Sunday, September 30, 2007

I always thought Paradise would be a library (Jorge Luise Borges)

Amy A. requested the poem on the DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification.) I think she's referring to this post, which takes the caveman's pov. I've seen it done as the alien's pov too.

100 Who am I?
200 Where did I come from?
300 Who are these people around me?
400 How can I communicate with them?
500 What is nature?
600 What can I do with nature?
700 What can I do in my leisure time?
800 How can I pass on the great stories to my children?
900 How can I leave a record for men in the future?
000 What do I do with weird stuff like the Guinness book, books about books, etc.?

Harry (the cold) is back. Mostly I've been fighting him by sleeping AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Although yesterday the National Book Festival (I drove down to DC Friday with two local librarians) took precedence (heard Ashley Bryan, Diane Ackerman, some other folks). Today I drove back with the two lovely librarians that accompanied me. Towards the end of the drive, I was interviewing them on ANYTHING, just to keep the conversation going, I needed to stay awake. When I got home, Max called, said, ya gonna take a nap? Guiltily, I said yep. Good, said he. Me too. (Yes, we both have colds.) Happy four months, ka-choo!

Tonight was the goodbye party for Dave who has pastored Bellefield for seven years. WOW. Can you feel the love tonight--it was a love fest with lots of good desserts.

Off to catch a cat nap before Max gets home--hold the phone that was him saying he'll be here in a half hour. I think maybe he missed me. (Calling to say he's on his way, he'll be there in a half hour--it's unprecedented, but I like it.)

More on the NBF later. Cat nap!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A picture book can be fun AND educational!

NOOOO! That's not what I meant to cut and paste. Here's what I meant to enlighten yins with:

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk

out of your house like a shepherd. -Jalaluddin Rumi, poet and mystic

A friend of Max's who has befriended me (I helped her put together a list of kid's books for a MOPS presentation) sent me this quote. I rather like it. It reminds me of the guy from M L'E's A Small Rain, the guy who ends up being an Episcopal priest in the second book (A Severed Wasp). He called himself a "window-washer." I no longer own A Small Rain (bangs head agains proverbial wall), or I'd pull up a quote, and frankly, I'm too lazy and feeling the aches of Day Two (which seems to have shifted in my life to be Day Three) to walk over to the other room to find a quote from A Severed Wasp.

So there you have it.

(The title quote is from my wild and crazy friend Susan, the Usborne lady. I told her she was preaching to the choir.)

I'm going out of town this weekend and look at me, I'm procrastinating AFTER I've done most of the packing!! WH--at? I know! I keep thinking I've forgotten something. Well, a few things can't go in until the last minute--hairdryer, toothbrush. I haven't decided if I'm taking shampoo. (I'll be staying with the folks, and there might be shampoo in the guest bath, I can't remember.)

Monday will mark exactly four months to the day of our first "date." Kind of exciting/bizarre/wonderful. (Pinch me.)

Oh, and can I just say what a wonderful place a laundromat is? You get quarters AND cash! (Our in house laundry machines eat quarters, so I eventually have to visit a change machine as we don't have one of THOSE in house.)

Off to check the wash...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Links R US, n'at

Until I figure out how to use my account, this is where I park interesting links:

20 great online references from

Today was the first Mother Goose of the season, and I had a woman who actually used to live in Baltimore and attended Betsy Diamant-Cohen's programs, Betsy who concieved the program format that I use.

A few tips on how to use your local library... from Gather No Dust, a library manager blog.

Here's a favorite: the Wayback Machine, AKA, the Internet Archive. I think you can look up what the White House website looked like in the Clinton/Gore administration (right, back when Gore invented the web...) Remember,, NOT .com!!* (Not all the links work, of course, but it's still cool to look at.)

I love the USA Today 25 things list--this one focuses on, yes, class? You guessed it, our topic of the day...the Internet. Here's their list of most memorable quotes. The list doesn't reflect ones that I most remember, but hey, it's their list.

(I looked at a coupla other lists and now my eyes are tired...)


In other news, (the news I'm being vague about) the news is good. We are not out of the woods, but we have a very good map. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and I'll keep you vaguely up to date.

* is a porn site.

Monday, September 24, 2007

And now, for something completely different...

The Squirrel Hill branch of the Carnegie has been open for two years. I'm hardly ever in Squirrel Hill, so I had not seen the renovation.

But after a club samwich at Gullifty's and a jaunt across the street to the Iggle for some yogurt n'at, I parked in the lot below the library ($1.00 minimum!) and took the stairs up.

It is very steel and open beams and tech-y sort of looking. And I might have said sterile except that there were people EVERYWHERE and lots of huge signs that said "Ask the Librarian." Which I did. "Where are your movies?" (Such the bibliophile that I am.)

I got "Two Weeks Notice" on VHS (yes, DVD player still under the weather) and the audio of Gilead. So yes, I'm re-watching and re-listening, but sometimes that's the best comfort. Then I drove on home and here I am!

At 4:15 I have my chiro appt, and then I think I'll spend the evening doing things like dishes, laundry, and watching TV and movies. Who am I kidding? I should start the laundry now, as honestly, I just want to veg tonight.

The news is neutral...

It's not bad news, which is good news. It's not great news, but that's not bad news.

So we'll keep on keeping on.

I need a nap. Instead, I think I'll do some things around the house--prepare some laundry, mayhap, or do dishes?

NAP!! Or you know, I could catch the last bit of the Ellen! show. That sounds like the best idea all day.

On today's list:

call to set up training for election machines DONE!
pay a few bills

oh, it's David Spade on Ellen......gotta go!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Change is the only constant...

It's a bit of a roller coaster here, but I think the news is good.

Um, so today I get to meet the P of M: that is, the Parents of Max.

Yeah, I'm a bit surprised too, though I was expecting it might happen sometime this week.

Off to take a shower. I may or may not report on the meeting. (Probly not.)

So I called my parents. My mom's best advice: at some point, excuse yourself. They are coming to see him, not meet you. My dad's advice: be low key.

Last night, in the continuing saga of Max and Sarah Louise movie watching: Wayne's World. Which I thought I'd seen but I think I saw Wayne's World II. It was a lot of fun. One of the best moments was when Stacy gave Wayne the gun rack:

Wayne Campbell: A gun rack... a gun rack. I don't even own a gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.

This is one of my brother's favorite quotes, so it was great to see it in context. And, well, it's pretty funny.

The other one was, "If she was a president, she'd be Babebraham Lincoln."

Off to figure out what to wear...


Update: They are very nice people. I liked them a lot. And I got the good word from Max: they liked me too.

Afterwards, I came upstairs and slept for two hours and when I woke up, I was late for church. (Fortunately I'd gone to Bellefield this morning.) Especially since the sermon at the OD was hard hitting on sin (which I realize is important, but just not something I can listen to when I'm semi-depressed, which I am, because I am living this roller coaster.) So I drove to my favorite place by the Allegheny River and read some Psalms.

Dave (the pastor at Bellefield) preaches his last sermon at Bellefield next Sunday. Bellefield is growing and he's ready to slow down and think about retirement, so he thinks it's time to hand the reins over. I will be in DC, but I'll be back in town for the send-off party next Sunday evening.

He preached on Abba,* the name of God as Father, Daddy. It was a wonderful sermon that I'll be digesting all week. And it was the comforting sort of sermon I needed today.

One of the scriptures was Psalm 103: As far as the east from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we were formed, he remembers we are dust. (vss. 12-14)

Dave did not have a great dad. So he was very qualified to talk about how Abba Father, our heavenly father, is possibly nothing like our earthly one. For those of us that do have a wonderful earthly father, though, I could see the similarities even as I sat in my pew. I sat in front of Jacob and his three year old son. I could see the love that Jacob had as his son tore apart the brochures in the pew racks and just put them in and took them out of the diaper bag. I could see the love as Jacob held his son and kissed him. A few rows ahead, I could see NH Sally's husband, who is another great father.

Friday, Craig came into the library. Craig is someone from Bellefield: he is a man who keeled over during the Pittsburgh Great Race about ten years ago and was in a coma for months. It was during the time when I was living in Virginia with my folks, but I still got email updates from Bellefield. He has a scar on his throat which I imagine is from some tube from the time he was in the coma. So every time I see him, I am awed that he is alive and healthy. He comes by from time to time, as he and his wife and children live near the library. I don't remember how we got to be friends, I just know that we are. He'll ask for me if I'm not at the Children's desk, and I usually get a big hug. We chatted for a while. I had told him last week that I was dating someone and he was pleased to hear that. He asked me how I was and so I felt that this was someone with whom I could share what was going on. So today at Bellefield, he asked me how things were and I was able to share with him the more that I knew.

It was so wonderful to have someone ask me that, especially since when I spoke to Craig on Friday I said I thought everything was fine. He didn't have to ask what the status was, but he did.

We all need friends like that.

We'll know more tomorrow.
*Dave spoke a little bit about the Swedish theologians of the same name, which made me laugh, which made everyone who knew me turn around, because, well, my laugh is loud and distinctive. He flashed a picture of them in their white leisure suits up on the screen and had the sound guy play a riff from "Dancing Queen." Little bit of trivia: the name of the band has nothing to do with the name of God, but is the first letter of each of the band member's names.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"It was still hot." (Maurice Sendak)

(from Where the wild things are, about Max's dinner at the end of all his adventures.)

So remember how yesterday I said that things were looking up? Well, I thought they were. They are not. So if you are a pray-er, please pray for me, that I could not worry, but in faith, look up for my strength, and for healing. (The great thing about prayer is that God knows all the details.)

Last night was the first time I cried in his presence. I couldn't stop sniffling. Finally, I sent him home to get some sleep. Sweet man, first he changed the burned out light bulb in my stairwell. Which, silly as it was, did make me feel safer.

After our nutritious dinner from KFC, we watched "The Big Lebowski" which he prefaced by saying, "This is not a chick flick." I don't know why he said that (hee hee!). It was very funny.

I think a good rule of thumb with movies for me: a chick flick is a movie that I can watch alone. A non-chick flick is one that I need another person (or a theatre full of folks) there, to get the jokes and make funny faces at. Because if I had watched this by myself and not on the high recommend of Max (he owns the VHS, that's a pretty high recommend), I might not have thought it was funny.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Knocking, knock, knock knocking...

In June, Sis and I flew in a lot of planes. You get those airline magazines? Well, we spent A LOT of time on the planes and in the airports, so I read those magazines cover to cover.

One of them recommended Bryan Ferry's cover/tribute of Dylan tunes, Dylanesque. They particularly recommended "Knocking on Heaven's Door" a song which has been covered many times over.

Cover, get it? Sorry, I'm a little goofy this morning.

I have had Dylanesque out of the library for weeks and at least eight people have holds and I hadn't yet listened to that one song.

Well, I listened to it this morning. And while the rest of the album sounded like someone doing Dylan covers and if I have to listen to Dylan, I'd rather the real thing, "Knocking..." is worth a listen.


Things are looking up. They are still bleak, but less so. I'm sorry for being vague. (But clearly not that sorry, or I'd be more specific.)

What astounds me is how sometimes my instincts (or is it more than that?) run right. Yesterday afternoon, I was so distracted at work, I couldn't pay attention, and when it was time for dinner, I raced off to Wendy's, somehow not really thinking I would start or get any done of my Beth Moore Daniel homework but knowing I needed to. (Five days of homework by Tuesday morning. You do the math.)

I could only eat my Junior Cheeseburger Deluxe and read the intro before I just felt heartsick again. So I got in the car and started driving. And while I know retail therapy isn't always the best idea (have you seen my apartment? I do not need more books!), I went into the tiny Goodwill on Rte. 19, because it was there, and because I needed something to do for fifteen minutes. I found this really cute book of quotes about friendship (I am a sucker for little books of quotes), and a book for Max. He's always reading about nature, and this was about a particular part of the coast in Delaware. I almost NEVER give books I haven't read, but this looked like he'd like it.

When I came home, his light was on but his car was nowhere to be found. Now I know, after this happening twice, that he sometimes leaves his light on when he goes to the grocery store. With all the burglaries we've been having in the 'hood, it's not a bad idea.

He called me when he got home. I asked him what he'd done all day and he said, sleep, read, go to the grocery store.

--Still reading about the Great Lakes?

--No, I finished that, and I haven't had a chance to go to the library, so I've been reading some Bloom County.

--I got you a book.

--You got me a book?

(Does the boy not understand the English language?)

--Yes, I got you a book--it's in the car. Do you want me to go and get it?

So I went to the car, got the book, (which he thought looked great, and he lent me his copy of Mother Night) (I've never been able to read Vonnegut, but Max has been reading him since he died) and then he came up to my apartment and we sat on the sofa for about an hour.

We looked at Fish Swish Splash Dash, which is the coolest counting book I've seen in a long time, possibly ever. The pages are die cut, so each page relys on the next page for the colors of the fish. The "one fish" is actually made up of colors from "two fish" AND "three fish." Go get this book from your library, it is SO COOL! Oh, and I forgot--it flips. So you go through fish one through ten and then you flip the book and there are ten other fish and you count backwards. The fish look different, but are the same shape (because of the die cuts.)

Finally he was tired and so he went downstairs.

And this morning, when I woke up, I thought, we really are learning how to take care of each other. I got him something to read, and he sat with me long enough that I think I won't worry so much today.

In about a week, this experiment of "us" will be four months old. I think this might last for a while. I'm smiling as I type that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sometimes we need a reminder

Akeelah: [quoting Marianne Williamson] Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Dr. Larabee: Does that mean anything to you?
Akeelah: I don't know.
Dr. Larabee: It's written in plain English. What does it mean?
Akeelah: That I'm not supposed to be afraid?
Dr. Larabee: Afraid of what?
Akeelah: Afraid of... me?

from Akeelah and the Bee

Shiver me timbers, matey!

My pirate name is:

Mad Bess Bonney

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Thanks to Katrina, or should I say "Dirty Charity Rackham."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."

(From the pop philosopher, James Buffet.)

When it rains, it pours. Or something's in retrograde, as Badger and Blackbird would say.

I'm feeling a little Job-ish (That's as in the guy in the Bible who lost everything) and I really don't have any power over the rain that has started to pour on our lives. (And I don't want to compromise my privacy on this. So just know that more than a lot of bird crap has landed.)

So I called Marian, told her what happened, and then at one point, after I was all wrung out, I said, and you know what, my dad didn't know today was Talk Like a Pirate Day! He had dinner with my sister, and he didn't know that today was TLAP Day! And Marian bust out laughing at the mental image of my sister saying, "ah, matey, pass me the salt or you'll walk the plank" and my dad still not getting it. Which made me bust out laughing.

Then we discussed driving to the West End (which we will be doing separately tomorrow for Focus Groups on computer replacements. She goes at 9, I go at 11. Another librarian from our library goes at 1pm.) The building we're going to is on Wabash St. on the West End. So I told Marian that when I was doublechecking the MapQuest route, I punched in 22 Wabash St, Pittsburgh. Wouldn't you know there is a Wabash Street in Pittsburgh, North Dakota? It would take me 18 hours to get there--and we bust out laughing again.

Go hug someone. We live in a messed up world with tons of things we can't control. But if we can find something to laugh about, our pain is lessened for a short while.


If you can't hug someone, go visit Blackbird, whose pictures of Positano are breathtaking and at once very Blackbird. Or visit Paula's photo blog "Finding Beauty" whose titles make me laugh. These beautiful yet tough ladies have a lot to teach this gal about fortitude in the face of disaster.

M'LE cancels dinner with college prez to eat with students! (another touching tribute)

She touched so many of us. This tribute is especially wonderful, from an editor at Publisher's Weekly Religion Desk.

ARR--leave a comment or I'll make you walk the plank!

Savage Chickens does it again! Happy "Talk like a Pirate Day!"

Oh, and here's the official TLAP site.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Finland has produced so many brilliant distance runners because back home it costs $2.50 a gallon for gas. ~Esa Tikkannen, 1979 (corrected)

[dear reader, your blogger still lives under the impression that gas should be about $1.50, so she inevitably mis-quotes gas prices. I remember when gas was 99 Cents!!]

So I needed cash and was low on gas, so pulled into a station that has been holding steady at $1.71 $2.71 (USD). Filled the tank. Oh, and they DIDN'T have an ATM.

So I drove a little, took a different route b/c my usual route had construction, and at the BP, it was $1.67 $2.67. They did have an ATM. But see para #1, I had FILLED my tank.

After my appointment, I was going to meet two ladies that I'm going to DC with in two weekends. But I forgot I was going for the moment that it took me to take my normal exit, so I found myself crossing the river. Which is not what I wanted to do. So I drove down the road a pace, crossed the river AGAIN, and then took an earlier exit than I wanted to but it was all good, I got there. Oh, and since I drove through Aspinwall, I drove past the Sunoco where they're selling regular for $1.65 $2.65.


Of course I'm sure I'll get all sorts of snide comments now from bloggers who are paying $3.00 a gallon. The PRINCIPLE of this post is that once you've filled your tank, you inevitably will drive by at least one, possibly two gas stations that are selling gas at a lower rate than you spent.

Oh, and a moment of silence (MOMENT) for the Waterworks Cinema, which closed quite suddenly. Where will I go now to see movies? They changed mgmt like three times over the past ten years, so I'm not surprised, but that was my place, dudes!

Of course, I don't go to the movies as much anymore, but still. So many movie were seen by me there over the years:

While you were sleeping
Cinderella Story
The Postman (Il Postino)
Liar, Liar
Good Will Hunting
As good as it gets
Jerry Maguire (a first movie date)
Because I said so
Country of Women
Spiderman II

and many many more.*

This list is not exclusive (have you met me?) or in any order except that While you were sleeping and Twister are ones I saw multiple times in the theatre. And Cinderella Story wasn't that great, but I do remember going to see it there.

I mean, I have their "movie phone" number MEMORIZED. In the age of caller ID and the cell phone, it is one of the few phone numbers I can recite off heart. Sigh.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle didn't like Jane Austen and other tributes...

Publisher's weekly has a wonderful tribute to the Queen, with first person rememberences from five people who knew her well, including her granddaughter.

On the subject of Jane Austen, I've started reading Emma Thompson's script for Sense and Sensibility. Well, I'm actually still stuck on the introduction, written by one of the producers. Did you know it took fifteen years to get that project underway? Emma probably wrote as many drafts!!

More tributes for M L'E on blogs: Bookmoot

Random item from American Libraries email: The Bookinist, a German creation, a book chair that holds up to 80 paperbacks, its own lamp, a wheel, and a place for a magnifying glass, pencil sharpeners, etc.

A compendium of beautiful libraries...

LISNEWS is moving over to Drupal??

The official Madeleine L'Engle site...

Who knew there was a National Unmarrieds week? It's Sept 17-23. Here's their website... An interesting (sad) fact I learned from census stats on their website--only 35% of singles vote. Married people are more likely to vote. Sad. I got the phone call today from Allegheny County asking if I'd be working the polls in November--YES!

Fear=false evidence appearing real, or shadows...

It has been many days since I've had a morning walk.

And I'm grumpy--the light is changing, my life is changing, the towels need changing...

(At least I can do something about that last one.)

My walk is a devotional--it is a place where I hope to find myself and my God. I listen to worship music in my cd-player as I walk down past the tennis courts, into the park proper, up the stone stairs, through the grass where I look at the gingko tree planted in 1941 in honor of a Peabody High School biology teacher. I take lots of pictures of leaves shaped like hearts, because they remind me that I am loved.

Today, when I saw the shadow of the horse statue, I was reminded how silly some of my fears are--that I'm afraid of my own shadow, and of other people's shadows. It brought to mind this verse from Isaiah (my favorite Bible book), a verse that I first discovered during some hard times my junior year of college.

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the LORD. (Isaiah 31:1)

May I always seek help from my Lord. May I not be afraid of shadows. May I move forward, "despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back" (Erica Jong)


Oh, and on my walk, I passed one more pregnant lady (and her husband, walking their dog.) So I'll add her to the list of babies we're waiting for.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

still learning...

From Babs, I have learned that you can still be friends with someone and really not get at all the books that they love. (Although I LOVE Alexander and the horrible, very bad day.)

Yesterday, I learned that you can love the work of a writer but be totally not into the books that they love.

So today, on the way to work, I'll try the audio to Winesburg, Ohio, one I picked out MYSELF.

But first, some breakfast. Speaking of breaking fast, bobbie has started a very interesting blogversation on the Eucharist/Communion and specifically the idea of Jesus as the bread of life. She started it with a reference to Coffee Talk*--I never watched SNL in the Mike Myers days (well, I saw wayne's world once or twice) but have always heard references in conversations: discuss amongst yourselves!

* I heart wikipedia!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God bless America, my home sweet home... (some scattered thoughts*)

Max and I talk about exotics (sometimes known as "invasive species") a lot. An exotic is a species that generally through human error or willfulness was brought to an area where it then either thrives and we don't notice (earthworms, I think) or it eats all the animals/vegetation because it has no natural predators. Today, on aquakids, for instance, the Rapa whelk was discussed--it belongs in the Black Sea, but the egg pods grab onto hard surfaces and so came on cargo boats and now are a menace to oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. After a work party that I attended with him this weekend, where his boss pressed me on "where are you from originally," I said to Max, those questions and the fact that I must then reveal that I spent a large part of the first decade of my life overseas makes me feel like an exotic. Perhaps not an invasive species, but something that wasn't here all along, something to ooh and ah over. Last night after dinner, he had 20 minutes before he had to go off to work, and so I pulled down my "Sarah Louise lives in Bonn" scrapbook, a creation my mother and I put together in second grade. I said, this is a part of my exotic past.


Sometimes I think because I've lived other places and loved other places and been a representative for my country in some of those places that I am more patriotic. I don't actually think that's true, but on a day like today, I know that this country, my country is worth fighting for. It is Tuesday, again, and we must have had a leap year, because it was only six years ago, not seven, that the September 11 attacks hit this country on a Tuesday, in Virginia, at the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania at Shanksville, and in New York City at the Twin Towers. I was home that morning, home to work on a school project. I remember hearing the news on the radio and then running to turn on the TV. East End Sally was downstairs, asleep, and so I crept into the second floor apartment and woke her. All day, we sat in front of the TV. I walked down the block in the afternoon to buy an "extra edition," the first I'd ever purchased--an afternoon edition that highlighted the attacks. School was cancelled because the plane headed for DC (the one that crashed in Shanksville, due to the heroism of the Flight 93 passengers) was thought at one point to be headed for the tall buildings of downtown Pittsburgh or the Cathedral of Learning, the one tall building in Oakland, the center of the University of Pittsburgh, where I was attending Library School.

I remember the silence of the skies--no planes flew--was it that day only? Today I wonder at how many have the 9/11 memory of being stuck in an airport, stranded, because no flights were incoming or outgoing.

For the month of September so far, the Words of Hope Devotionals have been focusing on a particular prayer movement and today is no different, except to remind us that today is a special day to remember--that panic prayers are appropriate in times of panic and that afterwards, we must continue praying faithfully.

I know for some, there is the relief in forgetting, in letting the fervor of that day fade. But I will never forget, and so for me, it is soothing to go over the details, as they become softer memories. Today the memorial service in NYC won't be at Ground Zero but at a nearby park because Ground Zero is a live construction area. Life goes on. It does. But still, I remember.


One other tidbit (because I'm forever noticing things like this) : Genesis 9:11 is the verse where God says "Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." I found the numeracy of that verse to be a comfort when I copied it out for the Vacation Bible School at the Open Door this summer.

And in the US, 911 is the emergency number for fire/police/ambulance.

Say a prayer, light a candle, hug someone today.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me...

This morning, this Tuesday morning, I go off to Women's Bible Study. And then to work. The beat goes on.

*I don't have a cohesive way of dealing with this day--it is all wrapped up in memory and patriotism and fragments, here and there.

A link from Gather, an minute and hour chronology of 9/11/01.



Monday, September 10, 2007

Seinfeld nap

(Definition) When after dinner, you watch the FOX lineup (which used to be Friends-Frasier-Friends-Seinfeld, then Frasier-Simpsons-Simpsons-Seinfeld but is now Two and a half Men-Frasier-21/2M-Seinfeld.) You see how Seinfeld is always in the 7:30 slot.

So I dozed off during the 7:30 Seinfeld and woke up during the 11:00 episode. And now I'm up, briefly, to wonder WHY I was so tired and to get right back into bed, having sort of watched Scrubs while I wrote this.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle, 1918-2007

To be filled in. The NYT obit is a good one. I'll come back and fill this in. I'm off to lunch.

I'm back, after lunch and an attempt at a nap...

I was first introduced to Madeleine L'Engle through A Wrinkle in Time, which I read on my own in fifth grade. In seventh grade, it was a part of the English/Language Arts curriculum and we had to write sentences using vocabulary words. It was seven years before I could pick up the book and read it again, the process so scarred me.

In high school, I was introduced to ML'E's essays, through her book, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by my friend Lorelei and her mother. Lorelei's mother gave me my own copy as a graduation gift. I have read that book so many times that the words should be dull on the page. There are many notes, and underlines, and the thoughts in that book shaped how I look at art, writing, and being a Christian, and being an artist.

In college, one of the campus ministers at Bellefield, Beth, was also a ML'E aficionado and aspiring writer. I introduced her to Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and we got together to write sometimes, dreaming of someday meeting Madeleine.

The year I returned to Pittsburgh after gaining my bachelor's in English Lit with a concentration in writing was 1993. It was also the year that I met Cynthia Voigt, Jean Craighead George, and Madeleine L'Engle. M L'E was the main speaker at the Fall Festival for Children's Books, a yearly conference run by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. I went with a friend, and got a few pictures of M L'E walking down a hall, as well as a picture with her, taken by her assistant. I'm almost but not quite completely chagrined that my jeans had a gaping hole in the knee. I'll have to uncover that picture--it is somewhere in the debris I call my valuables that I keep in my abyss of an apartment. My copy of Walking on Water is now autographed. (Hold this place for the inscription--I'm writing this from work.)

(Cynthia Voigt and Jean Craighead George were in town a different fall weekend, for the National Teachers of English Conference. I got Cynthia Voigt to autograph a few of my books, when I showed up for a book signing at the now gone Squirrel Hill Bookstore.)

To prepare for M L'E's visit to our fair city, I read as many of her books as possible. It was then that I read all the Austin books and all the sequels to the Wrinkle in Time that I had not already read.

I remember being disappointed at the talk she gave, since I was so well versed in M'Lore that I knew all the stories she shared. But the experience as a whole will stay with me always.

Bach wrote a number of "Inventions" (I can not even begin to understand the music theory of it, but M L'E loved Bach.) So the book she wrote about her marriage, the summer her husband was dying, was called Two Part Invention. It is a wonderful book of flashing back to how she met Hugh, their courtship, and their marriage, all written on the real time (1987) backdrop of her visits to the hospital, not knowing yet if he would live through the summer. It is in this book that M L'E reveals how she came to be a Christian--she and Hugh were involved in the music program at the town church and no one asked what they believed before they asked whether they could help out with the choir. And they just stayed, and eventually did believe enough to make their belief a strong part of their life. I always found comfort in this, that there are so many ways people come to faith, and not all of them look like Paul's dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. (I couldn't believe there was a wikipedia article, but since there was, I figured I'd link it.)

Come to it, let's see if M'LE has a wikipedia page--of course she does, silly! Huh, I never knew her birthday was a day after mine. (Her's is Nov 29, mine is Nov 28.)

I'm sure there is more to write, but for now, let me just say adieu and godspeed to a woman who shaped so much the way I look at writing, the world, and everything in between.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dream... (The Everly Brothers)

So I dreamt that I was visiting somewhere and Shawn Colvin was to have a concert next door. I wrote a letter to get tickets and I got this horrible letter back that said "of course tickets are sold out, the concert is tomorrow, and anyways, if we had any tickets, you don't make enough money to afford tickets. Maybe if you catch Shawn in person she'll give you one out of the pity of her heart."

(This is not verbatim, but it was a dream, and though I lay in bed a long time trying to hold onto it, puzzle it, like all dreams, it flies away once you've gotten up to use the bathroom.)

So I somehow went to the house next door, saw Shawn, ran up the stairs after her, and she invited me to the concert. I got to sit up on stage! Then, before the concert, she read the letter aloud and basically fired the three writers who were responsible for ridiculing my income level.

The concert was great, of course. At intermission I went for a ride down some Pennsylvania road where I kept going round and the drug store kept changing its name. I came in late from intermission but they let me in.

At another intermission, myself, Shawn and someone else had to use the bathroom, but since the concert was almost over, we had to sneak into the "special" bathrooms, where the cleaning lady had already started working. She was miffed, said we were past the time when you could use them, but Shawn said, I'm the performer! So she let us in, wet floor and all.

There were other strange things, as dreams go, but each minute I spend sitting here, more of the dream vaporizes away. I had another strange dream last night/this morning but even now I can hardly remember what it was about.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

First laugh of the morning returns, thanks to Suzanne at Dear Reader!

Sneakah lovahs, you have got to reads this. It's from Suzanne at Dear Reader, about a time her husband got locked in the bathroom at a party.

It's so good to laugh with friends!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lilies of the valley mark my garden wall... (updated)

Well, they are morning glories and this is not my garden wall, but a fence along my morning walk. But I really want to keep posting pix, so I AM!

My new schedule is rigorous--I now work split Tuesdays and Thursdays,* but it means that I work in both depts. on Tuesdays--I always felt behind when I started in Children's on Wednesday, often the first order of business was prepping for the Mother Goose storytime.

And tonight was the last Beth Moore Breaking Free study meeting. I have a few videos to catch up on, but my Wednesday evenings are my own once more (when you work Tues/Thurs eves, it's a lot to be out Wednesday night too!) Morning Women's Bible Study starts up next Tuesday. This upcoming Tuesday is the breakfast. I'm taking muffins.

Okay, to bed.

Oh, but WOW! I leave the blogosphere for a few weeks and Eliza Jane/Amy has moved to Michigan, Newlywed is about to pop her baby, and all the chilluns are back in school!
*split between the two depts I work for: Tech Serv, where I catalogue, etc, and Children's, where I run programs, and other stuff. So I work, say, from 1-5 in one dept, have dinner, and then work 6-9 in the other.

(So I don't actually work a split shift, just the day is split between two departments within one actual shift.)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


(Public Service Announcement)

...from a July editon of American Libraries email newsletter, Aviva Directory gives us "12 important US laws every blogger needs to know."

Monday, September 03, 2007

Summer's end...

This is a picture from my vackay at the lake, and what better picture to say goodbye to summer with?

The best thing about sunsets? There's another one tomorrow.

a Monday by any other name... (Happy Labor Day!)

I woke up on a morning of a day where the first "outside the house" thing is at 1 pm. I woke up at eight, with my bladder, and by nine, I was googling and searching Amazon for the title of a book I had formerly blogged on. (While I understand why the library won't keep track of the books you've checked out--I am a librarian, after all--I sometimes wish they did.) (The short version: if your library card kept track of what books you read, that information could be used to infringe on your privacy.) (Which is why I have LT, but my catalog still doesn't have all the books I've read or even own, and the thought of checking LT actually didn't occur to me until right before I wrote this sentence.) (What a lovely first paragraph...can you tell my brain is muddled this morning?)

Has this happened to you? Once I found the book in question which TOOK A LONG TIME, I then got entangled in the Amazon web of "People who bought this book also bought." And then I was doing key words. And before I knew it, I had added like 10 books to my wish list and started amassing my shopping cart.

Saved my the bell--my phone, which rings the theme to "Sex and the City," jolted me out of my funk if only for a moment. Who would be calling me on my cell at this time of day? It was Lila, who had asked me Friday if I could provide a meal for someone at church whose dad is in the hospital. She was calling to say I didn't need to, that Katrina had made extra of something.

And so I was on the phone with Lila, I looked at my bathroom clock, which said ten o'clock. Is it ten o'clock, I asked her.

So we chatted a little longer and ended with 'talk to you soon.' I pulled myself together enough to put waffles in the toaster, figuring a small breakfast at ten was a good idea, since lunch was slated for around 1ish.

So my tears, my funk, my need to troll Amazon for the book to cure my life, were partially due to a change in routine (I hate Monday holidays!) and a lack of Zoloft in my system. And yes, I'm sure dropping estrogen or some other hormone has a part in there too...

I've gotten off track with my life, with keeping up with my Beth Moore Bible study, my routine has been derailed. Summer ends today, and life as it has been this summer ends today. Life will be more focused on getting the apartment back in shape, getting my finances in shape, and plodding on until...

Until the next happily ever after? Whatever that means.

Life isn't perfect when you're thin. Or when you're single. Or when you're dating. Or when you're married. Or when you have kids.

I'm looking forward to being a grandmother. I figure by then I'll have figured out how to live this life. But I bet I'll still have mornings when I wake up and forget to take my Zoloft by 9 a.m.

So I wanted to share this with you. My Beth Moore workbook was sitting on the table and this is the last week of the study, and I haven't even done last week's homework, I'm behind on two videos. But the refrain I hear in my mind is Kelly's graceful words, "God isn't surprised."

This is what Beth has to say in the last homework before the last video (which I'll watch Wednesday.):

I am so proud of you, I can hardly stand it. You have worked so hard. Far more importantly, God is so proud of you. You are someone God wants to boast about. For just a moment, I don't want you to think about how far you have to go. (Tears blur the page, hang on a minute.) I just want you to think about how far you've come. Just rest for a few minutes. No transparency required. No vulnerability. No telling on yourself. No looking in. Just look up. For a moment, sit back and let me pray Psalm 32:7 over you: May God be your hiding place; may He protect you from trouble, may he incline your spiritual ears to listen carefully while he surrounds you with songs of deliverance. I come down to my knees in your honor and in God's. You, my fellow sojourner, are a display of His splendor. I am humbled beyond description for the privelege of walking this road with you. (from Breaking Free, Beth Moore, Lifeway Press.)

I wish this for you, dear reader. Whether it's dogs, or cats, or new babies, or old babies, or wondering if the car was totalled, wondering what the change of weather will do for your body or your moods, I wish that you take a look up. Do it with me. Introspection has its place, but in the end, we have Someone who loves us more than all the crap we carry with us, who loves us even when we don't have our shit together.

Happy Labor Day. May we all take a rest if only for a moment, from all our labors. Shalom.