Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Insomnia, thy name is...

Would you believe for the SECOND day in a row I screwed up my meds? You better believe I have them set out correctly and in their holder already for tomorrow morning. I even (gasp!) have clothes set out--I honestly cannot remember the last time I did that.

My mom may or may not call me at 7am--either way, my alarm is set, and I warned her that I'd call her if she didn't call me (my dad is still in NYC, no word on how the trial went.)

I started at dinner and finished just now a book called These Boots Weren't Made For Walking. Which was a fun romp and actually my only bone to pick is why in all the Christian romance novels the guys who start out as Christian are geeky, or cheaters, or boring, and the girl always ends up with the scruffy guy who wasn't a Christian at the beginning of the book, but is now? And the end was a little too over the edge, but romantic, yes.

Is it any wonder those of us Christian gals that are still single risk the risk of dating non-Christians? (Not that I base my life on Christian romance novels, but...I've been reading Grace Livingston Hill since high school.)

What happened to the robust Christian man? I still haven't finished Why men hate going to church, but the fact that such a book (which is full of well backed research and was written by a layman, not an author looking for a cute idea.)

WSJ is not easy to find online, but here's an excerpt from an article my dad emailed me (WEEKEND JOURNAL; Taste -- de gustibus -- Elaine and Puddy: A MatchMade on Earth by Naomi Schaefer Riley, Wall Street Journal: September 14, 2007):

For evangelicals who want to pair up with others of the same faith butdon't
manage to do so in their early 20s, trouble lies ahead,particularly for women.
Evangelical churches now typically have a 60-40 split between women and men,
which means that there are many moresingle evangelical women out there than
their male counterparts. AsMs. Cockrel explains, "I have friends who wanted to
marry a Christianguy, are still single, and are more and more open to dating
non-Christians as they get older. They're tired of waiting."

Oh anyways. I'm going to put in some M*A*S*H and hope it lulls me to sleep. Or maybe something less engaging. Anyways, I need sleep. I hope to find SOMETHING that will get me there.

I have an appointment with a lawyer on Monday to see if I can get somewhere with the car fiasco.

It's raining here. Before that, it was windy windy windy.

My bosses both were boosts in the arm today, M with her wisdom concerning "call the lawyer--don't bother calling the dealership again!" and E with my year end review--I was pleased to see where I got 3's (Exceeds Standards). M also passed on a nugget that someone else might have passed on but I didn't catch until today: Max's decision to break up with me the day of his surgery might have had more to do with the fact that he realized things would come up that he couldn't protect me from, and/or things would come up that I couldn't protect him from. So he pulled away to protect us both. Which makes sense. And since I doubt highly Mr. First Floor will ever speak to me again (oh, yes, the drama queen emerges), this seems the most beautiful way of putting it, and it makes sense, based on the information I know about us and about me and about how him and how we both acted in the relationship.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In which...

Life is crazy!!

I took my dinner meds at lunch yesterday, which I knew would make me sedated (and it did), so I thanked my lucky stars that I'm single and slept from 5pm to 6am, with a wakeup at midnight to take my lunch and bedtime meds and eat a little Boston Mkt drivethru food.

I am in contact again with the car dealership and it seriously looks like I'll be getting a lawyer within DAYS. (Or hours.)

This is crazy. I have friends who get migranes and I never asked the govt to ban incadescent lightbulbs!!

And apparently I have nothing else to say. Except that if you live in a market that has Safeway, Adrian says the green tea light yogurt is pretty good. Safeway, in Pittsburgh? That's funny. But seriously, I think I would like green tea light yogurt.

I'm hungry. Off to find the rest of that Boston Market drivethru food...

Monday, January 28, 2008

This day may be looking up...

Emails, making two calls (to the weather, it was 24 at last check, and to my dad for a diplomatic question), text messages, writing emails, getting emails, talking to my papa, who is going to NYC for my aunt's college roommate's court appeal tomorrow, as I close the open tabs on Firefox, I couldn't close it on this one without posting it.

And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

(Psalm 126:6, The Message)

Bookworms, endangered?

So it seems that my motivation for doing things like making the bed, eating breakfast, other things, is nil. But my motivation for trolling the web for more friends on Facebook, looking at my links and finding stuff, sending people cute cards...for this, my motivation is neverending. Drat.

But it's good for you, reader of this blog, so rejoice.

New and exciting things (and bizarre):

  • For some reason, I can't invite my sister to take quizzes on the FB movie application, though we are each other's "friends" on this application
  • My Scrabulous stats are finally visible on my profile!
  • I found L on FB and asked her to be my friend.
  • I emailed my sister, who found her cell phone!!
  • etc.
But the best thing I've unearthed on the world wide web this morning in which breakfast, shower, bed making, even turning on media sources such as the radio or the Today show have been eschewed (run on!!):

this link, to an article about an Ursula LeGuin article in Harpers, the one magazine that when I was a subscriber, I generally read (or at least skimmed) cover to cover.

(which makes me wonder why I let my subscription lapse.)

(I bet it was a money saving scheme.)

Anyways, the article talks about stuff. See how my motivation lags? But at least you have the link. I think I'll go see what Meredith and Matt have to say this morning.

Over and out...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six...Mansfield Park!

I have ten minutes til the X-files chick introduces the latest installment in the "Masterpiece Classics." L and I had one of those conversations last week where we both agreed Ms. Redhead needs a haircut, and what does she have to do with Jane Austen, and L knew why it was MC instead of Masterpiece Theatre. It is sooo wonderful to have conversations like that, where you have a common interest and goal, and you know what the other person means. Oh, she SO needs a haircut, one says. I KNOW, says the other. What does she have to do with Jane Austen anyways....and it's just a fun kvetch session.

It's warmer here. By warm, I mean, it's freezing, and by freezing, I mean 32! Which is WARM! I put the therm gauge in the fridge because it didn't seem to EVER deviate from 52 degrees. No, it works, it registered colder in the fridge.

Today our pastor BJ was ordained!! He has been an ordained lay pastor for the past two (three?) years so that he could do communion and baptisms, but now he is a full minister of word and sacrament. Not much has changed for us, but it's a great step along the path. His dad gave the final "charge" and had us all in tears, I mean, we were like the waterworks.

So it's been a very big weekend for me. Tomorrow I'll make a phone call to the dealership (ugh) and go to Sally's--she might have a solution for the hole in the jeans I got last Monday at Goodwill.

I think I'll settle in with the remote. Catch ya later!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's almost 10 pm, it's 28 degrees out there, 52 degrees in here, and I'm off to bed!

The Women's Gathering was WONDERFUL. More later.

In the evening had pizza with some old friends. By old, I mean, I've known them a while. I was the 2nd oldest person there. (Not that that really matters...) It was good to catch up--these are people I used to see every week when we were in a Bible Study together and now I hang out with them pretty much just when JJ comes to town, every 8 months or so. One two year old and two unborns were's strange that everyone's having babies right when I'm thinking I'm not sure if I ever want them, at all.

I know, right?

Crazy Sarah Louise. But I don't think I will want them next week, or next month, or next year. I still want a husband, I just think that kids are a HUGE responsibility, and if I'm not WOW, that's the best idea since sliced bread, maybe it's better to enjoy the kids my friends keep having. It's not like there's going to be a population drop ANYTIME soon, at this rate.

(I have currently have 3 pregnant friends and one pregnant acquaintance.)

Hey, I'll save a ton of money on college tuition...

Anyways, it's freezing in here (well, not literally, but 52 is pretty cold, so I'm going to brush my teeth and get some shut-eye.)

And it's not like I have to figure out the kid thing tonight. I'd need a husband first. Since I'm still not over Max, I don't think we have to worry about anything happening quickly...

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm under protest...I won't leave this chair til the temperature hits 10 degrees Fahrenheit!

Well, I might be waiting...and I haven't started on the three bills that need to be paid today.

It was 8 when I woke up at 7:42 am. So it was 8 for the 8 o'clock hour. I just called again and it has finally hit 9--and it's 9 o'clock. Looky that.

I can't believe I'm (back) in the denial stage. Oh crap, did I just write that sentence?

Well, if anything's going to get me moving this morning, it might be that it is a hair-washing day, so I'd better start the water. Good thing it's a balmy 52 degrees in my garret.

Good thing I like winter...

Enough with the procrastination...

[the water is now running. Guess I'll write a few checks...bye!]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's late, it's cold, there's snow on the ground...

And your resident blogger has...nothing!

I've actually been living life instead of writing about it, and that is NOT to say one supercedes the other, I could not would not live if I could not write, but at the end of the day, I am tired.

And at the beginning of the day, I have to wash my hair first, because with the new 'do I can't put it up and not blow dry it. (Yes, pictures, soon.)

I went to a gathering thingy with some OD folks tonight and it was hard--I'm so used to not being out in the evening that when folks who genuinely cared asked me how I was, I wanted to break down and cry for the tenderness in their voices. Once we sat down and could talk intellectually, I could say brilliant things and it was much better. (Yes, she's humble, too.)

I had breakfast at Panera with Elle. Elle and I became friends, I calculated it, almost 15 years ago. We were in Mary Kay--she still is. And she is one of those friends that can speak truth into my life. I sat there and wept a little. So yes, today was a day punctuated by tears in the morning and the evening. She just listened as I told her that I just don't understand.

As I drove home this evening from the gathering, I went into that little place one must really never go, the place of "what ifs." Maybe if I had done something different, I would be coming home to a phone call instead of what I consider the longest silent treatment. No, my brain somehow hasn't fully processed the concept of "break-up." I keep thinking I'll walk in the front door and this will be the day that he'll sing that Billy Joel song, "I don't want to be alone anymore."

What fools we humans are. Remind me to get a copy of "It's called a break-up because it's broken" (which I "read" this spring BEFORE Max and I were a couple--it was an audio book.)

It's 10:30. If I want to get up and do some paperwork before work tomorrow (read: pay bills), I'd better go off to bed. No M*A*S*H re-runs for me tonight.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Bellefield Women's Gathering, which will be a lot of socializing, dessert and games. Saturday is the continuation, speakers and sessions. Sunday is BJ's ordination. So I need my sleep, and I need to find out from someone how we're figuring that parking will work for tomorrow...

Color me pink, in my nighty, under the covers, sleeping. But oh, that blanket of snow, how it makes everything seem a little nicer. I do love snow. Oh, I do.

G'nite, sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite.
If they do, hit them with a shoe!

Oh, and the Dillons have illustrated a lovely Mother Goose counting book. How I love the Dillons.


Can I have a glass of water?

Sleep tight.

There might be monsters under the bed!

Don't let the bed bugs bite...

Bed bugs??

If they do...


Hit them with a shoe.

So I have to take shoes to bed?


May your sleep be restful and may you awake to a geography covered in white or green, whichever you prefer or is appropriate for your time zone.

Off to bed, Sarah Louise. You have a big day tomorrow.

Oh, alright. G'nite, everyone!

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a whole new world...(thoughts on this electronic life)

(if you get this via your RSS, the one change was to add a label, "this electronic life")

Blogger's note:
If parentheses drive you mad, avoid this post.

So, the Internet. It's like, how many years old now? (I'm expecting a text message from Al Gore with the exact figure any minute now.) Or, I could look it up on Google, Wikipedia, or Blackle. Ah, here it is, Ye Olde Wayback Machine (aka the Internet Archive).

I joined Facebook this fall and it was like whoosh! (I didn't understand when they asked "Do you want us to send an invitation to everyone in your Yahoo address book" because they didn't ask it that clearly, so I had instant online community.) Everyone, apparently, was on Facebook. (I had 60 friends in the first couple of days.) Not just Heidi, my (at the time) boyfriend, and my sister, who had all encouraged me to join. Soon I was playing Scrabulous (FB's version of Scrabble, I love it), answering quizzes on the Princess Bride and Disney Villians, super-poking people, being super-poked, (actually, I was super-poked before I did any super-poking, and most of it is between me and my sister) and receiving neat "virtual" gifts. My favorite virtual gift to give and get is the "water globe." I've played and have stopped playing (sorry Sandy!) the Oregon Trail game, the Compare your friends game (sorry Carlos!), and have changed my profile's setup numerous times. Oh, and I love "collecting" art. I have my own "virtual" gallery, with Van Gogh, Hopper, Cassat...why don't I have any Monet? I must get some Monet!

It was a pretty easy decision to be myself, not Sarah Louise, on Facebook, since the point of Facebook is to get in touch with everyone you ever knew, and I've only been SL for 3 years and I've been keeping a fairly low profile...although I do think it would be fun to make a profile for myself as SL...but that's a whole other post. (I have this theory about having too many online personas. It makes me think of hoarcruxes.*) But a little quick math:

  • I participate in two of my own blogs as Sarah Louise
  • I co-participate in another blog (with a different online persona--but I'm thinking to "come out" as me on that one as it is a local blog, and you know, it's easier to get to know your neighbors if they know who you are.)
  • I have blogged as myself for a professional conference
  • On Library Thing, I am Sarah Louise. On Shelfari and Facebook, I am myself, well, I mean I use my real name.

Back to Facebook for a minute: it is bizarre to every once and a while get a "notification" that so-and-so is my friend. When did I invite them? Oh, they must have been in my email and just now got around to deciding that they wanted my cute picture on their profile. I have reunited myself with friends from high school (well, one--and rejected a guy who I never really knew in HS--it was just um, weird.). I have reunited myself with the first Sally (if you haven't figured it out by now, Sally is code name for my actual given name, and I have had best friends named *wink, nudge, nudge* "Sally" four times in my life. I also work with two women named Sally directly and indirectly with one more in the same building.) But how did I get off on that tangent?

Last week, I decided that enough was enough, I wanted to learn how to use It's another one of your online social networks. Um, it's soooo easy. As a way to save links. The social part of it, not so much. You have a network. And fans. Well, that sounded fun... So I didn't have a network, AND I WANTED ONE, since del doesn't have a "here are all your friends with del, hit yes to send them an invite to be your friend" function. So I found someone, I can't remember how, and put her in my network. She seemed to have similar interests, was clearly also a librarian. Wow, the next day, she was a "fan" and had put me in her network. But something happened! because when I logged in today, we were no longer reciprocally (is that a word?) in each other's networks, and she wasn't my "fan" anymore. The rejection!! And I have never even met this person. Luckily, Katy came by and we're in each other's networks, are each other's fans. But the sting was almost as bad as when I got cut from a fellow blogger's blogroll, inexplicably. (And I don't know how to bring it up in conversation. Um, I noticed I'm no longer on your blogroll but we're still friends. Care to elaborate?) (I've since decided it's not that big of an issue, but it did have me wrinkling my brow for awhile.)

THEN, last week, I found out that Marian (the Librarian) has a blog! What??!! "Well, I only write about library stuff, nothing personal." So, you thought I wouldn't be interested because I'm a librarian too? (Yes, I got over being twisted in my knickers about that one real quick too.) (If you thought online social rules were bizarre, try being friends with people face to face who keep anonymous blogs...) (It takes one to know one.)

The online social rules are not as clear cut as the off-line ones. It's not, hey, how are you, let's get to know each other, let's do lunch, let's call each other, n'stuff. It's I link to you and maybe you link to me and then all my friends may or may not follow and before you (or I) know it, you're getting comments from people you never heard of or never wanted to hear from again. (My blog went black, I actually took it down, for three days when an ex found it and commented. Hello, anonymous blog, don't you think you could email me instead?) (See what I mean about weird rules?) (Because I think I would have been just as weirded out by an email.) (I got rid of him through great advice from a friend. I later used this great advice to peacefully but in clear and no uncertain terms terminate the friendship with THAT friend when my friends and family were concerned that I was spending too much time text-messaging with a married man.) (Whom I had met, innocently, online, through comments on my blog.)

Recently, I've noticed I can't log into my blog at work. I can comment, but that's it. And I don't really want to ask the question, um, I can't get into my blog?? because I don't generally blog about work related things and then oh, icky.

See what I mean? So I think I'll "unfriend" the person I found on del, because it's just, well, strange, and I have no way of knowing if I did something and anyways she seems too into antiques...

I think I'll go check my laundry. And watch more M*A*S*H.

By the way, I thought Northanger Abbey was quite nice. Masterpiece Classics (when did they stop being Masterpiece Theatre?) has redeemed themselves nicely, I'll keep watching.

*a hoarcrux is a division of your soul--it's a Harry Potter thing. Unfortunately, there is not quick and dirty link to a wikipedia page on "a hoarcrux is x."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Seven words. Contests are fun. Go enter!

Your timing: until 6pm tonight, a contest.

Well blogger: can you distill advice concisely?

It's a contest to see who can write in 2-3-2 format, the pithiest advice. You win a bag n'at. These were my entries:

escapism has its merits, pay bills too.
grow something: green, crying, or bank account.
Dad said it first (but not in 7 words): "Outflow exceed income? Upkeep equals economic downfall."

I wasn't able to get the 2-3-2 down though.

There are over 832 so far, though the drinking red wine and living your dreams probably won't win as so many folks wrote about that. Maybe after I've eaten something I'll share my favorites, though I only read up to 166 and then skipped down to #800--I can't imagine judging this contest!

I've spent an hour with the New York Times and It's time to eat something and get on with the day.

So this isn't much of a post, because my brain is glutted but my stomach is starving. And now there is a barking dog.

More later.

Well, one more thing. If you have a page, let me know. Here's mine. This is much more fun than Facebook--it's a librarian's/information junkie's playground. Wait till I show my dad. (the man, my dear dad, who, if he needed a second career, would be the best reference librarian you met, specializing in searching online newspapers.)

Off to feed my stomach.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I'm still here...

So I went and got my hair cut. If I can remember to change the batteries in my camera and get it to work with my computer, I'll post a picture. (I wouldn't hold your breath.) It's bob-length and very nice.

I also called the Auto Critic guy. This is a guy who only does diagnostics. So he will tell me the absolute truth about what is or isn't wrong with my car. So I can sleep at night (less than 11 hours please, and fewer nightmares...)

I finished Season One of M*A*S*H. I've started into Season Two. So if blogging is slow, you'll know where I am.

Tomorrow I'm going to see 27 Dresses.

That's enough for now. Pierce and Trapper are waiting.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why I have nothing for you this noon... biggger, bigger than you and you are not me...that's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight, losing my religion...*

But hey, it's snowing, so it can't be all bad. I'm off to see what NH Sally got me while she was in Florida!!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why I have nothing for you this morning...

I spent all my good words commenting over at Eliza Jane's blog...

and I'm off to get ready for my first full day of work this week. (I went in for three hours yesterday b/c otherwise L would have been the only one in our dept.)

Peace out, dudes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This side of Eve* in the CD player, and all is (as well as it can be) well with the world...

I smell the toast, hold that thought. Yes, we're still eating toast. (And drinking Gatorade.) But so far, the main symptoms are gone.

It would take too long to explain how I got to this poem today. But it fits. It's in Yeat's "Words for music perhaps," which are 25 poems focusing on Crazy Jane. (I gleaned this from the link.) A scrap of the poem was in a book I was reading yesterday that had taken the scrap and a bit more from Madeleine L'Engle's book, Two-Part Invention.

Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop

I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
‘Those breasts are flat and fallen now,
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.’

‘Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,’ I cried.
‘My friends are gone, but that’s a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart’s pride.

‘A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.

I love that bit. Love has pitched his mansion in the place of excrement. Love, not flowers or candy on Valentine's, but Love that holds the bucket while you wretch.

*This Side of Eve: John and Alyssa's band. I think I'm actually playing their first album. The link talks about their second album.

Off to find more Gatorade...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Where did the term sicker than a dog come from?

Oh Internets, it is freezing in my apartment.

Let me put it to you this way. Freezing=cold toilet seat.

But my body decided, at 7 am, that there was a colonoscopy it thought it had to prepare for. Hence, by 8 am, my toilet seat was warm.

(Sorry if that's TMI, it's the most delicate way I can think to phrase it.) And I've had a colonoscopy, a few years ago, so I know from whence I speak.

Yesterday was a day so full, too full, and my body gave me a nudge and said, "Nope, you are sitting this day out." So I did go to my therapist, buy Gatorade and a loaf of bread. I ate a piece and 1/4 a piece of toast for lunch and 2 pieces of toast for dinner. And I spent the better part of the afternoon watching Tape 1, Season 1, of M*A*S*H.

Oh, and the door lock works! It's a Honda trick that a friend at church told me about. Woo hoo! You have to hold the door thingy inside the door while pushing the lock down. Oh, it is like magic. AND by some miracle, there is now a light tinkling noise when I leave my lights on. It's like fairy music.

Oh, Bucket List is a great film. Not the pizazz that Juno was, but great. The acting shone (I love the elder Jack Nicholson) and you can never have enough Morgan Freeman. Plus, the trivia I learned! (Freeman's character was a Jeopardy fanatic, constantly reading.) The story is predictable (they die, I hope you saw that coming) but there are little surprises along the way, so that even when you feel your heart strings might be getting tugged "Hollywood style," you don't mind so much.

If only I could say such charitable things about last night's Masterpiece Theatre. They did Persuasion, only my favorite Jane Austen book and while some of their choices were good, the overall perfomance, tied into a wretched package, was HORRIBLE. And the end was SO Hollywood. Jane Austen's own ending was just fine, did not need embellishment. The earlier BBC version (which I own) is only a half hour longer but hundreds of times better. It was like a train wreck, though. I couldn't not stop watching it to the bitter end. It was...words fail me. I will not deign a link to the PBS site, and wonder if I'll watch other ones in the series...

To think I could have been watching the Golden Globes! (Even without writers or actors, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more...) Oh, alright, we'll stop beating the dead horse.

Anyways, be in good health. And if you liked last night's MT, don't let me know. Read the book. It is so much better. Or watch the older BBC version which is readily available. Trust me. And if you read this blog to a regular degree, you'll remember that I can generally find SOMETHING good in the movie version of a book. I generally enjoy seeing the choices that directors and screenwriters make. So for me to completely lambast a movie version is about as rare as a unicorn.

Ah me! Another Gatorade almost finished. I must climb the stairs to do some laundry or I'll have naught to wear tomorrow. And I did mention that it is cold??

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A few thoughts on depression...

I am cleaning out my files, so as that I don't save stuff I don't need/want when I back up my files when I change over to XP.

Found this, an outline for a Bible study on Depression. Thought it would be appropriate for this venue.

Used passages from Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning and Chasing Grace by Martha Manning and no, they are not related at least that I know.


Being a depressed person stinks. Being Christian and depressed stinks too. Everyone assumes your depression is just unresolved sin; something that prayer will heal, so you just must not be spiritual enough.

Depression: dullness or inactivity; dejection; sadness; gloom

What I’ve learned is that when I hurt, I go to people that have known hurt. Christ is one, and so are the collection of friends I have in print and in person. So I’d like to introduce you to a few of these. I’m including distressed people in my definition for the purpose of this study.

I’ve also made up a list of “Things to do for your depressed friend,” which are things we’d automatically do for a friend with a broken arm or a new baby.

1. Give tangible gifts. I am very visual. If I have something (a bracelet, earrings) that a friend has given me, I can remember the love that friend has for me even when they are not physically with me.

2. Take them out to eat or bring food. We are always doing this for people who have been in the hospital or who just had a baby. Depressed people have no energy to cook and often subsist on junk food or fast food, which really doesn’t help the situation.

3. Tell them you love them. Tell them great things about them. Tell them a story. Whatever you do, UNLESS ASKED, do not give advice. This is fatal. This makes you sound like an expert and them feel like a dunce.

4. Akin to 3., don’t ask them if they’ve tried x, unless it’s ice cream and you’ve got some to share. This puts you in a one-up position and if they have tried it and failed, they feel stupid. If they haven’t, they feel stupid that they haven’t tried it. If I call my friend and say gee, my piecrust was rotten, UNLESS I ASK, I am looking for that other person to say gee, that stinks, I’m sorry, can I help, NOT have you tried the great recipe? Because what if the great recipe is what I used? Then I feel like a total loser twice.

Ten Distressed Bible Characters

1. Elijah “[C]ame an sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:4

2. Jonah “…. and he asked that he might die, and said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’” Jonah 4: 10

3. Naomi “I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty.” Ruth 1:20

4. David “I am gone, like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust.” Psalm 109:23

5. Christ37Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. [4] He was very sad and troubled, 38and he said to them, "I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me." 39Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, don't make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. [5] But do what you want, and not what I want." Matthew 26: 37-39

6. The Israelites “Would that we had died by the hand of the God in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill the whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:3

7. Jeremiah “my soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is.” Lamentations 3:17

8. Job And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.” Job 30:16-17

9. Paul “I asked God three times to take away this thorn.” 2 Corinthians 12:8

10. Solomon “All things are weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc. 1:9

In sales, sales associates are taught the FFF system of handling objections. “I know how you feel, I felt the same way, this is what I found,” and then sharing how x product helped with the objection. But what if you’ve never felt depressed? The worst thing can be saying Oh yeah I know how you feel when the distressed party knows you haven’t or don’t know.

Readings from books:

Psalm 55: ends in peace.

2 readings from Chasing Grace by Martha Manning, p. 97 sufffering; p. 99 shorten the road.

Other Psalms: 6, 13, 22:1-2, 14-15; 23, 31, 40, 41, 55, 59, 64, 69, 88, 109, 118:13-14 (whole story)

I may come back and flesh this out, but for now, I thought it was a good start. I used this outline for a study in 2002? with a small group I attended at the time.

It's morning here (Nanci Griffith)

I have been sending a lot of posts to draft, just because I'll write and then get weepy about Max and not want to publish that to the entire Internet. This next bit is lifted from the post I wrote when I sat down here, at about 9 am.

Sorry, you're going to have to rely on the fact that this is typed as quickly as possible so I can run off to get breakfast and go to church. (Yes, Kelly pointed out that right now it might be okay for me to go both to Bellefield and OD for the mere STRUCTURE while I'm depressed and the fact that for me, going to Bellefield is like going home.)

And, if I'm going to church, I might as well go to Sunday school, it's about the Bible. (Well, um, I guess that would be self-evident, but this one is like how to read the Bible, oh never mind.)

I had a dream that I was at a party with my former Mary Kay director and her latest star, who had a 2 Billion dollar year. In my dream, I thought, I'll quit my job, get a 9-5, do MK evenings and weekends until I can support myself. Earlier on in a different dream (I slept 11 hours, I had a monton of dreams.) I had asked my boss if I could join a play, be the wizardess and she said, no. Something about how I was better suited to working with the children. And frankly, part of why I wanted to be in the play was because there would be men in the play--in our building that employs over 86 people, 5 are men. 1 is a librarian, 1 is the main accountant/head of admin, and one is the PR guy. Two are maintenance. Oh sorry, I forgot the two shelvers. But they are admittedly BOYS, and there is a difference.

So I woke up from my dream thinking about Special Libraries, and how I had in Chicago (two years ago, when I was young and impetuous) at the ALA convention decided that this "public library" life was not for me, that I'd rather a special library (which are like museum libraries, law libraries, etc.) Now that I'm a bit older, I've changed my mind. I need lots of people. And the thing about being a librarian in a building where everyone else is something else (like a museum, or a school, or a law firm) is that you are isolated. (As opposed to being a librarian where a few other people are librarians.) GAH! That would be horrible. The thing I like most of all about my job is talking to co-workers about work related things. (Okay, one of the things.) Marian the Librarian is my life-line, I adore the committee I'm on for the Summer Reading Club (with librarians from other libraries). So even though it sounds uber cool to be a librarian for a special collection of children's books, I think I would not like the isolation.

Gah, look at the time. I'll be showering before OD, I think not before Bellefield. I was VERY late last week to Sunday School, so I don't know why I care that I'm sort of on time today. Maybe it's a new leaf thing.**

This next bit is new:

I bought a new Bible yesterday from Badger's abusive boyfriend. (Half Price Books.) (As I link that up, I think, isn't that a great sentence? Like yeah, her lug of a boyfriend was selling lime green bibles, and well, I bought one...) It was really ugly, with this stupid coin-purse thing stitched to the front, but it was the only one I really liked, and I figured it would look okay if I unstitched the coinpurse. Which it does, except that you can tell something WAS stitched.

When I lost my car, I lost three Bibles (yes, why did I keep three Bibles in my car? I don't know, I knew where they were. My car has always been an extension of my living room.) A regular Bible, which has been replaced by this one I just got, (except that that one was PINK), a tiny blue King James, and a Study Bible. When we cleared out my car the night of the accident, Sally (NH) didn't realize this might be the last time I'd be in my car (because I didn't tell her) and I had the front seat, she had the back, and she didn't grab the Bibles. She grabbed the library books, and I'm grateful she was able to be there with me as I waited for the tow truck, so it's not hard feelings, but sad. It's okay to be sad about three Bibles, I know that. But I guess I have to unravel the "why didn't she read my mind" and "why didn't she grab them" and "why didn't I go back for them, they were a mile away from me the whole time we were waiting for my car to be determinded total loss" from "it's okay to be sad."

Oh, I need Mr. Rogers. If he were still around, I'd write to him and ask him to do a series for adults like the books for kids, "Going to the hospital," and "Divorce." I'd ask him to write a book about "Mourning the loss of your really pretty car in an accident and then because you're broke, buying one that is almost old enough to smoke a cigarette legally and isn't as pretty and has been a regular pain in the neck."

I do like having a cassette player--I miss not being able to play CDs, but as libraries catch up, there are a lot of audiobooks that probably will never be available on CD. Like High Fidelity. Which I need to return to the car. I probably should go online and see if I can find my own copy.*

Okay, now I'm going to be late for Sunday School. So now I can try to find some clothes that match and find some breakfast (maybe drive thru?) (No, I really want take-out from Tazza...) (I hate that I now have a car payment.) (But it's not a HUGE one.)

Gah, I don't want "it's not a huge one" to be the last sentence of this post. Here's another thing I've realized. I'm not the blogger I once was. I used to spend hours reading everyone else's blog and commenting. Now I'll read Babelbabe, Daysgoby, and some others. (I don't even read Badger every day--but I go there at least once a week, hon, I promise!! And, I linked to you!) I don't even read Blackbird, hardly, or LC, or Caro. And I know once I start working on my novella again (before the end of January...I better start!!) I will probably be reading and commenting even less. Part of it is that a lot of Blogger functions are now blocked at my workplace, which in the end is a good thing, because I don't really blog about being a librarian very much. Part of it is that I've been sleeping eleven hours a night! And part of it (oh the truth hurts) is that it's HARD to keep up online relationships. It just is. Email is pretty one dimensional.

But I still love you guys, or I wouldn't publish, they'd all go to draft.

Oh, I don't want that to be the last sentence either.

Oh, here's a quote from my desk, from Maya Angelou. It's how I feel about blogging and my novella: "There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you."

Mwah! Off to my day. (Did I mention I'm going to see Bucket List? I'll let you know if it's as good as it looks.)

*asterisk? There was no asterisk!
**new leaf, old leaf, I'm going to be late.

Friday, January 11, 2008

...and now you know the rest of the story (Paul Harvey)

So I went to work. I worked from 3:30 to 9 with dinner from 6:15-7:45. J. Clarks, my default dinner place, is busy these days and I had to wait 20 minutes for a table!!

Work was work. But it was good to see J, who worked tonight instead of last night in Tech Serv, because her hubby went on a business trip. We commisserated.

Bonus, I had to get gas for Lucy and was dreading my neighborhood station, but it was actually the cheapest price.


the depression is like a cold blanket.

lucky me, I don't get suicidal.

But I have not gone into work yet today. Maybe lunch will help.

Send hugs.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

back in the saddle, as it were...

Yes, Lucy* looks beautiful. And I'm getting used to her braking (after a week of getting used to the rental Nissan's braking...) I now must use a key to lock her, but being able to use the door at all is a miracle.

Now, on to the next, which may involve proving that unlike the CarFax history, this car WAS in an accident (previous to the dent on my passenger door). The guy at the auto body shop said that my door (the passenger door) had been painted once before, which to me is a red flag. And I don't know much about cars, but I've been told, gosh, it must have been in an accident for that part on the power lock to break.

I don't know. What I don't want is a drawn out legal battle. But $500 (four hundred twenty eight and change to be exact) is rent money. Or something. It's 10% of what I paid for the car, including the warranty which didn't cover the power lock. I don't qualify for the lemon law until I have three things go wrong, but I want a lawyer or something!!

Anyways...I am exhausted, it is raining, and I am going to bed. Since this was my first night back with Lucy, I'm very grateful that it is rain and not snow.


*my 1990 Honda Accord

Square peg--round--ughngh!! hole

Yep, it's not as if I hadn't realized this at other junctures in my life, but allow me to elaborate:

  • I am 36. Most other people I know my age are: married, homeowners, and with children, one or more. I am single, renting, and thankfully, (see first two points) childless.
  • I go to a church where most people are 26, married, homeowners and/or parents.
  • I work in a building where most women are 40+, homeowners, and grandmothers. Oh, and they all live 5 minutes from the building.
(I'm using all and most a bit too generously, but this is my anonymous blog, I can be black and white for once.)

  • Oh, lots of other stuff.
Just came back from appointment with psychiatrist. This is our typical appointment: "Well, I see no reason to change anything, do you need any refills, come back in [time period contingent on how depressed I seem at time of visit]." I ADORE my psychiatrist, but he's a psychiatrist and therefore not helpful on the soft side of things--he's good at dispensing drugs, not advice. Which is fine. But I hate the fact that I'm close enough to the edge that I'm going back at the end of this month instead of mid-next month. But I'm grateful that he cares enough to know that I need to come sooner. ARGH!!

But good news, I have been funded to go to Minneapolis for the Public Library Association Conference. And probably Marian the Librarian and I will be roomies!!

So I think I can put aside fantasies of taking people's temperatures. I told Marian about my aspirations to becoming a nurse and she said, "two words: sponge bath." I told her if I was supporting an artistic husband, it might become an option again, but for now, I think I can live on what I make and ENJOY what I do. (Not that I don't think I'd enjoy being a nurse, I just think I'd enjoy staying a librarian for now.)

Okay, gotta go. Off to coffee with a friend.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

In which I find myself commenting all over the place...

This morning, I have travelled to Chicago (Hi Poppy!) and Oz (Hi Suse) and Canada (Hi Jess).

I left long comments, and so my brain has nothing left for writing here.

Let's see: I went to TJ Maxx last night b/c I was waiting for the 6:55 movie...I got really cute Sketcher shoes and a brown turtleneck.* Which it is too warm to wear today, I think.

checking the temperature...58 degrees.

I may get my car back today. (One does not like to hear the word "snafu" from the auto body guy, but he wouldn't give more details.) After which, I'll start trying to recruit someone to go with me to the dealership to say, um, well, I don't know what I'll say. But something akin to it sucks that this major part broke on my car two days after I bought it and the warranty you sold me doesn't cover that part.

Okay, I'd better shower and get ready for Women's Bible Study. We're studying Colossians. No Beth Moore? Oh, alright, I'll go anyways...

*My aunt gave me some money for Christmas. I couldn't see explaining to her that I spent it on two seasons of Sex and the City. So a turtleneck and cute shoes--that's pretty good for twenty bucks!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

movie quote here

Must see movie: Juno (you must, I just did.)

things that make me happy: my Joy bracelet, which seriously needs restrung. (Yes, I know that sentence needs a "to be," I'm from Pixburgh, get over it.

Items procurred at GE:
Amy's bowls pesto tortellini
Amy's wraps spinach and feta
Funny birthday card for co-worker
Seasons 4&5 of SATC on DVD (Iggle Video is going out of business. Sandy, if you see seasons 2, 3, or 6, I'll pay you back!)

I am a mess. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Because I'm realizing that everyone else is a mess too.

Sat next to a cute guy at church (or he sat in my seat while I was looking for water, causing me to lose my bulliten.) But his name is way too long (he was filling in the address info on his brand new journal during the time the guy from Scripture Union was talking.) And I had to say hi, my name is Sarah Louise when the service was over, he gave me his name (I'm not telling you, c'mon.) but that was it. I think he's probably younger (well, aren't all the guys in Pittsburgh?) I could have had my lunch paid for at Panera by my dear friend M, but I was too quick. Oh well. She's a dear heart, a octogenarian widow who I often have lunch with after I go to Bellefield for church.

My dad called this afternoon, just to chat, before I went off to the movie. What a great guy. He just wanted to see how I was and then talk my ear off, because, well, yesterday when I called my mom, I told her how bad the depression had gotten. Today I have felt just blank, and the sobbing in the bathroom stall at the movies was yes, for me, but it was started by the ending of the movie (which was beautiful, but you know girls, they cry at beautiful stuff too.)

So my eggplant something that I got in the organic frozen foods at GE is ready and I just heard Mr. First Floor come in. I'll eat my dinner and off to church.

While I may not be the brightest bulb in the galaxy, I have figured out that me trying to psychoanylze him isn't going to make him come back and say, hey, that "liability" thing I said, forget about it, I want you back. So it's okay for me to watch movies and read books where people have happy romantic endings, but I don't think this is one of them. If I didn't have to go eat something, I'd pull up a perfect Nick Hornby quote for that from Jess in A long way down. Maybe next time.

Til then, keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A fairly pedestrian post...but that's not a bad thing...

Textbook: depression is the worst in the morning. If you can make it to 1pm, your chances of survival are much much better. (Or so says my first psychiatrist, and I have found it mostly to be true.)

Things that made today liveable:

  • started working on article about Mother/Child Smackdown program that I did last summer.
  • chatted a bit with both bosses.
  • went out for lunch, didn't have to pay
  • went out for dinner (same restaurant, same waitress), didn't have to pay. (I KNOW!)
  • I'm home at long last. I may just pass out on the sofa. Or read. It's too late to pay bills--if I think about money this late in the evening, there's no chance I'll sleep well.
Tomorrow: Sunday School at Bellefield. It's the first Sunday, so I'll give it a shot. Something about reading your Bible for all it's worth. I'll probably stay for church. I need to be around people--being alone is sometimes good when depressed, but I need people!!

The nursing bit is out for jury. I do love my job, today was a day when I really realized that. And worse (better?) I love my workplace. Better, because so few have that privelege, but worse, b/c if I stay here, I will not amass riches. Not that riches are the point, but...

Anyways, rambling n'at. Thank you for reading and/or commenting. Any suggestions for the 37 things will be taken into consideration. (See Erin's 40 things, here.)

a dyslexic walks into a bra

Internets, I again wake up way too late to shower and get to work on time. I don't want to go. (Although, granted, once I got there, yesterday was an okay day.) I think it's that I need a push out the door.

I am convinced (in a fantasy, googling information stage) that changing careers now would be a good thing--they need nurses, and nurses make more money. I got the paycheck with this year's increase and I have realized (again, for the umpteenth time) I will never be rich if I stay at my current job. I don't want to be rich, but comfortable, that might be nice. Having the say so that I can pay for a conference if the library won't. Oh, but I guess I wouldn't be going to conferences for librarians if I was a nurse. Crap. Why didn't I meet and marry a computer nerd in my twenties? (Oh, have I just dug a hole in which you dear reader will make me pay for in the comment box? I'll beg depression as an excuse...)

I finally told my mother that fixing my door would cost close to $500. That smells she says. (What?) "That sucks," she rewords, "and I never say that word." (It's true.) I'm not sure if I know a lawyer, but I want to. (The warranty that I bought won't cover this repair.) (The door broke two days after I bought the car.)

My first floor neighbor has returned. (the rest of this paragraph has been moved to an unpublished location for containing thoughts that belong in my journal.)

I'm going to be late. Now tell me why, in the fall, when taking a shower wasn't going to shock my system, I regularly while depressed didn't take one, but now, when I can tell it's REALLY cold outside, I insist on one, which will make me later?

I have started reading Praise Habit by David Crowder and let me tell you--he rocks. This could be the best Christian non-fiction I've read in AGES. He's so normal. (Whereas I'm still at the point where talking about my faith/writing about my faith sounds like sci-fi.)

Oh, and I gobbled Meg Cabot's Big Boned last night in one fell swoop. I couldn't have savored it over a few days? No, I had to read the whole thing. Crap. Now I just have books that other people have said are good. Do I really have to go to work?

And I want to GET THERE--it's the day of all my favorite co-workers. I just called and N, who is the sweetest lady I know answered, said, "Get here when you can" which I know if I was a nurse would probably never be the case.

Can I do a do-over? Seriously, can my alarm go off at 7:30 and I actually get up and take the shower I so badly desire but can't move off this chair to even get the warm water started?

GAH! This post may self destruct in eight hours, as you may have noticed quite a few of my posts lately have been doing.

Friday, January 04, 2008

"way leads to way"*

I was going to title this with one of the "man walks into a bar" jokes: "A dylsexic walks into a bra" but the title I chose seems more apt.


Have you ever realized that your Google searches say more about you than you would ever admit aloud? So the reason why I found this new favorite website will remain known to me only (I was trying to figure out a big word someone was using...) but wow.

I also like the fact that he quotes Frost later (though not too much later): "l shall be telling this with a sigh.."

I'm at one of those places of the cross--choices and corners to turn. I look up to the top of my screen and I see the "help" link and know that it won't really be of help.

I do not want to go to work today. I'm going to be later than I told my boss when I called her to say I'd be late.

Another Nick Hornby quote? "Depression is great. You can do whatever you want." (As he leaves the bar after hearing Marie La Salle and decides to not stay to have drinks.)

Ugh. But the later I am, the later I'll come home. It's Friday again. Whateve.

*Robert Frost

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Bird!

Today is my sister's 26th birthday. WOW. Hippo birdie two ewe...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In which I find myself watching the Fiesta Bowl instead of Seinfeld...

So, I had no idea that WVU lost their coach...I don't really follow college football. But after Two and a half men was over, all of a sudden, I was brought straight into the middle of a college football drama...

My cousin went to WVU. Her ex-husband went there, and my other cousin's husband did too. It's almost a West Virginia joke.

So yesterday the Penguins played the Sabres in Buffalo and WON! I fell asleep on the sofa during the game, thus catching up on lost sleep from the previous night.

No, this has not become a sports blog while you were sleeping (or while I was) but hey.

Oh, and last night I watched Happy Gilmore (about a failed hockey player who turns into a pro golfer).

That's it. I don't have any more sports to report.

I took a lot of books out today, though:

  • Praise Habit by David Crowder (Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi) I like David Crowder sort of (he's a musician) and this looked interesting. I found it on a friend's Library Thing account.
  • Three Weddings and a Giggle by Liz Curtis Higgs, Carolyn Zane, and Karen Ball. I read this like two years ago, the first time I worked an election. I dig funny smart Christian romances, and I re-read books. (This is three novellas bound in one binding.)
  • Mixed Signals by Liz Curtis Higgs. It was right NEXT to TWAAG. One is good, two is better.
  • Bookends by LCH. Third is the golden princess.
(All these were picked up on the way home at a nearby library that has a librarian that buys a lot of good Christian fiction.) (Which my library does NOT.) (Also, the Christian fiction titles have blue labels, such that I can browse the shelves and quickly find something.)

  • What they found: love on 145th st by Walter Dean Myers. Our children's district librarian's blog-->link to reviews-->our great YA collection. I haven't read any WDM in a long time.
  • First Daughter by Mitali Perkins. When my Yahoo address book was imported to Facebook, sort of unbeknownst to me (I didn't realize it would take ALL of my addresses), Mitali's address was in there. I've never read one of her books, but she wrote an article that I commented on, and so her email address was in my address book. Hence, we are Facebook friends and I feel like I need to have read at least one of her books...
Hey, I may even come back and write reviews...

Meanwhile, I'm slouching towards upgrading my computer to Windows XP from Me and one of my bosses just gave me an old laptop that has Windows 98.

I'm sorry, it would take me forever to link up all the books listed. Go use Google.

Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons is singing the U.S. National Anthem. Anyone know why it was "God Bless America" and not "The Star Spangled Banner" after "Oh Canada" before the hockey game yesterday?

And now it's decision college football or read? I think I'll throw a load of laundry first.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

If I drank, this might be what a hangover feels like...

Ugh. Because I was awoken from semi-deep sleep by NH Sally (see below), went to a NYE party, came home, wrote an insightful blog post, read, tried to sleep, failed, ate something (I know, but I was hungry!!), journaled, tried reading library journals as a sleep aid (bad idea--I'm too passionate about my career choice and I found an article co-authored by my new favorite librarian, David Lee King), finally gave up and made up the sofa as a bed, and put on Lady Jane. (Yes, I put movies in the VCR as a way to get myself to must be new here.) I tucked in at about 5 a.m. and opened my eyes around 9 a.m. How I wish I could sleep late!!

BUT, there is amazing news here. I'm not manic. (As a bipolar woman, this is great news.) If I was manic, not having sleep would mean that I'd wake up and today would be a blur. I would feel like I no longer needed sleep...but I just pray and hope I can somehow fit a nap into today...maybe I'll sleep through some of the Rose (yawn) Parade. (Because I want to be awake for the Pens game...) (Although I wish that I had someone to watch it with...)

***a reality check--the fact that I'm blogging with ease does make me worry a little about the manic thing could get ahead of me, but I am going to do as much as possible to make today as normal as New Years Day can be, um.***

Then, upon waking, having a little breakfast, watching a little Today show, I of course logged on. A comment already on last night's post! From the lovely and ever talented Erin. And I have been online since then, through Ellen and now the Rose Parade. And I have been mostly been looking at the groups David is in. And by following link to link, I found a blog that I really want to share with you, NA Humble Orthodoxy. This PDF article about "are you thinking about leaving your church?" convicted me. (Nuff said.)

Btw, the Rose Parade is pretty good this year. And the puns are flying...But I really do need a bit of a nap...

Okay, time to stop writing and start a bit of a lie-down. More water...

Changing arts...from losing to longing. Happy 2008!

This was the night that would have passed me by had Sally not been persistant in calling me (twice on my cell and once on my land line) to get me to go to a "Bellefield folks" NYE party. At around 7:30 pm I turned off the TV and closed my eyes. My alarm was set for 7:45 pm and I slept past it. As I use my cell phone as my alarm, I ignored Sally's two cell calls as I brushed them off as my alarm. "Just one more minute..."

She had an ulterior motive--I had purchased a Canasta game for her at Target and she was dying to play, as she'll be going to Florida in a week or so where she'll be up against family (sisters?). But I am grateful that at 11:06 pm she finally decided to call my land line and I sleepily answered. So I did not miss the ushering in of the new year.

It's 2 a.m. now, and I'm pretty awake, due to the fact that I slept from 7:30 to 11 pm and then just a half hour ago took the meds I generally take at 10:30 pm. So I'll write for a bit. It's lovely knowing that I have nowhere I need to be tomorrow. I may stop by and visit my friend PJ, who mentioned in her Christmas letter that she missed me "stopping by." (She's from the Midwest, where people do that all the time. I'm not from the Midwest, but I love the idea of stopping by, and she and her family are the only ones I would just stop by in on, except for of course, Sally's family.)

I had lunch at Sally's--leftover rotisserie chicken, veggies, and mac n'cheese. We had little Dove chocolates for dessert and her wrapper said on the inside "Always ask if it comes in chocolate." Mine was forgettable, hence, I have forgotten it.

I had a lovely chat with the host of the party, Bob, who has been hosting this party for over twenty years. His daughter is teaching in Guatemala right now, and since I have done some traveling in Guatemala from the years I lived in Honduras, we had places in common to talk about. He's not been to Europe, but I regaled him with tales of Vienna Summer School and Warsaw and Prague. We talked about learning short, it was one of the kinds of conversations I love having at parties. I have to remember that the town J. is living in is Chichicastenego, to tell my mother tomorrow. I didn't have a chance to talk to J. at all, but we hugged as I left the party around 1:15 am and I said, "see you this summer." For me it is strange that the young women that are now my peers at the OD are the grown up girls that were in high school ten years ago. I played Canasta with Sally, her daughter, and K. I will always remember a particular corner in my neighborhood as the corner where I ran into K. while she was waiting for the school bus for high school and I was taking an early morning walk.

It is a privelege to have fine friends. It truly is. I hope this year will be a deepening of friendships, as I decide where to be intentional.


The title of this post comes from a post that Heidi posted (yesterday! because it's Tuesday now!). She posted it from a post that Kate DiCamillo (author of Because of Winn Dixie) posted. Here is an excerpt from Kate's New Year's post:

When you tell a story, the world rushes by you in the same way, leaves you standing silent and alone, your face pressed up against a well-lit window, gazing at something, wanting it fiercely, knowing that you are probably not going to get it, but willing, anyway, to dream, to try.

I’ve decided that telling a story is more than anything else, the art of longing.

She goes on to talk about what someone once said about the trick to happiness: "you must have work to do, something to hope for, someone to love." She wishes these things for herself in 2008, and also for us, her readers. She closes with a beautiful image, the image that started her post, of pressing up against a window and becoming an eight year old again, wishing for the beautiful doll in the window, and all the lovely clothes for the doll. She hopes

...that you can stand, for a moment, on a cold street, in front of a lighted window, that you can put your hands up against the glass and let yourself hope and believe that there is, after all, a way in, a way to the other, beautiful, side.

When I came into the house tonight (this morning?), empty except for air, I walked the porch and wished and prayed beauty for this year. Not superstitiously, but asking God to bless all who cross our threshold. Asking God for good neighbors in the second floor apartment, which empty right now, holds so many memories for me from when EE Sally lived there, first as a single woman, then as a young bride, then as a young mom. I remember her son having baths in their kitchen sink. I remember dressing up in the bridesmaid dress we decided not to use, having a fun "photo shoot." (Where are those pictures now?) I remember when Sam Brunsvold was shot and Sally and I heard the answering machine click on three times through the floorboards of my apartment, the answering machine that was in their back room. None of us slept that night. And how my life was lived in that apartment, as her friend, as bridesmaid for her wedding, and yes, as we watched 9/11 unfold on the TV in her living room.

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, the day that I came back to Pittsburgh, the Louise family got into the car and drove downtown to DC to the National Gallery of Art, where there was an Edward Hopper exhibit in the East Building. We had seen other Hopper exhibits, but this one was different, more of a complete retrospective of his work. I saw paintings I'd never seen before (Chop Suey) that became instant favorites. The last painting in the exhibit was of light in an empty room. It made me think of what this apartment looked like on the first day I saw it, when I fell in love with the skylight. And it made me think about that day, somewhere into the future, when I will say goodbye to this garret, this place that has been my home for over a decade. That someday it will be an empty white room with only sunlight on the walls.

A lot would have to change for me to leave this place, my rent is ridiculously low and seemingly rent controlled as I am paying the same rate I paid when I moved in in 1995. But the Hopper painting made me think that yes, someday I will leave this house. Someday I will move on. And there is a longing there--a longing for my own home, something not rented, but also a longing that I will forever remember this apartment, where I have become a young lady, a grown woman.

As I look forward to 2008, I wonder what parties will happen under this roof, who I will entertain, who I will feed. Will there be another man to kiss on my sofa? (Although I've decided already that this WILL BE the summer of a new sofa, that if I don't have one by summer, I will get rid of the old one and put my bed in this back room until I get a new sofa to replace the one that came with me to this apartment, lo, in 1995.) (I live in the back room come summers--the sunlight is too strong through the skylight too early in the morning and it is cheaper to mainly cool this room, which is smaller and darker.) (I live in the front room come winter, it is colder, but I get more sunlight.)

I had dinner with a friend tonight. It was such a delight to get a text message--I get them so rarely--and to be thought of. We ate at Whole Foods. It was a good way to begin the ushering in of this new year. After we ate, we walked over to Walgreens and then went our separate ways.

I know we all put so many hopes on a new passage of time, maybe this year will be the year...but I really do feel a surge of hope. I pray that that surge will stay with me, and that I can come back to this night in my memory when I feel downcast. There's nothing like standing outside at midnight with people you've known forever and popping loud noisemakers into the air.

A dear bloggy friend, Erin, turns 40 this year. She has decided to do 40 things, and I may think of 37 things to celebrate (ack) that I'll be turning this year. I'll keep you posted.