Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why I love Mike Lange and yes, we have a hard row to hoe, Penguins fans

Okay, so we lost. But I have to hand it to Mike Lange (listened to him on the way home from a fête of grilled veggies and chicken and the game on a leather couch, not my own.) As I'm turning from Highland to Jackson, he says, "You know, they knew they had to win a game in Detroit, why not Game 5? They've come back from stats this bad before." And the respect they give to the other team, whoever we're playing--the "three stars" and "the best play" aren't always the Pens, but when they're not, they give credit where credit is due--that good hockey was played tonight.

I have a defense mechanism. When in groups of people and the mood is bad at a sports gig, I nod off. So I was sort of aware that we were losing, but more aware of the trash talking towards the TV. Remember the year Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl? I slept right through it. The world series in 97? (I have no interest in baseball and only was watching it because my Bible Study had been canceled for the evening and I wanted company.)

So unlike the fabulous game played by the Pens on Wednesday, which I slept through because I'd had a day of cramps and drama, tonight I dozed through a game played hard by the Wings, a great hockey club. I watched the TV version, with whomever NBC had doing color-commentary and it was tepid at best. I missed Mike, but you can't really ask your hosts, gee, why don't we turn down the volume and listen to the radio?

What I love about Lange is that while he is optimistic about the Pens and truly loves them, he loves hockey the game more than the particular team he announces for.

While I was searching on the Post-Gazette site for something, found these "Pens Cheer Cards." My printer is currently on the fritz, but these are fun. Especially love the ones for the Rangers, with the "I heart #87," (I do!) parodying the "I heart NY" logo that NYC is so well known for.

Tomorrow I'm going to go see SATC the movie, with or without my girls (whose numbers have dwindled due to boyfriends, husbands, and children. *sigh*) Well, the Fab Four will be there.

In other news, I seriously need a haircut. My bangs are long enough that I should cut them but I haven't done it yet. I looked seriously cute tonight with my hair air dried, my official Stanley Cup Finals t-shirt (grey heather with the helmets of the two teams) and I even wore contacts. I was told the party was going to be at the S. house and indeed, there were many grilled veggies and chicken to be had and enjoyed. It was nice to just sit and enjoy food. But the folks that told me about the fête didn't show. Um? Their loss.

In other news, tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Date #1 with Max. Not that I'm that into remembering that day, but June 1 is just an easy day to remember. Um. Don't think we're going to be friends. He's just not talking to me. At all. (If you're new here, we dated for six months but still live in the same apartment house, he on the first floor, I in the third floor walk-up.) I'm not torn up completely, just a tad sad, but as J said at work today when I confided in her, "His loss." Love J, who totally was astounded when I told her that this week I sent food back. She totally understood how HUGE that was for me to have done.

What else? In the end, you can't convince anyone of anything they're not ready to hear. So me buying a friend a copy of It's a break-up because it's broken won't do any good until they're ready to hear it. It pains me that they can't see that, but since I held the torch on a crush over B for three un-fulfilling years, I'm not one to talk, just one to recognize the tortured behavior in someone else and the desire to FIX YOU. Which never really works. Sigh.

Well, the clock will strike midnight in five scant minutes and this girl is home, so need for a carriage or a pumpkin is not necessary, but I do hear the couch calling my name. So I bid you farewell, and a pleasant night's sleep. I'll sleep, to dream of the Pens winning the series. Because if Mike Lange can believe it, I can too.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We won we won we won...we need three more wins.

(Peter Diana for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Yep, it's a bipolar title. What do you expect from yours truly?

I have very few rules about answering the phone, but here they are:

1) If it says unknown name or blocked--No.
2) If it says University of Pittsburgh and I know it's my grad school asking for money--No.

and 3) I don't answer the phone during a televised Penguins game. (radio games are OK, Kiki called Monday to wish me a "Happy Memorial Park" at the start of game 1)

or 4) when I'm falling asleep because I've lived through a day of drama and cramps.

I got a phone call from #2 JUST as the first goal was being scored. I did not answer, of course. I didn't even check the caller ID until after all the hoopla about the GOAL! had subsided. A little later, as I was drifting back to sleep (not for lack of exciting hockey, mind you) my folks called, and as I had sent a couple emails this week about some big stuff, I thought, I had enough drama for one day, they can leave a message too.

I fell back asleep, to the voice of Pittsburgh Hockey, Mike Lange, woke up to my phone alarm to take my bedtime meds and WE WON! So I missed this amazing game, 3-2. Well, in these games, the first goal and the last goal are the most important, so I was awake for at least one of those, maybe two.

I mean, c'mon, I went to the University of PITTSBURGH. Don't they close down telemarketing for the Pens playing for the Stanley Cup? I mean, I haven't given back yet (I will, don't worry) but I most certainly am NOT going to give back while Sidney Crosby is making his first goal of the series. (Don't you love the picture?) It's all I have, I slept through the game. I wasn't even facing the television when the goal happened.

(This snarky, spirited post is brought to you by Day 4, sleep, and the fact that I came here first, instead of reading Philip Yancey. Now I'll go read PY, but you know, I have to get the snark out once and a while.)


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Me, I want to talk about Me!

(Toby Keith)

Well, today is my 36.5th birthday. In six short months, I'll be officially old(er) than I am today. Whateve.

The huge news of today?? I sent food back! Without realizing what I was doing! (I never send food back, I eat bad food, quietly.) But my Turkey Rachel seemed completely sans coleslaw, and that just ain't right! So I got the waitress' attention, told her what was wrong (nicely) and she took it back. It wasn't until the food was gone that I realized the hugeness of what I had done!!

The Pens game starts in 10 minutes. I've started reading a Kristen Billerbeck book (the first in the Spa Girls series) and so I want to read some more before the game starts.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Park, I mean Day...a photo essay of my very ALIVE sister, Bird

Near where I work, there is a cemetery called Memorial Park. There's a church right across from it, Memorial Park Presbyterian. There's a Preschool, Memorial Park Preschool. We do outreach at our library for MPP. I drive by MP (the cemetery) and MPPC (the church) every day to and from work.

So I had to laugh when the other day I was writing an email and I wrote, "Happy Memorial Park!"

Ya. In other years, I've posted pictures of flowers, memes...this year I'm bringing something I've wanted to do for awhile, pictures I've taken of Bird. Bird is my gorgeous sister, and my favorite muse when I take pictures of our family. She's highly photogenic. And very dear to me. So, because I don't have to be anywhere for a couple of hours and I can noodle with Blogger, happy Memorial park, I mean day!

And if you get this via RSS, I apologize. I'll probably be "publishing" it a couple of times to you know, "get it just right."

at the bus/train station in Harrisburg, PA, before vackay, August 2006
resting on the sofa, at the cabin, August 2006
squinting at me, in front of the Lake, August 2006
helping with the windshield cleaning, somewhere in Montana, June 2007
eating Huckleberry pie, somewhere in Montana, June 2007

bashful, Yellowstone Park lodge, June 2007
At the free vacuum carwash in Moon, June 2007

in the car, vackay, August 2007
looking like a Pre-Raphaelite muse, at the Lake, 2007

first thing in the morning, Thanksgiving 2007, Station Square Sheraton
sticking her tongue out, November 2007
at P&G Diner, the Strip District, Thanksgiving 2007
Smiling, at P&G Diner, Thanksgiving 2007
at P&G Diner, Thanksgiving, 2007

Henry, the Panda webkin that Marian gave to me, has been given to Bird, Christmas 2007
Christmas, 2007
the table was a wash table last century or earlier--I used to crayon drawings on it. Christmas 2007
motion is pink in this picture, Christmas 2007
motion is green in this picture, Christmas 2007

something red in her hands, Christmas 2007
Look at my earrings..., Christmas 2007 (Bro is pensive in the background, looks up from his book)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why I write...and thoughts about crawling

Writing in the morning soothes me. Writing to yins makes me believe that my thoughts are going out to a friend, that I am not so solitary, after all.

I don't like routine. I fight it. My personality in one framework has been described as "abstract random." While I don't remember all the ins and outs of what that means, the random part comes out clear as a bell. While I like some things to stay the same, I need constant newness, something random.

I think my brain is either too tired or not awake enough to explain this well. I'll move on.

I've started reading something as I wake up. I know somewhere I have a copy of My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. For years, I resisted getting a copy of this book, thinking how boring it would be to read out of the same devotional every single morning. And my snobbery (if something is so great, why does everyone like it) was also a factor. I remember a tribute album by some Christian artists came out and I thought, oh yuk. What IS it that they see in this stupid devotional? Someone gave it to me as a gift a few years back, and I have enjoyed it. But read the second sentence: I know somewhere I have a copy... I resist the sameness of one book by one author every single solitary day.

Talking to BJ about the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book helped, as I know BJ has read the book numbers of times. He admitted to me that this summer he's going to try to put together "a rule" which is Pete S.'s prescription in the book--make a routine out of your prayer, study, rest. But see, Pete S. forgot one thing when he wrote the book--it took him YEARS to get there. I think all good "instructional for the soul" books should have an epilogue: I didn't get here overnight. Don't think by reading my book you will too. Take a couple of years of reading this, see if it makes sense to you, THEN start your journey based on my notes.

I laugh, ruefully, thinking at how many "financial" studies/classes/books of which I've been a consumer. And yet I still make the same mistakes. It hasn't sunk in yet. I think actually, more instructive than any book or class or seminar, being friends with Sally has been a help. I'm still not where I should be, but I am more aware. When I think out loud about changing my Internet provider, and come to the conclusion that it wouldn't make a huge difference, she reminds me that I know the main drain from my income: eating out. She doesn't reprimand, she just points out. And points out that I know it, which I do. No amount of writing down everything I spend, or making a plan to get out of debt will do any good until I start making some meals at home and going to the grocery store more often than I go to the eateries I love.

(I have eggs and bread and cheese at home and I'm actually going to make my own breakfast this morning! It's very exciting!) (And now that I gave away the flowers I got at Trader Joe's last Monday, I have to go back, and get some more flowers and some more of that scrumptious Tomato Hummus.) (Part of my problem is that when I leave work, I am STARVED that I can't wait the half hour it will take to get home. What if I had hummus in the fridge at work and had appetizers before the drive home?) (See how it starts?) (It's kind of exciting...)

In my reading this morning, from Philip Yancey's Reaching for the Invisible God, this is a quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "If you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving."

Yeah. Those are some words I can take in and savor. Because I have been doing a lot of sitting by the sidelines. And not doing a thing. But slowly, crawling. And even crawling gets you somewhere.

Am I making any sense? I think of the bloggers I love, who I know write in Word, rewriting and rewriting. And I just tinker a couple of times before I hit publish, because I don't really think of this writing as what I'm trying to polish. And yet, have I even started transcribing my novella? I've talked about it for years.

Crawling. Yeah, that sounds at least doable...


In other news, I have been loving buying for 25 cents a pop back issues of Hallmark magazine. (Thank you, NPL Book Nook!) The best part is the back page, where author Amy Krouse Rosenthal writes and draws these fun little picture essays. She's the one that wrote Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, which if you haven't read it, walk, or at least crawl, to your local book depository!

Oh, and the Pens lost last night. I hope they get to practice in Detroit--apparently the "boards are more bouncy" or something. Plus, they need to play a different kind of game, this is the Red Wings we're talking about. But gosh, I hope Cinderella gets the glass slipper this would be SO sweet to get that Cup...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Very short post...

So I'm still doing the Twitter thing. If you are, come find me, I'm pghgurl30. Last night it took me a while to distill the party I attended into 140 characters:

"Flowers for b-day girl pollinated my shirt (orange gunk). Pink sweater from car trunk, which Lucia gummed. Good times. Yes, I held a baby."

I also had a chance to share my Queens dream with BJ, who responded with, "That's huge! You haven't moved in how many years?" which is like, yep. It's so great when people get the gist. I also got to talk to him about Pete S. and Tim Keller, which was great. He actually talked to Pete S. on the phone yesterday (briefly) because one of his professors from seminary roomed with Pete S. in seminary. BJ doesn't like Christian radio, but John Hall goes to Bellefield, so called BJ after he spoke there last week on the Sabbath rest. And he got that from Pete's book. So Dr. S. sort of handed him the phone, "here, talk to Pete." He said it was sort of bizarre. Um, yeah. Oh, so the other part is that John Hall said, "Will you come on our show?" which BJ has a number of times. I was at work when it was on so wasn't able to hear the broadcast.

Well, I'm reading Here Comes Everybody, which is about how communication has changed and the night before I just sat and in one fell swoop (stopping to brush my teeth) read The Mother Daughter Book Club (a fiction book, not the classic that started the phenom). Loved it. The girls are not friends but the moms are and they read Little Women. It's told from the perspective of the four girls. Highly recommend it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

This is your brain on hope...

I had bad dreams. I don't remember what they were, just that I was glad to get up. I read some Phillip Yancey, trying to make sense of the words of two New York pastors, Pete S. (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality) (I finished the book yesterday morning and promptly started watching Raising Helen for the umpteenth time) and Tim Keller, who I heard last night.

Tim Keller is one of those thinkers that makes your brain hurt because it's working to figure out how to process all these really big thoughts. WOW.

Which is why I need Phillip Yancey, who seems to know that I can be a "bear of little brain" and a ragamuffin.

An aside: I got to see some folks I hadn't seen in ages. I sat with the W family, I saw B and his brother A, and talked briefly with J and saw that A (his wife) is much with child. All of these (except for Mr. and Mrs. W) (oh, and saw S.U., passed along a hello to his wife L.) folks are younger than me chronologically and yet seemingly further along the road vocationally. I'm a late bloomer, what can I say? I most enjoyed talking to B's brother A, who I wondered if he'd remember me and I held out my hand and he pulled me in for a hug. Is it any wonder I still have a mini-crush? He was in New York, and just got a job back here, at the History museum.


Okay, I'm just babbling at this point. The thing is, I don't keep a journal right now, except for this. But some of my thoughts are so raw that they don't bear sharing, so I'm writing in a code that I might be able to understand someday when I come across this.

In my surfings this morning, I found this wonderful video. I can't figure out how to "embed" it, so I'll just link to Heidi, who posted it. It features one of my favorite actors, Rider Strong, and happens to be a shameless plug for a politician. But even if you are not supporting said politician, you can believe that hope is something we all need, and if you grew up with "this is your brain (egg) this is your brain on drugs (fried egg)" this video is just fun. The artistry sort of reminds me of the conversations on the show Friends--Chandler and Joey would have a fight that mimicked the fight a husband and wife had about kids, but it was really two roommates fighting about caring for their pet duck and chick.

Yeah, I'm really babbling. I really have to go get ready for work now. This is a strange office I keep, reading morning email and blogs and trying to figure out my life...saw this name twice today, so will look him up later at work: Parker Palmer. (Heidi and Pete both mentioned him.) I think it was Heidi...

tootles. I get to have lunch with one of my favorite librarians K. today.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

'cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight...

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

--Lyrics from Steven Curtis Chapman's latest song, Cinderella, about his daughter Maria.

Maria's life was cut short yesterday when one of her brothers backed up a truck in their driveway.

All day I held this in, and then L asked me if I'd heard. I had, Heidi had put it on her Gmail status and then other folks had put it on their FB status'. I was numb. But listening to John and Stephanie (our local Christian radio show folks, who are the most normal talk show hosts I've heard, Christian or not) talk about it and then they played this song, which I'd heard over the weekend, sitting in traffic at the junction for Rte 8, I got goosebumps. And I wanted to send a copy of Ordinary People to the Chapman son. Because I think a book solves Ordinary People, the one son survives the other. Of course, there's more to it. I've never seen the movie. I had a conversation once with Chris and Eileen (happy graduation Chris!) where Eileen said, all he wants to do is recommend a book so he doesn't have to talk to you. And he sputtered, no, I want to recommend a book so that we can then talk about it. But it does come out funny, says the woman (me) who has sputtered out, "Have you read such and such" in a moment of not knowing what else to say.

In the moment of grief, though, I know too well, and was reminded by Tim Keller tonight: no content will help. Hugs help. Presence helps. Weep with the weeping.

[Writer's note: this was updated at 10:01 pm.]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sarah Louise has a pity party and you're not invited...

Oh, yes you are! Come on in, bring a hankie!

Let's see, I went to get antibiotics for the sinus infection, and whilst at the Big Bird (Giant Eagle) I bought a Vidalia onion and the latest copy of People, you know with Jenna Bush as a blushing bride on the cover. It's enough to make an old maid like me sing Johnny Cash (cry, cry, cry, and I don't mean the onion!) (I know I'm not an old maid, don't put that in the comments...)

Today was the last Mother Goose of the session and first I rammed the cart over my foot (ouch) and then while closing the room dividers, crunched my fingertips (ouch and double triple ouch). I know some of the kids I won't see again, cause they'll graduate to Kangaroo (for kids 24-36 mos.), or I'll be in Queens, or both...and I love my kiddies, I really do. When we sit there and sing

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you'll never know dear, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away,"

I think you. You are my sunshines, every dear child and mother or father or grandma. I almost got one of the Sally's that I work with (not to be confused with NH Sally) to take a picture of me doing MG this morning but thought maybe that was too sentimental and foolish.

There's a line from Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (which is stacked under some pile of books at the moment) where Natalie writes about a restaurant she and her friends started after college, and how they knew that it didn't matter how thick or thin they sliced the vegetables, it mattered that they cared about what they were doing, and that that was what came through to the customers, that was the secret ingredient in the recipe. I often think about that when I do my Mother Goose sessions--they don't care if I get the words right or if I'm sitting on the floor or on a chair. They can tell that I adore them and I adore what I'm doing.

Sigh. A line that has been resonating with me from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: "Resurrection only comes out of death--real death. Our losses are real."

I went for a walk this evening, just at dusk, around 8:30 here--I love that I live so West that it is still light so late, and it's only May. (When I talk to my dad, I'll say, oh, it's still light and he'll say, oh it's been dark a half hour already.) And I grieved some things. I grieved not knowing if I'll ever be a blushing bride (and yes, there's more to it than Jenna Bush as a blushing bride, but you know I don't always fully disclose). I cried. I wept, as I walked up Ferguson, past the house where I bought my $4 desk. Past houses with "Unstoppable" Penguins signs and "Go Pens!" signs. I grieved. I grieved. I grieved.

And as I turned onto Jackson, I realized that a) I'm extremely hormonal right now. b) I have a lot of unresolved things in my life, they are choosing to manifest themselves in this lack of romantic self esteem c) I need to take a chill pill. The fact that Max is no longer totally gaga over me, that no one is right now, does not discount the fact that he was, that men have in the past been gaga over me, and furthermore, God, the creator of heaven and earth, is gaga over me, my name is graven on his palm.

When I got home, as I unplugged my cell phone from where I had been charging it, my land line rang. And wouldn't you know, it was NH Sally. Who is one of the most down to earth people I know. Which can be annoying if you're in the depths of despair, because she is a real Marilla type. Marilla, as in Anne of GG: no sense worrying over spilt milk and stuff. Wow, I'd never made that connection until now. But it's true. Sally is very often the Marilla to my Anne of GG.

Speaking of Marilla and Anne, Marian's hair is red right now. It's lighter daily, as it washes out, but the first couple of days it was (in her words, not mine) like she was Carrot Top's sister.

Sally and I talked for a bit, and then she had to go and so I called Bird. Who is Anne of GG right there with me. I shared with her that someone I used to know is getting married soon, and that triggered something too, I'm sure.

And I don't have plans for Memorial Day. I'm going to spend Saturday night and Sun day down near Somerset with Sally and family and some Bellefielders, come back for church Sunday evening, and then Monday, which is my regular day to go to doctors and such...well, no one works on Memorial day except for the ticket tearers and the popcorn boys, so I'm going to the movies. I know, sacrilege, I was never an Indiana Jones fan (probably due only to the fact that I never got around to seeing them, may have seen part of the first one, but I would like to see Iron Man. Or Made of Honor. Or...I haven't been to the movies in a LONG time.

Okay, and it was 9:58, so I just watched David Cook become the American Idol. And it was so wonderful watching him sing, walk into the crowd, pull David Archuleta into the spotlight, to see them all arm in arm at the end. I DID NOT watch the two hour finale, just the last five minutes, and I'm sorry, but it was really heartwarming.

The weather today was like my mood swings--sunny, then rainy, then cloudy and cold, then sunny, then rainy, then sunny--no, I think the weather had more mood swings than me--welcome to Pittsburgh!!

I'm outta here!!! (I'm such a geek.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Adrian is Rad posted a great video of the South African athlete who has double prostheses and is hoping to compete in the 2008 Olympics.

I can't concentrate...the Pens vs. the Red Wings! Starting at Joe Lewis Arena on Saturday!

When I became a hockey fan back in '97, the Red Wings were the team. So it's very very cool that the Pens are playing them...

I'm considering going away for Memorial Day weekend...I wonder if they have a radio at the cabins...I'll have to ask Sally...

Monday, May 19, 2008

the confusing in-between...

BJ has forever talked about this book: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. I finally put it on hold at the library. Someone else had it out, so I forgot about it, until it showed up on my desk. The writer, get this, is a pastor, in, where else? Queens! Whateve. (That's me being nonchalant...)

I'm a little over halfway through. It's a really great book. He talks about Job a lot (you know, God is mysterious, my life sucks, I don't understand, God says, I'm mysterious, get over it.)

So, since I can't find a notebook anywhere (a writer who has to search for a notebook and pen?) I'll share it with yins and you can comment!

Lessons from Job:
  1. Pay Attention
  2. Wait in the confusing in-between
  3. Embrace the Gift of Limits (there's a list in the book, but basically: accepting that you are not God, and you can't do everything you conceive of.)
  4. Climb the Ladder of Humility (this is also in the book, based on Benedict's 12 rules)
  5. Let the Old Birth the his time.

I'm clearly in Stage #2. I paid attention, I sent in the resume, and now I'm in limbo. And learning a lot in a lot of other places in my life.

For instance, I love chatting with Katy. And when I got a twit that Andrea had put something fun on her blog about Twitter, I went over, commented, and then she and I chatted for a bit. Which is fun, b/c even though I've met Andrea in person, both times were at conferences when we had no time to talk. And I'm getting past the image in my mind I had of someone else I've been twitting/FB-ing with. Playing the "getting to know you" (but not that way, just as a friend.) So go Web 2.0--I'm using it to enhance my real life!! Last night Babs and I basically IM-ed (16 short emails) and I'm handing over the cable for a digi camera I gave her eons ago--we're meeting at Tazzo!

And I am SO THRILLED that for the first time in 16 years (and my first time as a Pens fan*) the Pens are going to the Stanley Finals!! I'm gonna go get me a jersey...

And I'm outta here!!

Can I say this? I love Wikipedia!!

*I came to Pgh in 89, but left in 91, and was NOT into Hockey back then.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

How I stimulated the economy...

SATC complete set is currently half off until supplies run out (until June 2) at Borders. So the first $150 of my stimulus check went to Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. I've started watching episodes in English first and Spanish after. It's fascinating to see which things don't translate and which do. Some things actually come out better in Spanish...Like Mr. Big saying that Carrie's apartment is "Lindo."

Gonna read some more Helen Clay Frick bio and then GO PENS!

This just in...

(failing at not pointing out that a FB email and a visit to a blog and then a link took me to find out that something is happening at the church I go to every Sunday...)

AUGUST 2! The Church Basement Roadshow, at the OD!!

On messiness (notes for a future post)

Note: when I was in jr. high and kept a journal every day, some days I'd just make a list about the things I wanted to write about.

So here's the mini-thought that came to me as I read my latest bit of A Perfect Mess:

the truth: proverbs 31 woman it doesn't say you could eat off her floor. this cleanliness is next to godliness crap is bunk, just like God helps those who help themselves.

Also, I just discovered x365, I'm thinking of starting my own list.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hippo Birdie Two Ewe, Hippo Birdie Deer Ewe... (in which I link up, footnote, reminisce, and share new things.)

(From a Sandra Boynton birthday card that is no doubt out of print, this is the greeting I write on most folks on their FaceBook walls when I get a little reminder on the right hand margin that it's their birthday.)

Today is the non-Gregorian birthday of this blog. Birthed three years ago, it was then called "Pink Sneakers and Pocket Books" The pocket books was supposed to have a double meaning, pocket books as in the smaller paperbacks, or pocketbooks as in purses. Both have really fallen out of our daily usage, unless you hang out with women over eighty (I do!)

I feel like I should write a "state of the blog" address, or a list of where I've been over the years. (Three years is a long time, dudes! I can't believe I've gotten to a place in my life where I've lived my life out in spans longer than a State Dept. or military style tour of duty.*) I could tell you how much more Web 2.0 I've become--this year alone, I've finally figured out, (and gotten my father to sign up, plus I taught him Control-C and Control-V!) I've started twittering, and I have a professional blog (that I haven't updated in weeks!). I've moved most of my emailing over to one of my two gmail accounts, and I've even used tiny url! (Once you start twittering, it becomes necessary.) Oh, and I can (if I remember) now text with my thumbs on my cell phone instead of hunt and peck. (As I re-read this, I thought, how could I forget the fact that I joined FACEBOOK!)

I get to "go in late" this morning--it's the Ninth annual Best Books for Babies Awards, which last year was hosted on the Southside by Beth-Joseph Books and this year is at five local Borders. I photocopied the mini-poster that Beginning with Books sent out in a .pdf, and let my Mother Goose parents know that it was happening. I considered just rolling out around 10:25 to go to my local Borders, Eastside, but then I thought, wouldn't it be more fun if some of the Mother Goose parents actually came out to the one at Northway Mall? So I amended my plans. But it still means I don't have to leave the house until 10, a delicious hour to be leaving on a Saturday. I look forward to someday not working every single Saturday, but for now, I can't really see a way around it, since that means I'd have to give up Monday, which I need for doctor's appointments and such. (Dentist this Monday...)


I feel like in a lot of ways I've hit a wall. Which is probably why I'm trying so many new things. Something, stick! Or break down the wall, or something. I've started, warily, blindly, this new thing called 30Days. It's a website that's supposed to get you through the first 30 days of a new transition. Since they don't have "change" called "I've decided to send out resumes," I'm doing the "Find your dream job" which I'm sure will have things I already know. Oh, and "get out of debt," not like I haven't been trying to do that since I graduated from college...I'm not sure I'm ready for the onslaught of emails I'll get every day telling me tips and stuff to do. (Although, where was this when I was going through the break-up?) Can't I do "4 weeks," where on Friday I get emails saying, how was your week? (I'll now plug Schmutzie's latest brainchild, Five Star Friday.) But in my search for that YES thing, I found the cutest website. Oh, you can't understand it? I couldn't either, hee! Just click on "English please!" I got this quote from the home page: "Basically, we create anything that will bring happy feelings and juicy living to your world." Juicy living. That is what I want.

I joined Amazon Prime (Free 30 day trial!) (yes, another thing started) almost a month ago to get free shipping for my book on librarian resumes. I think I got a coupon for joining, or at least just free shipping, so I treated myself to Sara Zarr's two lovely books. But I got an email last week saying, "Prime Trial almost over!" and so I ordered A Perfect Mess, which I had renewed from the library umpteen times and recently returned. This book is the best vindication for all of us "messies" as the culture has labeled us. I love it! I've started re-reading it, and since it's mine, I can annotate all I like. Annotate is Max's word. Hmm. Okay, back to where was I? Oh yes, so somehow Prime thought that they'd give me $5.00 off as a gift. Not that it made me sign up to pay for Prime, but thank you, Jeff Bezos!

And while I know now that most people "don't read on the web" I doubt any of Babelbabe's or Badger's or Jen Weiner's readers would like everything to be in bullet points. There's something about reading juicy paragraphs.

Ack, look at the time! Well, time to wash up and get ready for a day of children and books. Not such a bad way to spend a day...

*My mom categorized it thusly: first year, you unpack. Second year, you live there. Third year, you pack. My dad categorized it thusly: If you don't like it, just wait. (undercurrent: it'll change.) I categorize it thusly: can't we stay in one place? Which might (does!) explain why I have remained in this rent-controlled garret.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gotta love those Google ads...

This just made my day, I think. Gotta go check laundry. Darn third floor walkup!

I don't need a pink hard hat, but it would be fun to have...

Marian collects flamingos. One of our maintenance guys asked me what I collect. I said, I collect pink.

Blogiversary upcoming...

Today is Staff In Service Day. It doesn't follow the Gregorian calendar, it is just a Friday in May. Maybe it's even the Third Friday in May every year. But anyways, the day after is always my blogiversary, which also doesn't follow the Gregorian calendar.

More to come!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I feel better, but I'm still carrying whatever this bit of the plague is. I don't think that sentence even makes sense...

Anyways, thankful to the folks that make cold medicine, so that at least the symptoms are in check.
I have other thoughts, but I fear that my brain won't be able to convey them well enough.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We sang...

there's some song that has we sang and it goes...well, my brain (brian) cells aren't firing completely. I don't think it's the same one as "kisses sweeter than wine" but it is the same album (New Christy Minstrels.)

I sang to the babies this morning. Then I had Chinese lunch--I ate the whole thing! So my appetite is back--I think sleeping straight for two days I may have lost weight, my pants feel loose.

And my sense of humor returned around 5 pm when the receptionist at the chiro said, there IS an envelope here, are you expecting something else from us? (I'd lost one of my signature teardrop silver earrings). "A million dollars," I replied. No, just the earring, which which is enough. I'll pick it up on the way to work Friday.

I had breakfast for dinner at Sally's. I thought I'd do laundry when I got home, but the sofa is calling my name. I think I'll even miss the Idol elimination show.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cold or flu? I can't tell!!

Usually I get colds. But I feel like I've been sick for days and I've only had this cold since Saturday. I have a few hours to make the decision of whether to go to work or not (work starts at 1pm).

I slept all of yesterday afternoon (3-11) up until 11:45 (that's 45 minutes) before I crashed again until 6:45 this morning.

I did take a shower--mama says that's important. But seriously, I could so easily take another nap--I'd rather sleep than watch Ellen, which indicates something.

Gnite. Say a prayer for the folks in Mynomar (can I spell), China, and some states in this country (this United, not these United.)

I'm sure I had an interesting thought...but I think I'll take a nap.

Oh, here's something: John McCain is older than two of our states: Hawaii and Alaska. If you live in WV today, don't get stuck on a country road, VOTE!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Call your mama!

(Bear Bryant)

Excellent Mother's Day article by Tom Friedman in the NYT.

Unbelievable what you can fit in 140 characters. My latest twitter: "Call your mama" -- Bear Bryant. Great Tom Friedman article in NYT on mamas today. and it's NOT raining. GO PENS! Also, taking the late bus.

Will be getting Mom a geranium--she asked for it when I mentioned that the folder wouldn't be done and I said Dad said I should get her a plant or something. Wish I could get her a trip to Alaska with the whole fam--that's what she wanted for her 65th, but circumstances are out of our control.

Dad wants a picture of the whole fam for his 66th, something nice, like for a Christmas card. He'll probably get it.


Father's Day, after Christmas, is the biggest "retail holiday." I learned this while working at Fox Books and it's true. We fear our papas a little more, and we don't know what to get them, so we get them big glossy coffee table books about golf. Mama says "Oh, I don't need anything" so we get her flowers.

Breakfast yesterday with S., she talked about how experiences are more important than things--that going somewhere with someone lasts longer than something that gathers dust. So I hope my visit this weekend and the walks she and I have had are something she can hold onto in her mind. Because, we all know, in mama-speak, it's true: She doesn't need another thing.

I'm sitting here, holding it in, because as soon as I get up, Dad will take the reins of the computer...

one more thing. Proverbs 31 was the brainchild of a future mother-in-law. But she has a lot of good points.

Happy Mothers and Others Day. I always say Happy Mother's Day to everyone--because even if we aren't one, we have/had one.



Saturday, May 10, 2008

Badger gave me her cold

But I'm not going to be hacking up lungs...or going to TJMaxx...Thanks luv. Actually what happened was that being so wound up and then having a chance to relax, well, anyone over 25 knows that's when your immune system says, "hey, any germs hanging out?"

Oh well, at least I'm at my folks, where I could take a two hour nap after lunch (and it's SATURDAY and I'm not at work!! Woo hoo!!)

I have been absorbing so much--stuff I'm not going to blog about b/c it's not fair to folks that have confided in me, but oh-my-goodness, drama drama drama.

And my dad has been telling me stories, and and and I got him to sign up for!!!


And, drum roll please...I submitted my resume and cover letter yesterday at 5:18 (and 23 seconds). So pray, if you are the praying sort. I have NO idea if this means it's time to move on, or if it's a chance to remind me how much I love da Burgh. Izz not ovah til the fat lady singzzz!!

Kiki, true to her word, brought two suits, the ones that were for first and second interview for the job where HP interviewed her (well, he wasn't HP yet). So she said, well, SL, I wore these suits and then I married the man who interviewed me! It was SOO great to see Kiki, I can't remember the last time I laid eyes on her. She's the cuz closest in age to me and though she's now married, she and I were single gals together and well, she knows I adore her. She made the awesomest blueberry pancakes this morning, and then I went out to breakfast with S., a nice break from family 24-7, which is often what happens when I come to the Nut.

I'm a little spaced out from the cold...this is not my best writing, but whateve. Go visit Badger, watch the last video for Song Lyric Saturdays. I'd never heard this song, but the guy from Once does a darn good job.

Haven't finished Mother's Day gift. But this story will explain why I'm not worried:

The African boy listened carefully as the teach explained why it is that Christians give presents to each other on Christmas Day. "The gift is an expression of our joy at the promise of peace on earth, and of our friendship for one another," she said.

When Christmas Day came, the boy brought the teacher a sea shell of lustrous beauty. "Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?" the teacher asked as she gently fingered the gift.

The youth told here that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found. When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was left speechless.

"Why ... why, it's gorgeous ... wonderful, but you shouldn't have gone all that way to get a gift for me."

His eyes brightening, the boy answered, "Long walk part of gift."

This is truly a folk tale: as I looked for it online, it took place in Africa, Central America, it was coconuts, it was a beautiful shell, the recipient was a teacher, missionaries, male, female. This version came from here, which is a website I can't tell who authored it, but it has different stories. I heard it first in a sermon at Bellefield years ago. Sally also heard that sermon, though we weren't friends at the time, we have the shared memory.

And bizarre--me, the novel writing comments lady, has gotten shy. I left a couple comments today that were mono-syllabic. I'm reading, I'm just spaced out...

Oh, and enjoying Twitter. Very much. It is a challenge to keep what I want to say to 140 characters.

Folks are home. Ta!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

morning random thoughts

My current FB status line: Sarah Louise has a full tank of gas. That won't last...and at 40 cents off per G, it still wasn't cheap. But I can't walk to work.


I have ignored my cell-alarm too many times but it's not yet eight o'clock. When I woke up and thought first of getting on the computer I thought, have I made this piece of glass and plastic my God? The thing about praying right when I wake up is that I might fall asleep. So I turned on the computer and while it woke up read Psalm 63 and Psalm 91. Which are both really great.


Yesterday Beth Moore was riding us like crazy to go out and live life. I felt like she was talking to me directly, a not so uncommon occurrence. My notes are in the car. And there goes my alarm again, to the tune of the theme to SATC.


And I walked yesterday! I never walk on Tuesdays, I'm too busy! But yesterday I did! And OMG (literally, Oh, my God, but in the way it should be said, like, Wow! God! You Rock!), I saw two, no three wild turkeys. And the last one saw me and preened for me. It puffed up huge and showed its feathers. I couldn't see them, so I just stood there, on the other side of the chain link fence. It did it again, and I still couldn't see. The third time, it turned towards me, and it was a beautiful sight. I'd seen them on TV, colored them in on Thanksgiving coloring sheets, but wow, to see one in real's not like seeing a peacock, mind you, but still amazing in its own way. I thought about the symbolism of it turning toward me after the third time. It was sort of a test between us, like I was saying to the turkey, I won't leave until you show me your feathers, a weak comparison to Jacob wrestling the angel and not letting go "until you bless me." (Genesis 32:28 and surrounding verses)


hmmm, do you see how God twice nudged me to link to Little teaser, that Holy Spirit and darn if my cell isn't telling me that it's 8:11!!


Crap! I just realized that I'm taking the early dog tomorrow!! And I haven't even started packing! I'm just la la la, what will I do tomorrow before work? Um, not going to work tomorrow...and I have to be at work in 45 minutes, so if I want a shower, I better get one.


My dad called, no time for shower, and apparently I thought I posted this but didn't.

*********So, a few random night thoughts************

Why do I procrastinate packing??? WHY WHY WHY? The process itself maybe takes an hour, if you include counting out pills. And yet I have been "packing" since I got home around 7:30pm. It's now 11:27 pm.

I'm seriously screwed up. And I can't find contact paper, a key component to my mother's day gift.

You know what this is, right? Perfectionism, which is pride...

Yeah. It's 15 minutes shy of midnight, and I am leaving the house around 6:30 tomorrow morning or so...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Insomnia...thy name is...I give up.

#87 why I don't like DVDs: if you put one in and fall asleep, you will inevitably wake up to the stupid menu music.

And someone has "requested" to follow me on Twitter. I think I know them, since they are following people I know, but I don't know who they are. (WHY do people choose bizarre nom de plums?) (Kettle? Hello, you're black.) (But at least I have my first name attached to my Twitter account...) GAH. I also have accepted a FB friend who is friends with one person I know...

Oh, and I dropped (not on purpose) (so I guess that would be "knocked over") a glass of red wine last night and am STILL finding how far it reached. GAH.

Oh, had an absolute ball at the last SRC committee meeting. Laughed until I sort of had tears. We all revealed a deep dark secret and mine was "I want to move to New York." The rest just came out and they were super supportive and E. knows someone who already works for QBPL!!!
The ELib meeting was great, but when I got home, my introvert sirens were at high pitch. Oh, and I finally reconnected my camera and my computer, but the software is different, fun. One fascinating thing--each day of pictures gets its own folder. Which could be sort of helpful, except that it was 280 pictures.

Okay, Kate Hudson in the VCR (not DVD), let's try to drift off, shall we? Why didn't I buy the eye shades when Target had them for $1? Cuz I can't find the one that came with the nightgown mom bought me for Christmas. (I used to always think those things were ridiculous, but once I got one, oy, just wonderful.)

Oh, and I may have already received my stimulus payment, b/c it would have been/will be deposited direct as this is how I got my tax refund. I'm earmarking it towards "interview expenses." K. interviewed a few years ago at Queens and turned them down, Pittsburgh being more affordable--they all want to visit me when I move. And the cover letter/resume goes off THIS WEEK. Because otherwise I'm just spitting into the wind or something. Say a prayer...I am a little petrified.

Last night explained SuperPoke to two folks at ELib meeting. I said, it is how my sister communicates with me. She sent me a pig dressed up as Princess Leia for Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Force be with you.) I didn't know anyone knew about that except everyone that knows my dad, but made MY day. Cuz I had forgotten it was May the Fourth, you know, Pens game and all.

Okay, let's see if I can get a little more sleep.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.

(Abraham Lincoln)

I wanted a cool "Cinco de Mayo" quote and so Google took me to this post which reminded me that today is more than margaritas, it is a patriotic celebration.

So happy Cinco de Mayo! And happy moving day Bird! (Today she is a woman, my sister is moving into her own apartment with her friend L.!!! I'll be there later this week to celebrate the move, Mother's Day and see Kiki, who lives in PA, but not near me.) Multitasking vacations, I love it!

Today is a HUGE day for me. I have appointments from 9:30-8 (just about) and then a East Lib meeting to go to, which the title quote mirrors well.

9:30 Treadmill Lady (whom I adore)
11:45 Meet a potential new therapist
2-4 Last meeting for Summer Reading Committee, with lots of food and fun.
6:00 E. Lib meeting.

I tried watching The Lives of Others (a German flick that two men I like, my dad and someone else, recommended) and gah! I'm just not interested in a movie that is pretty much (as long as I watched it, which might have been a half hour) about the Stasi (East German secret police) doing surveillance on this playwright, whose girlfriend is also dating a Stasi official. I think it must be a guy flick.

Katy and Kiki both gave me encouragement and good thoughts and tips about the resume/cover letter process and Kiki pointed out that most first interviews these days are phone interviews. Ah! Good point.


The Pens won yesterday!! I don't understand hockey that much, but I like it enough to listen to it on the radio and then listen to the call-in shows afterwards. Oh, it was so exciting, I was screaming in my apartment every time they got a goal. And it even went into overtime. (I'm sure it was on TV too, but I was happily adding links about interviews to my page.)


Church was good. Eileen and hubby did the music, the songs were not songs we knew, but they reflected E and her husband's personalities well (quieter that the normal OD fare) and the lyrics to the last one ROCKED even if the music was more folksy. And we sang "Come Ye Sinners" which I ADORE.

It fascinates me the dynamics that exist in the Great Hall, this one big room with slant-y floors. People come early and leave early, come late and stay late, cry, laugh, open themselves up, shut down. I am amazed at how easy it is to avoid someone if you don't really want to talk to them--in our small community, there is still so much for us to learn about community, about tiptoeing and stomping. And I've gone beyond talking about me, because even I can't exhibit all those sorts of mood swings in the short span of the two or so hours we spend there. How easy it is to have Facebook lives, to beat someone at Scramble, but not have a word to say to them when you see them face to face. The sermon was really good. I took notes. (Well, and I always do, it helps me listen.) I can't remember what it was about at the moment, but I will later. Ah, it was about the tower at Babel and then the regeneration of language at Pentecost. The speaker was a man who left the OD just as I was coming in, so I never knew him, but he's back now. It was a GREAT sermon, mirroring the two stories. I was glad I took my Bible along. (Our scriptures are on a screen so that you don't need to carry one.)

Slowly I am telling people about my Queens dreams, mostly when they ask me about the car I turn it into, we-ell, I might not need a car after this summer... There are a few people I need to email, as I think they'd like to know before they hear it on the grapevine...but how I'd so much rather tell them in person...with a hug. So maybe I'll wait one more day.

The communion table is supposed to be a place where we experience grace, and last night BJ told us to serve one another, which we generally do, but the wine was at the other end of the table and so the woman next to me was waiting to serve me and the woman on the other side served me with grape juice, because I didn't tell her, I'm already waited on. ACK! I felt horrible, which I know I need to let go of, because hello, it was the LORD's table and if anywhere we are going to experience the life of God, it is there--as I write this out, I think how I have just written about the tapestry of what happens in the Great Hall and how the Eucharist starts out with "on the night he was betrayed." We make it out that communion is this holy wonderful thing and yes, it can be, it should be, but we are human, we screw it up, just like everything.

I remember a paper I wrote in college about a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem that talked about how we screw everything up but ends with that the Holy Ghost is always fresh. And Sister Maureen wrote, why did you end your paper on a sour note, instead of a fresh one, like the poet did? Hold the phone, I'll get the poem. I love me some GMH. God's Grandeur. (I dare not cut and paste, this website really does their HTML, and I'll be editing for hours.) But this is the last line:
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
There is a phrase I love, "dearest freshness deep down things," that reminds me that "nature is never spent," that we think we have screwed up God's world when duh, it is his world. If he wanted us to not screw it up, he would have locked it away. He wants us to hurt and heal. I think we forget that we can't heal until we hurt so bad that we actually get out the peroxide, put on the Band-aid, wait some days or months or years. So I didn't screw up that woman's communion experience just by an inadvertent word. She was already wounded. And I was already good at wounding, by wanting to please everyone. Oh how humbling it is to let things go.

I just finished another "Sisterchicks" book (I adore these, they are fluffy travel books that actually express women's fiction the way I think it should be expressed--and they aren't romances!! If the woman is married, she stays married. If she's single, SHE IS NOT FIXED UP by gettting a man!!!) Sisterchicks in Gondolas (and now I am in the last 15 minutes before running out the door). I'll write more about Sisterchicks in Gondolas later, but the one phrase I love is "shame off you." It takes the shame out and says, let it roll off your back like water off a duck's back.

I think with this walking thing (yesterday I walked to Whole Foods, about a mile) (and back, so two miles) I am expending more calories, so the small amounts of food are not going as far--I had a frozen dinner before church, but after church, I was FAMISHED. And no one was going to the SE, so I went with Jen Weiner (we're now Facebook friends!). (I started re-reading Certain Girls, am picking up the details I missed the first go round.) I had my "usual," Mediterranean Nachos and an iced tea. And I ate the whole thing. Then I went BACK to Whole Foods (I had to buy frozen waffles, which wouldn't have weathered the walk home, esp since I went to Goodwill after I went to Starbucks and Borders.) Then I walked to Walgreens, got their house brand of Claratin on half price, WOO!

Okay, gotta hit "Publish." Have a great day.

It's a great day for hockey!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

a book meme...

The Rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4.Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to the person who tagged you once you've posted your three sentences

She frowned. "Yeah. Why?"
He was now the color of a Thanksgiving cranberry mold. "You just seem real winded, you know."

I think that might be four sentences, technically. From Connie Brockway's novel, Skinny Dipping.

To tag...I haven't tagged anyone in AGES. So you're it. If you take the bait, leave me a comment.


I spent a delightfully introverted evening at a party. (How is this possible?) Well, I didn't know a soul, (well, not very many souls) so I sat by the fire and stared at it and spoke only when spoken to. It was lovely. Once I could listen in on a conversation that used the word mortgage and investment and taxes, I figured it was time to come home.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Do you hear voices?

(standard question in a psychiatric evaluation.)

Voices is the "theme" for May's NaPoBloMo. Friends, I don't think I can guarantee a post per day in a month that includes Mother's Day, a trip to the Nut (my folk's house), the publishing and sending of the resume and cover letter (which I worked on some more this morning) and a lot of possible goodbyes.

I think about voice though, a lot in blogging. I know I have a sassier persona sometimes when I get in the groove of "being Sarah Louise." And a more business like tone when writing cover letters. I'm trying to not have it be form letter-ish, but how many ways can you say, "I look forward to hearing from you soon."

Well, let's try:

"Let's not say goodbye at the end of this missive, let's say fare thee well, and fare me well when you reply."
"Call me, we'll do lunch. I'll have my people call your people..."
"I will sit by the phone everyday until you call." (or) "I will keep my emailbox open, waiting for your reply." (or) "I will sit out by the road at the mailbox and I will flag down the mail man every time I see him."
"You read my words. You call me. I come in, you interview me. Deal?"

This "coming out of your comfort zone," well, it's NOT comfortable.

I finished "Certain Girls." The Pens lost in a shut out, 0-3, to the Rangers. It rained so I missed walking this morning. Or more truthfully, I chose to get on the computer first this morning and when I was ready to walk, it was raining. One of these things made me cry. And that thing made me want even more to write, so that I could capture a moment in words. I may have to re-read it.

On the way home, I listened to the call-in show for Pens fans. And even though our team lost, everyone was so kind. "We lost that game fair and square." (After work, I went to a nearby pizza shop to finish reading my book, finish watching the game, and feed my hungry stomach.)

Another thing people do with their voices is sing. So here's one for you: "Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go..."