Monday, July 31, 2006

What kind of learner are you?

I know yins are chomping at the bit for those stuffed animal pix and I WILL post them. In the meantime, here's a "blog thing." I'm off to Sandcastle today.

You Are a Auditory Learner

You tend to remember what you hear, and you have a knack for speaking well.
You excel at debating, foreign languages, and music.
You would be an excellent diplomat - or rock star!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bouquets of sharpened pencils...

(from You've Got Mail.)

I often get ideas for posts when I wrant (mix write&rant) at other people's blogs (opb, not opm, which is other people's money).

Why is it that I'm so witty when I'm depressed? Seriously, I'd rather be witty when I'm normal. I'd rather never be depressed. Again. EVER.

But whatever. I'm sure you didn't hop over here to hear me complainin'. But a little more? I HATE SUMMER! No, this is not a "I do not like summer very much." HATE. And yes, because Hate is mixed up in love. If you hate something, it means you give a damn. You might like it, you might love it, but you REALLY hate it. (Shouldn't hate be capitalized?)

Anyways. I'm biding the time before I find out if FOX is going to show Sex and the City at six. I have to go to Staples (folders for 5 cents, dude!) and I seriously need ink in my computer. AND I have a ten dollar coupon for $50 off. How many folders is that? I'm doing crafts for the Union Project's Farmer's Market next Saturday. I'm going to show the kids how you can collage up your folders and how the contact paper helps them last longer!! Thing is, I have no idea how many kids will show up...or if they'll really want to collage. It's sort of a drop by art table. But I get to be under a tent and outside, so that's good...

So, summer. How do I love thee? I love swimming. But the pool opens at 1pm so due to my schedule, the neighborhood pool is a once or twice a week thing. I want to go every day!! But then I don't want to go alone, and if I go alone, I do like four laps and then what? (Because did I mention, our neighborhood pool is Olympic size????)

Let's talk about air conditioning. I hate it.

(let's take a moment--it looks like Fox is wanting to f--k with me, because there's another moneymaking infomercial on.)

Where were we? Air conditioning? I need it, because, hello, I live in a climate that has summer and I live in a third floor walk-up. But I would rather just have the windows open.

And vacations? Why can't we have one week or two (whatever, I'm flexible) when EVERYONE goes on vacation. This summer-long fest of are you here this week? Yes, but Susie's gone. Then she'll be back and then Liza's gone and then Caryn is gone for the entire month of July, but you don't mind, she's just your THERAPIST.

What else? Beaches. I live near not a one. Five hours would be the closest, I think, unless you count lakes and I don't. So I make sure I go to Sandcastle once a summer and suck it up, because I love Pittsburgh otherwise, for the most part. (Especially, yes, the winters!)

And here's the crazy thing. I don't know if it's an hour long infomercial, so I have WJAS on the radio and the TV on mute. But you would think I could remember that shows are half hours and hours, not eleven minutes. I guess I keep hoping Russ Dalby will turn into Carrie Bradshaw...

Where were we? Summer. Yes. I am a children's librarian. Which means the library is dripping with little children. By the way, I bet you want to know howa the stuffed animal sleepover went? FANTASTIC!! FABULOUS! Sooo cute. But I don't want to do that again anytime soon--I am exhausted. I salute all you mothers that throw parties for children regularly. I came home from work (yes, I usually work all Saturday) at 11 and slept until two p.m. Exhausted.

Nope, it's still Mr. Infomercial.

So while everyone is sitting at the pool or going to the beach, I'm inside air conditioning with loads of kids that aren't at the pool or at the beach. Go outside! Play! It's sunny out there!

I long for September, with bouquets of sharpened pencils, everyone doing boring things like work or school, and your regularly scheduled programming.

Ugh. I need a nap. Or a vacation--is it the end of August yet?

Anyways, it's more normal to be depressed in the winter, when there's less sun and all that.

That is all. I'll post pix of the animals soon. I promise. But I'll do it sooner if you ask, and ask nicely. Deal?

Oh, and if you're looking for a good read or listen: Peace Like a River by Leif Engler. Read by Chad Lowe. It is divine. It is a balm in Gilead. I usually do not like books about boys (never could read anything by John Irving) but this is GREAT. Find a review or something. Trust me. You will not be sorry.

Ooooh, oooh--they're giving the location information. Could that mean it's Carrie-time??? Please please please....

Oh, and I'm trying to make nice with my neighbor--I sort of invited her to go to Staples with me. But she was already at the movies when I called so I felt a little crestfallen, which made me aware of my depression and now I'm not sure I want to go shopping for school supplies with my neighbor....

I am so messed up!! (But the bus just got Carrie wet, so I catch yins later!)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Last minute details...for the Stuffed Animal Sleepover...

So far, we have about half the animals here.

And the time is drawing near...

So here are some of the scenarios that we're going to be photographing:

  • A puppet show
  • playing board games
  • reading or being read to: Cat in the Hat, Are you my mother, Mouse Tales, and other animal books...
  • napping in the stacks (one bear brought her pjs)
  • pictured with the camel (we have a camel that a prom committee made and then donated to us b/c they couldn't store it.)
  • watching a movie
  • doing a puzzle

If you have any LAST MINUTE suggestions, vote here!! Voting stops at 4:45. I'll post pictures next week.

Friday Fourteen (which I admit, I like better than Thursday thirteen)

Stolen shamelessly from Carolyn

Fourteen Facts about my misspent youth:

1. I, like Carolyn, decided at a young age that I didn't like babies.

2. All that changed when I became a sibling at the age of ten. Um, but I still only liked babies RELATED to me.

3. I was the last of my friends to "become a woman." I felt very left out. Ah, the blissful stupiditiy of youth.

4. I was boy crazy from third grade on. I blame pop music. I also blame Honduras (which is where we lived at the time.) Instead of flowers or Garfield on the fronts of blank notebooks, they'd have pictures of couples at the beach against a sunset.

5. The boys never liked me, or if they did, I never knew. (I found out a few months ago about a guy who had a crush on me--his mom told my dad.) (Um, am I 34?)

6. I had my first "boyfriend" in sixth grade (yes, I robbed the cradle, he was in fourth grade.) But then we moved. And by "boyfriend" I mean if we went out to dinner with our parents, we sat at our own table. That's it. Oh, except that I sent him an anonymous Valentine and he sent me one too. He found out it was me from a friend of mine who took his bus. I found out it was him from my mom in the plane as we left the country, three months later, when we moved from Honduras to the U.S.

7. His parents still refer to me as his first girlfriend, a fact I only found out three years ago.

8. I didn't get my first kiss until I was seventeen. The guy later said, I was prepared for you to hit me. (I'd only just met him, and we were in a dark auditorium.) Oh my...

9. I read voraciously. This gave two boys in sixth grade the lovely idea to nickname me, "Digested Reader." Hardy har har har.

10. I often read instead of doing my math homework. For the answers, I'd write zero, zero, zero.

11. My fantasies (I kid you not) were G-rated: I was at my granny's and we run into Rick Springfield. I invite him up for lemonade. That's it!

12. I would name my crushes by their clothes or their cars: there was Green Jacket, Green Car...

13. And I thought we were "meant to be" whenever my crush wore the same color sweater as me.

14. My mother forbade soap operas. I was an avid Santa Barbara and General Hospital fan and often watched at my friends' houses.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sarah Louise goes to lunch with the family... (scroll down for the sugar bowl)

This weekend, the camera was my toy. It was the thing that kept me sane in those moments when I didn't know what else to do.

When I lived in Falls Church, I worked at Fox Books, Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday. I worked 10-6:30 all of those days except Saturday, when I worked at 2:30. Which meant that in the summer, we all went to lunch at the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe. Saturday, we did it again.

The souvenier napkin...

The boy's side of the car--Dad is driving and Terzo is sitting behind him.
The front of the car. Mom is wearing her hat. (Well, Dad's wearing his too.)
The girl's side of the car. You can't really see my sister, but she's there.

Waiting for the pictures...which didn't upload just now. Anyways.

Just like old times, I get the back. Ah, the mini-van!

Look what I found in a side compartment! A poncho from the Maid of the Mist boat in Niagara Falls, Canada!

Looking out the window on the way to the Heidelberg--a moon bounce?

Oh look, a drink holder I'd never seen before!

A house I liked. I like the style--is it Cape Cod?
Gas prices on there way PA, they were 2.89. Later in the weekend, I saw $3.15.

No idea what that brown cloth is around my legs, as I was wearing shorts, but these are the shoes of the sisters as they wait for their authentic German lunch.

Cooking the wursts. Aren't the red aprons fantastic? We all ordered weiswurst, which, if you order it in Munich, you can only get before noon, because it is considered a breakfast wurst.

The umbrella for the table we sat at.

The wurst with sauerkraut and the German potato salad.
Terzo's vegetarian sandwich. Interesting how the next day, when we went to the Brazilian restaurant, he was eating meat with the rest of us...

And on the way home, it was hot. So hot that I took off my shoes. And clearly have gotten rid of that brown cloth. I am wearing shorts.

So ends the first segment of the Falls Church weekend. Later this day, I discovered that the 7-11 by my parent's house has returned to Coke and I purchase a Coke Slurpee. I have not researched if this is a universal changeover.

Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them.

(Allan Gurganus)

Prague. In my mind, it is a magical place. It changed my life, before I was born. My father, on a trip to Prague with the Vienna Summer School, a program sponsored by his college, Hope College of Holland, Michigan, looked over the roofs of Prague, and gave up his dreams of lawyering. He looked over the roofs and said, "I could be ambassador to a place like this someday."

He never did become an ambassador. He was a Consul General right after I was born, in Belem du Para at the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil, and he was the head of the Econ department in at least three posts: Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Warsaw, Poland; and Brasilia, Brazil. He acted many times as the Charge d'Affaires, which is to say, the man in place of the ambassador when the ambassador is out of town or out of the country. He was the point person in charge of Al Gore's visit to Brazil in the mid 90s, while Gore was still vice president.

He is a person I trust on historical analysis. He reads book reviews, but rarely books. He often reads more than three newspapers daily. He emails me obituaries of famous children's authors and librarian innovators, among other things.

My mother didn't go to Prague when she went to Vienna the next year with the same summer school program. She stayed back, I think with someone who was sick, and herself slept the whole weekend. Though my parents weren't dating at the time, people would say to her, "P will take you to Prague." I think it was about 30 years later before he did.

I went to Prague in the summer of 1990. Though I didn't follow the family tradition and attend Hope College, I was transferring from one college to another and my parents realized I would lose credits. They asked if I'd like to do VSS and c'mon, could I say no? Four weeks in Europe without my parents? I'd traveled in Europe before this, but never with peers. Even better, my dad drove me out to Berlin from Warsaw, giving us ample father-daughter time. He was my ambassador, as he spent the first night with the group in Berlin, in a dormitory type building, the first time the group had stayed on the East side of Berlin. My dad was a bit of a celebrity, a Hope graduate that had gone on to live an international life. Later on, he had a conference he had to attend in Vienna, and took me out to dinner.

Prague was one of the stops on a pre-tour before the Vienna Summer School officially began. We started in Berlin and from there went to Dresden, and Prague, and...well, that was over 10 years ago. I remember looking over the roofs of Prague and thinking, if it weren't for this beautiful town, I might be the daughter of a lawyer.

So it is a huge debt that I owe to Prague. When Peter Sis wrote his book, The Three Golden Keys, which is a magical-realism trip through Prague, I purchased it as a Christmas present for my father. He loved it, and now my father and I share a love for Peter Sis, a Czech writer/illustrator who lives in New York City.

In Prague, I made many purchases. I have earrings that I'm almost positive are Venetian glass. I bought my father a Mozart mug. I bought a delicious gyro sandwich. And though I was still at least two years from having my own apartment and kitchen, I bought a sugar bowl. It is pink, of course, and once the top handle broke off, which I fixed with Super Glue. It is one of my most treasured possessions.

Thursday Show-and-Tell, courtesy of Blackbird

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I might not want to fix things anymore...I just thought maybe I should put my energy into something else for a change. Maybe make things.

(Laney, as written by Emily Franklin in Liner Notes)

Laney has just spent a few weeks road-tripping with her mother cross country. Not what she had in mind--in her mind her mother was this fragile cancer recoveree and she (Laney) was going to do the road trip with Road Trip Guy, an imaginary boyfriend who "is very good looking and an excellent mechanic."

But Laney's mom is better: the cancer that has been in all of their lives since Laney started high school is gone. Gone gone. Really gone. And when Laney talks about her long drive back to Boston from San Francisco (which she's looking forward to doing alone) her mom says "I don't like flying, I want to drive with you."

This book was like the balm in Gilead. Sad over the fight with your BF? Wistful for your summer camp days? This book goes a little overboard, but I forgive it.

This book was the perfect book for this weekend vackay I just had. I told Emily, it's like there was this torn cloth and now it's healed, with no stitches visible. Middle is considering where she and BF will get an apartment, Terzo has taken the gres and is thinking Austin for the fall, and Mom is going back to teaching in August. We've survived this--my bipolar diagnosis (8 years), Grandma's death (almost 2 years), we are moving on.

I read this book and think of my two friends whose mothers are gone now, how they'll never have this road trip with their moms and how I'd still recommend this book to them, because it is so healing.

I had to go out of county for it--an actual ILL book, but I'll be scouring Amazon for a used copy of my own soon.

The book has a green sticker on it: "Please DO NOT Remove This Green Label" (As if. It sticks right back on, I had to see what the cover looked like...) Then in the front it has stuff paperclipped in, including a barcode to use to check out the book. In the back, it had ADDITIONAL paperwork, also paperclipped to the book and stapled together. Anyways, I'm glad it worked, and the timing was excellent (no, I don't know how long it took) because it was good for me to read a book about healing families just as I was visiting mine.

So basically, the book is Laney playing a mix tape (we get to see what songs are on it) and then a backflash to that period in her life. I have one mix tape that was made for me. We're not talking right now. She called it "From Crest to Crest is a Wavelength" because that was our inside joke from Chemistry, which is where we met, in eleventh grade. It's sad, because I don't really want to talk to her--I'm not angry anymore, just disappointed.

I made mix tapes of the folk music I listened to in college (now, this is also singer/songwriter music, including but not exclusively Peter Paul and Mary style music). I wanted to introduce my friends and family to such greats as Lucinda Williams, Shawn Colvin, Patty Larkin, Christine Lavin. But I haven't had the time to make a mix tape in ages. I don't think my brother is making them anymore. (And he never made me one.)

Which is not the point of this post. What is the point, SL? The point is in the title quote. I'm tired of fixing things. I want to make things. I can't fix what happened in Boston. I can't fix my friend's lives (THOUGH I WANT TO, SO BADLY). I can't kiss it and make it all better.

But I can make things. Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver, the other gold.

Eight years ago, right before we found out what was wrong, I had a collage I'd made as a "window to look out as I washed dishes." I made it ten years ago, right before I started dating the man in black. It was garden scenes and had the Chinese proverb, "Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come." I gave it to Rose, a co-worker, who in return was supposed to give me one of her quilt collages. (She didn't, and then I was "airlifted" to Virginia to get my very own diagnosis.) I wonder if Rose still has it. Anyways, I've been contemplating making another one, with the same quote. I'll take a picture when I'm done. Right now, I've taken down the collages I'd put up to replace the blank space left by the one I gave Rose. So I have a blank space above the sink. Which is okay for now. But I can't wait to finish this new one. I started assembling it last night.

Oh, and in other news, Emily has a boyfriend. Yes, she went on a first date and now they're planning a future. (Um, she'd known him for about two years prior.) And the best part: I am happy for her. I really thought I'd be bitter but I am so happy for her. Which feels good. And I like him already--he was the one who heard her cell phone ring the other day when it was me calling. I'm a little scared b/c now they both want *me* to find someone, but at the same time, I know them well enough to know that they're not going to "set me up." ACK! Things are changing, and FAST.

In which Sarah Louise is patently aware of the fact that she doesn't have a husband or children...(updated with self-portrait.)

WOW. Blackbird's youngest is at camp (with a cell phone! I only ever had letters!!), Suse is celebrating nineteen years (congrats!), and LC is having company. Babs is done meme-ing (for now).

I haven't even eaten breakfast and it's half past ten!

I had a lovely mini-vackay at the 'rents and the sibs, thanks for asking, and am working on a post (well a series actually) which will incorporate all the pictures I took. I was like the mini-Blackbird. I took LOTS OF PICTURES. It may be a week of show and tell.

But since I really must go eat something, and it IS Tuesday, and I DO have a self-portrait, I'll pretend to play by the rules.


Okay, and Blogger via IE doesn't want to upload pix. Lemme try Foxfire... (Update: this was uploaded at 11:35 pm, after Babs and I went to the Sharp Edge...)

Last week I was going crazy taking pix of my apartmend and when I took a picture of the shelf above my door, the window caught my reflection. This week, the SPT challenge is Self Portrait as a...and then a metaphor or something.

So, this is Self Portrait as a reflection. I must say, I'm rather proud of it.

Well, I'll just keep working on the TEXT part of my vackay posts.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Yahoo mail is down...

So I'm getting an email vacation...

apparently other people are having problems too.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Do you have a problem? (updated)

So, I thought it was just a cute joke, but apparently, if you google it, there is more than one Blogger's Anonymous site. This one is the one I found first, through a Marketing Profs: Daily Fix post on posting frequency.

Save us and preserve us!!

This morning, at 8:13 (I slept through my alarm, again!!!) I awoke. If I boogied, I *could* have made it to work by 9, but I am also visiting the 'rents and sibs this weekend, and had thought, as I went to bed last night, that I would wake up early and finish packing.


So I got up, and did stuff, only to realize I had already packed away (at the bottom of my bag) TODAY'S pharmaceuticals. Um, is that really necessary?

So I did what any self respecting blogger will recognize as avoidance behavior: I logged on. Oh look, two new comments. So I visited yt, who is a very nice lady.

And by the time I'd checked a couple other blogs (posted anything new?) my email box had one from Joke and one from Babs.

I felt better. So I finished packing (throwing objects into bags...) and went downstairs to load the car. The lovely neighbor that gifted me with the swim tag was out, so I called out a thank you and a hello and a I'm going out of town (nothing like yelling that across the street so that EVERYONE knows you'll be out of town for the weekend) and she's like, do you need someone to check your mail?


So I go upstairs, and get an empty shoe box, write a note to my housemates to please put my mail in the box, and it's a good thing, because the charger cord for my cell phone was still on my side table.

Note: in order to pack the second bag, I had to empty the papers I collected in March at the PLA conference into another bag. In order to get the empty shoe box, I had to empty papers I had organized from the piles on my steps.

EGAD, I need a vacation. And a personal home organizer.

Hysterical moment of the week: My dad's computer monitor gave up the ghost while my dad was reading an article about how our President used the s-word (from Editor and Publisher).
Dad was most likely reading the Friedman article. (Except that I just searched it and if it was published today July 21st, it shouldn't be a Times Select--ie pay for the article)

Oh, and my boss is downtown at the National Storytelling Festival--and their website is down. So a woman came in and wanted to know when the national concert would be (it's when storytellers tell stories--it's called a concert.) It wasn't in any of the local paper's listings...I finally did the old fashioned thing--I called the Hilton. One of our veteran librarians said, that's what we did before the Internet.

And today is the Pet Parade. Laura just came in with all her last minute ideas etc. I know next week before the Stuffie's Sleepover I'll be in a similar state. Luckily today all I had to do was remember my glasses and my toothbrush. My sunglasses were already in the car.

Oh, and my car needs to be inspected by the end of the month. Which means next week. When I went to Jiffy Lube they told me all the things I needed, including a new air filter. Which I did not go for, as I now know how to do that on my own!!! (update: Jiffy Lube charges $19.99 installed. Auto Advantage charges $16.99 uninstalled. Midas, however, charges $35.00 installed. I hope I bought the right one. I'll find out at 4, when I go to install it...)

So, off to the auto parts store and then a lunch at the drug store counter. Because who knows what kind of fast food I'll be having on the road for dinner.

Oh, and what is a stuffed animal sleepover: just the animals, no children. More details may be posted later....

All ages. Please register at the Children’s Desk beginning July 7. $1 materials fee.
Why should kids have all the fun? Let your favorite stuffed animal spend the night at the library. Drop off your stuffed animal all day Friday. During their stay, stuffies will play games, make a craft and listen to stories. Library staff will capture it all in photos so that you can share in the fun. Come to the library at 9:30am Saturday for a light breakfast with your stuffed animal.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make 6 decisions just to buy 1 cup of coffee

Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.
Joe Fox: [exits]
Next customer in line: Tall decaf cappucino.

(From my favorite movie, You've Got Mail)

So, I thought I had some cool pictures--oh, those were pictures I had to take...they were the pics of my latest stuff at the thrift store. Okay, so hold on, I have a mess of pix downloading. They're of the stuffies that are playing model for me as I plan the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. (It's such a genius idea and while I take no credit for imagining it up, I will take tons of credit once it is done. I'm doing a poster session on it in November at the Pennsylvania Library Association conference.)

It's going to be more work than I had originally thought, but it will be SO COOL.

Looking up a book. (Paddington Bear by Michael Bond.) And yes, this is my desk in the Children's dept.
This is my favorite shot, as it shows all the stuffies faces. A good one for the scrapbook (more on this later...)
Sleeping in the stacks...
Listening to a story (it's about a moose)


Here's a picture of the Thrift Shop Babs and I went to on the day she forgot her car registration.

Here's a picture of...

Humpty Dumpty at Isaly's in Westview. (It's the only Isaly's still in operation.)
This picture needs no caption...
More pix of Isaly's...
Isaly's is a famous Pittsburgh dairy destination. The link is a Wikipedia article. How I love the Internet!!

My two new dresses. The one on the right was half off (of 4.99--how I love Goodwill!!) The one on the left is Eddie Bauer. Mayhap I'll wear it to work...
Oh look, it's a Cingular ad!
New purse--4.99!!

Okay, I have more pix, but I have other things to do this morning (like, um, pack for the weekend to Virginia...) Yes, procrastination, thy name is Sarah Louise...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This is your brain on Hot dog day...any questions?

(names may have been changed to protect the innocent)

So I actually left the house at a decent hour, but then I hit the curb as I turned the corner and the last time I did that, I got a flat, so I sat quietly in my car, finished my breakfast (note to self: cereal is not an-eating-while-driving-approved-meal-item) and checked to make sure my tire was fine. Yes, whew!

Because Highland Park has a lot of trees, I didn't have to put my sunglasses on till I hit the RD Fleming Bridge.

The music on the radio was great: What a feeling (from Flashdance--which made me think of The Full Monty, where they watch the movie and critique her welding skills. I still haven't seen Flashdance.)

Hey Mickey (which I know some of yins hate, but Pittsburghers seem to love it, and I do too. No, I do not have big hair.)

Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel) Need I say more?

and as I'm driving the last stretch up to the library...another good song.

What is Hot Dog Day, you ask?

Ah. Well, it's this day every summer when our library sells hot dogs and Hugs for 25 cents a piece. This year, we also had water and soda (50 cents) and Rhonda's Italian Ice (50 cents).


Well, they're this drink that is made here in Pittsburgh and that's what they're called. They're basically sugar and water and they come in at least four colors: red, blue, orange and purple. Sorry, I can't find a link b/c I don't know the name of the company that makes them. They come in an opaque-ish clear plastic container that is shaped like a barrel and they have foil tops.

This year we had tickets. As in, a hot dog is one ticket, a soda is two tickets (yes, you did the math? each ticket is worth 25 cents.)

The main reason we did this was b/c the Rhonda's people couldn't take money for the Italian ice. (Which we figure is so they can't sell the ice out of their SUVs.) But it made a lot of sense (cents!! ha ha) since only two people had to man the money booth and the rest of us took tickets. If you had tickets you didn't use, you could refund them back for cash.

Good thing, since Rhonda's didn't show up until 12:15 and they were scheduled for noon, but see, they wrote it down wrong. Lovely. One of our librarians, Joellen, the one in charge of getting the Rhonda's people to come, was ready to jump out of a window. We were all really happy when they showed up. They had two flavors, Cherry and Mango. Never mind that our sign said Cherry and Lemon. So we had to constantly say, no, it's Mango.

But after 40 minutes of taking tickets and handing people their Italian Ice, (did I mention I also did Mother Goose this morning for a crowd of at least 33 folks--babies, caregivers, moms, and siblings...) I got to go inside and watch the desk. Well, everyone that had been outside now came inside to keep me company and ask for their weekly prize...

Then I spent some time working on the planning for the Stuffed Animal Sleepover, which is next weekend. I took some "test" photos, to sort of get the gist of what the pictures from the sleepover will look like. (I'll post them tomorrow...I don't have a coffee-maker...)

And now my brain just needs to rest...but my boss forgot that I did Mother Goose, therefore I work 9-5, and so she scheduled me 10-6 and then she left early to go to a meeting and then vacation before I saw that I was scheduled until 6. (But I'm leaving an hour early on Friday, so it will all come out in the wash...)

And my contacts are killing me. Ah, eyedrops.

Can I go home yet? Oh, what do you mean it's only 4:30 and I have to be here until 6????

Other highlights: Verizon was supposed to provide a Steeler, as in the World Champion Superbowl winning... (Mike L-something) but he couldn't come at the last minute, so there were a few irate six year olds.

Verizon did have red towels, Kelly Clarkson tickets, and sunscreen. Oh and beach balls, but they only had like seven of those. Umm, we wondered about that too. Seven beach balls? To an event run by the CHILDREN'S department?

Our favorite library adolescent, Paul, showed up. He is the sweetest 15 year old you'll meet. He uses our computers a lot. He plays games on them for hours. He also spins plates. (You know, on sticks, like the folks on the Ed Sullivan show?) He did this a while back in the library, just showed up with his plates and sticks and started spinning them, so someone asked him back for Hot Dog Day. So today, when he came over for a drink, we didn't charge him tickets, because he was our entertainment. He took the young adult librarian's hand, Laura, and kissed it, prince like. Then he took mine and did the same. Wow. I mean, he may be a geek and way too young for me (um, like twenty years) but it was sort of flattering--I mean, I can't remember the last time I got a prince hand kiss. I felt pretty, not that I was going to admit that to anyone except for the entire Internet.

And Alyssa and Téah came to Mother Goose, and stayed for Hot Dog Day. I even got to see Gavin and the mothers-in-law. (Forgive me, I've forgotten their names. But they are very nice.)

Um, and a woman just called to request A Girl of the Limberlost, which I've never read, but the jacket text caught my eye: "In order to pay for her education, she collects moths." Okey dokey. Can I go home NOW???

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Someone left the cake out in the rain... (updated)

(Donna Summer)

So, I'm running late to my therapy session, the only one I get for July, b/c of my therapist's vacation schedule. And I call, to let her know I'm running late. Her voice mail box is full. I arrive, do not see her red SUV in the parking lot, and when I get to the office door, it's locked.

I use the ladies room and sit on the front steps of the office building and have a few tears. I call home (ie my parent's house in Virginia, which I still consider "home base,") get the machine. I try to think who else I could call, so I call my friend Kelly. While we're on the phone, Joke texts me, to test out his new phone battery (it died yesterday). While I'm trying to text him back, my mom calls. Grand Central, can I help you?

So I decide that there's a reason it's called Goodwill. Retail Therapy! I did not buy any books, b/c I kept finding ones for other people and this was "me" time. So I bought two dresses, one of which was 50% off (of $4.99--sweet!) and a tulip painting, a purse, and...maybe that's it. I'll post pictures later.

The movie clip that's been playing in my mind is the one from About a Boy, where the kid (Marcus) is about to sing at the talent show. Marcus says, but it will make my mom happy. And Will (Hugh Grant) says, you can't do anything to make your mom happy, she has to do that herself. You have to make yourself happy. Because, having a black belt in worrying, I've forgotten about myself and I have been worrying about my friends. Which I have a tendency to do. And it's not like my friends are all in happy places right now.

And I was allowing myself to shut down until I had my therapy session...which did not happen. So...

But today on my walk, I saw TWO wild turkeys. I'd seen one each day prior (Sunday and Monday), but to see two together, well, it was trés cool. No groundhogs today, but I had an abbreviated walk, since I had the heh-hmm therapy session to go to. I watched four men play doubles tennis for five minutes.

All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. (Julian of Norwich)
No matter what! (Madeleine L'Engle)


Update: my therapist was in Iceland on a Horse trek? (where she had no access to any form of phone or internet etc.. Her plane didn't get into Washington DC until this morning? Anyways, I'll see her Thursday before work. Whateve. I know doctors are people too, but um, as Joke said to me in an email today, "that's like putting a note on the Emergency room door that says, by appointment only." Well, I'll muddle through. And look--I leave work in 1 minute!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

You're dead. Who are you going to be tomorrow?

(Reynolds Price)

The whole quote: "When you undergo huge traumas...everybody is in league with us to deny that the old life is ended. Everyone is trying to patch us up and get us back to who we were, when in fact what we need to be told is, You're dead. Who are you going to be tomorrow?" This is from his book, A whole new life quoted in Leaving Church (yes, that book again.)

Fame: I'm going to make it to heaven, light up the sky like a flame, Fame! Baby, remember my name.

Thanks to Pandora, I'm currently listening to a very mellow version of this TV theme song: Eldissa, on an album probably called "What a difference a day makes." It's on my Basia radio station.

I could craft the quote, above, and the song lyric into something beautiful, I'm sure, but I always keep in mind a quote from Maya Angelou: we are a people that uses art as soon as its created. (Oh, for sure that's not what she said. But I'm a big believer in getting stuff out--as long as it's not the novella I've been bottom drawer-ing since 1993...)

Stuff I have to get out:

Work on my finances and start a savings plan.
Start making my lunches.
Send pictures to folks that I took at the Union Project's Rent party. (Was that May??)
Think some more about getting a road or mountain bike (not motorized--saving gas and getting exercise would be the goal.
Research getting a CD player in my car.
Change the oil in my car.
Take care of registering my car.
Make sure there aren't any pesky unpaid bills.
Laundry (the monster has overtaken...I know I saw that [pick an item, any item] a while back, but where is it?)
Get ready for my trip away this weekend to the 'rents. Who will I see besides the 'rents and the sibs?

The front verse in my Bible Verse box right now is from Psalm 126:5-6
"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." (NIV)

On the back, there's a prayer. "Father, may the seeds of suffering or sorrow flower joy into my life."

Last night at the OD, the sermon title was simple: "Jesus makes life hard." Well, he does. But his kind of hard is the kind you can hold onto--it's the kind that matters. I loved Reese Witherspoon's Oscar acceptance speech, where she talked about June Carter Cash. She used to say, "I'm just tryin' to matter." Well, that's not an easy task.

But it beats the other end of the stick any day. I know where I'm going when I die and I have no idea where I'm going tomorrow, except to work, but somewhere in between, I'll manage.

I guess that's all for now, because I am crafting my first original catalog record. Any librarian worth her salt will tell you that's big. Imagine you're making your first souffle. You've been the sous chef and you've helped prep, but this is your first big shot. So you gather all the recipes and you go to town.

Here I go!

Bulk Mail--bwhahaha! (updated with link)

Every once in awhile, one of my newsletters ends up in Bulk Mail, so I do occasionally check it instead of deleting it sight unseen.

I get all sorts of offers: Your Disney Vacation is being sent to your address! Make real money online! Your property is worth a fortune!

The funny ones are the dating ones (Although they do make me a little sad) : "Black and single -- Meet your soulmate!" "Are you over 50 and single?" "Meet someone that shares your values."

But the one I got today beats all: "bolshevism message from Sue Wynn." Um, did it finally get out that I'm a Bolshevik? And I thought I was doing such a good job at hiding my political leanings...

While my Yahoo! bulk mail can get up to 60 if I don't check it regularly, my work email's "quarentine" box grows to 144 overnight and since I don't check it from home anymore, on Tuesdays, it can be in the hundreds. I have started getting spam that is in Chinese characters (well, it could be Japanese or Korean, I can't tell!)

Here's one that went to both my Yahoo! and work emails: "hair transplants get the straight talk." Oh and you've gotta love all the misspellings of Viagra, and in all caps: LEGALLY INVESTIGATE ANYONE!

In March, I heard a radio program on the poetry that is at the end of some spam, to fool the filters. You can find it, here.

It's summer. Everyone's on vacation (it seems). So we haven't had Show and Tell or List Friday for weeks! (or so it seems.)


Last night I went to a "singles event." I paid $10 to sit and talk with singles at a bar in Shadyside. There were appetizers but I'd eaten already. I had a Corona (with lime.) I ran into a woman who was in a wedding with me about 10 years ago. She's a widow, and she's tried a whole bunch of dating options -- eHarmony, this one we were at last night...she has three children and she wants to have some sort of a social life outside of soccer games. But seriously, if this is what it takes to meet "that special someone," I'll sit at home with a book, thank you very much. So I left when I knew my times was running out on the parking meter, and went to Giant Eagle, where I picked up some milk and two magazines. I sat on the sofa, reading about Jen and Vince, Britney and Kevin, Lindsay Lohan's 20th birthday party (she is so young!).


I finished a great book last night: Leaving Church. It's about an Episcopal priest who finds that her vocation is suffocating her and out of the blue she get an offer to teach at a local university, so she leaves her church. It is a very honest memoir and I think everyone should read it.

I had a conversation with a friend at Tazza on Monday. We were discussing the OD and how maybe there doesn't need to be a sermon every week. (Revolutionaries, we are...) Are we just filling in the "slots" of what a "church service" should look like? This passage speaks to that:

"What if people were invited to come tell what they already know of God instead of to learn what they are supposed to believe? What if they were blessed for what they are doing in the world instead of chastened for not doing more at church? What if church felt more like a station than a destination? What if the church's job were to move people out of the door instead of trying to keep them in, by convincing them that God needed them more in the world than in the church?" (p. 222, Leaving Church, Barbara Brown Taylor.)

I know I need to sing songs every Sunday night. If I don't have that, my life crumbles a little bit. There is something about singing loud, worshipping God with others that know Him. I know I need to say "hey" to people I may not see any other time but on Sunday evenings. I need that fellowship. I need to pray with others--I live a solitary life at home and I crave being with other believers at the beginning of a new week. But do I need to hear a sermon? Could a poem suffice? Or a conversation about a passage?

I don't have any answers, just more questions. But I am ever grateful to know that I'm not the only one asking questions.

Friday, July 14, 2006

What to tape on Monday: Ann Curry interviews Brad Pitt on the Today Show!

okay, so I just spent way to long trying to find a link, but truly, this is a VCR moment. Brad Pitt is going to talk about "green houses" (houses that are good for the environment) and other things going on in his life.

Dish: I just saw in the supermarket yesterday that he's put his foot down with Angelina--he's not going to keep following her around like the puppy he's been for the past (how long has it been?).

I mean, I'm an American woman. I saw Thelma and Louise. This is Brad Pitt we're talking about. Okay, time to...oh look at the time!

Gotta go!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Meme: or what passes for a post these days...

me--Joke--Badger--Karla--who knows?

I play hard and fast with the rules on these things, so if you're missing a question, it's b/c I thought it was too stupid to deign even a smarta** answer or someone else answered it better.

1. How old do you wish you were? I wish I were a healthy grandma with at least three doting grandchildren.

2. Where were you when 9/11 happened? I was in Pittsburgh, in bed, listening to my clock radio. When the second plane hit, I flew to the TV and then went downstairs and woke up my neighbor. We watched TV the rest of the morning. I had stayed home that morning instead of going to Bible Study to work on a project due that afternoon (this is when I was in Library School) and so I was grateful when (this is so selfish) they thought Pittsburgh was a target and they closed down downtown and Oakland. I got an extra day to work on my project. I remember how weird it was, no planes in the air. And I bought an EXTRA edition of the paper that day and every day after for like a week.

6. If you could be fluent in any other language what would it be? German. I took it for a year in 2nd grade and then my last year in college. I was fluent for like three weeks at the end of my senior year. German is the coolest language, ever! But after that, I want to learn Greek and Hebrew. Then Italian.

7. Do you know your neighbors? I just got a new neighbor downstairs. She seems really nice. The guy on the first floor and I have had like 2 conversations in as many months. But he seems like a nice guy. And the across the street neighbors are the ones that gave me the swim tag. I used to visit Minnie, the Italian grandma across the street a lot more. She's a real sweetie.

8. What do you consider a vacation? Somewhere with people I love and I'm not working. I prefer the beach, but that doesn't really happen very often.

10. Would you move for the person you loved? I've been known to say "I'd really have to love my husband to live in a small town," because I am such a city girl. My life up to age 17 was moving for people I loved, but I didn't have a choice in the matter.

12. Do you believe that opposites attract? Yes. My parents are living proof. They only share 1 letter in the Meyers-Briggs. They've been married for over 33 years. My dad is the die hard romantic and my mom is the one who wants you to move dirt for a Mother's Day gift. Yes, as in digging a hole in the back yard.

13. Dream job? Writing and doing crafty stuff. Oh and a bookstore with a cafe...

14. Favorite channels? FOX and NBC. Although there is this local station called WBGN ?? that plays Cagney and Lacey at 8, Hawaii 5-o at ten, and Mork and Mindy at 11.

15. Favorite place to go on a weekend? I work every weekend. I'd love to go to Niagara Falls for a weekend, though.

17. Do you paint your nails? Yes. I feel prettier when I do. I think I'm going to get a pedicure before the summer is out....

21. Do you keep a handwritten journal? Sometimes. But my blog and emails to friends have become my main written record lately. I do carry a notebook in my purse at all times, though, to write down quotes from books, sermon notes, prayer requests, and lists.

22. Where would you rather be right now? At home, watching the 7 pm Friends.

24. Heavy or light sleep? Heavy. I have slept through my alarm many days this week.

32. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping

33. Who was your last text message from? Joke.

34. Whose bed did you sleep in last night? my own.

35. What color shirt are you wearing? Pink! (C'mon, these questions are killing me!)

36. Most recent movie you watched? Superman Returns.

38. What color are your bed sheets? They are pastelly with a beach motif.

41. What's your favorite town/city? Pittsburgh. Second: Warsaw, Poland.

44. What did you have for dinner last night? Wendy's Southwestern Taco Salad.

45. How tall are you barefoot? 5'9" and a half. I am damn proud of that HALF inch.

51. What time did you wake up today? 9 am.

55. Where would you like to travel? Poland, Italy, Austria, Montana.

57. Last thing you ate? Strawberry Sherbet. Hey, I'm going to the Sharp Edge after work, so I want to work up an appetite.

58. What songs do you sing in the shower? Sunday school songs from my childhood. But mainly I just listen to Sinatra, Diana Krall, and all them nostalgia folks on WJAS.

62. What is your favorite candy? Raisinets.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

News from libraryland...

It's Wednesday, the day I get my "American Libraries" email. I get [LIS News] email daily. Here are a few tidbits: is going out of business. I had never heard of them (their sister site, is also going out of business.) I love the NLA tshirt in royal blue, but at $18.00, I'm not ready to commit, even if they will soon be extinct. (But yins are welcome to get one for me--I wear size medium.)

There's a new library blog in Australia, called From their "about" page: "This is a collaborative blog for Australian libraryland. You do not have to be Australian, a librarian or a blogger to contribute, but your posts do need to be non-commercial and relevant to the scope of the blog." KEWL! has a good article on tagging (No, not the game where some one is it.) I have been trying to get someone to teach me how to use for almost a year. I suppose I'll have to teach myself. (In all my spare time...)

And the latest gossip here is how to get out of the Wendy's parking lot now that part of it has been cordoned off due to a recent sale of the adjoining property. I haven't decided what to do about my hair (I like being able to put a pencil through my hair--it's a librarian's right! but I agree with Babs that it looks really cute when the wisps come out, such that maybe I'll chop most of it off...maybe I'll post pictures and have y'all vote...) (Or maybe not...)

I really need a walk like that one I had the other day. I feel exhausted burned out and "I don't want to work I just want to bang on the drums"-ish. (Hence the blogging...)

Maybe I will take a walk. It's a misty day here in da Burgh--a few links from the Post-Gazette: the rain held out so that the All Star Game was rain-free aside from a few drops at the end. And our mayor has brain cancer...

Oh, sack it all. I am going for a walk around the building. The cobwebs in my brain are multiplying. And when I come back...MUSIC!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday morning bigger, bigger than you and you are not me--that's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight, losing my religion... --REM song

In college, I had a friend, we'll call her Reina. At pauses in conversation, we'd say, "Life..." and the other one would burst into song, with the above. I suppose it's a grown-up version of this ditty:

A: That's life!
B: What's life?
A: A magazine?
B: Where do you get it?
A: At the corner store.
B: How much does it cost?
A: 25 cents.
B: I don't have that!
A: That's life!
B: What's life?

ad nauseaum.


So so suck your toe, all the way to Mexico, while you're there, kiss a bear, don't forget your underwear! My mother says to pick the very best one and you are not it!

I took a long walk in the park this morning. It might have been over an hour. My legs are twitching, the sweat is dripping down my back, and a cool bath is drawing as I write these words. Hang on, let me see how full the tub is...

Yeah, I'll catch up with you in a bit. Bubbles call me...


So I check my email this morning. Comments, you guys! Can I say how it makes my heart go pit a pat to see "pink sneakers (5)" in my Yahoo! Mail in-box? Plus, Suse hardly ever comments here, so a big thanks from whatever the opposite of down under is. Where was I? Oh yes, checking my email. I get a lot of "newsletters" from Christianity Today. Today was the "Books and Culture" newsletter, with an article on the last movie I saw, Superman Returns.

Ya gotta love the American public. Lordy. You take "...the American Way" out of Superman's motto and the crowd goes WILD! (Truth, justice, and the American Way was transformed to Truth, justice, and all that stuff for the latest flick.) Now, being that I am not a comic book junkie nor do I remember watching any of the Superman movies except for the first one (and Supergirl, of course) I didn't notice that tidbit when I watched. But a whole heck of a lotta people did, and they're stomping mad! So, Jeffrey Lott writes a wonderful article about how you gotta look at the CONTEXT. As my bro Terzo would say, RELAX! How I love reading people that think, that make me think, and let me write about their thoughts...where was I?

And Hallelujah, CT is getting better at catering to bloggers. It's okay to link to their site now. (It might have been okay before, but it wasn't in their reprint policy--it is now.)


So--today is Tuesday. I was gifted a swimming pool tag yesterday, which is very cool. However, our local pool is only open 1pm til 5:45. (I work during most of that time.) I walked all over the park today, past the tennis courts (not the abandoned one--there were actually folks getting ready for a game!) past the community gardens (and longing so much to be in Warsaw) past Carnegie Lake (yes, it is a pond, but that is its actual name) where the lily pads are growing back. I didn't go past the pool, but someone I know in a minivan was dropping off kids for swim lessons (I can only surmise) because they yelled "Sarah Louise!" and I looked around for where the voice was coming from and ahead saw a waving arm out of a minivan headed away from me. I wonder who it was? I walked up the stone stairs where I say prayers for families. (It started when my pastor was in the middle of a divorce and I was walking daily in the park. I always prayed for him and his wife as I trudged up those stairs. So now when I trudge, I just pray for families in general, or families in specific. It takes a lot of work to keep them together.) I was very grateful for the water fountains along the way.

My mind is full of thoughts--so much so that I burnt the first round of toaster waffles and I still have dishes waiting to me rinsed in the sink. There's no real place to sit in my "kitchen" so I retreated to this room to eat my waffles and applesauce and continued blogging.

Here's yesterday's Fabulous Babes Page-a-Day Calendar quote: "Family is just accident. They don't mean to get on your nerves. They don't even mean to be your family, they just are."
--playwright Marsha Norman.

Oh, but how I do long to be in Warsaw. Never mind that when I was there, at 17, 18, 19, 20, I was lonely in the summers and wishing to be elsewhere a lot of the time. I remember fondly walking around, taking the trams, going to the museums to see a traveling Andy Warhol exhibit (SHOES!) and going to the Sculpture museum. In my twenties, I joked (not so jokingly) that I wanted to honeymoon in Poland. That yearning has returned. I mean, yes, Italy is gorgeous. France is divine. But Poland has a grittiness and a loveliness--it's got under my skin. Listen to me, homesick for Eastern Europe.

And I'm meeting Marian for lunch at noon--crap! Off to the phones...because I'll be 15 minutes late.

Monday, July 10, 2006

So nice, we posted twice!!

Um. So Blogger, in its infinite wisdom, told me there was an error when I posted earlier today. No prob, I just published it again. But um, as you can see, if you scroll down, it published twice! And I have comments on both posts! Um...'

So, I'm going to bed now. Ah, air conditioning. Ah, sofa.

Sarah Louise at your service!

This is wierd. I remember when email first started, and the web was still new to me, I thought how cool it would be to have a newsletter that I sent out on a regular basis. Y'know, cuz I'm this fount of wisdom. (No, cause I like to write and I like an audience!)

So last night, as I was brushing my teeth (yes!! and flossing!!) I thought--hey, that's what my blog is! And all of a sudden, I'm getting emails from people who have googled me for info on tailbones (yes, I broke mine in November, read here if you're new.) I'm doing this for me, and all of a sudden it's helping others. Which is the best feeling in the world, let me tell you. So I need to shout out to a few bloggers who have been helps to me lately (and if you're not listed, give yourself a kudo, because just by reading this, you're helping this woman--me--in On and On Anon.)

  • Babs--my inspiration for even ever starting a blog and a dear friend who makes great blueberry pies. She has taught me a lot about friendship on and offline. I am so priveleged that I get to know her and her boys.
  • Lazy Cow--she always says the nicest things and I love both of her blogs. If only Australia weren't so far away...she also loves Trixie Belden.
  • Telfair--who I discovered through Babs. She's moving in a week, from Australia to Michigan (think happy thoughts) and I've been able to share my moving experiences with her and she just connected me with the blog of JoAnna Harris, (see yesterday's post.)
  • Joke--who is a great e-pal. He's going to Disney Land soon, so traveling mercies to him and his fam.

And truly, this is the shortest short version of thank yous. (If you're not on here and you think you should be, it may be because you recently went on vacation and I'm feeling a little snarky. Or it may be that oops, Babs called and there is banana bread coming out of the oven...) So just add yourself in. You know you want to.

Thank you for just reading, for indulging me. Mwah!

Sarah Louise at your service!

This is wierd. I remember when email first started, and the web was still new to me, I thought how cool it would be to have a newsletter that I sent out on a regular basis. Y'know, cuz I'm this fount of wisdom. (No, cause I like to write and I like an audience!)

So last night, as I was brushing my teeth (yes!! and flossing!!) I thought--hey, that's what my blog is! And all of a sudden, I'm getting emails from people who have googled me for info on tailbones (yes, I broke mine in November, read here if you're new.) I'm doing this for me, and all of a sudden it's helping others. Which is the best feeling in the world, let me tell you. So I need to shout out to a few bloggers who have been helps to me lately (and if you're not listed, give yourself a kudo, because just by reading this, you're helping this woman--me--in On and On Anon.)

  • Babs--my inspiration for even ever starting a blog and a dear friend who makes great blueberry pies. She has taught me a lot about friendship on and offline. I am so priveleged that I get to know her and her boys.
  • Lazy Cow--she always says the nicest things and I love both of her blogs. If only Australia weren't so far away...she also loves Trixie Belden.
  • Telfair--who I discovered through Babs. She's moving in a week, from Australia to Michigan (think happy thoughts) and I've been able to share my moving experiences with her and she just connected me with the blog of JoAnna Harris, (see yesterday's post.)
  • Joke--who is a great e-pal. He's going to Disney Land soon, so traveling mercies to him and his fam.

And truly, this is the shortest short version of thank yous. (If you're not on here and you think you should be, it may be because you recently went on vacation and I'm feeling a little snarky. Or it may be that oops, Babs called and there is banana bread coming out of the oven...) So just add yourself in. You know you want to.

Thank you for just reading, for indulging me. Mwah!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A few good books

It's that time again--when SL, the librarian, tells you what she's been reading. Gather up, it's book time!

For Mother Goose (my storytime of 6-24 mos and their moms, grandmas and dads): Hands Can. My favorite part is "Peekaboo!"

For a dinner date: "Because of Winn Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo. It's her best book. I don't like her newer stuff as well. But this was a gem. Candy that makes you remember sad times, a dog that helps the girl (I've already returned the book to the library and I'm too lazy to Google it) find friends. When I finished it, I cried. But they were happy tears. Babs cracked me up when she said, "They should make a movie." Hon, they did. (Not that I've seen it.)

For mending that broken heart: "You didn't complete me: when 'The One' turns out to be 'just someone'" by JoAnna Harris. I've been reading a lot of this type of book lately, as I try to process through the pain of being human. But this is the first book that takes a Christian perspective. She actually does the online dating thing--for research-- and finds it to be the crock that I found it to be (I'm not crazy, yay!) She talks about imaginary relationships: this is huge folks, never have I found any other writings on this, but I am so there: he looks at you a certain way and you have written the story all the way to the ring and the white dress. It's sad but TRUE. Also, I love her "Thanks" at the end: "Jack and Ross--For breaking my heart. Otherwise I'd be forced to make this stuff up." It's funny, it's sad, it's great. I think my married friends should read it to understand what we singletons go through...

For heart healthiness: "Heart of the Matter: how to find love, how to make it work" by Linda Austin. I'm trying to steer away from the "How to find a man to marry" books, but I do want information and I do seek most of that from books. This is such a low key book that anyone, whether they are in a relationship or seeking to be in one can benefit from. It is so NOT self-help-y. (Well, as much as a book could be in the 306.7 --relations between men and women-- area could be.) This book does not tell you which lists to make or which changes to garner first. It gently guides you through thinking about where you are and where you could be going. She gets at the heart of issues and makes me think about oh, is that why I do that? Some of the best advice is stuff I've heard from my wise friend Babs: (but I'll be quoting Linda A, here) "One can provide sun, water, and soil for a plant, but the plant has to do its own growing. Likewise, when you 're responding to a friend or lover who has a problem you'd like to fix for them, remember that it's impossible to help another more than he is able to help himself. It's just not in your power to "make it all better."...Our goal [as therapists] is to enable our clients to give themselves good advice. On the other hand, communicating the simple thought I believe in you empowers them to greet their problems with energy and confidence." (and I've lost the page #) Anyways, it's a good book, very non-confrontational.

Yes, it's time for the good stuff: the latest in Chick Lit!!

"The Queen of Babble" by Meg Cabot. I will read just about anything by MC. She is wonderful at mistaken identitites, light mysteries, not so light mysteries (she's just started a mystery series) and her books are just FUN. Queen of B is about a girl who goes to England and discovers that her boyfriend is a jerk. So she goes to France, where her girlfriend is hanging out in a villa. (Yes, this is why I do not write book reviews for the New Yorker...) Anyways, it's funny and readable. And already back at the library or I'd give you more meat.

"Literacy and Longing in L.A." by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack. A little darker than the usual fluff that I take as my dinner dates, but a good read. When the going gets tough, Dora does not buy shoes, she binges on books. This leads to an affair with a bookseller at a local bookstore and all sorts of adventures. (Especially since Dora, who lives in the land of the freeway, hates driving on the freeway.) This book is peopled by people you've met: bittter, cynical, yet trying to make it through life unscathed. And there is healing, which made it worth reading the depressing parts.

Books I'm in the middle of:

"Reaching for the Invisible God" by Phillip Yancey. I have read this one already more than once. I pretty much read anything by PY because he is cynical and doubtful in his faith and that is refreshing to me. It's not all roses and miracles--it's about broken hearts, broken dreams, and how the heck do you have a relationship with an invisible God? PY is also very well read, so there are tons of quotes from the writers he's read. I love that in a book!

A few gems:
  • Ultimately I saw that a constant emphasis on God's power may lead to the fatalism of extreme Muslims or Hindus, who conclude that humans need do nothing because the will of God works itself out regardless. Far more impressive is the miracle of God's condescension, his humble willingness to share power and offer us full partnership in the mission of transforming the world. (p. 182)

(well, if I gave you more, I'd be here all morning--you know that on and on Anon thing.)

"Leaving Church: a memoir of faith" by Barbara Brown Taylor. A woman who is a full-time priest in the Episcopal church, through her journey leaves her position. It's the story of a real woman discovering that what she thought was a lifetime job may have just been "for a season" and how her faith weathers the changes. It's very good, but it has a ton of holds so I might have to return it before I'm done. I think in the end, though, it's a book I'd like to own. Her candor is refreshing and her writing is clear.

That is all. I think it's time to get dressed and think about what I'm doing today...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

My one regret--calendars I didn't buy

Watching, at the moment, Calendar Girls, which is based on a true story of Yorkshire women who bared their breasts to raise money for a decent sofa in the "relatives room" at the local hospital where one of the women had lost her husband to cancer.

In 1998, when the calendar came out, I was working at Fox Books and I was watching the pennies. So I didn't buy the calendar. And I don't even know how to do the e-Bay thing, but if any of you do, I really would like to get a copy.

My first year as a librarian, some librarians in England did the same thing. I was in email contact with someone but never was able to get one in the end.

One review likened it to another Brit flick, The Full Monty.

I am too tired to write a treastise or a compare contrast. I have cramps and I'm grumpy and I'd really like a nice rum and coke. Which I have half a mind to drive to the Holiday Inn to get.

The other half is writing this post.

I matriculated from Washington College, which resides on the Chester River in Kent County. We are famous for many things, including the Sophie Kerr award, a cash prize to the most promising senior writer. The prize last year was $53K.

One of the other things WC (or WAC as we call it affectionationetlly--and I'm sorry but I can't spell tonight.) is famous or infamous for is May Day. May Day is a tradition that was started by now retired professor Emeritus Bennett LaMond. Um, the tradition is to take your clothes off. The first year I was there, I did it only in the shower, thank you very much. The second year, I went to the Literary House party and later hung out with a few friends in the drama building. There are no pictures to memorialize this evening, only the ones I see in my mind. It takes quite a bit to get naked before someone you like, much less a bunch of people you see in classes every day. I never slid down the hills--they would hose down the hills and people slide down, naked as jaybirds.

I miss my friends from college. We didn't keep in touch for very long. I miss my friends from high school--I really only kept in touch with two of them and now they live far far away.

But tonight, I went to "Game Night" and all three of Sally's bridesmaids (myself included) were there. So we took a picture. Zack, Sally's husband, said we all looked younger than we did ten years ago. Whatever. He's a smooth talker...

Go hug someone. I'd give a dollar if I had someone to hug right now. Instead, I think I'll go spend my hard earned cash on a rum and Coke at the Holiday Inn. If I'm lucky, they'll be playing jazz.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Why I love the OD (again, another in a series…)

Okay, so I love the fact that the initials of my church can be mistaken for Over Dose. I’m a little twisted, but if you’ve been reading here for any length, this is not news.

We have art tables. So if the sermon is a little wacky or you’re feeling a little restless, you can draw pictures to your heart’s delight. Some people journal, but I draw pages and pages of simple line drawings: a garment of praise (?) I think it’s from Isaiah. There are pages and pages of simple line drawings by moi. (If you're looking, they're the ones marked sw and a date)

We are not perfectionists (well, most of the time). On Father’s Day, Dustin was heading up the worship music and he wanted to honor his grandfather by playing his favorite hymn, (which I’ve now forgotten). Anyways, he was doing great, but he’d never played it before and so he asked for help. Nathan came up and gave him a hand on the vocals. It was just great to see the two men up there, cooperating in song. (Of course, kudos to the rest of the band, too, lest they read this and feel left out…)

This summer (well, June and July) we have all “guest preachers,” as BJ is taking an intense Hebrew class. So you know what the scripture will be, (we’re doing the book of Mark, one chapter per week) but you don’t know what the format will be…for instance, Krista did a “community sermon” for The Union Project, the owners of the building, decided that instead of paying $1 million to have someone else fix the windows, they’d hire a stained glass teacher and charge folks $200 for the privilege of learning how to do stained glass and the materials would be the windows for the Union Project. (A little Sharp Edge afterwards, most Sundays. I recommend the Mystery Beer (just $3) and the Mediterranean nachos--yum! (Oh did I mention we meet at 6 pm, which means I have the day of Sunday to really rest?) (Or go to other people’s churches in the morning.)

We take art seriously. Our offering urn was made by one of our in house artisans, Garret. We do an art installation of the Stations of the Cross every Lent, two years running now. (Each artist takes a station, creates something that represents that station.)

Oh, about the building again—the Union Project has a café now and it has the best sandwiches. And the best staff. And you never know what the music will be—BOB-FM, or WYEP, or someone’s Ipod.

I could go on and on and on. But I won’t. Have you heard about the new Twelve Step program for incessant talkers? It’s called On and On Anon.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Random tidbits from the Library world

Do you know your Dewey numbers? There is an actual number for "Advertising by electric signs." It's 659.136. The eiNetwork (our library system in the greater Pittsburgh area) does not own any books in this category.

A Wisconsin mayor should go straight to sainthood, do not stop go, or collect $200. Charles Damaske, mayor of Muskego, Wisconsin, is reducing his salary by half and removing himself from the city's health insurance policy to fund Sunday hours during the school year for Muskego Public Library. From American Libraries Online.

There's an ALA 2006 New Orleans Wiki Site which has blogs and links.

Occasionally the Wall Street Journal online has something interesting. Here's an article about

The ALA website has a page called "Parade of Bookmobiles."

And in other news, I got a haircut. Everyone tells me it looks "youthful" and that I should wear it down instead of putting it up. I don't listen. I don't like hair on my neck. I bet I'll have it bob length or shorter by Christmas. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This isn't the movies--if we die, we're doing it for free--or Sarah Louise and the Elevator story

So the other day, I go to Bellefield Clinic, which is where I pick up some of my psych drugs (I'm in a study, and the study pays for two of the drugs I'm on.) I always take the elevator b/c the stairwell closest to the lobby requires a key.

(I didn't know about the side stairway...)

(But now I do, and will use it, often!)

So. I get there, and there's a Schindler guy in the one elevator, doing stuff. (Inspection day, the security guard tells me.) I go up to the eighth floor, b/c I wanted to get a phone number off a bulliten board for a study I might qualify for. (Right handed and bipolar--yep, c'est moi!) The elevators are full, what with only one in use.

So when I get to the ground floor, I stay in the elevator, even though it will now be going back up, and then I'll go to the lower level where the pharmacy is. Are you still with me? I rode up to 8, came to G, stayed on, went up to 4, picked up two guys, the elevator went up to 8 again. Not sure why it went to 8 again, but when we got there, the Schindler guy (inspector dude) was there, and he talked loudly into his walkie talkie.

We go back down. We get to G and the doors won't open.

Let's pause a moment. There were three of us in the elevator. Myself and two young men: a tall gangly man who could be of Lebanese descent and a short African American man. They were buddies and seemed to be in their early twenties. The gangly one was high strung and the short one was copasetic. I tend to become more calm the crazier others become. Oh, and by crazy I mean: "I'm claustrophobic," bellows high string gangly man. "I'm gonna sue them!" "I can't breathe!" and "This isn't the movies! This isn't f****ing Speed! If we die, we're doing it for free!"

My phone was the only one that had network, which we discovered when Babs calls me to let me know that at 10:30, she's going for her run now, so can we meet at 11?
"I'm stuck in an elevator," I say.
"Oh, what's that like?"
"I'll tell you later."

Gangly guy uses my phone to call his therapist to say he won't be able to make his appointment, he's stuck in the elevator. Then he uses my phone to call his dad, in case we're in here long enough that he'll be late picking up his son from day care.

"I'm stuck in an elevator. No, Father, I can't go up a floor. We're stuck!" He hung up after a few more minutes of this. But the father now had my cell number and so he called twice once we got out. "Sir, we are out of the elevator now, I'm sure your son's phone has network. Yes, we were really stuck in an elevator. For about twenty minutes, yes."

We talked to maintenance on the elevator phone--gangly guy hung up when he got put on hold. After 10 minutes, I pick up the elevator phone, and the chick that answers says, "Don't hang up, I'm going to put you throught to maintenance." I sat calmly on the elevator floor, while on hold, and all they could tell me when they got on was "We're working on it." Gangly guy kicked the doors, rang the alarm. Oh, it was a barrel of monkeys. I calmed him down a little by asking his son's name. Proud papa whipped out his wallet and I got to see a picture. Shortly after this, the elevator jolted, we went up a floor and got out on 2. So glad to be out, out, out!

The whole ordeal lasted about twenty minutes. That was enough drama for the day, so after I climbed the STAIRS down to the Lower Level to get my drugs, I drove over to Phipps Conservatory and walked in the free gardens outside and took some pictures. Then I drove to Tazza and met Babs and the boys and the babysitter for coffee. Too soon, it was time to go to work.


Parking at Pitt RA metered lot for 15 minutes: 25 cents
Not getting a ticket after being inside Bellefield Clinic over 30 minutes: priceless.

Meds at Bellefield Clinic: free
Parking at Phipps, meter: 25 cents
Pictures at the Phipps outside garden: free
Lunch at Tazza (eggplant sandwich and green salad): about 7 bucks.
Being out of the elevator and in the open air: priceless.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.

(John Adams)

Well, it's a rainy day in da Burgh. So far I know two parents that have/are taking their children to see the movie Cars. I think I'll go see Superman. Gina liked it. And what with the weather today, I imagine the theatre will be packed, so I won't be missing "the fam" as much. I haven't talked to Bird (my dearest sister) for like a week!

My dad sent me a very cool article on 10 days that changed American history. I have to figure out how the NYT treats blogging--in terms of copyright, etc.


Elapsed time: 30 minutes. What did I come up with? Nada! Well, two things. I emailed a guy at the NYT who seems to be aggregating blogs and also found this is on the page of "Most Blogged Articles": "Articles most frequently linked to by bloggers on the Web." So I think I can link to the article.

Except now I'm exhausted from all that web-searching that I need a nap...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Up to three meme, thanks to Bookhart! (with corrections)

Bookhart's meme (tweaked by Sarah Louise) (and it's not named for the time of morning you might find yourself up to if you try this in one sitting.) (I could keep adding categories forever...)

Name up to three:
(and I added and subtracted categories to suit my tastes...)
(and I peeked on everyone's that I could find)
(and I used Wikipedia)

Song(s) That I Loathe to the Core of My Being
I shot the sheriff
Unchained Melody
You're so beautiful (James Blunt)

Musical Artist(s) That I Loathe to the Core of My Being
Sarah Brightman*
Beastie Boys

Rolling Stones Song(s) I Love
19th Nervous Breakdown
Jumping Jack Flash

Beatles Song(s) I Love**
I wanna hold your hand
In my life

Madonna Song(s) I Love
True Blue
Like a Prayer
Love don't live here anymore

Reggae Song(s) I Love
Red Red Wine

Country Song(s) I Love**
I hope you dance (Leanne Womack)
Redneck Woman (Gretchen Wilson)
I want to talk about me (Toby Keith)

Movie Soundtrack(s) I Love**
Pretty In Pink
The Committments
Drive Me Crazy

Musical Soundtrack(s) I Love**
Fiddler on the Roof (the musical, not the movie)

Cover Song(s) I Love
Shawn Colvin's "Everything He does is magic" (Sting)
10,000 Maniacs "Because the Night" (Bruce Springsteen)
Sarah Brightman's "Deliver Me" (The Beloved)

Simon & Garfunkel Song(s) that I Love
I am a rock
Homeward Bound
Bridge over troubled water

U2 song(s) that I love
She moves in mysterious ways

Song(s) I remember from college, circa 1991-93:
Right here, right now (Jesus Jones)
Closer to fine (Indigo Girls)
Losing my religion (REM)

Classical Composer(s) I Love

70s Disco Song(s) I Love
Stayin' Alive (Bee Gees)
Funky Town (Lipps Inc.)
Last Dance (Donna Summers)

70s Supergroup Song(s) I Love (like Abba?)
Dancing Queen (Abba)

Metal Song(s) I Love
Enter Sandman (Metallica)

New Wave Song(s) I Love
And She Was (Talking Heads)
Once in a lifetime (Talking Heads)
Always (Erasure)

Soul/R&B Song(s) I Love
Pink Cadillac (Aretha Franklin)
You make me feel like a natural woman (the Carole King version, on Tapestry)
I just called to say I love you (Stevie Wonder)

Power Ballad(s) I Love***
Keep on Loving You (Reo Speedwagon, although I like the version covered in the movie "Drive Me Crazy" by The Donnas)
I'll be there for You (Bon Jovi)
Is this Love (Whitesnake)

Pre and 1950s Song(s) I Love**
Someone to watch over me (1926)
It had to be you (1924)
In the cool cool of the evening (1951)

Punk Song(s) I Love
Rock the Casbah (The Clash)
Should I stay or should I go (The Clash)

Singer/Songwriter Song(s) I Love**
Coming Around Again (Carly Simon)
I walk the line (Johnny Cash)
Ring of Fire (J. Cash)

MTV Video(s) I Love
She's so high above me (Lit) (Fastball)
Time and Tide (Basia)
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day)

Pre-MTV Video(s) I love (they played on Midnight Special)
Don't stand so close (The Police)
Refugee (Tom Petty)

Queen songs(s) I Love
We are the champions
We will rock you
Bohemian Rhapsody

Guilty Pleasures
Mmmbop (Hanson)
Walk Like an Egyptian (The Bangles)
Love Shack (The B-52s)

None of the Above Song(s) I Love
96 Tears
Birdhouse In Your Soul (They Might Be Giants)
The Remedy (Jason Mraz)

Up to three more song(s) I Love
Walking on the Sun (Smash Mouth)
You sexy thing (Hot Chocolate)
Low rider (War)

TV theme songs**
WKRP in Cinncinati
Friends (I'll be there for you)
That 70s show

Bands I like that only one or two people reading this have likely heard of
The Affordable Floors
This Side of Eve
Good Brother Earl

Foreign language songs or songs about foreign places:
The Girl from Impanema
Sto Lat (link from Polish American Center)

Roller Skating Songs circa 1981-ish
I love Rock and Roll (Joan Jett)
Africa (Toto)

Song(s) I love that I lifted from other people's lists:
One Night in Bangkok (from the Chess soundtrack) (from amamgets)

*except for the one song
**I had the hardest time with these categories
***I used Wikipedia exclusively to find out what these were, then discovered I liked loved a few.