Monday, December 31, 2012

Some posts I liked from 2012...

This wasn't a big year in blogging. But here are a few posts that I liked. 

(and of course...) The Lego Posts: 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"I've been WORKING on the railroad..."

(traditional American song)

My friend Lilly has a penchant for projects. Last year, she set up each month with a theme and worked on that theme, I suppose like Ben Franklin did, once upon a time, but I don't think she was working on 13 virtues. I am exceedingly proud of Lilly, who has fulfilled her lifelong dream of home ownership. Her penchant for themes/projects has pushed me to try some monthly projects too. 

For instance, last year, when I was waiting to hear from that Midwestern school that eventually rejected my PhD application, I decided *I* needed a project. So every day for the month of February (starting on February 2nd), I made a collage. I figured, at the end of the month, I may not be in a PhD program, but I will have 28 collages. It was a mixture of "HOW DO I HAVE THIS MANY MAGAZINES?" and "I need a positive project." So every morning, before I even had breakfast, I made a collage. It was great. I sustained it through my end of the month trip to New York, but it really was a project that was good for a winter month, and not sustainable past the one month and a few days mark.

This year, I'm faced with no application to a PhD program (because I thought my local university would be a fit, and it was/is not one) but I have applied for a fellowship that would involve travel down South for a month. We'll see.

But I'm thinking, hmm. Maybe I need another project, something to keep me positive, in case at the end of January, I don't have a place to go in the spring to do research.

And again, at work, I've gotten rapped on my hands. In Children's, I'm doing great. But in Technical Services, folks are complaining to my director that I take too much time to get my coffee, I procrastinate, I use work time to do non-work related things. ACK. While these things are true, my productivity hasn't suffered because I get a lot more done when I'm in the office by myself evenings and weekends. However, I want to be on the good side of my co-workers and my director. Towards this goal, I've started reading books about work. Books about the workplace. Books about working. (They are not all the same thing, see below.)

It is not my dream to become the head cataloger at the Library of Congress. (You're shocked, I can tell.) But for right now, I enjoy my job, for the most part, and it pays my bills. So I need to make it work for my co-workers, and most of all, my director, who signs my paycheck.

But I also need to find out what is my next step. Academia and the PhD route? Freelance writing? Something else?

My book list right now, based on what I'm reading/have read/just got off the library shelves today:

Basic Black: the essential guide for getting ahead at work (and in life) by Cathie Black
I am devouring this fun read which features stories of Ms. Black's professional life as well as advice for getting along with co-workers, bosses, clients. It's geared more for executives, but she gets the fact that not everyone will follow the same path she did. Halfway through, I just want to call Cathie up and say, "Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, I love your book."

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
This novel by BK is about Appalachia, climate change, Monarch butterflies, and a lot of other things, but also about finding your place in the world and following your dreams, getting un-stuck. I gave it to my Mom for Christmas, as she loves all things Monarch butterflies, but reading it really changed my thoughts concerning that pervasive lie: "I can't change my life." 

Working: People talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do by Studs Terkel
Today I noticed that I have a big piece of yellow legal paper with my HUGE handwriting with a quote from this book. I've not read it, but I like Studs Terkel, and it seems like a good book to read if you're thinking about what work means.

Women and the Trades: Pittsburgh, 1907-1908 by Elizabeth Beardsley Butler
This just looked REALLY cool. Especially since I'm into Pittsburgh history, women's history, and well, women working in Pittsburgh.

Hard Work: "To make both ends meet" : Maine Women's Voices, 1888 by Jim Sharkey
This is a 59 minute documentary on DVD. It looks pretty similar to the book preceding it on this list. The link goes to a sample on YouTube.


No Job? No Prob!: How to pay your bills, feed your mind, and have a blast while you're out of work
by Nicholas Nigro
I have no intention of being unemployed, but this book piqued my curiosity when I was looking for books about work in the catalog the other day. When I saw it on the shelf, I thought, hey, why not? I'd love to see how it talks about having a very small income. This is my "one of these things is not like the others" to round out the book list.

Dancing Naked: breaking through the emotional limits that keep you from the job you want
by Robert C. Chope
The title grabbed me, the subtitle sold me.

I think the collage project may return for the month of January, because reading books about work? Not going to get me out of bed on cold winter days! But I think maybe my project for this year is to figure out what is next for Sarah Louise, career-wise.



Sunday, December 09, 2012

“Then from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat, so he gave up being king of the wild things.”

(Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are.)



Okay, I know you can't really smell ice cream from across an ocean and into a day where the wild things are, but the first picture (of a salad) wouldn't load, and the second picture (of soup) could not stand on its own two legs, so we're left with a study in pink. Ah yes, my favorite flavor of ice cream, Winter White Chocolate. Baskin Robbins only makes it in the winter months, hence the name. I think I'm allergic to some of the  ingredients now. But doesn't it look scrumptious? Sigh. Also, trying something new with the teeny tiny watermark, after reading a blog post about blogs being scraped. Once upon a time, my content was scraped. That was back in the dark ages, when I blogged here every day, and Babelbabe and I held court with the rest of the bunch. Before Facebook, before Twitter, before Instagram and the iPhone took over everyone's life.

I've been feeling like an old fogey lately. Like Maurice Sendak, I hate ebooks. Books that need batteries to work? That's the whole point of books. They require nothing more than for you to hold them in your hands. Also, I miss letters. Mail these days is too many envelopes from my insurance company about billing to my chiropractor for the accident this summer. Why do I need five envelopes every time they send me mail? And while it is fun to get birthday greetings from about 28 people on my birthday on Facebook, I am grateful that the ladies in Technical Services still believe in birthday cards, the kind made of funny jokes and pretty colored envelopes. I miss birthday phone calls, when everyone would gather around the phone and one, two, three, sing, "Happy Birthday to you!" In our family, we sing first in English, then in Polish, and if you're lucky, in Portuguese.

When I'm not being an old fogey, I'm working on keeping house. Today I had lots of energy and cleaned off my bed, under my bed, and changed my sheets to flannel--winter is supposedly coming, one of these days. I went to Trader Joe's and the East End Food Co-op and found this amazing lettuce blend which has herbs, lettuce, arugala, red cabbage...YUM. As a single person, I find that buying a head of lettuce is an exercise in futility, as I do not eat enough lettuce and the lettuce then becomes terribly gross before it is all consumed. Tomorrow, I'm baking a quiche for the Children's Dept. Christmas party, and while I'm grating cheese and chopping up peppers, I'm going to see if the celery I bought AGES ago still has something to be salvaged. When I poked it today, it seemed to still have some structural integrity, so I am hopeful.

Also, I have been re-watching Ugly Betty. How I love that show. Betty is such a go-getter. I watch her when I'm sick and/or when I feel that all my dreams have been stomped on. Betty doesn't let life get her down, so maybe I too could get up, dust myself up, and keep going. My mother has this bit when you're grumpy, she says, "Wipe that smile off your face! Throw it on the floor! Stomp on it!" It never fails to get at least a wan smile out of me. That woman is a force of nature.

Yesterday, after I'd told her about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, she said, it's Joy's birthday today, but you probably remembered that. And I said, no! I knew it was one of these days! And she said, well, it's okay if you don't remember. But I want to remember, I said, because I want to know which day to be sad. Well, honey, she said, today is your day to be sad.

This morning, the book I'm reading was talking about memories and how memories can keep us warm, can feed us. And all of a sudden, I remembered the birth of Sally's first son, and how I was in Pittsburgh that weekend for the baby shower. There was no shower, a birth instead. Her son was 3 months early. I got to hold the baby in the neo-natal unit, and of all the babies I've ever held, that's the only time I was in a neo-natal unit. The thing is, I didn't think it was significant then, the way it hit me this morning. I never got to hold Peter. I never got to hold Joy. But because I was in Pittsburgh for a baby shower, instead, I got to be there for the first days of the baby!! A baby who is now really old, I think maybe in 6th grade.

I sort of feel like this was a "Lake Wobegon" blog post, like when Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion says, "And this week, in my hometown, Lake Wobegon..." and goes in and out of stories and you never know where he's headed and all of a sudden he's done.

That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"I hate myself for saying this, but it felt sad, not having a special man in my life."

(Carrie Bradshaw, "The Agony and the 'Ex'-tasy")

Yesterday, on my 41st birthday, with no special plans, I had a feeling that the day would end with me watching that episode. You know, the one where Carrie calls Big at the stroke of midnight and says "I just wanted to call someone old...er." And she invites him to her "fabulous lite" birthday dinner. Which no one shows up to because "did you know they are paving Fifth Avenue?"

It's like the movie "Sixteen Candles." Molly Ringwald's character turns sixteen and everyone is so involved in their own lives that they forget her special day.

Or that line in "What would you say?" by the Dave Matthew's Band..."Mom, it's my birthday!!"

My dad didn't call. Marian the Librarian stayed silent. I sort of got a greeting on FB from my favorite pen pal, but not really. I took myself out to lunch and dinner, but not anywhere special, just the same places I go every other Wednesday. I got texts from my brother, my sister, and my aunt. TEXTS?? But that's the new way. I talked to my boss about hating technology and she told me about her grandfather who was born in 1878. He hated horses, so he loved cars. And you had to think, wow. There was a time when your only option was horses.

(Aren't you glad you stopped by for this birthday party?)

But the fact is that the episode I'm referring to (The Agony and the "Ex"-tacy), the Season 4 opener, which is the epitome of BIRTHDAY GONE BAD, at the end, Big shows up in his black town car with red balloons and champagne and it's like that moment at the end of a psalm of lament when the psalmist is done railing at God for how hard life is and says "and yet, I will hope in God."

My day did not end with balloons from a former lover, or a call from my dad. I did get a call from Kelly who is THRILLED to pieces about going to nursing school. And it was wonderful, having something to be squeeing about. And she could hear my pain, and she let me have my moment, and she soothed me. We made plans for dinner in a week.

Kelly's call and the art in the TV shows that I watched was the Selah, the "And yet I hope in God" moment. I fell asleep to the sounds of "The Bourne Identity." Which is a really good movie to fall asleep to, as I learned when I had the plague a week ago. There's a lot of music, not a lot of dialogue.

Today on Twitter, my favorite author Sara Zarr said, "'sitting with your feelings' isn't as fun as it sounds."

It's not. And this is a hard season. But I am learning a lot about myself, much more than I ever do in the "WHEE! THIS IS THE LIFE" seasons. I'll get one of those, maybe when the hockey season starts, if it ever does. For now, I will hope in the Lord.


****

To be clear, I celebrated a wonderful day on Saturday, the day my family dubbed my birthday. We went to the movies, we went out for dinner, we came back for cake and prezzies.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Morning pages...or an incomplete post on why I have a love/hate relationship with Julia Cameron

Who is Julia Cameron? Ages ago, she wrote a book called The Artist's Way. It's pretty much the 1990s version of Writing Down the Bones.*

A lot of people love it.

I want to.

But there's this inconsistency.

Morning pages.

They are what Natalie Goldberg talks about when she talks about practice writing. Just write, no rules.

But then Julia makes some.

"Morning pages are non-negotiable."

"There's no wrong way to do morning pages"

"Morning pages are three pages, longhand."

Call me crazy, but don't these three statements negate each other? If there's no wrong way, then why do they have to be 3 pages, why do they have to be in the morning, and why are they "non-negotiable"?

Also, morning pages are supposed to "feed the artist child." I HATE doing morning pages. So how does doing something I hate feed my "artist child"?

In the Artist's Way group I was in a few years ago, we talked about how it is actually harder for writers to do morning pages (vs. other types of artists.) So why can't "morning pages" become something else, something that is refreshing and DOES feed my "artist child"?

Last February, I was waiting to find out if I got into graduate school so I could start my PhD. On February 2nd, I decided I needed a project. So every morning, I made a collage. I often wrote something on the back of the collage. At the end of the month, I figured, I might not be on my way to the Midwest to start a PhD, but I would have 28 collages. THIS, I discovered, fed my "artist child."

So why do morning pages have to be three pages? I write big. Can't they be based on time? If I want to draw, is that okay too? What if I don't have time in the morning? What if I'm not a morning person? 

__________________
*Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not really about Argo, starring Ben Affleck.

Author’s note: this is a complex piece, memoir format. It is based on memories from me as an eight year old, a seventeen year old, a 27 year old, and now, as a forty year old. It is me, trying to piece together my life and memories. My relationships with my parents are very different today (as one would expect) from when I was seventeen, and they are two of my favorite people.

I went to see Argo because Ben Affleck was sporting a Barry Gibbs beard, I liked the trailer, and I have an interest in Tehran. My mother taught in Tehran at the Community School (a Presbyterian mission school) from 1966 to1969, before my parents were married. My mother met the Shah's wife, there's even a newspaper picture of my mother with the Shah's wife. It was through some Girl Scout event. My mother was a Girl Scout leader.

My mother is a very private person, so I'm always trying to learn more about things that connect to her life.

Little did I know that Argo would bring up all sorts of things about my father. Things that were in a black box so tight that it took me until Wednesday morning to admit them to myself, out loud. I admitted them to myself in a crazy depressed vibe Monday night and Tuesday morning, but Wednesday, while pouring raisins into my cereal bowl, covering the raisins with Grape Nuts and Kashi Heart to Heart, I admitted to myself that the reason I was so upset about Argo was that my father wouldn't let me live in Poland when I was in college. I had to go to college, I was not allowed to take a semester off.

I was seventeen, depressed, homesick, and my parents were halfway across the world. All of my abandonment issues are rooted right there in a few conversations with my dad, me pleading to come home and him refusing.

In retrospect, I am glad, for I wouldn't love Pittsburgh as much as I do now. I had to make it on my own. I did make it on my own. I made decisions. I found people to help me, and through those people I found other people and it blossomed. I found my place. I grew up fast, but I did, indeed, grow.

But more than twenty years later, Argo, a movie about a lost piece of American history, brought up that forgotten seed of bitterness and perceived abandonment and bloomed itself into a tree. A rotten tree whose fruits were disappointment and loneliness.

In 1979 and 1980, which is the time frame for the movie Argo and the actual events it depicts, I lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Due to my age and location, I was in what could be called a black hole for news. The Internet did not exist, and as an eight year old I didn't read the newspaper except for the comics or watch television except for cartoons and Little House on the Prairie. I never saw television news coverage about hostages in Iran. I sort of knew the hostage crisis was happening, I probably heard my parents or other adults talking about it. But it was not a part of my memory in any sense of the actual television coverage that shows up all over the place in Argo.

So on Monday, I walked into a movie because Ben Affleck looked cute in the trailer and it had to do with Tehran, a city I’m always interested in because of my mother. I had no idea how graphic the movie would be, and I had no idea that two of the characters were a couple I met during the time my parents lived in Warsaw, Poland, in the early 1990s.  

I heard the names, Mark and Cora L****, and I knew that I knew them. I knew they were friends of my parents, good friends. And something deep in me might have known they were from the Poland years. This was confirmed later.

When I graduated from high school in 1989, I moved to Pittsburgh, to go to college. My parents moved to Poland. Polish language training had taken up an entire year of my father's life. My father was prepared to speak Polish. He was not prepared for what happened: the communists were voted out of office a month after my parents’ arrival to Poland. Poland was on its way to democracy and privatization, and my father was in for the ride of his life, as the U.S. Embassy’s head economic advisor.

Back in Pittsburgh, I sat in the phone booth at the end of the hall in my dorm. Poland wasn't a third world country, but it wasn't first world, either. My phone calls had to be connected first through AT&T operators in Austria, or Germany, and then to Poland. I would dial a number in Austria only to hear the recording, “All circuits are busy, please try again later.” I tried again right away until I got through, dialing up to seventeen times, praying, please God, let me get through. There was a six hour time difference, so depending on the time of day, I talked to my dad in his office, or I talked to my parents at home. I don't think I ever talked to my siblings on the phone during the Poland years. The phones could be tapped, vestiges of Polish Communism, you couldn't be sure. And phone time cost a dollar a minute, so you didn't talk very long. 

In those phone booth conversations, it was either a business call, this is how I'm doing, with a list of talking points, or me pleading with my father. Please. Can't I take a semester off? And him, answering my pleas every time, with the same answer, no.

I know more now: it was probably the hardest point of my father's career. Communism had just fallen in Poland. My father was the head of the Economic Department. Privatization was an unknown to most of the people he was trying to help. The currency was going into hyper-inflation. Congressmen wanted to visit every other week to see democracy and free trade in the making. All these things meant my dad worked every day, all day, even Sunday. Everyone did. The officers (mostly husbands) showed up for church in the back of the Marine Bar in the Embassy, ate lunch with their families at the Eagle Club and then back to work. It was probably the hardest time for my parent's marriage. I remember coming home at Christmas and my parents were bickering. Growing up, my parents never fought, and if they did, it was in a room far away. Were they on the brink of divorce? This was not a place for me to come home to, this was not the time for me to take a semester off and be in Poland. I see that now.

To be clear: Poland was not a dangerous place, nothing like Tehran in 1979. But it was no place for a 17-year-old who wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life. Better for me to stay in school and work towards my bachelor's degree in the requisite four years. 

I came home every Christmas and summer vacation. Summers, I worked in the American Embassy as an intern. My first summer, I worked in the Consular office, where they gave out tourist visas, work visas, fiancée visas. For the first month that I worked in the Consular office, I was responsible for reading and retrieving cables three times a day. I was responsible for shredding cables on a regular prescribed schedule. When Albanians protested in July, 1990, I was responsible for writing a document in Albanian (transcribed from a cable) in case Albanians came to the Embassy seeking asylum. Copies were given to the Marines at Marine Post 1 and 2.

I was a normal college student with a normal summer job. Except that my normal summer job was involved in international affairs in a country that was undergoing political and economic transformations every week.

I worked with people who had chosen their lives to be far away from home, defending the American way of life to the world. Warsaw was a "hardship post," and I imagine Tehran was, too, at that time depicted in Argo. You got "hardship pay" for being in a situation that was more dangerous, or more squalid. Poland was not dangerous in 1989. But in 1979, Tehran was volatile.

In Argo, when the angry mob breaks through, gets into the Embassy yard and then into the Embassy, it was like the worst horror movie, it was REAL for me. When the Marines were being told to throw tear gas as a last resort, they were my Marines, and I remembered my crush on a marine named Roland. When the Consular officers decide to leave, escape, because they had access to the only direct street exit, first destroying the metal plates that were used to imprint passports with tourist visas, I saw the Consular office in Warsaw. It was as if I was watching two movies, one on the screen, and one tightly guarded in my memory but now playing loudly and with garish music. Only one of the movies was true.

During the whole movie, I ached to call my father and say, who are these people? How do they fit into my story? Why didn't I know this part of the story, this story that belongs to me as an American child of the seventies and the story that belongs to me because I knew two of the people depicted on the huge Hollywood screen.

And when I did call, as the credits rolled, my parents didn't answer. My mother picked up as I was in the middle of leaving a message about the movie. Which told me one thing. They were having dinner and they had screened the call. My parents don't have caller ID. So, right now, as Independents, they are of course getting all sorts of annoying phone calls from both parties. And my father, about 8 years ago, decided that he wasn't going to have dinner interrupted, it was interrupted his whole life as a child because his father was a pastor. The phone rang during dinner and I think maybe it not only meant that dinner was interrupted but maybe that his father left the table and maybe the house.

I should ask my father sometime. Because my issue with the fact that he screens my calls? Goes back to a different time, a time when I had to leave voice mails, which was not Poland, but another time, when I was falling into the twisted abyss of bipolar disorder as a 27-year-old. The voice mail person would say "x person" is not available. And those words, that my father was not available to me? That cracked me in a place where I was already cracked.

So while I was telling my mom about the movie, my dad was telling my brother about how the Canadian diplomats visited the L**** while they were in Poland. And as I'm talking to my mom, Jimmy Carter's voice comes over the credits and my mom says where are you and I say I'm at the movies, it's the credits and she says, I'll let you go, and we hang up. I'm so upset that I drive straight home instead of getting dinner at Panera (but I'd had movie nachos anyways, so I wasn't that hungry.) I ate some chocolate ice cream, took my dinner meds, and tried home. And no one answered. Well, weren't they done with dinner? The child in me wanted to talk to her dad. Where was he, and why wasn't he answering the telephone? And so I had to leave a cheerful message, because my mother brought me up right, but I felt horrible.

And so I searched the Internet for any scrap of information about the “Houseguests” and Argo. I read the Wired article from 2007, I read Tony Mendez's story in the CIA history archives online. I learned that Hollywood did, of course, compress the timelines, dramatize dialogue and events. But the emotional drama? That is something you can't show on camera, not really, so I forgive Hollywood for the police cars chasing the plane, because if you are escaping a country, in your mind, until you are safely in the air, you feel as if police cars could be chasing you down.

Tuesday morning was so bad that I called the house but didn't leave a message when I heard my mom's voice on the answering machine announcement. I spent the morning huddled on my bed watching any YouTube video about Ben Affleck and Argo. I tried to piece things together. I cried. And as I write this now, on Sunday morning, I can't tell you anything else, because the black box has closed again. But I will tell you this. I had to be at work at 1 p.m. I was 15 minutes late and that is without even taking a shower. That's how bad it was. I was glued to my bed, glued to finding any scrap of information that might make me feel okay.

It's a bad coping strategy, I know. But research seems to be my "go to" for "I don't understand what's going on in my mind." My other coping strategy is writing, and rewriting, which is why this post, which I started on Wednesday morning, is being edited on Sunday. It's now afternoon, the seminary bells just rang out three minutes ago.

I recommend Argo. I'm going to see it again tomorrow, partly because there's nothing else worth watching at my Monday $5 movie theater, but partly to open up the black box again and see if it's as scary the second time around. Boo!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tweeting my way to a post...

Preface, in 140 characters or fewer, tweets from this morning.

Is every woman in love with Booth and want to be Dr. Brennan or is it just me?

Realizing as I watch Bones Season 5 that I wasn't so much in love with the boy as I was in love with the IDEA of him.

And no way was he ever in love with more than the idea of me b/c we never shared enough of each other. 

***

Deep thoughts for a Sunday morning? I have been watching Bones exclusively...even the shard of Friends the other night didn't appeal, and I DID NOT like Elementary. The idea of Sherlock Holmes as a junkie in recovery that needs a handler? I admit I have never read the original books, but I am too neurotic myself to enjoy watching neurotic people for entertainment.

I'm still in the grieving process...living in an alternate world of research for my poster session--TUESDAY and watching, like I said, exclusively, Bones. My therapist agrees that if I'm not watching any other TV that 3 episodes a day it is not unhealthy. (Thank God!)

(I did watch 4 yesterday, but I'm in the midst of a medication change. We went up on my antidepressant dosage b/c I was depressed. I took the dose back down on Friday morning b/c I was exhibiting "high risk" behaviors.) I use the quotes b/c I've never been one to spend thousands of dollars on shoes while manic. But I spent over $8 in the library's book store this week, $8 I really didn't have for magazines I really didn't need. (It wasn't ALL magazines, I did score a very nice messenger bag which will be great for carrying my laptop to the conference.) Friday morning, I called people cute on Twitter. I said, "I want to eat you up" to someone. And, thanks to my dear friend Gabrielle, of Hormonology fame, I was able to assess, in the shower, that oh! I'm in week 3. I should be feeling grumpy, not "You're so cute, I could eat you up."

So, on Friday, I modulated my meds. Which meant that I was in a mixed state both yesterday and Friday. Today I need to focus on the poster. (Which basically means, after this blog post, it doesn't matter what my mood is, I have to power through.) More on that once I'm done...I promise a more complete post later this week. To me, there is something wonderful about Sunday being the first day of my week. I start the week with Sunday and Monday as my days off, which is why I HATE calendars that use Monday as the first day of the week and give Saturday/Sunday teeny tiny boxes, as if you couldn't have anything important enough to write there.

I kicked, well, tush, yesterday at work. While I did spend the morning mostly gabbing with our wonderful Saturday volunteer, in the afternoon I knocked out over 15 Blu-rays. And that's impressive, because a lot of Blu-ray records are incomplete or non-existent. I generally have to do some original cataloging for every third record. I admit that my work was not up to the standards of my former boss, but a Blu-ray is NOT a facsimile of a Martin Luther book and I got the record (and the item, which is in high demand) out. Other librarians can come along and tweak the record I worked on, that's why it's a cooperative cataloging system. Haters gonna hate, but I mostly love OCLC, without it, my work would be much more gnashing of teeth than it already is.

I've gotten into a rhythm of work on Saturdays without Jean. Mornings, I talk with our volunteer Jenny, afternoons, I knock out Blu-rays, and with my last 20 minutes, I check to see which DVDs are in the system, such that any of the library assistants could just add the items to the record. This rhythm will likely chance once we are done with Jennifer's order (yes, a lot of women with J names), but for now, this work rhythm will last for at least a few more weeks, since we don't even have the Barbie videos that she ordered.

I live my life out in stories, and relationships. So it follows that I learn from stories, and from the relationships found therein. As much as I do NOT like the character of Daisy Wick, I learn from her relationship with Lance Sweets that the boy and I were not well matched. Intellectually, maybe, but emotionally not at all! And while Booth and Brennan are not a match intellectually or emotionally, they both seek to learn more about the other's process.

I think the next guy I date should be someone who reads fiction. I haven't dated a fiction reader since the last millennium. Max did read a fiction book I recommended, but we never discussed it. I'm looking for someone who I can talk to about stories. Because above all else, I traffic in stories.

Thanks for tagging along into this post...it's more "journally" than I like to set out as a finished product.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

"You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"

(My mother.)

ARGH. I so wish I was the kind of person that folks wanted to help. What I mean by that is, that I could be the sort of person that could talk to a car salesman who didn't get the detailing done on my car (there are ASHES still in the ashtray) and say, "oh, (dripping with honey), I'm sure you just want to double check to see if this was taken care of."

Meanwhile, I'm "your guys didn't do it, and I'm going out of town this weekend, I need it taken care of, and now, or tomorrow."

This is the summer of SQUEEZE SARAH LOUISE.

I don't have 2 days to play phone tag and be nice. And I don't even have my phone ON right now because I had one bar of battery. (Sometimes if I turn it off and then turn it back on, I get another bar back.)

It's a goal, then. Become the kind of person that is grace under fire. Right now, I just feel like I'm on fire, and "stop, drop, and roll" isn't doing the job.

"But life is good, right?" my mother would interrupt RIGHT HERE.

Yes. Life is good. I got paid today, I have food at home, I have a car (albeit one that needs new rotors), I have a roof over my head, and I have good friends, and a great family. I had a WONDERFUL week off at the Lake, so wonderful. I have never in my life needed a vacation as much as I did this year and for the first time in my life I didn't want to go home when it was time to go home. (I am weird that way. When vacation is over, my body clock/GPS says "home, take me home.") But not this time. Can't I just STAY gone for a little bit longer?

Well, there's a stack of books that need Dewey numbers to be checked, so if I have bad grammar, it's because I wrote this all at once, no major edits.

See you on the flip side. Or as another blogger once said, MTC (more to come.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Life is messy, wear a smock..."

(from a greeting card)

This winter, three of us librarians on twitter were in a good place, having deactivated our OKCupid online dating accounts. We all had boyfriends, we were happy. This summer, D. got dumped, I was in limbo land, and K. got engaged. And then I was no longer in limbo land, I was in no boyfriend land.

My last post tied things up nicely, sort of like a Jane Austen book. The reality is less like a bow, more like a tangle. Now that I can't have him, I want him. (Well, I never didn't want him, he was the one that ended things, however murkily.) At work, I see him, he smiles, we have short conversations. I'm like a moth to the flame. Messy? You betcha.

I have seen my friends do stupid things for love, I have done stupid things for love, and I don't anymore want to be that girl that does stupid things for love anymore, except, well, oh. When I see him, he is just so cute.

It's not about the eye candy, it's about the fact that we had a connection. We were us, once upon a time.

Hopefully, over time, I will develop other interests. But right now, with my stress levels at gazillion, I just want a date, a hug, a kiss, with the man I knew in February. (Yes, I know that man doesn't exist anymore, you can't step in the same river twice and all that.) 

I'm a romantic, and I confess that I still hold out the teeny tiniest hope that the boy could turn out to be "The One." However, I'm more and more thinking that he's probably like Charlotte's first husband, Trey MacDougal, from SATC. He seemed so good on paper, (and often in person) but in the end, he didn't have that "stick to it" quality that you look for in a mate.  

In other news, I am looking at cars. Online, in person (today I went for a test drive) and I've started the financing game. It's all about how long have you lived where, how long have you worked where, what's your gross income, etc. Boring stuff, but working the same place 10 years, living the same place 11 years, well, that helps.

And my life is all about doctor's visits. Between three visits a week to the chiropractor, and followups on the blood tests I had in mid July, I have been to see a doctor of some sort every day this week. Yesterday, while AT the chiropractor, I got a text from the chiropractor's office reminding me of my appointment for today. Every time my phone chirps and I get a text from the chiropractor, I think, I USED to get texts from my boyfriend.

Life is good, but it is hard. I'm hanging from a very thin thread, but as my father says, "we know from spiders that a thin thread can be very very strong."

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket or a holding pattern over Philadelphia."

(Judith Viorst)

I totaled my car. The details are of course important, but they are not for public consumption, so let's just say, I was driving and then all of a sudden, I was in a crash.

This all happened on July 21st, which was Saturday a week ago. I was driving to work. Suffice to say, I didn't get there. Instead, East End Sally picked me up from the emergency room (no broken bones, just a few scratches and of course, whiplash). We had lunch at Wendy's, and then cleared out my car. You might imagine, if you know me at all, that there were many library books, magazines, books on CD, and other car related detritus, such as maps. Also, most importantly: my house keys. They had been on the passenger seat, not in my purse, and so that is why Sally and I went to clear out my car, so that I could get back into my apartment. Also retrieved from car: my EZ Pass, the contents of my glove box, and my license plate. I took a picture of my bumper stickers: an "LW" oval sticker for the Lake We Go To, a political bumper sticker, and most recently added, "Got Milkweed?," which refers to the fact that milkweed is the host plant for Monarch butterflies. 

My mother decided to drive up from Virginia, bless her, bless her, bless her. She stayed with me in my apartment through Monday evening, doing motherly things like cooking meals, making me fold laundry, and helping me get rid of a little bit more of my clutter. Also, listening. Also, talking. Also, hugs. 

Since then, it's been chiropractic appointments, calls to and from my insurance company, emails to and from my insurance company, rental cars, copious amounts of paperwork, faxing things, notaries, and not a lot of time to do anything besides go to work and sleep. 

In other news, I have gotten to a place where I am ready to say, that was a great relationship. A short winter diversion. Time well spent with a sweet funny man. Who changed. And there's nothing I can do to change the fact that he changed. And there's no way I could have known that he was going to change, there's no way I could have seen that it was going to end badly. A friend reminded me today that I was very thoughtful about every step of the relationship, from the beginning, whee!!, to the middle, hello?, to the middle middle, the waiting game, to the end, a whimper, not a bang. It was good to have that reminder. I cried a little.

I'm ready to give him back his Michigan sweatshirts. And I'm ready to stop badmouthing both of us, we were just a couple of kids who did some kissing and stargazing on some cold winter nights. 






Thursday, July 19, 2012

"It's been 7 hours and fifteen days..."

 (Sinead O'Connor)

So, it's been a week since he broke up with me. Or rather, said, not in a cute Billy Crystal voice, "I would not be good for anyone right now."

And I've been doing a lot of thinking. And a lot of reading. Watching Friends. Thinking about hooking my DVD player up so that I can watch Bones and SATC.

And here's the problem I keep butting up against: I don't think the boy is right now "leading man" material. I want to be "leading lady" material, but it I'm really honest, the boy would be a two episode guy, like the new neighbor that Rachel fogged out with pesticide in the basement and then went on a date, but it turns out he had a really inappropriate relationship with his sister.

And I want him to be like Chandler, who knows that he loves Monica. He actually does remind me of early days Chandler. He also reminds me of Mr. Big, the good, the bad, the ugly.

And the fact of the matter is this: RIGHT NOW, he is not available for anyone. (Which is actually sort of comforting.)

And right now, neither am I, as I grieve what was. We had two amazing months. Because I am a romantic at heart, and because I loved him, I can't, not right now, say "NEVER AGAIN, MR. BOY." I cling to the stories of my mom breaking up with my dad again and again over nine years. (Now happily married for over forty two years...)

This post is full of me writing things and then erasing them. But it just takes time. I've been listening to the audio of "It's called a break-up because it's broken," which was helpful when my high school best friend said she didn't want to be friends anymore. (Because there are no good books about what to do when your best friend breaks up with you.)

I vacillate: is he Mr. Big? Or is he Berger? Or is he that two episode guy? Right now, he's the guy who broke my heart. And I'm the girl who needs to heal. 

And comments are closed. I don't need advice right now. I just need cupcakes. Where I need to get? I will get there. I'm right on time.


Monday, July 16, 2012

post script to a long long day...

There's a station that I rely on for what I call the Sunday afternoon movie. It's called THIS. I couldn't tell you what I watched this afternoon. But this afternoon, I watched something, while I worked through all of the followers on my Twitter account. I did a lot of blocking. Why?

Last night, a woman who used to work at my library (at least a year or so before I did) tweeted me with this:

@sarahlouise: As someone who used to work with both parties involved, heartache sucks, but move on...and I'm sorry. #unsolicitedadvice
 
@sarahlouise: You are welcome. On the west coast now, but I still care about what happens to the xPL folks! Hang in there!

I have no idea how this woman knows who I am. Or thinks she knows who I was dating. 

She is a librarian. Yes, a lot of librarians follow me on Twitter. And I suppose if you had followed me way back when my professional blog was linked to my twitter account, you could figure it out. Or if you knew someone at my job. But wouldn't you think you would establish a relationship before you would tweet "as someone who used to work with both parties involved"? It's like a parlor trick. That one moment when you can say, "I used to work with both parties" (untrue, since I never worked with this woman) and "I still care what happens to the xPL folks!" (ah yes, the caring of a stranger creeping you out, late on a Saturday night.)

Since she followed me, I could direct message her. She couldn't direct message me, since I don't follow her. But she could have answered via tweet. I didn't think about it very long before I just blocked her.

What's strange? Her tweets to me have disappeared. I only have them because I copied them into a Facebook chat I had with a coworker who helped me figure out who this could be and how they might think they knew who I was.

I haven't decided if I'm unprotecting my twitter account. It's not that I tweet state secrets. But just like in real life, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and when a complete stranger, someone who thinks she knows who I am because she knows my name, knows my place of employ, someone who has been reading my tweets...

Well, anyways. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The most boring broken hearted blog post you ever read...

Maybe watching The Country Network isn't the best choice for an afternoon of sitting on the bed, pink Kleenexes all around, a deep voiced man singing about how being a man makes him love this beautiful (oh look and pregnant) woman.

[CLICK]

Am NOW watching, well, a carpet commercial.

[CLICK]

Okay, now, the wonderful Serena Williams, on Trust us with your life, an improv comedy show. Um, I think you need to kind of need to watch it. I mean this is silly silly...

[CLICK]

and now I'm watching "I love Lucy." A much better choice.

Maybe I should go to the grocery store. Which would require maybe taking a shower. So...maybe not. Maybe I'll go get my newspaper, if they haven't stopped delivery...the bill is on the kitchen table.

Oh, here starts another episode of Lucy. Saved...

Okay...we just went in the opposite direction. We just had the episode where Little Ricky was a drummer and now we're having the episode where we find out that that he has a natural talent. Ricky secretly orders a drum. Lucy buys Little Ricky a doctor kit.

[CLICK]

This is what happens. Every time a commercial I hate comes on, I [CLICK]. So I [CLICK]-ed over to PBS and heard the end of "Cat's in the Cradle" and now I'm hearing "All out of Love," the first song that I heart ached over when I realized that my first crush didn't know I existed. It was 1980 and I was 9.

I'm all of love
I'm so lost with out you
I know you were right believing for so long. 
I can't be too late to say I was so wrong
What are you thinking of 
What are you thinking of?
What are you thinking of?


I'm all... oh. He doesn't...WHAT IS HE THINKING OF??

I'm so lost without you...

This Guy Is Butchering This Song. How can they be applauding him? What is this show? Oh it's Celtic Thunder. Now they're doing the sort of song they should do. A song with fiddles and such.

And now it's the PBS guys, asking for money. Um, after you butchered the first love song that made me cry?

[CLICK].

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"I even tried writing a song about it... but... I can't think of anything that rhymes with Unnnnnnngh"

(Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow, Friends, "The one with the memorial service")

If the library kept a record of the books I checked out, (which they don't, for privacy measures*), a pattern might emerge.

An abridged list of my checkouts, March to present day:

In March: a slew of books on Catholicism

In April: Too good to leave, too bad to stay: a step-by-step guide to help you decide whether to stay in or get out of your relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum, Is he Mr. Right: everything you need to know before you commit (same author) 

In May: I returned all those. 


In June: Act like a lady, think like a man: what men really think about love, relationships, intimacy and committment by Steve Harvey; Why smart men marry smart women by Christine Whelan. 
(oh, and I also re-joined the Catholic Church, so took out books like Story of a Soul, which is Therese of Liseux's autobiography)


In July: Boundaries face to face: how to have that difficult conversation you've been avoiding. (audio) I listened to this ages ago, I can't remember what the difficult conversation was that I was trying to have...

Requested, today, after lunch with the boy: It's called a break-up because it's broken by Greg Behrendt. (audio) I listened to this a few years back when I was dealing with the break-up of a friendship, so I know it is good.


***


In Fiction, I have been reading and re-reading The Meryl Streep Movie Club (also from the library, although I think I will shell out the cash for my own copy soon), by Mia March. It is a wonderful book about four women who are in different stages of dealing with loss of job, loss of spouse (an affair), potential loss of mother/aunt to cancer, and loss of freedom (as in, should I marry this guy??) It is just what the doctor ordered and it just lowers my blood pressure just enough. Also, I'm going to start watching Meryl Streep movies. On Sunday, by sheer chance, Lions for Lambs was on TV, and I have ordered Out of Africa from, where else, the library. 


_______________
*as soon as you return a book, it is taken off your record. Items can be traced back to the last person that checked it out, if there is damage, or a missing disc, or you left your personal disc in the case instead of returning the library's disc.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

R.I.P. Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

"People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it'll be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll be just a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right." 

from You've Got Mail, probably the most blogged movie on this blog. 


Filmmaker Nora Ephron has died at 71 (CBS News)
Writer and Filmmaker with a genius for Humor (NYT obit.)


Blogged, here: 

Sarah Louise Goes off her Rocker on Politics
Vacation Rocks 

Wow. There are a lot of posts where I just use quotes from the movie as titles, etc. I just took a tour through my blog. A lot has changed. Well, some things have stayed the same. I still dislike summer.  


If you want to watch some great Nora Ephron movies, I recommend "You've Got Mail," "Julie & Julia," and "When Harry Met Sally." 


Her latest books, I hate my neck and I remember nothing, are WONDERFUL. They are essays about growing older, sure, but they are also about the history of cooking in America, Nora's salad years...I learned here that Craig Claiborne is the reason Americans eat more than just iceberg lettuce. 


I haven't read Nora's other books, but I put a whole bunch on hold last night as soon as I heard the news, to beat the rush.

Things I found while rummaging around: early comments from Helen (hi!), mentions of the boy when he was just another guy at work, mentions of Gerald Ford's death (something the boy also blogged about, I discovered earlier this year when I did my "Google vetting before the first date"). And a lot of old history, things I had forgotten about. 

Bonus: I had written about two books, one that I had forgotten the title (I had actually been thinking recently, what was that book?): Washed Up, which is about beach flotsam (it's really good) and one I forgot about reading:  An Alphabetical Life, about working in bookstores. 




 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Desert Bloggers: in a liminal place

It seems we are all experiencing a little bit of liminality. So in an effort to aggregate some of the great posts written in the past few days on this topic, here you go:

Kristin Tennant: Halfway to Normal: "The Practice of Being Inbetween"

Sara Zarr "Press Pause."

Drew Tatusko: Notes from Off Center "In between suffering and faith"

And you have my collage project, below.

February...or that shortest longest month

This February was a long month for me. It was a month of waiting. Would I get into that midwestern school and at long last start the course towards my PhD?

(Spoiler alert: I did not.) (Which made me all the more grateful for this project.)

I think I have to blame Lilly for this one: she is all about creating projects, often during Lent. Since this month would be a time of waiting, a time of hoping, I decided I needed a project. Something tangible. I love making collages and I had been making them more often since I realized making them was something I used to love doing. So my assignment, should I accept it, was this: to make a collage every morning for the month of February. I could only use new magazine clippings, since part of this project was reducing my stash of magazines. As I read the book Yarn Harlot, I realize all crafters have our stashes. There ARE some magazines I will never cut up. But then there are the magazines that I buy willy nilly, with the sole purpose of cutting them into these:

(Yes, this is the product of my month of collages.) I started February 2nd, but since this was a leap year, I would still have 28 collages at the end of the month, whether I got into grad school or not.

Collages may not be your thing. Find something that is. But make it manageable, and preferably tangible. One poem per day. One blog post per day. The key is to set a short time period. Few of us can make a collage every morning until the end of time. But the discipline of one a day, for a short period, helps the focus, helps with the desert, helps with the waiting for what may come.

Here are a few of my favorites: 

 not officially part of the set, but a precurser that inspired the project
 First one.
 (detail)
 I made use of strips of color, like the aquamarine from a Tiffany ad on the right edge of this collage.
 (detail) I liked using words like stitches to "mend" a seam.

 Did this one on the day I woke up to the news that Whitney Houston had died.
 an early one, with spinning thoughts in my head concerning my new relationship.

 Left side: diptych
 Right side: diptych

I did a few with Emma Stone as the "face"/background.

And on the back, I journaled a little, either about my feelings, or about the collage, or both. It was a great exercise in craft, because I wasn't making these as art pieces, they were for my own consumption. They taught me a lot about making collages, as I had to create daily. Best of all, in the deep of a Pittsburgh winter, this project got me out of bed every morning. And, that, my friends, is worth a lot.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

"I hearby bequeath...": the Sophie Kerr Post

Unless you went to Washington College [Sophie Kerr page on WC site], you've probably never heard of Sophie Kerr [Baltimore CityPaper]. No matter. (The CityPaper article linked is a great introduction.) Sophie Kerr was a romance writer in the 1930s and 40s who bequeathed her estate (over $500,000) to Washington College, my alma mater. She stipulated that the money be invested and each year, the interest would be split: half would go to bringing authors and literary speakers to the college, and half would go to a student writer. The year I graduated, I think the sum was around $20,000. I didn't win. But it did not diminish my love for this woman, who provided so much richness to the reading and writing community in Chestertown, Maryland.

So imagine my delight, when one day at work, among the antique magazines that sometimes show up at the Book Nook, our little bookstore, was this copy of Cosmopolitan, with "Fiction by...Sophie Kerr"!!! I had never read any of Sophie's works and this was just such a thrill.






Wednesday, June 20, 2012

HAIR!!

Hey you guys!! My hair is finally long enough to put up in a teeny tiny ponytail. Which is wonderful since the WALLS in my apartment are hot. Thankfully, the a/c hellps...some.

But no Lego tonight, the front room was just too warm.

Earlier today I was cleaning out and found some pictures of me with long hair. These are not they, but here are a few from the same time period--Montana for my dad's 65th birthday. He turned 70 today.

 Lake Jenny
 Glacier National Park
My dad. The greatest guy I know. Happy Birthday!!

Penelope thinks about Odysseus, as she unravels her father-in-law's shroud for the nth time...

Yes. I am scared as crap that our last conversation was a joke. That the next time we talk you'll say "oh, you thought I meant x? Oh, well, I figured you'd understand I meant y."


***

There is a certain glee (as well as sadness)  in tearing apart a Lego house that you just put the finishing touches on this morning. It was too hot in the front room (think sauna) to complete the job, but all that remains is green, gray, and white rubble.

Bile.

I'm too tired to be angry. And it's too hot to get upset. So I guess I'll eat some breakfast and draw my morning bath.

But if I was going to be angry, this is what I'd say: What right do you have? 

And I'd probably be mostly talking to the person in the mirror.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

it's a two posts kind of day

so...summer reading has begun at our library. Which means everyone and their momma is at the library, wanting to know if we have more movies, books on Engineering as a career, hair braiding books, how do you sign up for summer reading, how do you sign up for summer reading, booklists for 11-12 year old boys, books on whales, I got a special prize, how do you sign up for summer reading, are there any computers free?

My favorite questions are the dear sweet people that think we have any copies of the Hunger Games books (dream on) or that we might have the movie in. No, it JUST left the theaters. We keep up with new materials, but even we aren't that quick. 

All that PLUS a bomb scare. Yep, right in the middle of the afternoon, we get an announcement to evacuate the building. So that was fun. No, there was no bomb. But we all fussed and fretted about the fact that our purses were inside, because we didn't grab them when we were told to "evacuate immediately." Forty five minutes later, we were open again for business as usual, and I went to dinner about 10 minutes late.

I churned out a Classic Books for boys in 4th to 6th grade  book list, to go with my Classic Books for girls (same grades.) Basically, if a book was 15 or more years old and we had more than 3 copies, it got on the list. I am eternally grateful to Great Books for Boys by Kathleen Odean, but for my next book list (books that aren't so old) I'd like something that was published more recently than 1998. Looks like Great Books for Girls was revised in 2002.(Dear Ms. Odean, I would LOVE a revised edition...luv, Sarah Louise.)

I'm exhausted. I came home, ate some cheese, and have played many games of Free Cell, read Twitter, checked FaceBook, checked my mother's email about the family vacation (looks like August is a go), and basically just fretted through all of those. I think the best thing is to just push A Few Good Men into the VCR, take my bed meds, and pray for sleep. Because tomorrow will be a full day too.

Goodnight, sleep tight.
Don't let the bed bugs bite.
If they do,
hit them with a shoe.  
(Anon.)

"Writing is making sense of life."

(Nadine Gordimer)

When I was in college, Nadine Gordimer won a literary prize. My friends, who knew that I liked books, bought me her book, in hardcover. I never read it. I don't even have it anymore. The thing is, I have always liked children's books better. Where life is still within the provinces of parents and siblings and there isn't all the complexity of romance broken up, adultery, dysfunction. Yes, Maurice Sendak brought out the demons, the Wild Things, but he still placed them in a child's world. And there are plenty of children's books with dysfunctional families. Those are the ones I tend to avoid.

My dad had a newspaper route in Bergen County, NJ, when he was a kid. He saw people go off to jail for being in the Mafia, he got great tips from those still in. He didn't understand a lot of it until later. When people ask him, "Did you see the movie the Godfather?" he says, I saw the play.

I was never abused as a child. I didn't live in squalor. But I knew people who had been abused, though I didn't piece it together until later. And I saw many people living in squalor. And my mother wanted more children. She had miscarriages and then two angel babies, children that were so premature they never left the hospital. The doctors at Georgetown let my parents hold Joy Cherene as she died. When Peter died, we got a phone call from the hospital. And I said, "Oh, rats." I was in second grade.

We all have pain. We all have sorrow. I always got mad at people who said, "I haven't suffered enough." Well, as the saying goes, "Everyone either just had a crisis, is in a crisis, or is about to have one." The happy moments are in between. The happy moments are what make the suffering have meaning. Only focusing on the squalor helps no one. But only focusing on the beauty misses the point. And there isn't really enough beauty to focus on it all the time, anyways.

A friend asked me, in follow up to an earlier post, how I got help after my mania took over. Was I hospitalized? Did my family help? I was one of the lucky ones. I did spend an afternoon in the ER, waiting for a psych evaluation. But then I was sent home, because I wasn't a danger to myself or others. I was a "rule out" for bipolar, because at that time my only symptom was depression. I started a day program that met half days. I saw people there who had it so much worse than I did, and I thought, I don't belong here! Eventually, I quit the program and my dad came to get me to take me home for Easter. This all happened before my mania (see Stanley Cup Fever, sort of.) I went home to Virginia and Easter was nothing to me. I felt nothing. The term used in psychiatric circles is "flat." It's a good descriptor, as everything had one dimension, my complete disengagement.

In Virginia, I started meeting with a psychiatrist and a psychologist. We started to work towards getting me back to myself, and ultimately, the goal was to get me back to Pittsburgh. Which happened. But when I got back to Pittsburgh, I had a bad experience with the psychiatrist that had been chosen. He didn't have me in his appointment book, I waited for hours in a dark hall, and the first thing he asked me was a question that I thought was not at all appropriate or germane to my mental health. That experience was a trigger, and coupled with the new drug cocktail I was on, I cycled into mania. Which brings you up to date with my former post.


(to be continued...)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It takes 15 minutes to destroy a house. It takes 6 days to put one up....


 ducks at work. you can tell we are waiting for a book order by how empty the shelves are.


 Um, how will the next level attach to this SMOOTH surface? 


 Seriously, it's a SMOOTH SURFACE.  But oh, look pretty rose bushes.


 Yes, this is supposed to be the next story on this building...


 OH! Ye of little faith, there is more than one way to skin a cat 
(or attach a story to the next story of a Lego building)


 Look Ma! Architectural integrity!! Oh, and check out the WORKING see-saw.


 This is how the roof attaches...


 Dormer window!


 Finished!!






 Side angle.

So. I have now finished all of the Lego houses that I have instructions for in this particular kit. Every time I demolish a house, I feel like Penelope destroying the weaving from the day before. Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, who fended off suitors while her husband was on his way home from (where did he go?). I think I'll start back with the first house. There is a new set, a beach house, but Mama does not have $50 to just throw at a new Lego kit. Tomorrow I take my car in for a new serpentine belt.