Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back

In the movie "Groundhog Day," Bill Murray is a Pittsburgh weatherman who must live the worst day of his life again and again until he gets it right. Today was a day like that, and I am only too glad that I am not Bill Murray, a Pittsburgh weatherman, or a groundhog.

The day ended well: I had dinner with Marian (the librarian) at a nearby Chili's. Let's just say that a day that begins wearing a paper robe whilst sitting in a gynecologist's office, has moments that include mocking teenagers, a waitress that calls you Ma'am, when you know *her* first name is the same as your own, and a stilted afternoon conversation with your mother is a day that needs a Margarita named after it. Unfortunately, neither Marian nor I could drink said mix, as she learned that a wine cooler mixed with her migrane medicine equalled silly tipsy living and I know that all the tylenol and the muscle relaxants mixed with alcohol could kill my liver. A cheery bunch, we were.

But sometimes it is the days that are like that that make you laugh hysterically when you are sitting across from a dear friend who has rescued you. I told Marian about the nurse who spoke like an auctineer: have you had leg cramps, mumps, rubella? have you had pnemonia, swelling, shortness of breath? If a director had been with me today, we could have made a doozy of a comedy--Sarah Louise's Day Out (or in).

So I'd like to shake things up. I'm getting tired of being here by myself on this blog. There's a comment feature, use it! I will do my best to make things controversial enough to merit a comment or two.

So on the car ride home, I thought, I could do "50 blogs in 50 days" but I know I'd get bored by the time I did three days. The blogs I admire most have something special. Andrea's "thang" is "the best post titles:" each one refers to a song in a musical. Every single one! And BabelBabe and Gina have the best pictures of branches AND the best template. I love the brown-ness--it's just cozy. It makes me think of old books, which is fitting, because BB and Gina are always reading the best books. My favorite cartoonist is Nicole Hollander. The thing she does is what I find myself doing: she mixes it up, every day. You do not see Calvin playing with his tiger, day in and out. No, one day it's "the woman who does everything more beautifully" and the next it's the girl talking on the phone with her mom. The next day it's Alien lovers who give outrageous gifts. (the one for halloween was great--"I know, darling, instead of candy, we'll give them face lifts!") So I need to find my style. Quizilla helps...which brings me to my favorite post of the day; David called it "Clearance Sale" and it was a post of what seemed like twenty or more Quizilla results.

My favorite book quote this week was from Marian Keyes' book of essays "Under the Duvet." In an essay about workplace Christmas parties, this sentence stands alone as hysterical even without context: "The best was when someone rushed in and gasped, 'Ahmed has arrived with the sheep. He needs money to pay for the taxi.'" She continues: "Even though the sheep were long dead, I couldn't banish the idea of Ahmed in a black London cab, squashed up beside two fat, fluffy sheep, like busty old women butttoned up against the cold. As I went back to the office to get money, I half-expected to find the two sheep running amok through the hallowed corridors, as if they were cavorting along boreens in County Clare." (Feeling Sheepish, p. 201) Marian became one of my favorite Chick Lit writers when she said this book can be read by dipping in, start where you like! Eclectic, now that's my style! There is a librarian blog called that, actually, which I discovered surfing ages ago. Perhaps I'll wrestle a link up, just for you, dear reader.

So, just for the record: Mom, I don't want a new winter coat, I like the two I got years ago at the Salvation Army. Dad, I don't want to buy a house, what I need are more bookshelves (Marian said to this, "Everyone needs more bookshelves." What do I want, what do I want for Christmas (I already have my two front teeth). I want what Cyndi Lauper sang in 1983: "Girls just wanna have fun!" I want to eat Chubby Hubby ice cream. I want to watch the Winter Olympics! Beppe and Marian, I want those shows you taped for me! I want to not have to watch every penny, I want to sleep late, I to comment on my blog.

Movie quote of the week: [from You've Got Mail] Meg Ryan and Greg Kinnear are breaking up in a cafe after they have a fight about politics in the movie theatre. They are incredulous that they don't love each other: "We're so perfect for each other!" Meg asks Greg if there's someone else, the TV show host that interviewed him last week, Sidney Ann. Greg blushes, and says, maybe. What about you, he asks. Is there someone else? (For those of you who don't know this movie backwards and frontwise like I do, this is right after NY152 aka Tom Hanks has "stood her up" when she finally said "Let's meet.") No. She says, and sighs. "But there is the dream of someone else." This week my heart is healed, and I am no longer spotting conversation with "and Icabod said, and Icabod did, and oh, Icabod is so dreamy..." But I still dream of a someone else, someone that could so totally sweep me off my feet, make me dream of a man who is so adorable with children, so intelligent and knowledgeable about the Bible, so creative... (and in the background, you hear "Sarah Louise's theme" which is the old standard, "Someone to watch over me" as sung by Ella Fitzgerald.)

So, as I put these words to bed (an old printer's term--the last act in making the newspaper is locking up the type), Take Five plays in the background, the lights dim, and another day dies down in blogland.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Transparency and Thanksgiving (as in giving thanks)

Driving to work today, I mulled over a few things. From the outside, my life may look charmed to some (or not, to others). But I value transparency and so I thought there were a few things I'd share.

Were it not for many things, I would not be the positive, creative person who writes this blog.

  • Many milligrams of psychotropic drugs that I take to manage my diagnosis of Bipolar II. I was diagonosed in 1998 and it has been a journey of ups and downs--my last bad dip was summer of 2004 through winter of 2005. I've had minor ups and downs since then but for the past month have been fairly normal---YAY!
  • My parents, who are often enigmas to me, and yet they love me and show it. (Though they drive me crazy, they also drove me from Pittsburgh to Virginia for Thanksgiving and home again) Yesterday on my birthday, they each called within 10 minutes of my "birth moment" which was 4:40 pm.
  • My friends: Babelbabe, Susan Fry, countless others that are named and unnamed on this blog--talking to them, spending time with them makes each day worthwhile.
  • My siblings: they are insanely crazy but I adore them to pieces. When I was 10, my life was turned upside down by the entrance of my sister. When I was 11, it was turned upside down again by the entrance of my bro. Life has never been the same and I am grateful.
  • I have a college degree and a master's degree.
  • I just paid off my car!! (Inheritance money from my grandmother has made my life have more "give.")
  • Beth Moore, Anne Lamott, Oswald Chambers and many other writers, who inform my spiritual life.
  • Elinor Lipman, any number of Chick Lit authors, who make me laugh.
  • music music music
  • restaurant food
  • home cooked food
  • frozen meals
  • My two therapists: one is a crazy Christian woman who has a dog in her office, the other is a quiet woman with black hair, and my psychiatrist, who is from Northern Italy and speaks with a great accent. He is brilliant.
  • The Open Door, a wonderful church that is well, just great. More on that later.
  • My Visa card, which has saved me countless times when my paycheck showed up late.
  • my cell phone
  • my internet access and email
  • God, of course, who informs all of the above mentioned items and people and relationships.
  • The women of Bellefield Presbyterian Church, who have taken me into their hearts and been like second moms.
  • My two bosses, who are equally crazy on opposite spectrums: put them together and you might have one person who is really sane or really insane.

When I was in college, a friend of mine and I would make thankfulness lists, or "I love" lists. An item that showed up often was pumpkin pie and milk (as a combination). Counting my blessings always informs me that I am lavished with love, even in my lonliest nights of tears.

I visited a favorite blog of mine tonight while trying to stay awake at work (I later went and took a 1 hr nap) and found this verse, which I promptly printed and taped to my desk. It's from Romans 5 in the Message translation.

1By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us--set us right with him, make us fit for him--we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. 2And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand--out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

I would not exist nor would this blog without the support of so many tiny fibers that keep me knit together--thank you for your contribution, even if it is only in reading the words across the screen.

what kind of flower?

You are a Carnation:

You are friendly, energetic, cheerful, and bubbly.
You love being around people. Outgoing and
talkative, you rarely meet a stranger. Others
feel at ease around you because of your playful

Symbolism: In Victorian times carnations were given
to show fascination with another. They also
symbolize friendship and whimsicalness.

Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas Books, for Greg

Well, I went to my favorite bookstore on Sunday--it is at a Baptist church I used to attend in Virginia. I got lots of books and I promised Greg, the proprietor, that I would send him a list of good Christmas/Children's books. Hey, I needed to blog, and this way he'll get the links to the reviews, etc.

  • One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham (Billy Graham's wife). A beautifully illustrated tale that takes the Bible from Genesis to at least the birth of Christ. A perennial favorite.
  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey: A gloomy woodworker is asked by a widow and her son to make animals for their creche. It's just the best story ever.... comes with a cd recording of the story!
  • Jesus by Demi: one in a series of books on religious figures by Demi--well illustrated, colorful artwork, using text from the KJV Bible.
  • How many miles to Bethlehem by Kevin Crossby Holland: "This poetic retelling of the Christmas story adds drama and immediacy through the use of alternating first-person narratives," says Kirkus Reviews. The illustrations are striking, and the words are just great. I would buy this book for myself or a child.
  • Nativity a pop up by Francesca Crespi: a beautiful pop-up about the Nativity scene. From the publisher: "Six beautiful pop-up scenes portray the marvelous story of the birth of Jesus in this simple and elegant retelling. Each scene has tabs to pull, moving parts, and screens that unfold. In a splendid finale, double doors open wide to reveal the full glory of the Nativity." Can you tell I'm getting tired when I'm just quoting the reviews? But really, this is a great book.
  • Who is coming to our house? (a board book!) by Joe Slate. Rhyming text, identifying the animals, preparing for the nativity scene. Very cute book. A rare one--many Christmas books can be heavy handed with the "message," this one is just fun. (And those are my thoughts, not a critic's.)

Books that are not Christmas themed, but good "religious books for kids."

  • Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler--just like the one for adults, except it's for kids--pictures of the landscapes in the "Holy Land." Looks like a quality job.
  • Mother Teresa by Demi: another religious figure book by Demi (see Jesus, above). The late Pope John Paul blessed this book before he died--there's some book trivia for you. Well resarched and illustrated.
  • Music from Our Lord's Holy Heaven (avail with or without music cd.) Run do not walk, you must have this beautifully illustrated book of hymns, poems--the Pinkneys have outdone themselves here.
  • All things bright and beautiful illustrated by Whatley. This hymn, written in 1848 is gorgeously illustrated. Another must buy.

There were other books there, but these were the gems. Oh, and I can't forget Silver Packages, by Cynthia Rylant, an applalachian story about a boy who dreams of being a doctor. It's not religious in any way, but it is a darn good Christmas story.

I had some gift cheques from Verizon for returning to their fold. I bought some gifts and a CD with my favorite jazz composition, Take Five.

All in all, it's been a great birthday. I think I'm going to like being 29 (for the fifth time).

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thoughts on Harry....

Ain't life grand? It's almost 11pm and I just surfed a bit, to see how the other blogs on my "roll" were doing. Discovered a new blog via Bobbie, Jesus Creed? (I think that's the name), and realized again that I will never have time to read all the blogs out there. Oh well. Update on a few things: for my birthday (which is Monday) (the 34th anniversary of the Cleveland Browns being trashed (0-7) by the Washington Redskins) (The Browns who are now the Ravens) we went to see HP#4. What a great flick.

  • Love that Mike Newell, who also directed among others, Enchanted April, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Mona Lisa Smile.
  • Don't know whose job it was to get a new music director, but bravo on that, the theme was no longer recycled from the "Home Alone" trilogy.
  • The audience clapped at the end--I love it when that happens and we forget it's just light projected on a screen.
  • My parents were completely confused, since they haven't read the books, and I was surprised that I actually knew more than my sister on some accounts.
  • I loved Moaning Myrtle's moment--sis and I agreed she needs more appearances.
  • Also loved that Rowling populates her books and hence the movies with many ethnicities--the Patile sisters, Indian, Cho Chang, Chinese, and random other ethnicities.
  • Was not impressed with the scene of Serius's face in the fireplace--not at all as I pictured it from the book--they could have spent more time on that special effect methinks.

  • Loved loved loved it when Hermione says, "I'm not an owl!" when Harry and Ron aren't speaking.

  • Loved how Barty as Moody nurtured Harry even though he did really want Harry destroyed. The complexity of that relationship is one of my favorite paradoxes.

Oh, for my birthday dinner we went to an Indian restaurant. Very good. We had naan and green cilantro sauce and other good food. Yogurt, basmati rice...all very good. Then home to dessert (the end of the birthday cake from Thanksgiving Day made by Aunt Pat, traditionally made by Grandma for me) and presents: from my sister, Love Actually on DVD (which I've seen and LOVE the commentary); and from my dad, Carole King, The Living Room Concerts. A surprise, which really pleased me--I've been missing CK as all of my music is on LPs that are waiting to be transferred to CDs.

Time for bed, tho.

FEMA deadline changed to Jan 1

I keep forgetting to mention this. Thought it deserved its own post.


Today is the nth day in the celebration of my birthday (which is actually on Monday). It's like the 12 days...on the first day I had a party with friends and pres-ents (oh, it doesn't flow with the same syllables) Anyways, as I already commented on BB's blog, we are going to Courthouse 8, my favorite movie theatre ever. Why, you ask? Do they have a great wide screen and wonderful acoustics? I could care less. They're decent enough for me. No, my girlish sentiment rings true--the bathrooms have floral arrangements, that's why I love this theatre. Also, it's a Metro stop.

Movies, for me, are like therapy. I just started reading a book where a man uses flying as therapy...oh yes, Grisham's The Summons. I already read the end (some critic said it was a great one) and am not sure now that I need to read the middle. I digress.

At Courthouse, I've seen Brokedown Palace, Drive Me Crazy, Love Actually, Gladiator (on a date), About a Boy, among others. One time, my head hurting, I left work, drove to the movies, and my boss actually called my house to see if I was okay. My mom said, oh, she probably went to the movies. I forever thought ach, the black mark on my references forever! But he has now left Fox Books, just one day up and quit. Apparently corporate is becoming fiercer. I still do miss my halcyon days there...

Many of the movies mentioned above I saw more than once, and at Courthouse--I know BP was one I saw many times over, it haunted me so. At the time, I was paying reduced rent and I had no car payment or student loans. My mother thought it such a luxury, that I could go see the same movie more than twice, but for my sanity and my curiosity, I felt it a necessity. Since I didn't drive the first year and a half that I lived in Virginia, the fact that it was at a Metro stop was very crucial to its patronage by me. It also added to the mystique--at one time the downtown Business branch of the Carnegie library was in a T station (T is the Pittsburgh subway, which has all told 5 downtown stops, if that).

A city girl I truly am. I'm sure I've mentioned that I loathe to drive longer than two hours if I'm driving alone. And I'd rather take the bus to work--I could read at least! When I worked at Fox Books Downtown Pittsburgh, I had bus buddies, people I knew. On at least one occasion I had to ask one of them for bus fare because at 5 am I had forgotten my bus pass.

I'll leave mother just asked if this was my Christmas paragraph. Ach, I'll do it here first.

[Sarah Louise] is still happily librarying at [said Public Library, Pittsburgh] where she has been for three years now. She started working in the cataloguing department last year and enjoys the variety. This summer she went to Chicago for the American Library Association Conference. She especially enjoyed the sunset tour of the rivers and Lake Michigan. [Sarah Louise] continues to enjoy her church, the Open Door, which has recently moved into a space that was built for the Presbyterians, (back in the late 1800s), sold to the Baptists in the 1900s, and now is owned (for the past 5 or so years) by the Mennonites, who are using the building as a community center. The Open Door rents office space and the "Great Hall" for Sunday services, at the civilized hour of 6:30 pm. This year, [SL] has had a variety of "extra curricular activities," including nursery at Bellefield Presbyterian Church Sunday mornings, and a stint as the Caregiver Recruiter/Coordinator for MOPS (Mothers of PreschoolerS), a ministry that reaches out to moms of preschoolers, hoping to introduce some of them to church in a non-threatening venue. She oversaw 10 caregivers of over 20 children ranging from babes in arms to 4 year olds. [SL] also had a few firsts and seconds this year: first time to see Peter Sis and Jack Prelutsky, both children's authors, second time to break a tooth (on unpopped popcorn) and a bone (her tailbone, on the basement stairs.) The first time I broke a tooth it was trying to open a nail polish bottle when I was in 4th grade. I can see the bottle even now. I think I didn't succeed in opening it. We lived in Tegucigalpa and so waited to go to our dentist in Silver Spring, MD, until the summer. I had a silver cap, not a crown, like this one. I think I will have to edit this paragraph--I did too much this year! I don't exactly like the tone sometimes these holiday letters get--and Junior won the pedigree for his age's like each year you're updating your resume. I suppose I feel it more when weddings and children are mentioned since I've not yet reached those benchmarks/milestones.

Oh well. It's time to really write the paragraph...I'll post it here later, edited. I imagine it will be more whimsical than what you have above--since I loathe to boast too much.


Friday, November 25, 2005

not show and tell...which will wait for the digi camera, methinks

The Romantic Princess
You are absolutely in love with love! Charming,
romantic, and feminine are all words that
describe you. You are a huge flirt and know how
to use your feminine wiles to get your way. You
are always on the lookout for the guy who will
sweep you off your feet.
Role Models: Isolde, Juliet
You are most likely to: Free a cursed prince from a
terrible spell with a single kiss.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by

So much to blog about...and so little to say...

Well, it's Friday, so a show and tell is in the works...

I surfed a bit thanks to blogger knowledge--found a site called ageless blogging and a wonderful blog by millie, called my mom's blog.

Am reading Thorn Birds, The Summons (Grisham), my grandmother's diary (really!), and have settled on the one Joke recommended about Rome's architects.

But this gem can't wait: whilst eating breakfast with my parents (a treat to be home!) we dipped into family history. My dad told us this story: His mom (my Granny) asked her dad why he wasn't in the Civil War. He replied, my mother wouldn't let me! (He was born in 1861, came to the US in 1863!)

Bunny (my sister's rabbit, Quince, named after a character in Amistad, but everyone calls him Bunny) ate the numbers off the remote! It still works, you just have to count out where the numbers would be. My mother says, "He's a rodent!"

Idiocyncracy of this keyboard: when I try to type quotation marks, "" I end up typing two at a time (see?!)

Just chatted briefly online with Jessamyn West ( She's the coolest "celebrity" I know.

All of cable and the only thing worth watching is what I'd watch at home: Ellen. I had to consult with my sister twice on how to get the remote to do what it was supposed to do.

Ellen is talking about packing: how we always pack more than we need. I adore her!! This is not an inspired post...

I think I'll just link it up and see if I can do a show and tell..

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Finally, A Quizilla quiz that had nice questions...

You have the Renoir girl look. Youd have enchanted
the French Impressionists, who painted lively
girls at work and play. Their models were
ballet dancers, girls of Paris enjoying
themselves at open air dances or in music halls
and cafes, delighting in the sunshine or the
bright lights of French nightlife. The Renoir
girl loved to experiment with make-up and were
fun loving, sexy yet elegant. The following
painters would have loved to paint you; Dietz
Edzard, Edourad Manet, Edgar Degas and Auguste

'Pretty As A Picture' - Which Artist Would Paint You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thankfulness in the wee hours

Things I am currently thankful for:

  • My dad did all the driving and I am home--egad, I am living in what I shall now dub the "Brazil room." My mother has put up navy blue curtains and all the paintings from the period we lived in Belem du Para, Brazil when I was a babe in arms until I was two.
  • All my "flesh friends," esp. Babelbabe; my sister (who just got a job!); and all you bloggers out there, especially Joke.
  • For the joke Jack Prelutsky gave us on Monday which I gave to my father as we drove through the zoo on our way home (over the river and through the zoo, to Waterworks we go...Panera's the dinna, New Stanton's the rest stop, hurrah for the pumpkin pie!) "What do you have when a crow loses his voice?" Lost caws.
  • For the Ruth Circle at my mom's church (my dad goes there too but I still call it my mom's church): they always send me a birthday card, signed by all of them. My mom signed it "Hi honey!"

And now to bed. The time stamp does not lie this time--it really is 1:50something.

Merry Thanksgiving to all! May I have time to read the Thorn Birds and all the other books I lugged here from the Burgh...

I can't stop blogging! What Bruce Robison, rector at St. Andrews says to people when he gives them directions: Anywhere you're coming from in Pittsburgh, just follow the signs to the zoo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


BB and I have been having a conversation of late about how women love bargains and will often answer the sentence "Oh I love that new [insert item here]" with "3.00, Goodwill!" There are days when the only thing retail are my shoes and my watch. So this morning, when I heard "Second Hand Rose" I thought what a great idea, a music list of "thrifty" songs. There was one on a CD I catalogued last night, called Thrift Shop, and then there's "Estate Sale" by Cheryl Wheeler, one of my abs faves.


Bumper sticker on the way to work: "Nice Brain."


All the way to work I listened to WYEP, "Where the music matters." I mean, if you were a radio station, wouldn't you want that as your tag line? So much better than "Original Hits, Original Artists" or "Turn your knob to Bob" (who has knobs anymore?).


All morning, I've been kneeling at my computer, emailing our webmaster who is trying to launch our new website. For some reason, I can't access it, I always get a run time error or "Internet Explorer must close this session" even though my collegue Laura accessed it just fine. It seems I have the anti-Midas touch this morning....


Interesting factoids: my dad just called. We discussed gas prices and I told him 2.09 (ain't it great?) but at Citgo by Laroche you can get it at 2.07.
--Citgo is owned by the Venezuelan dictatior Victor Chavez, my dad interjected.
--But, he continued, when the oil companies were asked to give the poor people a break on gas prices for the winter, Citgo is the only one that came forward.
--I don't know what to do with that information, I replied.
--I don't either, said he.


In the interest of waking up at a normal time, I didn't take my muscle relaxant last night, since I didn't get off my "heavy machinery" (read: car) until close to ten pm. I actually forgot to take my other bedtime med until 2 am (when I awoke to a fascinating documentary on Influenza--why is it that WQED airs such quality programming WHEN MOST OF PITTSBURGH IS SLEEPING?) Falling asleep to PBS is how I intook some of the Einstein documentary last month. I guess I should be happy that they're not broadcasting infomercials--but whatever happened to playing the national anthem and then test pattern? I had to explain this Billy Joel song to my brother, who never lived in America at a time when TV was not 24/7. Glass Houses is one of my favorite Joel albums, as it has sound effects in front of most songs. (Glass breaking, the national anthem, etc.)


Topics as yet unwritten about:

All about my birthday party at a local bar/restaurant: We met at the Sharp Edge, a local watering hole. Many a Sunday night after the Open Door, Abraham shouts out an invite to all join him at the SE. I hadn't been for the month of November (a big surprise to me) and so was unfamiliar with the "Specials." But we had a Mediteranean appetizer: baked pita smothered with cheese, olives, and other good stuff. In attendance: Laura, a librarian at my libe, BabelBabe, who was in a class with Laura at library school (they had a fun reunion), Hannah, and Lilly, two women I know through the Open Door (though neither of them are currently attending). I got many nice gifts, which I photographed, but since I don't yet have a digital cam, you'll have to wait for me to develop the film and scan the picture "the old fashioned way." Chocolate, stationery, and socks were among the gifts. Pink was the color of choice (duh!). BB even wore a pink shirt! And Lilly knew one of the cooks, who used to work with her when she waitressed at Ritters, and he came out and they chatted, and he paid for my dessert as a birthday gift! How sweet is that! Actually, the pumpkin cheesecake was worth eating a small dinner for. (Does that sentence make sense? I ate half a reuben on panini (pictures, BB?) so that I'd have room for dessert.


Kneeling is nicer for my "uh, injury" as Joke puts it, but my legs and knees get tired...the weather changed to colder (23 Fahrenheit) today and I think that has affected my senses too.


So this is my diversion of the day--go to one of the emails from the webmaster, see if it works, it doesn't, and come back to blog some more.


more about the party? I can't think of anything else to write at the moment: a good time was had by all.


Jack Prelutsky on Monday: I was like ehh, whatever, (about going) but he was great. It was funny, in that he's not a morning person and he was still on West Coast time, so the first 5-10 minutes he was getting his was a "private lecture" just for Pittsburgh librarians and maybe a few teachers. JP was in town for the NTE (National Teachers of English) Conference, what brought Cynthia Voight and Jean Craighead George to Pittsburgh back in 1993. Random thought: I had dinner with an alum from WAC (Washington College, my alma mater) that week, I wonder what ever happened to her. Her name was Susan something and she did children's lit stuff...that was eons ago!!

So anyways, Jack read excerpts from favorite letters: Dear Jack, I lick your books. Dear Jack, I haven't read any of your books, Inge. Then he sang his poem "Spaghetti" to the tune of a Mexican folk song, the national anthem, the Yellow Rose of Texas, the Marine song, etc. He regaled us with stories about his endeavors into haiku and his late friend Ted Rand, who did illustrations for a bunch of Jack's books. While sitting there, listening to him, I made a list of people I'd seen at the Carnegie Lecture Hall, I'll dredge it later. Right now I'm actually semi-comfortable, kneeling and typing. He was very funny. Oh, alright, I'll dredge my notes now...although, the clock is about to strike 1pm at which time my father should appear for lunch at a local restaurant. (If I told you which one you'd know where I worked and that would take all the fun out!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


things i am thankful for:

my birthday (Monday the 28th!)
my family
my health (minus the cracked tailbone)

I'll be washing dishes and then driving down to Virginia, so I don't know when I'll post again, but I was missing this so much (it's been since Friday!!).

But now I really must be off to OCLC land (the land of copy-cataloguing). (Sorry, it's a library in-joke)

Hope to write more tomorrow.

Topics to explore:

Why I go to the Open Door (no, I hadn't forgotten)
Why Ice Princess is a feminist movie and a lot of fun
All about my Pocket PC (which won't sync to my Windows Me computer--how much to upgrade to 2000 or XP?)
All about my birthday party at a local bar/restaurant (see Babelbabe's blog for prelim pix)
Jack Prelutsky (I attended a secret lecture with area librarians on Monday) (he sang for us!!)
St. Andrews Day at St. Andrew's Church

und so wieta...

It was snowing earlier...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Play date tomorrow!

This is one of those annoying posts that is self-referential and filled with inside jokes. I don't care, it's my blog! If you want to understand what I'm talking about, read the archives and click on the links!

Tomorrow is my girl-y day. In the morning, my friend Suzanne (who used to live downstairs and drink tea with me) is coming over. We're going to "hang" and have "girl time." I know she will probably help me with my dishes and I know she will definately help me get my suitcase from the basement to my third floor walk-up, but I want us to have something fun. Yesterday I was at Tar-get (my favorite retailer) and saw ornament kits, thank you card kits, holiday card kits and they all seemed so...prosaic. So, since I've been doing the "errands on the way home from work" to break up the time, I'm going to stop at Joanne Fabrics and see if I can find us a fun craft. Today her hubby is cellophaning my windows. Gotta love the barter system (I babysat for their lovely boys a few weeks ago). Ah, just finished my tea. So, do I spend 43 cents for a cold Coke? (how's that for red??) Oh yes! Caffiene is much needed--since I have the pillow and there was no one in the back office, I did take (she admits it!) a small cat nap earlier. That's when I decided it was time to brew tea. Once that was done, I decided to visit Marian upstairs (btw, she likes the nickname) and we chatted about I thought this was genius--so right brained!!

***pause while i walk upstairs to get a soda** (or is it pop?) (very proud of this link) (tawk amongst yourselves)

Okay, that was a big pause--the time stamp says 4:12 and it is now 5:22. Less than 40 minutes left!!

Well, see, what happened is this: I went up to the Book Nook to get a soda, and one for my boss, Mistress Mary, and I ran into Ginger, a volunteer in the Book Nook, who used to work with me at Fox books eons ago. So we started chatting, and then I saw Queen Noor's book and then I saw an Alexandra Stoddard book (Open Your Eyes) and so then I bought the QN book but had to go back downstairs to get more $$ for the AS book. I've never had one of her titles in *hardcover.* She is my decorating hero! (heroine?)

I think I'll get my ice pack while I finish this up...


'm back. Thank goodness I cleaned out my book bag yesterday (cause you know, with a fractured tailbone one probably shouldn't be carrying a lot of books) since now I have two library books (Palm Computing for Dummies, The Genius in the Design) and two new books, Leap of Faith (Queen Noor) and Open Your Eyes (Alex) (yes, we're on a first name basis.)

Eric Clapton was on the Today show this morning (this has been a good week for music, what with having Paul on Ellen on Monday...) and as Matt was introducing Eric, Matt said, "You know, there are moments when you think this is the coolest job (being Matt) and this is one of them." Yeah, he gets to swim in a tank of fish and whale sharks on Monday!!!

show and tell--Red!

Red-y or not, here I come (oh I couldn't resist.)

Still waiting on that digital cam, so google images helped me out. Also, I am wearing red today (turtleneck) and last night at the CD release party for This Side of Eve, I got stamped with a red something on my hand. Even though I love pink, people always tell me I look nice when I wear red. I like it, as a general color--my long winter coat is red, and I always feel regal when I wear it. When I was in Mary Kay, red was a power color: if you had recruits, you wore a red jacket, if you had a car, the first car you could "win" was a red Grand Am.

So, left to right, clockwise: a picture of a car that looks like my car (I love my car, I think it's so cute); telephone booths in London (Europeans are so much better at decorating their cities, I think); a hat (I love hats, thought I don't know if I've ever had a red one); and a sunset (aw, ain't it purdy?)

I also like red red roses. Oh, and red tulips. Red lipstick, toenails (I think red fingernails can sometimes be *too* much)....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Livid? that doesn't begin to express it

Mad? Oh yeah.

Is it because for the third day in a row I left the milk I bought in the fridge at work?
Is it because I fractured my tailbone and it hurts?
Is it because it's finally winter (26 degrees in the 'Burgh)?

No, I am filled with white rage because FEMA is throwing thousands out on the streets in two weeks. After Thanksgiving (thanks!) but before Christmas.

I'm thrilled that Crosby brought home the puck for the Pens. I'm mad that I scrolled a whole page on Google news and that was the news I found, so far nothing on FEMA.

If you want to get mad too (or just get some info) here are some links:

I have the Today show on behind me, and one of today's stories is about plastic surgery. "People can't tell how old I am until they look at my hands," one woman complains. "A surgeon can fake a six-peck" claims a journalist. Puh-leeze!

Okay, here's something you can do: if you live in a "select city," go see this movie. I won't be going to movies (my favorite thing) for a while (y'know, the sitting for an hour or more...). It's all about what the Today show is calling "Generation Rx," and how we are medicating our children...

Okay, here's something to be happy about...(?) Robert Sabuda is not sporting a wedding ring!! The king of pop-ups is gorgeous and oh my. Here's a blog entry...I'm hoping this works...I still haven't taken time to understand trackbacks.

Well, maybe I should go tackle a portion of my apartment, as Joke has suggested, since, as he also points out, "at least you're not in a cast."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

That'll be a Rum and Coke, please!

Warning: this is one of those "journal-like" posts that has no literary value. It does have redeeming social value, though, since it's about me.

Blame it on Babelbabe, I went to the liquor store. Well, darn it, when you're living with pain and you haven't had a drink in ages, well, it was about time. Already had the Coke, no sense in wasting perfectly good (albeit flat) Coke.

The good news or the bad news? The good news: I bought a PDA! My biggest one time purchase in a long time--I spent over $300!!! And, I got a $30 gift card with purchase! I'm very excited about this--I've wanted one for some time but it just wasn't in the budget.

The bad news: I have a fractured tailbone. Basically all I can do is take pain meds (and since I'm allergic to ibuprofin and all its derivatives that means Tylenol). The doctor, who had to call me after hours, Do you take any other meds? Me: Oh, I'm diagnosed bipolar, so I take a slew. Okay then. So the doctor's going to call me tomorrow when she can look at the X-ray, look at my meds list, and then she can see if she can prescribe me anything. Ah, joy.

It's fun, this living life thing. Ah, but I have the bestest parents in the world: even before I broke my tailbone, they were thinking the "me driving down for Thanksgiving" plan was a stretch--I drive two hours and I need a nap--they live a little over four hours away. So my dad will come up on Wednesday and drive me to Virginia and my mom will drive me back on Monday. Wow.

Oh, and the doctor said it could be months sometimes for these things to heal. Oh joy. The funny thing is that I was on a "I feel good kick" after buying the PDA and going to the liquor store, I thought, hey, I bet it is just a bruise.

And I really was looking forward to spending two hours on my tailbone watching Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson (Harry Potter and Hermione) on Friday night. Oh well.

Things I must do tomorrow: buy cellophane for my windows so that my friend Suzanne's husband Ivan can seal my windows for winter.

The second biggest purchase of the day: A "donut" seat (like for hemeroids) which sort of helps but not really. Kneeling is much better than sitting, I've found.

The third (not so big) purchase of the day: The Breakfast Club on VHS and The Nanny Diaries in book format. Currently listening to the Nanny Diaries on cassette in the car. Total cost (including employee discount): $2.57!! I mean, that off sets the other expenditures of the day completly, don't you think?

Well, it's bed time and the rum is going to my head, so I'll sign off. I want lots of "get well soon" comments, please. I told my sister, "What a fabulous early birthday present." Tell her what she won! A fractured tailbone!

We truly are jars of clay. If you drop us, we fracture.

This could be all linked up and cute, but hey, I'd have to sit or kneel and I don't wanna!

Start spreading the news...

Sarah Louise, your signature city is New York

Whether you like to have lots of options at your fingertips or you like to be in a metropolitan environment that's buzzing with energy, the Big Apple is the perfect place for you. Maybe you like to mix and mingle at some of the edgiest restaurants, shops, and clubs in the world. Or maybe you like to be in the middle of it all — in the bright lights and big city.One night could be dinner and a show on Broadway, a stroll through Central Park the next, or a trip to the Met the next. From Grand Central Station to Greenwich Village, New York's got some of the biggest and edgiest things to see and do anywhere in the world. No wonder a trendsetter like you would be right at home in the Big Apple.

This was actually a "Tickle" quiz I agreed with the results on.

Went for x-rays today, bought a "donut" pillow--but kneeling is really the best (except for the knees part.) What I really need is someone to help me clear out the detritus in my apartment--we learned from Beth Moore that the Devil wants you in a cramped space where you can't move around spaciously. Yeah, pretty much my sitch.

Sarah Louise, you've got a little bit of Phoebe going on!

Um, ok! You're, like Phoebe. Ok, so you may not have Phoebe's, well, special intuition or, um, musical talent. But, like everyone's favorite beautiful-blond-psychic-masseuse, you never lie and your friends are the most important thing in your life. With an utterly free spirit like yours, some people see you as flaky. But creative, perceptive-as-heck, and eerily wise is more like it. You see the good in everyone, which could make your dating life a bit, well, uneven. But you always land on your feet with your humor, kindness, (and who-knows-what-from-beyond) as your guide.

Gotta stop doing these quizzes...ah, but they're so addictive!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Paul sings about tea

Okay, I have a confession: I adore Paul McCartney.

Another confession: I hate it when celebrities write children's books.

So what do we do? Sir Paul has done the unforgivable, and like a good Presbyterian, I'll forgive him. How many times? 70*7777. Egad. Just don't buy the book for me for Christmas! Hearing Paul (yes, we're on first name basis) describe it on the Ellen show was painful enough for me. No, I'm not going to link it, so you'll have to go to on your own dime.

Well, we're on the last commercial break of Ellen, so I'll sign off; Paul's going to sing a moldy oldy for us.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pride cometh...

Yes, I fell (for those of you who don't have a Puritan upbringing, the end of that sentence is "...before a fall.") on my rear.

I was doing laundry this morning and well, it's winter so I was wearing socks but not slippers and I slid down the wooden (read: slippery) (slippy if you're a Pittsburgher) stairs. OUCH, double triple OUCH. So far, nothing broken, but my tailbone hurts and is a little swollen. No, I can't tell if it's black and blue, and frankly, contorting in front of a mirror doesn't really appeal.

But if I'm to groom before church, I best be done blogging. Oh, I need tylenol, and lots of it!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Tea and more tea...

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

"The autumn leaves are falling like rain,
Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups at my table"
- T'ang Dynasty

The second quote is not the exact one I know, but as I have misplaced my notebook with quotes, this one from a google search will have to do.

My mother is home. I do so enjoy talking to my sister when my parents are gone and I have to figure out how to continue that once they return home, but it so comforting when my mom just chats with me.

Tomorrow I will have a movie festival on my sofa--back to back Big Night and Ice Princess. I wonder if I'll wake up early enough tomorrow to take a walk...

I met Babelbabe at T'azza D'Oro for my lunch, her coffee and three boys. It is so nice to have friends nearby. It really truly is.

And so to bed.

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company. ~Author Unknown

Well, Show and Tell looks like too much fun, I'm just going to have to go out and get a digital camera. But tea is too close to my heart to not at least "tell."

Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea. ~Author Unknown

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on. ~Billy Connolly

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~C.S. Lewis

I got these great quotes and the title one from this great site called "Tea Quotes and Sayings."
I have two favorite tea quotes that I don't know from memory that will have to wait until I get home. Right now I'm blogging this real quick because I just got handed a project that will surely take all my waking children's librarian hours: re-vamping the links on our kid's page.

About the pictures: I do not own tulip cups that exquisite, but I do have mugs that have tulips on them, tulips being my favorite flower. I got them, like most of my favorite things, at Goodwill.

The Polish tea set: I wish I had the whole set, alas, I only have a few mugs. But I do also have a serving tray and a serving dish. I fell in love with the blue and white pattern while my parents lived in Warsaw, Poland and for years I said my honeymoon would be in Poland so I could buy all my wedding china there. For now, I buy pieces occasionally at Marshalls or TJ Maxx.

My mother has determined that tea is a good stocking gift for me. Now that my good friend Suzanne has moved ten blocks away (as opposed to just downstairs), I don't drink tea as much. For years, I would give her tea related gifts, as tea was something we always had. "Would you like to come up/down for tea?" "Oh yes!" One year I gave her a whistling kettle because she always burned out her pans for forgetting the water was on the stove, another year a picture of a tea pot, another year a trivet. After a while, I realized she didn't want any more tea items, but whenever I see something tea related and cute, I think of her. I don't drink tea on my own as much anymore, perhaps because for so long it was a ritual we shared and it seems shallow without her. When my siblings came to the 'Burgh for the U2 concert, we all had colds and so much tea was had by all. On my desk as I sit in the back Children's office, a Gevalia coffee mug sits on a copy of Katie John by Mary Calhoun. It is empty and causing no water marks--the tea was drunk many days past. But if you only look at the one side of the mug, you see the beautiful inscription, on this regal cup which is forest green and embellished with gold lettering: A royal crest and the words, "By Appointment to His Majesty The King of Sweden." The bottom is what gives it away that this was a free mug: Gevalia Kaffee in plain (still gold) lettering.

My 5:00 desk person has arrived, which means it is time for dinner: I'm going for a culinary feast of baked potatoes at Wendy's. Ah, fine dining at its best! So I bid you adieu.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Matt is in Shanghai today and it's raining in the 'Burgh

Oh, it stopped raining. Today is the first Summer Reading Workshop--librarians from all over Allegheny County will be converging on an undisclosed location in O'Hara Township to learn all the secrets about the theme for next summer, "Claws, Paws, Tails, and Scales." The illustrator for the program is David Shannon, of No, David and stripes...something. Hey, I'm on a deadline, I have to leave in 5 or so minutes to get there EARLY (we hope) (probly not, as this post gets longer)--unlike my library, the workshop is about 1o minutes from home.

Last night I drove about 60 miles (round trip) to have dinner with a dear friend, Kitty. Of course, it's a pseudonym, but I have to say, I have to stop having K friends because I've just discovered there are only about 12 listed in my Random House Dictionary. Kitty was the name of one of my grandmother's dearest friends, and actually, one who she had differences over religion, something Kitty and I share: as a former Catholic and lifelong Protestant I am on the one side and as a former Protestant and a lifelong Catholic she is on the other. Last night we had a great time at a West Virginian Italian restaurant--very delicious. We usually dine at Robinson Towne Center, but Kitty really wanted to visit this restaurant for a second time, and I wanted to see her, so Undos it was. A good time had by all--there were tense moments, but we ended in laughter and a hug. May the Hallelujah chorus ring out!

The real reason I'll be late: Daniel Radcliffe on the Today show right now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Where's Matt today?

Innsbruck, Austria! I'm doing a bit of traveling today too--to the exotic state of West Virginia to an Italian restaurant to have dinner with my friend who lives in Steubenville, OH.

Back to cataloging....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Where in the World is Matt Lauer?

The Panama canal! I've never been to Panama, but I remember it in my mind as the place where my dad went to have ear surgery when we lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

In order to pilot a boat through the Panama Canal, you must have ten years training! Let's see if I can get a link to nbc's site.

Getting ready to vote...I'm going to the Pro-Life website to see if they have any information that will help me decide on who to vote for Mayor. I have a feeling they don't think it will be a close race because I haven't seen a single advertisement or been barraged by answering machine messages like my sister, who has taken to screening my calls. She lives in Virginia, one of the gubenatorial (yikes, did I spell that right?) races.

Enough blogging...let's decide on a mayor! Yikes!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sarah Louise goes off her rocker on politics...

...from You've Got Mail

FRANK: I could never ever be with anyone who doesn't take politics as seriously as I do.

The person in front of them turns around.

FRANK: A hot dog is singing. You need quiet while a hot dog is singing?

The two of them sit there.

KATHLEEN: I have something to tell you. I didn't vote.
FRANK: What?
KATHLEEN: In the last mayoral election, when Rudy Giuliani was running against Ruth Messinger, I went to get a manicure and forgot to vote.
FRANK: Since when do you get manicures?
KATHLEEN: Oh, I suppose you could never be with a woman who gets manicures.
FRANK: Forget it. It's okay. I forgive you.
KATHLEEN: You forgive me.

Hold on them a beat. Kathleen stands and walks out of the theatre.

Kathleen on the down escalator. Frank scrambling to catch up with her.

FRANK: What's going on?
Kathleen's upset.
FRANK (cont'd): Hey. What is it?

from You've Got mail screenplay.

This is how I feel. Upset. I have no idea who to vote for. I have not researched the candidates, and I feel horrible. But I will go vote, because I believe I should (even if I vote for the wrong person, I am exerting my right to do so.)

My grandparents instilled in my mother the thought that you don't ever have to tell people who you voted for. It's a free country, and that's one of the freedoms we're afforded. That said, I will tell you I voted for Clinton, twice. Once because I believed in him, and the second time because I didn't like Dole. I voted for W. twice, once because I believed in him, and the second time because I didn't like Kerry. I consider what we have in this country sort of kings--because voter turn out is so low, they are elected by the aristocrats and the people that care--so it's not like it's really democracy (everyone exercises their right not to vote). I am glad Bush, not Gore, was there for 9/11. Okay, now everyone who reads my blog is going to know how absolutely out of my mind I am: I look at photographs. When Gore and Bush were running opposite, Bush smiled more. Gore was very often angry. And I've been there when you shake the president's hand (Bush Sr, Jimmy Carter, Lech Walesa) and you have to smile--my question was, "Is this a person I want to represent my country to the Queen of England, or to the Dalai Lama?" Would I want to shake this person's hand? Does this person know how to be gracious? Voting on manners, yes, I have gone off my rocker. But manners are important! I just think that at the time, he was the better choice. And that is all I'm going to say. I can't wait for the comments on this post! It's time to post my favorite Bush photo, one I discovered when I was bored to tears doing desk time during my internship during library school.

Okay, it's experiencing technical difficulties... Anyways, it's a picture of Bush at a school library and there's a girl next to him, yawning. You can find it if you search the AP Photo Archive through your public libary's online resources. Maybe I'll try to scan my hard copy tomorrow. Oh, the copyright goons are going to come after me, aren't they? And me, a librarian!

Tomorrow is Election Day

And I have no idea who I'm voting for!! Luckily, I will be at the desk at the library for four hours tonight.

Easter Island is on New York time! As a world traveler, I am always excited when the world is on TV for some reason besides tornados, tsunamis, or political unrest. As a child, I read about Easter Island and it was depicted as some unsolved mystery--well, those carvings are volcanic and they depict ancestors. Many were toppled in the 1800s from civil unrest among the natives. I never researched the Easter Islands, never actually deliberately gathered information, but I was completely shocked when Matt Lauer started to talk about the local economy--whatever depiction I was introduced to as a child, I believed the Easter Islands to be uninhabited.

Anyways, I think I am going to continue on my morning as if I was a normal citizen: the grooming, the breakfast, and try to catch glimpses of Easter Island, knowing that I must be at MOPS headquarters at 8:30, which is about 45 minutes from now, giving a generous 20 minutes for rush hour traffic, I need to leave about 8:10. to my duties (except that Matt just came back on...)

Here's a thought: "It's easier to get people to move a statue than a slab of rock." (Why the people carved the Moai (statues) knowing that they might break while moving it to the final resting place, instead of carving it at the site of the resting place.)

Apparently this is the first international live broadcast of Easter Island. (Because most of the other broadcasts were for documentaries, I imagine.) much of my time at the desk do you really think will be spent looking up election info? I think the Easter Islands...

"You have bewitched me, body and soul" Darcy, from the TV trailer for Pride & Predjudice.

okay, time for our local news, so I'm off to groom. Better turn off the TV (goodbye Matt!)

Insomnia, the writer of this post

AH, I am insomnia, the thief of sleep! Sarah Louise stared blankly and played with her red egg of silly putty while watching a 2 hr special of Law & Order: CI on kids that had blogs and used them to post questionable pictures. Then when the show was over, I got her to think about a friend she's worried about. Unluckily, her sister was home, so she got to process it a bit, but I got her blogging, so I think she'll be late for MOPS, whaddya think?

Sarah Louise rebutts: NO, Insomnia, you will not have power over me. If I have to not shower, I will make it to MOPS by 8:30, because I'm going to rely on my friends Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks to lull me to sleep. I will even set out my clothes tonight!!

Wonderful things that happened today: I had lunch with BB, we sang two of my favorite songs at the OD, I got two teddy bear hugs, and I got to chat with my sister twice today!! (And my I talked to my mom briefly.) My sister and I compared/shared Birthday/Christmas gifts. She wants an iPod. I want Friends, The Complete Second Season. Unwritten on our lists: a good man, like the one that married Mom.

Blessed be the one who walks in the name of the Lord.

Oh, and I am now up to 40 cents on my Fuel Perks!! (It's a Pittsburgh thing, maybe I'll link this post later.)

But now, I'm going to Bed!!! Insomnia, you go away.

Move it!

(scuttling noise heard in the distance, as the VCR whirs on and you hear the opening song...)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"Sunday will never be the same" --Spanky and Our Gang

When I lived at home, (when I was a wee girl), I amused myself by listening to my dad's extensive record collection. This is where I discovered Spanky and Our Gang, Glen Campbell, among others. I had a crush on Glen until I realized how old he was! (I was living in Honduras at the time, and the Internet had not been invented, so you can see my life was pretty sheltered.) My favorite song of his is "Gentle on my mind."
So, Babelbabe and I had lunch at Tazza D'Oro. She brought her digital camera and her new baby. We took pictures of my pink tshirt and shoes. By the way, the pink sweater in the picture with the t-shirt is the sweater I referred to (my grandmother's) in a long ago post where I posted a picture of myself with my cousin Katie.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Technical blehhhhhhhhhhhh

Well, I haven't figured out what a track back is, I mistakenly created a new blog, I commented on this blog and deleted it (on purpose). I was trying to refer my Oct 31 post back to the origin but I do not feel like a lesson in blogging at the moment.

Peter Sis (pronounce like "cease") was great. Waited 45 min in line to get him to sign my book, but it was worth it. Tires are inflated at the correct place. Talked to the sister and even the mom (who is in the West, mostly Utah, with the dad for a conference).

Signing off now.

I'm not fixing this now...

Because I created the "concept" of the most recent post on Oct 31, it has posted there. You can link it here. Blogger, I love thee, let me count the ways--oh right, anger.



Friday, November 04, 2005

God gave thee eyes, plagiarize, plagiarize

Thanks to Bobbie and Karen for this ebay link.

It was sunny at lunch, but now it's back to Pittsburgh gray.

Tomorrow my friend Bill is going to show me how to check the air pressure in my tires!! Do I have great friends or what?

Haven't decided yet if I'm going to the Soul Patch concert at the UP. I love live music, but I crave sofa time. But I don't have a great book to read and I'm not sure I'm up for another dose of Three Wishes.

The boys over at computers 51 and 53 are getting away with something as they laugh--but they are so quiet that I really don't care. I'm supposed to be sorting books that have torn pages.

Hmm, there's a short story class at the UP. On Wednesday eves, starting in January...not sure I want something that's every week, though, seeing as I'm already out of the house most Tues and Thurs eves. I'm hoping to take a stained glass class though, in March.

Okay, staring into space for long periods isn't the best sign...let's sort some damaged books!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

An update on the upcoming...

So I just spent an hour on an emergent website culling info so that I can try to explain what the emergent church is. So far, the best synopsis is a t-shirt I've seen: Front: "Don't Go to Church" Back: "Be the church."

There are a ton of "emergent blogs" and I'm not about to become one--focus on one topic, are you insane? Variety is the spice and all that, otherwise I'd get bored!

Which is another component to this whole emergent thing: sometimes we have church, with a message and songs and prayers, and sometimes we have an evening of prayer stations, where the media are the message, like sitting blindfolded, or writing on a sheet of butcher paper about "where have you walked?" Some people like me, give a travelogue: the 10th St Bridge, the Teton Mts. in Montana. Others are introspective/philosophical: "In God, in life, in books."

But all blogging and surfing makes Sarah Louise dull and bug eyed. To bed, then, to read my book, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.


btw, if you really want quality blogging, click on one of my blog links: Think Denk. This man is a genius--a concert pianist and a wonderful thinker/blogger. I am always glad when I read his posts.

Sorry, no links...I want to read!!! (the actual page, paper, the sheets around my feet...)

Yes, it is November 3!

And I have no idea if today has any historical significance...let's see, it's 4 days before November 7--I have at least 2 childhood friends whose birthdays are on the 7th...and one on the 14th. I never met the person who was born on the 21st (7,14,21,28--they would all line up nicely). (The 28th being mine.)

Ah, email and the 'Net. I have just spent a lovely (note the sarcasm) hour reading email, paying bills, and fussing with sites that wouldn't let me log on.

So, to make this post worth both our whiles, let me tell you who I'm going to see on Saturday: Peter Sis!! He is the writer of such books as The Three Golden Keys, (which is mostly about Prague and my main intro to Sis: I gave it to my dad for Christmas the year it came out. It is full of dream sequences and is very much magic realism...) Galileo, Komodo, Madlenka, Tibet through the Red Box, and others. Tibet won a Caldecott and is the only one I own. I may stand in line to get him to sign it on Saturday like I did with Kevin Henkes. He is originally from the Czech Republic but is now a New Yorker. A few years ago he won a MacArthur Genius Grant, which is some huge amount of money to keep doing whatever it is you are doing wonderfully. I missed seeing him in Chicago at the American Library Association, but the session was not a total loss because not only did I run into a friend from grad school, I also got a glimmer of a possible career switch, Special Libraries. (I think that's what they're called...these would be museum libraries, law libraries, not your public or academic libraries.) At lunch, my friend Marian (the librarian) (will she forgive me for the nickname?) said "Sarah Louise, you already are a special librarian." Aw, shucks.

I love Pete (hey, it's my blog, I can pretend we're on first name basis) because he is from Prague. Prague is a place that changed my life before I was born: when my father visited Prague as a college student in Hope College's Vienna Summer School, he was considering law schools. As he looked over the roofs of Prague, he mused, "I could be the ambassador of a place like this," and my life was never the same. My father never became an ambassador, but he did take the Foreign Service exam, pass, and become such things as Economic Attache, Consulate General, and Acting Charg d'Affairs. (Economic Attache = he worked with natives on economic stuff, was very instrumental during the changeover of Poland to the private sector from Communism; Consulate General = he was the head guy in charge of who got visas in their passports; Acting Charg d'Affairs = he was the acting ambassador when the ambassador was out on other business.) Basically, my dad had one of those jobs I never understood until I worked in the same embassy as a summer intern. Then I saw that he was one of the most respected men there, for his jokes and his amazing editing and writing skills. People always said to me, "Your dad tells the best jokes, writes the best cables (the major form of communication), is the greatest guy." It was neat to see him through the eyes of his co-workers, and I served a very important role: I could often decifer his handwriting when no one else could. I worked at the American Embassy, Warsaw, Poland for three summers, one in the Consulate (passports, visas, help to American citizens abroad) and two in USAID (US Agency for International Development).

So that was a trip down memory lane and not very much about Prague, but you can see I enjoyed being the daughter of a Foreign Service Officer and am grateful eternally (eternally!) that I am not the daughter of a lawyer. (What do you call 10 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!) (This was not the sort of joke my dad would tell...more on the jokes of good old dad in future posts.)

Amazing where writing takes you...I do love this blog. Thanks for reading...stay tuned for "Why I go to the Open Door."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What's in store for November...

Well, it is finally November, my favorite month of the year. I never realized it was until just recently, when I discovered how much I loathe October. Next year I'm taking my vacation in October!!

Note: after re-reading, I realize loathe is a strong word. I "do not like" October. Halloween hasn't been a big deal for me for years, and I'm not Jewish or Canadian, so there are no major holidays. The fun of "back to school" has worn off and the thrill of Advent is too far away. Besides, there are too many melancholy songs and poems about fall:

When October Goes (I had no idea this was a Barry Manilow song!!)
Spring and Fall: to a Young Child (GMH Rules!!)

So, after a bunch of "meaty" posts, this is blog-lite, a sort of "coming attractions" or things I will probably blog on soon.

  • Why I'm glad to be Presybterian
  • Why November is such a great month
  • More on Beth Moore--she is sooo awesome!
  • A thankful list, just in time for Thanksgiving
  • A few more pictures, including ones not taken yet of my other pairs of pink shoes
  • My own entry on collected word verification

Tonight I'm going to a "Healing and Wholeness" service at the Glenshaw Presbyterian Church. I like the fact that they include "Wholeness" in the title--so often, healing in churches is thought of as the woman jumping up from her wheelchair. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but not all healing is outer--some of us are walking wounded on the inside. When I went last time, about three months ago, it was set up like we often do at the OD, different prayer stations. You could sit and read healing scriptures, you could ask for prayer in a notebook, you could have some folks pray for you, you could dip your hands in water and remember your baptism, you could walk the labywrinth, and they also had Reiki (which as I understand it is a Japanese Christian form of laying on of hands. I'll try to get a link.) The church is white on the inside with pastel colored square stained glass windows--I have a feeling Martha would approve (Stewart, not Lazarus' sister). The minister gave a short sermon/message. It was just nice, and I need something like that--I feel battleworn and exhausted.

The inheritance (proceeds from the sale of my grandmother's house) (did you really believe I would have a short post?) came on Friday, and yesterday, All Saints Day, I honored my sainted grandparents by sending the money off to an interest bearing account, with which I'll be able to pay my debts and have a small nest egg for an eventual house.

This money means I can resign my post as MOPS coordinator, and possibly drop nursery as a three times/month deal. I have been working pretty much seven days a week and it has finally caught up with me, just as I have the means to say STOP THE MADNESS! It is a wonderful feeling: Money can't buy happiness, but it does give one choices. Huzzah!! I'm not going to completely step away, I've already spoken to folks at MOPS about continuing in a smaller capacity, and I would put myself on the substitutes list for nursery, but it will be nice to have CHOICES!!

But money can't buy vacation days, so next week I'll be working 7 extra hours so that I can have an extra day at Christmas.

This afternoon I'm going to work on a "November book list," my boss suggested "Thankful books." Yes, I think I like the idea.

Songs that are thankful:

"Thanks for the memories..." (old Blue Eyes)

"Thank you for being a friend..." (Golden Girls Soundtrack)

"Thank you, Baby!" (How Sweet it is...JT)

"Thank you" (Dido)

"Thank you for loving me" (Bon Jovi)

There are of course many others, but when you think of thanksgiving, I bet these weren't the songs YOU first thought here's the one you probably did:

Over the river and through the woods.

Be thankful, this month and always.


Some Emily Dickinson...because hope is an important muscle to flex!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A quick post

shoot, i just did this great word verif on bb's blog and i can't remember what it was, something with touching daisies. It's almost poetry--it *is* poetry. Should be showering and getting ready for Women's Bible Study, but I had to blog--my heart is heavy and this is a place to unload. On my walk I took a wrong turn (yes--the sun woke me up and I took a walk--November is already great!!--haven't taken a morning walk almost the whole month of October.) Oh, yes, a wrong turn on the walk and I was climbing a real hill (like grabbing onto branches type) and I ended up on a street I'd never been on and there was a really cute house. So I'll look it up, but I really would rather wait until after X-mas to "start" the house-hunt. For one, my finances are in a squirrel's nest and you really need to be together to buy a house--the amount of paperwork I had just looking at the one!

My heart is heavy...and I've a feeling there is no shower in my near future. Oh well. My hair looks decent enough, and I'm doing laundry...This is short b/c I need to get to WBS, but in two weeks I have dinner with a dear friend who is very concerned that I'm no longer Catholic. Granted, I was "officially" Catholic for about one calendar year, but she met me early on in that year and is now convinced that I'm lost or something. Ironically, she was raised Catholic and in college became Protestant for awhile and then returned to the Church at the insistence of friends and through prayer. And I think that's great...there are things I adore about the Catholic church. But I did the opposite--I was raised Protestant, dated too many lapsed Catholics to find it coincidental (although that's about all there is in Pittsburgh...), went to daily mass and loved it. I still went to a Baptist church on Sunday, but when I moved back to Pittsburgh, Bellefield had a new pastor and I decided to go to mass at CMU Sunday evenings. It only made sense to convert, since then I'd be able to take communion. So I finished RCIA (which I had started in Virginia--a woman at daily mass said oh it's a class to find out more about the Church) and was brought into the fold at Easter Vigil. The new fire, everything, it was very dramatic. But then I started going to Sunday mass at a church near me, because the CMU masses dissolved. And no one talked to me, which as Protestants know, is a foreign concept at church. At daily mass I had my entourage of little old ladies who loved me and at CMU I had the guy I had a crush on and besides, students are friendly. But at the neighborhood church, they had no real reason to talk to me, so they didn't. And then the priest that I liked retired. And I didn't so much like the new one. By that time (I'm going to be late) (oh well) I was having lunch with my friends from my (Protestant/Bellefield) Bible Study every Sunday--I'd call Matt's cell when Mass got out to find out where they were lunching, and meet them there. I started going to the OD*, and fell in love. I had always liked BJ before and found this to be a home. I went through another spat of depression and started going to Bellefield in the morning too. One day I just stopped thinking that I'd go back to Mass.

(During this time of depression I went to Yoga at the Nuin Center and met BB!!)

So that's my testimony. And now I have to go flip my laundry. Please comment--I started an email to her yesterday and didn't send it...

*the OD meets in the evening.