Saturday, July 30, 2005

I finally got around to it...

Can you keep a secret? Please don't keep this one: Sophie Kinsella is not a hopeful writer. I mean, I understand that part of chicklit is this thirtysomething angst, but when the first three chapters are about how horrible her life I read to the end (big surprise--me doing that I mean) and it turned out okay, but it wasn't worth reading the rest. So I continue to wait for Something Blue to come off the hold list at work.

Here's the Kirkus review: I agree totally: Kirkus Reviews
The author of the Shopaholic trilogy (Shopaholic Ties the Knot, 2002, etc.) runs out of ideas. Emma Corrigan, a heroine who seems about 11 years old, has a few giggly little secrets. Just between us superannuated schoolgirls, she hasn't the faintest idea what NATO is, and she has never, ever told her boyfriend Connor that she actually weighs 128 pounds, not 118. Oh, and her Kate Spade bag is a fake. And she loves sweet sherry. Yes, the list of endearing fibs is long and equally trivial, but she confesses most of it to a business-suited American on a plane. He's not really listening, is he? Oh, dear, what a dreadful pickle Emma gets herself into! As luck would have it, the handsome stranger, Jack Harper, turns out to be her new boss! "Look at him! He's got limos and flunkies, and a great, big important company that makes millions every year!" Whatever will Emma do? Blush, simper, and have a little vodka-though she doesn't seem old enough to drink without a sippy cup and a pink-kitten-printed bib. Good thing she has the sort of job where fib-telling is what she does, really-marketing things like sports drinks and energy bars and petroleum products requires the truth to be bent just a teeny-weeny bit, doesn't it? And when she realizes, thanks to an elderly relative, that the energy bars don't stick to dentures, she comes up with a simply brilliant idea that just might land her that big promotion! Maybe she'll buy that smart new suit after all. But her personal life is in a dreadful muddle and Emma is ready to cry real tears-when Jack steps in to make things all better. Just plain dopey. But Kinsella's name plus a bubblegum-pink cover will attract the fans. Film rights to Paramount. Agent:Kim Witherspoon/Witherspoon Associates

It's that moment I was expecting to happen when I finally got around to reading the Harry Potters--all the hype, none of the substance. Like when a friend gives a movie what I see as the worst compliment: "It was cute." As if it had no merit, it was a throwaway 2 hours, worthy of a three syllable synopsis. Except that Rowling of Potter, Harry books did not disappoint, and Kinsella just blows. I'm sure she's a nice person, but I'm sure Danielle Steel is too. But that doesn't mean I have to waste time reading them. I promise to find another good book to review soon.

Ala "hormonal disonance" I left work early and fell asleep on the couch watching A Knight's Tale. I woke up thinking ohmigosh I'm late for nursery! (Wouldn't you know I am the early person tomorrow...) So I threw a load of laundry and my "lullaby" is already in the background as I write this..."I have a sad announcement to make...City books is going under..." (Tom Hanks, You've Got Mail) So I'll leave this now, BRUSH MY TEETH, (dentist appt on Monday), and go to bed (well, snuggle up on the sofa.) I'm looking forward to the fall when I can sleep in my bed again, but will I be so addicted to YGM by then....I can't worry about that now.

Oh and I may truly be able to go on vacation with my family in the Poconos later in August (it is still July for 20 minutes). Oh I hope so!


Friday, July 29, 2005

links galore

I have been emailing my friend with all sorts of finds from LISNews etc. this morning. I thought, silly me, why don't I just post them here!

Rex Librarian, a librarian with a vengeance...a new graphic comic.

What house would you put Laura Bush in, Pottermaniacs? This article put her in Hufflepuff.

We knew spam was bad for your health, but did you know it kills? This Russian learned the hard way...

Okay, so I just read an article about how blogs can get boring if you don't have a focus...which I think I'm suffering from...but this is for me, I don't want to focus...I just want an outlet...

Right now in the car I've taken a vacation from HP#6 for the weekend and am listening to an audio that I've had out way too long: Healing with your voice. I was intrigued but a bit spooked, and finally I thought, if it's too creepy, just eject it! It's pretty good, not spooky at all. So I got some Gregorian Chant from upstairs (where we keep our CDs) and am now listening to Abba Pater, the former Pope's album where he reads in many languages to the background of music. He sings too. It's fascinating.

I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow. I'm not sure (at the ripe age of 33) if I've ever been to one, as my retail then, librarian now Saturday schedules have kept me from attending...but this one is being held near where I work, so I'm going to take an extended lunch! I'm very excited.

Ciao for now...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

why today is great

The first singing telegram was sent on this day in 1933 to Rudy Vallee.

And the best tshirt sighting: Will Work for Shoes.

Also, Jackie O's birthday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

stop the presses

Okay, this is reader's remorse. The Other Woman died at about page oh who cares. All of a sudden it was all about her friends and then it was about how two of them didn't like the other one's boyfriend, then everyone is having affairs...I swear, the last chapter is good, but it doesn't belong to the rest of the book.

My car passed inspection. And I am in a rotten mood. (I was in one, got out the book to appease it, and it got worse.) If I could change the color scheme of the blog to black for this post alone, I would. The sky is gorgeous--a sunset that is pink the color of flamingos is blazing outside my window. I have to do something to get out of this funk.

(elapsed time)

The sky is bluer now, with gray (grey?) streaks.

Well, the movies rarely disappoint, and if I fall asleep in front of the box, it won't be the first time. So, Meg Ryan, your cue. Tom Hanks, grab your coat. The curtains will be up soon, and You've Got Mail.

Walk over to the VCR. Put in the tape. Let the previews roll....You know, I just remembered. I was going to do laundry tonight. Yes, that is something pro-active I can do.

No longer will they call you Deserted. They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After. Isaiah 62: 4, 12

books and more books

Okay, so has everyone read about Harry yet? I finished the print version last week but am now sinking my ears into the wonderful audio, done by Jim Dale. He does all the voices so well. I retain more when I listen to Harry books. I read somewhere (a magazine at my mechanic's) that British children claim they are better readers for having read HP books. That I don't doubt--JK's style is so...wonderful. Brilliant, rather. I tell folks that don't go for the whole wizards thing that that is not central, the relationships are. And if you are into complex human relationships, HP is full of them!! Snape, for instance. Who knows what lurks inside that man's mind? And then there are Ron and Hermione, snapping at each other like an almost divorced couple...oh the richness that lies therein.

So while I listen to Harry to and from work, I have been reading The other woman by Jane Green. Don't judge this book by its cover: the stylist for the hardcover obviously didn't read the book, or was using Emma (a lesser character with more flamboyant dressing styles) as the pink legs next to the more conservative legs of Linda, the Mother in law. Not at all a "what's going to happen next" page turner like Something Borrowed, this is just a romp, something to read to while away your lunch hour. It's just pleasant. Orphan girl marries man with domineering mother=monster in law. But I read ahead, it ends up nice, so I can't wait to see when Ellie upstages Linda. I love the first chapter, where Emma waxes eloquent about Dan: "Technology and I never got on particularly well...My basic problem is not so much technology as paper: instruction manuals, to be Hoover still has the same dust bag it's had since I bought it three years ago...I cut a hole in it when it was full one time and hand-pulled all the dust out...if anything, just think how much money I've saved myself on Hoover bags...So things may not work the way they're supposed to, or in the way manufacturers intended, but they work for me, and now I have Dan, Dan who will not lay a finger on a new purchase until he has read the instruction manutal cover to cover, until he has ingested even the smallest of the small print, until he can recite the manual from memory alone." So I love this book for Green's descriptions, for her moments where I can say yes! as a single woman I've done/felt that too. I'm half way through, no rush. (Except that all my Inter Library Loan books and Holds from my library arrived on the same day so now I have a stack!!)

Over the weekend, whilst I waited for audio Harry, I listened to ummm the guy who committed suicide in Dead Poet's Society...I was checking Internet Movie Database, but it is so slow in coming up...go to google and figure it out yourself. (alright, I got it, Robert Sean Leonard. I swear, I could listen to him read the phone book.)Anyways, he read an "early" short story of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Did that man ever have a runaway imagination? Descriptions and plot lines so lush, bizarre...I returned the set today, without listening to Parker Posey or any of the other luminary readers--early F. Scott is a little too bizarre, and besides, now I have over 12 hours of Harry to listen to.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

5 questions redux

Okay, so I've had some time to think over my questions and answers, and I've come up with a new answer for "What was your favorite toy?" I work the nursery at a church Sunday mornings, and as one of the darlings was walking around with the popcorn maker, I remembered my favorite toy, one that still mesmerizes me: it's this cylinder with three compartments and beads of varying sizes. Your task is to separate the small ones from the bigger ones. I'll have to google toys later to see if I can get some images....

My favorite car would definately NOT be a formula one car, like the lawnmower engine ones they have at Sandcastle. I went with a friend yesterday, and I had never done this but she found a buy one get one free (do they call them BOGOs anywhere besides in Pittsburgh?) in my Entertainment book. But after the water park closed, they still had the track open and so we went. It was FUN, but I wouldn't want to do that everyday. I did not come in last, but one kid "broke down" (he must have stalled the choke or some other lawn mower engine lingo thing) so the attendant had to come and pull the string on his car. It was humorous.

All in all, a good time was had by all. My friend is more daring than I and got me on rides I'd never otherwise try. We went for a walk earlier that day, around my neighborhood, and I took my friends in territory unknown to them (hidden staircases in between streets)--friendship is great in the old shoe comfortable way, but it is great when that comfy shoe person can lead you to a place you'd otherwise never go.

Gotta go...

Friday, July 22, 2005

5 Questions

This is an Interactive Internet Question Game. I got it from Babelbabe. This is how it's played:
1. If you want to play, leave a comment below saying so.
2. I'll post five unique questions to the comments section of this post.
3. You answer them in your blog.
4. In your post, you include this explanation and an offer to interview others.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

I got asked these questions from Babelbabe on Behind the Stove.

What was the last book you read, and how would you cast the movie?
Something Borrowed. I would cast Judy Greer as Darcy, Renee Zellweger as Rachel, Matthew McConaughey as Marcus, and Luke Wilson as Dex.

All other things being equal – what kind of vehicle would you own/drive?
Okay, let me start by saying yesterday as I walked through JC Penney on the way to the food court at Ross Park Mall and I bought a tshirt (pink, of course) that said “Pink is the new black.” Since I was 5, I have wanted a pink car. When I was in Mary Kay, I wanted the Cadillac. Now that I still live with on-street parking, I think I’d rather a Katera to a Seville.

You can marry a man who is only two of the three: rich, handsome, or funny. (Otherwise, he’s the perfect man for you.) What two attributes do you choose? Why? Handsome and funny. Because money is not everything, and I am attracted to handsome men. And, I could not survive if my spouse did not have a sense of humor.

What was your favorite toy as a child? I didn’t have a favorite toy (to my memory), but my friends loved building Barbie houses all over our house, using ordinary objects like bowls for bathtubs.

Have you ever said something to your parents you wish now you hadn’t? If you’re comfortable sharing, what? I probably have, but I don’t remember.

I was visiting some other blogs yesterday and on one there were "blog things" which are like mini questionaires to determine if: you are normal, what type of American English you speak, how long you will live. I took these quizzes and decided that I don't really want to measure my life out in mini questionaires.

Also, I have finished HP #6 and am ready to discuss!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

just checkin in...

Well, I did not fall off the face of the earth...I had some virus that had me sleeping Friday Saturday and Sunday. I didn't even go to the Open Door service Sunday (though I went for some great grub and fellowship!).

Everyone around me has finished (or will be soon) the new Harry Potter. I (shocked silence) read the end. Well, I won't get my audio copy for a coupla days, I'd rather find out myself who died than have some kid blurt it out as happened to one of my collegues (who had already finished it). I don't think knowing the end will "ruin the literary experience" or whatever guilt my friends want to trip me. Sometimes I just need to know that everything's going to be okay, so I flip to the end. I did it with Something Borrowed (a fabulous chicklit, the sequel Something Blue, is just out). It may be very childish of me, a safety blanket urge, but I'm not going to feel guilty for soothing my soul. Something Borrowed is a surprise book: the good girl has an affair with her best friend's fiance. Wow. When I was in college, an engaged couple broke up and the guy married someone else...I always thought wow, how could they? but reading Something Borrowed makes me see that falling in love isn't all "fair" and "rules." I mean, I should have been married three times over if I'd kept along with former beaus. Thankfully, we listened to our hearts and I'm still single. Well, I would rather be single than married to the wrong man. And having noone around this weekend was very apartment is still tsunami wreckage and noone cared, I slept around the clock and noone woke me up. I only air conditioned one room--can you see that flying if you had a partner? (Especially since that one room has only a narrow couch.) I still think about him, the last guy on my "list" but not as often, and not really romantically...just an "if only."

Total change of topic: did you know that sound waves bouncing off a styrofoam cup could be deciphered visually and used as spy information? I haven't been doing so many dishes lately and so my apartment is littered with styrofoam cups...but when my dad was working for the US govt in Eastern Europe in the late 80s, they kept the curtains closed for that precise reason.

So my day with Harry will come, but I rest easy, knowing the end...and not caring if you think I have broken cardinal reading rules.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's almost hump day!

My computer has been crashing/freezing all day. Yuk. So I hope I can get through this short post.

Someone suggested I post a list of chick lit, and I'm really tired, so I'm just going to list them.

Girl's Poker Night
Nanny Diaries (audio with Julia Roberts)
Bridget Jones Diary (audio is great!)
anything by Elinor Lipman, but esp. Then She Found Me

I told you it was a short post! More later.

Monday, July 11, 2005

crazy crazy crazy

Okay, so corporate mergers and change is sometimes good--but when you are searching for 5 minutes on the FexEx Kinkos site for "Find a store near you" there's something wrong with the web design. Argh. Then, on the way up my steps, fumble in the dark for the keys, while balancing my copies (2 large size rolled copies), my Cherry Coke, and my wallet I fell flat on my front on my front porch. Luckily, my neighbors were there to witness the humiliating moment. So now, along with all the shaving band-aids on my leg, I have 5 more for falling against my cement porch. Fun. So now I am home, and I have to affix street names to my map of the 71A corridor (bus route here in the East End of Pittsburgh) and I am grumpy. I am not "feeling Froggy" as Keith Urban belts out "As days go by." I took my young friend to the library today. He is four, and obsessed with race cars. The librarian provided us with two great books, whose names escape me, one was non-fiction and showed pictures of stock cars as opposed to Indy's and Formula Ones and Karts. My young friend really liked the soap box derbies. The other book is a take off on the song "The Wheels on the Bus" but is race track oriented. Then we went to visit my waitress friend, and she was so glad to see my young friend (whom she'd not seen in years) that she comped us two one scoop bowls of chocolate ice cream! All in all, not a bad day! Then I went back to my friend's house, got an invite for dinner (french toast) and after dinner acquired a pot and potting dirt for my newly acquired tomato plant. Friends are great, what can I say?

Favorite Froggy songs: "Picking Wildflowers," "Nothing to Lose" (Josh Gracin), and Reba's new one about sisters.

Yes, I listen to country, but I listen just as often to independent public radio like WYEP, a true Pittsburgh treasure.

Here's me, signing off (singing off?)--gotta finish the map!!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Where I'm From

Blogging rules! My friend over at Behind the Stove (Babelbabe) posted her version of this poem and exhorted us to make our own. I found it a little hard, since my life was always on the move, not really made up of "Kodak moments." As a TCK (Third Culture Kid), I have listed many of my childhood homes (surprisingly, the list I made is not exhaustive). I am jealous of people who remember things like jello molds and brand names of foods they ate. They're jealous that I know how to say hello fluently in more than 2 languages. (English, Spanish, Polish, German)

Oh, one more thing: I've decided that this blog is mine, and therefore since I am a woman of many facets and talents, I will write about whatever pleases me. Be forewarned that a lot of library talk is coming down the pike: I had a lot of time at work today to "rough out" my notes from ALA (the American Library Association, in Chicago a few weeks ago.) I wrote and wrote and wrote. I think I will not make it one long post but a couple of shorter ones, grouped by topic. I've also decided that since I am a librarian, writing about library related items in my blog is work-related, so if I am working on a writing project for work, do not be surprised if it shows up here.

So without further ado, here's my poem:

Where I'm from: a TCK writes home

I am from phonograph records, from Post-It notes that say "I love you" and books in many languages. I am from packing boxes in the basement, and furniture from all over the world. I am from waffle hugs and pancakes that spell my name.

I am from the split level on Caddington, brick and yellow. I am from the third floor walk up in Bonn with the balcony, and the garden apartment we got after my mother got pregnant. I am from the Spanish style house in Ciudad Nueva, overlooking the resevoir. I am from the contemporary white house on Calle Guaymura, angular and modern. I am from the streets of Warsaw, buildings pock-marked with World War Two bullets. I am from Mother Embassy and Uncle Sam. I am from "get there the first year, get settled the second year, and get ready to leave the third year," my whole life until I was 27. I am from "If you don't like it now, just wait a few years for the change."

I am from the ghinko leaves in the mail from Grandma, all the way from New Jersey, marigolds every year for mother's day, even in Honduras, sycamore trees that line the Pittsburgh streets, the maracuja on our garden wall, the flowers every year on Valentine's day, the tomatoes every summer and pumpkins every fall. I am from zuccini and zuccini and zuccini.

I am from pictures and 16 millimeter movies and laughter, from Snoozer and Chirp, Tiny Van Diney and the Boonyackies.

I am from three families: one girl and two dead babies until 1982 when "the most beautiful baby in the world" made her appearance in March and crying on Christmas Eve a "bouncing baby boy" showed up in December. I am from phone calls over time zones and letters (before email) and the third era in 1998 when we were all grown up and living again in one house.

From "If you can't make a mistake you can't make anything" and my dad's shaggy dog jokes. I am "Bird," "Suds," "Fred," and Lily.

I am singing songs before Sunday School, I am walking home, away from church alone in high school, or sitting in the car in junior high to listen to Casey Casem's top 40. I am from five people going to three churches on Sunday morning and one more on Sunday night. I am from reading my grandfather's large print Guideposts in his leather green chair that we all wanted when Grandma finally died. I am from "What a Friend we have in Jesus" and "A mighty Fortress is our God." I am from skits and talent shows, helping Mom with Vacation Bible School, and Easter sunrise services overlooking the hills of Tegucigalpa.

I'm from Washington, DC, Washington, New Jersey, Paterson and Hackensack. I am from Holland and I am from Germany and England, from carrot cakes for my birthday, lemon merengue pies and broccoli, my father's two favorites. I am from salad every night and the clean plate club.

From Mom pulling clover from the lawn summer evenings, Dad frowning in the other room, the guitar lodged in my brother's hand, from Grandma making all those yarn covered hangers, from Granny buying Gunne Sax dresses on sale, from doing puzzles every summer at the lake. I am that brand new four year old who chipmunked peas in her mouth before she blew out the candles on her cake. I am from Scrabble games in three continents, Canasta, Sorry!, Solitaire, and too many games of Free Cell.

I am from albums that line the shelves in the guest room, pictures that sit on the piano, the porcelain balloon woman that now sits on my mantle, the family Bible that Grandpa accidentally put out in the trash.


Monday's child is fair of face...Thursday's child has far to go...Saturday's child has to work for his living, and the child that is born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blythe, good and gay.
--childhood rhyme

Now, except for the fact that gay means happy, not sexual orientation, I am a Sunday's child. These days I feel like a Saturday's child: I am working every day!! And I'm having a mini-pre-midlife crisis: what does it mean to be a single Christian librarian in Pittsburgh with 3 pairs of pink sneakers and many pocket books? What does it mean to live in the tsunami wreckage that is my apartment? What does it mean that I take an hour to get out of bed, even when my bladder is what wakes me up?

Churchill (as in Winston) called them black dog days. Well, I'm sick and tired of them!! But I just realized I have not "done my homework," i.e. written up the programs I visited at ALA. So I'll post that now.

Friday, July 08, 2005

This electronic life

So, this morning, I finally got up for my walk, listened to "How to dismantle an atomic bomb" (U2's latest), came home, got online, and so far have ignored two im "buddies." I am reminded of a line from my favorite movie "You've got mail": "For me the Internet is just yet another way of being rejected by women." Except in the movie, he says "woman" and whenever I watch that scene, I want to correct him. I am feeling incredibly slothful today. I don't have to be at work until you might have guessed it (or not?) the ellipsis was me getting up, turning the TV on and switched the channel to 03, (after scanning the room for the remote--ah, on the sofa pillow)
"This is amazing, the entire workforce of the state of Virginia had to have solitaire removed from their computers because they haven't done any work in six you know what this is?'s the end of Western Civilization as we know it. You think that machine is your friend, but it's not."
(The opening lines to this fabulous movie, a movie that couldn't have existed without AOL, Meg Ryan, or Tom Hanks.)
"Don't you love New York in the fall? I would send you a bouquet of sharpened pencils if I knew where you lived..."
Twister used to be my favorite movie, but that was in the 90s. I think we should be allowed to have at least one favorite movie per decade...everyone oohed and ahhed about the special effects, but this is the plot line for me: a married couple side steps divorce while chasing tornadoes. Once I heard this, I went to see it. And because it was such a big movie, one for the big movie screen, I kept going to see it. I must have seen it over ten times in the theatre. This was the summer before I went totally broke and sold my car. Umm...dya think I'm a movie addict?
I did the thing--and all the guys who sent me their profiles said they were Christians but their definition of following Christ was very different from mine. Luckily, I got out before the 7 day trial period and got my money back.

I was just in Chicago, and on the way back, I sat next to a woman. She was exquisitley dressed--a banker, whose husband died a few years back--her step son is now 9. She asked me if Pittsburgh was good for singles. I told her it got the Forbes magazine "worst city for singles." But I'm sorry, is any city really "great" for singles? I mean, being single is either great or it stinks, and while the "availability" of other singles can be a factor, the electronic factor has changed that...

I am rambling...and trying to ease my broken heart. I'm interested in someone who is has made it perfectly unclear (clear as mud) his intentions and now is acting like a total jerk to other people I know. And yet, in the month of May (the merry month of May) there were shining moments. Now it's just nothing. And yet I'm not able to let go...I walk the same morning walk route that I walked then--although today I deviated a little...I went back to the same place I walked when I got my first eharmony profile, and guess what, there was a crop of mint! I picked some. (Well, one piece...) I think my mom planted some in my back yard, a place I almost never visit (I live in a third floor walk up.) So am I still interested? I don't want to be, except that no one else has cropped up on the landscape...but is that really the point? Does there have to be someone new on the landscape? Bono sings in his song about true love and romance... "I could never take a chanceOf losing love to find romanceIn the mysterious distanceBetween a man and a womanNo I could never take a chance'Cause I could never understandThe mysterious distanceBetween a man and a woman"(A man and a woman, from How to dismantle an atomic bomb.)

Okay, going nowhere with that thread...blogs are becoming big!! Here's another link. I heard somewhere that Christians are the largest population of bloggers. I have not been able to confirm this.

But I haven't decided if what I want this blog to be sneakers aren't very...religious...

I want a day to make my life sorted out, and yet, I have lollygagged this morning away...I need to take a shower before I off to work.

I wanted to mention that my friend John just started a blog, here's the link. He's the associate pastor at the Open Door and an all around cool guy.

So...time to do something...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Opening Doors

Okay, if you sleep all day (which I did), you might find that you stay up all night. And if you're me, you watch tv. So I'm caught up in a documentary of the Swedish band ABBA.

Before that, there was a road trip of young college students going around in a Winebago interviewing people on their definition of success.

Before that...I played many games of Bookworm, one of my favorite Yahoo! games. I also have playend multiple games of Free Cell, getting my winning time down to 3 or so minutes.

Tomorrow my parents will be here and we'll go to Pamela's for breakfast and then Bellefield Presbyterian Church at ten. I've been going to BPC for over ten years--since 1989, actually. I was on a bus, and I saw oh, look, a Presbyterian church, I guess I'll go there, since it was walking distance from Carlow (then College, now University), where I was a freshman Writing major. I hadn't really thought whether or not I'd be going to church as a college student, but Bellefield welcomed me in and so I kept coming back. I have left Pittsburgh twice and returned to Bellefield both times. I have left Bellefield twice and returned twice. It has a hold on my heart, I guess. Churches grow, change pastors, change members. They expand, contract. Bellefield actually in 1969 was a church on Bellefield Street (confused yet?) and First United Presbyterian Church was on Thackery St. But both churches were failing, and so the Presbytery (the denominational organization) said join up or we'll close you both. That's a real simplified version, but basically the compromise was to take the name of the one church, Bellefield, and the building of the other, First United. Some of the old hymnals that are falling apart still say "First United Presbyterian Church" on them. Right now, Bellefield is growing in a different way--not only is standing room only a regular occurrence during the school year (the congregation is made up of many college students from CMU, Pitt, and Carlow because of the geographic proximity), but we are also "planting a church" which means we have a new congregation called the Open Door that will be relocating in September. I'll be able to walk to church! We'll be located at the Union Project at the corners of Stanton and Negley Avenues. If you've been reading for awhile, a couple posts ago, I praised my friends. Many of those friends are folks I know through BPC or the Open Door--we are studying the book of Acts this summer, where chapter 2, verse 44 describes what I've been experiencing this summer: "And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need." People have been giving me rides, buying me dinner, fixing my car, letting me sleep in their guest beds, and I have been trying to pass around the grace given me--tonight I visited my waitress friend and it was great b/c she said, I'm so glad you came, we were watching the paint peel off the walls.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What is a Blog, anyway?

[I wrote this back in May, right around the time I wrote my first post. I just never got around to posting it until now.]

Now, some of you are groaning right now—this is a blog! Quiet. It’s still a brand new technology to a lot of folks. For a lot of my friends, this may be the first blog they’ve read.

So, what is a blog? Well, it may be in some dictionaries by now, but it’s not in my 2001 paperback edition of the American Heritage. It comes from the word (which undoubtedly is also missing from my 2001 AH) web log—which is a sort of log about things going on on the web. There are tons of these!! Some are very personal, some are very political. The highlighted words are links that will take you to places on the web.

So, how do I get started reading blogs? You can go to Google and type in a topic that interests you and +blog. I’m not going to do your searching for you, but I recommend Bloglines as a place to get started in RSS. Oh man, did I just lose you again? RSS stands for “really simple syndication.” It means that if person A only updates once a month and person B updates twice a day, you don’t have to keep visiting everyone’s blog to see if they updated yet. You just go to your Bloglines account—it’s like your own blog mailbox, and voila! You can read all your blogs.

So, if you are interested, here are some instructions on how to go blog-crazy. It’s a sort of experiment, see? And it doesn’t cost a penny above your dial-up or broadband connection!!

When I was in college, we had a symposium where among other things we gave an honorary doctorate to Marian Wright Edelman. We had a guy come in and talk about HTML (hyper-text mark-up language). Basically, he described a page of Moby Dick. You would be able to click on every word and every word would give you insight into the nuances of this highly complex American novel (which I still haven’t read.) His point was, there is a lot of symbolism and talk about things that the average Joe might not get at first glance. So with HTML, you would be able to read the text with study notes right in the text. I don’t know if such a copy of Moby Dick exists, but it sure would make reading something like James Joyce’s Ulysses a lot easier to read.

This blog is going to be about books, mainly. The title, “pink sneakers and pocket books,” comes from the name of the web site I was going to build, which was Pink Pumps. I even had a logo designed, and I had a pair of satin pink pumps I had purchased at Goodwill on my desk as an inspiration. But as many things I’ve eventually set aside in my life, they didn’t fit me. I wear jeans, mostly, and I own at least 3 pairs of pink sneakers. Pocket books are what older Americans call the mass-market sized paperback books (that supposedly fit in your pocket). Most of the books I’ll be talking about won’t really be pocket books, because I intend to focus on chick lit and children’s books, both of which are published in a larger trade sized format. But the alliteration worked, and it’s my blog to name as I please. It’s going to be pretty girly, but occasionally I’ll wax on thing like librarians (I am one) or new technology (most of this post). It’s an experiment, and I thank the people at Blogger for giving me a free technology to mess around in. Please come back.

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's great to have friends

Sorry, you didn't realize I was pausing, because this is print. But I have been sitting here looking into my mirror at the Today show (how to type and watch tv simultaneously, when your tv is on the other side of the room). When I was in grad school (library school!) the Winter Olympics were also occuring. So this is how I survived, because I love the Winter Olympics.

Okay, so this post is not about the Today show or the Winter Olympics, but about friends. Gosh they're great. For instance, as a friend, I emailed my last post (the one on ALA) to Jessamyn West, who came to our library for our in-service day. She is a librarian extrodinaire, and I just think she's cool. Actually, she is cool, whether, I think so or not. She put my post at the top of her list of blogs that wrote about ALA. And I didn't even have notes to a committee meeting! I mean, the only intellectual thing you could learn from my post was from the links! Hey, don't knock the links...well, I'm just so honored that Jessamyn thought my post was link-worthy.

Also, I have great friends in Pittsburgh, which I knew, but it became more apparent when my car was not ready when I hit the ground terra firma at Pittsburgh. I'm in the plane and we can't disembark because of lightning, so I call my friend who is working on my car. No, it won't be ready tonight. Okay, so I call my friend who has a sofa. Well, my husband is on call this I think, throw caution to the wind, this will work out. So we're on the moving trains between the gates and the baggage claim and I mention this to my traveling companion, who offers me her guest room (thank you!!!!). So instead of going home, I "traveled" one more night. Then my friend from work (the one with the sofa) drove me to get lunch, drove me home that night. Then I had to get a ride to a my therapist appointment and then to work on Thursday. So I called the guy who drove me to the airport. Welll, his car was being lent out to another friend. So that friend called me, and picked me up, then waited while I was at the therapist, drove through Wendy's, we had lunch on the go, and he dropped me at work! I so thought that I would have to take a bus--then, my car was ready while I was at work, so my friend with the sofa drove me to the grocery store, then to where my car was. And when the friend who fixed my car said, gosh, sorry it took so long, I said, you know what, I had people who love me driving me all over Pittsburgh.

And then today (pretend it's still Friday, since that's when I started this post) one of my librarian friends took me and her son for ice cream at Baskin Robbins!! So let's hear it for friends. Break into song: (you choose: Lean on me, or That's what Friends are for or the theme song to the show Friends.)

If I'm lucky, my brother will get tired or hungry right around Pittsburgh (on his way to a wedding in Ann Arbor--when did my brother get old enough to go to weddings of his own friends?). My parents and sister will be here tomorrow...which means I should be vacuuming instead of blogging...thankfully, my apartment is too small for them to stay in, so as long as my dad can sit at my computer and read the New York Times online, we'll be copasetic.

News of the day:

Brooke Shields sets Tom Cruise right:"I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but after Tom Cruise's interview with Matt Lauer on the NBC show "Today" last week, I feel compelled to speak not just for myself but also for the hundreds of thousands of women who have suffered from postpartum depression. While Mr. Cruise says that Mr. Lauer and I do not "understand the history of psychiatry," I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression. "

She then goes on to talk about her experience and from what I read (book reviews) of her book, she got more personal here than she did in her book--you go girl! As a woman (this is me, now) who has many friends who are mothers, for years I had only friends with high risk pregnancies and/or ppd. Now, gratefully, there are some more healthy moms and kids in the mix--but the point being, drugs, therapy, and love are the key--not the "history of pyschiatry" as Mr. Cruise thinks proves his point. Let's all say a prayer for Katie Holmes, what is she getting into? (She's 26, marrying a 42 year old on his third marriage...)

Brooke ends her op-ed with this beautiful line/zinger: "So, there you have it. It's not the history of psychiatry, but it is my history, personal and real."

Harry Potter: online or on line?:

This article reminds me of an article I read when HP came out a few years ago; they had reporters follow the UPS men who couldn't leave before 7 am to start delivering the sacred texts. Librarian that I am, I offer a third alternative to this online vs. on line: call your local library! As an audio book user, I think the list is a short one, and I'm almost guarenteed to be the first one on the this article, a mother is describing her daughter's study of all the former HP's to prepare for the most recent tome.

"Among the questions they hope to answer this month: Is Sirius Black really dead? What will become of Dumbledore? And will I drive them to a local Barnes & Noble as the clock strikes midnight on July 16 to stand in line with other devotees to get the new book?

We won't have all the answers until the publisher, Scholastic Inc., releases the book. But there's one thing I do know. My bedtime is 10 p.m. So my challenge, as my daughters were dusting off their stopwatch, was to persuade them to preorder the book online."

So she called Scholastic,, and, to find out what their delivery schedules were like.

"I said: 'My kids are trying to get me to stand in line at midnight at one of your stores to get the book instead. Can you give me some ammunition to head that off?'

Sensing that I'm a person who needs her sleep, Mr. Frain said, 'My daughter has already told me she needs to have it too. I pretty much have her conditioned that we can get it online, so that's what we'll do.' Suddenly I felt very jealous of Mr. Frain. I tried to picture myself saying firmly to Zoe and Ella, 'We can get it online, so that's what we'll do.'"

She finally decided on a vendor (read the article, I can't remember...but basically they said, you should get it when you get your Saturday mail.)

Her last line reads thusly:
"The next day I looked out the window and saw Ella lying in wait for the mailman. She had a few questions. I felt sorry for him."

Th-th-at's all for now...