My mother was grateful, as am I. Happy Boxing Day to all, and thank you for leaving a comment, it warms the cockles of my heart. Blackbird, I will remember that you like lists!

Happy Boxing Day

This is not the day to get rid of boxes. According to a source I read yesterday (The Washington Post) it is the day churches empty their alms-boxes and gave money to the poor.

(Also, I'm showing my dad how quick blogger is.)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

What Christmas does: short and longcomings

  • It turns children into nervous wrecks
  • It turns adults into nervous wrecks
  • It turns can turn people into crying machines, at moments [see "being single at Christmas"]
  • It brings up all those inadequecies people have about being with family, be it their actual family, their in-laws, or someone else's family [see "being a single or an International at Christmas"]
  • It makes people who don't drink, drink
  • It makes people consider, or attempt suicide
  • It makes people go into debt over gifts that are known/unbeknownst to them returned for store credit

BUT, it also does these beautiful things:

  • It makes people buy coats for strangers who don't have them
  • It makes people really wonder what their friends might like (and sometimes they get it right)
  • It makes people make amends with people (sometimes relatives) that they've been in conflict with
  • It makes people who all year use Jesus' name as a curse word smile, when their favorite carol comes on the radio
  • It makes everyone say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" days before, because you may not see that person on the actual day--so for a whole month, instead of not saying anything, you say "Have a nice holiday" to the person at the drycleaner, the gas station, the library
  • It makes people string their houses (for 122 years now) with beautiful orbs of many colors that light up at night
  • (and it makes strangers drive around and oooh and ahh at them)
  • It makes people buy trees and decorate them with ornaments from Hallmark, their mom, and various other sentimental outlets
  • It makes Unitarians put up nativity scenes in their houses
  • It makes all sorts of people go to see their children perform songs at their schools
  • It makes people travel 15 minutes or 15 hours to see loved ones [see "being an International at Christmas"]
  • It makes people wear silly sweaters and silly hats and weird earrings
  • It makes people throw parties where other people where sparkly clothing
  • It makes people smile when snow is predicted

In short (or long) it is a magical time, with its own very noticeable shortcomings (or longcomings?). Over two thousand years ago, a teenage bride gave birth to a baby in a stable because their was no room at the Inn. Shepherds and kings came to visit him because of angels and stars. Whether or not he is the Savior of your life, the baby that was Jesus affected the world two thousand years ago and affects the world today. I hope it is in more of the longcomings than the shortcomings, but please do not ignore the signs of

  • overspending
  • suicidal tendencies
  • nervous wreckage, by adults or children
  • singles or Internationals or strangers

As Tiny Tim once said, God Bless them, every one! Happy Christmas to you and your kin! May the end of this year bring you hope for the year to come. And DON'T spill my coffee!

Friday, December 23, 2005

2 single ladies out on the town, eve of "The Eve"

Lilly and I went to Gullifties for dessert and then drove around Morningside looking at Christmas lights. Cause them Morningsiders know how to string em!! It was very nice. Now I'm going to nestle all snug...tomorrow I'll pack like a fiend--but it only seems prudent to sleep now as I am


Babelbabe and Co. fed me lovely pasta for dinner when rang their doorbell (well, if you had a 3 month old, would you answer the phone) so I got my pre-Christmas hug. Friends are a good thing.

Merry Christmas everybody!!

Books Books Books (15 things Sarah Louise says about them)

From Babelbabe>Gina>Joke>Badger...

1. I re-read books, especially when I'm under duress. My copy of Dicey's Song got me through many a tight spot into high school, college and beyond. I like books about people who are worse off than I'll ever be: the hero in Bright Lights, Big City. Right now my "comfort book" is Eat Cake, by Jeanne Ray.

2. Movie vs. Book: I often like both equally and sometimes like the movie more. I see the movie as another translation--I get to see the director and screenwriter's view, which is often different from my own. I always say that Kevin Sullivan did L.M. Montgomery a great service when he filmed the Anne of Green Gables series. He went too far with the last one, but Anne of Avonlea is a much better film than the books he compiled (Anne of Windy Poplar, etc.). Movies and books that are both on my favorites list: About a Boy (Hornby), Persuasion (Austen)

3. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Harry yet--I was a children's librarian at least a year before I read the books. I had to get them in audio, in case I didn't like them. (I don't feel like I have to finish a book I don't like, but often an audio will do something to grab me that the text can't). I adore Rowling's writing and hope she continues writing after she is done with Harry's #7. I listen to them all on audio. Jim Dale is amazing!! I retain more since you can't speed read an audio book.

4. Audio books in general: my favorite is Jacob Have I loved (from which my alias is derived). I have listened to it over 20 times. I have listened to Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies over and over and over and over. Jay Leno’s autobio is a must listen!

5. Most of my friends are also avid readers, and some of them have become friends as a result of book related events/places: Babelbabe and I had coffee after hearing Margaret Atwood, which cemented our friendship, and from 1994-2000, all my boyfriends either worked or were customers at Fox Books.

6. My organization system is based on frequency of use: my dictionaries are above the computer, my fiction is in the bedroom, my biographies are in the stairwell…I need more bookcases…

7. It’s a good thing I don’t accrue fines as a librarian because I constantly have at least one or two items overdue.

8. I collect books and videos about hockey. I got turned on to Hockey in 1997? A guy in my Bible Study was rejoining the CMU Club Hockey Team and we all went to support him…I kept going for weeks after. I have since become a Guins fan and will be very sad if Lemieux and co decide to leave da Burgh oh right, we’re talking about books!!

9. For almost a year I was working on developing a web site that would promote and sell chick lit books. I love most chick lit, except the snarky ones like Sophie Kinsella. My favorite chick lit…hard to say, but I really liked Honeymoon by Amy Jenkins.

10. My favorite book related memory (aside from my dad sitting in the red chair reading The Big Orange Splot to my siblings) is when my sister read Julius Baby of the World to me, over the phone.

11. I prefer Children’s and YA books. My favorite YA is of course Dicey’s Song, but My life as a girl is in the top five.

12. Authors I have met and have photographs of: Kevin Henkes, Madeleine L’Engle, Cynthia Voigt. Met only, no photo: Peter Sis, Richard Peck (while sitting at a lunch table at ALA Toronto) Authors I have seen in person: too many to name but the notables include: Katherine Paterson, John Sciescza, Petra Mathers, Margaret Atwood, David Sedaris. Authors whom have sent me actual (not form) letters in response to my letters: Cynthia Rylant, Cynthia Voigt, Paula Danziger (it was covered in stickers), and before she was famous, Caroline B. Cooney.

13. Authors/illustrators I would like to meet: Stephen Gammell, Cynthia Rylant, JK Rowling (duh!), Katherine Paterson, Kathleen Norris, Nick Hornby…and many others…

14. My favorite vacation was the year I took about eight books to visit my parents in Brazil, among them the Wizard of Oz, The Three Musketeers, Better than life (translated from the French, how could I have missed that?)

15. My real addiction is magazines.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Show n tell--my coat and my lamp!

Now, I realize coat was what was asked for, but Joke broke the rules last week and this is just the funniest thing I've done all week, I had to share it w'yinz. First off, isn't it a great coat? I got it at the Red White and Blue (a thrift shop) down on Rte 51 for $7 over 10 years ago. It has a MTM new satin lining and the pockets are huge--they fit my hat, gloves, cell phone, keys, a small get the idea.

Now for the lamp. Whilst I was on the phone with Emily, I discovered that my lamp had come unbalanced. Somehow, the pole was disconnected from the base. So, florist that I sometimes am, I thought, what I need is a bucket and something to fill in the space. Librarian that I am, I had books. The pole is being balanced by a part of my vacuum cleaner. So hey, it's a little bit of "necessity is the mother of invention." I'm rather proud, thoughI think I'll be getting a new lamp soon.

I spy: can you name any of the books pictured?

AND AND AND: on the way home I finally heard Dominick!! AND Susie Snowflake.

AND: My friend Sally gave me my birthday gift, a lovely cross-stitch ballerina and my Christmas gift (Gift Certificates to go to the movies!) See, Christmas wishes do come true. Tomorrow Emily and I are having lunch--I think I might suggest Chinese!

Sarah Louise's Favorite Christmas Movie

Home Alone, is by far, my absolute favorite Christmas movie. My Aunt Hilda, who died a few years ago right before Christmas, gave it to one of my siblings one year. I now own my own copy (I had a moment a few moments ago, I couldn't find it!) (But it is now safely in the VCR and I'm listening to previews for Wallace and Grommit)

I spent years listening to the, finding that in this apartment will take some time, and since I have the actual movie on and I plan to start packing soon, I'll keep typing away.

If I had the DVD, I'd find the scene where Kevin says, "I'm not afraid anymore."

"Hey, I'm not afraid any more! I said I'm not afraid any more! Do you hear me? I'm not afraid any more!" [Old Man Marley approaches Kevin and stares at him - Kevin runs back inside, screaming like a maniac]

Kevin just did his "When I grow up and get married I'm living alone!" tantrum. I can't believe imdb doesn't have it in their memorable quotes. I don't really want to join imdb--another password to remember, another online identity to keep track of...

So why am I telling you about my favorite Christmas movie, on the 22nd of December? Because this week I had a moment. Well, actually, more than a moment, I had a two days, a changed url, a new online name, and a new profile pic. I was living my own created nightmare. I was 24 again, dating a man I haven't spoken with for at least eight years. Last night on the way home, my friend Emily listened to me kvetch. I came home, had a rum and cherry soda, a crab cake, the rest of the banana bread loaf from one of my co-workers, wrote the last post (the one about Christmas music) and then tried some personal writing. I found old diaries from college, and finally, exhausted, I went to bed.

It's amazing what going to bed at 10 will do for the soul. I woke up and discovered that I am still Sarah Louise, and I am not afraid anymore. I will be a little more careful about my Christian name being connected to my blog, but I will not hide behind a rose colored curtain. So, if you couldn't find me for a few days, welcome back!

(at the moment, Kevin is celebrating that he "made [his] family disappear!")

(and now, he is sliding down the stairs on his sled)

(his mom just realized she forgot him.)

Mom: "What kind of a mother am I?"
Uncle Frank: "If it makes you feel any better, I forgot my reading glasses."

"For weeping tarries...but joy comes in the morning..." I'll have to bug Lilly again for the scripture reference.

And now, off to prepare for Christmas...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sarah Louise goes to the theatre for her Christmas songs...

Well, BB's done it, Joke's done it, and I gotta do it too: it's the Christmas song post!

When I was sitting on the couch enjoying my cherry soda and rum (Yes, I'm done with my pain meds now!!) I heard this one, and I couldn't imagine that I didn't know what show it was from. It was so familiar to me...but I've never seen Mame!

For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing
Ringing in the rafters
And we need a little something
Happy ever after
We need a little Christmas now

It sounded like it could be from Annie (that's a New Deal for Christmas) or Hello Dolly (which happened entirely in the summer).

It's funny, I don't even love "Dominick the Donkey" but last year, like "Baby, it's cold outside" it was everywhere, and it doesn't seem like Christmas without him.

And yes, I liked the Christmas Shoes song, but when it was a country song, not when it had that chorus of children at the end, I agree it is horrible now.

There is someone on some station--it's ohmygosh Focus on the Family!! But it was a woman comedienne describing Betsy Ross as the first Martha Stewart. I mean, I expected it to be WDVE--which I'm sure I'm listening to now, with Jerry Seinfeld talking about late night infomercials and the Ginsu knife...

Now here's a rousing tune, "The Boys are Back in Town." Maybe, instead of prepping my life for Christmas I should watch "The Knight's Tale" again.

"I'm having a Blue Christmas" should only ever be sung by Elvis. "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" can be sung by anyone. And I do love that silly Hippo song. I heard it last week as I left Target after having dinner with bobbie.

Bells will be ringing...their sad sad song, oh what a Christmas, to be alone, Please come home for Christmas, Please come home... which I know by heart (well almost) because I own the soundtrack to Home Alone (the first one) on cassette!! It is the best Christmas album I own. I wonder where it is...

Now, how can two stations be "Pittsburgh's official Christmas station"? And how come Vince Valiant sounds like a thirteen year old girl? (All I want for Christmas is you, made famous to me on the soundtrack of Love, Actually.)

What do I want for Christmas? Peace. Whirled peas, a piece of quiet, and a ticket to the movies!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

testing 123


Check out this link...

for one church's reasoning for having services on this Sunday (Christmas Day). I wholeheartedly agree, although I don't know what my family is doing.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Phillip Yancey, keeping things, and Christmas

I keep things. This can be a problem, especially if you haven't *really* moved for ten years. Alas. I pity the fool that marries me and my stuff--oh, but I'm so cute!

This is one of the things I've kept, forever. It usually hangs out on my fridge; it is a quote from a book by Phillip Yancey, a writer who is always asking questions about Christianity. I trust him because he keeps asking questions and he sometimes answers them...anyways, he also writes like a dream.

"I have the sensation of stepping off a ledge in the darkness with no idea where I might land. That is up to God." --Richard, from the book Disappointment with God, by Phillip Yancey.

The other half of the sheet of paper is a letter from a college friend, who was responding to a lesson I had given at Bible Study that week. From alumni news, I know he has gone on to do missions, get married, and probably has bundles of kids. (One child is a child, two or more are bundles, just like you would have a gaggle of geese.) (See, you learn things from this blog that you never knew before!)

He was two years behind me, and I pined after him. Alas. I try to keep this blog upbeat but darn it, today I was playing playdough with a girl who said her mom was 31. The girl was about 5. My friend Lilly and I (she's the one who got the second job and yes, she has my blessing, and no I won't go into it, but I understand her reasoning now.) spent the evening together. She is 47 and a divorcee (do they use that word anymore?) and a real blessing to me. She has family in town--her mother and her brothers, both of whom are married and have kids. She does a lot of babysitting.

We talked for hours, about the Emerging Church (we both have misgivings about the movement, but she allows that if I'm growing at the OD, that's what counts); about the Bible (that woman has more Bibles than I do--and I have a collection of at least six. She showed me her Thompson Chain Bible, which takes a topic all the way through the Bible using these four digit code numbers in the margin. She has software that allows her to do word studies and is doing a word study right now on the word "gospel." She prays fervently--every day!! I could only hope that one day I could come near to the devotion she has for Christ--I love spending time with her 'cause I hope maybe some of it will rub off. Laughter--she laughs at work when it gets to the high stress level. We laugh together--and we cry. (I don't understand people that don't have a Kleenex box in every room--and I only buy, you guessed it, pink.)

And gorgeous--usually when we get together, she's in her casual clothes, but tonight she was wearing her work clothes, and when she put on her fur hat (probably faux, since she bought it for $5 at K-mart), I swear she looked like a model. She's tall enough too, that she probably could grace the runways.

Not sure where I'm going with this post, but I just wanted to share. It is lonely, being a single woman at Christmas, and this week is the worst, everybody is going somewhere or already gone. I'm in town until Saturday, so Lilly and I plan to catch up on Friday (she works Weds night, I work Thurs.) I have so many friends, but I guess I wish that sometimes it wasn't someone else's child whose diaper I'm changing, or someone else's child I'm playing play dough with. Like bobbie, I guess I'm feeling a litte melon-collie.

In March, I am going to Boston to the Public Library Assoc. Conference and I'll get to see my dear friend Susan Fry--who will be famous one day, just you watch. She is my oldest friend (we've known each other since the second day of eleventh grade when her niece Kelly was born) and I'm so glad that I'll see her soon. I've never met her daughter Sarah, who is four, and who will be getting an Easy Bake Oven in a few months (we both agreed it would be silly to mail it since taking it on the plane is free!).

So thanks for being out there in the blogosphere, dear reader. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all that jazz. Hug your honey real tight--time on this earth is too short to keep a distance between those we love.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Emily's runaway imagination

So my friend Emily (she's the one who went to Louisiana to help w/Hurricane Katrina efforts w/the Red Cross) has been so excited about my Christmas present. I mean, jumping up and down, so I thought I'm going to have to open it now so she get the glee of the look on my face.

Are you ready? Get ready.

She gave Easy Bake Oven!! And mix for two recipes. When I went up to visit her back in October, I must have mentioned at one time that an Easy Bake Oven was something I always put on my Christmas list but never got.

What did I get her? A map to Louisiana (so she knows she has my blessing if she goes back, which she is dying to do), a journal to write in, and a Frog and Toad book.

Emily laughed. She said "What age is our friendship if I give you an Easy Bake Oven and you give me Frog and Toad?" Well, hey, I'm in my third childhood, I don't want to ever grow up!!

I did leave it in the car overnight though--this garret is full of getting ready for Christmas--I'm not ready to set up my Easy Bake Oven yet. She cracks me up! It is so much fun to have friends. For awhile, I thought she and I were goners, but we weathered the storm, and I imagine I can put her in the friends for life category.

It's 9:41 and you know what, I think I'll go to make up for the deficit from yesterday...although I had a 2 hr nap this afternoon--but I gotta do MOPS tomorrow, so I should be rested for those running around kids. At nursery today, you could tell the kids were getting the stress vibe from their parents--two of our steady always happy pre-toddlers were clingy--I carried Amelia around for at least ten minutes. "Do you want to get down?" "No." She just wanted the attention, so I gave it to her. Kids, they just want to be loved.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Insomnia, thy name is Anticipation

I finished my Christmas shopping (or "elfing" a term used by Mrs. X in the Nanny Diaries)!!!
But now I am so keyed up from a day of just doing doing doing that I can't turn off to sleep.


  • Shopping for my secret Santa at Walmart
  • Reading Jane Austen's Book Club, my reward, at my reward dinner at Abate, an Italian/Fish restaurant near my house
  • talking to my sister
  • talking to my friend Alice
  • talking to my friend Kerry
  • spending some real quality time praying and getting deep into the Bible
  • WATCHING THE FAMILY STONE! If you have a chance to see a movie, go see this. It is about this totally screwed up family, but it is soooo beautiful!!! I was sobbing at the end, because of its beautiful-ness. Some guy sitting near me said are you okay and I said yeah. Beautiful movie, he said. Yeah, I said. Take it easy, he said. It was sweet to have someone want to know if I was okay, even if it was a wierd strange man.

I'm still not tired. And not sure I want to email my friend about why I think two jobs isn't the answer for her...although drafting an email to send later might at least clear my mind...

I hope y'all are fast asleep.

Here's some wisdom I gleaned from the Word today:

  • "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the earth. (1 cor 4:11-13)
  • Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife (prov. 17:1)
  • A man of many companions may come to ruin but there is a friend who sticks like a brother. (prov 18:24)

This, from the Women's Devotional Bible, a devotion quote: "Need waits for longing for the familiar entrance of dear ones who pad barefoot through the soul on ordinary days."

I love my friend--I want the best for her. I want to communicate, not like a bull in a china shop, but not quiet as a mouse as is my norm. Off to draft an email...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Last one, before I fall into a heap on the couch!

This is my tree. Right now it has all the ornaments that aren't in the show and tell, all the ornaments that are just pretty but to me have no real story. At dinner, I was telling my co-workers about this show and tell and my boss said she gave each of her daughters an ornament each year--they sometimes had more than one tree!!

Merry Happy Advent! (There are two more posts below, with pics too.)

This is where I wish it wasn't "newest post first"--Show and Tell Pt 2

Well, these aren't in any order. These are the "also-rans" in the "favorite ornament category."

When I got my tree (it used to belong to my Grandma) my mom mailed me a box of ornaments. Some of them are just familiar cause they've always been on the tree, and some, like the ones in this post, bring up certain memories. This bird is one of many, and it reminds me of a song on a Christmas album where birds are singing.

My mom made this for me. She's the one who doesn't tell stories in the family, so that's all I can say. It's at least 30 years old.
Does anyone else have one like this? My mom loved making things with crayon shavings--this is a plastic cup with crayon shavings, cooked in the oven. I vaguely remember making it when I was 4 or 5.

My memory card was filling up, so I put two in one picture: the "tree pillow" is one I bought and used as a dollhouse Christmas tree. The sparkly thing--I have no clue, but isn't it fun?

I don't know anything about this one either (did you notice the theme color is red?) but I think it's one of a set of two? I like it because it's foreign looking.

I'm trying to figure out the best/easiest way to upload images and well, there just isn't one. So that's why this is two posts, because I didn't want to have to move images around.

Okay, who was it that forgot to mention I might have up to 3 USB terminals on the back of my computer? and that I can keep my camera cord plugged in at all times??? (Then plug in the camera when needed.) It must have been a man.

It takes forever for these images to upload!!

Show and Tell ornaments n stuff, pt 1

My favorite Chrismas item. A baby Jesus that lived in my delicates drawer for years. I bought him in Krakow, Poland, with the thought that it would be the gift I'd give my husband on our first Christmas. Um, that was over ten years ago. A few years ago, I told a friend about my baby Jesus living in the delicates drawer and she said, why don't you bring him out? So I actually keep him out all year. Isn't he a sweetie?

My favorite ornament. I keep this out all year too--it's a wooden heart that on one side says "Ich liebe dich" and "I love you" on the other. It's my version of fuzzy dice, which is why the background looks dark and snowy--it hangs on my rear-view mirror.

I call these two "SL plays with lights." Still learning how to take pictures, you see. But I like the effects.

Is is just me, or do other bloggers go around all day, composing the blog posts as they go about their day? Today I meant to blog about

  • getting my driver's lisc. picture taken
  • slushy roads
  • my allergist, who cracks me up

And then my favorite song comes on the radio: "King of the Road." So this pays for the fact I haven't heard Dominick the Donkey yet. Okay, gotta stop blogging and enjoy this!

The first time I heard that song was in the Poconos, at a cottage we sometimes rent. I was probably 13 or 14. It's not a song often played, so it's always a thrill when it comes on. One of the advantages of listening to "Nostalgia" radio.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Becoming my father...

Caption: darn blogger--anyways, this is my bare at the moment tree. Lights will come in an upcoming post, I promise!

This summer I posted about becoming my mom, by pulling clover from the lawn. Today, incensed with Christmas--yet another co-worker gift (other gifts: homemade biscotti, a picture of the co-worker's three gorgeous daughters)...this one was an actual basket, full of stuff!, and I'm supposed to reciprocate?? I have not the time or I am printing (ironically the ink I'm using may be the bigger expenditure per capita) out cards for my co-workers--I bought a flock of chicks at Heifer International and they each are getting a card that commemorates that act. I can't compete with the bakers and the crafters in the children's department, and everyone in the Tech dept got me a birthday card, so I needed to do the OD this Advent, we've been talking about "alternative giving" and a Subversive Holiday Season. I didn't "buy the concept" until I saw the beautiful basket on my desk that there was no way I could reciprocate. So I'm printing and folding pieces of paper with a picture of an African child holding a chick. If I worked part time in one department, maybe I'd have a shred of creativity (I actually did buy stuff at Target and Giant Eagle to make up "goody bags") and time and energy. But I work full time, which parcels out to part time in two departments. (Which also means preparing two end of year reviews...) And I really need to buy new shoes for myself, not make another visit to Joanne Fabrics or the party store. Driving home in 8 degree weather at 11pm, driving past the Christmas lights, I was the closest to suicidal that I get. It seemed easy, you know, just crash the car. There is so much to be done before Christmas, for gifts, for people. There is so much to be done before the year ends, for taxes, for finances. And laundry? You can buy more underwear, yes, but that's not what's dirty! If I wake up early tomorrow, I can throw a load before I go to work....

Sarah's Louise's List:

  • Laundry (and more laundry) (lovely thing about my apartment: can't shower while doing laundry--I think I'll throw a load with my alarm at 7 and then crawl back under the covers)
  • Clearing out the foyer (which includes shredding junk mail)
  • Folding the rest of the Heifer Project stuff
  • Making/buying gifts for close friends (which I do enjoy!) (it's the obligatory ones I can't abide) (BB will tell you I am forever gifting)
  • Finishing shopping for sibs and 'rents
  • Wrapping and enveloping all of the above
  • Christmas cards? are you daft?
  • Finshing up holiday show and tells (I actually have decorations up now but you want an ORNAMENT?)
  • Another trip to the basement for said ornament--I have to choose ONE???
  • Choosing one ornament for Show and Tell
  • Photographing said item and then doing the sitting on the floor cursing my computer tower
  • Bringing up items from Target--(did I mention I live in a third floor walk-up) I finally broke down and got flannel sheets. It might be nice to sleep on my bed before Christmas...
  • sealing up my skylight with cellophane (to the goal of above)
  • picking up drugs at the pharmacy, making sure I have enough to get me through the holidays...
  • Sleep? Oh that might be a good idea...

Did I mention it's like 14 degrees outside? So it's like 55 in my apartment, because the thrifty side of me turned the thermostat down when I left the house this morning.

Plus, I have social engagements every evening this week (my choice, don't cry for me Argentina) and I have Saturday off but as yet, no plans, because I'm never off on Saturday...I think I'll go to the movies. There's gotta be something I want to see. Because you are not getting me shopping, no sirree!! That's gonna be all wrapped up (metaphorically if not literally) on Friday, because I have the morning off. I'll get my Driver's Liscense picture taken, go to AAA and get a gazillion tour books for Dad (it's what he wants for Christmas, who am I to argue?), and maybe have a hot lunch at Whole Foods. They're having free valet parking next week, (the week of Christmas), I'm tempted to go just for that!!! I could go to a wedding on Saturday...a guy I used to be in a Bible Study with a few years ago, but I don't know...I mean it would be just for the wedding, I wasn't invited to the wedding or reception, but the wedding is an open thing (I think) at the church. I don't know...I'm not sure my calloused heart would be able to take going to a wedding right's hard enough watching the babies and the loving looks my friend's husbands give their wives...I just want it to be January, dammit!!

I don't want to miss the season, you understand, but I long for the quiet days of January when I can curl up with my book. Which right now is Eat Cake, by Jeanne Ray, the mom of Ann Patchett, of Bell Canto and the Patron Saint of Liars. Ms. Ray is a treasure and I was stricken to discover I wouldn't have her as a dinner companion this evening as I had left my book at my bedside. It's the type of book you want to quote verbatim ad naseum because it makes so much sense. Oh look, it might be 57 degrees in here now!

If I quoted a sentence from Eat Cake, I'd have to quote the whole book. Too bad there isn't an imdb for books--I could link you to the "most memorable quotes of the book" instead of what you'll get, a review and some other folks thoughts on the book. Trust me, the real thing is so much more satisfying.

Last night Babelbabe and I went to the Christmas party at Taz', our local coffee shop. She lives a block away from Taz' and works less hours away from home than me (any mom is working, 24-7) so she goes there a lot, and knew a lot of the folks. I just found out I have extra vacation time and so I left work early, tried to squeeze in some shopping (foolish girl) and got to Taz' around 8:50ish, not bad since I said 8:45 when we spoke--I called her on my cell in the parking lot on the way to dinner at Wendy's. I love my cell phone. I truly do.

Don't mind the pause, I just moved my bookcase (full of books yes) so that some more heat might reach me. It occurs to me that sleep might be the cure for this whatever it is...

Oh, but anyways, it was just so nice sitting there with BabBab, just chatting, while there was a live string jazz duo playing Christmasy music. Thanks for being my friend, BB, and for being the squeaky wheel in my social life! Ladies and Gents, I'd like to nominate BB as friend extraordinaire. It's great, too, that her kids love me. What a true blessing, indeed. Okay, it's 1:24, and I'm weeping from good thoughts, so I think I'll wrap this up (truly, no Christmas pun intended) and get some shut-eye.

What happens when a crow loses it's voice?

Lost caws.

(thanks to Jack Prelutsky!!)

By the way: becoming my dad is by giving things like chicks from Heifer Project as gifts--he loves it!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What a surprise! I'm Pumpkin Pie!

You Are Pumpkin Pie
You're the perfect combo of uniqueness and qualityThose who like you are looking for something (someone!) special

Joaquin Phoenix is Johnny Cash

Not once during Walk the Line did I doubt this fact. Reese Witherspoon was still Reese, I've seen her in so much that it was just wierd to see her without her blonde hair... but I think JP definately deserves the Golden Globe *and* the Oscar. Because for the two hours he was on the screen, he *was* the Man In Black.

Yes, you've been waiting for this...

Proof that my sneakers *are* indeed PINK! (plus bonus pictures of my *other* pink sneakers.) I know, this moment has been a long time coming, but hey, you're worth it! I braved the back of my made-by-a-man computer tower *for you,* dear reader.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Can't make out the stars

Caption: Bunny!!
Why I love This Side of Eve: you can tell they love what they do (and they do it well.) TSE is Alyssa and John Creasy, Bill Adams, Chris Hilf (now Nate whose last name I forgot) and Ian White. They played at the Union Project on Saturday. I'm listening to their album for a second time. When the first song is over, I can call my friend back (she said call me in 5 minutes, and their first song is 4:40...pretty slick on the time mgmt, dontcha think.)

she's telling me about this crazy eight sale at her grocery store.

Which is really crazy.

It was snowing, but it stopped.

Finally watched Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Wonderful diversion. I love the song "That Girl." The quotes are fun.

Okay, so on my wish list of movies/soundtracks: Legally Blonde 1&2; Ice Princess, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Oh look, it's snowing again.

What I loved at the concert (and most nights at the OD) is when the guitars just go off on their own...and all of a sudden, it's not "high art," it's boys with guitars having fun. So thanks, guys, for that.

Time to get ready for work--I spent the morning getting bloodwork done.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

My life is becoming a blog conversation... (she writes instead of grooming for a party)

This is a direct quote from me on BabBab's blog concerning the whole Target/Planned Parenthood Bruhaha. Anything in [] is new to this posting. For the record, I am Pro-Life but I think abortion is a pretty personal thing, (it's one of those things I'd rather not discuss, right up there with bunions and ulcers and football.) As a rule, I don't like discussing politics, because well, I'm not good at it and it doesn't interest me that much. Quote starts here: I *have* stopped going to Citgo, [this refers to a the fact that they are connected to a South American dictator.] but I pretty much refuse to refuse to shop at places because I disagree with their politics. [I prefer to go to stores because I like their merchandise] I hate the idea of becoming a sub-culture. I want to be out there in the marketplace. As a Christian, I know a lot of people (some who are friends) who *are* entrenched in sub-cultures, don't listen to the radio or news or music unless it's on the Christian station, don't watch a lot of TV, won't read certain authors, etc. When Jesus said "I have come so they may live life more abundantly" (John 10:10) I don't think that's what he was talking about.

I've never been the kind of person who only had one kind of friend. As an adult, most of my friends don't know each other because I have met them all in different contexts. I firmly believe in the proverb that says better a friend that is near than a brother who is far. I am, as Barbara Streisand sings, "a person who needs people," and I am grateful for each one of my many friends. I probably disagree with each of my friends on at least one thing that would be a deal-breaker in a life-long mate, but most of my friends are women and married (definate deal-breakers right there) and I'm looking for a single man. I'd rather be friends than be careful. If you want a good children's book on this, read A Bargain for Frances, by Russel Hoban. The thing I like about this book is that Thelma and Frances remain friends at the end.

Right before this, Frances has turned the tables and tricked Thelma.

"Well," said Thelma, "from now on I will have to be careful when I play with you."
"Being careful is not as much fun as being friends," said Frances. "Do you want to be careful or do you want to be friends?"
"I want to be friends," said Thelma.

This is the credo I live by, and it has worked most of the time.

Oh look, it's snowing!!

New things: I have added my yahoo email to my profile. If you have info re: Boston, want to buy my shoes (I don't think I'm selling), or are too shy to "comment online," that's what it's for.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The People...have spoken

I love the Internet. And I love my friends. Earlier this week, I wrote a "personal essay" on The People's Regime, Marian's online community. Well, it isn't "her's" per se, but it's where she hangs out with a bunch of her college friends. I signed on a few months ago, and this week I was inspired to write this.

Interesting library note: just got a call from Iggle Video--someone returned our movies there. Ah well, I guess that's good enough scuse for me to go over to Target (while I'm up there...).

So now you know...

You Have a Melancholic Temperament

Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.
You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.
You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.
You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.
Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.
You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.
You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.

have yourself a merry little christmas...

First off, somehow my computer thought all I wanted to do was publish the title of this post.

I've been having bad dreams for weeks now.

I've been oversleeping for weeks now.

I do not have a wallet I like, I've been packing bags because of the snow (I thought I might have to overnight-it in the North Hills Thursday night so I packed an overnight bag) so my pills are wrong, my money is all over my purse and I've misplaced my debit card for the 2nd time this week. On Babelbabe's blog, we've been debating over whether one should shop based on politics (two posts, here and here) (Target apparently won't force their pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception, see Planned Parenthood link here.)

I have been sleeping on the couch coz it's warmer (b/c my bed is below the skylight which is not weatherproofed and I do not have flannel sheets)and I'm not addicted to sleeping pills but I am addicted to "You've Got Mail" and the TV is by the couch, ergo...

I've been fielding calls like "I lost my CPR card on the copier an hour ago" and people whose cards were doing wierd things. Frustrated with the system, I forgave $4.80 in fines. Merry Christmas--it made *me* feel better.

I'm currently awaiting my library director's news on whether she thinks I can go to Boston to the Public Library Association Conference in March. I know finding housing this late will be a BEAR!!!

Tonight will be filled with: (multiple choice) getting a wallet at Target (do I really want to go to a store? It's almost Christmas!!); going to Pep Boys before I go to my car guru's garage to change my oil; and going to a Christmas concert by This Side of Eve. I love Christmas but I'll be glad when it's over because frankly I just want to go home and read a book!!!

Earlier in Tech Services, we were oohing and ahhing over the new I spy Twas the night before christmas and but were frustrated when we couldn't find 3 ducks in a row.

My car looks like someone took it baking: It is smudgy with white instead of mostly red. Also, I am "illegally" parked vis a vis employee rules because it took a little longer at Wendy's because (see above) I couldn't find my debit card.

It's 2 pm and I just realized that Wendy's bag on my desk is my side salad! Wonder if it's warm yet (ick ick ick)--I'll have to go to the kitchen for a fork!!!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
From now on our troubles will be far away
Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

I love this song because it allows that life isn't perfect, even at Christmas we might have troubles.

But when oh when will I hear Dominick the Donkey?

Coming soon: show and tell of the artistic masterpieces at my parent's house, and a picture of my sister's bunny, whose name I will indubitably mispell.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Show and Tell--the real deal, with SL's new camera!!

Happy Merry Everything--it must have been a man who designed the USB hook-up to be already used by something (my printer? my DSL hook-up?) and &***## behind all the furniture. Kids do not try this at home if you have a broken tailbone. But hey, no Tylenol for 3 days, going on 4!!! What am I listening to now? Jill Sobule's "Good Person Inside." I'm picturing the man who designed my Dell Dimension Desktop.

So here they are, the my Xmas decors...I, like Babelbabe, haven't gotten started, but here's what I got so far...And you can match the picture with the caption, I am going to the coffe house. That's why they call it push button publishing!!

My favorite Christmas Movie

Haven't taken down the decorations from Independence Day (July 4th for our non-US readers).

Snow outside

My Christmas sweater (I own two, because my mom thinks every children's librarian should have one or two) (I own two different ones, but I obviously am still figuring out this digi camera/blogger thing-y)

Someone get me out of here!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Now, I hate driving in it but otherwise, I am a snow lover. My car guru says I don't need winter tires--after skidding around Pittsburgh on the way home tonight, I disagree. He says I need to slow down--I was driving under 15 mph in an inch or more of snow and I feared for my life!! It seems to have stopped, but they say it's supposed to start again at midnight. Anyways, very glad I left work early, and now, to bed (or sofa, as the case may be.) (This room is just warmer!!) BB gave me virtual flannel sheets for Christmas--maybe I need to scour to see if I can score some actual ones.

Finished watching Elf--what a great movie!! It truly got me back in the Christmas spirit!!

Yawn...goodnight. Oh, and I'll fix the picture in "The Girl who Lived" tomorrow. Must sleep...

The Girl Who Lived--a blog tribute

(I'll work on fixing the orientation of the picture later!)

Well, today is Dec 8, the birthday of Joy Cherene, who died about 2o days later, in 1976. Premies didn't live in those days and I don't even know if men were allowed in the delivery room--but five year olds were definately not allowed in the Neonatal Unit. So I never saw her--just the grave, which is now flanked by the one for Peter (I don't remember his middle name) who died shortly after he was born, two years later. But this post is about Beppe, the Girl Who Lived. She was born at home, somewhere outside Tegucigalpa, and we think the home birth is why she lived. We were unaware of her mother always talks about how if she knew she was having a baby that day, she would have been happier--we all had colds and were trying to ski with them in Vermont.

Everyone has favorite stories and favorite pictures--this is my favorite story and my favorite picture. My life was never the same after March 31, 1982.

I knew my parents were looking into adoption--we had social workers come in and do "home studies" where they ask you questions about your family situation. But adoption and babies was the last thing on my mind when our maid Bertilia met me at the bus stop in our hill-side neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, which was called Las Professionales. It was a sub-set of Las Lomas, a larger "colonia" which was what the neighborhoods were called. Bertilia said to me, as I got off the bus, "There's a surprise for you at home." A bike, I thought? (even though at the ripe age of 34 I still have to teach myself how to ride every time I get back on a bike--at that time, I didn't know at all how to ride one.) We walked down Calle Guaymura (Yes, I am using all real names today--I got permission from my sister.) to the very end, where our white modern house was the second to the last house on the left.

When I got into the house, and up to the kitchen, I noticed that everybody was in the kitchen cleaning baby bottles and such. Something told me the surprise was not a bike. (Now, you have to know at this time in my life, I was not crazy about children, babies especially. I thought I might adopt a ten year old girl someday, sort of like Mandy or Anne Shirley.) I went up the four stairs to my room, dropped off my books and went across the hall to the spare room, where there seemed to be something (or someone) nestled in a dresser drawer, surrounded by blankets. I think I was not the one most surprised when I peeked in and saw the girl you see in the picture. I sealed my fate with those now-famous words, "Oh, she's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. Can we keep her?" Not the response my mother expected, I imagine.

The whole story is a mess of details, from how my mother happened to have a baby in the house, a baby my father had not yet seen, to the exact day the girl was born. (Honduras uses the European style of dating, so 3/1/82 seemed to us about right--March 1st. She was less than 5 pounds when we got her, so 3 weeks old made sense. No--weeks later, in court, it came out that her birthday was January 3rd--which makes her living even more miraculous--to be less than 5 pounds and almost 4 months old!)

Our story is not the typical adoption tale, so I can't fill you in on how it happens in the normal world. How it happened for us was that Beppe was brought to the hospital for jaundice and never reclaimed. Somehow she got into the hands of the judge my parents were working with for adoptions and the morning of March 31st, my mother got a phone call from this judge, who from my memory was a woman. (Our family, parental units at least, are not good storytellers, so this is pieced together.) Anyways, she called my mom and said, "There's a baby here, would you like to come see her?" My mom was having lunch with a friend and said, "Sure, I'll stop by." When she did, the judge handed my sister to her and said, "Here, take her home, see if your husband likes her." My mother balked--she couldn't just take a baby without talking to my dad first!! But the judge had some urgency, and my mother finally relented. So my mom and Donna went to the grocery store with my sister, bought diapers and things, and brought her home.

All afternoon, I couldn't do my homework--I kept peeking in on our little treasure. Finally, I just set up camp by her, looking at her more than the math problems I was supposed to be solving. I don't know when my mother had the idea to take the picture above, but whenever I look at it, I think, (forgive me Beppe), she looks like ET! I think the hat makes her look like a Roman Centurian. I don't remember exactly what happened when my dad came home, but after dinner, we sat at the dining room table and thought up names. I wanted Laura or Mary or Caroline (Little House on the Prairie was my favorite TV show--I watched it dubbed over in Spanish). We finally settled on Elizabeth, since it offered the most amount of nicknames.

The rest is history...we soon got her to five pounds. I remember that because my dad would call her his five pound bag of sugar. The next surprise happened when, upon locating a duplicate baby book that I liked (the one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art), I asked if I could have it for a journal and my parents gave each other a glance and said, there's something we have to tell you. But that is a story for another day...he's now 23.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Marian the librarian rocks!

Marian and I went to the lunch counter at the local drugstore today. (I love the North Hills for being so old fashioned!!) She suggested the new name, "Pink Sneakers N'at" which solidly places it in the Pittsburgh realm of things, while being a short and distinctive name. Go Marian!

Unshelved, my favorite librarian comic strip, is sent to me via email each day. Right now they're doing a series on blogging, which is fun. From their blog, I gleaned this link, in which Scott Adams deconstructs comic strip humor to a formula. I'm still not sure if Scott Adams is the Anti-Christ, but at least I can stand to read Dilbert--I think I've changed more than he has, which is a little bit scary...

I read somewhere that women have journals, while men have blogs. While it rankled me, it sort of makes sense--I think women are more likely to write whether or not they have a cool link or have just read a great book, whereas men seem to focus more on saying something when they have something to say. It reminds me of the play Trifles, which I read when I was at Carlow, in a class on American Plays. (I loved the classes at Carlow!) The focus is of a murder investigation, which the women figure out by looking at the canary while the men are stumped and the men say oh women just think about "trifles." I had to read it three times before I figured it out--that's the difference between reading and seeing a play, I guess.

Baby, it's cold outside. Funny, how songs cycle through--last year I heard that song almost daily and this year is I think is actually colder and I haven't heard it once. Maybe I was listening to more of the Christmas songs until it's Christmas radio stations last year--I've been listening to more of WYEP lately, although last night the DJ was fawning over something like, Chemical Brothers which I had to change because, well, it was too wierd for driving home music. I couldn't believe it *was* YEP the other day when they played "Wedding Bell Blues"--I thought my radio buttons must have been messed up. Their range is broad, I'll say that.

Well, it's almost time for me to get off this desk...I should have been working on my staff year end evalutation and instead...oh well. This afternoon I'll be watching Elf with the teens. Depending on how well it goes, at the end of the day I'll be saying I get paid for this? or I get paid for this? (the inflection and smile or lack thereof can't really be expressed via a non-audio blog post.)

Walk the Line--a great flick. I love the book Bright Lights Big City because my life could never be that crazy or horrible and yet it ends sanguinely. I feel the same way about WTL--I doubt I will ever wake up from a stupor in the woods and see my dream house in front of me, but I have to say, that is a moment of going from the bottom of the barrel to the beginning of the top of the heap. Why do I like bio-pics? So I can say, if they did all that and look where they go, look at me, I'll be okay. (I remember a former boss being aghast at my description of why I like BLBC, but it works for me.)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's too

Warning: this is ordinary living stuff. If you want links, move on!

Post title refers to a Carole King song, gotta love her. My dad got me the Living Room Concerts 2 disc set for my birthday.

Uhhhhh. So I worked until 9:30pm, had a half hour lunch, so I acrued an hour of comp time today! Last year I didn't work the full year so I didn't accrue all the vacation so this year it's been playing catch up with sick leave and vacation days and all sucks working every Saturday until forever but when I have a Saturday off I am so is always always greener on the other side. Always!!!

There is this beautific gorgeous house by my bank--Christmas lights we're talking--the whole house must be covered in lights--I swear it glows. It is so beautifull!! Take Siebert off McKnight, you'll see it on the left.

Tomorrow (in 15 minutes it will be today--yikes!) I'll be hosting a table with brownies and information about volunteering for MOPS at the college fellowship at Bellefield. A wonderful woman in my Bible study is baking the brownies--bless her heart!!

So I've been paying off my credit cards with the money from my Grandma's house...geesh it goes fast!! My mom wants a report every time I pay. I need to get her off my back but more importantly, I need to know where the money has Babelbabe got me this really cute address book for my birthday, it's pink (of course) and has a band to keep it closed. I don't need another address book, but it is just too cute!! So...I have transformed its use from address book to reciept book--just like the heroine in Enchanted April, I am going to start writing down every time I spend money. And I have the cutest little book to use!! Thanks BB!! I think the best part (aside from its cuteness and its pinkness) is the band, which keeps it shut, holding in reciepts until I can staple them in.

I've been sleeping in my bed, an improvement over the couch except that my sheets are so cold when I first get in that it takes forever to get warm. I need a bed warmer--didn't they use hot bricks in the Caddie Woodlawn/Laura Ingalls days? Tonight I may revert to the couch and think about covering (must I?) the skylight with cellophane. It will still be clear, it won't obscure the view the skylight offers, and it may mean my bed is warmer at night...

Okay, this has gone on long enough. It is already tomorrow (or today) Wednesday.

I'm hungry...

Mama went to jail...

...for the vote.

The first line I adore and when you look at the cover picture, you'll understand:

"I hate these bloomers, Mama!"

Monday, December 05, 2005

This post brought to you in delayed time, due to a DSL outage

Last night I went to a party. The hostess is a woman I've know a few years from a Bible Study we were in together. She also goes to the Open Door. She employed the e-vite to get us all to come, a electronic invitation that until this time I thought vapid. Perhaps it was the people who used it before that I didn't like--because it was winsome ? or something, getting an email every couple of days saying, you still haven't responded. Finally I registered as a "maybe." It was a Scottish "Meet and Ale" party, and so the designations for maybe and no said, I may be a wanker, I am a wanker. It was inventive and fun, much like she is. When I broke my tailbone, she sent me an electronic card. For my birthday, she sent me an electronic card. She is a treasure of a friend.

There were people I'd hoped to see at the party, and they weren't there, but there were people I hadn't even ever met and people I liked and knew but hadn't realized would be there. So it was a good surprise all around. I only stayed a few hours, but it was nice when people said "Oh you're leaving?" I *was* exhausted. I came home and fell asleep to my sister's birthday gift to me, "Love, Actually" on DVD. I awoke at 1 am (a blessing, as I'd forgotten my pain meds) to the annoying singsong of the DVD front menu song.

Sex and the City is now playing at a TV near you! They've taken "Just Shoot Me!" off the Saturday at 6pm slot (a slot I enjoyed watching the past 4 years) (I miss that show...I loved the theme song...) (And the show grew on me...) So Carrie now inhabits my imagination, I find myself thinking about her relationship with Big as I do dishes, as I brush my teeth. When I get a DVD player, I'll take a weekend off and watch them all--thank goodness for libraries.

Playing on the radio right now: When you wish upon a star...I love Disney, despite everything.

I need a new name for this blog. I want pink in the name somewhere, since it is so "me," but I feel I've outgrown my first name (pink sneakers and pocket books) and the new name (if pink is the new black...) is too long.

Here are a few I've thought of: Bread and Roses; Pink Stars; Pink Candles...

I love the idea of dancing. I love dancing, period. I'm not crazy about slow dancing or cheek to cheek with strangers, which keeps me from swing dancing or salsa, though I have friends that invite me often. I often think of the dancing at my wedding and have toyed with what song I'd choose for the first dance as Mr. and Mrs. X. A few I've toyed with:
May I have this dance for the rest of my life, will you be my partner, every night?
Save the last dance for me (you may dance with...but remember who's taking you home...)

When I daydream like this, especially in my blog, I think, I must be ostracizing any male readers and I must be "Crazy" (as in Patsy Cline). Alas, this is me, Sarah Louise, fanciful and daydreamy...

Maybe I should call Verizon and see if we can get this Internet connection working again...(this is being composed in Notepad) Something in me says, but it's Sunday!!

So I'll go...groom. I'm still on the fence about joining Babelbabe and company at St. Andrew's, although the snow has dampened that a bit, especially with my injury...Yes, the snow has blanketed the roads and the cars...

Swinging with Sinatra is on the radio. I think I need to change the station or put on a CD. I don't mind Sinatra in small doses, but a whole hour can put me in a stupor.

Going now, really.

See, I'm gone...



Sunday, December 04, 2005

Why I dig (and attend) the Open Door

A post a long time coming...but tonight gave me some good fodder for blogging on this very topic.

1. My friends are there. People are always glad to see me, don't you want to go...where everybody knows your name (sing it with me) and they're always glad you came... Well, it's true. I was one of the last people to leave tonight cause I just like hanging out with the people at the OD.

2. We sing loud. I have been to a lot of churches where only the choir sings. Catholics are notorioius for this--and they will only sing the first (maybe second) verse of a hymn. C'mon, is that worship??? I like singing loud and I like listening to other people singing loud. I love watching grown men sing their hearts out and raise their hands while singing "The First Noel." (I'm not kidding.) The guys in the band are great too.

3. We meet at night. Which has meant that I've had choices for Sunday morning--I can do nursery at Bellefield, spending time with wonderful pre-toddlers, or I can go away Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, or I can go to church with Babelbabe and co. I love going to other churches--having evening services means I can go to other churches and still go to mine!!

4. There are a lot of men there. This may sound shallow, but I am a librarian. (We are a vocation that is peopled mainly by women.) I am a children's librarian in a public library. We have 1 male librarian in our building and 5 other men who work in our building. Our patrons are mostly women (more so in the children's department.) When I worked retail, my co-workers were male, my customers were male...I just like having two perspectives. I like men--it's rare to find a church that has so many nice ones. (Okay, this is a crude stereotype, so brace yourself: men at church are often milk-soppy--the men at the Open Door drink Guinness.) (Disclaimer: when you link off this blog, you are encountering opinions that may or may not be endorsed by Sarah Louise.)

5. BJ Woodworth. I've known BJ since forever--he did Cornerstone which is the college ministry at Bellefield and then moved on into other roles. When he was starting up the think team on the Open Door, I joined to a large degree because he was heading it up and I liked his ideas. (I later left to become Catholic for a year, but that's another story.) BJ believes in me and in my abilities as a writer and a librarian. That means a heck of a lot. BJ has an amazing wife, Katrina, and the most adorable kids.

6. John Creasy. I got to know John better this summer as I attended Trialogue and volunteered at the Open Door table at the Union Project Farmer's Market. He is a great guy and a wonderful musician. As a member of the Arts thing-a-ma-jig, I worked with John on the labywrinth we had last year for Advent and the stations we had this year for Lent. I also love his wife Alyssa and their cute as a button baby Teah. (rhymes with Princess Leia) Oh, and he and Alyssa are in this super cool band, This Side of Eve.

7. Bible Trialogue. This is a meeting on Tuesday nights at the Quiet Storm, a local coffee house. Basically, the idea is to meet and discuss the text for the sermon two weeks hence. It is a great way to really dig into the Scriptures and this summer got me out of the rut I was in about the book of Acts (I really didn't like it.) (But now I do, and I have had many discussions on the churches in Acts because I spent all summer going to Tri.) I've chosen to go to a women's Bible Study at Bellefield Tuesday mornings, which means that I work Tuesday evenings, so I'm not attending Tri at the moment, but I long for the summer when I can re-join the conversations there.

So that's the Cliff Notes. I miss dressing up on Sunday morning for church, but on the other hand, it's nice to show up in jeans, rumpled after my Sunday afternoon nap, and fit right in. Tonight a guy I knew from library school (let's be honest, he was my professor) came up and said do you remember me? Wow! I spend so much time trying to reconnect with people from my past, I hardly ever have someone approach me with that line!! The sermon was all about pride, and I thought, if I have pride, one place is about the people I hang with: they're pretty cool. But if I think about where I met these folks, it wasn't at a "pick your friends club." I met Babelbabe at Yoga! I've met a lot of friends at the OD (and that's not a God thing?). After years and years, I am still talking on the phone (sometimes daily) with my best friend from high school! I think that borders on miraculous, don't you? And another friend thing: tonight on the way home, I went to Whole Foods to get some dinner (their hot bar is great!). My friend Amanda had said she was stopping there on the way home, an hour (45 minutes?) previous. She was still there when I got there, and we got to sit down to dinner. It was a divine appointment--we hadn't talked for awhile and it was just good to reconnect. The best part--I didn't even realize I had parked right next to her car!! (I have a bad memory for what cars my friends drive--so thanks to Blackbird for Friday's show and tell, at least know I'll know what Babelbabe's car looks like.) What I'm saying is I need to remember that God has chosen my friends, has wrapped them up like many beautiful gifts. Pride is forgetting what God has done. Remembering what God has done is the beginning of humility.

BJ read some quotes from CS Lewis (the Narnia guy) about pride. One of them said that humility before God is forgetting about one's existence or thinking of oneself as a small dirty object. This BJ commenting on the quote: "So where are you going?" "I'm going to go feel like a small dirty object, wanna come?" BJ had a ton of fun with British accents while reading the Lewis quotes, and I am reminded of another reason I love and attend the OD: I love to laugh. The sermonists at the OD love my laugh and I've even been told that one of the best things about giving a sermon at the OD is having me laugh at the jokes. (Thanks, Jake!) When Lou Mitchell was at the helm at Bellefield (oh how I miss those days), he would stop after I laughed and say, "Oh good, Suzi's here!" (I have a very distinctive laugh.)

I guess I'm rambling, and I know it, but I feel like I'm right in the middle of a ton of questions in my life, which is right where God wants me--because as long as I'm asking questions, I'm engaging God--it's when I think I know what the road ahead holds that I often forget to ask for God's map. We sang this awesome song tonight, "Jesus You Alone" which we sang forever it seemed--I've been feeling dry, like I haven't been talking to God enough, or listening, and this song was my heart-cry.

So thanks for a great Sunday (in which I had pancakes cooked by Babelbabe's hubby)
(in which I had a 3 hour nap! which might explain my awakeness at 12:17 am)
(in which I sang loud and stood tall)
(in which I reconnected with friends new and old--one is silver and the other gold)
(in which I finally called Verizon and got my DSL back on track!)

Guten nacht (which means good night in German).