Tuesday, January 31, 2006

books books books: an eclectic mix

(Some of this was written a week ago)

I have book envy. Babelbabe just reads way more than anyone I know, and has time to read articles about people reading on the subway.

So, books I've read/looked at/ordered through ILL these past two weeks:

Read in one sitting: Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (for the Mother Daughter book club last Saturday) (and afterwards I went to Baskin Robbins for Winter White Chocolate, yum!)

re-reading and re-reading and re-reading: Something Borrowed (about a girl who steals her best friend's fiance)

to children: a Charlotte Zolotow book whose title I've forgotten about morning and night; Beach Day, by Karen Roosa.

requested (some have come through already) through Interlibrary Loan:

The Curse (which is about the taboo of menstruation--(as in "No one will know you have your period" and how periods are never mentioned in books or movies. I read it back in 1998 or so and had to email a librarian today to find out the title--yes, even librarians have reference questions) (and, small world, the librarian who answered my question, from a library I used to go to in Virginia, used to work in Pittsburgh on the North Side.)

Built to Last and Good to Great on audio. (Good to Great, is, indeed, great! I luff Jim Collins. It's hysterical when I share with people that I get inspired by listening to business books on audio. I got a few odd smiles at the Women's Gathering. But hey, listening to how Walgreen became great is, well, great.)

Finished listening to on audio: Hoot, by Carl Hiassan. Very good. Chad Lowe is the "reader." I recommend him, and look forward to reading other Hiassan. This was my first.

Bought last week at Goodwill:

Lynne Cheney's alphabet book on America
Serenissima by Erica Jong (it's about Venice and it was 2.99--it's worth a try.)

Started reading last night b/c the author is coming to Pittsburgh: (and paid full price for the hardcover at Borders)

Real Sex by Lauren Winner. (The subtitle is "The Naked Truth about Chastity") (So, it's not, as the title might suggest, a manual. It's more, why God made sex for marriage alone.) (But it's not one of THOSE books, as in Elizabeth Elliot's Passion and Purity, which, when I read it ten years ago felt like a "perfect book for perfect people." Lauren is real, as in, "Mistakes have been made (by me!) and then I found out the real stuff, here's my story." I consumed Girl meets God, which is her story about her journey from Judaism to Christianity. She's a little easier to take than Annie Lamott (although I adore Annie). (But I know some people that shall remain nameless do not like her very much.)

What I really need, though, is some time to watch the videos and DVDs (as Sarah Louise prepares for the Olympics, Chariots of Fire sits on the backseat of my car....) (as do Mad Hot Ballroom, Leon the Professional, Serpico, and Marvin's Room.)

But tomorrow we're going (me, Lily and Holly), to see The End of the Spear. Um, better check box office times on that...

Not completely accurate trivia--thanks to Poppy!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Sarah louise!

  1. In the 1600s, tobacco was frequently prescribed to treat headaches, bad breath and sarah louise!
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http://thesurrealist.co.uk/trivia.pl" method="get" style="background-color:#5F5F42;color:#CFCF95;padding:4px;text-align:center">I am interested in - do tell me about

The contents of a handbag, like good whisky in a charred oak barrel, ripen and improve with age.

(Peg Bracken, writer of the I hate to cook book and this great book)

Coretta Scott King died.

Here's a new trend: Who knew that the Steelers winning the AFC championship would cause a bump in the use of the post office? It appears that people are mailing their relatives Steelers stuff. When I went to my post office 152wouldn't you like to know, I overheard a customer telling one of the clerks that at the Squirrel Hill P.O. there were 100 people in line, the line snaking outside the building onto the sidewalk. I think the P.O. should create a Steelers stamp. Now THAT would up their revenue, big time.

Off to talk about Luke (the Gospel of)....


Sunday, January 29, 2006


Why did I stop doing nursery Sunday mornings? Because I needed wiggle time if I was going to be spending an entire evening in a writing class. When do I go to church? Sunday evening.

When do I have time to do my homework for my class? Sunday mornings. I did many things on the not-to-do list: I checked my email. I wandered blogland. I wrote a short email to a friend. I wrote a long email to a friend. I checked all my email accounts. I emptied my i-spam box. I watched Jerry Falwell (which actually was a good idea, because it got me to stop fidgeting.) (I had no idea it was Jerry Falwell until the end.) I checked my email again.

Things I did not do: I did not google myself. I did not take out the trash, listen to NPR, visit NYTimes.com, organize my spice rack (should I get one?), or decide to floss.

Finally, fed up with my place in life (the place that cannot get Charles Osgood on CBS Sunday Morning) I read January in May I have this Dance? by Joyce Rupp. And somewhere in the middle of the road, I put the book down and did my homework. Now I'm going to watch Sliding Doors. After I de-spy my computer. Arrivaderci! (Au revoir!)

My homework, for those of you who would like to take my writing class too: A man takes lunch to his wife's office, where he's told she hasn't worked there in weeks. --from The Writer's Book of Matches.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Late? Me? Typical...

So I have to get groomed and back to the "Women's Gathering," but I wanted to ask this of yins: have you ever played Bunco? It is this amazing game...more later.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you & be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. --Numbers 6:24-26

Friday, January 27, 2006

Seed for the sower

If you are a fan of this blog, you know a couple of things: "You've got mail" is in my VCR more often than any other movie, usually to combat insomnia. I have multiple pairs of pink sneakers. I love my garett. I love the Golden Globes. You probably also know that my current "Vision Verse" (okay that's a phrase I just made up, but I don't know what else to call it) is Hosea 10:12. Erin, my friend over at Biscotti Brain, just emailed me this verse, 2 Corinthians 9:10: (in the Amplified Translation)

"And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity]."

A few other favorites on sowing: (okay, just one)

"He who goes out weeping, carrying the seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:6)

It reminds me of the verse that Joke always has to remind me of the address: "Weeping tarries for the night, but joy comes in the morning."

My tulips have lived their span. I bought them at Whole Foods for 6.99!! last week. They were pink tulips, my favorites. What kind of seed brought the silk flowers on my desk (brown eyed Susans), at the top of my stairwell (yellow flowers, delicate), on my new Ikea dresser (red tulips, with fake drops of dew), and on my dining room table (pink tulips)?

"You walk by and I fall to pieces" --Patsy Cline, on WJAS, right now.

I'm on the desk at noon, so I'm taking my time this morning. Can't find the digi camera, which is why you are not seeing show and tell pix of my computer. It's a black Dell Dimension desk-top.

Say a prayer for the Women's Gathering at Bellefield this weekend. After spending time at the Open Door which is male dominated in a not so bad way, I think I will be in shock to be surrounded by the women who know me, who have seen me through my life...but as Babelb said when we spoke yesterday, "It will be a good thing."

I will also be in shock to not be working on Saturday!! I have tickets to see Miss Saigon on Saturday and tickets to see Chris Tomlin on Sunday. So I think now I need to sift through my mail, pay some bills, and get over to the place that pays me to answer questions like "Do you have any books on Gray Wolves?"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Meme of Joke (a work in progress)

Joke is one of my favorite e-friends. He is also very smart. This has got to be the best meme I've seen come down the pike. Due to circumstances in and out of my control, the Sarah Louise plan for today has been changed, so I have time to sit here and meme away. I will be adding my own comments b/c I am just that kind of gal. I'm a girl, so I'm not really sure any of this will help you to REALLY understand me, but this is your Cliff Notes version. Yeah, I'm really sure this won't help you very much, especially when you scroll down to the cities you should visit (I don't know about the lurkers, but most of y'all don't have the ready cash or time to spend time going to Warsaw or Tegucigalpa.)

Movies You Need To See To Understand Me Better:
You've Got Mail
Shakespeare in Love
Adventures in Babysitting
High Fidelity
Cutting Edge
Picture Perfect
Home Alone
Man in the Iron Mask
Three Musketeers (the one with Sheen, Sutherland, and Platt)
Enchanted April
Drive me crazy
A Knight's Tale
Love, Actually
Runaway Bride
Jerry Maguire
About a Boy
Brokedown Palace
The Mighty Ducks Trilogy
Joy Luck Club
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. (not the Continuing story, please!)
Sweet Home Alabama
Career Girls

Albums You Need To Listen To Understand Me:
Really Rosie (yes, as in the TV show which I watched once. The album was listened to umpteen times)
Glass Houses
A New Standard (Steve Tyrell)
How to dismantle an atomic bomb
Jill Sobule (self-titled album)

TV Shows You Need to (Have) Watch(ed) To Understand Me:
Sesame Street
WKRP in Cinncinati
Cosby (not the one where he is Herr Doctor Huxtable.)
Boy Meets World
Dawson's Creek
Friends (yes, all 10 seasons)
The Muppet Show
Sex and the City

Books You Need To Read To Understand Me:
Trixie Belden
Bright Lights, Big City
The Crack a Joke Book
Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls do
Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology
Lucy Maud Montgomery: the Anne books and the Emily books
pretty much all of Madeleine L'Engle
Cynthia Voigt before she moved to Maine (ie, read the Tillerman cycle, do not read the Bad Girls series)
most of Judy Blume (but not her stuff for adults, which really stink)
Traveling Mercies (the audio book)
Harry Potter 1-6 (on audio, with Jim Dale)
The Bible (in various translations, my favorite being the Jerusalem)
The Nanny Diaries
The Cloister Walk
Chasing Grace: Reflections of a Catholic Girl, Grown Up
Girl's Poker Night
Something Borrowed and its sequel, Something Blue

Comic Strips that often mirror my life:
Sylvia by Nicole Hollander

Comics I adore:
Calvin and Hobbes

Games You Need To Play To Understand Me:
Trivial Pursuit

Musicals/Plays You Need To See To Understand Me:
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
Fiddler on the roof (NOT THE MOVIE)
The Importance of Being Earnest
Man of La Mancha

Periodicals You Need To Read To Understand Me:
American Libraries (free with your membership to the American Library Association, the folks that brought you the fabulously mediocre sounding Newbery, Criss Cross) (wasn't that a rap group in the early 90s?)
Sassy (the first 2 years)
Victoria (the early years)
Good Housekeeping

Catalogs You Need To Get--not necessarily order from--To Understand Me Better:
Oriental Trading (Beth and I spent desk time yesterday flipping through this, critiquing the variety of, well, crap)

Places You Need To Visit To Understand Me Better:
Pittsburgh, PA
Warsaw, Poland
Bonn, Germany
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Silver Spring, MD

Radio Shows You need to (Have) Listen(ed) To Understand Me:
Music Americana with Dick Serey
Saturday Lite Brigade (pre and post-WYEP days)
A Prairie Home Companion

Restaurants, etc.
Tazza D'Oro
Pizzera Uno
Le Petit Trianon (yes, the one in Warsaw, Poland)
Chi Chis
Mad Mex
The drug store lunch counter (c'mon, you didn't think I'd give FULL disclosure, did you?)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Life is short, handle with prayer

Best bumper sticker today: "Born OK the first time." I was tickled pink!

Wednesday used to be the night Lily did laundry, but now that I'm taking this writing class Monday nights, we've switched. The weather made me stop and get a fish filet at McD's (I hate traffic, and I hate traffic and I hate snow and traffic.) (I don't take the back roads when it snows, just do the math.) So anyways, sitting in the parking lot, thinking my head is about to explode because the teenagers in the library are insane, plus a boy scout troop showed up needing books on Gray Wolves and Bald Eagles...I called Emily. Wow. I vented, she vented, I vented, she vented. I don't think either of us realized how much we needed to vent. It's hard work being single at 30+. She's going to a wedding this weekend, I'm going to a women's retreat. We were feeling the Devil breathe down our necks about who we'd run into at our respective social outings. So we sat there on the phone and prayed. I swear, praying friends are the best kind. If you find one, don't ever ever let her go! Then I drove to Lily's, listening to Jim Collins talk about Level 5 Leaders in "Good to Great." We went to Panera, and I tried to explain to her why Something Borrowed is such a great book. Now, Lily is one of those people that doesn't read Harry Potter because she thinks the books are getting kids interested in witchcraft. I don't argue with the woman, it's easier not to. So me telling her that I'm finding redemption in a book about a woman sleeping with her best friend's fiance is not scoring me any points. (Open mouth, insert foot.) Tonight she told me that the Lord brought her into ministry using the book of Ezekiel, where the Lord says to Ezekiel, "If I tell you a man is going to die because of his sins and you don't tell him I said this and he then *does* die from his sins, his blood is on your hands." Oh. Okay. Well then. That explains a lot. But let me tell you, we prayed too, and stuff came out in our prayers that did not come out in our conversation, and when we stopped praying I said, you know, I forgot to mention this issue, I really need to pray about that, and we prayed some more. What else happened tonight? A friend I was really mad at emailed me, and I ran into a woman who told me about a writing workshop at a nearby church with Lauren Winner. Yeah, um, THANK YOU ABBA for the harvest of today!! Oh, and when I went to the website for the church, I saw that a former roommate that also attends that church just had a baby, on Bep's birthday (Jan. 3) This is where you would cue that chorus of Handel's that goes "Hallelujah..."

Final score: Penguins 8, Capitols 1

What was that I said earlier about this being a day to celebrate hockey in da Burgh? Do you think Sidney Crosby was reading my blog before the big game? Cause somehow, the message got through, pretty loud and clear, I'm thinkin'.

Ways that librarians use their libraries: caught in bumper to bumper traffic, not exactly sure what time it is or what time the Pen's game is, but realizing it's about that time and I'm on that bridge where the Pen's traffic piles up: "Public Library, can I help you?" "Yes, what time does the Pen's game start?" (Because my library is #5 on my cell phone's speed dial.) "Let me check" (And I'm thinking Carrie, the librarian who answered the phone, is wondering what kind of a patron asks that as a reference question) "It starts at 7." "So I'm thinking that the traffic jam I'm in will be dissapating soon?" "Well, it's about quarter of, now." "Thank you!" "You're welcome."

I'm such a satisfied library patron I might write a comment card saying that Carrie the librarian helped me out of a traffic jam (since, as a result of this phone exchange, I took the exit not to Mellon Arena and got to Bloomfield in much better time than I would have otherwise.) Folks, this is what your library can do for you! Think of the time and gas I saved on that one! (Not to mention that traffic jams make me cranky.)

Now, will I ever come clean to Carrie that I was the crazy patron calling from the traffic jam to ask when the Pens game was? I wonder....

In other library news, here are a few blogs that libraries are using to publicize what they do.

Johnson County Library
Marin County Free Library
LibDex Library Blogs

And, today's number one reason I am glad to work at Public Libary No. 5:

Today in the book shop, I scored 2 books in the Griffin and Sabine trilogy, books I sold for cash when I was dirt poor. How much did I pay, you ask? With my employee discount and myself saying, charge me more for these books and a Coke, 3 dollars and change!! Do you think God was trying to get my attention about lost things? These are HARDCOVERS with a cover price of 17.95 each. I think I got $12.oo for grocery money when I sold all three books in 1997.

The number two reason I am glad I work at Public Library No. 5: I get to sit on the floor and sing with moms and babies for a half hour Wednesday mornings.

The number three reason I am glad...etc.: Lunch with Marian the Librarian. We were wearing matching pink turtlenecks today. It was almost sickening. Be glad my camera was at home.

Adieu Lemieux

(Yes, this was an actual cover headline on a Pittsburgh paper this morning.) Lemieux is no dummy, either. On the week when everybody is so frenzied about football, Mario gives us something else to talk about, if only for a day. One of my Mother Goose moms today said to me, it’s so nice to have a place to go for an hour where no one is talking about football. Gee, that’s the nicest thing a patron has said to me all year! (I mean 2006.) I own no yellow clothing, and no black pants, but I have about a week and a half to plan my wardrobe for Superbowl Friday (although at our library, if you work in circulation, every Friday is Black & Gold day—I think you get points off your performance review if you don’t comply.)

From a commentary in today’s Post Gazette: “You'd have to go back almost 100 years to the Pirates' Honus Wagner to find an athlete who accomplished as much or who dominated his sport for so long while wearing a Pittsburgh uniform.” Bob Smizik

The guy is a national treasure, and an all around great guy. This is from an article about the Pens being Stillers fans and vice versa: “The Penguins are scheduled to travel to Ottawa the day of the Super Bowl but should be able to arrive well before the opening kickoff. Indeed, they bumped their flight to Philadelphia Sunday up an hour -- at the behest of owner Mario Lemeiux, who didn't even make the trip -- so that players, coaches and team staffers could get settled into their hotel before the AFC title game began.”

A lot of the articles are saying it’s a sad day for hockey, but I think it’s a day to celebrate the man who almost single-handedly saved the Pens franchise from bankruptcy, helped it win so many Stanley cups, and…I could gush all afternoon. I’m kind of sad to say that I’ve only ever seen him play once, and that was the game when he returned to the ice in 2000, sitting in a bar in Falls Church, Va. (While I love hockey, I have never had cable while in Pittsburgh or lived in a household that paid for the sports channels.) For more, go here: Post-Gazette.com.

In other news, a new book has hit the bookstore shelves: Punxsutawney Phyllis. It looks like a Groundhog day version of that feminist book on Easter, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes.

I've started reading "Looking for Alaska" the Printz award book and it's good. Reader beware: it will very likely be banned for content found in the first 25 pages. Oh well, that's why we love YA Lit! C'mon, I've been reading Judy Blume since I was 9!

Oh, and Chad Lowe does a wonderful job on the audio version of Hoot. I definately recommend reading this (or listening to it) before the movie hits the theatres in the spring. Right now I'm listening to "Good to Great" and learning all about Level 5 leaders: Abraham Lincoln was the only president that was one.

It's almost the witching hour when the teens come traipsing up the hill to the library--time for me to powder my nose. Catch ya on the flip side, dudes and dudettes! (Oh, how corny can I be???)

It’s the friends you can call up at four a.m. that matter.

(Marlene Dietrich, German actress)

Sit down with paper and pen and really give your former employer a piece of your mind. Write down everything, no matter how petty or nasty. Feel free to swear, yell, blame, accuse -- whatever you feel you need to say. Let it out. Don't hold back. Then read this letter, out loud, to your best friend/husband/boyfriend/dog. When you're done, provided you said what you really wanted to say, rip the letter into tiny pieces and throw it into the garbage. Do not save a copy for your files, no matter how brilliant you think the letter is. Toss it.
–from Ask Jane Dough, WWS Daily,

As some of you know, I started a writing class on Monday. The best thing the teacher said was if you are mad at someone, don’t use writing as your vehicle. Do something else. She told us about a story she had published and when she read it, she realized she could never let her sister read it b/c the premise of the story was based on a grudge she still harbored. So let me be the first to say that I definitely live in a glass house, here at Pink Sneakers N’at.

One item that I would really like to clear up (for the 6 or so people that read it before I deleted it from cyberspace) is this: Emily and I chatted last night, and for the record, we’ve decided that our one criterion for a “man’s man” is one who is not afraid that we’ll reject him. Men and women are clearly wired differently, but one thing remains: men need to buck up and do the pursuing. We’ll do our best to let you down lightly, if the occasion necessitates such action.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Meme's the word!

I love a good juicy meme, and Joke has created a wonderful one. I won't have time to post mine before Thursday or Friday (b/c this meme deserves time and attention) but I wanted y'all to be able to see Joke's and Gina's lists. Badger contributed as well.

I heart Queen Latifah!

A quote from Last Holiday: "If you're reading this, my disease has taken its course. I want to be cremated. I spent my whole life in a box, I don't want to spend [the rest of my time] in one." The brackets are b/c I don't remember the *exact* quote, just the gist.

I was a goody two shoes until my senior year of high school. I blame Susan Fry. No, I did it on my own, she was just the best side-kick a girl could ever ask for (and still is--I love ya, babe!). I rebelled quietly during high school by watching soap operas (which my mother strictly forbade) and staying up to watch Moonlighting with the babysitter (who sat for my sibs so I could go to Girl Scouts or do homework while my parents attended a Bible Study).

So it completely surprised me when at 24 I sassed at my boss, realized that all the men I'd been dating had long hair, and that I was no longer a goody two shoes.

Last night when I finished watching Twister, which I hadn't watched the whole way through for years, I realized that after I kissed AJ Morning at 17 (yes, that's his real name, I think it's better than any alias I could create) I wanted danger in my life. I was tired of living in a box.

And I am. There's more to me than the pink sneakers. There's more to me than my obsession with Reese Witherspoon (who is no goody two shoes) or my love for chick flicks and chick lit. Why am I a children's librarian? It's not b/c I loved children (although I now adore them), it's because most books for adults are DULL and BORING!! I think adults so often find a good box and continue their life there. Fortunately, I don't have friends like that--all my friends are rebels in their own right. (Yes, all of them...I can see "inside people" like that chick in Enchanted April.)

And for the record, I love imdb.com. It's the movie watching librarian's best friend. I could spend hours there...

Oh, and predictions: Joke will comment, revealing himself as the only guy I know (rebel!) that loves Enchanted April.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hockey, Twister, and "Why men hate church"

Okay, yins know I love pink, happy endings, Reese Witherspoon, "You've Got Mail," and hockey. Okay, maybe you didn't know I love hockey. So I'll say it: I love hockey. I think it is the best sport ever created. So there. You know where my allegiances lie.

My favorite movie a few years ago was "Twister." I probably broke the record of most views in the theatre of a movie that wasn't Star Wars. (It was partially therapeutic.) Now, most women didn't like that movie. Please, correct me if I'm wrong! Why? Because the movie was critically acclaimed for its special effects. Oh gag me. But hey, men dig that kind of stuff. Why did I even go to see Twister? Well, Helen Hunt is a favorite of mine, for one. But I was working at Barnes & Noble at the time and a woman who was buying the Rolling Stone with Helen Hunt on the cover had seen the movie. "So what's it about?" I asked her. "It's about this husband and wife who are about to get a divorce and in the end they don't" (okay, this may not be an exact quote, but this was almost 10 years ago...) Now, did YOU ever hear that as the description for the movie Twister?

Here are two from imdb.com:

TV weatherman Bill Harding is trying to get his tornado-hunter wife, Jo, to sign divorce papers so he can marry his girlfriend Melissa. But Mother Nature, in the form of a series of intense storms sweeping across Oklahoma, has other plans. Soon the three have joined the team of stormchasers as they attempt to insert a revolutionary measuring device into the very heart of several extremely violent tornados.
Summary written by Martin Booda

When Bill goes to have Jo sign the divorce papers so he can marry his new girl, Melissa, Jo finds a collection of record breaking tornados and Bill follows along, soon his duties shift from divorcing Jo to helping her with record breaking technology to create a better warning system.
Summary written by Joe Kibler

See: they mention the first scene in the movie, Bill going to get the divorce papers signed by Jo, but then they get caught up in the science of the flick. Both summaries are written by men.

I don't have a problem with that, btw. That's why I like men: they give a different perspective.

And that's what this book Why Men Hate Church, is all about. Church (most churches) has become a place where men are on staff but women run the show. Volunteer opportunities listed in the bulliten at the church I used to attend from yesterday: Ongoing: help with art projects for the kids programs. One time: fix the train table. Now, you gotta commend them for even having a project for the men. But the one that says women all over it is listed first and is "ongoing." What message do I get? Women are always needed. The one that says men is listed second and is "one-time." What message do I get? Men are useful to fix things that are broken, every once in a while.

It's quarter after nine and I'm sure I have stuff to do, (like laundry, ugh) so I'll stop here. But I'll be posting on this as I continue to read David Murrow's book. Please comment--I love a lively discussion.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

One for the thumb

Here we go Steelers--to the Superbowl!

Now, yins know I am not a football fan, but I am a Pittsburgher, so I rejoice in this latest sporting event: Steelers 34, Broncos 17.

I don't get CBS unless I hook my TV up to the VCR that doesn't work (see, it almost takes too much time to type that, why bother doing it) so I watched the last half hour of the game in black and white and on mute. There is a house of men behind my house, and whenever something big happened, you'd hear a shout. When the game ended, they burst into "Here we Go Steelers, Here we Go!"

So church is in 10 minutes and I guess I have to come up with something to eat for dinner. I was thinking this morning that I "pity the fool" that had to give the sermon if we lost the game.

There are cars going up the street, just honking their horns. Woo hoo!!

everyone's doing movie quotes. I'm not so good at that, but here are a few things I say a lot:

"I pity the fool" (from Friends, quoting The A-team)
"I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats." (which I think is from an ad for something...)

The parents are back from Antartica!!

(I never read their itinerary b/c they sent it in an attachment and I just never got around to opening it!) So I called to see how swing dancing was (Bep went with a friend last night) and my dad answered!! Apparently my insomnia (3 am to 5:45) occured while they were flying over Barenquia, Colombia, which is where I was concieved, so my mom said, it sounds like you were very aware of what was going on! I did get 8 1/2 hours, though, just at either end of the 2:45 hrs. Happy Sunday everyone, GO STEELERS!!

To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.

(Bernadette Devlin McAliskey)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Do you like my hat?

I do not!
Do you like my hat?
I do not!

(to be edited later when I get my hands on a copy of Go Dogs Go)

Hallelujah! Emily's birthday present just came in the mail--woo hoo!

I am chipping away at dirty dishes, laundry, etc. But I need a goal, so it's off to movies.yahoo.com to see when I can catch a matinee--I'm thinking Last Holiday with Queen Latifah--yes!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Any old place I can hang my hat is home sweet home to me.

(William Jerome)

Toot and Puddle sporting my pink hat from Macy's.

My hard hat from the Union Project.

I love hats. I have about 3 winter ones that are black. This year I bought a blue hat that had a little flower and I lost it last week. Which is pretty good, because I tend to lose one hat a winter and last year I didn't lose even one.

Show and Tell, courtesy of Blackbird.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A library is..."the only place I know where I can always find passion, mystery, suspense,

true love, and a no-fail recipe for turkey gravy." (Jennifer Cruisie)

Okay, so today in my LIS news (a news email I get about libraries) I read about a guy who googled the hell out of the Internet but couldn't find out any info about the origin of the public libary. So where does he go? Not to a library, but to the Straight Dope. Groan. This is why people think libraries are becoming obsolete and replaceable by computers???

So, anyways, I went to the article, which was pretty informative, and then read the discussion board, which was pretty entertaining. This, especially, caught my attention, and I think will help me forever remember the order of Dewey Decimal Classification. It's from the caveman's point of view.
100 Who am I?
200 Where did I come from?
300 Who are these people around me?
400 How can I communicate with them?
500 What is nature?
600 What can I do with nature?
700 What can I do in my leisure time?
800 How can I pass on the great stories to my children?
900 How can I leave a record for men in the future?
000 (This is for General Works. I'll buy you a Coke if you can figure out a good question for this category, which features bibliographies, books about books, encyclopedias, and other reference works.)

If you're interested in other librarian's blogs, and more importantly, how their blogs rank on a daily basis, check this out! Pop Goes the Library has the biggest gain, it went up by 45 points! And who couldn't love a library blog that suggests libraries should close for the Golden Globes and put on their own red carpet and having patrons dress up as their favorite celebrities?

In other news, one of our banned children (adolescents) in the library was hiding under a table. I made the positive ID and Jill, who won't take crap from anyone, bawled the kids out, saying, "If you're harboring him, you'll be out next, and I'd be worried about your reputation, having him under the table like that." She then followed the banned youth outside and waited until he vacated the grounds. Jill, you are my hero!!

Monday, January 16, 2006

And the Golden Globe Goes To...

Happy Martin Luther King's bday. If you're in da Burgh, think about going to the fest from 5:30-8pm at the Union Project.

So far, Anthony Hopkins got the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. Gwyneth Paltrow was the presenter--she's just showing her pregnancy a little bit. (She is pregnant, right?) I think the best moment was when Sir Anthony (he is a Sir, isn't he?) said thank you to all the anonymous workers, the grips, wardrobe, costume, the camera men, all those people that work just as hard as any of us in front of the screen. (Not a direct quote, but you get the gist.)

Best Director goes to Broke back Mountain--Ang Lee. "This year has been an amazing year in American cinemas."

John Travolta is up there right now. YES YES YES Joaquin Phoenix won for Best Actor Comedy or Musical. It was funny to watch Reese, who like a good wife, nodded at each person he named, approvingly.

So now I can go to sleep (I already fell asleep on the couch earlier).


Okay, I'm back. I kept the TV on whilst I wandered in blogland, and let's see who else won--that chick from Desperate Housewives for "TransAmerica." BBabe, we have to watch it when it comes out on DVD!! Walk the Line won best musical or comedy--YES!!!!!! Oh, and Brokeback Mt. won best movie or whatever they call it. I have only learned in the past few days that this is the last season for "Will and Grace" so they got to go up as a cast and introduce "Best TV show" which was won by "Lost" a fave of my sis. Since I only get FOX, NBC, and PBS, and I work two nights a week, I have never seen it or most of the other nominees. Lesee, other moments from the GG's: a few nice peeks at Heath Ledger, now I want to see "The Squid and the Whale" which features the chick from Love Actually who had the sick-o brother that always called her on the cell. I am not linking this post up, because I want to SLEEP!!

Oh, and in other news, the dresser was brought home today, and is living in my back room...it is blonde and so does not match any other furniture in the room, (dark, dark, and brown) but maybe I'll, Oh I don't know. It's from IKEA originally (although I scored it for $10 at my hardware store's consignment area) so you can imagine the color. It has potential, though. I think maybe it will get a major decoupage makeover...this could be fun! Right now it is staring at me, like a blank canvas, almost mockingly, but in a friendly way, as inanimate objects can sometimes do.

Yes, I must retire to the other room--the dresser just keeps looking at me!!

Stop that!!

Tie a yellow ribbon

Now the whole damned bus is cheerin'
And I can't believe I see
A hundred yellow ribbons 'round the old oak tree
Tie a ribbon 'round the old oak tree

--Tony Orlando and Dawn, 1973

This song came on the radio yesterday as I was composing an email to the folks (who by the way are on an Antartic Cruise.) It is just one of those songs for me. It was a hit in 1973 but it regained popularity when Americans tied yellow ribbons all over for the Iran hostages. The song was played everywhere on January 20, 1981, when the hostages were released. What I didn't know until I really listened yesterday is that the song is about a guy getting out of jail. When I was searching for the lyrics today, I found out that it's based on a real guy, who passed bad checks, was in jail for three years and had written a letter to his wife that she didn't have to wait for him, but if she still wanted him, to tie a yellow ribbon around the oak tree in the center of town. She did, and the rest is history.

Hey, I'm a sucker for a happy ending...but you knew that already.

How to be lost

Great new book, and it features a librarian (well, a clerk, anyways). What I really need is a book called how to be asleep at 12:52 Sunday night/Monday morning. I was tired, so I took a 2 hr nap this afternoon--why why why??

but Meg and Tom are waiting in the wings...it's time for some Mail, methinks!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Here we go Stillers, Here we go!

It will surprise few of you when I say I am not a football fan. However, the Indianapolis Colts used to be the Baltimore Colts, back in the day, and as a Marylander, I can say I am very happy that they are not going to go to the Superbowl.

And, Pittsburgh is a happier place after a win. It's just the truth. What can I say? I love my town, I want its residents to be happy.

Foxy, baby!

I just installed Foxfire! I'll let you know how it goes. So far so good.

Life: it began in a mystery,

and it will end in a mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

(Diane Ackerman)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mother Goose on the loose and the Mother & Daughters Book Club

These are the two things I need to work on--well, actually, I picked my MG book yesterday. Today I have to pick the Mother Daughter book. I was thinking Mandy, by Julie Edwards (yes, actually Julie Andrews) but since this month's book was deemed by the fourth grade participants as too "old fashioned," (Understood Betsy) I think we'll go with Someday Angeline, my favorite Louis Sachar book. The next next month we'll do Wait Till Helen Comes, because the girls have told me they like scary books.

My Mother Goose book is about the beach, (Beach Day, by Karen Roosa) because although yesterday was 65 and sunny, we are in the typically winter months (it snowed this morning) and reading a book about the beach will make me happy. The MG program is for kids in the 6-24 mos age range, and we do 80% old material, 20% new material each week. The book gets read every week. Repetition is soothing, which helps young children learn to read and interact socially. If you're really into this stuff, here is a link to Betsy Diamant-Cohen's website. I pretty much follow her program.

Internet: What other factors swayed you to choose this book, SL?
SL: Internet, I'm so glad you asked. It has short rhymy text, it is full of action: building a sandcastle, etc, it features boys and girls, it features multiple colors of folk in the pictures. Internet: Louis Sachar wrote so many other great books, like the Wayside School series, and Holes, which won a Newbery. Why Someday Angeline?
SL: Well, it's pretty much his only book that has a female protagonist, and I'm trying to focus on female protagonists for this group, since it *is* for mothers and daughters. And, it's one of my all time favorite books (although I seem to have lost my own personal copy). That's the great thing about being the leader: you get to pick the books!

In other book news, I totally scored today at the library's book shop: an almost pristine copy (hardcover) of Dear Genius, the letters of Ursula Nordstrom. Ursula is the children's book editor that worked with such greats as Maurice Sendak, Mary Stolz, E.B. White, Shel Silverstein. I have been wanting to add this book to my collection for ages and just couldn't bring myself to spend the cash. I got a Coke, a CD of Handel's greatest hits, a copy of Mandy in paperback, and Dear Genius, all for 2.36!! Now, if someone would compile a book of Charlotte Zolotow's letters, I'd be in seventh heaven!!

This summer at the ALA (American Library Association) Conference in Chicago, I went to a talk where Leonard Marcus spoke. He edited Dear Genius and I had a chance to chat with him afterwards.

Men like cars, women like clothes. Women only like cars because they can take them to the clothes.

(Rita Rudner)

Joke is awaiting a new car.

Four guys smiled at me today (from Fall 2001)

This is a piece I wrote when I was in grad school, when Zach lived downstairs and I was his "mistress." (Oh the sordid affair we had, a 30 year old woman and a 1 year old boy...he came to my apartment to watch my Muppet Show videos. I came to his appartment to watch Veggie Tales and to gossip with his mom.)

Four guys smiled at me today. One invited me to his church (which I suspect is a nationally known cult), one smiled at me from his car as I sat on the bus, our eyes following each other even as we were separated by opposite curves; one offered to buy me a coffee at Tazza D’Oro, and one tried to eat my red pencil. Three guesses who the last guy was. As I walked over to Tazza, as I prepared dinner, deciding that I wanted salad—I didn’t have to consider anyone else’s wishes for the meal. God willing, this will not always be the case. As I decided to not call my parents right after dinner, as I decided to watch Friends and then turn the TV off, I thought, these are “single” things. In a couple, I’d have to consider the other person. What do you want for dinner? Did you want to call the folks after dinner? What do you want to watch tonight?

Give up my freedom? You bet. Will I miss it? Oh yeah baby! Is it worth it for the right man? Yes. For the wrong one? How wrong? Unequally-yoked wrong? Co-dependent wrong? Unrequited wrong? No, baby, no way. Very nice, to be feeling and thinking these feelings and thoughts. Four men smiled at me today. And to each, I smiled back. It didn’t matter that I only wished to spend time with the youngest of the group. Smiles are free and it’s nice to feel desirable. The first boy that ever kissed me once said, “You’re really sexy. You don’t know that do you?” All these years later, I do.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles? YES!

(from the movie Miracle)

Well, the main hot and heavy relationship I'm in now is with the Creator. And we had a fight last night. I did lotsa yelling and complaining and analyzing. They say make-up sex is the best kind. Now, I wouldn't know about that, but today was a golden day.

Sure, crap happened, namely when I took my car to get tires put on, the thing that closes my driver side window broke. Nice timing, wouldn't ya say? It took them at least 45 minutes just to get my car window to stay shut. And to fix it will cost another coupla hundred. Nice. And so I got my car at 2:30, exactly 1 half hour before I needed to be on the desk, at work. So you might say it's not surprising that I forgot that when I got the car back, the first order of business was driving to Oakland for some drugs.

Yeah, that detail is the one I remembered while standing in Borders, after work, at about 6:30 pm, when the Oakland Pharmacy was already closed and would be until Tuesday for the MLK holiday. And you know what? I handled my end with grace and a level head. And He delivered the miracle--not only did my doctor get my email (I went back to the library to do that), call in the Rx to Giant Eagle, but he also called me on my cell phone to let me know he had. Doctors like him do not grow on trees, let me tell you.

So I came home, in the starting rain, and watched the next in the series of Sarah Louise's cinematic countdown to the Winter Olympics: Miracle, based on the 1980 USA Hockey team. It is now pouring rain, and tomorrow, we're slated for snow. But today, it was 65 and sunny and I smiled through every moment. I grinned from ear to ear, mostly.

I used to date a philosopher who loved Nietzsche. Nietzsche was the one who said "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Man, if wrestling with God gives me more days like today, and the eternal ones in the hereafter, yeah, I'll yell in my car and write in bold letters in my journal: "What is the point of me praying?" and "Am I just a glutton for pain?" As the preacher says in Ecclesiastes, "Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!" (Ecc. 12:8)


My bonnie lies over the ocean, my bonnie lies over the sea. My bonnie lies over the ocean blue, so bring back my bonnie to me... (Traditional song)


Remember him--before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well... (Ecc. 12:6-8)


Psalm 150 is one that I wrestle with. Not many wrestle with it; it is pretty much straight praise. But I have my own baggage, and it has special meaning to me because I've heard it so many times, so many ways. Last year I heard it in a song and my life was never the same. May I continue to grow, not stagnating in my will, but growing to thrive in Thine own.

My soundtrack today:

Chopin's Nocturns; Y108; BOB-FM; and the extremely eclectic Elizabethtown motion picture soundtrack.

what what what

Okay, I am a geek. Whateve. I have been sitting at this computer way too long, looking at other people's blogs, random stuff...

This was the best thing I found, the end of year awards by my favorite bookstore, Hearts & Minds. Print it if you get screen glaze over, it's 28 pages. Yes, I printed it, and no, you can't borrow my copy...get your own!!

Okay, time to go do something that does not involve pixels, wavelengths, comments, or screens. Yes, you guessed it: LAUNDRY! I think I have too many clothes!!

Movie for the day: Drive Me Crazy (1999) with that blonde chick from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She just had a baby!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door greet him with, "Who could have done this? We have no enemies."

(Phillis Diller)

Well, this week's show and tell is "your favorite room." Um, I like all the rooms, but if I took pictures, I'd need to give the Phillis Diller line. So I'll share my brand spanking new shower curtain. Now, BB *said* she was going to blog about this, but didn't. So I'll make fun of myself--she who laughs at herself will never stop laughing...

So this was the weekend I played hooky from Saturday cataloguing to get better from my cold and to watch the Godfather. Well, it was a "Rent one, Rent one Free" coupon, and the other movie I got was Roman Holiday. (Which I really liked.) A movie that does not emphacize matrimony as the end all be all? I'm in!! But by the time the day was halfway over, I wasn't sure I wanted to start a new movie.

So Sunday, I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and got a shower curtain. The one I had before was over seven years old. It was moldy and gross. It needed replaced (catch the Pittsburghese there?). So the opening scene of GF is a wedding. Um, not really where I'm at right now...so I start dreaming about my shower curtain. And by the time Michael is going to go off and kill the two dudes with the gun that's gonna be hidden in the bathroom, I'm ready to take a break and hang my shower curtain. And then Emily called. So I haven't gone back to it. It would have been funnier if BB told it, and maybe now she will, but I felt I couldn't share my shower curtains without mentioning the GF connection.

Oh, and being that I live in a garret, the ceilings being sloped and all, I had to tailor my curtain. It's tacked up to the wall with thumbtacks.

Blogger is having issues with loading pix, so this is the only one...but you get the idea. It's a very cool shower curtain.

I've had a really lousy Christmas, you've *just* managed to kill my New Year's, if you come back on Easter- you can burn down my apartment.

(Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping)

Yeah, um, it's that purification stuff I was talking about earlier...it's back with a vengeance. You want to scream at God? The best place is in your car.

I'm Really Rosie

...and I'm Rosie Real.
(lyrics by Maurice Sendak, music by Carole King)

The weather outside is ab-solutely gorgeous! I have all this vacay time to use up, so today I'm going in at 4:30, tomorrow I'm going in at 3. It's so decadent!

But...I have a lot to do. So I just did some dishes and this is my mini-reward. I'm going to take all my mail on to the porch and open it there, because it is warm and sunny out. I may also go visit Minnie, my Italian neighbor. She is such a dear. (She's the one whose house I was going to buy before I decided to stay in my garret a little longer.)

Friends, life is too precious to worry about the details...did we ever add a cubit to our life by worrying?

Back to de-cluttering..."Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." (Psalm 150:6a)

I think of birth as the search for a larger apartment

(Rita Mae Brown)

Ugh. Guess who fell asleep with the TV on? So I dreamed this morning about how Joe Biden doesn't like the guy for Supreme Court, and how the Chinese could be the next car makers...seeing Sarah Hughes talk about the Olympics was so not worth it--I am NOT a Michelle Kwan fan, so the fact that she's petitioning to be on the team even though she's not competing at Nationals...c'mon, give someone else a chance!! Do. Not. Get. Me. Started.

And the whole Brangelina thing...UGH!

Okay, I just have to say this...I love Alexis Glick (from the Today show.) She's wearing black nylons today--I used to wear them every day. I used to dress up for work...I don't know, being a librarian just doesn't do it for my inner dress up diva. However, I did get complimented on my shoes last Friday ($3 at Payless, thank you very much) and my earrings yesterday (from Pienkna Street, my favorite shopping street in Warsaw, Poland).

For those of you that know I was stressing b/c I thought I'd lost the gift certificates from Sally (for the movies), I found them!! A fabulous friend moment, Susan and I sang lines from "Amazing Grace" as I drove to work yesterday. So if anyone out there knows of a recording of a man with a deep voice singing "Angels Watching over me," leave a comment!

Yeah, I don't really think I need to know how Jen would feel about Angelina being pregnant...especially since it's basically someone imagining how she would feel. TV off.

I just got my new copy of 40 Acres in the mail yesterday...here's hoping Emily's gift gets here soon too. (I have a week.) Oh, and I should call Dana, since we're co-planning her party. This is skipping too...and there are no scratches, so...Thank you Internet, I'll take a trip to Radio Shack! I LOVE that place!

Okay, when your mp3's are skipping, you know it's not your cd-player, wazzup with that? It must be time to check my laundry in the dryer...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's raining in Pittsburgh

Thought you'd like to know. Happy De-lurking Week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


(Other People's Children)

So it's my second day of "No naps for you, missy" and in my attempt to drive the half hour it takes to get to work, I chickened out, because I was feeling like I wanted to take a nap. So instead, I pulled into Highland Park and took a walk. I think if you do the whole reservoir, don't cut corners it's .9 mile. I cut corners, I walked fast, because I wanted that nap. While I was walking, I figured out whose kids I could hang out with today (yesterday it was BB's). Sally (the genius who figured out that gift certificates to the movie would rock my world as a Christmas gift) was outside with the kids when I called so I had to talk nervously into the answering machine, hoping she was there. When I got there, the game was bubble blowing. I mean, I could really get into this no naps thing (except tomorrow I really need to go back to work). Bubbles are my favorite thing. Then Sally left for an appointment and I watched part of a dinosaur video with her two sons. Frank fell asleep on the couch. (He's two, and a real charmer.) I read two books out loud to Zach, we played two games of Chutes and Ladders, and then Frank woke up so we all played cars. After dinner, the boys entertained us with "Watch This" which Sally informs me happens "at this time everyday." The boys yell "watch this!" and then do some cool dance move. I kid you not, Frank's best one is a crooked arm as he runs from end to end of the room. Sally calls it his tango move and it really had us howling.

When I left, Frank gave me a couple blow kisses. At their father's command I got hugs. Nine years ago tomorrow, I was a bridesmaid in Zeke and Sally's wedding. Happy Anniversary!!

The bonus jokes:

How do you tell an introverted engineer from an extroverted engineer?

The extroverted engineer looks at your shoes when he's talking to you.

And you would have thought I would have heard this line before (I'm a librarian!?):
How many pages does it take to make a library?

The books we read:

Something something saw on Delancey Street and
City Noises? (I'll let you know tomorrow)

Movie I now must get from the library:

Hot Ballroom (about 5th graders in NYC)

More thoughts on movies

BB is going to write about me later today, so get ready. But the truth about me and movies is I find the ones I like and watch them over and over and over. After all the truth-telling in the last post, I felt like Jerry Maguire, vulnerable and not sure what to do.

I'm meeting with a friend tomorrow to go over my finances. Ugh. Back when I was a Mary Kay consultant, I had folders of bills and paperwork. Now I have piles, piles, and many more piles. Yes, can you believe the girl who wears jeans and sneakers to work, lipstick every once in a while, once ran a successful small business selling cosmetics in her own apartment? Those were great times. I loved being an entrepreneur. It was a pink dream. It lasted three years and it was more valuable than an MBA.

Ugh, time to get ready for work. Bob Sugar just delivered that great line, "It's not show friends, it's show business."

And right now we're getting introduced to "Show me the money."

And now Jerry is giving his "These fish have manners" speech.

And now Renee Zellwegger has joined Jerry in his quest. (I just like the name Renee better than Dorothy Boyd)

"We'll see you all again, sleep tight!"

Sleep, metaphors, and stuff

I got some! 12 hours, baby! I'm under doctor's orders to not drive until I feel un-sedated, which is actually pretty much now, but hey, I missed you guys, so I'm blogging before I go off to study Luke with the other women at Bible Study.

I woke up and read a sermon by my dad's favorite preacher, M. Craig Barnes. He used to be the head dude at National Pres in DC but he recently moved to da Burgh to teach at PTS and since then also has taken up pastorate at Shadyside Pres. In the sermon I read this morning, he talked about how he had just moved and how moving could be a metaphor for life: "it's messy!" (well, the ! might be mine). Okay, here's the actual quote: "Somewhere around Thursday, I mentioned to Annie that moving is a metaphor for life. But when you're just trying to find the bar of soap in the morning you're not really interested in metaphors. I discovered that. But I still think my thesis is right. Life is like moving. It's messy." (May 2, 1999) (For you, bobbi!)

My blogging co-horts have made a habit of listing their long mp3 playlists that they're listening to, but my tech hasn't gotten that far (and I'm waiting til I upgrade to xp, which will be soon, so don't raz me!). So I'll clue you in that I'm listening to The Fire Again: Kim Hill (the album) (Yes, it's an actual disc that you put into your CD-ROM player...) It's skipping, which makes me wonder if there's a way to clean the player...(yes, you can comment on that!) (Actually, looks like the disc is scratched, darn! and is gummy...)

So, on the theme of metaphors, I thought I'd blog on the one that I think of most often: having bipolar disorder is like having an email account. I have bipolar disorder. I see it as much a part of me as my freckles, which were very prominent in my childhood and are still there but not many people notice them anymore. I was diagnosed 8 years ago, and the first couple of years were full of object lessons. Right now I'm in a place where all my doctors tell me how healthy I am. I smile and nod, knowing that they only see me on display. They don't see me Tuesday evening, when I get home late from work and I can't do anything but crawl into bed. But I do acknowledge that I am in about the healthiest place I've been in a long long time. Especially since being healthy isn't just necessarily the absence of unhealth, but the knowledge that so much of life is maintenance. Which brings me to my metaphor, that having bipolar disorder is like having an email account. Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression, which I actually prefer, since it's more descriptive and I don't like the thought of having a disorder. bi=two, polar: manic, depression. Whateve.

So depression is when you have 500 emails unread in your email account and 500 more that you've read but you don't know what to do with them, so you just shut off your computer and go sleep. Mania is when you open your email and the 500 unread emails start cascading in and you read every one and you act on every one: buy Viagra, start a new business, book a ticket to wherever Southwest says is the best destination this week. Being healthy is when you delete 90% of the emails that come into your account on a daily basis.

Now, many of you may not have that much junk mail, but that's just another part of the metaphor, and of the consequences of the reality: there was a time when I believed I could be the next Internet millionaire, when I signed up for scads of "free" stuff and not so free stuff. I got into a great deal of debt and believed a lot of nonsense. The result: until I change my name, my work email will be overloaded by all the spammers that know my first and last name, my mailing address, and think they know what I want. The metaphor here: having bipolar brings a lot of junk into your life that you didn't mean to bring in. And getting rid of it takes daily daily maintenance. Which, let me tell you, is a royal pain. But it beats the alternative, which is living obliviously and foolishly.

I didn't actually have email until I was diagnosed bipolar: I didn't have a computer at home. And in retail, email is not the way you communicate between colleagues unless you're a manager. But when I moved in with my folks (I was airlifted during a particularly manic episode), I got my first hotmail account. Like my diagnosis opened my life to finally knowing why I spent almost a year of sleepless nights and living my life in fast-forward or dead stop, talking it out, getting medications that helped me live a normal life, my hotmail account helped me stay in touch with my Pittsburgh friends while I lived in Virginia. It was a movement of health.

As I listen to Kim Hill, who was CCM's darling, left the Christian scene to do country music, married a man who she later found out was only a nominal Christian, got a divorce, and is back in the Christian music scene, living out the pain of her life in the open, I think, yeah, life is messy. But we get another chance. Every day, we have a choice. Every day, we screw up at something, be it running a red light, cursing our place in life, over-working, or watching too much TV. But every day we have a choice: will I let this event shape my life or will I let God shape my life?

When I first moved to Virginia to live with my folks, I had six months of paid medical leave from Fox books. Pretty nice--I got I think 60% of my salary, week in and week out, as long as my doctor faxed them a letter saying I was still in recovery. During those six months, I volunteered at two thrift shops, The Orange Crate (for the Humane Society) and Joseph's Coat (for a woman's shelter). I was surrounded by older and wiser women, some who knew why I wasn't working for a paycheck, some who didn't ask or care. I sorted books, I sorted socks, I determined if an item was saleable or not, and for how much. I watched a lot of movies in the afternoons. The one I would like to see again is The Remains of the Day.

Well, perhaps that's enough of a confessional for today. The other morning when I was trying so hard to get some sleep, I explored my site meter (which you can do too--it's that unobtrusive box at the bottom that looks like a rainbow.) I saw that I have a lot of visitors from California, Canada, and once, a few weeks ago, Argentina! So I know there are a lot of folks that read and don't comment and I don't know how you found me, but thanks for showing up. And if you do nothing else today, clean out some of the debris in your email account. Do it for me. It's a good thing to do, just to keep fresh and healthy.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Kicking the darkness til it bleeds sunlight

(Bruce Cockburn, pronounced Co-burn)

Every day I get an email from a staff writer from the people who put together the "Purpose Driven Life." I never actually finished Rick Warren's book, but this guy John, I like his daily emails. Today he referenced the above quote, and how we need to stop living our picture perfect lives on the outside if we want real friends. Amen to that.

So--I got about three hours of sleep this morning, from 6 am to 9 am. Luckily, my doctor and I email and he responded quickly with what he recommends I do to try to sleep tonight. He's northern Italian (he does not sound or look like anyone from the Godfather or the Sopranos) and sharp! I am so blessed to have such a on-the-ball physician.

Talked to my friend Donna this morning. Her husband has just written a book on the book of Ruth, in a series about how the Old Testament points clearly to the Gospels. At one point, Gilbert, her four year old, came on and wanted to talk (four year olds love the phone). Donna is a friend I am so blessed to have--she and my cousin Carla were in high school together, in New Jersey. So she saw me grow up, whenever I would visit my Grandma. She went to seminary for Christian Education, met her husband, who was from Pittsburgh. They moved out here and we've been friends ever since. She's a big sister in a lot of ways--there's about eight years between us, and she has the sweetest disposition of anyone I know. I call her about twice a month to just catch up. Because she was friends with Carla, she knows my aunt, knew my Grandma, knows all my cousins on my mom's side of the family. We've been to more than one funeral together. It is so good to have a friend with that kind of depth.

Joke got a word that I should CHILL. So, instead of cleaning (what I planned to do instead of the Children's Meeting), I called Donna. And I ate the leftovers from last night's dinner at the Sharp Edge. And I'm listening to Jars of Clay...

I have this on my bathroom wall. It seems fitting for the place I'm at right now:

Don't walk in front of me,
I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me,
I may not lead.
Just walk beside me
And be my friend. (Camus)

May tonight be a night of sleep.

Insomnia rears its ugly head once more

Okay, so I get that taking a nap at 4 until 7:30 pm isn't the best idea if you want to get to sleep. But it is 3 am!! And while normally on Monday I don't have to be anywhere, tomorrow (today) I do!

Things I'm working on, that may be keeping me awake:
  • um, that nap midday!!!
  • birthday card for co-worker, lunch tomorrow. That took about 2 hours trying to figure out a clever enough one...I finally resorted to the Dewey Decimal...oh forget it, if I tried to explain it...at the ala store you can buy mugs with the DDC # for coffee. So I tried to come up with the DDC # for said co-worker. You had to be there. Anyways, it's funny.
  • that darn nap!!
  • i've been missing Grandma more than usual--maybe it's the fact that this was the second Christmas without her, and that I just read a book where the Grandma died, or that I used to always send my Grandma occasional cards (Valentine's, etc.) (And guess what the stores are regalled with). I just finished reading the last 15 or so pages of Dicey's song, where Momma dies and it got me all teary, because when someone is hardly living for 3 years and then they die, it's like you've already been half-mourning and so it doesn't hit you like a brick like it does, say, when your husband gets killed by a drunk driver.
  • January is just a stupid month--it's like August, which is too hot and you just want life to get back to normal. January is too cold and stuff hasn't started back up yet--the comfort of Mother Goose Storytimes, the thrill of the Short Story class...
  • My apartment has returned to its overgrown garden self--it needs weeding and cleaning--badly!
  • I missed church!

So, what to do? This is when you return to Thoreau: SIMPLIFY!

  • I do not NEED to go to the Children's District Mtg. tomorrow. I like going, but it's not mandatory.

Wow. I feel better already. What else can I do?

I have a few verses that Abba gave me back in November. The first one is kind of scary, because the main point is purification, which often means a holy fire. The rest are pretty comforting, but that first one is a doozy. "See, the LORD is coming with fire and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." (Isaiah 66:15)

I know I am a woman of "unclean lips" and "I live among a people of unclean lips..." (Isaiah 6:5) I was blown away last week when I read the passage after that--that God basically tells Isaiah to preach to the people until they are deaf to God's word. We always seem to think of that whole "Whom shall I send?" "Send me! Send me!" as the beginning of an exciting journey, a cure for AIDS, a trip to Africa, a trip to Louisiana. No, it was to make the people calloused against God's word. Gee thanks, LORD. That sounds thrilling. Poor Jeremiah, he always gets a bad rap, but he was basically speaking to the same people. People with calloused ears and hearts.

The comforting passages: Is 66:13, one of the few places God compares himself to a mother: "As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you..."

Hosea 11:11 I will settle them in their homes, declares the LORD.

Ps 68:6 God sets the lonely in families.

Ps 126:1-2 We were like men who dreamed, our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.

Prov 20:6 Many a man claims to have unfailing love [oh yeah!!] [women are not exempt here either] but a faithful man who can find...blessed are his children after him.

Deut 4:7-9 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And whatever nation is so great as to have righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

And this CD, well loved, given to me by a dear friend, needs replacing. (Did you catch the Pittsburghese in that sentence?) It is skipping all over the map. Oh, you say you need to go to Amazon anyways to pick out Emily's birthday gift? Gee, what a great idea! So, bloggers, I bid you good night. May I see sleep before the sun reaches my window panes. I do not relish telling my boss I won't be attending the meeting, but she will understand.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Why insomnia isn't the best Saturday night scenario

I SLEPT THROUGH CHURCH!! I didn't mean to, it just...happened.

You see, with the cold, I slept a lot, no problem. But as I got better, naps created my old sleep routine: insomnia. (So the good news is that I'm almost better from my cold.) So at 4, I thought, I'll lie down for a bit. I woke up at 7:26!! (The OD generally starts at 6ish or 6:30 pm) Church sometimes goes until 8, so I threw on some jeans, shoes, and barreled down to the UP (5 minutes or less in the car) just in time to see people LEAVING! It was very sad. But I did get to see Ross, who had a heart attack this weekend (at the young age of 28) and I then went out for food with some good souls. I had mediterranean nachos, which is pita bread with this amazing dip that has asiago cheese and other wonderful things. I now smell (reek) of smoke. So, hey, I have an excuse to try out my brand new shower curtain!!

Luckily, Jake was the one giving the talk, so I can check it out on his website later in the week. Unluckily, I missed hearing it live. And all that singing!! Alas. Oh well, time to catch the last few minutes of Crossing Jordan.

Alright so I'm watching the Godfather, already!

And it's pretty good, but I did just buy a new shower curtain and liner (the mildew-repelling kind--didn't know they had such, but Bep informed me). And Emily called, so I took a break to talk to her and I took another break to install said shower curtain. Which takes a little extra when you live in a garret, where your walls are the roof eaves. Slanted, you catch my drift. Cutting and shaping ensued, as did thumb-tacks. A picture? Maybe later.

My landlord was here earlier, to look into the tub dripping issue, so I saved a stamp by *giving* him the rent check! Way to save some dough!

I'm pretty much feeling better as far as the cold goes, although my stomach is acting a little flippy, so we're eating saltines...luckily, tomorrow is a half day.

And a thought as we all embark on the tax season, "A friend is one who takes you to lunch even though you are not tax deductible." (Anonymous.)

Readings for today: Psalm 8; The Faith of the Centurian.

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:1 and 9

My brother, enigma and IM-devotee

Just spent a really long time (over an hour) IM-ing with Terce, my bro. Eleven years younger and very savvy, if I say so myself. (I do.)

But my neck hurts from sitting in front of the computer all that time...I was going to post about this new cool book I've started reading, "Why Men Hate Going to Church," but whatev, I gg.

Oh, the picture was taken Fourth of July weekend eons ago when we rented this island off the coast of Honduras. I mean, what use is a blog if not to embarass your sibs with baby pictures?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Who is thy neighbor?

Today two neighbors called--one while I was in the bathroom, one while I was napping. I said I wanted to speak to people in my zip code...

Lord, soften my heart. Give me the grace to live in my neighborhood with my imperfections. Help me to reach out even when I feel sick. Mend the hurt that comes from my music (and thin as paper walls and floors) and my imperfect plumbing (any size bath does nothing to my bathroom but confounds my downstairs neighbor.) And give me sleep.

And thank you for my sister. Bless her extra special, Lord.


Readings for tonight: The Good Samaritan; Psalm 7; Leota's Garden (just finished, very good, I cried!)

Cabin Fever (and SPOILERS for Roman Holiday)

Being sick is sometimes like living in another country. I would really like to talk to someone in my zip code that isn't a clerk at the drug store, the counter-person at Wendy's, or the man at the gas station. I slept most of the afternoon away, and then watched one of my mom's favorite movies, "Roman Holiday." SPOILER: She does not end up with the guy in the end. My mother, the least romantic person I know, is a realist, so this makes sense. Bep has suggested I wait until tomorrow for the GF, since it's best watched all at once.

My sister truly is one of my favorite people (if you haven't figured that out yet, you're new here, right?). She knows I don't do well with black and white movies and she has seen RH many times, so when it started to look like it was going badly, I called her, for reassurance. I called her like three times during the movie and again when it was over, to say, drat, why didn't they end up together? I guess it just was, a "Roman Holiday." I'm such a romantic. And I've been brainwashed by Hollywood...

Well, time to find that book: Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers. It's pretty good so far.

Catching up on movies

Well, BB has got me on this one...I haven't seen the Godfather, and I've only seen the original Grinch (not the Jim Carey one) like, once. What can I say, I had a deprived childhood. So last night (since my library's copy of GF was out) I checked out Prince of Egypt. Not bad. I was totally surprised that Sandra Bullock was the voice of Miriam, but hey, it worked.

Today I may venture out (and buy 1c stamps!!) and go to Blockbuster for the Godfather. I have coupons that are good until 1/31/06.

Right now, though, I just want to take a nap! (Hey, I've been all over blogland this morning, and I'm pooped!) I visited bb, Poppy, Joke, Badger, BB and Gina (who is a great photographer and photoshop wiz, btw), and...I think that's all. The theme of my vw's has been twqz. I swear, if you could check that sort of thing, you'd see that each and every one of my vw's had those 4 letters. Oh lookie, my music is over...Strong Tower by Kutless, a perennial favorite in the Louise household.

Remember, I still have a cold, so wipe off your monitors!!

Oh, and what's this on the vaporizor box? "Quiet so you can sleep"--the darn thing was boiling all night, and not quietly I might add. Oh well, at least it works.

Off to finish my oatmeal and possibly a nap. Being sick isn't all bad--it gives you license to nap!

Oh, and next time you're ordering movies online at the library, make sure you have the right one. I wanted to watch "The Baxter" a 2005 movie, not "Baxter" an earlier French film about a talking dog!! (I have a cold, who wants to read subtitles!!) If you look at the links, you can see how someone with a cold (or not) could make a big mistake...usually "the" word "the" isn't an important one in film titles.

Oh yeah, my oatmeal is completely cold now. Mama Bear!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Show and Tell--Crafty!

A good friend of mine has a saying: "Satan was a crafty fellow, that's why I don't do crafts!"

I have not taken this tack on life. I live to craft. My abode is my canvas, as you may have seen in earlier posts.

My main craft at the moment is this blog, but in the past, I did these:

I would love to do one of these (if only just to say I did it, once) :

Later this year, I hope to do this.

More self-promotion...

Apparently, I'm not as benevolant/evil as Joke...I went looking for photos to post of me as a youth in London, since Gina is planning a trip. None of them were cute except one of me in Bath, which I don't think she's planning to go to, so I found this gem. It's one of my favorite childhood pics. It's in Germany, so I don't think it qualifies in the "helping Gina with London" category. Sigh. This blog really is just self-promotion. And I thought I wanted to benefit humanity too.

And self-entertainment...I don't have to be at work until I'm on the desk at 11...and yet, no show and tell. Pfftt. Well, anyways, add this one to the annals of cute pix of Sarah Louise (and her dad).


Happy Three Kings Day!!

upon waking...snow!

I heard some tires squealing and thought, no, there wasn't supposed to be any accumulation...I'm at the moment also im-ing with my bro! What a wonderful surprise!!

I probably need to go in today--usually Friday is a low staff day in the children's dept. And I said I'd be around for our intrepid volunteer in Tech Services...so I should start my complex grooming routine.

Time to check my email, in case the snow has closed our library...yeah right!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Let's try this again...

Let's play where's the curser? Oh there it is. So this first picture is of my entryway table. The table was my Aunt Margaret's (I got a lot of cool furniture when she died). The balloon lady was my grandmothers, but originally my great grandmother's. I mentioned I liked it one year (I think when we were hanging around after my Aunt Hilda's funeral) and got it for my birthday or Christmas the next year. It is my favorite piece. The girl in the dress has a bouquet of topaz, my birthstone. The picture is one of my bro and me, when he was 1 and I was 12, in a hammock. It's blocked by an unpainted nativity set, and yes, that is an eggshell (I think robin) in the forefront. I spy? Do you see the chicken? I have a thing for them, as does my dear sis.
I bought $12 roses on New Year's Eve as a "it's okay you have to work today" consolation prize.
This is my new comforter, on the bed! Isn't it gorgeous? That's Marvin, my Kringle bear from the late eighties.
These are the pink sneakers I bought for Téah. I'll have to find out how to put an accent on the e (Joke?--no, I haven't located the .exe yet....I have a cold!!) It's so exciting to have a girl child to buy for--almost all of my friends have boy children.

I don't think my S&T will be on time, but at least you'll have these lovelies. Alright, back to bed. Maybe I'll pull out the vaporizer.

Update on the surviving miner: he's 26, not 27, and he's in a special oxygen chamber at a hospital on the North Side (that's Pittsburgh), AGH (that's Allegheny General Hospital).

Oh, and though in many ways I'm now a Pittsburgher, at the party I went to on New Years, when I admitted I rarely go to the Strip, they looked at me pitingly and said, "Oh, you're not from here?"

Chicken soup is vile

Okay, so I slept all morning, woke up to Montel (ugh) and then caught all the news from Tallsville (?) WV. Apparently the survivor is in a coma.

Since Show and Tell is tomorrow, I thought I'd take the liberty to share some photos today.

Watching Freaky Friday--I had forgotten the way they do the credits, with all these paintings of moms and daughters and then some photos of Jamie Lee Curtis with her daughter. I adore JLC--she is the only celebrity besides Julie Andrews Edwards that can write a good children's book. Lindsay Lohan is also a favorite. Bep informed me that LL has finally admitted to bulimia and cocaine usage. It was on TV last night and will be in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.

Here's news: the city garbage collectors will still collect trash from cans. Thank goodness!

Blogger is having issues downloading my pictures. Oh well. The Pens won last night, 6-4.

I'm gonna finish watching the movie...maybe find more food...


I think I officially have a cold. So wash your hands after you read this. I am making oatmeal before my walk. I just got these fancy "behind the ears" headphones at Circuit City and man are they uncomfortable! I may just go get some cheap-os from the dollar store (that's $1).

Maybe the reason I felt crappy last night was because I was getting the cold? Gee, Sherlock, that makes sense.

  • I think Joke does not exist. Rather, he is a fictional person. I mean, who could really be so benovelant, live in Florida and know so much about London?
  • I adore Poppy...she now recommends using spellcheck at the end of each session and the suggested spelling for blogging was flogging, and then in the comments....oh go there, it's too funny to transcribe.
  • I have a cold.

ugh...at least I don't have to work until 1pm today. I may just eat my oatmeal, take my walk, and then go back to bed. Oh that sounds nice. I could even come home early, I have all that vacation time to spend this month...or, my sick time has been renewed, now that it is the new year.

Yes, that was a sneeze. Wipe off your computers. And go wash your hands. I'm going to eat oatmeal. And yes, I must take my walk--although these headphones have GOT TO GO. (back to Circuit City).

Why can't I stop?

Must. eat. oatmeal. (and that's in the other room, so I bid you adieu.)


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I did it! I threw a kid out of the library!

Alright, my execution was not perfect, and I meant to throw out the girls too...he was swearing and a patron complained to me twice. So, in front of the patron, I yelled at him (well, my version of yelling) and he left.

Am now watching Cool Runnings. January is a rotten month...I wish I were going on a cruise...but not to Antartica (as my parents are in less than 7 days).

"Only one miracle"

These are some of the names of the men who were in the mining accident in WVA:

Alva Martin Bennett
Jim Bennett
Jerry Groves
Terry Helms
David Lewis

Randal McCloy Jr. (the one survivor)

There are profiles in an AP article.

I was so hoping for another miracle like the one at Quecreek a few years ago.

Please join me in praying for the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.

National Trivia Day!

What is Donald Duck's middle name? Read on, I'll tell ya. Today is Trivia day...

It's also bobbi's moving day--she's moving to Canada!!


  • I have to read Understood Betsy, soon, for my Mother Daughter group at the library.
  • I finally signed up for the writing class at the UP.
  • Today was my year end performance review: I done good!
  • Marian and I had lunch at our favorite drug store counter
  • My sister just called: apparently they've roped off part of Conn Ave (in DC, where she works) because of either a bomb threat or a suicide attempt. Men are suiting up in gear "that looks like snowmen" (direct quote). She thinks this is a good reason for me to move to DC and work there b/c exciting things happen. Um, kicking kids out of the library is enough excitement for moi. Besides, I don't want to move!!
  • I will post pictures later: I have moved from the couch to the bed, complete with flannel sheets and the new comforter.
Ok, ready? His middle name is Fauntleroy. (As in like the book by Frances Hodges Burnett.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Whoever said it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all did not mean repeatedly, exclusively, and after the age of 35.

(Merril Markoe)

This morning on my walk (yes, I went for a walk today!!) Valentine's Day hit me straight between the eyes. It's on a Tuesday, it's Marian (the Librarian)'s birthday, and I promised I would bake goods (the folks in cataloguing don't believe I use my oven except to store empty cookie sheets.) So I can't go out of town, crap. I have to be in Pittsburgh. My dad generally sends flowers. Last year he sent forced bulbs, which didn't have the "oh wow flowers" until weeks later, but it was cool anyways.

I don't want to work until 9pm (my usual MO on Tuesday), but I need to have something to do--some people consider New Year's important, or Christmas, and I do too, but for me VDay has intense emotional power. (Update: Emily and I are going to do something fun, she just called while I was blogging this. I don't think it will involve an EZ Bake Oven.) I've actually only had a boyfriend twice in February. The first one: our 2nd date was on VDay, we went to the movies, went back to his garret for wine and had our first smooch. The second one: I'd been trying to break up with him since October (or earlier), by January, we decided on considering getting engaged, and on VDay he wanted to take me to this fancy famous restaurant that didn't take reservations. So instead of waiting in line, (the line was three hours long and we had symphony tickets) I convinced him that pizza by candlelight would be very romantic. He was a little miffed that his "perfect plan" was crumbling and we had a fight during intermission because I fell asleep during the first part of the concert (I had wine with the pizza and Beethoven wasn't my choice for VDay, I wanted to see Giselle). I thought he was going to get me coffee while I ran to stand in line at the ladies. We had a lovely shouting fest in the car while gridlocked in the parking garage (in full view of all the other concert goers, nice.)

But the cute story of my childhood is that when I was in Kindergarden, I thought "Happy Valentine's Day" is what you said like "Have a nice day" so for weeks after, I'd say "Happy Valentine's Day" to my dad as he left for work. Every once in a while, in the middle of summer, I'll just interject that greeting into our conversation. It's like our special code.

When my mom was teaching at a Presbyterian mission school in Iran in the late 60s, during the reign of the Shah, my parents were not dating. (They never actually dated, they knew each other over the course of nine years.) But in February, 1968, my dad was not in a relationship and wanted to send flowers to someone. Since my mom was still single, and he had realized over Christmas (while washing dishes) that he missed my mom more than the chick he was dating at the moment, (they broke up in January for other reasons) he decided to send flowers to my mom. FTD. Well, the minimum FTD to Tehran was $7, which in today's money would be like $35. There were a couple florists, the Imperial Florist sounded good, so my dad picked that one. He didn't realize it was "the" Imperial Florist, as in Florist to the Shah. And he probably was not thinking about what $7 could buy in Tehran. (A truckload of floral delight.) My mom's mailing address was the school, so this truck pulls up at her fourth grade classroom and starts unloading flowers upon flowers. (And my mom was not expecting them, had not spoken to my dad for months.)

Actually, my favorite thing to do on VDay is to watch "Enchanted April" which is the most beautiful movie, because it emphacizes friendship. Yes, there is romance, but like the Nick Hornby novel/movie, "About a Boy," it sends the message that "couples aren't the end all be all." The only quote I could find on IMDB from the movie (I can't find my copy of the book!) Marcus says (as his mom is crying over making his breakfast) "Suddenly I realized - two people isn't enough. You need backup. If you're only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you're on your own. Two isn't a large enough number. You need three at least. " Which always reminds me of the line from the Indigo Girl's song, "Love's Recovery," "Oh how I wish I were a trinity, so if I lost a part of meI'd still have two of the same to live." That is one of my favorite favorite Indigo Girl songs.

The song ends thusly, as will this blog post:
To let this love survive would be the greatest gift we could give
Tell all the friends who think they're so together
That these are ghosts and mirages, these thoughts of fairer weather
Though it's storming out I feel safe within the arms of love's discovery