Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Procrastination rears its ugly head...

So. I should be packing right now. Or clearing clutter. Or doing dishes. But I'm reading other people's blogs and now I'm posting on my own. Ugh. I hate packing. I do not want to clear clutter. I do not want to do dishes.

Had dinner at the EEFC with Eileen, whom I've not seen in EONS! We tried to get together a few times last week (you remember last week? When I went into work ONLY to do Mother Goose?). It was great to catch up, and we had such healthy food, too!! Lentils, brown was very good.

(EEFC is the East End Food Co-op, a hippy grocery store that has wonderful stuff and a food bar. I should definately go there more often!!)

Well, I could at least get out my bag and put a few things in...but I'm not leaving until tomorrow around noon, so what's the hurry??? (Says the QUEEN of Procrastination.)

Also, I decided to not go to the N. Hills to pick up some Rx that I need for the trip b/c someone was supposed to drop by with some stuff and they haven't I'll be doing the N. Hills tomorrow morning...which is why I should start packing NOW!!

Can you see how this is SO NOT WORKING??

Happy Birthday Mama (with apologies to John and Paul)

For my mama, who will forever be 29 in my eyes, Happy Birthday!

When I get older, gray in my hair, many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a Valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out 'till quarter to three, would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When you're sixty-four?

I'll be older, too. Aaah, and if you say the word, I could stay with you.

I could be handy, mending a fuse, when your lights have gone.
You can do lesson plans at the kitchen table by the fireside, Sunday evenings, go for a ride.
Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when you're sixty four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Poconos it's not too dear. We shall scrimp and save.
Alas, no grandchildren yet on your knee, (not Vera, Chuck, or Dave).

Send me a postcard, drop me a line stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say, yours sincerely wasting away.
Give me your answer, fill in a form, mine forever more.
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when you're sixty four?

by John Lennon/Paul McCartney (some words changed by Sarah Louise)

Also, Wednesday is the only day my alarm goes off. (It truly is the little things in life--all those 6-24 mos. olds at Mother Goose!) I had set my cell phone (my alarm) on my computer desk. It went off at 7 and I didn't recognize the noise. It went off again at 7:11 and I kid you not, the vibration made it JUMP OFF THE DESK ONTO THE FLOOR. So I had to get up then, laughing.

Her children shall rise up and call her blessed. That's scripture. (Or call each other and try to figure out what to get the woman who has everything and wants nothing.)

Okay, gotta go!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient. (Marilynne Robinson)

As soon as Frasier is through, I'll drive over to the Eckerd Take Care. I'm putting off my trip to see my mama for at least a day, as I was only at work two hours before I started making mistakes. I feel all tingly and exhausted, and the sewer people are still out there, working. I guess maybe they did mean 8a to 8p. I just got off the phone with my dad. I hate to put off travel, but I'd arrive on their doorstep only to fall into a heap, even if I slept all tomorrow afternoon on the Greyhound bus.

On the way home, I finished listening to Gilead for a second time. I think I may buy the audio as well as the book, in hardcover. I don't think a book has affected me this much since I first read Dicey's Song, and that was nigh twenty years ago. I didn't sob, like the last time, but I wept. Never has a book taken so much bitterness and made it so sweet. I can almost bear my own disappointments with a little more dignity...God bless John Ames and his namesake, John Ames Boughton. And God bless Marilynne Robinson. Everyone talks about how well it is written. The fact is, the writing is so unadorned that I don't notice it for the story. The story shines through, as ordinary as a prairie. I feel as if I know all the characters and could converse with them if I met them on the street. And how I wish I could talk to Glory. Or to Ames' wife--does she have a name? How I wish I could be there to see his son, all grown up.

I've started talking to folks about leaving. Or going, whichever it is.

It sort of seems a waste, to use such a line for a title of such a short, ordinary posting, but it is the line that stuck out, as I crossed Pine Creek. I took the scenic route home.

Well, I guess I best be on my way. I'm off to look at a queen size bed. Maybe I'll do that first. To get it out of the way. I have a feeling I'll be going to bed early tonight. Oh, to eat at Abaté. Someplace quiet and elegant, with halfway decent lighting.

I am so tired. Well, off I go.

Monday, February 26, 2007

This is when you want a clear open door or shut window (how does that go?)

You know, from Sound of Music, "When God closes a door, he opens a window," and then Mother Superior sings "Climb Every Mountain, Ford Every Stream!"

So I had dinner with Lily. Who said, "I can't believe you've lasted THIS long." (Single, with no blood ties in Pittsburgh.)

We kveched and kveched and had wonderful food at Gullifties, which is where we go when we don't want to have to think about where we're going. She always gets the Spinach something salad, and I usually get something different every time (which is UNLIKE me at most restaurants). Tonight I had the World Famous Gulliftie's Rueben. It was good.

So was the company. It is so important to have someone that gets you. And Lily does.

And today is the first day in a week that I haven't had a nap, and now that NBC seems to have cancelled Studio 60, I can go to bed as soon as I brush my teeth (and call my mama, to tell her I'm going to bed.)

Tomorrow they're working on our sewers from 8a to 8p. Which means no flushy the toilet, no washy the dishes, no laundry, no nothin'! So I'll go to work, if only to be somewhere where I can flush! I doubt I'll stay the whole day...everyone said I should be feeling SO MUCH BETTER by Monday and I guess not napping is better, but I feel just exhausted now and I spent the better part of the day in a whine fest (which leads me to believe that my hormones are out of whack, thankyouverymuch.) I'm bone tired. I just am.

But in less than 48 hrs, I'll be at ### Walnut St. I cannot wait. I'm taking Greyhound, "and leave the driving to us" as their ads used to say.

All God's children got travelin' shoes. And they always need children's librarians. It is the one form of job security my MLS affords me. I'll keep you posted. But I think this is the beginning of the end. Which means, the beginning of something new. Which requires a lot of trust.

Oh whatever. I could go on like this forever (which you know, if you've met me or been here at any length. I just keep on writing and writing and writing...)


Under construction

Okay, so um, still working the blogroll thing. But I'm starved!! It's lunch time!!


Okay, I think I'm done. If you think you're missing and you shouldn't be, speak up! I added some folks that have been off for a while, including erica, whose photos I love.

In which I'm really Sarah Louise, hypothetically thinking about things in a hypothetical way

(This was written on Saturday, just so you realize this is not a new idea.) (It's been percolating for a while now.)

Okay. So I'm driving home from the Edgewood library (which isn't as great as I remembered, but my memories are over ten years old and a library does have to expand--yes, I've been there since the expansion, but old memories die hard) and I thought, maybe the reason I haven't bought a house in da Burgh isn't so much that I want another person in my family before I do that as the phenom that I've observed in women's literature: He didn't want to marry YOU, he didn't want to have a baby with YOU. He marries the next girl, has a baby with HER. Maybe I haven't bought a house here yet because I don't really want to settle in Pittsburgh.

Now, if you've met me, your jaw may be on the floor right now, so I'll give you a minute to right it.

YES, I love Pittsburgh. But no, I am not FROM here, and I have no family within 4-5 hours. Um. I adore my church, my little support system of friends, but if I've learned one thing from my time in da Burgh, blood is thicker than water.

I had a conversation Thursday with a girl who lived in Philly for seventeen years. But she moved back, as they all do. Are you from here? She asked me. No. We talked about the magnetism of family. Which is part of the whole thing here. Everyone leaves Pittsburgh when they are young and then, like sea turtles, they return--to mate, have offspring, retire.

I want to be able to see my cousins, and my girlfriends from college. And guess what? They're all on the Eastern Sea Board or something like it. I want the ocean, dammit!! I heart Sandcastle, but it ain't got the beach!

So I'm thinking, Annapolis, or Maryland in general...partly because last week I sat next to a guy at a dinner who lives there. It was like a light bulb went off in my brain. Annapolis! Now, there is a place I could love. Now, I know my sister will surely chime in that it is a Navy town, and I know all that. But I don't want to live in DC. And you couldn't pay me enough to live in Northern Virginia unless it was in Falls Church, and then, you'd have to pay me A LOT, because, well, the price of real estate is well...

And no, I haven't looked at the prices in Annapolis. This is HYPOTHETICAL. Dream with me.

I would consider Silver Spring, as it is the home of my alma mater, Montgomery Blair H.S. (although the building has changed). I would more likely consider Tacoma Park.

The MFA at Carlow is low residency. Which means I could live anywhere (Timbuktu?) and still take the 10 days in da Burgh in January, 10 days in Ireland in June. Email has made so much possible, but email is not a substitute for my family.

Am I crazy? Maybe I've just been sick for a week and I haven't been able to walk in the park in over a month, and it's February, and I'm possibly hormonal.

And yes, I looked at job listings last week. Didn't see anything promising...yet.

It's a meme for Monday...books and n'at...

From Katya who got it from LC, who got it from...

1. How old were you when you learned to read and who taught you?
I was in second grade. I learned from a basel reader called A Duck is a Duck. My teacher's name was Mrs. Butterbaugh.

2. Did you own any books as a child? Oh yes!! The Wind in the Willows (which my mother started to read to me when I was five but I didn't read completely until I was 27), Little Women (which I think I got for Christmas when I was in 2nd grade?) and lots more. (Too many to list.)

3. What’s the first book that you bought with your own money? No clue. But I had two main sources: the Scholastic catalog and a bookstore at the nearby mall. I remember buying What Katy Did.

4. Were you a re-reader as a child? If so, which book did you re-read most often? Re-reader? I was the only name on the library's card for Mandy by Julie Edwards. I read it over eleven times in fourth and fifth grades.

5. What’s the first adult book that captured your interest and how old were you when you read it? Madam, will you talk? by Mary Stewart. I must have been in either fifth or sixth grade. I still haven't read her Merlin books, but her mysteries are my favorites. I liked the fact that MWYT had a quote from literature at the top of every chapter.

6. Are there children’s books that you passed by as a child that you have learned to love as an adult? Which ones? The Wind in the Willows. I was really mad for a long time that my mother never finished it, but when I finally read it, I loved it. To pieces.


I think today's project may be to re-mantle (is that the opposite of dis-mantle?) my blogroll. I like LC's style, which starts with "Book blogs" and then finishes with "Favourite people to read, whatever they're writing about." Hmm. I've pretty much just been reading folks that comment these days, plus of course Babelbabe and Gina (more BB than G, but you know what I mean, unless you don't).

Blogging can be a pressure cooker, if one lets it be so. I know I have been a blog victim more than once upon a time, and I'm trying to stop being a victim/diva/martyr/what-have-you.

In other news, Bec is taking some time off. We'll miss her, though I have to say I don't visit the Down-Under blogs as much as I used to.

I'm still feeling off balance (a double ear infection will do that...) and exhausted. So today will be more lounging on the couch. What happened to Ellen's LIVE Oscar show? It's the "Best of Ellen" today, so I shut it off. So I still have no clue who won anything, really.

Remember I'm going home this week? For my mama's 64th (I mean 29th) birthday? But remember this cold has really messed up my brain? So my mama said, I'd really like us to all get together for a birthday dinner and I said, "Whose birthday?" Your aunt's and mine. "Right!!" I can be such an airhead.

And in the blood is thicker than water category, I want to be in Virginia NOW, with my mama!! It seems cruel that my fabulous job is here in da Burgh. Because the truth about the Burgh is this: blood is thicker than water and everyone (just about) has relatives, whether they be mothers, sons, daughters, or husbands. Which is why I was attracted to da Burgh, back when my family seemed a dream away. But I only have water connections here, and I gotta tell you, it's getting kinda lonely. I love my church. I love my job. But at the end of the day, I love my mama more. Crap, where's that Kleenex box? So, the angst over that isn't over. Besides, everyone's having babies, and some folks I never got to see their first one!! Okay, pity party over. I think I'll make myself some tea.

Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
and you, you are a thousand miles away,
there are always two cups on my table. (Tang Dynasty)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Now you know.

The difference between yellow popcorn and white popcorn? I don't like yellow popcorn.

That is all.

Oh, and The Upside of Anger is an excellent flick. But I might need an actual funny movie next.

Mama says...

Mucinex? It's expensive, isn't it? (She says in a tone that's not accusatory but rather, chummy, like 'what they do with the price of cheese in China is alarming, girlfriend!') (Picture my mama saying "girlfriend!" in that tone it's supposed to be said and if you know her, you will have a spasm of giggles, no disrespect!!) And its main ingredient is pseudophed--which doesn't work on you...

Which is why I have not been feeling the effects!! Thankyouverymuch! (And yes, I read the ingredients, but I thought maybe after over 20 years, pseudophed would have decided it could work on me...)

Luckily, when I woke up, not having felt the effects, I remembered that in eons past, Entex LA was an Rx that worked, so I used my trusty friend Google who led me to my trustier friend Wikipedia and found out that Sudafed PE uses the active ingredient in Entex LA. (Trust me, I think Alka-Selzer Cold would be more fun--all that fizzing n'at, but I can't take aspirin products. I get red dots.)

And my lovely neighbor (yes, Ms. 2nd floor) just called to check up on me. She knew I wasn't feeling well the other day and saw that my car was still here on a Saturday morning and hoped I wasn't sleeping! Also, she that has no car, offered to pick anything up for me (with the caveat that I wouldn't get it until 5 pm). I wish I could ask her for something small, just to let her know I'm capable of taking favors, but I know I need a decongestant sooner, and I do have wheels. She is full of surprises.

Ugh. I think I'll hit Walgreens first, though maybe I'll do a drive-thru at McD's first. (Oh, but I have Hot Pockets that I bought yesterday with a coupon--they are crazy for coupons, those Hot Pockets people, I got another coupon with my reciept!) I heart Walgreens, although I did find a larger variety of cold-related items at Eckerd the other day. But the service was atrocious!! I tell you, there is a HUGE industry in keeping people medicated that have a runny nose, etc. etc. But I bet you knew that. Just making conversation, n'at.

I may try to go to the library, but I don't have high hopes, knowing that my local branch has an abyssmal video collection...I could go to Edgewood...I love that library. Plus, the librarians there are real people. Yes, the Edgewood library is a trip that would make me very happy. Okay, so my morning has some structure--please leave comments, I am so cabin feverish (and a little bit lonely) after not having been at work ALL WEEK (well, except for Mother Goose on Weds.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

What it is and what you are and.... (Edie Brickell)

Double ear infection. Got antibiotics!! YAY!!

A change of weather...and fun stuff!

Snow, more snow, etc. I'm waiting for the temp to go a little above 20 Fahrenheit before I go to the nurse practitioner, pick up drugs, etc. etc.

But seriously. I doubt you hopped over here to hear about me hacking out a lung. So I have a few items for what I'd like to call "Fun on Friday."

First up, from McCellania, a woman we have all come to love (though you can't find her unless you know the secret code...). Earlier in the week, she made us all laugh with old Hollywood Squares jokes (before it was scripted...) Here are a few of the gems she posted:

Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No; wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture
you' ll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

a few I've found, by going to the Classic Hollywood Squares website:

warning--Librarian Humor:
(A contestant named Rosalynn who's a librarian has picked the secret square for the second time.)
Peter Marshall: Having fun tonight?
Rosalynn: Yes!
Peter: Isn't this fun? I tell you...better than the library? (starts singing) MARION-- Rosalynn: Yes indeed, and don't call me that!
Peter: I'm sorry. I was talking about the librarian from "The Music Man."
Rosalynn: I'm not the image; the image doesn't fit me!
Peter: This young lady is lashing out at an emcee all of a sudden!
Joey Bishop: Wait'll she finds out the prizes are due back inside of two weeks!

Peter Marshall: During the War of 1812, Captain Oliver Perry made the famous statement, "We have met the enemy and..." What?
Paul Lynde: They are cute.

Peter Marshall: What should you do if you're going 55 miles per hour and your tires suddenly blow out?
Paul Lynde: Honk if you believe in Jesus.

Peter Marshall: Paul, according to the classic movie Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein was supposed to do something important the day the monster killed him. What?
Paul Lynde: I think a tonsillectomy.

Peter Marshall:When President Nixon was in Poland recently the Polish people kept shouting, "Stolat! Stolat! Stolat!" What does "Stolat" mean?
Paul Lynde: Welcome, President Johnson

[Sto lat means one hundred years in Polish and is a general song sung at occasions, such as birthdays or other celebrations, even political ones. --Ed.]

Peter Marshall: According to beauty experts at Seventeen magazine, what is the major cause of crows feet?
George Gobel: God made them so crows could dance.

Next up, from a blogger I've only just discovered, "A Fuse #8 Production," a joke sestina. If you continue to read her site, you'll find all sorts of fun stuff concerning the recent scrotum Newbery debacle...

I mean, if all you get on the news is stuff about Anna Nicole's final resting place, school delays for Pittsburgh, and now on Ellen, Oscar predictions...

And from Badger, Little Pitchers. Don't you all want one? Or five??

And presenting my dear cousin Kiki, on the eastern side of this lovely state we call Pennsylvania, What kind of muppet are you?

Stay healthy, drink lots of tea, take two, and call me in the morning.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yakity Yak, Don't talk back....

Don't ask why those lyrics came to me as I steamed myself for the second time today. I have no voice and well, read the title again.

I am so incredibly uncomfortable. Maybe sleep will come and it will help...

And yes, I am steaming, drinking lotsa hot liquids, taking cough meds, drinking fruit juice and V-8, and chicken soup has become a staple in my diet. I'm doing all the right things, except, perhaps going to a two hour planning meeting for the OD Women's Ministry this evening. By the end, I had no voice.

Well, if you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything, as my dear mother would say. Tomorrow, as Scarlett O'Hara would say, is another day.

Please no more therapy
Mother take care of me
Piece me together with a
Needle and thread
Wrap me in eiderdown
Lace from your wedding gown
Fold me and lay me down
On your bed

(from "Polaroids", Shawn Colvin, on her fat city album)

So, in the immortal words of Samuel Pepys, to bed.


So, armed with directions, no Kleenex box (why? where is my always-in-the-car box??), I went to visit the woman I hoped would be my next therapist.

I even broke down in tears. I think it's a mix of this darn cold, the stress of the search, and probably the beginning of PMS. A fine combination, lemme tell ya!!

Well, here's the thing. She was wonderful, but. Summer is my crisis time and she and her husband travel at least three weeks in the summer. And her back-up person no longer can take UPMC insurance. So...she gave me the names of some fine folks. Whom I'll try to call tomorrow.

In other news, one of my co-workers is about to become a grandma, any minute now! Everyone is pregnant. This is how it happens in my life. All my friends get pregnant at the same time. So I know someone in Maryland, Australia, several people at church, and a co-worker (not the about to become a grandma). So CONGRATULATIONS!! Woo hoo, n'at.

I need a nap, or something that looks like one...

And I love my boss! I just called her to find out if today was Karen' s last last day (it is!--a volunteer that has been with us 26 years at the library and the party was today and I'm not going to make it in. She and her family are moving to Rhode Island. She's the dearest woman. Around 40, she has developmental disabilities, so she is more like a ten year old, but she has been shelving picture books forever, and I don't get to say goodbye!! We will all miss her. She peeked in yesterday while I was doing Mother Goose. Apparently my co-workers forged my name on the card for her. )

Anyways, I also told my boss about the unsucess with the therapist and she just mother henned me--you're under a lot of stress, you have a cold, take your time, breathe deep, warm liquids.

I am bedraggled but not beaten down. This too shall pass. Time to refill the vaporizor and queue up another video...

I get knocked down...

Hmm. Happy Lent. A friend emailed me and said she might consider not blogging for Lent. I have to say the idea intrigues me...I counter-suggested setting up a team blog, but I think that would be too much work.

The OD sent out their "We're not having Ash Wednesday services but here's who is" ON Ash Wednesday. Oh well. When I'm in charge, I'm sure it won't be perfect or on time either (have you met me??)

This is one of my favorite verses and you get a bonus devotional too.

The cold has moved to my chest, oh joy.

The weather here is thunder and snow and now, nothing.

My papa is going to Chicago tomorrow evening to be amongst Presbyterians who care about Colombia, or something like that. He's pretty sure he'll be the only Conservative there. (Most folks will probably be liberal and into liberation theology.) (But I'm not trying to start a fight, here. After all, God isn't a Democrat or a Republican.) Meanwhile, the Columbian Presbyterians (according to my friend Glory) are like, "Is anyone in America preaching the Word?"

I asked my dad if he'd get an extra packet for Glory if there was such a thing. We got to talking about our favorite book, Gilead. Which I didn't know until yesterday that my MOM had also read. My mother, who reads less than my dad. Sis was like, "I think it's the one book she read last year. I think she was the first one to recommend it to me." Sis hasn't read it yet, she's working on something else... But it's very cool to be able to talk about Gilead with my dad--he's been sharing some things that he might not have otherwise shared with me (which is actually what the book is...)

Anyways, I have to go steam myself and then write an article for the Belle on the Women's Gathering. I don't know what I'll do about writing for Lent or not.

I'll also be attempting a few hours at work, y'know, ye olde Library. I did Mother Goose to the tune of 48 folks (34 in session #1, 14 in sesssion #2) with a throat lozenge in my mouth the whole time.

Not blogging for Lent? Who am I kidding? Anyways, have a great day, all.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


So...I come to this place, (my life) look at the rubble, and realize I have a lot to work with. My support system is better than I thought it was, but also more imperfect (drat!).

Yesterday I had coffee with Pete, who is one of the most hyper down to earth folks I know. He's going to Russia on Thursday and won't be back until March 10th!! But he's a truth teller--he can see into my life and say, um, did you notice? He asked me about my chronic crush habit and asked how long this has been an issue with me (but you don't have to say if you don't want to). I gave him a glance and without blinking, said, "third grade."

We had a laugh over that. Babs came in (yes, we were at Tazza) with Seggie and Terzo, whose hair is super long, even though it's been cut, TWICE! Babs is patently aware of my neuroticism and how I get paranoid if I get out of touch, like if folks don't answer emails, I think they hate me. It's bad. But admitting you have a problem is the first step...

So I'm calling today Health Tuesday. Because I think part of why I've had all these colds is that my soul has been dying inside. I'm an amazing actress--it's my retail training, I think.

You'll notice I've cleaned up my blogroll. Nothing personal, I just need to be alone. But I still need yinz, I'm just trying to figure out what that means.

As I read this, I think, this gal is bonkers!! Which I've known all along, but I think I'm coming clean on that.

So, as your neurotic extroverted introverted blogger who loves people, books, and a quiet movie that makes her howl with laughter, the low maintance girl except for when she's high maintenance...adieu! (for now.)

Just call me "Sneezy."

Okay, it's no fun taking your temperature and having to sneeze while the thermometer is still in your mouth. Or waking up to discover that your comforter is soaking because it spent the night on top of your vaporizor. I do not have a fever but I feel wretched. My throat feels like I swallowed razors. The nurse at the Eckerd Take Care place wouldn't even give me a strep test.

I spent the past half hour over at 50 books where I must have left seven comments.

This is a blog thing that Katy just did. I didn't find it as fun, since, well, read the card.

If you see new immune systems for sale, get one for me and I'll pay you back: this is my second cold in February and at least my third cold for 2007.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fun with blogthings...I changed some stuff, added some stuff...

Blogthings--love 'em or hate em! But I had my sweet revenge with them this evening, by tweaking the text within the HTML code...because some of the answers they give you are really out there.

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.
You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.
You need time to work out your thoughts, so you don't usually get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual), which is why you never return library books on time.

You are a PC

You're practical, thrifty, and able to do almost anything.
Although appearances and trends are important to you, you don't let that get in the way of your Free Cell addiction. Mostly, though, you just like to get the job done.

You Communicate With Your Ears

You love conversations, both as a listener and a talker.
What people say is important to you, and you're often most affected by words, not actions.
You love to hear compliments from others. And when you're upset, you often talk to yourself. (Sometimes in Spanish, if you're really upset.)
Music is very important to you. You wish you had an ipod.

You Are 74% Sexy

Your Sex Appeal Is: Extremely High

You're very sexy. You just have that certain something that takes over a room. You are truly appealing.
You know how to attract, entice, and keep whoever you want. However, you have discovered that there aren't too many guys out there you want.
Your extremely high standards explain why you haven't had a serious relationship for eight years.

You Don't Hold a Grudge

You're willing to give almost anyone a second chance, even if they've really wronged you.
Incredibly forgiving and compassionate, you understand that people sometimes change for the better.
But you are also very paranoid. You think people have blown you off when in truth they haven't checked their email or they have twenty three feverish children to take care of.

Your 80s Theme Song Is:

1999 by Prince (not the Y2K version)

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 99%

You are definately a movie buff.
You've seen many of the great films, and you have developed an expertise in a few genres, such as chick flicks. You haven't seen Casablanca or the LOTR trilogy, but you've seen movies that count, like Metropolitan and Enchanted April.

Your Preppy Name Is...

Eleanor Keating Northrup the Second
But most people know you as Tibby

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sunday confessions, a few hours early

A while back (eons, when Glamourose was a hopping blog), Kim and Bec instituted Sunday as "Confessions day." I'll see if I can scare up some links.

Here's one from Bec, and from Suse, and another one from Kim.

So here are a few of mine:

  1. Social justice issues scare me. Tonight I was Sally's date (instead of babysitting her children, as her husband wanted to stay home) to a CCO dinner followed by a speaker, Gary something, of IJM ministries. Way to get my attention. Did you know there are 27 million slaves in the world? RIGHT NOW?? The speaker really came full circle, though, telling us the sob stories and then their redemption. He used the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with the boy's lunch as inspiration--if only a few people could have a shred of obedience like that boy did, God will show up to do the miracles. But still...scary!! The OD is starting to talk about Social Justice and frankly, I just sometimes want to run in the opposite direction. I. am. such. a. hypocrite.
  2. I have started ring watching again. You know, when you look at someone's left hand to see if there's a gold or silver band on the ring finger?
  3. I am really bad at keeping up with dishes and laundry. If I had babysat, I would have done a load. (Because I wouldn't have had to use quarters to use Sally's washer.)
  4. I find it hard to trust people and God. I am learning, but I feel like I've been burned too many times, and so I get really paranoid, really easily.
  5. I am a perfectionist. Someone said to me this week, "I find that hard to believe." Well, it's true. My perfectionism may not show up in my apartment, cluttered as it is, but if someone watched me compose a post, or agonize over an email...
  6. I have too much stuff. I have for most intents and purposes lived in this apartment for twelve years. That's twelve years of build-up.
  7. I don't listen to the news. I turn the radio off on the hour and half hour because I just can't listen to it anymore.
  8. I have watched Season One, Disc One of Friends more times than I'd like to admit. I think about the "pretend lives" of Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler, Ross and Phoebe a lot, working my brain around a piece of an episode, looking for the kernel of truth.
  9. I don't know how to feel about Sex and the City as a Christian woman. There's a post coming on this one. I do not agree with the sexual mores expressed therein, but the story is one of real true (gritty, funny, messy) love if you watch all six seasons. And the friendships among the women are inspiring--wouldn't you like to have friends that you met every Sunday for brunch? I know I would.
  10. I expect a lot of my friends. I always have. My mother accuses me of this all the time. And then I realize that maybe hmm, could I be the one in the wrong? Open mouth, insert foot...I sit in front of a computer 90% of my day and I forget that other folks have kids, days off, no Internet at home, no desire to check email umpteen times a day.
  11. I have watched Twister, The Three Musketeers, You've Got Mail and Runaway Bride more times than I like to admit.
  12. I play way too much Free Cell.


At the conference, which is run by the Coalition for Christian Outreach, a college ministry to over 70 campuses in 5 states, headquartered in Pittsburgh, I ran into a guy I sort of knew by sight when I lived in Falls Church. He went to a fellowship that I went to, called Kairos. A few years ago, I ran into him at Jubilee and tonight, he was at the same table as Sally and I. He works in the social justice/political justice arena, and as I wailed (well, not quite) that I am scared of all this, and that having a father who worked for the U.S. Government, I am aware that easy answers often aren't. He gave me a wonderful analogy, which I'll share with you. Social justice work is like farming. You are planting seeds. It takes time. It is not quick, like downloading software. I'll expand on that: yelling loud enough, sending off enough letters to politicians, marching for something, being passionate enough--those things don't accomplish the same thing that working at something with humility and persistance does.

I feel that I'm doing this badly. But I don't know how else to do it, right now. This is me, imperfectly saying to you, I am trying and often failing at what I'm trying to accomplish. But I'd like to get better at it. I'd like my life to matter more than just pink shoes and chick lit and all the books that I own. I'd like to have a shred of obedience that my two loaves of bread and five fish, meager as they are, could be used for some good, somewhere, sometime.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Harper Collins...messing experimenting with books

The new paperbacks of the Little House series are out. The covers are photographs of people dressed up to be old fashioned and the Garth Williams illustrations that used to people the books are GONE!

This is worse than when they decided The Magicians Nephew was Book One of the Narnia series!! At least then they kept Pauline Bayne's illustrations!!

Ursula Nordstrom is rolling in her grave, I know it.


Update: found this wonderful blog (KEWL) and a Harper's editor who has been overseeing the repackaging came in and said, It's only one edition, we're still keeping the editions (paper and hardcover) that have the Garth illustrations. PHEW!!

I happen to be doing Freaky Friday for Mother/Daughter on Saturday and had forgotten how "bad" it was (the mom smokes, there are curse words...) It fits the UN (Ursula Nordstrom) "good books for bad children" oevre. Btw, did you know Mary Rodgers was the daughter of Richard Rodgers (as in R and Hammerstein????) She was very instrumental in putting together Free to be you and me, which shaped my view of the world back in the seventies... (when I was a child.)

Oh, and if you click on the "Nordstrom" part of the U.N. link (above) you'll read one interesting tidbit...UN never went to college!! And this woman shaped how we see Children's Literature today, capital C, capital L.

Autodidacts of the world, rejoice!

Oh, and go visit my darling friend Caro. She just had a birthday, has joined the post-beta Blogger world and changed her moniker from Carolyn to Caro because I had been using it to address her. Little old me!! It boggles the mind!

Footnote: I think I may need to start contributing to Wikipedia--they are such an invaluable source (of most of my links in this post).

Oh, and in case you were keeping track at home: it was either 9 or 6 when I woke up and now it is 13-15 (degrees Fahrenheit).

TGIF, everyone. I may (yeah right) take the weekend off. Hey, it could happen! I just found some parts of the main portion of my "story," the one I'll be using in my application for the MFA.

Chuß! Tschüß (it's pronounced chuss and it's ciao for the German speaking population.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Be mine...

Show and Tell: A Valentine: new or old

Flowers from my parents. The card reads, "Happy Valentine's Week. Love, Mom and Dad."

Cards from two girlfriends. So that's why she wanted my address!

I also got a few fun e-cards. Hope you got choc'lit...oh, and Happy Birthday to Marian the Librarian, who is again celebrating her 29th birthday. (tee hee!) Tomorrow (the today of you reading this--Thursday the 15th) is Sally's oldest's birthday. I held Zack when he was two days old and living in the neo-natal unit at AGH*. I talked to Sally briefly today (to see what the roads were like in our neighborhood) and to let her know I'd bring something by for Zack soon.

*Allegheny General Hospital, on the Nor' Side.

I'm glad to be home again...

Happy Valentine's Day!!

If you've been here for any length of time, you know that my dad is a true romantic. Um, yes, this is the guy who mailed me a book from Amazon for Valentine's Day. (You know, to a librarian.)

Well, it turns out he also sent me flowers. Which he pretty much does every year. And since I wasn't home last night to receive them, I had to call the guy on the first floor to please bring them in if they needed that.

Yes, everything in Pittsburgh is closed. Well, the library will be open at noon, but we have NEVER in my four years there closed by order of our director b/c of weather, or opened late, so I'll take it.

I'm writing this from my neighbor's computer. She lives five minutes from the library, complete with house, cat, three children, and husband. I have napped on her spare room bed before but never had I spent the night. It's fun to be a part of a family.

Anyways, I did mean to write a little bit more about this day and not the weather. If you've heard this before, you may be excused. When I was in kindergarten, at the ripe age of five, I thought Happy Valentine's Day was like "Have a good day" and regaled my father with said holiday greeting for weeks after the event. So it's a little joke between us--in the heat of summer, we'll say, "Happy Valentine's Day" and it's our little secret.

If I had not spent the night at someone else's house and woken up at someone's house, I might have all pretty graphics n'stuff. But going to work late is enough for me. Although I've just been informed that it's eleven, so I better think about getting ready...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Weather update...

So it took me ten more minutes travel time to get here. Total, more, because I had to stop in Oakland to drop something up and at Northway Mall to pick something up.

The library is closing at 5 and I have not one but two offers for a place to stay tonight!!

My goal today: to finish the Superman DVDs.


Oh, show and tell (Thursday) is a Valentine. Old or new.

Contentment is a pearl of great price...

(John Balguy)

It's snowing here. The schools are closed, my car is covered with snow, WBS is cancelled and I have a choice!!

I can get dressed and go to work and then I'll have a free evening, maybe even go to Trialogue, or I can while the morning away.

I think it is good news when given that choice, I'm looking at the clock and thinking, yeah, if I leave now, I'll be home around six p.m.

Who writes this? Looking forward to going out into the weather, into the snow? To work?

A crazy girl: me!

I've come to it: I really love my life. There are a few things I'd tweak, but for the most part, I'm a happy (joyful) girl (woman).

I've been listening to Jamie O'Neal (There is no Arizona). She's got a great way of rendering songs.

Well, um, gotta go! Cuz there are boxed sets of Superman movies to catalogue. Oh, and a car to clean off, first.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Blogger's block?

I have just put five posts back on the draft board. And Leno isn't doing Headlines because last night was the Grammy's, so Chris Isaacs did a reel from the red carpet.

Nicholas Cage is on. I'm not crazy about him.

According to the top of my Snapple tea from Friday night, Americans spend more than $630 million on golf balls. It's a "Real Fact."

Scrubs is on FOX.


This is what happens when I spend the day being an extrovert.

Another commercial.

More Scrubs.

Okay, it truly is blog block. Anyways, happy Monday. Tomorrow I'll announce Show and Tell.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Yeah, I actually don't think it's going to work out, but I'm pulling for you, Ru.

(Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Sandy Lyle in Along Came Polly)

I love this line from Along Came Polly, a movie I only watched because a co-worker recommended it, who loves Ben Stiller. This guy, Reuben (Ben Stiller) is a risk analyst and he does everything cautiously. In walks Polly (Jennifer Aniston), who walks to the beat of shall we say, a different drummer? Polly introduces Reuben to Latin dancing, spicy food, and her blind ferret.

The whole movie you're right there with Phillip (we're likethis) saying "I don't see this happening." I mean, c'mon!!

**********SPOILER ALERT****************

Ben and Jen end up together--it's a beautiful crazy chaotic thing.


I've been thinking about age lately (well, I did just have a birthday.) And it occurs to me that if you were to count my life in growth spurts, I'd probably really be 25. I've had to spend so much energy smoothing out my bumpy road that I haven't really been doing things that women my age are doing: buying houses, having their third child, getting job promotions.

Cue Rascal Flatts' song, God Bless the Broken Road...

And I am fine, working the mommy track at the library (yes, that's what this laissez-faire system of flex time is called.) I am happy at my job. I am happy in my apartment. I do not want to have to pay for a new roof, furnace, or think about siding.

I've been reading this great book, The Joy of Doing Things Badly. Actually, I haven't been reading it lately, because it is lost somewhere in my apartment. Probably in a purse I haven't used in weeks. But when I find it, I'll tell you more about it, because that Veronica Chambers is my hero. She is not afraid to live her life.

Right now, I'm still reading How to be Perfect by Jean Kerr and loving it. Oh, and I finished Good Will (the second novella in the collection by Jane Smiley called Ordinary Love and Good Will). Heartbreaker, but oh so good.

(That part was written in November.)

I have now just finished Gilead. It was so good that from Etna to twenty minutes later--it only takes me seven minutes to get home from Etna--I was sobbing. The first three quarters are slow and plotless but meandering. Best suited for audio books, actually. Believe me, it is SO worth the wait. And last night I had dinner at C&A's. Cameron has finished it, Amber has not, so we couldn't fully talk about it, but, we were able to talk about another amazing book, East of Eden. And then my phone rang. It was my dad, calling from Dallas. (They're most likely in Austin now.)
Today will be cooking, something, for the community dinner, and breakfast. I need sustenance! So here are a few pictures:

To remind me to work on my writing...

This was taken at my library, from the parking lot...

I think boys kids are playing hockey on Lake Carnegie. I would if I was a boy kid.

So, yes, yesterday, I worked a full day, I finished Gilead, I walked on water (albeit frozen) and had a lovely evening among friends. Maybe February isn't all bad. Lilly and I have sworn off boys and are going to Panera or something for Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

We're in the double digits: it's a balmy 11! Here's the Mama Said post...(updated)

Mama said to me last night (from a hotel in Memphis), no more crying. Well, she got me at the right time--I got my hair trimmed and a manicure and I had sesame chicken for dinner. The only thing that could have improved things was if I had eaten my dinner with chopsticks.

So I watched "Failure to Launch" last night--love that flick! and I crawled under the covers.

Wisdoms from my Mama:

If you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything.

From the story "The Tortoise and the Hare," came this one: Slow and steady wins the race.

Laugh about it.

Make sure you marry a Christian.

Actions speak louder than words. This one came to me as I was having dinner with C&A. It's like the most "Mama" of them all, but somehow I forgot it.

When I was in fourth grade, she taught me to say the 23rd psalm at bedtime. It has been a great comfort to me.

My mother is more famous for her songs, though. She's a very private woman and she does not suffer fools. It has taken us thirty some years to come to a place where we speak each other's language.

It's been my dad who has doled/or not relationship advice. He's the one who said to me, "Mama said there'd be days like this," though my mama had said no such thing.

Some of my mama's songs:

Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and they threw him out the window!

And this might be my favorite. Kiki knows it for sure:

"Oh the cannibal king with the big nose ring
went out with a dusty maid
And every night by the pale moonlight
Across the lake he came
He hugged and kissed his pretty little miss
under the bamboo tree
and every night by the pale moonlight
it sounded like this to me
a-rum, a-rum
a-rum, a-rum,
a-rum-bahdy-ahdy-ay" (click the link for the rest...)

And this one: "I do nothing nothing nothing, I do nothing all day long,
I do absolutely nothing, how do you like my nothing song?"
(It's one of those 'second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder
and a little bit worse' songs)

And this one: Down by the old mill creek,
where I first met you.
With your eyes so blue,
Dressed in gingham too.
It was there I knew,
that you loved me true.
You were sixteen,
My (words? what are the words) queen, down by the old mill stream.

Then you sing it faster, like this:

Down by the old (not the new but the old) mill stream
(not the river but the stream)
Where I first (not last but first) met you (not me but you)
With your eyes (not your ears) so blue (not green but blue)...

und so wieta. (and so on, in German.) (I may have mispelled it.)

I gotta get ready for work. My mama loves me, all is well with the world.
And if you ain't got a mama, mine will sing silly songs to you too.

Btw, my nails look sooo glamorous. The manicure was truly restorative.
So, as my father would say,
"Moooving right along..."

And I have no clue why Blogger is messing with the fonts here. Whateve!! It also was messing
with the margins...anyways. Mooving right along.

Oh, and DON'T spill my coffee!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Temperature Watch: it's a balmy 6 degrees

Just in case you were keeping track at home...

I tried everything to make myself feel better. I even tried writing a song about it... but... I can't think of anything that rhymes with un-hh!!

(Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Friends, Season Nine, "The one with the Memorial Service")

I'm having one of those weeks.

And I learned yesterday the hard way that I need to have a Bible at my desk.

So today, when I flipped it open, it opened to Joshua Chapter 1. It's when Moses is dead and the Israelites have to go into the Promised Land. In verses 6-9, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun THREE TIMES: Be strong and courageous.

So I'll say it here, because this blog is really more me talking to me than anything else:

Be strong and courageous.
Be strong and very courageous.
Be strong and courageous.


The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you.
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:7)

So I can walk through the knives of my current situation, possibly needing to have these verses pinned to my shirt...

Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD, and work. For I am with you, declares the LORD Spirit remains among you. Do not fear. (Haggai 2:4-5)

Except that this seems my current reality:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do... (Romans 7:14)

But this is assurance:

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

and this one:

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

and this one:

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Our Internet connection was down (on purpose) at work for about a half hour. So I had to use the Dewey books instead of WebDewey to check numbers. But that only used up 5 minutes. Then I spent some time chatting with our intern, Hannah. She's from Seattle, but currently in library school at Pitt.

I'm working on bringing in the OCLC record for the second Superman movie, a 2 DVD set. It is super-annoying.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)

I have to say at this moment, it is taking every cell in my soul to say, "Yeah, right!"

But I have to cling to the truth, which is that I have a great job, a great apartment, great friends, and I didn't go to bed hungry. Actually, I went to bed stuffed, because we all went to the Sharp Edge after the community meeting. And I still came home and cried my eyes out. But at least the reason had changed...

Oh, and for some reason, my father decided, after years of sending me flowers on Valentine's Day (last year it was forced bulbs) that this year, he'd send me a book. Which I got yesterday. I'm a librarian! I know how to use Amazon! But it is a book he'd given me and then absconded with: Jungle Pilot by Nate Saint (one of the guys that was killed in Ecuador by that tribe of Indians, you know, the whole End of the Spear crew.)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What, are you chicken?

This chicken is also a kitchen timer.

This makes me happy. So I had to take a picture, naturally. Happy Thursday.

Show and Tell: A chicken

And I found some more gifts I bought for the sibs--one is a chicken for Sis!! (Which will not be shown here until after I see her which will be Feb 28, my mama's birthday!!!)

Oh, and in case you were keeping track, it's 4 degrees out there. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

At one point, it was +16 F!!

But as I was driving home at 8:45 pm, it was +9 Fahrenheit at the YMCA marquee.

Today was a day to try a soul. Nothing in particular that happened except that this afternoon I dissolved. I try to keep a positive outlook, but this life seems so wearing... (wearing pink shoes??)

So, a few good things from today:

  • I lost in Sorry! to a tyrannical six year old who would have played all my plays had I not exerted myself a little bit. (I babysat for a few hours after work.)
  • I got something in the mail, well, two things. My Vitamin B-12, and a button from Paula. It is beautiful and I am wearing it now (it's a necklace).
  • Minerva Louise has a new book out, and it's about Easter. Eggs, mostly, and chocolate bunnies--it is the cutest book ever. I adore Minerva Louise.
  • I had 32 for the first session of what our maintenance guy calls "Duck Duck Goose" and 15 for the second. (I don't count adults and children separately--I count the adults and multiply by two, more or less. The more or less is b/c some moms bring more than one child and some children bring more than one adult.) We sang, and marched around the room, and did "The Grand Old Duke of York" and "I'm a Little Tea Pot."
  • Marian and I had lunch at the drug store counter as is our custom and I was reminded that next Wednesday (Valentine's Day) is her birthday. The next day is Sally's boy Zack's sixth birthday--I saw him and held him when he was two days old and in an incubator at Allegheny General Hospital. He was so small then and now, so big. I love driving past AGH, to remember that day.
  • While I did have a minor meltdown a few minutes ago and a major one at about 4:30 p.m., I have been encouraged and I know I am loved both by my friends and through the words in my much marked up Bible. This too shall pass. February is just a bad month for depression. It just is.
But I'm sad that it is too late to call my mama. She and my dad are off to Austin tomorrow to drive a car to my brother.

Tomorrow we have our community meeting at the OD. I love my church, but those meetings make me feel so lonely and afterwards I generally come home and cry in my pillow. (We're a great church with great dreams and ideals and yet the reality is that I still feel so alone there.) I've invited a few folks (I'm not ready to call them all friends as I feel we're still in that nascent stage) to join me for a beer afterwards. So far I have one "maybe."

My downstairs neighbor left a message on my machine that I had been waking her up with my stomping around and slamming doors--I had no idea I'd been doing this--living with people is not easy, let me tell you. I think I'll take my boots off downstairs from now on--there's no way to tiptoe in them, there just isn't.

This is one of my favorite passages, and though it's sort of depressing, I love it, to think of doing things before things break, knowing that they always in the end, do.

1 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
"I find no pleasure in them"-

6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
or the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
or the wheel broken at the well,

7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:1, 6-7. NIV)

I hope it is warm, wherever this finds you. Hug that person or cat or dog or teddy bear that you're with.

It's +9 Degrees!! We're having a heat wave, a tropical heatwave!!

Now, of course, I can't get that Carmen Miranda song out of my mind. But these past coupla weeks have felt like Grumpy Old Men (except that Ann-Margret didn't move in next door.)

Show and Tell (I forgot to announce it yesterday) is chickens. Yes, I know we've done them before, but I didn't get to show the oevre of my collection and it will give Paula a chance to just re-post her last one.

Off to prepare for work: today is Mother Goose!!

It's snowing a little here. Last night we got a dusting, so I had to clean off my car for the drive home. I got to Whole Foods right before the "It's 9:45" announcement. I got home at 10:04 and my mother (who doesn't have caller ID) answered, "Hello Sarah Louise." (Well, no, she used my real name, but anyways.)

I love my mama, I truly do. She was fun on the phone--"I'm going to hang up now!" and she didn't. I think playfulness is a very important part of a parent-child relationship, even when the people we're talking about are in their thirty-somethings and sixty-somethings. But whose keeping score? I feel like 25 and she could easily pass for 49.

Okay, enough procrastination...Ciao!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tuesday Blues...

Or maybe not. After all, I've just had my Wendy's dinner: Junior Cheesburger Deluxe and a plain potato, two sour creams, and an iced tea. And I filled my tank (the top half) at $2.14, which is pretty good. It's about 10 degrees Fahrenheit out there.

We did in fact have Women's Bible Study, woo hoo! Which was good, because it was the sort of chapter you really wanted to discuss with others...

Afterwards, I went to lunch at Chili's. A dear friend waitresses there, and I think there is a special place in heaven for waitresses. I was so discombobulated (being with the women at Bible Study sometimes dissolves me to pieces...*) that she basically picked out my lunch for me, bless her! And she kept the decaf coming.

I've been listening to Gilead on CD in my car and so my music choice is only the radio (which is dying a slow death--I can't even get AM Radio) I dare not take the CDs out so as to lose my place... It is a wonderful book, tender, gruff, exhortational, and just plain crazy. An eighty year old preacher who is about to die is writing a book length letter to his now 7 year old son, a letter that he hopes the boy will read when he is older. It is heartbreaking and wonderful--and yes, it won the Pulitzer. I can only take it in doses, before I have to listen to something like "Good Golly Miss Molly" or something bright.

I love my job. I love my apartment. I love Pittsburgh. But I don't have as much as a cat (nor would my garret support such an acquisition.) So I am contemplating whether I should move South of the Mason Dixon Line to be closer to my parents. I'm not moving quickly on this, as it could just be the doldrums of February encroaching on me. (April is NOT the cruelest month--it's most definately February.)

Well, my dinner break is over, so back to work. I have some interesting titles and quotes to share with yinz later.

Keep on keeping on--stay on the sunny side, always on the sunny side of life... (for Kiki, who taught me that song)

*I've been hiding my pain at WBS since September, but today I shared that being not the youngest member anymore but still the only un-married, childless woman is a bit like a being a barren woman at a baby shower. I blubbered. Much Kleenex was used. I got prayed for but I didn't get hugs. I would have liked hugs. (Demanding, aren't I??)

Monday, February 05, 2007

I can see clearly now...

What do I love about winter? The whiteness. The austerity. Yes, it is cold, but very uncluttered. You can see through the trees because there are no leaves. And right now the hills are covered in white snow or icicles. This morning, on the way to the chiropractor, the Allegheny River was almost completely frozen over. And on the way home, the air was warmer than the river, because there was steam coming off the ice. It might have been the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and it reminded me of Genesis chapter 1, verse 2, "while the mighty wind swept over the waters." (NAB Translation)

School is cancelled for the second day in a row here in da Burgh. Monday is a day off for me, and I spent it cleaning the garret, napping, and doing homework for Women's Bible Study, which probably won't meet tomorrow, as school is cancelled. I also drove a friend home to Mt. Washington. That was a treat. I love driving around town and now that I spend so much time commuting to the North Hills, I don't see the grandeur that is this great city as often as I'd like. So I'm grateful that I have friends I can give rides to.

Today was a day of much soul searching and intense emails and phone conversations. And I labored over the Bible study homework. And I listened to Michael W. Smith's Worship album. The result? I think everything is going to be okay. Not in a Pollyanna sense, but in a real sense. I don't know when, or where, or how (especially how--as Babs would say, have you met me? And have you met the world we live in?) but I am confident:

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights. (Hab. 3:17-19, NIV)

I checked a coupla blogs that have been dormant for awhile and was rewarded with new content. (Yay!) Tomorrow is another eight minutes. I plan to be asleep very soon.

It's -2 degrees out there...

There's a project I've been working on. Yesterday, I discovered that it was still in the very nascent stages, when I thought it was MUCH further along. That's life. But there has been a major breakthrough, because of some risks I took, so that's good.

So, in lieu of the "Mama said" post, which will come soon, I promise, I offer you this quote from Helen Hayes. It was the Monday "Financial Quote" from Women's Wall Street, an online newsletter I get. May it cheer you too--that hard work can sometimes be its own reward:

"My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that 'achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.'"

Oh, and in case you've been living under a hole, the Colts won. Oh well.

In other news, I got myself some grocery store tulips. I put them in the vase Kristin got me for my birthday, which was made for tulips. Mayhap I'll post a picture later. But now, I'm off to cajole my car into starting so I can go to the chiropractor.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

It's eight degrees out there, I don't want to know the wind chill, thankyouverymuch!

And I'll be at church at night, without the advantage of the sun. Yeah, this will be layer city, I'm thinking...

So a few words on blogging. I have added a few to the right (and I still laugh at when I first did a post on adding things to the left and Poppy was like, um, is your screen aligned differently?).

I have been spending the morning at Poppy's. We're kindred for many reasons, including she is also a Sagittarius. I sometimes worry about how I spend too much time on one blog, commenting five times in one day, are they going to think I'm stalking them? Because, truly, I'm not. I'm just bored out of my gourd, this being the fifth day of this cold and I've only been out of the house twice. (Friday, to spend some much needed time with my peeps, and Saturday to work a few hours and grocery shop.)

Yesterday I wrote a rant about how everyone in Pittsburgh has their family nearby (except lil ole me). It was a little too ranty for my own taste, I may tone it down and take it out of drafts. I'm also crafting a post on "Mama Said" because mine is the smartest woman in the world. Or so she claimed, when I was in fourth grade. Nowadays she denies that she is the SWITW, but to me, she always will be. In my real world, I'm working on a "positive piece" about the bus crisis in da Burgh to publish over at I heart PGH. I will not be publishing it under Sarah Louise, or linking it to this blog, but you're smart enough to figure out how to find it, I'm thinking. While I do not currently ride the bus in da Burgh, buses are an integral part of this vibrant city and...well, they just can't take away 100 routes without a fight!!

My diet is pretty much oatmeal and ramen soup, clementines, water, and zinc. Although the zinc is not really helping--it usually clips the main pain of the cold after the first day and hasn't this time...

So, I have added on the left, I mean the right, Colin, a student at MIT. Found him through Pat and Adrian. There's this fun Pittsburgh expatriate vibe going with Adrian and Colin...anyways.

Also, Jenny. She is a hockey mom and very funny. The meme below this post is one I swiped from her.

Let's see, oh, I added Paula's photo blog, Finding Beauty, to the "Bohemian Shoes" area. I'm considering stopping the whole "Shoes categories" because I have a definate order in which I read them--it should be like "Everyday shoes" "Once a month shoes" "Once a week shoes." Because some of my friends don't update but every two months (but I still love them to pieces!!) I think there is a way to fix the HTML (maybe with RSS) so that you can see which ones have updated (because Bloglines is like crack for me--a bad idea) I think the PCUSA blog has that going on. Maybe since I'm homebound AGAIN today I'll work on that. Or maybe not. I feel a nap coming on...

Also, church is during the SB, but GO BEARS!! I wonder if You Tube has the Superbowl Shuffle...

(The super-fun music video was pulled due to copyright worries, but this gives you an idea at least...)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Names... (swiped from Jenny)

Thanks Jenny!

I used my real name, not Sarah Louise. My real first name is 25th in popularity for U.S. first names, and 99.9% of people with my first name are girls. Well, Johnny Cash did write that song "A boy named Sue."

My last name, and this will surprise no one that knows it, is 75677th most popular last name. There are about 330 people in the U.S. with my last name. I remember being so grateful when my brother was born, that I didn't have to carry on the family name, though if I publish something before I get married, (or not) I'll use it for publication, as I've been told it's a great name for a kid's writer.

The way I spell my name is not my given name, so there are 0 people in the USA with my name. "While both names you entered were found in our database, neither was common enough to make it likely that someone in the U.S. has that name."

Results on Sarah Louise (Sarah as first name, Louise as last name):

Sarah is 58th in popularity.
There are 2 people in the USA that actually have that first, last name.

Sarah Louise as a first name: no one!! From the FAQs:

  • Around 1 out of every 10 people will have a first name not on the list.

Using the same statistical fallacy this site is known for, that means about 81% of people will have both names on the list. In a mathematical coup our scientists have determined from this information that about 19% of people will have either one or both names missing from the list.

"I think it's important not to take it as a rejection of you personally."
Gabriel Caine -- Diggstown.

This was very entertaining!! Some of you know I have been mired down with a cold the past coupla days. I finally went in to work for a few hours (yes, that's all I lasted, but I got some stuff done, and I think all that activity sponsored my six hour afternoon nap--yay!) Also, I had excellent dreams, in which I had fun with folks I haven't seen/talked to in ages. Although, I was wearing weird shoes...I wonder what that means...

And if you can't see the first image, I can't either. Blogger is just being...Blogger. It says "There is one person with my name in the USA." Which is actually false. There's someone with a doctorate in butterflies or something...I googled it, ages ago!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Hope College and me: Six degrees of Separation

You might be familiar with the game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. There's even a book! You might even be familiar with the play which became a movie, Six Degrees of Separation.

Well, in Pittsburgh, there's only one degree, usually. We're a city with a small town feel. (For instance, I just transferred a hold on a book from our library that will go to another Allegheny County consortia library--for a woman I went to library school with.)

But, you might be asking, right about now, "SL, I have no clue WHAT you are talking about." Okay. So. Degrees of separation: there's a theory that everyone can connect themselves to everyone else by six degrees of separation.

When we lived in Poland, I got to shake Bush Sr.'s hand as well as Lech Walesa's hand. So that would put me one degree of separation between Bush Sr. and one degree of separation of separation from Lech Walesa. Since Bush Sr. is the father of Bush Jr., our current president, I am two degrees of separation from Bush Jr.

Okay. So, of all the places I've been, of all the connections I've made, the connection that has brought the most connections is Hope College, the alma mater of my grandparents (who met there and later got married) my parents (who met there and much later got married) and my brother (still single, and living in Austin).

Hope did send me my first college acceptance letter, but I decided to not attend due to many factors. I have one or two regrets: I always wanted to have a radio show, which my brother did and I'm pretty sure my dad did too. Also, Holland, Michigan is a super cool place with a ton of taquerias. (This is due to the fact that Heinz has their pickle picking operation there--a lot of Mexican migrant workers came up and stayed and so there is a large Mexican community in Holland) (Michigan!! not the Netherlands). My dad quips that the pickle pickers became pickle packers. There is no welfare system--local churches and civic organizations pick up the slack for community needs. Also, this a weekend in January, (THIS POST IS FROM 1/13/07) the college is hosted a symposium with such giants as Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God) , Donald Miller (Blue like Jazz) , and Jars of Clay (the band? I'm sure you've heard of them). Oh, and Derek Webb, formerly of Caedman's Call.

My cousin used to be the president of Western Theological Seminary, which is in Holland, Michigan, home of Hope College. He has had major correspondence with the author of Housekeeping and the more recent Pulitzer Prize Winning (and amazing--I'm reading it now) Gilead, so that would be two degrees of separation: My cousin, 1, Marilynne Robinson, 2.

Sufjan Stevens, the sweetheart of indy music, went to Hope College. I have been to the café his best friend runs, Lemonjellos. I even have a bumper sticker on my car. So that would be the café, 1, the owner of the café, 2, Sufjan Stevens, 3.

Or, I'll be at a party and start talking to someone. "Where are you from" is my opener (I find it's much more interesting that "What do you do?") and inevitably I'll meet someone who says, I went to school in Michigan. Oh really, what school? I've met at least five people from Hope College this way.

Oh, how could I forget the Beleza Seven? My brother is friends with every one of the seven Hope graduates that formed a community coffee house on the North Side of Pittsburgh. I've been there once--and it was so much fun saying to the girl behind the counter, "Do you know (my brother's name)?" "Yes..." "Well, I'm his sister, and this is his mom, and his dad." My mom even got a picture with the girl, whose name escapes me, but apparently my brother was one of her first friends at Hope College.

Other connections? Robert Schuller, the televangelist who hosts the Hour of Power from the Crystal Cathedral once spent a summer working for an aunt of mine. Both he and his son went to Hope.

Lynne Stewart didn't graduate from Hope, but neither did my aunt. They were, however, roommates at Hope in the early 1960s.

Um, also, for those of us who were the person of the year for 2006, we share that title with Rob Malda, creator of Slashdot, which pretty much revolutionized this thing we call the blog. Yep, he went to Hope.

This is all very fun for me, because unless you're from Pittsburgh, you've never heard of Carlow College University (where I spent my first two years of college) and unless you're from Maryland you've never heard of Washington College (my Alma mater).

I cling to the greatness of Hope College...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Nice brain"

Show and tell: bumper stickers

I didn't say it had to be on your car!! This was a gift from my boss. If you can read the small print, it says, "In books we trust." Apparently I at one time mentioned that I liked hers (on her bulliten board at work) and so when she was at ALA's Midwinter Conference, she got me one.

If it weren't really cold outside and I didn't have a touch of the sniffles, I'd take a picture of my own car bumper. On it are four bumper stickers. They are: Lemonjello's, Sunoco, Union Project, and "Love Falls Church."

Lemonjello's is this coffee house in Holland, Michigan. My brother's band played there. My brother's band was called The Nixon Administration. Isn't that a cool name for a band? (Stay tuned for corrections: I may have gotten the wrong president.) Sufian Steven's best friend owns Lemonjello's, stay tuned for a Hope College post.

Sunoco? No, I do not care that they sponsor NASCAR, (sorry Paula) but they were sponsoring a contest a few years back where if they spotted a sticker on your car, you got free gas. Um, I drive at least an hour each day (to and from my workplace), so that sounded cool. You'll see some trucks with four and five Sunoco stickers.

Union Project? The building where my church, The Open Door, meets. Plus, it's a cool logo.

"Love Falls Church"? It's a play on words, sort of. Falls Church (Episcopal) is the church for which the town where my parents live was named. George Washington, our first President, was a vestryman there. The bumper sticker is vague: are you supposed to love the church or the town? Well, I love the town, I hope my parents never move, (unless they move to Pittsburgh).

My father is against bumper stickers. On your car, at least. So my brother had at least ten on the minivan that he drove in college.

My dad and I have been talking about third world debt and the IMF. I am so grateful to have him to talk to about these things. I invited him to come speak at the OD, which he had already considered...he was at a book signing yesterday for Tony Campolo ('s new book, I assume) and since there were only eight people there, he got to ask TC a question. So he asked him about the IMF. My dad is the greatest.

(IMF=International Monetary Fund. Our church recently had a speaker from Jubilee and a bunch of us are wondering if Jubilee is the best way to go in terms of social justice. From my dad's considerable research, it seems not. It seems that Jubilee would be one of the organizations rioting at the IMF meetings.)

The IMF has conditionalities (like balanced budgets) and from what my dad could see on the Jubilee website, Jubilee doesn't like that. I have more info in emails from my dad if anyone's interested. (And wouldn't it be great to have my dad speak at the OD????)

And this just in: HP #7 will be out on 7.21.07. Read up on Book Seven, thanks to Gina (who is writing again at BTS, woo hoo!)