Monday, October 31, 2005

calling all correspondents

It was a Saturday morning in Highland Park, and mild mannered children's and cataloguing librarian Sarah Louise was up trolling the internet for houses. Her first discovery: the house she saw the other day and thought was cute is even more expensive than the house across the street--ouch! Her second discovery: a cute house on Butler street whose "multiple photos" claim a river-view (hmm, tempting). Her third discovery: a very creative listing that showed a house on N. St. Clair and then beautiful pictures of Highland Park: the fountain by two views, Tazza D, and the Zoo marquee. After about twenty minutes, she decided she'd rather check her email.

Ah! A comment from one of her favorite bloggers, Joke! Sarah Louise has more impetus now to get her digital camera working, as she now needs not only to post pictures of actual pink shoes that actually look pink, she has a t-shirt that Joke should see that is about bound periodicals and is pink! She comments back to Joke (realizing again that she needs to figure out how to get comments to actually email people instead of only posting on the blog) and decides to post, because, well, it's a gorgeous day for a walk, but she'd rather stay in and blog.

She wonders if there's anything new on Babelbabe and Gina's blog, so takes a quick break. Babelbabe has included an article on librarians that Sarah Louise sent her a few days ago. You go girl! Sarah Louise decides that before she re-tapes her book quote to the wall, she'll quote it here: "Naturally you're out of book space. Everyone is out of book space. If you're not out of book space you're probably not worth knowing." (Roger of Martin, 1979) (And no, SL does not know where she found this quote.)

A train sounds its horn in the distance.

Sarah goes back to Behind the Stove and reads BabelBabe's comment to SL's earlier comment. Ah, the love-fest continues.

Another train.

Last night, Sarah fell asleep on the couch after watching Career Girls, which is a Brit flick about two girls on the town (London) with many flashbacks to their college years. It's not Hollywood, folks, it's actually depressing, but it was worth the second viewing. It has a lot of great quotes and is one of those movies that the trailer is actually more wonderful than the movie itself. SL decides to look it up on IMDB.

Her favorite IMDB listed quote, one she only noticed last night:
Annie: I'll cook you some pasta, like the old days.
Hannah: Living in the pasta.

Her favorite one of all, "Here's to us, the Bronte sisters!" "We always get the brunt of everything!" It's much better on-screen. It's in the trailer.

She reads Roger Ebert's review and likes this paragraph: "What is the use of a film like this? It inspires reflection. Strongly plotted films establish a goal and reach it, and we can go home under the impression that something has been accomplished. Mike Leigh's films realize that for most people, most days, life consists of the routine of earning a living, broken by fleeting thoughts of where our efforts will someday take us--financially, romantically, spiritually or even geographically. We never arrive in most of those places, but the mental images are what keep us trying."-- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

SL had forgotten that she'd seen Mike Leigh's other movie, Secrets and Lies (or has she?) Yes. And upon viewing the available online trailer of CG, she recommends renting (or borrowing from your favorite public library) "Picture Perfect" which has the real trailer. Ebert also discusses the practice Hannah and Annie have in the movie of using Wuthering Heights as a sort of Ouiji board, saying "Miss Bronte, Miss Bronte...(insert question)." ("Miss Bronte, Miss Bronte, will I find a fella soon?" "Must come!")

It is now 8:17, EST. SL contemplates the fact that she has not yet eaten breakfast. Hmm...rice krispies? She bought them last night at Giant Eagle and purchased the Kelloggs box because it claimed to have a Chicken Little bobble-head inside. The one she got was "Fish out of water." SL doesn't even like bobble-heads, she just wanted the Chicken Little one. SL has also realized recently that she doesn't get angry very often. So here's some anger: I. WANTED. THE. CHICKEN. LITTLE. BOBBLE. HEAD. DARN. IT.!!!!

SL decides it *is* breakfast time, since at 10:30 she has a date with herself to go see Peter Sis.

Wow! They really do Snap, Crackle and Pop!

Sarah catches the tail end of a PBS interview with Jimmy Carter, noticing, perhaps for the first time, how much like Fred Rogers he seems. SL shook hands with JC and his daughter Amy (so presumably also wife, Rosalynn) when they visited Bonn in 1977? Nothing else is good on TV, so she decides to see what's in the CD drive. George Winston, no, not right now. How about "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"? (Although for some unknown reason, the first song, "Vertigo," won't play--it played once, but that was a fluke. It plays on her Disc-man and stereo, just not on her computer. So "Miracle Drug" is the first song, which was actually a major part of the "message" at the healing service SL went to on Wednesday. She had forgotten this until now--she got an extra bulliten for BJ, who loves Bono.

Back to reviews of Career Girls. This review is a pretty good one. Ouch--pretty good? SL has been realizing that her writing these days really Could she write the poetry she used to? She is reconsidering her earlier thoughts re: the Short Story class at the UP, since to enter the MFA program at Carlow, she needs recommendations from three people who know her as a creative writer.

EST 8:42. The last time SL didn't have to be somewhere before 10:30? SL walks into the other room to find her calendar in her "messenger bag." Monday, which was noteable in that SL also completely missed a therapist appointment at 1 pm.

SL decides that maybe it's time to link up this post and do something like:
take a walk, do Beth Moore study, write the great American novel, or pay bills.

9:20 EST. All linked up. Enjoy! In T minus 70 minutes, SL will be listening to Peter Sis!! Better get a shower, dahling!

Harry Potter: Parents & Kids Guide

Harry Potter: A guide for parents and kids to share
By Sarah Louise, Children's Librarian

Parents guide

Parents, the best thing you can do for your kids if they want to read Harry Potter is read the books yourselves. If you don’t have a lot of time to read, I recommend the audio books: you can listen to them on the way to work or while you’re doing errands. Jim Dale, who does the audio books, is great at doing voices, and I bet you’ll find the books very entertaining.

I would not recommend these books for kids younger than 10. Jo Rowling did not intend to write a children’s book when she wrote the first book, and it wasn’t until she’d written half of it that she realized it was a fantasy novel. She herself does not believe in the magic in the books:
From every indication given in both her books and in her interviews, author J.K. “Jo” Rowling has no intention of drawing children into the occult. Of the magic and wizardry in her stories, she says, “My wizarding world is a world of the imagination. I think it’s a moral world.” She even goes on to say, “I don’t believe in the kind of magic that appears in my books.” (Source: Lindy Beam, writer for Focus on the Family)
The reason I would not recommend them for kids younger than 10 is that once they read one, they’ll want to read the whole series. By the time you’ve gotten to the sixth book, Harry and his friends are 16 going on 17 and the stories are darker and there is a lot of snogging (kissing). Most eight-year-olds don’t have the maturity for that kind of a story.
This is very hard for me to write, because I read the books as an adult and I don’t have kids. I can’t tell you how to parent, but I want to help you field this HUGE cultural phenomenon.

So here are some keys:

1. Read and discuss the books with your kids if they want to read them. If they don’t want to read them, don’t push the issue. There are tons of other great books out there, and I’ve listed some of them below.

2. Be aware of your kid’s personalities. If your kids seem too interested in the occult or witchcraft, maybe Harry Potter isn’t the best choice for your kid’s reading. Although for most of us, the books don’t pose a danger, there are some people who shouldn’t read Harry Potter. Educate yourself by reading What’s a Christian to do with Harry Potter by Connie Neal (well written and a fairly quick read) or by visiting her website,

Kid’s Guide
Stuff about Harry Potter, by Sarah Louise, Children's Librarian

Q: Should Christians read Harry Potter?
A: This is a big question. There is no right or wrong answer. Talk to your parents about Harry Potter. The writer of the books is a Christian, and doesn’t believe in the magic in the books, but there are some scary things in the books, so talk to your parents about this. It’s a great way to talk to your parents, because they probably have questions about this too.

Stories in the Bible to look at:

  • Daniel (who studied with magic men in Babylon)
  • Acts 10: Peter saw that what God had called unclean was no longer considered unclean. God changed the rules; what had been forbidden for Jews to eat was now allowed. What does this say about what God allows for us?
  • Romans 14:10-23 The same behavior can be right for one Christian and wrong for another.

Here’s a knock knock joke:

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Harry Who?
Harry come! (Here I come)

Books that I like, that are kind of like Harry Potter. Can you see why?

Mandy, by Julie Edwards: The story of an orphan who finds a deserted cottage that she decorates for herself.

The Melendy Quartet (4 books) by Elizabeth Enright: a family of four (then five) kids who are motherless. They have a great dad and a Cuffy (their housekeeper) and they live in New York and then they move to the country.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: one of my grandmother’s favorite books. It features Rat, Toad, Mole, and Badger, all good friends. They have many adventures.

View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg: Four sixth graders who are friends get together to compete in an academic contest. (There are sea turtles in this one!)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: Orphaned Anne gets into all kinds of trouble with her friends Diana and her enemy Gilbert.

Never underestimate the power of the spoken word

Wow! The power of the librarian...yesterday, a mom at the OD approached me and thanked me for preventing nightmares in her house. It seems that Pink, the voracious reader, had come home with HP #4 and when pressed, said, "It's all Sarah Louise's fault." The mom defended me, and though she had missed my talk, her husband had saved my parents & kids guide. (By the way, Pink just got new shoes, and they are pink and black...when I saw them, I said, "gee, if I had worn my pink shoes, we would have matched!")

Which brings to mind a situation that came up on Saturday. A kid (about 11 or 12, though he looked 13 or 14) was at the desk when I came on at 1pm. He wanted to get Jaws 3. For some unknown reason, the computer wouldn't allow it. So I called the library that owned the movie and said, is there some loan rule that I'm not seeing? (Loan rules determine who can take out an item or if an item can be taken out over the computer; some items can only be checked out if you show up in person) I assumed it was an item issue, not a patron issue--the librarian checked the kid's card and said, oh, he has a child card. Which means that at that library a person under 12 0r 13 (I don't know when our county considers kids are "adults" on their library card) can't take out "adult" movies. Now, as a librarian, I believe it is not my right to say when a child should read a book or watch a movie, but the parent's right to choose. Luckily, his mom was standing with him as the whole scene was unraveling, and I just put Jaws 3 on her card. I'm glad our library doesn't have restrictive loan rules, but I do understand why one might want restrictions: Pink watched the third HP movie at a slumber party, and her mom didn't know ahead of time. In our library, Harry Potters 1-3 are shelved in the children's section, 4-6 are shelved in the young adult department. We do not restrict "children" from going to the YA department, but I'm always grateful for the few words I exchange with a puzzled youth or parent who can't find the first three or the last three. "Where are the rest of the Harry Potter books?" "Well, in our library, we shelve the first three books in the Children's Dept and the last three in the Young Adult Dept." We don't have a young adult movie section--will Harry Potter #4 the movie (next year when the DVD is released) be in the Children's AV Dept? Probably.

I told Pink's mom that we shelve #4 in the YA department and she took that in; she thought she might call the library where Pink checked out Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (#4) and see what their shelving policy is.

I applaud parents that have these conversations with librarians and with their own kids. I remember reading my mom's Good Housekeeping when I was 11 or 12 and having to look up the word "rape" because there was an article where a woman was gang-raped by her doctor and two other doctors. My mom probably never realized that article was there--my mom probably never knew half the stuff I read. She wouldn't let me watch soap operas, which I did, behind her back. Looking back, though my senior year was my most rebellious year, I was a pretty rebellious kid. I still am. (And I would never have admitted this to my sister, but now that she's 23 and I'm 33, I'll admit it.) (Sis is one of my most celebrated fans.) Tell me not to do something, and darn if I won't pursue that thing relentlessly. I remember watching The Joy Luck Club over and over (for a while it was the only video I owned) and the words come to my mind unbidden, "There are only two kinds of daughter, obedient daughter and disobedient daughter. Only one kind of daughter can live here." It was either when the protagonist stopped playing piano or her arch-rival stopped playing chess. I think it was the former. Another scene from that movie returns to me daily this past few days, when the one mother (in her childhood flashback) finds her voice and learns to scream, after her mother kills herself because she can't speak truth into her own life. We're learning in Beth Moore's study, "Believing God," that the spoken word has more power than the thought word. What about the written word? The pen is mightier than the sword and all that... It's almost ten o'clock and I've spent the morning reading the Bible, Oswald, and my notes from last week's B. Moore study. I have dishes to wash, laundry to do, phone calls to make...anyways, just a few thoughts from a librarian that loves her pink sneakers. Joke, I'll post a picture of actual pink sneakers (that don't look red) soon. But I'm not going to change my profile pic because I really like it, and *I* know the shoes are pink.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Geography is one of the major themes in my life. Widespread panic breaks out when someone asks me "Where are you from?" I have found that the kinder, gentler question is "Where did you go to high school?" That one I can answer, no problem--Silver Spring, Maryland, or Mongtgomery County, or more specifically, Montgomery Blair. (Click on Montgomery for the new bldg, click on Blair for info re: the old building.) Goldie Hawn and Connie Chung are famous alums. My answer to the geography question these days is "I've been in Pittsburgh since 89." One guy remarked, well then, you're from Pittsburgh, now.

When I was in elementary school, we lived for two years in Bonn, Germany, walking distance from the Rhine river. The river flooded the bike path sometimes (there were bike paths everywhere in Bonn) and once flooded our basement school library. We went on boat rides down the river, crossed the river on ferry rides...the river was a big part of our life. In third grade, we moved to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. There wasn't a river there but the first house we lived in had a huge resevoir behind it. We lived in a huge sprawling Spanish hacienda style house. The roof had those orange curved tiles and there was a large porch on the front and a patio area on the back. Each bedroom had a small patio, where we hung hammocks. We also had a patio area that was closer to the had to go down steps to this little area where we had our Weber grill. Dust was a big part of our lives at that house--it was a growing development where new houses were being built daily, and where I first encountered construction workers. In the States, they may whistle, but in Teguc, they clicked their tongues--it sounded like snakes. I was nine and blonde, in a country full of dark skin and hair and eyes. All around us were hills and mountains; Tegucigalpa actually means "Silver Hills." Our second house in Teguc was in town, and on a street that was on the side of a hill. This was common--in some of the older neighborhoods, there were stairs connecting the streets. It was always about 75 degrees in Teguc and often we would go down to the "pulperia" where we would buy bags of frozen raspberry juice ("mora"). We would bite a hole in the baggie and slurp out the frozen bits.

So about five years ago or so I realized that Pittsburgh is a combination of my two childhood hometowns. It has not just one river but three, with a whole network of bike paths. Flooding is a reality when the spring melts the snow. The hills surround the rivers and there are steps all over the city, not just on the South Side where you can see them from miles away, but tucked in alleys in the East End.

I have just finished listening to the second (and last) side of Jacob have I loved on audio. In this favorite book of mine, Sarah Louise lives her childhood years on an island but dreams of going to see the mountains. She ends up working as a nurse-midwife in a town in the Appalacian Mountains, in a town that bears her father's name, Truit. I think I so closely relate to Sarah Louise because geography is important to her too. Mountains and water...

When my parents were house hunting for a rental in Westchester County, New York, the prices were horrendous. My parents were going to be living on a government salary with no cost of living for that very expensive part of the country for one year. When we saw the house my parents ended up renting, I immediately fell in love. It was walking distance from the Long Island Sound and Playland was just around the corner. If you've seen the movie Big, you can imagine the beauty of the locale. I saw a pelican fly over head. I'd never seen a real pelican, and for me, this was a sign that this was the house! It was a Dutch Colonial with barely three bedrooms and one bathroom. When I visited from college, I slept on a couch in the "sunroom," which was drafty. My brother and sister each had a room smaller than some walk-in closets. But it was the geography that made it *the* house...when I came to visit the weekend my grandfather died, I could walk along the beach at the Sound and pick up shells. My mother became a bird watcher and could identify different types of ducks. My brother and sister walked to school, at the elementary school Barbara Bush went to as a young girl. Rye was the perfect little small town. I hardly lived there, but I miss it and long to go back to the library, which I think was built in the "Carnegie style" of the turn of the last century.

In high school, Cynthia Voigt was the author all my friends were reading. Everytime we went to the bookstore, it seemed like she had a new book out. Many of her books centered around the Tillerman family, four kids and their grandmother who lived in Crisfield, Maryland. So I fell in love with the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and when I was looking to transfer colleges, Washington College appealed, not only because it had a world renowned writing program, but because it was located on the DelMarVa peninsula, in Maryland called the Eastern Shore. By the time I moved back to Maryland, though, Cynthia Voigt had moved to Maine. The year I moved back to Pittsburgh, the National Teachers of English had their annual conference in Pgh and Cynthia Voigt did a bookstore signing at a bookstore in Squirrel Hill that is now a camera shop. I think I was the only person to show up. I got her picture and she signed a bunch of books of mine, as well as a book that belonged to a friend's sister. I had her sign it something like "You're finally getting this book back, and signed by the author!"

For me, ten years is a long time. I was just at a birthday party for a co-worker who turned 50, and when we all shared stories, my story was about my mother's fiftieth party. They felt so sorry for my youth. (Right!) A decade for someone who has lived five of them is less dramatic than a decade for someone who has lived three and a half decades. (I'm guessing.) So the fact that I have paid rent on an apartment at the same address for ten years is staggering to me, the world traveler. One summer in college I slept in 25 different beds! (by myself--no snarky comments!) Most of my life was lived three years in one place, two years in another, four years in the next. I've lived in Maryland the same amount of years as I've lived in Pittsburgh, eleven years. But that includes three years for preschool and kindergarden, six years for jr. high and high school, (in the same house) and two years in college (in Chestertown, Maryland.) I've lived in the Pittsburgh Metro area since 1989, but I've left twice: once for two years, once for three. So that's sixteen years since I initially moved West-ward, but eleven years that I've had a physical address and phone number. And I've paid rent at my current address for ten years, but for three of those years I lived in Northern Virginia. I've lived in the DC metro area for twelve years, but that includes the 9 years of school (pre and high school) and the three years I lived in Northern Virginia. So I guess 2006 is a watershed year, when I tie for the DC Metro area for amount of years lived in one Metro area, and 2007 is the tie-breaker, assuming I'm still here at that time. Not that I see myself leaving Pittsburgh, come hell or high water, though I live by James 4: 13-15, Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."


That verse was the one I clung to my senior year of college. My parents were leaving New York and moving to Brazil. I was moving back to Pittsburgh because some friends said they could house me for a few weeks until I found a place and a job. Three weeks became three months, but that's another story.

October has always been a watershed month for me: twice I've had job interviews that turned into jobs--my first "real" job out of college, at a small press in Edgewood that specialized in translations of Latin American literature, and the job I currently hold as a librarian. Last year was one of the worst Octobers: I just found a letter where I wrote to a friend about getting very very sick one night. I had a really bad bout of depression and ended up not working for almost three months. An intense friendship that had started in November the prior year was dissolving, and I did demolition work one day a week at the Union Project, which is where my church, The Open Door, now meets. Once a week, I would drive out to the library to have dinner with my friend Myra. This year October has been a month of up and downs: heartache over a guy, heartache over a house, angst and hard work. I have been to two concerts, I have danced with a baby in my arms, I have cried and cried and I have laughed and laughed some more. Bring on November, when the Birthday season begins. My cousin Carrie's birthday begins the fest, on November 1.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

a litany of pink

I'm tired and bored and I need a boost. I do not want to catalogue tonight. So I thought I'd list the pink things on my desk.
  1. My keychain, with a hello kitty case and a pink flip flop emery board
  2. A pink "accent" highlighter pen.
  3. The slips indicating an interlibrary loan on two videos: While You Were Sleeping and Roman Holiday.
  4. The labels on two paperback copies of The Doll People: pink labels with the black letters, MAR.
  5. A valentine's day basket filled with shredded pink and red paper.
  6. A pink dot on my name plate. (We use pink dots to indicate if something has been secured by RFID)
  7. Post it notes, one that says 78 reasons why you book may never be pub by Walsh, one that says Starting Sept 5, 1/2 hour lunch (my attempt to accrue comp time so I can prolong my Thanksgiving vacation.)

That's it!

My stomach is grumbling--I had a quesadilla with mucho guacamole and sour cream and salsa for dinner. Maybe not the best idea...

Tomorrow, I love you tomorrow (a very short post)

Joke, I have tomorrow morning off, so I will attempt to scan my "pink is the new black" shirt.

I will also be watching Roman Holiday, which I got out from ye olde library. It's great to just put in a request and it comes right to your in-box!!

I looked at the house: I probably can't afford it, and it needs new carpeting, big time. Ah well, do I really want to move before Christmas? We'll see what my capricious mind says tomorrow...

Listened to Jacob Have I loved on the way to work. How I love that book!!

Also, last night went to hear Bill something, formerly of Vigilantes of Love. It was very good (although the opening band never showed). A friend of the John's played Alyssa's guitar and sang. We all stood around talking about how great the U2 concert was. I got to hold Teah!!

Links will come later...I do not want to catalogue today...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pink shirt coming, but not in this post

Your 1920's Name is:

Rosalee Margarette

Your 1920's Name is:

Octavia Dixie

So I couldn't decide which of these I liked better, so I claim both!

Pink things: one year for Halloween, I was the color pink. I sprayed pink stuff in my hair, and wore pink clothes. I don't think I have a picture anymore, but I'll see if I do...

I just decided I want to buy the house across the street (it also happens to be for sale, that helps.) I'll be getting inheritance money my literary namesake, "I [feel] as though [I've] stumbled off a narrow path right into a marsh." (from Jacob have I loved by Katherine Paterson, p. 230)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Here we go Stillers, Here we go!

Okay, you probably have never noticed that I was a football fan. It's true, I'm not. But I'm always glad when the home team wins. People are happier in the Burgh when they do. There is a sort of link between domestic violence and football, though the Super Bowl myth is just that. Pittsburgh is not one of the 14 cities they studied, but if you live in Pittsburgh, you know that life is better on the Monday after a win. The link is this: if a game is percieved to be a winner, there is less domestic violence. (Actual final scores might not affect actual violence.)

I'm a Pen's fan...they're not doing so hot this season, either.

alright, so I went trolling for a meme. This is 7 for Sunday, Birthdays:
1. How many Birthdays have you had?
2. How do you generally celebrate your birthday?
3. Think of the Best Birthday you ever had. When was it? and Why was it so great?
4. Think of the Worst Birthday you ever had. When was it? and Why was it so bad?
5. What is the most thoughtful gift you have ever received?
6. What is the worst gift you have ever received?
7. What would your dream birthday celebration be like?

My birthday is coming up (Nov 28) and I'm planning my party for a few weeks earlier (because I'll be out of town for my birthday which this year falls on Monday after Thanksgiving.) I'll be 34--which feels wierd. I guess that answers #1.
#2: I generally celebrate my birthday with friends or family (depending on how close my birthday is to Thanksgiving and whether I'm living with or near family.) If I'm celebrating in my digs, I have a bunch of folks over--which is always fun b/c most of my friends don't know each other, so it's a great mix. If it's with family, it's generally fun too and I generally get carrot cake. My grandmother started that tradition. Yes, having a birthday so close to Christmas does take some of the punch out of it, and I generally figure out what I really wanted on Dec 23 or 26, so I have to wait another full year for the next "gift giving holiday." But my sibs also have winter birthdays, so we're all used to the birthday/Christmas phenom. We usually exchange CDs/Videos or more recently DVDs.

#3 Best Birthday? Gosh, I always have fun...but I'd say there are two that stick out: my 17th and my 19th. Both were surprise parties. (I love surprise parties.) My 17th I thought I was going out with my parents and my sibs (who were 6 and 7). I was bummed b/c they weren't getting a babysitter--I love my sibs now, but at 6 and 7, we didn't have a lot in common. I get a little selfish, but c'mon, it's my birthday!! So I'm complaining on the phone to Susan (yes, the boxtops queen) and saying, yeah, it's gonna be a snooze fest. We get to the restaurant and ohmigosh! not only is there a table full of my friends, but they pooled together to get me a boom box, which I really really wanted. My 19th birthday I think we went out for dinner (why else was I wearing amber to Cornerstone?) and then my friends and I went to Cornerstone, a college fellowship which is still going strong. The lights were out, they came on, and they brought out a cake! I have pictures and I even wrote a poem commemorating it last year (which I think I posted here a while back, I'll dredge it up.). I also had surprises for my 15th and 20th birthdays.

Yay, I figured out how to put a picture where *I* wanted it to go!

#4 Worst birthday: Like I'm going to post that! Besides, I've never really had a bad birthday. The funniest one was Year Four, when I, not liking peas, but forced to eat them, chipmunked them in my cheeks. You guessed it, when it was time to blow out the candles, peas galore! And we have it on film! Note to self: where is that film?

#5 Most thoughtful gift: Okay, this most, worst, I'm not into that. The gift that surprised me most and was exactly what I wanted, how could she know? was the year my Aunt Hilda got me a watch. It was a brown watch, and it had one of those insets where at night it has a moon and stars and during the day it has a sun. I had always wanted a watch like that, and I hadn't even put watch on my list (although my mom did hear me complaining about my watch a lot.) I no longer have that watch--I got it over eight years ago, but it was a great gift. I suppose Christmas gifts aren't supposed to be in this category, but since my mind does the whole Christmas/Birthday thing, I'll count myself exempt. It's my blog, and I'll do what I want to (to the tune of "It's my party (and I'll cry if I want to.)"

#6 Worst gift: I blot things like that out of my conscious memory. Sorry. Well, (and yes, this is in the Christmas category, but it said worst gift, not worst birthday gift) one year the guy I was dating procrastinated and got me a jewelery set. Costume jewelery, a bracelet and earrings. He probably spent $15.00 tops. (Was that the "spending limit" we had set? I didn't keep it.) He spent tons on his 8 year old daughter. I had spent a good deal on him, little gifts each time I saw something that reminded me of him. (Cause I'm like that.) The bracelet broke before New Years. I never told him because I didn't want to crush his already fragile ego. Yeah, you guessed it, the relationship didn't last much longer either. We broke up the weekend of the Golden Globes, which is approximately January 18. I'd write more, but people I know read this blog and I like that, but it does put a certain censorship on my fingers as they fly over the keys.

#7 My dream birthday celebration? Even though I've always said I'd like tulips at my wedding and it would be nice to have an anniversary at another time of year, it would be fun to get married on my birthday...happy birthday to me! Because I'd love a huge reception, like the kind you get for a wedding. It would have to be a decade, like 40 or 50--but I'd want a lot of guests, and dancing (I've only had dancing at my 16th and that was all girls). I'd want a medly of all the Suzi songs (Wake up little Susie, If you knew Susie, Crocodile Rock), and a dress that was pretty but wash and wear, because I've always wanted a cream pie in the face. Oh, and it would be good if it was a surprise. Crap, did I just reveal my first name? Ah the mystery is gone. But really, this blog is Sarah Louise's, which means you can never tell what she'll write...

So yes, Joke, soon I'll post a pink picture. (Of me wearing pink: but I warn you, with scanning being what it is, the color may not transfer well.) And I'll try to be clearer in my writing (since semantics is what got me into this mess). But right now, I've got a cold and I'm going to go nurse it. Oatmeal, here I come.

Sunday Surfing

Well, as you know, (or not), there is a controversy over the "pinkness" of this blog. I am choosing to ignore that controversy at the moment as I feel there is enough pink to go around. If some people are nice to me, I may publish a picture of me wearing pink, but I do not respond well to hostile comments.

Went to the Sold Out U2 concert last night (oh yeah). The last two songs of the encore were the highlight for me: They did "Yahweh" from How to dismantle... and "How Long (Psalm 40)," which I didn't know was a U2 song. We sing both of these at the OD. Maybe later I'll write more, but right now I'm a bit sleep deprived and I may have a cold.

So, this is your blog PSA (Public Service Announcement) via my friend in Boston, Susan Fry. (not a pseud.):
Do you have an email address and internet access? Are you 18 or older?
The kids at Peter Fitzpatrick Elementary School in Pepperell, MA need your help.
The school participates in the Box Tops for Education program. Along with collecting box tops, worth 10 cents each, from participating products such as General Mills cereals, Pillsbury crescent rolls, Betty Crocker Cookie mixes, and Ziplock products, just to name a few; the kids are trying to earn bonus box tops through the GM online Booster club program.
Each new member that signs up to support Peter Fitzpatrick Elementary school, earns 10 bonus box tops for the school. That's $1.00 for every new booster club member.
It takes only a few minutes to go online at to become a Booster Club member. It is FREE to join. You can track the school's progress throughout the year, there are coupons available to print, and there are kid friendly areas such as the Cheerios Reading Room. Most of all, with only a few minutes of your time and a few clicks of the mouse, you would be helping the kids towards their goal of $5,000 or 50,000 box tops.
Just go to
Click on the "Sign Up for the Box Tops Booster Club" link
Fill out the brief registration page.
You will receive a confirmation email right away. Be sure to confirm your membership through this email for Peter Fitzpatrick Elementary to earn the bonus.



Okay, that was me playing with the italics. They are screwed up, but I finally fixed them.

So surfing. Susan also gave me a link to a super funny blog, Defective Yeti. I have enclosed at least two hysterical posts for your reading enjoyment. (They're currently the most recent posts, but anyways, it's my blog, I get to link it how I want to!)

Thursday morning before my doctor appt, I surfed for an hour. How do you know you've surfed long enough? When the item you started on (for me, an article in BlogBuzz on spam in blogs) shows up, as you've meandered through the Internet. I mean, I was clicking on links, going to Colorado, all over the blogosphere, and bam, there's a reference to Blogger's attack on spam. Yeah, time to go home. But here are some fun things I found:

  • Neilson's top 10 for Bloggers: Neilson is this guy who does usability for web sites, etc. A library list serv I subscribe to will post one or two messages a week that are of interest to me. But Neilson's list will spawn many many responses and it's like having your own bulliten board in your email account, which can be boring (if it's about xml or government databases) or slightly interesting (when they start slamming Neilson.)
  • This blog apparently goes against #4 on N's top 10. I thought it was funny, but don't have furthur commentary on it today.
  • This looked intriguing. What the heck is a camera toss? (Converse among yourselves.)
  • Don't remember what this blog/link is. But hey, I thought it worthy enough to save in a notepad document, so maybe it's the next great blog.
  • And this:

    WORSHIP! You're inner Bombshell is the beautiful
    Audrey Hepburn. Like her you've been blessed
    with a "certain something" that no
    one could describe accurately. You are more
    reserved than other bombshells, and that shows
    in your gentle, graceful nature. You like doing
    things for other people and love volunteering
    for your favorite charity. Yours is a rare gift
    in this day and age. You don't need to show a
    lot of skin to be sexy, all you need is your
    eyes. To see Audrey at the top of her game
    watch the movie "Breakfast at

    Who is your inner bombshell?
    brought to you by Quizilla

Which is kind of funny, since I hated "Breakfast at Tiffanys." Ah well, is she in Roman Holiday? I'll rent that. Here's an Audrey site that has music. I also abhored "My Fair Lady": some musicals should stay on Broadway, not go to to Hollywood.

Well, I think that does it for now...I have to go do all of my Beth Moore homework, since I didn't crack the book all week.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Adventures in Movie watching

There are some movies that just stand the test of time. Princess Bride, A Knight's Tale, Jerry Maguire, That thing you do, Mary Poppins...

And Adventures in Babysitting. Elizabeth Shue shines in this action/comedy--as a friend at lunch said, "They just don't make movies like that anymore." It's a little wierd to have nostalgia about 1987...

Fun facts about AIB:

  • Vincent D'Onofrio (of Law & Order: Criminal Intent) is Thor/Dawson, the blonde mechanic. Having seen him as his normal swarthy self in L&O:SI and as Edgar in Men In Black, it was wierd to see him as a blonde. (When do you make the blond/blonde distinction?) He is billed as Vincent Phillip D'O, which he also uses in Mystic Pizza (1988), but not in Full Metal Jacket, made the same year as AIB.
  • "Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues," my favorite quote.
  • Read this great review from the Washington Post, written in 1987, copyrighted as e-material in 1995.
  • This review has a picture of Vincent D'O, although I strongly disagree with the writer's last sentence: You should rent/borrow/buy this movie ASAP.
  • This review talks about the other babysitting movies. It also describes the DVD (what, no DVD-ROM with Thor-inspired computer games?)
  • Go here to listen to the best two lines in the movie on wav. (mp3...)
  • The movie was Christopher Columbus' debut film. One of the critics thought, that being the case, CC should do an audio commentary to the DVD. Cool idea, but un-realized. (What movie is that from? Oh, Twister. Sorry, my brain is on the flicks today.)
  • And this is one movie where it pays to watch all the credits, b/c you get a last look at the thug on the skyscraper.

Alright, Joke, here are a few unarguably pink things: for some reason, everyone has been wearing this color the past two days at the library. On my desk are two pink books: Ballet Shoes and The Borrowers. In my pen holder is Zelda, my pink flamingo pen. My keychain has a hello kitty pill holder and a pink flip flop emory board.

Enough blogging for one day...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Waiting for Godot...

To your left, a picture of me and cousin Katie. She and a co-worker had to come to the 'Burgh last fall for a training session, so I met them for the tail end of their dinner at Majorca (misspelled I'm sure) this really cool Spanish restaurant on the South Side. I found it while I was sitting in my "thinking chair." You can barely tell in the picture at the size it is, but I'm wearing a sweater of Granny's, our grandmother who died when I was ten. It's pink (of course) and one of my favorites. It is a really nice cardigan. I'll get a better picture of it someday. Anyways, I thought it would perk up this post.

Singing "If you're happy & you know it" and "The more we get together" this morning to my Mother Goose kids and parents was great therapy. Now I just have to get through the rest of this day....

Here's a quote from Katherine Mansfield, a favorite author of my mom's:

I always felt that the great high privelege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.

I hate fall...bring on the snow and subzero temps. Give me something to turn the heat up for!

Babelbabe, you do not have the market cornered on lame posts. I'd sack this one, but what would my adoring audience have to read?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Elizabethtown, Cameron Crowe, and Fred Rogers unlikely trio, but that's why you read this blog!

So finally. First, let me say that depression sucks. Literally. It sucks the living out of you. Luckily, I know how to cope: restaurant therapy, retail therapy, cell phone therapy, visiting friends, and the best stuff: sister love. My sister and I talked for like 7 minutes tonight before Medium came on and I feel so much better. Not great, mind you--hormones coursing through my body, exhaustion from life, lonliness, etc, etc, put wear and tear this feeble heart, but good enough to write this post.

My sister doesn't go by her given name (I try to give people pseuds on this blog since I use one) so I'll tell you her name is Elizabeth. I actually helped pick out her name, which is another story for another day. But the name of the movie is Elizabethtown, which of course endears me more to this movie. What I liked about this movie was that I could tell it was a Cameron Crowe movie--I've watched Jerry Maguire enough times, I've seen Almost Famous a smattering, and Say Anything twice. So here are a few elements of a Cameron Crowe movie:
  • a great soundtrack, hands down. The kid wasn't writing for the Rolling Stone magazine at 13 for nada--he knows music.
  • The executive that's hit rock bottom.
  • An airplane scene. A few airport scenes. A stewardess.
  • Weird family dynamics. Coming home to family.
  • A road trip.

It was a movie with actresses and actors that I knew I'd seen before but I couldn't place them--where have I seen Kirsten Dunst? Okay, so I never saw Spiderman 1 in the theatre. (I saw #2 at least 3 times on the big screen, but did I mention depression? Memory is one of the faculties you lose.) And no, I have not seen all the LOTR movies (or any actually) so Orlando Bloom is not this mythic figure to me. The movie had the same magic feeling as Big Fish and the same tribute flavor of Garden State. Now, my sister loved Garden State. I thought it was okay, but I didn't ADORE it. But Elizabethtown is a lot like Garden State, except that Garden State is about the kid and his mom just died. Elizabethtown is about his dad. It actually is a tribute, as the credits roll, you read "In memory of James Crowe." Anyways, whenever it's convinient, go see this flick. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll say "It was better than Cats!"

Which you probably won't say about this post, but who gives a flying fig? I did it, I said I would, and now I can go to bed. You better believe we are all super glad that Sarah Louise doesn't get suicidal. When I say, "sleep, perchance to dream," I'm talking about and then you wake up in the morning.

What is it Mr. Rogers says? It's such a good feeling to know you're alive.
It's such a happy feeling: You're growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say,"I think I'll make a snappy new day."
It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling.
The feeling you know that
I'll be back when the day is new
And I'll have more ideas for you.
And you'll have things you'll want to talk about.
I will too.
It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling.
The feeling you know that we're friends.

yeah. The icons in my life: Fred Rogers, Cameron Crowe, Charles Schultz. (well the male ones at least. The female icons: Ellen DeGeneres, Goldie Hawn, Cynthia Voigt. Of course, there are many more, but if I could only name 3 men and 3 women, that would be my list for today. People that can make me cry, laugh, and think. Because if you can't do those, it doesn't matter. When I was looking for cards for "You're Home, Emily!" (Tomorrow!!) I saw one that encapulates my view on life: A day without laughter is a wasted day.

And if anybody comments on how my life is empty without LOTR, so help me, I will come out of that computer and hunt you down.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Still Sunday

Wow. Just went to a meeting after the OD about the Emergent movement (the type of church OD is.) My brain is mush. I took notes but I can't process a thought more than this: I'm glad to be a part of a movement who takes friendship as its highest value: discussion, conversation, not "my way is the only way, let me go make up a new denomination/seminary/church." I have to remember my own words: IT TAKES THREE YEARS! I've been in Pgh for four now, so I have a community, but I haven't been at the OD for three years, no one has! So if we're still a little disjointed and we don't know who to talk to or what to talk about and we're not "the perfect little community" we're all trying to be, Guess what? It takes three years. Beth Moore said it best, it's that five letter word we all hate: "later." But I'm lonely now! I want friends now!

I have a drawer where I keep a Van Gogh quote, and I just found a few more treasures there that I'll share with you here.

"There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and passersby only see a wisp of smoke coming through the chimney, and go along their way. Look here, now what must be done? Must one tend to the inner fire, have salt in oneself, wait patiently yet with how much impatience for the hour when somebody will come and sit down--maybe stay? Let him who believes in God wait for the hour that will come sooner or later."

And then I found these two there as well. I am a good geographer of my apartment, a good tender of my own heart when I hide these treasures.

"Now, with God's help, I shall become myself." --Soren Kierkegaard

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself (herself) intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

In that drawer, I also found some stickers with inspirational quotes, two sheets with heart stickers, a homemade birthday card from two years ago, and a movie ticket stub from the Muppets from Space (or whatever it was called.) The day I saw that movie was a day that I will always remember: I had come back to Pittsburgh for the weekend, I was going to spend some time with my friend Will and he had coupons for Sandcastle so we went with two of his friends, Geoff and Teresa. We had a total blast, and when Sandcastle closed, we couldn't imagine the day was over, so we went to Waterworks, bought tickets for the movie, went to the Chinese restaurant for dinner, went to the was one of those days you never want to end. So I wrap myself in that memory, a memory of a wonderful day spent with people I haven't really seen since that day in any meaningful capacity. But what a great wrapping for a melancholy autumn night. Friendship is the perfect blendship, says Cole Porter. I agree.

And Emily comes back from L'siana in 2 days! Woo hoo! (and there is that little intimate concert on Saturday night with some men from Ireland...) (Gotta clean the apartment...NO! GOTTA SLEEP!!)

It's still today--tomorrow is Elizabethtown's turn

I love Tazza D'Oro. I always assume all the people there are like me, walkers. But today I ran into a woman who lives in Point Breeze. She and I did that double take--I know you from somewhere. We finally figured it out--Mary Kay. Now, I know we didn't know each other that well, but whenever I meet someone I used to know, I immediately (if I liked them at all) want to do lunch or something...I think because my hometown is not a geographic location. My hometown is made up of a population of people that used to live in Silver Spring, MD; Bonn, Germany; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Oakland, Carlow College, Pittsburgh; Chestertown, Washington College, Maryland, and Falls Church, VA. Oh, Warsaw, Poland too. Some of those people still live there, but most of them don't, and that is the life of the TCK (Third Culture Kid). Where are you from? That depends. I've lived in Pittsburgh since 1989. My heart is here. I have left twice; once for two years, once for three. But my heart remained. I'm grateful--I mean, the cost of living of leaving your heart in San Francisco these days would be sky high. Pittsburgh is still relatively low cost, especially in respect to housing.

Then, I'm sitting there, starting my homework for the Beth Moore study I'm doing on Believing God (it's soooo amazing!) and this guy says, "Great shirt, where'd you score that?" And I had to say, "Check Point Charlie, actually." I was wearing my favorite shirt, lemme see if I can get an image of the it is. His wife/girlfriend cut in quickly, but I did get to tell him it was one of my favorite shirts. When the foursome left, he made a point to say "Have a nice day" which I thought was nice.

Thoughts on Beth Moore: She Rocks!! Quotes from this week (yes, I did days 2-5 in one sitting, but I'd rather have it done than not.):
  • "We often suffer from spiritual schizophrenia or at least a serious case of attention-deficet disorder. Like the Israelites, who suffered from the potter-clay reversal syndrome (see Isaiah 29:16), I sometimes forget that I didn't see Jesus in the distance and call Him to follow me. (emphasis mine.)
  • In our frenzied lifestyles we are desperate for simplicity: for a hundred things to narrow down to one.
  • Because not only does Abraham have a history of faith, but his record also bears marks of some serious bouts with doubt and some remarkably foolish decisions. So does mine...Failure isn't terminal, Dear One. Faithlessness is.
  • I have yet to find the story of a fully healthy and functional family in the Word of God (emphasis mine.)
  • "Have you ever thought, "I may as well be an alien here?"...that may be your first indication that you are in the right place.
  • Here's the one that pierced my particular personal heart: One of our challenges is watching others who seem to be operating effectively in their promised land, while we still feel like aliens in tents wondering whether we misunderstood. Adding insult to injury, some of those may be younger than we are! Have you ever found this frustrating? Oh yeah! She continues: We can allow resentment to kill our opportunity to grow. God reserves the right to handle us as individually as the prints he stamped on the ends of our fingers. (emphasis mine.)
Thoughts on Oswald: He's the Best!! A quote from today's reading: Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; we have to realize that prayer is stupid from the ordinary common-sense point of view...He will engineer circumstances and thrust you out.

This guy was way ahead of his time! This is from 1917! I used to hate Oswald, before I read him, because EVERYONE loved him. I like discovering people on my own. So I bought a copy of His Utmost at Goodwill, it sat on the shelf for years before I "discovered" it. My friend Lily has his complete works on CD and prints them out--she's much more hard core than I imagine I'll ever be. But it's cool, cause we talk about him occasionally.

Anyways, this is a super long post, I'm thinking, and very theological, but I hope you got this far. I think I may have found my calling.

Chaos is not a mess...

[Warning: if you hate posts where people meander all over the place, discuss their personal life and use words like "shout out," you'll have to wait for tomorrow, when I *really* will post on the movie Elizabethtown.]

[Note: the picture to the left is of my sister. I haven't figured out how to put pictures in so they are next to the text they refer to. Hey, it's a work in progress! But isn't she gorgeous?]

Chaos is not a mess, but rather it is the primal state of pure energy to which the person returns for every true beginning.

*sigh* Don't you wish Einstein said that? It was a shrink who wrote a book. "Making Sense of Life's Changes." His name? "William Bridges." Do you think shrinks take pen names, just like Marilyn did? I'm sorry, no one will buy your books, Norma Jean Uncunterton, how about Willa Bridges? That sounds so much more...therapeutic. Gag me. (When was the last time you heard someone actually say "Gag me with a spoon" or "Knarly, dude") I'm sorry, it's Sunday morning and I am blogging and (starved, actually)...(pause while I look in my fridge). I'm back, chewing on a piece of string mozarella cheese and having decided that I'm going to Tazza D'oro to spend my last $5 (darn employers haven't deposited my's called "in-direct deposit": we pay you sometime around pay day and it goes into the bank directly. Why don't I just get the check and cash it? Because my mother (yes, I'm almost 34) says, "It's one more slip of paper to lose" and it's true, I am sometimes out of town on pay day and wouldn't that be the one time...I got spoiled, working for Fox Books--we got paid every week (every week!) and it went in on Thursday around midnight. Yes, it was Direct Deposit!! But these days, my check would get into my account FASTER if I took the check to the bank!! Okay, so this obviously deserves more thought (ain't writing great?) but I'll think about it in Word, not in my blog. Note to self: write more about bank!

So where was I? Oh yes, talking about shrinks and pen names. I'm actually enjoying David Allen's book, Ready for Everything, which was spoofed in Unshelved a few weeks ago. I didn't remember it was spoofed until I was already listening to it in the car and had gotten the book on ILL (Inter-Library Loan, for you non-librarian types.) Okay, I'm a dweeb: I just left a comment on David Allen's blog. And here's another link about drinking coffee and tax deductions.

A few shout out's (who is it that hates that word? My brother, I think, who hasn't admitted yet to reading this regularly):
My sister (my baby sister, who is actually 23) is reading my blog and is proud of me that I'm cleaning my apartment in prep for the U2 concert.
Babelbabe, who after a long hiatus (she had a baby boy!) has commented on my blog again (I feel so loved! Shall I do the Sally Fields' dance now? You like me, You really like me!!)

Okay, so this is how you spend the Lord's day when you are not watching young children in the nursery?, shall I walk to Tazza or drive? Relax, church is at 6:00, followed by Tony Jones, whom everyone seems to think is cool in an emergent sort of way. I'll reserve comments until after I've posted on Elizabethtown.

I think they'll serve me brunch now. It's 10:02. Tomatoes on a croissant covered in cheese, here I come!!

Here's your quote for the day (and yes, it is from the Bible):

Psalm 107: God, a refuge in every danger: Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, his faithful love lasts forever.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Treasure-picking, or Sarah Louise cleans her apartment

I love posting pictures, because I like pictures and I consider myself the amateur of amateur photographers. This is a shot of tulips my dad sent me for Valentine's Day this year--they were forced bulbs so I had to wait many weeks for them to get to this state. I like this picture because you can't see any other part of my apartment--it has that Martha Stewart spare-ness look, the white cabinets with a *hint* of color. The rag rug is from Ikea. By the way, what you see there is the extent of the cabinet space in my apartment--since it's a garret type, there's no wall space to have upper cabinets, ah, the bane of my existence, storage space. But I love my garret--I've lived here for 7 years, a long time even for me.

The cleaning....ah, well, after I came home from seeing Elizabethtown (more on that later), I coaxed myself into cleaning for 5 minutes at a time. So I now can see parts of the floor in my back room, and I have found things missing for years. I am getting rid of magazines and catalogs, and I am doing laundry and dishes. It's a start. Oh, and I found the actual parking ticket, though it will probably behoove me to pay it online b/c online today it is $17.95 and it goes up to $38.00 if I don't pay it by the 17th (Monday). Darn street cleaning!! I knew I should have driven to Tazza D'Oro that I saved gas but I'm stuck with a parking ticket...

Other found things: (to refrain from the moaning)
40 Acres by Caedmon's Call (a wonderful CD that my friend Rose gave me when she moved to one of the Carolinas)
Lots of magazines on how to get organized
Yoga for the hormonally distressed (A magazine article I thought I'd lost--it's been MIA for at least a year)
My electric heating pad

So, it's been a good day, a good start. Tomorrow is training in the morning and my first Mother/Daughter reading group meeting in the afternoon. We'll be discussing The Doll People by Ann Martin. That's all I'll say--I don't want this to be a blog about work.

I'll get to Elizabethtown in my next post...a definate one to watch. (And I could tell it would be because Gene Shallot hated it.)

"What if they hate me?"
"They're critics--they hate themselves."
(Reese Witherspoon and Patrick Demsey in Sweet Home Alabama)

Good Clean Fun

I have this CD I got at Tar-get called Good Clean Fun. It's music to clean to. I will be using it later when I try to backhoe my detritus into my walk-in closet. My meltdown has been delayed by talking to Donna, Emily, my therapist, blogging, my aunt, and my sister. But now it is time for lunch!!

I didn't find the lost parking ticket, but I found it on the web (just enter your liscence plate #!!). Still looking for the clearance that says I'm not a child molester. (Why would they mail important paperwork to me--my house devours papers like they are dove bars or ben and jerry's chubby hubby.)

My printer is giving me grief. Color prints great, but even with a new cartridge, black is really tempermental. And of course, the warranty is up and I violated it anyways, by buying re-manufactured cartridges...thank goodness my life doesn't depend on printed material. Paperless society--sounds like a good idea to my printer!!

Gotta go!

If you keep a green tree in your heart, perhaps the singing bird will come. --Chinese Proverb which is in the front of one of my favorite kid's bks, Taking Care of Terrific.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Your Love is teaching me how to kneel

u2 is coming!!! And I have tickets with my sibs!! There was a whole period where my sister's friend hadn't paid up and we thought she'd bailed, but hallelujah, she's coming. So now I need to clean my apartment (anyone have a backhoe?).

So I fell asleep in front of PBS again--this has got to stop. I had dreams about the young Einstein, as a clerk in Switzerland. E=mc*2 was a part of my dreams. Bizzarro. I watched "Arthur" the show about the young aardvark at 7:30. Then I dozed (sans TV) until (omigosh it's what time?) ten a.m. Luckily, today is one of my late days--I don't have to leave the house for another hour. So Oswald Chambers today (I wonder if it's online--oooh, lemme see if I can find a link) was like a neon billboard. Hello, Sarah Louise, this is your life!! Btw, can I say, I love the web--so much out there. Because I thought I wanted to go to seminary (I don't anymore) (at least not right now) and I know I will eventually write children's books but not right now--I need to be an adult, my whole life is women and children. (So everyone's like oooh, wouldn't it be cool if you wrote a children's book?) (Wait about ten years, I need to write my novel first.)

I talked to my friend Emily who is helping out in Louisiana with the Red Cross. We're talking, and even though when I woke up I was a little disoriented and feeling vulnerable, talking to her about last night (see last post) I felt so much better. So I sort of feel like I AM TIRED OF EVERYONE TELLING ME I'M WELL-ADJUSTED!! I am not a TV, (ie you adjust a TV) and yes, I am dealing with this particular trial (my life in all its rainbow colors) in a healthy manner, but that doesn't make it "all better." It still stinks that I'm tending sheep (like Moses was). But, whatever.....

So I got that out....time to go do something (or maybe just go read everyone else's blog...)


Oh a poem:

Never doubt but one friend hears the music of your soul. --Wang Wei

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Riches untold

You may have tangible wealth untold.
Caches of jewels
and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you
can never be--
I had a mother who
read to me.

"The Reading Mother" by Strickland Gillian

Well, not only did my mother read to me, but tonight my sister read to me. Not just any book, but one of my favorite books, Julius Baby of the World. It tells the story of Lilly, who is the only child and her place is supplanted by Julius, the new baby. Oh, just find it and read it--it is wonderful. And of course, it is most wonderful when it is your baby sister reading it to you over the phone, as she is missing the first few minutes of Lost ("I'm taping it, though.") to read to you. Riches untold have I. A broken heart, yes. An overdrawn bank account, yes (but Friday is payday!). A hard job (and lots of work), but I have joy. My sister read to me. There is a poem I like, let me see if I can dredge it from the web, it shouldn't take too long:

Jenny Kissed Me
by Leigh Hunt

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in.
Time, you thief! who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in.
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad;
Say that health and wealth have missed me;
Say I'm growing old, but add-
Jenny kissed me!

And that is how I feel right now. My mother is happily teaching her kids Mother Goose rhymes and nature with Eric Carle for another week and a half (it's inter-sesion for kids that go to a year round school) and my sister read to me over the phone while Lost was on TV. I really don't think life can get better than that. And (devilish gleam) my friend had a bit of revenge on the boy who broke her heart--but that's another story.

My sister is watching Lost and so she told me that since I can get PBS I should watch the show on Helen of Troy and tell her how it was. (And silly me, full of love for my sister, I am.)

You must know that I weave fact and fiction in these posts, revealing and concealing. But in that fiction, you will find the truth, as it is with all real art.

My calendar this month is the famous verse from .... "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." October has been a good month in years past: twice I have gotten good jobs in October, and twice I have had many kisses. This year, I'll go to the U2 concert with my sister and her friend and my brother. It's my reward for getting through another year--for last October I was in the muck and mire of depression. I didn't work from the end of August until the beginning of December, and then it was only part time. Right now I have a lot of people who tell me that I have really grown, that they are so glad to see me smiling. And so right now, I bask in it.

I never really thought about Helen of Troy. It is interesting to pick up these tidbits. Perhaps I'll quit this blog and make some popcorn with which to watch the second hour.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Thank God it's Monday!!

When I was in Mary Kay (a lifetime ago) I loved Mondays because we had our weekly sales meetings which were so positive. Now I love Mondays because my friend Lily and I go out (or stay in) for dinner and talk and pray. I had a weekend and a day of heartache and rejection, from my friend's broken heart on Friday to direct hits on "I don't think the OD is preaching the gospel" from a friend who used to go to the OD and from a friend who is Catholic and wants to know why I "left the Church." Oh my. I know I need to learn to be more diplomatic...I think I assaulted the first friend and will have to build a bridge. Why is it easier to disagree about God with my non-Christian friends?? I am the happiest at the OD than I have been at any church--I don't have a lot of friends but BJ and John support me and I'm meeting new people, people that I think are staying for the long run. It's a sifting out, I guess. There's a children's book called The Big Orange Splot by Daniel M. Pinkwater. (He also wrote the Hoboken Chicken Emergency.) It's the story of a man who lived on a nice street where all the houses looked the same and they all liked it that way. But one day a bird drops a can of orange paint on Mr. Plumbean's roof. His neighbors can't wait for him to clean it up, but he sits with it for awhile and then goes to the nearest Home Depot store. He gets palm trees and a hammock and he paints the outside of his house so it looks like a desert oasis. One by one, his neighbors visit him with the intention of bringing him to sanity, so their street can be a nice (read uniform) street once more. But they sit outside in the hammock and drink lemonade and Mr. Plumbean says to them, My house is me and I am it. My house looks like all my dreams. And one by one, each neighbor builds their house to suit their dreams: a museum, a cruise ship...and people come by and say, this is not a nice street. And the people who live there say, "This is our street and we are it. Our street looks like all our dreams." (Now you'll have to go to the book for the direct quote, it's a lot more poetic than that, but you get the gist.) Here is Jessamyn West's synopsis: The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
"My house is me and I am it. My house is where I want to be and it looks like all my dreams" So sayeth the main character in this book for children, who paints his house all sorts of nutty colors [and adds a clock tower] after a bird drops a can of orange paint on his roof. Neighbors complain that the street is no longer a "neat street" but after having late night lemonade over at Mr. Plumbean's house -- while trying to convince him to straighten up and fly right -- they all decide to let their freak flags fly in their own special ways. [+]"

And so it is with the OD. Finally, I belong to a church that reflects my personality in its eclectic traditions and its committment to the visual arts, a church where I have seen lives changed for Christ. It is a church, finally, that I would love my non-church-going friends to come to, because for me, it is the coolest place to be. I'm not always good at defending my views--I am a people pleaser and I want people to like me, so I often cave to their opinions and feel bad when I don't agree with their ideas. But I think what I'm learning right now is that I have an opinion that counts and I have friends that support that in me, even if they are not near me geographically or attending my church. My sphere of influence is opening. It's very exciting, actually.

My dad liked that I had this poem on my blog, and it's a good one, so I'll repeat it, because it bears repeating, and speaks to what the past couple of days have been like:

"He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the will to win
We drew a circle that took him in!"

--Edwin Markham

Happy Columbus Day!!

Ellen Degeneres, one of my heroes (heroines?) made my day today, when she called up some guy from Minnesota, whose name happened to be Christopher Columbus, to wish him a Happy Columbus day. I wonder if he even knows who she is, but when she asked him to name his boat after her (his boat had no name!) he considered it. It made me think of Garrison Keillor and good old Lake Wobegon.

New things: I have added a ton of new blogs (not a literal ton) to my "blogroll." It was fun messing around with the html--I need a book or something though--I did create my own website once upon a time, straight html, no editors like wonderful blogger. I'll have to find it--now that I have this blog and all this webspace....that was 4 years ago, in library school. Wow. Time flies, whether or not you're having fun...but I mostly believe in having fun.

Also, my mom visited my blog yesterday. She said she thought it was very "21st century." Thanks Mom!

This is the first day in 7 that I haven't had to show up for something paid. I have to go to the dentist to get fitted for a crown--why not a tiara? I always wanted a tiara. There's a book... that came out my last year working for good old Fox books (I mean Barnes and Noble). Anyways, it feels so wierd not having a place to go until 2--I have tons I have to do, including a bippity boppity boo clean up of my apartment--the sibs are coming to see U2 in 2 weeks and my apartment looks like Pakistan, or Hurricane Rita, or Hurricane K. (Except all my stuff is here, there is no actual rubble or water.)

So I'm still in my 12:27. I may go to the movies...after the dentist, but really, I have errands...making a list helps...

More friendship quotes: "A cup of tea together will make us glad and a little friendship is no small matter." --Japanese Folk Song.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I should have gone to bed hours ago...

In helping my friend nurse her broken heart, I'm blogging all sorts of stuff to keep her occupied. So here are so more "blog things."

just letters: very cool, thanks bobbie!

Okay, I am going to bed--hopefully sleep will come soon and waking up will be easy...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Charles Schulz lives on in us all.

You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I've been blogging for awhile now, and learning that the internet can be "just another way to get rejected by woman" (from my fave movie You've Got Mail). But I've also been learning that the same thing about life is about blogs. It takes about three years in life to get to know a place, make friends, put down some roots. In blog time, I guess it takes x amount of months. You try stuff, you envy your friend's html guru, you stop blogging for a while or just post life stuff or just post quotes or photos...and then you find your style. I think I'm getting there, and I hope to continue meeting people through my blog...I really only meant it to be an outlet, for me, to get back into writing. But people have responded and that's cool. Really cool. I do censor myself--there are some posts that stay in draft, even though I'm pretty anonymous, there are people that know who I am and I'm not crazy about total internet intimacy...I mean, on the Internet, we get to be who we want to the New Yorker cartoon where the dog says to the other dog, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." It's getting late, but I wanted to share these thoughts...tomorrow is coming soon and someday Sunday will be a "day of rest," but for now, I'll settle for that afternoon nap. May I wake up with or before my alarm tomorrow, unlike most of this week...


It's a rainy day in Georgia

Actually, it's a rainy day in Pittsburgh, but I love using song titles as titles for my posts. I'm in my cataloguing mode, so there are no windows--the only way I knew it was really raining was my trek out to the stacks to see what movies I could scrounge for tonight. So I think it will be Save the Last Dance for me and City of Angels. This is my 6th day of working in a row and I need to blast off some steam! This is one website that always makes me smile...

Also, I got some Schubert. I've been reading Think Denk, the blog of this concert pianist, and he was listening to Schubert while sorting his mail. My knowledge of classical music is minimal, so I always take recommendations. I'm familiar with Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart, but beyond that... I do like Aaron Copeland a lot. And Gershwin. There's this one Gershwin piece that is called "Walking the Dog" or something like that, and it truly is that. I heard it at the Kennedy Center a few (could it be almost five?) years ago when they had their Memorial Day concert. It was rained out and therefore inside...I don't remember, but it was a free concert and wonderful.

I once dated a guy who loved opera. His parents gave him season tickets for his birthday and so while we were a couple, I went along as his date. I fell asleep almost every time. I hate the fact that they give you the English--the translations are always so horrible, I'd rather just listen to the music. I love the Magic Flute as an opera, have seen it three times (once in Pittsburgh, twice in Warsaw, Poland) and I have to say the Pittsburgh Opera didn't do it service. In Warsaw, the opera was part of a summer-long Mozart festival (it was the anniversary of his birth or death) and the costumes were fabulous and the venue was a smaller, more intimate one than the Benedum Center. I did like going into town though; we'd usually have a fancy restaurant dinner (with wine, hello, did you want me to fall asleep or not?) and then go in. We'd get all dressed up, which I love doing--something I do so rarely now--the OD is much more a jeans and t-shirt type church, and children's librarians mostly wear pants. I remember once wearing my green Liz Claiborne dress which had been a bridesmaid dress for a winter wedding (the only bridesmaid dress I own, actually). I am such a girl (well, if the pink sneakers didn't tip you off...). Well, back to work. I have about a half hour to go...and then off to the grocery store. I'm thinking it's a Dijourno night...although I'll be having pizza for dinner tomorrow night too...I have to start cooking again!


Friday, October 07, 2005

lyrics I love: for educational purposes only

My bonnie lies over the ocean
My bonnie lies over the sea
My bonnie lies over the ocean
Please bring my bonnie to me

My story is much too sad to be told, But practically ev'rything leaves me totally cold The only exception I know is the case When I'm out on a quiet spree Fighting vainly the old ennui And I suddenly turn and see Your fabulous face.

I get a kick ev'rytime I see You standing there before me. I get a kick though it's clear to me You obviously don't adore me.

My shadow's the only one that walks beside meMy shallow heart's the only thing that's beatingSometimes I wish someone out there will find me'Til then I walk alone

Sail on silver, girl Your time has come to shine All your dreams are on their way See how they shine Oh, if you need a friendI’m sailing right behind Like a bridge over troubled waterI will ease your mind

I am a rock, I am an island...if I never loved, I never would have cried.

Wake up little Susie, Wake up! The movie wasn't so hot, it didn't have much of a plot. We fell asleep our goose is cooked our reputation is shot, wake up little Susie, we gotta go home!

Mama pyjama rolled outta bed, she ran to the police station
When the cop found out, he began to shout, he started the investigation
And it's against the law, it was against the law
What what mama saw, it was against the law

Music is playing inside my head Over and over and over again My friend, there's no end to the music... Ah, summer is over But the music keeps playing And won't let the cold get me down Pictures are forming inside my brain Soon with the colors they'll rain together and grow Then don't you know, don't you know there'll be music... Ah, it's not always easy But the music keeps playing And won't let the world get me down.

And my absolute break your heart favorite: The awful truthConcerning meThe creature-feature mysteryIs simply thisIn the worst wayI wanna playMRS. DRACULAThe challenge is toughBut I know I've got the stuffTo be just spectacularCan't you see it in lightsROSIE REALLY MEETS DRACULA!So close your eyesAnd visualizeMe in a capeAnd fangs in my headLoving a guy who's mostly dead(I don't see him often'Cause he sleeps in a coffin)Nothing could be zanierThan our lives in TransylvaniaWe're fabulous one dayAnd rotten the nextVariety saysTHOSE TWO MUST BE HEXED!At six in the morningWhen my sweetie is yawningI feed all the batsA mush made of ratsThen I tidy the tombCover all the trap doorsAnd wash any old blood stainsOffa the floorsDON'T YOU SEEThis juicy partWas meant for me!I got the looksI got the styleI got the bloodshot eyesAnd a ghastly smileIt's the dream of my lifeTo play DRACULA'S WIFE!The reviews will all raveThis movie's a whopperA super show-stopperAnd no one can top herNot Rosie!Dear Academy,Take noteI should get the Oscar voteIf I don'tI'll bite your throat!Signing off nowQuote, unquote

Silly me...

Laughter is love lived outloud

The verse that I have pinned to my bathroom wall says, "I praise thee for I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made." It's from Psalm 139, the psalm that brought me home. My senior year in high school, I came across a verse of Ps. 139: If I fly on the wings of morning, even your right hand will find me there. The poetry just got to me, like the line in the hymn that says there is no place that God is not present there.
There is a girl over there who is half my age and wearing the exact same pink sneakers I'm wearing now. I got them at Payless!
Tonight I have helped an art teacher who comes in a lot, an aunt whose niece is coming to visit ("she loves to do crafts"), and a boy who wanted a book on making your own rockets. I love my job!! I also troubleshooted with our help desk and told them what I thought the problem was and they called me back to thank me coz I was right!! (Total ego boost.)
A friend of mine got her heart broken today. Luckily, hot chocolate was near. Chocolate always soothes a broken heart. So does laughter. When I called my sister tonight to fill her in on my day and the events of the week, a story I told her made her laugh and she said you make me laugh and I said life is not worth living if you can't laugh. Which is really true.
I said I'd post poetry, and I just realized I have a poem stuck in my email account, so I'll dredge it up. It's about basements. My friend's heart was broken in a basement, a basement where she has played ping pong, piano, debated politics, practiced speeches, had great conversations...and the beat goes on. Geography can be redeemed.
I'm kind of excited about thinking about the Writing Program at Carlow. If I could finish the novella I've been working on since college (too long ago), what a birth that would be--I've been in labor for over 15 years!!

**************** 2 Poems by Sarah Louise*************

Ode to a Basement: on the occasion of my Birthday at the Open Door

This basement has been one long party:
The candles on my nineteenth cake,
The Easter breakfasts, wedding receptions, Alpha dinners.
Cornerstone began the fest:
We faced the other way and sang choruses to a lone piano.

When upstairs was being beautified, church was here, Lou at the helm--
He could always count on me to laugh at his sermon jokes.

Now we journal, paint doors with glue and candle wax,
Offer communion and community one to the other.
Pray--we always prayed, and this hasn't stopped yet.
Now we have candles and anoint each other with oil.

Basements have always been fun:
When at six I gave Lydia the purple dress and Jesus freckles during Sunday school.
Making eyes at cute guys across the Bible verses,
and singing, always singing.

"They will know we are Christians by our love" was my song,
and I knew I was in the right church
when I worked Saturdays side by side
Unionly, at Stanton and Negley.

Ode to a basement: this one and my past and future.
Who knew a cellar would be at the root of it all?

Trial Size

Who are they kidding?
Three ounces of something
is supposed to get me

*********************2 of my favorite Knock Knock Jokes
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Oswald who?
Oswald my gum.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Iguana who?
Iguana hold your hand...

I visited a lady today to talk to her about Seminary, even though I decided yesterday that I'm probably going to do the Carlow writing thing, and she had a picture of a girl dancing and the words "I hope you dance." In her office, she had drums that she had purchased from one of the drummers from the band Rusted Root. She runs a summer institute for high school students and one of the classes the past coupla summers has been a drum class taught by this guy. Pretty cool. I would love to learn drums. I like to think I'd be pretty good. (Hee hee.)

I wish I had a picture to post...I'll have to work on that.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Memento mori

I just found out one of my writing teachers from college died two summers ago. We're just about to "close" on my grandmother's house, so I'll probably not see it before the new owners move in. Friends of mine just bought a house of a guy who died. This guy was a shop teacher and so a lot of his stuff is related to building or cars, etc. It reminded me of all the stuff that used to be in the basement of my grandmother's house--Grandpa died my senior year of college and Grandma just died in December.

It's wierd--I even got the issue of "Pitt Magazine" that listed her as "in memoriam," but I'm not used to reading that page for Pitt. I'm still young enough...yet so was she...only 2 years older than my dad is now! (She was 65!). I'm considering going back to school either for writing or for seminary and if I did writing, I'd be back at Carlow, where there is now a Pat Dobler Writing Center in her honor. Wow.

I'm not sure what the focus of this post is, or if it has one, but I just needed to get that out. Tomorrow I'll be talking to some folks at the Seminary to see if it's what I want to do, but a writing program that makes you go to Ireland for 11 days? I don't know if I could resist...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

It's official--the OD at UP!

I love the fact that the initials for my church are also the initials for Over Dose...(and we're right across the street from a drug store) I guess I have a weird sense of humor. UP stands for Union Project, the building we are renting worship space from. It was like having a birthday, anniversary, reunion, and therapy all wrapped in one. We did a lot of praying, singing, shaking hands, hugging, and I did a lot of "I can't great it looks, that we're here, that this is happening..."

The sermon was all about light, and so we got glow sticks. Our waitress at Sharp Edge said to BJ, did you guys just come from a rave? No, we just came from church. The most fun at church was watching some of the guys go crazy with the kids, having "laser sword" fights and just messing around. Guys that are crazy about kids are so attractive to me. (Which would make sense, since women and children make up most of my life...) (I couldn't be with someone who didn't think kids and kids books etc weren't cool.)

Watched You've Got Mail for my afternoon nap, and there's the scene where Meg Ryan says, "well, there's the boat thing..." and Tom Hanks says, "What boat thing?" And she replies, "I could never be with someone who had a boat." He at this point knows she is his online buddy but she doesn't find out til the end so he messes with her and says, "I could never be with someone who liked Joni Mitchell: it's clouds illusions I recall, I really never understood clouds at all--is she trying to be a pilot?"

5 things I did this weekend:
  • Installed DSL--woo hoo!
  • got a thing-a-ma-bob that allows me to hear CDs in my car (it uses the 88 or 89 frequency and attaches in and the sound comes out your speakers--I don't understand it but it's great!)
  • babysat for three lovely children (and made them dinner, something I rarely do for myself)
  • slept in front of PBS Friday night: did you know Alan Alda wrote a book?
  • took a bath--woo hoo!

Another friendship quote:

He drew a circle that shut me out--Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in.

"Outwitted" by Edwin Markham