Thursday, August 31, 2006

A circle is round....(some thoughts on friendship)

Make new friends, but keep the old,
one is silver but the other's gold.

A circle is round, it has no end,
that's how long I want to be your friend.
(Traditional song)

It's almost September, and in Pittsburgh as in most of the lower 48 and I imagine Canada as well, it is time for school to start. I'm not in school right now, but the industry in which I work (librarianship) is pretty hard-wired to the scholastic schedule.

I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately, and how one's life is cyclic in this manner--you make new friends, keep the old, or not...I enjoy meeting new people, and I always attempt to make room in my life for them. I imagine, now, as I contemplate on it, that a lot of it has to do with my dad, in two arenas: one, his job meant that we moved every three years or so when I was a child, and two, for my dad, a stranger is just a friend he hasn't met yet.

For instance, Sunday, we went to Bellefield for morning church, as my dad would be driving down to Virginia after lunch. While my dad was using the loo, I chatted with Than, who works at Bellefield but attends the Open Door. My dad came 'round the corner, and I introduced the two men, saying, "Than is from Kansas." My father was in grad school for two years there. Well, wouldn't you know (I didn't!) that they both had lived in Manhattan (though at least 35 years apart in time.) They exchanged stories and Than looked a lot perkier after talking to my dad than he had while talking to me.

These two men may never meet again, but they might, and that is the magic my father has about building bridges.

Last night I had dinner with Lilly. We hadn't done that for a while, and about midday, frustrated with the state of things (working on CD-ROMs this week) I emailed her, saying, short notice, but wanna meet for dinner? She did!! AND, she was staying in Carrick at her brother's, watching the dawgs (greyhounds) so I had ample excuse to suggest my favorite Homestead gasthaus, Pizzeria Uno.

It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful it is to have dinner with an old friend. Lilly is about, mmm, maybe ten years older, and she's divorced, three grown kids, she's been through the bipolar bit (though she miraculously now gets by without meds!)--she is the friend equivalent to a comfortable old shoe that keeps getting more beautiful (and newer?) each time you wear it (I'm clearly not sure where I'm going with that metaphor...) Anyways, she's pretty much been through everything I've been through and more. So she understands the process of my life more than any other one of my friends. We've had our spats and cold wars but we've made it through. I will be eternally grateful, and I don't say that lightly--her relationship with Christ is one to emulate.

I often read books on the recommendation of a friend, and so I'm almost half-way through East of Eden. The first 30 pages had me mad, as there were only caricature female characters, but then I met Olive, if only for a few more pages, so all was right. But man, this is Steinbeck at dark. Cold-blooded? You ain't met them until you met...well, I won't give it away. Pat is also reading it, and Carlos is waiting patiently (actually not) while we finish, as it is his favorite book and he wants to talk with us about it. So I may get to have a book club meeting of sorts--GLEE! Carlos is living my dream--he's already doing the MFA (Master in Fine Arts) in Writing at Pitt. Meeting him at the OD whilst prepping for the Saturday Farmer's Market nudged me forward in thinking about the Carlow program. More on that later.

Today or tomorrow or yesterday (pick the second day of school) marks the 17th anniversary of a friendship that right now is in an extended cold war. I met Sara at a friend's birthday party in late August but we didn't click until we were in the same Chemistry class my junior year of high school and she came in with glee, "My sister just had a baby!" Our friendship grew over the first semester and soon we were inseperable. We had a list of things that we had in common, not the least being our names--she was Susan and I was Susie. (Yes, that was a slip of my "real" name--it would work with Sarah and Sara, but I wanted to slip for a minute.) (Child's adamant voice: I meant to do it that way!) Besides, I've found that now at least three folks have me linked using my real first name to this blog and that's okay... it would be too fussy to complain to those folks that my blog is being written by Sarah Louise.

Over the years, Sara and I stayed in touch long distance, over the phone, and through ShoeBox cards. We'd see each other every three years or so once I finished college. I moved to Pittsburgh, she moved to Front Royal, and then Rhode Island, and finally where she is now, near Boston. She got married, had two gorgeous kids, ovarian cancer, and went back to school. I stayed single, had a suicidal boyfriend and a trail of bad news boys after that, bipolar disorder, and the same apartment for eleven years. I'd call her and be able to tell her things I couldn't say to any other friend because we knew each other so well and for so long. More often than not, it was my nickle, but she didn't really have the nickles to be calling long distance, so I didn't mind, because it was joy to talk to her.

Then I went to visit her this past March. We were both excited, our first face to face in six years. I hadn't met her daughter, and well, it was just going to be fun. Then I had an exhausting time at the conference in Boston, was the most homesick I'd been in ages, and basically mental health-wise had the whiniest most unstable week in years the following week, whilst visiting my best friend from high school. Um, not a real good situation. I won't go into all the details, as it's water under the bridge and unfair to both of us to regurgitate and review those angsty days. A few good things: We went to see Failure to Launch, I decorated the cutest little purse with buttons and I got to see another friend from high school, actually the one at whose birthday I first met Sara. I should send her a birthday card...

Anyways, to make a long story short, when I was prepping for the stuffed animal sleepover, I wanted to try out Walgreen's online photo operation--you email them your digi pix and it's some cheap price like 19 cents a print in one hour. I wanted to have a dry run so that I knew the process worked. So, which digi pix did I want to print? Well, I did have the pix that Sara took when I gave her daughter the EasyBake Oven. So I sent those in. Well, I had to have them done at the Penn Hills Walgreen's, as the East Lib Walgreen's photo operation was down for the moment when I was doing my dry run. PH is about 13 minutes away, but I didn't know where it was, and I wasn't exactly thrilled to send the pix to Sara, not knowing if she'd respond, if I wanted her to. But I knew it was the right thing to do. So Tuesday, I had the morning to myself before doc visits and then my first day back at work, so I Yahoo! mapped the trek to the PH Walgreen's. I picked up the pix and went to the card dept to find a card. I found a nice Maya Angelou card that I liked the front of. (The inside was only for friends with valid passports.) So I figured, I'd cut the front off and mail it with the pix. But I couldn't resist looking at the ShoeBox display. Sara would always send me the Maxine cards. I probably have most of them, tucked in a drawer in my closet.

I bought two ShoeBox cards: (front) "I'm lucky to have a friend like you." (inside) "All my other friends are normal." and (front) A good friend will know how you take your coffee. (inside) A great friend will add booze.

I don't know why I bought them.

I drove to the Edgewood library, borrowed a pair of scissors, cut the front off the Maya Angelou card, wrote a quick note, padded the pictures with an insert from the copy of People I couldn't resist (Exclusive interview with Jennifer Anniston: I'm not engaged!) and addressed the envelope. I mailed it at the post office on the way home.

I'm still grieving. Right now I'm very possessive of my other friends, worrying if I haven't heard from them in the past day or so, and checking my email obsessively. Part of it is returning to work, but a lot of it is because I'm still grieving this not quite a death. Part of it is letting go of a crush I had for over a year and having to see that person occasionally at church and actually have conversation (agony!). Part of it is letting go of other friendships--and realizing "let's do lunch" doesn't always mean the words, it's just something to say to fill the air. Part of it is the reality of turning 35 in November.

She was my gold. So it's time to take a look at some of the silver's and promote them to gold. After all, isn't that what happens in September? The green leaves turn gold as the autumn air moves through.

I wrote this in college about a guy who was a friend for a semester my freshman year:

Your Friendship Hand

We walked through the fallen falling leaves, brown and wet,
decaying, smelling up our noses
with that autumnal perfume
that is uncommon in the city.
And we stumbled down a hill
You offered your friendship hand
So I would not fall.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Update: Whew!

So I decided it's time to get that MFA in Writing. Egad. Which means I need writing samples and people to write recommends. So, two birds with one stone, I just signed up for a writing class starting Sept 18. The teacher is a woman I worked with at Fox Books, lo, eons ago. I took a class in January with her.

Also: the lacroscopic surgery is scheduled: Oct 4.

I'll need to take a week off work. Here are a few posts if you are new here: sonogram, why.

Nothing like coming back to work on your first day back, and saying, guess what, I need a week off!

Plus, the telephone tag on that could easily add up to a full day of back and forth (as they called 2x while I was on vackay).

My mother may come to stay while I recover, which has got the fire under me to clean this garret, and SOON!

But now, I must flip a load of laundry and off to work, DAY TWO. Thank you all for your encouraging words. You're golden.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

When I was in kindergarden, I thought saying Happy Valentine's Day was like Have a good day and so for weeks into March, as my dad left for work, I'd say, Happy Valentine's Day. Now it's a tender joke between us. I don't feel like being real right now, so I'll be giddy and wish yins a Happy Valentine's Day!!

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.
Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love

Monday, August 28, 2006

The book that Meme

1. A book that changed your life. Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt. Dicey's perserverence tugged on me, and I became a Voigt convert until she started the Bad Girls books, which are, in my opinion, the not good kind of Bad.
2. A book you've read more than once. Besides Dicey's Song, Persuasion, Eat Cake, About a Boy, White Orchids...I tend to read fast and often forget or miss details, so rereading I often find things I missed the first time. Oh, how can I forget: Girls Poker Night.
3. A book you'd want on a deserted island. Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, a guide to building boats, and an atlas.
4. A book that made you giddy. Sisterchicks do the Hula. It's very funny and the type of book I want to write.
5. A book that you wish had been written. Honeymoon.
6. A book that wracked you with sobs. Searching for Caleb. I don't remember much now, but when I read it, I remember I was crying 20 pages before I got to the end and to the end.
7. A book you wish had never been written. The Bad Girls books by C.Voigt (see above).
8. A book you are currently reading. East of Eden by John Steinbeck which thus far has no redeeming female characters.
9. A book you've been meaning to read. White Teeth, now that LC has recommended it, (no one told me it was funny either) and Vickie loved it...

Maybe I'll link this up tomorrow. Right now, it's bedtime for Bonzo (and Sarah Louise).

Catch ya on the flip side...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sarah Louise returns to her garret, with glee!

How I love vacation. My favorite part: coming home!

Haven't unpacked tho--after spending 7 days of being a daughter and sister, my apartment seemed altogether lonely. So I emailed and called and got no one!! (Well, I did talk briefly with Sis.)

So, in an effort to further procrastinate packing, I'll give a brief up to date:

  • I had two messages about my sonogram on the phone machine. Hmm, methinks they found something??
  • My WBCs are great, so I don't have to change meds.
  • The wedding (Em and Jim) is either Nov 4 or 11. I'm pulling for 11, as I won't have to switch up my scheduled children's Saturday shift.
  • I did a major part of the driving (and some of it in pea soup fog) from Hamlin, PA to Pittsburgh, PA.
  • I'll do that book blog thing-y soon.
  • I have pictures, which I'll post.
  • I am back in "it's time to get the MFA in Writing" mode. It's a limited residency thing at Carlow, 6 days in January, 6 days in June, so I could keep working!!

Am I actually tired enough to hit the sack? I slept A LOT on vackay. One night I even went to bed at 8!

More later, my dear Internets. I am so glad to be HOME!

Tidbit from my talking in my sleep last night (yes, I do this all the time, but only hear about it when I share a room with someone, as I did all week with Sis.): "But I go to church Sunday nights" (apparently, someone wanted me somewhere else Sunday evening...)

Tomorrow I'll go to church twice--in the morning with Dad, who is in a motel in Harmar and will come by 8:30ish so we can go to Tazza for Sunday brunch b4 church.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eight things (tagged by Carolyn)

This is called posting on the road--stuff that's been waiting to be posted. I'm in a one room library in Hamlin, PA while my dad is at the grocery store.

  1. I have a signature laugh. People recognize me by it. It embarrasses my family but my friends love it.
  2. I love movies. I love them in the theatre. The summer it came out, I saw Twister over 10 times in the theatre and that's a low guesstimate.
  3. I always watch the credits. I stay until the lights come up. I'm fascinated by details like the names of the people who do stuff: gaffer, Best Boy; I like knowing where it was filmed on location; I like knowing what songs are in the soundtrack.
  4. I love soundtracks. Two favorites from this decade: Drive Me Crazy and Sliding Doors. I lost my copy of the soundtrack to Brokedown Palace. Two movies that didn't release soundtracks that I would have purchased: Wedding Bell Blues and Picture Perfect.
  5. I generally like both the movie and the book. I am fiercely loyal on this topic.
  6. I only buy pink Kleenex.
  7. I have three pairs of pink sneakers.
  8. I own at least three copies of Jane Austen's novel last novel, Persuasion.

testing 123

well, i just tried to post an old post, but blogger was being finicky. Let's see if this will post.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A road map always tells you everything except how to refold it.


Thoughts about maps and roads:

I hate road maps. The foldy kind at least. I like the books, in large print, with a spiral. Currently, though, I don't own a Pittsburgh one. So the other day I drove until I got to a fork and then followed the convertible, and voila! I knew where I was. Oh, it was deevine.

But my favorite map right now is a map of the world. I click on my site meter to see where people are that read my blog. Oh, it is so much fun. I've had visits from Austria, Australia, Phillipines, and even Pittsburgh. (Oh, that was me.)

I've even had at least one visitor from Poland!

When I was in college, the church I went to had a map of the world on the wall and little red push pins where missionaries lived. It had the name-places in the language of that country. So Warsaw was Warszawa and Cologne was Köln and so on. I visited the map faithfully, fingering Warszawa and then picking out other places I'd been. It was comforting. I couldn't see my family, but at least I could see where they were on the world map.

Rule of driving in Pittsburgh: if you want to know where to go, follow any stream of two or more cars. In a traffic jam, follow any one car that is going away from the jam. They know a shortcut. (I've found at least two of my favorite 'cuts this way.)

My dad is fond of saying, "Have you got your Kit Carson Trailblazing Kit?"

I'm off to ze Poconos--I'll be back in a week (sooner if I can wrangle the laptop from my dad...) Read my archives. I think they're great...

Friday, August 18, 2006


(German for "Getting up.")

It hit me with a wall of bricks this morning. It=crippling depression. I don't want to go on my walk, I don't want to eat breakfast, I don't want to do anything that has "today" marked on it. Stay on the sofa and watch "About a Boy"? Okay...

So, let's rewind. Yesterday I had to leave our lunch date early (Sally and I were having so much fun window shopping) to drive like a NASCAR driver to get to the dentist. (They were able to fit me in at 2:30.) To discover I had a cavity. Not a big one, but he filled it there and then, so for the rest of the day, half my face was numb.

I stopped in at ye olde Library and picked up a hold item and picked out some other items (of course. One was The Girls, (not the one Babs just read) which I started a few years ago, didn't have the time to finish. I also picked up two by Erica Jong, books I've been meaning to read: Fear of Flying and How to Save Your Own Life. The piece de resistance, though, is a 20 CD set of Eugene Peterson's The Message//Remix.

And I don't have enough milk in the house for breakfast.

And today I have to pack.

And Dad doesn't have the cell phones yet--I have to be there for the process so we'll do it on vacation??

And today is the all important blood test to see if my WBCs are up--if not, we may have to change my meds (two months of bumpy emotions--yum.)

Today is also the second pelvic sonogram. Which means I have to drink lots of water and "hold it" for 2 1/2 hours before the sonogram.

Yesterday I watched the season finale of Sex and the City. Ah, the romance.

Today I also will attempt to wrap the housekeeping--which may involve emptying the contents of my kitchen cupboards if I still have bugs.

Our mayor is not doing well in his brain lymphoma. But he is using postage for the thank you cards he's sending.

They may have found the person who killed Jon Benet Ramsey.

When you're depressed, it IS every little thing.

So what am I to do? I am driving to McD's for a breakfast something and then off to give some blood for the betterment of me.

All shall be well, by and by. And watching "About a Boy"? I think that is an excellent idea, just what Herr Doctor ordered.


Maybe I'll "link this up" later. Right now, my stomach is shouting and if she won't listen to reason, at least she'll listen to that! Please send hugs.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Here I raise my Ebenezer

This is my Ebenezer. It's a cross I built over the course of weeks and months of praying as I walked the Seminary grounds. That particular prayer has been answered with an undeniable NO and I am gleeful, laughing, as I think of how far I've come, how I wonder what might be next.

This is from a post I wrote in July.

One morning this week, upon waking, I started humming “Here I raise my Ebenezer” which is the second verse of “Come Thou Fount…” Last night at the Sharp Edge, Babs and I were discussing what posts we had on the back burner. I said, a shoe post, of course (here’s hers), and the up to three meme from Bookhart. And a paragraph so far on this old hymn, “Come thou Fount.” Oh, she says, I have that Easter one in my head right now, the one that goes “A-hhh-le-luia.” So then we both try to hum, “Come thou Fount” and fail miserably. I finally get it going. Yes, so get the mental image of two tired librarians, with our Yuenglings, hungry as ever, humming hymns at the Sharp Edge.I like the idea of an Ebenezer, a rock that one places because “God has helped us.” In the Old Testament, the Patriarchs (Abraham and his dudes) were forever placing rocks and calling a place “Beth-el” or “Ebenezer” or what have you, after God did some amazing thing. It was a visible reminder to them, and I guess to anyone who stopped by. I guess the modern equivalent would be memorials—like the Vietnam Memorial, or the Civil Rights Memorial which my dad visited after he was done conventioneering with the Presbyterians in Birmingham last week. Except that those all seem to be memorials to deaths or cataclysmic events. I’m just rambling here…

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Who are you and where have you put Sarah Louise?

(Babs, when I told her I was doing laundry out the wazoo and slogging through a book I didn't care for.)

Well, the Energizer bunny has left the building. I'm tired and I'm going to bed. Two more DVDs of Season Six, Part Two--one for Thursday, one for Friday.

Today, in between episodes, I cleaned and weeded my work email. UGH. It takes at least 5 minutes to connect to the server and the spam is unbelievable. There. is. so. much. of. it.

I went briefly to a friend's for her Bible Study--one I'd been a part of, ages ago. It was small tonight, but I didn't stay long.

I'm learning to be patient with myself--which if you haven't tried it, is VERY HARD.

So I'll win a few games of Free Cell and off to bed! Tomorrow is another day.

(In which I have to go see the dentist as my teeth are acting all sensitive--I wouldn't worry except, I'll be on vackay next the woods.)

Meeting Jesus in your emails...

Isn't that a great title?

My Yahoo! toolbar told me I had 4 new messages. Yay! I thought. No--they were one from the library, one from my Daily Page-A-Day calendar, and one from an online newsletter I've been too lazy to unsubscribe from, and one from Christianity Today Connection, titled "What (Not All) Women Want" which I thought--didn't I read this article somewhere? I had, indeed (last week on the CT website. But I didn't know the writer was from (think real fast, my favorite foreign country) Poland. I hadn't noticed that her name was Agnieszka.

Well, okay, so it's not a personal email, but I'll browse through her (convieniently linked) other articles. I read one on buying or not buying a cashmere sweater, and then pounced (yes, pounced) on this one, about one of my favorite writers, Ann Lamott. It's called, "Jesusy Ann Lamott: chatting with a born again paradox." READ IT!

I gotta go--the day is full, and yes, this afternoon will likely be another Season Six marathon as I try to ship shape this apartment in prep for vacation.

This morning I cried in prayer. God is really getting to me these days, and it is Good.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Other things that can happen every 30 or so minutes:

I have just watched 3 more episodes of Sex and the City (Season 6, Pt. 1). I have also updated my bank accounts, transferred money, paid two delinquent bills, and gotten a late fee waived.

Meanwhile, Carrie has been dumped by a Post-it note, Charlotte got engaged (again), and Samantha is someone's girlfriend (sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g).

I think I will call this "girl week." I think next year I'm doing it without the 20% pay cut for medical leave. Today, Eileen and I went to Qdoba (we have to stop eating beans and rice--neither of us could finish, we were so full!) and then Goodwill. Tomorrow Alyssa and I are picnicking in the Park, and Thursday, Sally and I are celebrating her birthday a day early by window shopping the shops and galleries on Ellesworth Street. I still have not made it to the pool, though. Friday?

After lunch, I drove to the North Hills to get blood drawn and made an instant friend when I confided to my phlebo-whatever they're called, the lab techs that take your blood, that I was Bipolar II. "So am I," she whispered. So we exchanged stories. And for the record, she was the nicest, sanest person I dealt with all afternoon at that hospital.

On the way home, I Get-Go'd my gas tank (32 cents off per gallon!!) and got milk. Then, there was, what? Italian Ice at the tennis courts? Am I hallucinating? (Our Italian Ice guy died in March.) I almost drove by, but got over that fast and parked. I got a picture and got two watermelon ices, one for me and one for Babs, who has been painting the back porch. It wasn't the best ice we'd had, but it was cold, and we are so glad that there is Italian Ice in Highland Park once more!! It was a classic case of "it's the thought that counts."

Babs continued painting and we continued talking until I remembered that I had purchased milk and it was probably sweating away in the car. So I went home and did all that stuff. I still have about three loads of laundry, but I might have to switch gears and do dishes, since laundry can wait but you don't want to leave for a week with dirty dishes. (Unless you have Carolyn's mom.)


But it's only Tuesday, and I am making headway. Go me!

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.

(Buckminster Fuller)

Happy Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to all my Catholic readers!

Was just over at BTS, which is my first bloggy stop, every day of the week, and re-read Gina's "It's Raining Men" post. Comments were wonky last night, so I couldn't comment, but overnight, I seem to have become Chatty Cathy again in the Comments department. Here's a snippet of what I wrote:

Going through a similar sort of metamorphosis--it's kind of like coming out of the cocoon and discovering you're a monarch and you have to figure out what Mexico is and how the heck to get there.

It occurred to me, as I was writing this, that the book, the Hungry Caterpillar, spends so little time on the fact that he ends up a butterfly. Which is fine--I am not criticizing this CLASSIC, only going, huh! The sequel, then, perhaps, if the butterfly is a monarch (which I don't think s/he is, but play along here, with me) is Gotta Go! Gotta Go! which, funnily enough, is not a potty training book but a book about a monarch who discovers she has to go to Mexico. It is the cutest little book ever. From the book: "I don't know much, but I know what I know. I gotta go! I gotta go! I gotta go to Mexico!"

I saw a monarch yesterday. I watched it on a butterfly bush outside the Shaler library. Oh I have such an affinity for them. Other butterflies are okay, understand, but I adore monarchs.

beep** your time is up **beep

Stay tuned...

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Family Plan and roaming, aimlessly (the writing, I mean)

So it's that time of year: the family vackay! Plus the cell phone fiasco, my brother is still on crutches, and my mom fell on 55th St while attending a cousin's baptism in NYC. Bro and Mom have doctor appts in the near future. I still don't know how I'm getting to the cottage (am I going to Virginia and then the cottage, am I taking a bus to Eastern PA and getting met?)


Life might be simpler if I drove long distances well by myself, or if I got my own cell phone plan, instead of staying on the Family Plan. (Two hours and I gotta stop for a long time. I don't want my own cell phone plan yet!!)

But life, I've discovered, is rarely simple.

So sometimes you have a conversation with your father that is more like a business meeting and you feel like you have to get all your points in there, such as:

Please can we go to The Restaurant in Hawley for their anniv, which falls on the Wednesday of vackay?
Can Sis and I take trips into town? (I am NOT a woods and lake person--I need sidewalks and shops) (I shudder to think that I may be sans Internet for a week...)

I probably won't get a phone until I get back to the family pod, at whichever geographic locale that is. My phone will probably NOT have a Pittsburgh area code, but this should be temporary. It may have a MD/DC/VA area code as Cingular changes over their markets.

Did I mention that my dad wants me to get AAA tour books for Arkansas and Oklahoma? For Christmas, from me, he is getting his OWN Triple A membership.

And while the depression IS lifting, yay! I am discovering that sometimes you need to crawl before you run.

My therapist noted that the nosedive started on June 26. So if it's been almost 2 months of nosedive, I can't expect to correct altitude overnight (enough with the airplane analogies...)

Like yesterday: I had a wonderful morning with Emily at SHAG* (I love this acronym--South Hills Assemblies of God) and then lunch, as Jules (her man) had to go spend three hours (YES, three hours) putting on clown makeup and Emily figured having lunch with me and then a nap would be more interesting. I was doing GREAT. (Relatively.) But my energy lags: last night I couldn't sit in church and so amused myself on the porch for awhile, journaling as cars drove by on Stanton Ave.

*actually, the "of God" part is my addition -- I think if they go by acronyms -- which I don't think they do, they'd go by SHA, which is a little less funny.

I wanted to RUN and go home and be by myself, but I stuck it out.

If you're good, tomorrow I'll regale you with the story of the baptism performed by a Presbyterian Lay Minister, full immersion in the Allegheny River.

One foot in front. And another. Just one step. One more. Onward. Slowly, but surely.

And it feels so crappy to not be my commenting self--I (yes, me, the one that writes comment novels) feel silenced. And I feel like my posts are pretty bland too.


Gotta go!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Movie Reviews

Like the poor wayfaring stranger that they speak about in song
I'm just a weary pilgrim trying to find my own way home
Oh sweet Jesus if you're out there, keep me ever close to you
As I'm travelin', travelin', travelin', as I'm travelin' thru
(Dolly Parton, from the song Travelin' Through on the Transamerica soundtrack.)

Just finished watching Transamerica. Wow. We live in such a screwed up world, and I mean that in the best sense. I could only respect the characters for their courage. True guts in that movie, true guts. I don't know how to blog about it, though.

I mean, it makes you want to not trust people, because they'll screw you over, and then you want to trust, because there IS hope. I liked the Dolly Parton song at the end.

I know very little about the subject matter, which the story of a trans-gendered man pre-operation. Who discovers s/he has a son. Who...The plot has more twists than a rollercoaster. But what I do know is that the human spirit was brought through in that movie out of screwed-up-ness, big time.

Horse of a completely different color: You, Me, and Dupree. Was that movie ever hysterical! Emily and I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. It's the story of a newly married couple and the husband's best friend who moves in temporarily because he lost his job. Lance Armstrong does a cameo after the credits--which is why you should always stay for the credits (I'm talking directly to my sister on that one...she always makes a fuss when I stay for them.)

And I finished the fifth season of Sex and the City. Butterflies figured into the season finale. I like butterflies.

Tomorrow, after my tomato and cheddar samwich at Tazza, I'll go to Fox Books until the Cingular store opens at eleven to get a replacement phone.

Today felt like an entire month packed into 24 short hours: discovering the phone loss, driving out to Homestead to look for the phone, talking with Emily about how well she's doing the friend thing even as she's engaged (they found rings today!), talking to my mom, playing tele-tag with everyone, going to a birthday party, going to a pre-Baptism party (I didn't stay long), watching Transamerica...I'm surprised I don't have whip lash. I saw people I haven't seen in months and it was good to see that they're doing well.

We are all just travelin' thru.

The kind of conversations our machines have...

Me to the machine in Virginia: Hi to the rodents, this is #1 calling. Talk talk talk. (I leave long windy messages often to those I love.)

Mom to the machine in Pittsburgh: Hi walls. Hi floor. Hi kitchen. Calling to say hello to the walls, hello to Sarah Louise, love you, Bye.

Still no phone, but I do have the last 4 of Dad's SSN, so I'm in business!

ISO: Cell phone!!

So, yesterday I was joking about my cell phone trying to get lost--and it did, for real. Em and I went to the movies, I remember turning it to vibrate, put it back in the pocket. Went to the theatre today--they are thorough and even log when they find items. I went back into the actual theatre to check for myself, nada!

You can see floor in my apartment, now, and I have still not found it.

And the phone is under my dad's name, so I can't do anything (replace, etc, without the last 4 of his SSN and that's not something I have memorized...)

UGH. So, off I go, to get ready for a special someone's birthday party, then a pre-baptism party, and MAYBE Bill Malonnee if I still have any brain cells left. Oh, and lunch might be a concept, in there somewhere.

Em: It's staying lost for a reason.
Me: Yeah, so you can finally see floor in my apartment.

We live in a fallen world, and it's very possible at this point that it is not in the right hands, but, hey, the silver lining is that I can see floor. And I found at least 10 errant hair bands while disassembling the sofa.


Okay, let's see about lunch.

As bb would say, now it is time to drink.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Well, still ISO the painting shorts (where could they be???), but I found a purse, in which I found LOTSA quarters and a book I thought I'd lent out, The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Read it! It's so Ordinary and Wonderful. 4 out of 5 Bloggers agree.

Also ISO a CD I borrowed from the Penn Hills library, which I renewed, but they don't think so, and are emailing me that they'll charge me full price for replacement. I saw it a few days ago...

Almost lost: my cell phone while I was talking on my land line with Babs. Luckily, I saw it trying to creep into the lostness of the laundry basket next to the sofa that is full of...stuff.

About to lose: $8.75* for a movie--Loews at the Waterfront doesn't DO matinee pricing. BUT, Emily's free on a Friday, so devil may care...and we may go see Devil Wears Prada, which I've seen but she hasn't. Cars, unfortunately, doesn't play after 2pm. Emily won't even be in Pittsburgh until 4, and hello, I'll be painting. IF I can find the blasted painting shorts!! I am NOT sacrificing the shorts I just got Tues at Goodwill.

*Yes, I realize that we in da Burgh are not up to snuff with prices nationwide, but hey, a matinee here is six bucks. So sue me, I'm a cheap librarian!!

Anyways, I thought we all deserved a snappy post, since lately I've been a bit, well, nappy. I'm 2/3 the way through Season Five, though, and Season Six awaits me at the Edgewood Library. I'll swing by tomorrow morning.

I also have in my possession: Transamerica! Yes, yes, yes! I love my library (system).

Off to search for the shorts...

ISO=In search of, usually a man or a woman in the personals...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My car passed inspection!!!

That is all.

Oh, and don't wear a sleeveless dress if you intend to not wear sunscreen, whilst you eat and sit outside and then walk home during the sunburn hours (noon-three pm).

Sunkissed, but still, I got out the Noxema.

I promise more pix over the weekend. I took bunches today.

There are some days when no matter what I say it feels like I'm far away in another country and whoever is doing the translating

has had too much to drink.
(an artist whose name escapes me--he does folk art with sayings like this one on wooden people.)

So, post #3 for the day, although I guess this will post for Thursday since it's technically after midnight.

Did I mention that Emily's practically engaged? I am happy for her (unbelievably, I really am) but she's spending Saturday ring shopping and Monday looking at wedding dresses with her mom. She said she'd have time to do things with me while I was off work and I understand, but I miss her!

And this has just been one of those seasons. How I crave September when the routine returns and everyone's kids go back to school. Lunch dates! They are the savior of the single gal and hard to come by in the hot months if your friends also have kids. I SO RESPECT THAT. I do. I just miss them. And while you blog lovelies are so kind to encourage me, you mostly live too far away to do coffee or lunch.

Bridge over Troubled Water is playing right now--how I love Simon & Garfunkel. This has been the year when my "You've got a friend" friend said she didn't want to be one anymore. And I've had to make some choices, too. How that sucks.

Oh, update: for yins here in da Burgh: Bill Mallonee is playing at the UP on Saturday night. He's an amazing singer/songwriter. I've seen him twice.

And I have a certain birthday party to attend Saturday...

But here's something that is the coolest thing since sliced bread: it's a free wake-up call with music. I LOVE IT. A lot of the musicians/artists are local Pittsburgh folks, some of whom I even personally know. And they'll play a message at the end and the computer woman voice even sounds human. Try it, yule like it. Sorry, it's not international, yet. But I bet the website will still let you try out some of the music.

Allegheny Moon is playing now. It's our local version of Blue Moon, I guess. (The Allegheny is one of the three Pittsburgh rivers. The other two are the Ohio and the Mon.) Extra points if you can spell out the Mon. correctly!!

Okay, to bed. Up early to drop the car and then off to the library to fill out 80 pages of psych questionaires, then a visit to the psychiatrist.

All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.
(Dame Julian of Norwich)

No matter what!
(Madeleine L'Engle)

And this: from Anything Goes: Be like the Bluebird... (It's always the darkest before they turn on the lights...)

See how it see saws? I have a lot to look forward to, but I feel lonely RIGHT NOW. Ach. This too shall pass (and quicker if I get some sleep.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Life imitates Sex in the City, or don't try this one at home!

So, when we last left our singleton in Pittsburgh, she was going to her car to check the insurance card effective date.

Lordy, Lordy.

So I couldn't go to Abaté looking like that...unwashed hair and khaki's and a I threw on my new to me Eileen Fisher linen sleeveless dress. It is long and I love it. It has a bit of stiffness, but otherwise very nice. (Although in the light of my bathroom I have discovered stains on the front--the lighting in the changing room hid them!!)

Anyways. So I take my hardcover of Eat Cake, get a table on the patio and order the Italian Club sandwich. It comes with fries. It was very good, and so was my waitress. She had just enough cheerfulness to suggest the dessert but not too much to be clingy like the one Lilly and I had Monday.

A genuine tourist is sitting across from me (Yes, whose idea was it to sit a single woman opposite a single man at adjoining tables?) and I was getting a vibe. He came over. He said, "I'm from Hong Kong and I am doing a survey. What do American women like to read?"

I couldn't have uttered the words "Judy Blume" to save my life at that moment. I pointed to the cover of Eat Cake and said this woman is very popular. He said, "How about Patricia Cornwell?" Yes, I agreed, and added Jennifer Cruisie (though I'm not sure I've read her, but I don't think he really would have cared...)

Saved by the bell, his linguini arrived. Do you come here often, he asked? Sometimes, I replied. Maybe next time I'll ask you about more books. Okey-dokey. Off he went to eat his noodles.

I finished my sandwich, had another iced tea while waiting for the check and without making any eye contact, almost forgetting my book, I hightailed it OUT OF THERE.

It was flattering, yes, but what a relief to be in my car, out on Freeport Road, playing the radio a little too loud. That tortellini with basil, the frozen Amy's? Sounds fabulous for tomorrow's dinner. Just fine, thank you.

Why didn't you tell me?

(Rachel, upon the discovery that she still loves Ross)

It's The One before The One where Ross says Rachel's I actually saw a Friends episode I had never seen anymore. (It was the one where Monica and Chandler go to Las Vegas to invite Chandler's dad to their wedding.) I'm so excited! I didn't know there were episodes I hadn't seen. (Although that might have been the last one.)

And while I am so glad for all the mommies that are happy to be mommies, (and I really am--I'm not being cynical about that--I think it is SO COOL) I really don't want to write about my day. Um, would you want to write about a phone call you got at 6:30 pm from the researcher you spent the morning with? Asking, in her Scottish accent, I forgot to ask you: when did you start being depressed? (As in, what age?) And how many times have you been depressed, like more than 10, less than 20? Oh yeah, this is the kind of day I want to describe...

Except, I had lunch with Eileen. We talked about my favorite place, Poland. I think this will be a lasting friendship. We went to Taco Loco. And let me tell you, Mexican food is FILLING. I only had a burrito and I was SO FULL. I didn't even get flan, and I bet theirs is really good. I love flan.

I don't want to eat dinner at home, and I don't want to leave my apartment, because I have all 3 videos in the Complete Fifth Season of Sex and the City. (I've already watched two episodes.)

I found some stale pistachios the other day whilst cleaning my kitchen (I heard that laugh!) So I've been munching on them. This is the most pathetic post in the world.

Cleaned out the car, mostly. I only have eight or so magazines in the back seat, compared to the eight million that were there prior to 5pm today. Also, I found many dishes and forks and a few glasses...this cannot be my life.

The car goes for inspection tomorrow. Last night at K's birthday party people were complaining about how in PA you have to get it inspected every year. Well, I like that. I like that they have to prove that my car is safe enough to drive and not be a pollutant, etc. Don't be dissing my state! In Virginia, you have to pay a car tax. And it's like $3000 or something. So there.

So, it's 7:30. No more Friends -- I watched the 6pm and the 7pm. I could turn Sex and the City back on, but then I would have to eat the tortellini pesto in the freezer (oh don't get excited, it's just frozen Amy's). And of course, I ate OUT for lunch, so I should eat IN for dinner, and I don't really have a book I'm reading (except that yesterday for lunch I popped into Goodwill for a bit and picked up a copy of The Best Christmas Pageant I could read that.) And I have a ton of library books. Yes, an actual ton. There are 65 items out on my card at the moment. Yes, and it's just me! There are no books for other people on my card. Well, at least it's library books, not Manolo Blancos. At $400 a pop, I'd be right back in credit card hell.

Okay, so I'm...depressed. And I can't make up my mind. And I called a few folks that were not answering or napping...I just don't want to eat alone one more time.

Ugh. So, I'm off to Abaté. Tomorrow is another day, and I will be spending my morning answering questions like "Have you lost interest in things that you normally enjoy doing?" Don't become bipolar or depressed. Really. It's not a bowl of cherries.

Ah! But I am still in the midst of Eat Cake. The day has been saved. I think I'll take my registration down to the car when I go. Maybe it will be cool enough and I'll sit on the patio.

Because I KNOW I won't be able to do this forever.

Oh, and I'm switching the com mod off. It was an experiment. Done with that, now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summertime tips

From Aunt Flo: (men, avert your eyes) If you're wearing Therma-Care heating pads on your stomach, make sure there is a layer of clothing between you and the pad. Otherwise, the sweat gets on the pad and it's itchy and uncomfortable. 'Nuff said.

Okay, you can look again.

From Uncle Carl: If you are washing your car on a day when you need the a/c on, don't do the self service touchless (as in, you in the car with the a/c on, while the car is being washed.) Besides, if bird crap is the issue, the touchless type really isn't going to do the job. You need the foaming brush followed by high power rinse. If you pay with a credit card, don't put it on the passenger side seat, it might fall off and you might go ballistic thinking you lost it. Look in any and all crevices BEFORE you walk circles around the carwash five times looking like a lunatic. And if it wasn't in your wallet the first three times you looked... When you find the card, put it back in your wallet, not in your back pocket. While you're at it, put your library card back in your wallet as well.

From Aunt Penelope: If your intent to go to the North Hills is to return movies to Giant Eagle, do that first. Then go visit with your friend. (It saves gas, you know, if you don't have to keep retracing your steps.)

Aunt Hilda says: And don't spill my coffee! (Yes, it's an inside joke that unfortunately only I will get. But hey, it's my blog.)

A few housekeeping notes:
Comment moderation is on, but no word verifs! Also, lots more on the work shoes blog roll. Welcome all.

A compliment is verbal sunshine.

(Robert Orben)

Compliments I've gotten the past coupla days:

Thanks for being transparent/Thanks for sharing that (about being depressed.)

That's a very pretty dress (from a 4 year old girl, so you know it's true!)

I like that dress. I like the dress you wore last week too. When you wear dresses, it makes me think I might like wearing dresses (and she laughs, tugging at her tshirt, which I thought was very cute.)

Oh, you're the one with the laugh. Whenever I hear that laugh, it makes whatever was just said funnier to me. (The same woman gave me these both.)

Yes, that's Sarah Louise, my number one fan. She always laughs at my corny jokes. (BJ made an excellent joke about Al Gore not being alive when Mark wrote his Gospel--this week's text was Mark 13, which is all about the end of the world.) I thought it was so funny, I sort of clapped. BJ said, did you clap because Al Gore wasn't alive? No, said I. I just thought it was so funny.


How I love my church. I couldn't stand up for all the songs, and someone I'm trying to get over chanced to sit near me but made it very clear he wasn't interested (which is fine, me neither, but it still hurt a bit, more than I'd like to admit.) We sang a beautiful song, I'm an orphan girl. It was the kind of song that supported my vocal chords--I could really sing out. I'm not an orphan, but I think we often feel we are when we are far from home.

Note to my readers: if you plan to go overseas and your child is seventeen, take them with you. Deferring college for one year would have made a ton of difference in my life. There's a statistic, actually: seventeen year olds go far away for college, eighteen year olds stay closer to home. Well, I wouldn't relive my life. But having my folks on almost the other side of the world (not Australia, you understand) (but 6 time zones is enough) that first year of college wrecked a lot inside me, in ways I'm only now being able to look at empiracly.

(Me: Pittsburgh. They: Poland.) (I knew you'd ask in the comments...)

THAT was a tangent. Ah well, if I'm going to have clean hair, I might as go for it. I'll be bullying Blogger into submission with some more pix either today or tomorrow.

Oh and here's a compliment, just for you: Yins are the best readers I've been blessed with. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

(Eric Liddle in Chariots of Fire)

Well, for me, it's writing. BJ said I should write a memoir. He thanked me for being transparent. I said, well, I don't know any other way to be.

I worry sometimes. That I'm so transparent that people will read this and think THAT GIRL IS WHACK (which if you really know me, I mean in the non-online world, that's actually a pretty funny joke.) I worry that if people know who I really am, they won't like me. And I'll always be the bridesmaid, or going to other people's first birthday parties. Egad. (But I'm really excited about a first birthday party coming up, I won't say whose...)

So, this is bits and pieces, scraps and shards:

This morning, I was tired at the START of my walk. Um. Luckily in my arsenal (read: purse) I had Eat Cake, which is my current comfort book. I need to write the author a letter. I thought about the pistachio cake Babs and I made, which really was only good warm. So I walked and read. I almost bumped into a woman (or did she almost bump into me?). Some geezer was buying a Sunday paper from the newspaper box across the street. I've been thinking that with this extra time, it would be a good time to cut coupons, but I don't really want to read about how our mayor has lymphoma (front cover story).

So. I got to Tazza and Emily said, "Sarah Louise, right?" as she wrote up my order for tomato and cheese croissant. I got to ask her name, which I thought was a true gift. Emily and the other girl (the tall one whose name I don't remember...) will sit at the table when I'm with Babs and children. Well, if Terzo is one of those children, especially. So it was a special treat that Emily acknowledged me as not just "You're the one with Terzo."

So. I'm listening to gospel music. It is full of people swinging and swaying and saying things like "The Word of God for the People of God."

I played a game of Free Cell. It gives me such pleasure to win!!!

Yesterday I watched the end of Sex and the City. It was so good! I think I love Miranda best--she's a real fighter. But I'm the most like Carrie--the romantic.

I perused my site counter this morning--I had a visitor from Poland. It was to see my post on Elizabeth Shue...

...also, I had two green pin points on either side of Australia. And I am past the 11,000th visitor--when did that happen?

Last night, someone anonymous commented on a post from March, "Champagne Thursday," which I borrowed from the movie Failure to Launch:
"It's Champagne Thursday."
"But today is Friday."
"Thursday came twice this week."
Anoymous said I write like Sylvia Plath. Hmm. Haven't read much of her. I sort of avoid books that feature folks in mental health institutions. Babs was going to read the Bell Jar and tell me if it was worth trying.

Yesterday at the UP cafe I put a red pin on the map of Pittsburgh, delineating where my house lies.

I tried to add Eileen to my blogroll. I'll try again. I have more pix of the Sleepover. I have more pix in general.

Also, I need to come up with better blog names for sis and bro. Hmm, maybe those will work. Cuz Blackbird gets confused if I refer to sis as Middle and I imagine Babs gets confused when I refer to bro as Terzo. Maybe Sis and Mo, as in My Bro Mo. (I had a friend whose brother was Mo, actually.)

Other things rattling in my brain: the DOPA legislation. I mean, don't the initials make you think of dope? The link is to the YALSA Blog (Young Adult Library Services Association=Teens in the Library).

Okay, time to get off the chair and DO something...

The Stuffed Animal Sleepover Post--your patience has been rewarded!

This is the first round of pix. These were taken on the library's digi so that the kids could have prints in the morning.

Everyone, under the tree--no running in the library!

Monkeying around. How many monkeys do you see? (Answer at the end)

Let's have a Boynton reading fest! Welll, Okay, just Build-a-Bears then. The others chose the Runaway Bunny and I Spy.
Sliding down the railing...

Let's have a puppet show!
OOOh, it's craft time!
Napping in the stacks...
Well, we couldn't be in the "Book" drop since we're not books, I guess we're "Other."

The correct answer to how many monkeys is 5. (Two are hugging.)

More pix to follow.

Oh, and the tags say: My name is... I belong to... I slept over at the N. Library Stuffed Animal Sleepover.


No, I still like winter best, it's the name of a Pittsburgh band that has been touring and finally came to a venue nearby on a night I could go.

I've been getting their emails for like a year now, I somehow got signed up when HotDogma catered the food for The Things to Come conference at Bellefield.

WOW-ZA. I love live music, but here's the thing: I haven't developed friends that go will go to see bands with me. I have developed the "let's go for coffee" or "let's email" or "I'll see you at church/prayer mtg/small group." I may in fact have friends that would go see bands with me, I just have never asked. And it being a small Pittsburgh band, at least 80% of the audience were close friends/relatives of the band (I could detect that the white haired man with cotton in his ears was most likely a dad.) And besides the one band member that I sort of knew, I knew one other person, Meg, of HotDogma.

The venue was the Quiet Storm, a coffee house on Penn Ave. It opened circa 2001, and an acquaintance once pointed out which wall he was painting when he found out about 9/11. The wall is red, for what it's worth.

I got marked with a tiny X when I paid my $5 cover charge for the band. I talked to the one band member I sort of know--Ben Hardt, who once did music for the OD when John was taking some time off (or something like that.)

Me: You did the music for the Open Door?
Him: Yeah, I did it once, and I've been there a couple of times, I thought you looked familiar.
Me: Hi, I'm Sarah Louise.

It was just nice to chair dance to some great music by some fine musicians.

Today I also got face painted: a red tulip.

More later, and yes, soon, pix from the Stuffies Sleepover. I PROMISE!!

Oh, and since Summer Reading is over and when I get back to Library Land it will be starting on Fall, the regular pink shoes are back, if I can get Blogger to cooperate...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday's alright...

So I woke up with my alarm at 7:30 (I think I made the wake-up call for p.m.!!) so I didn't have bad dreams. Well, I tried on a horrible denim skirt at Goodwill, but it was nothing like yesterday when I slept til 9am and had dreamed that a former co-worker had died.

Laura and me, yesterday: (this is from memory, so maybe not direct quotes...)
(after I told her about my dream)
Laura: Well, it's been nice working with you!
Me: My dad asked if I was going to call Fox Books and locate him. Today? As if I had the time...
Laura: Are you going to tell him about the dream?
Me: NO! Just, been thinking about you, how ARE you, etc.
Laura: Well, that's good.

Laura is the HEROINE of yesterday and the rest of the summer as far as I'm concerned. She pulled off the bestest pet show ever. At about 3 pm, she pleaded me to stay late and help her. And I did--she asked so nicely: "please please" and also, it meant I didn't have to change my already printed time-sheets (since I overslept, etc, I didn't get to work until 11.)

I swear, I was smiling so much it felt like I had a hanger in my mouth. I took the pictures of each child (or group of children) and their pet. I also took some candid group shots.

I took home three bags: all the Leonard Bernstein kids' concerts on DVD (which I personally catalogued, back in the spring), some kiddie scissors for today's event at the UP, and magazines galore. Oh, and I went a little CRA-Z at the Book Nook. I think I spent $3.43.

No word from Marian. Emily has now met HIS parents and last night he met HERS. Oh, and she tried on some wedding dresses yesterday afternoon. (A mutual friend who does Mary Kay was hanging out at David's Bridal.)

BOOK YOU MUST READ: Peace like a River by Leif Enger. WOW-ZA. I finished the audio with Chad Lowe last night (yes, if you drove past my house, that was me sitting in the car waiting for it to finish) and it was better than expected. WOW.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The easiest thing in the world... to be smart-alecky and cynical and snide and jaded. It's hard to keep your heart open. (Fannie Flagg)

Apparently there are two camps. Why, guys?

Camp One: take some time, get better.
Camp Two: What? Stay at work!

I don't have the energy to explain to Camp Two, unless you are my mother. (Who really does understand.) So take a couple weeks off and I'll see you in three weeks. Otherwise, we may say things we'll regret. We may have already done that. And I'm sorry. I am. But I do not have the brain cells to rub together to explain the basics of mental health practice for people with Bipolar II. I've been here before. I know what the landscape looks like. And believe me, this is the best landscape I've seen in the eight years of my diagnosis. But it's still pretty bad.

So what I need:

To check out, a little bit, yes.
To clean my apartment.
To spend time with friends.

I'm sure y'all have friends that have dealt with this. If you don't understand where I'm coming from, talk to them. Because if you talk to me, I may get all cat-fighty on you. It's true. I'm sorry, I really am.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What to do to rejenerate brain cells...

Vegging out. I can see that finishing Seasons Five and Six of Sex & the City are in my future.

Other things:

Go to the pool.
Go for walks.
Go to the mall (since walking outside is really hot these days...)
Go to the museums. I may break down and become a member. I love going to visit the Monet and the Van Gogh's at the Carnegie Art Museum. The Andy Warhol is more fun if you have folks with you, though.

Read read read. But only books with happy endings. It appears there is a sequel to Babs' favorite childhood book, Roller Skates (thanks LC!) The Year of Jubilo, so I'll try to hunt that down. (Just ordered it, will pick it up at the Downtown Branch, as I'll be riding the bus...) (And I just reserved a bunch of Sex and the City videos and DVDs which I'll pick up at the Edgewood branch.)

Do a coffee shop crawl. Dude, Pittsburgh has a large amount of these, and most are very unusual and cool. I'm not talking Starbux either. One has an esoteric DVD rental shop in the back that I must visit since everyone raves about it.

Helping the Creasy's with their house...

At some point, I imagine Emily will drag me to a bridal shop where I'll try on a bridesmaid gown. Ack!

Less interesting but important things:
Getting the car inspected.
Cleaning the apartment.
Making sure the bills are paid.
Changing banks.

The Key:
Not freaking out, not "shoulding" myself, and just be-ing, instead of do-ing.

This is the first time I have recognized that some time off might be in order--in the past it's been the doctor saying "you need two weeks or five weeks" (which respectively became 5 months and 6 months.) So I think I have come a long way to recognize it myself, and to have the wherewithal to ask for what I need. I had blood tested today. This was fun: The lab closes at noon. I finally got the requisition and tubes for the blood (sorry if TMI) at 11:50. The elevator must have been coming from China, for the speed it took to reach the eighth floor.

I get there, and Ruby, my favorite pheb-technician is there. She says with a wry smile, "I told them upstairs no more blood draws after 11:30 because I have to be at the clinic at noon. I sat here for three hours and no one. The past 20 minutes: three people have come down." She is such a sweetie, though. Then she tells me I have to go register, because the blood draw will be billed to my insurance. (You're supposed to register BEFORE you have a procedure or appointment, but I never have, as I'm in a study that isn't billed to my insurance.) So I go up to the first floor to register. At first she can't find my information. "I have to get some blood drawn," I tell her. Meanwhile, I think she could prettty much figure out I'd already had the blood drawn, since I had a bandage on my right arm where a vein would be.

Then I go back up the elevator (yes, the same ones I got stuck in for 20 mins a few weeks ago) and went up to floor #8 (yes, why I didn't take the stairs, would you?) and made an appointment to see my adorable Italian psychiatrist next week, and an appointment with a woman doing a study on hormones created by exercise. More on that next week...

Then I go down one last time, discover that I *can* pay with a credit card for my parking, and drive home to wash my hair and get ready for work. Ah, with the very important note from the Italian that says I can have two weeks off. Which is really good, b/c the amount of work I got done in the 4 hours I was in Tech Serv today would normally have taken 30 minutes. It's bad, folks, but it's gonna get better.

Okay, can I take a nap yet?

A quick update...

I have a note from my doctor for 2 weeks off! I have stories about blood tests--but now I have to get my rear in gear to get to work to fill out all the stupid paperwork. More later.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road." And the Chicken crossed the road...

and there was much rejoicing! From a Chicken Joke site...

So, I bet PJ wins in quantity and cuteness, but it's not a contest, so here are mine:

The Roosters. Probably both will go to Middle as gifts. (She never reads my blog anymore...) (Watch, today will be the first day in a blue moon!) (She better comment!)

Um, and I have better things to do than fight with Blogger. I'll post the rest over the course over the next couple of days.

Show and Tell for Blackbird. Chickens


Here's a classic sign of depression. There is an adorable woman that works at my library. She loves everyone and knows everyone by name, even all the shelvers. She is a grandmother to two lovely grandchildren and is just...sweeter than sugar, if that is possible. We'll call her Minnie. She's the kind of person who asks you how you are and *means* it. Today, as my shift ended, hers was just starting. She sat down in the other chair at the Children's Reference desk and asked me all her "How are you" sweet questions. Which usually, I love to answer. I love talking to Minnie, because she's just so kind, and she really listens, and she never pries. But today, I was evasive. I gave her one line answers and when she gave me the "you don't have to tell me" option, (she always politely offers this) I took it. I sighed, and walked away from a woman who loves me. On the phone, this evening with Marian the Librarian, she asked me how I was and I wailed, "I didn't want to talk to Minnie!" And Marian understood. It's a classic sign. By the way, Marian is over her depression just in time for me to have mine. As I said to her the other day on the phone, "We've flipped." And she said, "We've got to stop doing this!" Amen to that one, sister. Amen.

Good things:
  • I finally picked up my sandals and they look just like new! And it only cost $5!
  • I finished Sex and the City, Season 4, Volume 4. (I think that means I finished the season. Big is moving out to Napa.)
  • I won at least two games of Free Cell.
  • I got a card in the mail from Alyssa--it made me smile. Thanks, toots!
  • I had gazpacho from Whole Foods for dinner. Yum. (Translation: cold soup on a hot day, YES!)

I guess I'd better start on arranging my fowl for tomorrow's show. So grateful that I have these spurts of witticism in between the catatonic face that just wants this to all be over with (the depression!) Go hug someone for me. Come back tomorrow, I'll have feathers...

And in other tragic news, FOX has decided to show the Simpsons at 6:30 and 7:30 this fall. Keeping Frasier and Seinfeld, DROPPING Friends. It's too horrible to contemplate. I may have to break down and get basic cable just so I can have TBS. (Don't get me wrong, I love the Simpsons. But I need my Friends!!)

Self awareness sometimes sucks!

So. I'm depressed. Scroll down a coupla days if you want a taste.

And for the first time, I see that taking two weeks off (one pay period, essentially) would be beneficial--I mean, my favorite sandals have been ready for pickup since Saturday and I have forgotten to pick them up??? I screwed up and thought I had a doctor's appt today--no, it's next week. I am angry. I am irritable.

And I'm so scared that the fact that I can recognize how therapeutic two weeks off would be means that I shouldn't take the time off, that they won't let me.

Just got a well meaning email, "If you take time off, make sure you use the time off for the Kingdom..." (basically, don't wallow.)

If she had called me on the phone and said that, I am at the point where I might have hung up right then. Hello? I'm the one that's had a bipolar diagnosis for eight years, I think I know what I need to do.

What I don't need is people telling me what to do. I need hugs and lunch and people saying "There there, it will be better, by and by."

I get suicidal for like twenty minutes. And then I wake up and move on. Depression comes and GOES. It always does. But in the dark moments, I don't want to be sitting on the floor alone.

Apparently, most people do. Well, I'm not most people.

Things I take comfort in:

  • breakfast with Emily (who is in town and since I screwed up the doctor's appt, I took the time to go to Ritters)
  • The NLA tshirt that came in the mail (thanks to a little birdy...)
  • I went to Whole Foods last night and stocked up. It is so good to have food in the fridge!

So far I know of two people that have had deaths in the family--it sucks. Even if it was "their time," it still sucks. And I never know what to say. But I always say something, because I know that I would want someone to stumble over their words if it was my mother in law or cousin, or whomever. We don't need perfect words, those of us that are hurting. We just need words.

Hugs are generally welcome too.

Oh, and don't worry: I'm taking all my drugs and I see my adorable Italian psychiatrist tomorrow. I'll keep yins posted.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Well, have you met me? (thanks Mary Poppins!)

You Are Most Like Carrie!

You're quirky, flirty, and every guy's perfect first date.
But can the guy in question live up to your romantic ideal?
It's tough for you to find the right match - you're more than a little picky.
Never fear... You've got a great group of friends and a
great closet of clothes, no matter what!

Romantic prediction: You'll fall for someone this year...

Totally different from any guy you've dated.

patience is a virtue...

And yins are being so nice. I PROMISE this week you'll get some stuffies pictures. I'm just not ready to wrangle with Blogger and posting pix this morning.

I wasn't even going to post, but then I went over to LC and read about her winning horse and her books only blog. Ah, books.

Books you must read:

Wind in the Willows. I finally read it at the ripe age of 23. My mom started reading it when I was six, but then she had to go on bed rest in a German hospital. (We were living in Bonn, at the time the German capital. Now it's Berlin.) So we had a Swedish au pair come take care of me, Anna Karin (her major was home ec and to finish it up, she had to spend some time with a family, cooking and taking care of general things, including children.) She read me Pippi Longstocking. I was talking about her yesterday because the first time I went on a water slide was in Sweden, when we went to visit Anna Karin. We went to a glass factory in the morning and a water park with slides in the afternoon. In my mind, the water park was at the glass factory, but in retrospect, I doubt it.

Oh, Kelly and I had a BLAST yesterday at Sandcastle. We had $15 tix that I snagged at the local Big Brothers Big Sisters. Here's today's challenge: the receptionist said I looked like an actress. She was in a movie with Whoopi Goldberg where both were lesbians and the chick I look like had AIDS. I did a cursory Google and IMDB search, but I promised Debbie I'd call her back when I figured out who I look like. She said I even smile like her and that the chick (my word) had won an Emmy recently.

Generally, I go for the cheap-o after 3pm tickets ($16.95) but since our tickets could be used anytime, we went to Pizzeria Uno's for lunch (my favorite restaurant). I know one of the managers at this particular one, he's the son of a friend and also went to the same college as Terzo (but Terzo was a senior and Mike was a frosh, so they never met.) I like Mike. He's a sweetie. He even gave us tips on the menu.

Sandcastle is a very compact park. I love that. When you ride the Lazy River, all the other rides are overhead and at certain spots you can rubberneck the body slide, a very daring ride. I can't remember the name. I remember I don't like that ride. There are two levels. One is a "3" and the other is a "4" (levels of intensity). Um, no. They are both a "5" in my book. Last year, Emily coaxed me to do the top level and I could have killed her when I reached the bottom. She just laughed. She's a daredevil, that Em. Luckily, Kelly agreed with me that the best rides were the tube rides.

Being a compact park, there really are only 5 adult rides, not including the wave pool and the Lazy River. I'd never done any ride more than once, but we did the Cliffhanger at least 3 times, and probably actually 5 times. We did the Blue Tubalooba twice: once in a double tube, once in single tubes. We agreed we liked it better in single tubes. I am a screamer. We also did the Tube Tower and the Thunder Run (I'm not double checking the names for this) twice and couldn't really tell the difference between them. We did the Lazy River once in single tubes, then I went and dozed in the chairs by the river while Dolphin Girl (oops, I mean Kelli) went for a spin in the Wave Pool. Just as I was waking up from my doze, she was walking over to me. We did some more rides and then did the Lazy River in a double tube (easier to carry on a conversation) and went around twice. It was at that time 10 til 7 (the park closed at 7) so we did one more run down Thunder Run and then went to get our stuff from the lockers. We were so proud that we didn't spend any money at the park, drinking water only from the water fountain!

I have not been that relaxed and satisfied at the end of a day for a VERY long time. It was wonderful. And longtime readers may remember that Kelly and I sometimes clash on the whole Catholic/Protestant thing (I met her when I was Catholic for a year and she got upset when I returned to my Protestant roots) and that did not come up at all yesterday. It was just girl talk about bathing suits and tatoos and piercings (other people's) and of course, relationships.

We went back to Uno's for dinner, where Kelly ordered dessert and I ordered an appetizer. We sat outside, facing the river and had the same waiter we'd had for lunch. Then we drove through Squirrel Hill and back to Highland Park. She was kind when she came up to my apartment to use the loo--she said, "at least it looks lived in." (She is a very neat person, and well, have you met me?)

She is also into cows and so at the beginning of the day, I gave her a tiny Chick-fil-a cow, leftover from when the Cow visited our library. She loved it. Um, she has a cow purse. But hey, it's really cute. And she has a beau that encourages it, so why not?

She left and I attempted to find where we were meeting for prayer (Tara's house, but I forgot the house number and I don't have her cell number) then thought to go to the North Hills to pick up a prescription and decided I just wanted to go home. So I called Mom and returned Sally's call--she wanted a babysitter for Wednesday morning or Friday evening. I could only offer her Saturday night, so she'll get back to me. We barter--she helps me with my finances or my apartment, and I watch her three lovlies so she and the H can go out. Her oldest is 12, middle is 10 and youngest is 6, so it's a pretty easy gig. No diapers, natch!

I may have poison ivy. I've never had it, so I'm not sure. It's a patch on my chest, so the only thing I can think is when I played Bocci ball on Sunday, it got on one of the balls and I touched my chest. It's not incredibly itchy, but I'll catch myself itching it and then I go wash my hands...

Well, it's long past breakfast and I've not done a single thing on today's list:

  • prepare for Saturday's Homegrown Arts--I'm the artiste in residence...
  • call for car inspection appointment (it expires today--shh, don't tell!)
  • pick up Rx (when I go to work)
  • buy more handsoap (ditto--I adore Tar-get)
  • get card for Blackbird to Babelbabe (it's of a scooter...)
  • get more contact solution
  • not on the list: pick up my sandals from the shoe repair folks.
  • etc.

I think I have laundry that needs to be flipped to the dryer too. I want my mommy!! Oh, and I betcha there are some bills that need paid...

Can't I just take another nap?