Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's a boy!

Well, Babelbabe had her baby, and we're all tickled pink. I have half a mind to take my walk today by their house and deposit a baby might be the only way to get myself motivated..the weather here is windy. I promise a better post tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Pittsburgh Gray

There's a name for what you get most of the year here in Southwestern PA: Pittsburgh Gray. It's heeerre! It infects you, makes you feel gray, blah, like nothing will ever be sunny again. Not as bad as the Dementors, who suck all of your happiness, but it's enough to explain why Pittsburgh is a beer town with a football problem. You need something to do! Something to cheer, or jeer...please not another rhyme with beer!

My blog was unavailable just now--I was "forbidden" access to it (how bizarre!).

But it's back now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

September Books

Since I have no idea if this will ever get posted in time to our library website, I thought this would be a good forum for far my boss is not crazy about the blog idea (for the kid's dept) but has tasked me to make lists of five books (new in each category.) This is my rebellious creation: low circ/great books that our library owns that has to do with the month of September.

5 Books for September

J PIC WIN September Roses by Jeannette Winter. On September 11, 2001, there were three terrorist attacks in the U.S.: the Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. This book tells the story of two sisters who traveled from South Africa to New York on September 11 for a flower show. They brought roses. But the flower show was cancelled when the Trade Center was attacked. This beautiful book, small enough to hold in one hand, tells the story of the sisters and how they used the roses to heal some of the pain experienced on 9/11.

J PIC MIL Rent Party Jazz by William Miller. A few weeks ago, Hurricane Katrina paralyzed New Orleans. This book tells the story of a young boy who lived in the French Quarter during the Depression, and how he helped his mother pay rent by throwing a “rent party.” The illustrations are bold and bright, with broad brush strokes. You can almost feel the music jumping off the pages.

J PIC FIN Miss Malarkey’s Field Trip by Judy Finchler. September is a time for back to school. Back to school means field trips! This book tells the story of Miss Malarkey’s field trip to the science center. The best picture is when Miss Malarkey puts her hands on the electricity machine that makes her hair stick out.

J811 S Neighborhood Odes by Gary Soto. September is Hispanic History Month. Gary Soto is a poet and writer who grew up in Fresno, California. This book of poetry celebrates his childhood neighborhood, mixing English and Spanish words. Soto writes about piƱatas, sprinklers, and tortillas. At the back of the book, there is a glossary which gives the English for each Spanish word used in the book.

J PIC TUN Mailing May by Michael Tunnell. On September 26, 1789, the United States Postal Service was founded. This book tells the true story of Charlotte May Pierstorff who traveled by mail train classified as a baby chick for 53 cents in 1914. The illustrations are a mix of large color pictures and smaller sepia tone pictures that are meant to mimic old photographs. The story is a sweet reminder of what can happen when people think of different solutions for what might seem difficult problems.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Peter Paul and Mary and the guys

Tonight at the Open Door, Peter Nevland did our music. His guitarist is Paul, and the guitar is Mary. I had a chance to hang out with them later, at BJ's favorite watering hole, the Sharp Edge. I always want to call it the Sharper Edge--I think because there was that store that had amazing massage chairs called the Sharper Image.

Peter's style is amazing--singing mixed with poetry and he dances with his hands and his mind...I bought a CD for my brother. I'll of course listen to it first...

I am ever grateful that God has brought me into this band of pilgrims called the Open Door. We talk about the hard issues and no one shuts each other down--at one point I was the only female, and I brought up an issue that we had been talking around and someone took it up and turned it around--it was like our conversation was a pot of clay and we all were getting our hands dirty trying to make it into the best bowl it could be. My life is a life of women and children--librarians are mostly female, and my other two positions are mainly dealing with childcare issues, so it is a rare treat for me to even listen to men talking. To be considered on the level, a participant in the discussion, was beautiful. I am in awe of the caliber of men that I know right now. Thanks, guys.

(The picture is one I used in a collage we made about the mission statement of the Open Door. Water is often connected with the Spirit of God, so I used this photo for "Spirit-Led.")

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Just like heaven....

West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River. Life is old here, older than the sun, da da da da da da da dum. Country Roads, take me home, to the place where I belong, West Virginia, Mountain Mama, take me home, country roads... --John Denver

Reese Witherspoon is one of my favorite actresses, and tonight she did not disappoint. I went to the movies (yes, alone, and I don't care who knows!) to see her latest movie with Mark Ruefelo (Thirteen going on Thirty). Oh it was so great! I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats! I had the most fun I've had at the movies in a long time. It was beautiful through and through, and the ending was...just like heaven. It actually reminded me of Sliding Doors, another movie where a woman is living in two realities. The best preview for a movie I'll probably not go to: Uma Thurman falls in love with a man ten years her junior. Her therapist encourages it, but lo and behold, it turns out it is the therapist's son. A little too strange for me. I don't generally like movies with therapists...they are so often so stereotypical. The first one with Billy Crystal...Analyze this, that was good, and Freaky Friday (the 2003 version) is great, but in general, I can't watch them. What about Bob? was recommended--I was grateful I got it free from the library. I don't think I'll ever watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest...and I also decided today to give up on Joanne Harris' latest tome, Holy Fools. I thought it would be good--a former circus performer now turned "heretical" nun, living in an abbey in 1610. But bring in her former lover and the power struggle and the revenge just isn't worth it. I mean, I have at least 3 tapes left (yes, it's an audio book) and I am sick of it! I didn't like the way she ended Chocolat, so I'm not sure I trust her to end this one well...I don't even think I'd go to a movie of this book. I mean, if I want an angry audio book, I'll listen to the Nanny Diaries (which I also have out right now.)

Oh my--DSL can't come quickly enough--I can't even hear the audio on the movie website (click the post title, it's a link!) Apparently Verizon has my line now, but I still don't have the DSL stuff (you know, those things you hook on your phone jacks.)

Talked with my mom--she wants to see my blog, asked if I posted any poetry. "You used to write nice poetry." So here's a poem, because it's getting to be fall and I'm still on that friendship theme, and because Ma asked.

(That is, if I can find it...) Which at the moment, I can't seem to. It's called "your friendship hand" and I wrote it as a freshman in college. It's here somewhere...stay tuned. Right now I think I'm going to try to re-scan my profile pic.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Greeting Cards and Lipstick

When I was in Mary Kay, one of the things they always said was that even in hard times, women will buy their lipstick so they can look nice. This devotional from a Purpose Driven life expounds on that, talking about N'Orleans women who are going to get their hair done.

The other item that is "repression-proof" is greeting cards, and I stand testimony to that--I make my own more now but I am always tempted to purchase cards for friends when I'm in the grocery store. Yesterday's Circuits in the New York Times referenced an article about stationery and the "lost art of letter writing." I have a friend from high school who over the course of more than 15 years we have kept in touch by letters. Often we write letters on the fly and then mail three in one envelope. Her latest PS on the envelope read: Quite possibly the mail's equivalent of "cleaning out the fridge." For years, we lived by "no blank space," decorating the envelopes or if we ran out of time, writing in big letters NO BLANK SPACE. I cherish her letters and am grateful that I have at least one friend who uses stationery and gel pens. My stationery is more often white or yellow legal pad sheets from notes I write haphazardly as I'm doing other things.

It's important to have extravagances--life can get blank without them. I indulged in watching parts (but missed the vows--was on my walk) of Today Throws a Hometown Wedding. Hopefully my friend Tivo'd it.

Have a good Friday!! Here's another friendship quote: A friend is a gift you give yourself. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sing...sing a song

"See you in September" is what one of my bosses always says as a closing when she talks to her husband on the phone.

Songs I heard today: "King of the Road" by Roger Miller, one of my top 10 favorites. I heard it first on vacation in the Poconos, on a rinky radio in the loft room that was mine for a week. "Trailers for sale or rent, rooms, fifty cents...I'm a man of means by no means, King of the Road."
"Freedom (is just another word for nothing left to lose)"--Janis Joplin, I think. It's not a song I have any specific memory of, it's just a great song to sing at the top of your lungs as you drive down Rte. 19.

Music is really important to me. This morning, on my walk, I trailed a fellow carrying a guitar. I wondered where he was going--he was headed for the residential area, was he going to give or get lessons? When he turned around (the old man at the corner said hello to us both) I saw he was quite handsome. But I imagine he is 23--all men seem to be these days.

My brother is almost 23--he's really gotten me into more eclectic music than I already was listening to, as he listens to a lot of older music, like old blues and old folk music from the sixties.

There's a quote from my favorite of all time book, Dicey's Song (read over 25 times, I'm sure), where Dicey and Mina are talking about what they look for in friends. Dicey says music. Lemme see if I can find the quote for ya:

"So bravery is one of the things you choose by?" Mina asked.
"Sure," Dicey said. "And music."
"Music's not a quality," Mina protested.
"It is too," Dicey insisted.
"You can't be music," Mina argued.
"But you can have it, don't you," Dicey asked. "Don't you?"
Mina started laughing instead of saying anything. "That's what I like about you, Dicey. With everyone else, they want to talk about boys, or clothes, or having babies. You know?" Dicey didn't know. "But with you--"
"I don't know anything about boys, or clothes, or having babies," Dicey pointed out.
"But if you did, you wouldn't talk about them the same way, I bet," Mina said.
[Dicey's Song, by Cynthia Voigt, p. 166]

I admire Dicey because I have always talked about boys, kind of like Mina. I wish I could think about them less...but I've gotten off my topic of music. Whenever people ask me what kind of music I listen to, I tell them, most kinds. Which is pretty much true.

Sarah Louise's top ten songs: (not in any particular order)
  1. I wonder as I wander (Appalacian Christmas song)
  2. Do you hear what I hear (Christmas song)
  3. King of the Road, Roger Williams
  4. I've had the time of my life (from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack)
  5. I'm walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)
  6. Love Shack (the B-52s)
  7. Music (Carole King)
  8. Be thou my vision (Celtic Hymn)
  9. Show me how to catch a fish (from the Picture Perfect soundtrack)
  10. Tomorrow (from the Annie soundtrack)

This is, of course, incomplete, but it shows the eclectic range of my tastes. I really like standards, I've discovered, in the past five years, ever since Steve Tyrell came out with his album, "A new standard." I listen to an am radio station that plays "nostalgia music" which is mostly standards. My sister says she wants "At Last" by Etta James played at her wedding. Me too. But let's not get on that track right now...

Since I'm still thinking about friendship a lot these days (and I'm meeting a new friend today) I'll close with this quote from Camus:

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.

Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Fidelity and Flowers; High and Broken

God made people because He loves stories. --Elie Wiesel

DSL, you are coming soon! I just lost a post because I forgot that I had "fallen offline." Agh! Well, it was a post that probably was just going to sit in the draft piles--it was a little too personal.

Listening now: Storm by Fernando Ortega
Watched over the weekend: Discs 1&2 of Friends: The Complete First Season.

In thinking about the movie Broken Flowers, (see BJ's blog), it occurred to me that it is similar to High Fidelity, a John Cusak movie based on the Nick Hornby novel. The idea that you can "go home" to former relationships and learn about where you are today (screwed up) because of where you were twenty years ago (screwed up).

Nicole Maris: Prince Charming's a [jerk]; bring on the frogs!
Chase Hammond (slurping): Rib-bit!

from Drive me crazy, starring the chick from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

I have often said Men is actually a four letter word: the final n is silent (Menn).

A story I pull out often to work on begins with this line: my life has been an amphibian kingdom. In it, I tell the (true) story of a friend who so entranced by a guy who picked up a frog from the road that she had a two year affair with him and how it affected our friendship (for worse).

I am doing my best to not stew, but rather stir the pot in a healthy way--I have dredged out some old journals from high school. In them, I hope to unravel some more truth about a man-boy whose memory I thought I had long buried, but who revealed himself in almost human form to me over the weekend. It's amazing--you think you've dealt with something and zing! you come face to face with your past, through a conversation with a friend, through an encounter with an acquaintance. As a writer, I am prone to writing the end of the story of my life, brewing and concocting plot turns in my mind. This may be healthy for a manuscript, for the next Harry Potter, but it is not the best way to analyze one's life.

How do we unravel the strands of God's will, what He allows, and what is dross (not gold)? How do we face and exorcise the demons of our past lives so that we do not re-live them in new stories? As I think about what I want my life to be, I know that I want to clean house now!

So ends one of my more personal and cryptic posts...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I have no more words.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I have a profile pic!

It's not the one I wanted--which is a photo of my retired pink sneakers, and I don't look like this anymore (my hair is close to a bob length) but I really wanted to have this part done, so here it is, subject to change.

Musings on FRIDAY!!!

Oh how I love Friday, let me count the ways...
  1. I have tomorrow off (a rare treat) and I'm going to Storywalk and then a goodbye party for a dear friend.
  2. Sunday is almost here!
  3. Monday will be over before I can blink (Monday will be sooo busy for me)

I think it is so poetic that Ophelia was a hurricane, wandering the coast, has now been downgraded to a tropical depression, but may pick up power and become a hurricane again. It reminds me of when I went to see the Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) a great play that tries to cram all of Shakespeare into two acts...I was a randomly from the audience picked Ophelia, which was tons of fun.

Today I vowed to not turn on the Today show, because every morning when I do, I flood my mind with more images of the wreakage. I couldn't resist, though, and was pleasantly surprised to catch a segment on Today throws a Hometown Wedding, where they were showing the couple the hairdo the bride got to wear in the wedding which airs live next Friday. It was exactly what I needed, just girl-y fun.

It also occurred to me, as I was sitting in my thinking chair, this morning, that Sunday is September 11. We've all been so caught up in Katrina that we haven't had a chance to contemplate 2001. A lot of times, people write really lame children's books to commemorate something big like 9/11. I have to say that there are at least two great books about 9/11. The first one, The man who walked between the towers, tells a story of a tightrope walker who put a rope between the two towers and, well, walked between them. It's based on a true story that happened in 1974, when the towers were brand new. The other book, September Roses, is also based on a true story, of two women who came to NYC from Africa for a flower show that was scheduled for September 11, 2001, and was cancelled. They came with their roses and the book chronicles what they did with is so beautiful, and not at all cheesy, partially, I'm sure because it really happened. (I have to admit I love it when I can put keywords into the Barnes & Noble keyword search and the book I want is the first item.) (It must be a librarian thing.)

Housekeeping: I now have links!! I intend to add more....very exciting. Today I'm actually going to take a class on blogging because I think it would be cool for our library to have a blog for the children's department.

Gotta shelve...we are so behind!!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Refridgerator magnets on your computer

Try this! It's like having one of those magnet things on your refridgerator, only, it's on your computer! Just think how many hours could be wasted (I mean spent usefully, juicing those creative juices...)

Or this site, which posts prompts...actually, this prompt makes me want to find the book it came from...

This site links to a lot more...

This is also cool... to surf some more...

Girl Captures Gator in Tarentum

Sorry, I don't propose this site to become the next "National Enquirer" or a sensational news forum, but I heard this girl on the radio this morning. It was quite an amazing story. And guess what? Allegheny county doesn't have a county ordinance against alligators! Maybe it needs one...anyone remember that wierd animal that they couldn't even classify that was found a few years ago? I think it was when I was in library school, so four years ago...well, I can't find it on google.

(Btw, the posting title is a link to the story.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Happy 50 Posts!!

Well, I've done it. I've clicked and put a photo on my blog! Before you know it, I'll have a picture with my profile. (Well, I'll have to scan the image first...) But for me, this is very exciting! This picture is of me with one of my favorite author/illustrators, Kevin Henkes (pronounced like hankies). When I worked for Barnes & Noble, I sometimes took home the promo stand-ups, like the one in the picture, for Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. Kevin signed the stand-up on the purse. (Can you imagine me, in the dead of winter, carrying this cardboard stand up into the lecture hall, sitting with it, and then standing in line with my friends to have him sign it? It was a sight to see!) Somewhere I have a picture of him signing it. This was a picture taken by the promo lady for the lecture series, which is called Read, Black and White (or something like that...) and features children's authors and illustrators on Saturday mornings. Peter Sis is coming this year--I have to make sure I'm not working that morning!!


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Got this idea from "there are no bad ideas." Thanks David. I was looking for something to do this afternoon. These are the top 100 songs from 1989, the year I graduated from high school. I don't know how to do strike out or underlining, so I just bolded the ones I liked/remembered fondly. Oh that was a year for strange music...Love Shack is the only song I still have a copy of...all the others I hear on the radio occasionally. It's wierd to think that Guns and Roses is considered Classic Rock. When I was in high school, I listened to Classic Rock (like BTO, Grand Funk Railroad...). Now my brother (11 years younger) listens to the music I listened to in high school when I wasn't listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive; he listens to the Police, U2, Guns and Roses. He also listens to the Byrds, Talking Heads, and everything. He has the most diverse music library I know. Oh, and he's always toting and strumming his guitar. It is rare that a roll of film taken by me doesn't have a picture of him, and it is rare that that picture doesn't have the guitar. So here they are, the songs of 1989. A lot of them I have forgotten completely.

1. Look Away, Chicago
2. My Prerogative, Bobby Brown
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
4. Straight Up, Paula Abdul
5. Miss You Much, Janet Jackson
6. Cold Hearted, Paula Abdul
7. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
8. Girl You Know Its True, Milli Vanilli
9. Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird, Will To Power
10. Giving You The Best That I Got, Anita Baker
11. Right Here Waiting, Richard Marx
12. Waiting For A Star To Fall, Boy Meets Girl
13. Lost In Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson
14. Don't Wanna Lose You, Gloria Estefan
15. Heavan, Warrant
16. Girl I'm Gonna Miss You, Milli Vanilli
17. The Look, Roxette
18. She Drives Me Crazy, Fine Young Cannibals
19. On Our Own, Bobby Brown
20. Two Hearts, Phil Collins
21. Blame It On The Rain, Milli Vanilli
22. Listen To Your Heart, Roxette
23. I'll Be There For You, Bon Jovi
24. If You Don't Know Me By Now, Simply Red
25. Like A Prayer, Madonna
26. I'll Be Loving You (Forever), New Kids On The Block
27. How Can I Fall?, Breathe
28. Baby Don't Forget My Number, Milli Vanilli
29. Toy Solider, Martika
30. Forever Your Girl, Paula Abdul
31. The Living Years, Mike and the Mechanics
32. Eternal Flame, The Bangles
33. Wild Thing, Tone Loc
34. When I See You Smile, Bad English
35. If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher
36. Buffalo Stance, Neneh Cherry
37. When I'm With You, Sheriff
38. Don't Rush Me, Taylor Dayne
39. Born To Be My Baby, Bon Jovi
40. Good Thing, Fine Young Cannibals
41. The Lover In Me, Sheena Easton
42. Bust A Move, Young M.C.
43. Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Great White
44. Batdance, Prince
45. Rock On, Michael Damian
46. Real Lov, Jody Watley
47. Love Shack, B-52's
48. Every Little Step, Bobby Brown
49. Hangin' Tough, New Kids On The Block
50. My Heart Can't Tell You No, Rod Stewart
51. So Alive, Love and Rockets
52. You Got It (The Right Stuff), New Kids On The Block
53. Armageddon It, Def Leppard
54. Satisfied, Richard Marx
55. Express Yourself, Madonna
56. I Like It, Dino
57. Soldier Of Love, Donny Osmond
58. Sowing The Seeds Of Love, Tears For Fears
59. Cherish, Madonna
60. When The Children Cry, White Lion
61. 18 And Life, Skid Row
62. I Don't Want Your Love, Duran Duran
63. Second Chances, .38 Special
64. The Way You Love Me, Karyn White
65. Funky Cold Medina, Tone Loc
66. In Your Room, Bangles
67. Miss You Like Crazy, Natalie Cole
68. Love Song, Cure
69. Secret Rendesvous, Karyn White
70. Angel Eyes, Jeff Healey Band
71. Patience, Guns N' Roses
72. Walk On Water, Eddie Money
73. Cover Girl, New Kids On The Block
74. Welcom To The Jungle, Guns N' Roses
75. Shower Me With Your Love, Surface
76. Stand, R.E.M.77. Close My Eyes Forever, Lita Ford
78. All This Time, Tiffany
79. After All, Cher and Peter Cetera
80. Roni, Bobby Brown
81. Love In An Elevator, Aerosmith
82. Lay Your Hands On Me, Bon Jovi
83. This Promise, When In Rome
84. What I Am, Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians
85. I Remember Holding You, Boys Club
86. Paradise City, Guns N' Roses
87. Iwanna Have Some Fun, Samantha Fox
88. She Wants To Dance With Me, Rick Astley
89. Dreamin', Vanessa Williams
90. It's No Crime, Babyface
91. Poison, Alice Cooper
92. This Time I Know It's For Real, Donna Summer
93. Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson
94. Heavan Help Me, Deon Estus
95. Rock Wit'cha, Bobby Brown
96. Thinking Of You, Sa-fire
97. What You Don't Know, Expose
98. Surrender To Me, Ann Wilson and Robin Zander
99. The End Of The Innocence, Don Henley
100. Keep On Movin', Soul II Soul

School Days

Whenever I visit other people's blogs, if there are 0 comments, I always feel like it's my God-given duty to comment--so it won't be so lonely. Besides, I'm such a writer, and I always have an opinion (which is why i got my own blog). I have friends that send me emails about my blog instead of commenting on my blog...I have sporadic comments but I do not have the following babelbabe and gina have (blog jealousy). But I also am doing this for me, a way to just write write write. I'm almost at the 50 posts mark--I think I'll throw a blog-party. I wonder what that would look like. Hmmm.

Babelbabe is awaiting her baby, so I thought I'd link to "the one where Rachel has a baby" (Well, there are no baby scenes in You've got Mail, I have to defer to my next favorite "show/movie") Here is the link to the entire script, if you're as nuts as I am.

I've started watching "Runaway Bride" again, and over the weekend I watched "Jerry Maguire." School starts today for most everyone that didn't start last week...what do I hope for this school year? A bouquet of sharpened pencils? Daisies? I'm not in school, but a lot of my friends are, so I wish for them good teachers and good comrades.

I'd better get back to typing labels and other librarian-type things.

Monday, September 05, 2005


I really don't want this to be just: this is my life today, this is what I did. I have a "tag" to catch up on from babelbabe, but I think I want to dredge some of my "paper blogging" from my vackay.

Here's one:

I'm from the backyard at 311 Washburn, before you get to the rabbit hutches. There are clothes hanging on the line, which my father disapproves of greatly. No one I know lives there now, the place is full of memories, though...of Uncle K.'s jukebox and his buckets of 45's. Christmas pictures taken in the basement, the pictures taken two years before Grandpa died at Gradma and Grandpa's 50th anniversary. They won't be at my wedding. Neither will Uncle K., the one male that I could count on to tease me about having or not having a current boyfriend. I won't be able to dance with him--my father will insist on "Sunrise, Sunset" (Is this the little girl I carried?). I'm from broken down ball bearings and my tense shoulders. I'm from the me that cannot sit with the people that are as broken as me.

Aug 23 My parent's 36th anniversary!!
Teaching my mom the value of libraries. She was going to call 411 to get a phone number and I told her to call the library. (Although the city of Pittsburgh libraries will no longer offer this service.) She didn't know it costs like $2.00 to get directory assistance on a cell phone. Our library thankfully still considers this a valid reference question. This is being written (originally) longhand, I just found out we can't get online. I write longhand less and less--a friend of mine does everything longhand first and I find that kind of romantic--I'm just so bound to my computer. There is a connection with the pen and the paper and the hand that you just don't get when you type on a screen. Of course in the HP books, everyone uses parchment and quills...

We went to a talk on Monarch butterflies. I took 4 pages of notes (mainly b/c that's how I pay attention). More on that later.

Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are goldd. New made friendships, like new wine, Age will mellow and refine...

Am re-reading Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley, a wonderful thriller that has a librarian protagonist. It reminds me of While I was gone by Sue Miller in the "communal living who did the murder" theme. I love these two women writers, though not all their books are favorites. These two would make my "list," though.

Here's a horrible quote from Stalin that could describe how it could feel when we get overwhelmed with Katrina: One death is a tragedy; a million deaths are a statistic.

On the up-side, the Open Door is going to get to help out with 30 families that will be transported from N'Orleans to Pittsburgh for temporary housing at the Pittsburgh Project. I'm excited that we can dig in and really help!!

Here's one from Nitcka (Nietzche, I mean): "You must have chaos in your heart to give birth to a dancing star." I wonder if that applies to my apartment....

This is one I've been re-reading each time I open my book of quotes: "Borges said we only make one work in our life; we just give it different names." Gonzales Palma in Radio Taxi

As Samuel Pepys said, "So to bed."


I bet anything you have some of these in your family, and I'm not going to spill any family secrets, but 11:17 is a family code word. Our family owns a house at 1117 C-- St. and so whenever it is 11:17, we say oh look, it's 11:17!! Or the fact that when I was five, I thought "Happy Valentine's Day" was the same as "Have a nice day" and so for months, I would say "Happy Valentine's Day" to my dad when he left the house. Even now, at a quiet moment, I'll say "Happy Valentine's Day" and he'll break into a grin. Writer Cynthia Voigt (one of my favorite writers) had some code word that had to do with The Runaway Bunny. It had to do with carrots...can't remember it at the moment, I'll try to dredge it out.

This morning I did some impromptu gardening...I went down to the Union Project for my walk, basically because I didn't walk to church yesterday and I wanted to see how long it would take me...about 10 minutes, but I walk fast. I imagine it's about a mile. I sat at the bus stop for a while, just to catch my breath and relieve the stitch in my side and I was listening to Jack Hayford talking about binding and loosing on my Disc-man. A guy waiting for the bus picked some trash up and I thought that was cool. Something (or Someone?) told me to go over to my brown eyed Susans. Not mine, really, but I am a brown eyed Susan, so I have a soft spot for them. So I unchoked them from some ivy and pulled out some dandelions and wild strawberries and clover and other weeds--I'm not a gardener, my mom has always done that. I guess it was me saying, the church is not a building, but I am the church at this building so I'll pull some weeds. Someday I'll get to the point where I understand the software that is Blogger and I'll start posting photos.

Since I'm still chewing on the friendship theme, I'll close with this quote. It has been true so many times in my life.

"A friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
--Walter Winchell

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Walking and Friends

Just finished leaving a comment about his posting on Friendship on John's blog, and it occurred to me that I had a favor I hadn't returned to a friend. So here it is: (mostly verbatim because I figure why not? and I don't have time to edit, as I have to go eat breakfast and other things)

from my friend Susan Fry:


Put this on your blog link


How ya doin

I am not one to send "letters of request" so to speak but that's really what this is....

I need a personal favor.

This is a big one but so easy to do.......

Tell everybody you know......

about Mark J Cundy, "The World Walker"

Please don't sigh and delete. Really. This is a good thing that wouldn't take much energy. A few minutes to spread the word... make a phone call perhaps...

Maybe you know somebody that could REALLY help this guy out.........

Go to

for the details.

My story........

My sister met him in California. She lives in Fontana CA. He stayed with her for 3 nights.

My plan is to meet him in New York. How cool is that for him... to have met the Fry sisters from coast to coast. LOL!
How cool is that for ME where I am a cancer survivor. He walks for ME.

My request of you.........

Who do you know that lives along his walking route?
Do YOU live along his walking route?
Can you give him a bed for the night? Some food to eat? A shower?
Can you contact the local media to get the word out?
Who do you know that knows somebody that knows somebody that can get the word out???
Who do you know that lives along his route.

If you were to be a host you might do this....

My sister picked him up in town A
He stayed with her family for the night.
She brought him back to town A
He walked and walked and walked til he got to town B ( about 7 hours of walking )
She picked him up in town B and brought him back to her house where he stayed the night.
Morning - she brought him back to town B
He walked and walked and walked to town C
She picked him up in town C
He stayed the night.
She brought him back to town C in the morning.

He has a schedule at his website. You ( or whomever you know ) does not need to live IN the town .. as long as he starts/stops at same general point to keep on the path... where he beds down for the night does not need to be in the same town.

People like me.......People like you........ can help him out.

Spread the word.


Who do you know?
What can you do?

I need a favor.
Can you spread the word?


Saturday, September 03, 2005

while I wait for files to download...

I have socks again! Thank goodness for laundry!!

I think it's cool that Pgh has stepped up and said, we will welcome hurricane survivors into our homes. (Sorry, my third floor walk-up has no extra room). Also, we could have N'Orlean's conventions next summer's American Library Association convention?

I am ever grateful to be living on high and dry land!

Street names I like:

Blessing (I want to get a picture of the sign)
Carmine (name of college philosphy prof.)
Walnut (I know of this st in Falls Church, Shadyside (Pgh), and Baden (out by Cranberry)

I think it would be cool to have one's picture taken next to the street name that bears your name....

Later, yins! (I always like to point out that yin is Scottish for "one" so yins is the correct spelling of the Pittsburghese version of y'all.) (Such a librarian/English major...)

Friday, September 02, 2005


Reasons I'm thankful it's Friday:

  1. Payday: As my father always said, I've never had a bad pay day!
  2. Lunch with my friend at Adzema's Pharmacy (I love the fact that there still are drugstore lunch counters here in da Burgh)
  3. My last Friday working 9-5 (after Labor Day it's 10-6)
  4. Did I mention pay day?
  5. Okay, this is a boring list.

3 things in my fridge:

  1. bones from my chicken casserole (it was better than putting them in the trash before vacation)
  2. old milk and new milk (see above note on vacation)
  3. tapioca pudding (a great comfort food.)

3 Audio items I'm listening to these days:

  1. Kutless: Strong Tower (a great praise CD, with songs like Come, Jesus, Come, and Better is One Day. My favorite is "Take me in.")
  2. The audio book of Crooked Little Heart by Anne Lamott
  3. A mix tape I made of folk music back in college. Favorite song: Chained to these loving arms by Patty Larkin

2 movies I've seen this week and 1 I intend to see on Labor Day:

  1. You've Got Mail: are you surprised? i should rename this blog you've got a blog!
  2. Sleepless in Seattle: I was surprised at the similarities between the two Ryan/Hanks movies--I could write a posting but I think I'd put yins to sleep. (ha ha, sleepless, get it?)
  3. Broken Flowers--the website for this is sooooo cool, sort of like a video game. BJ described it as a mix between Garden State (which I've seen) and Lost in Translation (which I've not) on his blog.

3 random books:

  1. Chasing Grace: a book I read before I became Catholic, and still cherish now that I'm Presbyterian again.
  2. A Two Part Invention: a book about Madeleine L'Engle's marriage to Hugh (not Grant) while he is dying. Very good.
  3. Rose Daughter: a Beauty and the Beast novelization that I adored and own in hardcover.

3 more random books:

  1. Briar Rose: a Sleeping Beauty novelization that ties in the Holocaust. Beautiful!
  2. Tam Lin: a picture book of the fairy tale, wonderful!
  3. About the Sleeping Beauty: quoted much in Briar rose, written by PL Travers, of Mary Poppins fame.

Last set of 3 random books:

  1. The Friend who got away: a book that keeps getting away from me, currently in the back seat of my car. I've had a lot of friends that got away, so I'm not sure I want to open the wounds by reading this book, but at the same time, I think it is an important topic that is rarely addressed: it's okay to break up with a boyfriend but girlfriends are forever, right?
  2. Something Blue: sequel to Something Borrowed, a wonderful book I posted on earlier this summer. I'm waiting for my co-worker to finish it.
  3. You can do it: the merit badge handbook for grown-up girls: a book I meant to take on vacation but it was too hefty. It has "merit badges" on dancing, finances, fix the car...

3 Random things:

  1. The Friends episode where Rachel messes up the Thanksgiving dessert and Phoebe screams "I love Jaques Cousteau!"
  2. Next year's summer reading program is Paws and Claws, Tails and Scales.
  3. Boon, our children's dept mascot, is sporting some lost-and-found sunglasses and looks pretty cool.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I've lost this post twice already due to technical difficulties. It is after midnight, and therefore a new month. I wrote about angst, and quoted from my common book, where I keep quotes from books I like. I raged about wanting to publish a novella I've been tweaking since college but wondering if I dared, knowing there are critics that would say it wasn't "Christian" enough (this, after having a conversation with an acquaintance over the fact that though JK Rowling claims to be a Christian, her characters don't go to church.) (Lewis and Tolkein sidestepped this by creating completely fantastical worlds, goody for them.)

I raged about having a librarian exterior but a Valentine red heart beneath, wondering if anyone besides dear old Dad will send me red roses on my birthday.

I remenisced about the last boy who thought me pretty enough to buy me dinner and walk through Annapolis in the rain...and how his steadiness reminded me of God's transcendence.

I shared many quotes, including these few:

Ultimately, we know that on the other side of every fear there is an answer. --Anon.

Too tired for company, you seek solitude you are too tired to fill. --Dag Hammerskold, Markings.

I love living. I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they've come up with. --Neil Simon

All great art comes from a sense of outrage. --Glenn Close

A sense of outrage...I'm getting close to that.