Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My car passed inspection and other miracles

Yes, it's true. For what is possibly the first time in my car-owning life, about sixteen years, my car didn't need ANY work whatsoever for the yearly inspection that PA requires. Woohoo! (I realize woot is cooler, more hip, but woohoo has more of a party in the pronunciation.)

This vile month is almost over, just FOUR MORE DAYS til my cousin's birthday (on November 1.) Her birthday starts the birthday season as far as I'm concerned. I have friends with birthdays in early November, and then mine is at the end of the month. (Thanksgiving Sunday.) Then my brother's, 5 days before Christmas, then my sister's, 2 days after New Years. And then of course, Christmas. I love the holidays. Not something you'd think you'd hear from a gal who worked Fox Books for 7 retail seasons, but I do. Halloween does NOTHING for me. Case in point: our staff Halloween party was Monday. I was baffled as to why the decorations were still up until I realized that Halloween the holiday is still a few days away. Haven't decided what I'm doing yet...I generally do not stay at home because, well, third floor walk-up?

The U2 tickets arrived the other day. I have put them in a "safe place." HaHaHaHa. I should probably put them in my underwear drawer, that's where I keep things like my passport. The concert isn't until JULY.

Lilly and I are going resale shopping on Sunday--half price at the Designer Days, which is run by the National Jewish Women Organization, or some such. They had a thrift shop in Oakland when I was in college, so I got a lot of my early college clothes there. Later, their thrift shop moved Dahntahn, and I got an elegant tea pot for East End Sally's wedding gift. (We used to drink tea all the time, so for a while, I only got her tea related gifts.) Now their thrift shop is in Swissvale and I've never been. But their resale shop is in Shadyside, and I've many a nice piece from there.

(See? Sunday isn't Halloween, it's the day Lilly and I are going shopping.)

Already I can feel the gloom of October unpeeling its wretched fingers from my life. Soon, my dearies, soon.

Today I wrote cards: one for Marian, a hi, I miss you, and one for Michigan Sally's birthday, which was a few weeks ago. (I talked to her on her birthday.)

Lunch was with the ladies that lunch, to celebrate two birthdays in our department. I had lasagna, yum.

Well, off I go...I'm going to a Grease sing-a-long. It's been ages since I've gone out in the evening, and it sounds super-fun. Laundry can wait till tomorrow morning, which probably means I'll skip Bible Study again. We'll get there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

these posts don't write themselves...

so I have at least 3 posts in "draft." A lot is going on these days. Right now, it's moist outside and sometimes a quick downpour (which I thankfully escaped, by mere moments).

I'm here, I've increased the Zoloft, and I'm spending WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much time watching TV, DVDs (SATC, season 4, "My one and only," and bits of CBS last night, even the end of Hawaii 5-0.)

My car is being poked and prodded. Hopefully it passes inspection without any extra work. (Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease).

Update: Anna moves to Moscow tomorrow. (Well, she'll be on a plane for most of tomorrow, with her two children, husband, and cats.) I broke up with Xander via email (yes, I know, despicable, but apparently I cleaned out my colon every time I had a date with this guy.) (Sorry for the TMI.) Talk about bad chemistry.

I will get through this, I ALWAYS ALWAYS do. But if you have any corny jokes or cupcakes, leave them in the comment box.

kisses, SL

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to write a political ad in Pittsburgh

Note: I am not endorsing or maligning any opponent, but merely pointing out how ads are written here in SW PA.

If your opponent is rich, point that out. If he's a millionaire, even better.

If your opponent has been in Washington, and you haven't, point out how corrupt Washington is, and how we don't want to send your opponent back. Mention Washington and corrupt as many times as possible.

Talk about privatizing social security. Talk about Medicare, grandchildren, taxes, and health care.

Highlight a particular failure that your opponent has made. Get negative quotes from newspapers, government officials, especially if that official is in your opponent's party, and if the failure has cost money, compare it to the cost of "BOTH stadiums" (Mentioning sports always helps anything in Pittsburgh.) (When will library fundraisers learn this??)

Use the phrase "back room deals."

If your opponent says something bad in a clip, play the clip twice.

Get the "average voter" to say, "I usually vote for [insert your opponent's here] party, but this year, I'm voting for [insert your name here], because [insert your opponent's name here] just doesn't get it."

Use the phrase "[insert your opponent's name here] just doesn't get it" as much as possible.

Mention Paris Hilton. Mention China. Mention China again. Mention illegal immigrants.

Point out the unemployment numbers that have gotten worse since we sent so and so to Washington. Use pictures of empty streets.

Make sure you vote on Tuesday, November 2. Start now researching who you can vote for. Talk to people you trust. Don't wait until November 1. Plan when you will hit the polls. Before work? After work? On your lunch break? Even if there is no one you want to vote for, show up. Represent. Write in someone that you think could do the job better.

And above all, remember that the more local the vote, the more that person may have an effect on your daily life. So don't forget city council, school board, and other local officials.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

it's like the feet are little psychiatrists...

(Terri Guillemets)

After a decadent lunch at at the Frick Cafe, Lilly and I walked for almost 3 hours through Frick Park. (We stopped twice to sit.) It was nice to just walk and talk. We solved all the world's problems. (I wish.) But as soon as I dropped Lilly off at her apartment, I panicked. Should I go grocery shopping? Should I go home? Should I take a nap?

Tomorrow I have lunch with Anna, who is leaving for Russia in two weeks. And Friday was Sally's (formerly of the North Hills) birthday. I have been crying. For the loss of my friend to Michigan, where she is thriving. For the loss of my friend to half-way around the world and more than six time zones. She'll be on her own adventure and I'll still be here, with the same old me, in the same old apartment, with the same old job. I'm working on thriving, I can see it ahead of me, but I'm not there yet. I called Sally Friday morning to wish her happy birthday and she was chirping like a happy (thriving) bird.

With Marian still not back at work (although two of us at work had dreams that she had returned) and Pat eating in the kitchen with all the brown-baggers, (not out, like she used to always do), I went out alone to lunch on Friday. I have been doing that, for the past month or so, taking a book. Sitting there, in Sally's favorite Chinese restaurant, I felt more alone than I had in a very long time.

I don't know if I'll see Anna again after tomorrow--she's so busy finishing up getting ready for their move. And I will really miss her.

So I think the panic that I felt after dropping Lilly off was that for a few hours I had had a reprieve. Someone to shorten my journey with a story. I wasn't alone. A day where I wasn't thinking about Anna leaving and although we did talk a little bit about Sally in Michigan, Lilly and I talked about other things. We solved other problems.

I'm working through some BIG things right now: being healthy about my eating, being healthy about my money, being healthy about relationships (men and women), still working through energy issues with the subsiding Shingles. (I'm so sick of going to bed early and STILL sleeping until at least 8 almost every morning.) Getting acclimated to a new church. Figuring out my question for my PhD. (So much closer now.)

And guess what? Even though you might think I shouldn't be, I'm hard on myself. I expect nothing less than perfection. And when I fail at that, I coddle myself with TV, or DVDs, or computer time. And all that coddling means that I don't have time to do simple things around the house like dishes, bills, and laundry. It's a vicious, vicious cycle, one that brings on endless shame. (I have kept three geraniums alive since early summer.)

My therapist can't see me tomorrow (she's taking an all day class), and disc 3 of season 6 of SATC is unbalanced, causing whirring noises and sometimes stoppage of play. It's funny what can derail an otherwise wonderful day. Oh, and Catherine is sick, so I haven't stopped by to see her and the twins all week. Writing it down does help to see where I've been unbalanced.

This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. And inside my head, a voice screams, "But WHEN?"

And then I feel ashamed, because I had a really nice day. And the cycle repeats until I'm tired enough to go to bed.

Well, I think I've done enough work here, probably more than I would have in tomorrow's therapy session. Lilly has recommended G. Roth's book, Appetites, and I think I'll get my hands on a copy tomorrow if I can.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

A counter community...

It's one of those days where I have many thoughts swirling, and seeing as this is the place I am right now, I'm going to share the swirl with you.

The title comes from a quote from Inward/outward, which so many of my friends have followed for years and I only recently hooked into. It's a cool quote/passage every day, run by a church in DC.

But they were talking about counter as in opposite, and because words are fun and can be used to mean many things (don't you love that?) I read it differently, because I know of a counter community. A real one.

The place where Marian and I eat lunch (and where I eat often in her absence, which has added up to months now) is a counter community. It is a lunch counter, in the shape of a U, sort of, and we all are aware of each other. It's pretty much the same crowd every day, although, come to think of it, John hasn't been there the past couple of times I've been there, and the other John didn't go for lunch yesterday, just to pick up a newspaper. The cashier saved one for him, she often does that when that day's paper is selling quickly--it was a big day in da Burgh yesterday, 50 years since Maz hit one out of the ballpark. (The Pirates won the pennant in 1960, and people show up every year at the place where there is a tiny piece of the former wall of the former ball field, because it's a very Pittsburgh thing to do.)

Anyways, sometimes the guy who is sometimes my mechanic is there, and sometimes this guy who is the spitting image of John McCain, and there's a loud guy named John, and while Marian knows all of the waitresses names, I know Andrea. And sometimes Doc realizes that there are "library girls" eating, and he gets Andrea to take our bills, so we leave tips for our waitresses but get a free lunch. There are varying degrees of "how we feel about that" from "that's Doc" to "free lunch!" to "how embarrassing." But all this to say, we are a community. A loose one, but a community nonetheless.


The thought I had as I went from my kitchen sink with my breakfast to my bed which is also my couch, my dining area, my computer "table," my TV chair...I know, I need to diversify my life, my furniture, but right now I'm just in "get by until things improve" mode. Anyways, I was thinking about the councilman in Texas who did a "it gets better" speech. (It gets better is now code for if you are a gay teen, don't kill yourself, there's so much life ahead of you.) And I watched it, and cried. And the thing of it is this: I'm not a gay teen, but there was so much that spoke to me. About how we are each different somehow and often teased or feel alone for that different piece and sometimes it feels like an insurmountable mountain, to get past whatever it is. But what this guy was saying was, LIFE is worth it. And I think that's something that everyone can hold onto.

It's been a pretty dark week in Sarah Louise Land. One of my friends has been unreachable for months, one of my friends is moving to Moscow (yes back in the former USSR), and Sally is still in Michigan. Xander is either really clueless or doesn't like me and doesn't know how to tell me, and I haven't seen Lilly in weeks (save for a hi/bye at a conference we both attended last Friday.) I did dream last night that Marian was back at work. She was wearing a zippered hoodie, blue, and there she was, back at work. Almost as if she'd never gone, but the truth is, she's been gone for months. She doesn't even know about Xander! (Who, the next time he contacts me, I'm either sending him a "dear John" email or telling him in person the next time I see him.) I still like him, but I can't be with someone who has no mechanism for telling me he likes me. So, one of two things could happen: he'll back off and that will be the end, or he'll scratch his head and say, oh, that's not what I meant to convey. Then there's always that third option, option x. But if I've learned ANYTHING from SATC, it's that people are so often in different quadrants and then they aren't. And some people move on and some people keep coming back.

I'm just meandering through this...and also playing hooky to Bible Study this morning. I need some hooky time. I work from 1-9, and I need to get some ducks in a row. Instead of laundry last night, I finished the book about Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook. Instead of doing my pills, I watched the shows I normally watch, Modern Family and Cougar Town. Cougar Town surprised me...I thought it was going to be this dumb show where formerly Monica from Friends sleeps around after her divorce. Which I think it might have been. But by the time I started watching it, middle of last season, it was much more. There's some real depth there. If I try to explain it, it will sound frivolous, but it isn't. So there. This is my blog...and I'll write what I want to.

And when I called my momma this morning, she talked. Which is rare, my mother doesn't just go on and on and tell me about her life. I wanted to tell her about my life, but that's okay, I was glad to listen. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my momma? She's the best. She really really is.

Well, in a minute, the clock will strike ten (literally--the seminary down the street has one of those clocks that rings on the hour) and I need to get some laundry in and find some prescriptions and take them to the drug store. There's the bell now.

mtc, SL

oh, and I didn't even mention the miners. What joy there was watching 20/20 last night, the coverage of the miners being released from the earth.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Judgy-wudgy wuzz a bear...

(Stanford to Carrie, SATC Season #5)

This is the post I wrote in my morning shower...and forgot by the time I got to the laptop.

In my early 20s, I made bad choices. I also had bad boundaries, and this led to friendships where people judged me. So now that I am in my late 30s, making better choices, I am afraid that I'm still going to get judged. And all of a sudden, I have people who are saying, "I see what you're saying and I feel the same way," or, "why don't you look at it this way?" NOT "You are making a huge mistake."

But it takes a long time for that voice, that "You are making a HUGE mistake," to go away. Before I open certain emails, I take a deep breath. I have a guy friend who is good at giving advice. He says it's in his Y chromosome. And because I have chosen well, my friends and my boundaries, the advice he's giving me is the same advice I'm giving myself. (But isn't it nice to have someone else tell you that you're on the right road?) Years ago, my mother said to me, "you are making good decisions." I wrote it down and put it up on my fridge. Maybe I need to find that paper or write up a new one.

Had coffee with Xander. I think we were having an off day. I didn't like him that much. And there was a lot of us not talking. But he is a great listener, and he knows his books and his hockey. And I may have stepped on his toes. Because he may have stepped on mine. But I still think he's cute. When I got to Borders, he was sitting there, reading, wearing a Sidney Crosby #87 t-shirt. I walked up to him and said, "Hey, Crosby."

And the beat goes on.

ten ten ten OR diez diez diez OR zehn zehn zehn

I'm feeling playful this morning. Is it because I woke up and the clock that at first look read 10 a.m. actually read 7:57? (How I adore my old fashioned analog clocks.)

Is it because I showered before I watched CBS Sunday morning? (Which means I have a chance to be on time to church)

Is it because the Chilean miners are almost free? Maybe Wednesday!!

Is it because last night I had the chance to see a movie in a dark room, the chance to laugh and cry with strangers? (Life as we know it, the movie, not the TV show.)

Is it because after the movie, I talked to my mom in the car in the dark parking lot? Like a lot of mother daughter conversations, this one had to do with food and poop.

And after all this, I went to the grocery store, bought myself some flowers from Ecuador, raced to the other grocery store to buy almond milk (which by the way, yuk) and got home in time to putz around online until the first skit for SNL.

Yesterday was one of those days...a morning of too many pink Kleenexes being thrown off the cliff called my bed. Coffee and peppermint patties. A morning of self-medicating with Google searches. In the afternoon, I buckled down and worked on catalog errors. (This is even less and more fun than it sounds, believe me. And requires a lot of gray matter.) And by 4:30, I realized that if I didn't have a movie to go see, bad things might happen. And having spent the morning with too many pink Kleenexes and Google, I decided to search Yahoo movies.

I am grateful, that on the brink of my 39th birthday (a month and a half away) I am remembering what I can do to make me happy. Which includes CBS Sunday morning, chick flicks, feeding myself real food, talking to my mom, and blogging. I get to see Xander at 3 this afternoon. Still working out if we are friends or something more...but he's a great guy and I want to take the time to figure it out.

So...if I want to be on time to church, I better figure out what I'm wearing. Tootles. Enjoy this day, it won't come around for another 100 years. And it won't be on a Sunday for even longer than that.