Sunday, December 30, 2007

I didn't think I needed to talk about it...

Hands up, now. Who teared up from a phone commercial lately? Or Hallmark? No? I mean, all the phone commercials these days, well, just aren't Kleenex-worthy.

Well, folks, I have just seen the first commercial of the new year (yes, I know it's still 2007), one that might have Daddy's little girl tearing up from coast to coast.

A girl and her dad are walking to the car. "Drop me off about a block away from the theatre" (and you're thinking, embarrassed it's your dad dropping you off?) and then she says, "People on that side of town ride bikes and drive hybrids" (As they get into an SUV). He says, "This is a hybrid."
She: "A hybrid hybrid?"
He: "Well, I don't know what you mean, by a hybrid hybrid, but this is a hybrid."

Here's the tearjerker, the "I want my mommy/daddy" moment: "Why didn't you talk about it?"

He: "I didn't know I had to."

Let that sink in. Really sink in.
You've been on one side of that conversation in your life--why didn't you tell me? I thought it was obvious! I didn't know I should tell you.

And this is where the rubber meets the road. I am 36. I am pretty much a well adjusted person and I don't blame my parents, per se. But if they wanted to instill me with their values, I think they thought I'd get it by osmosis or gene transfer.

The only thing my parents ever talked to me about was marrying someone Christian.

When I got my first credit card in college, they didn't tell me, make sure you don't spend more than you can pay in one month. Okay, maybe they told me once. But clearly it didn't sink in.

When I got kissed in high school, I had no "talks" in my brain about what is/what isn't appropriate.

Hello, out there. I don't have children. But if you do, use those moments, teachable moments.

Yes, we, this is a hybrid, that's important to us.

Yes, saving is something you should do, even with your babysitting money (I'm 36 and this is the first time in my working life that I have a savings/emergency account.)

When my parents didn't talk to me about dating, I thought (yes, I did) that they figured I wasn't going to get any dates, so they didn't need to give me any information.

A lot of my values are from Seventeen magazine, Writer's Digest magazine, because that's where I got information as a teen.

The talks I had with my parents (who bless them, were raising toddlers and a thirteen year old) were the "we're disappointed in you." If I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't get a talk. Grounded? (Nope, not even after I did stupid stuff that they found out about.) Um, I did plenty that was stupid and therefore worthy of grounding. I was never grounded as a teen, therefore, I have been grounded by me myself and I in my twenties and thirties.

I know this is rough, I know I could write this better, but I probably won't, because it would get too close to the little girl in me that has to admit that I'm 36 and I'm my own parent now.

PLEASE talk to your kids.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

there must be something more...

than winning three games of free cell...

I had a very productive day at work, so I think I'm truly slumming. And no work until Wednesday (or plans except church and MAYBE a party on NYE with NH Sally and hopefully watching the Pens game).

Oh, I have got to get a life.

Or maybe work on the one right here. I suppose I could fold some laundry...

See, writing is a good motivator!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I haven't watched the gag reel yet...

As you may have read earlier this week, Sis hit it big when she gave me "The Family Stone" for Christmas. We saw it as a family last year--movies at, on, or near holidays are big in the Louise family. And as it was on my list, she got it.

And so I have been blubbering away for the past last bit of it... (THAT'S NOT A SPOILER!)


Tomorrow I have to get out of the house by 8:30 am the latest, so this is tomorrow morning's post.

I am looking forward to the gag reel. I need a laugh.

Life is good. Friends are better. Love is the best. As the movie ended, I could only hear Amy Grant singing (in my mind, folks, in my mind. Amy Grant is NOT, I repeat, NOT, a part of the soundtrack of "The Family Stone")

"That's what love if for
Nothing else can do it.

Round off the edges
Talk us down from the ledges
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that's what love is for
That's what love is for."


ah, don't you wish you knew what got deleted right here???
i'll never tell...


Time to make some popcorn for the gag reel. Thanks for reading and commenting, my dear ones.

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

I never realized that my dad and I both have the same morning habits: up early, downstairs in the kitchen before breakfast, reading. (In our pjs and robes. That was the part that hit me on the head. My mother never comes downstairs unless she's fully dressed.) It used to of course just be the paper, but of course now it's the computer, which whomever gets there first, the other one vies for.

He also has paper issues. As in, not going through and getting rid of paper. Ding!

It was such a comfort to have him drive me to Hagerstown--he was ready (I did have to prime the pump though...) with a "I've been there" story, a girl he'd dated that right before the six months broke it off (and my father is a romantic, I'm sure he was keeping track of the six month mark). And four months later she got married. Oh, I've been THERE. (Mr. Ten Years Ago was engaged within six months of our demise.)

I feel better, but I still have this stupid cold--the mucous, well, I'll leave it there so as not to go all TMI on you. I can't pretend it's because I haven't dusted in FOREVER.

Resolution, once this cold is gone: take a walk every day.

Resolution, once this cold has been gone a few days: to dust.

Yesterday, I did park once. Meaning, I parked in the middle of the parking lot, went into Kmart, then walked to the chiropractor, at a brisk pace, then back to Kmart, then back to the car. I didn't break any mile marker records, but hey, it was a little bit of exercise...

I doubt that will happen today. Today I'll pretty much go to work and then come home and be a couch potato whilst continuing to do laundry and unpack. I honestly can't believe I'm going to publish this--it is so not thrilling...

But it's better than what I wrote when I first sat down, which was full of the reasons we're not together. (I'm sure that would be more thrilling, sorry SP, but it got way too personal, even for me.)

It's really nice to not have him here. I mean, we live in the same house, but we're loud enough that we didn't run into each other, but I heard him. In from work, slam! Leaving for work, slam! (And then I'd watch him out the front window, walking to his car.) Just knowing he's NOT downstairs, just not hearing the slam!s, well, it helps. His mail started back yesterday, so I don't know when to expect him...but he's not here now, and he wasn't here last night.

And I continue to listen to High Fidelity in the car. And I've been re-reading A long way down. One of these days I really am going to write to Nick Hornby. Because honestly, I don't think I would have survived this summer without listening to A long way down in the car. And I don't know who better to get me through this "Oughngh!" stage than Mr. H. It helps to know that he's married and has a kid, so he survived this, made it through to the other side.

It's actually sort of a joke between me and myself--because on my Facebook page, I've added "Books" and the books I'm reading are "Slam!" and "A long way down" by Nick Hornby. And books to read: "Fever Pitch" by guess who. Finished reading: "High Fidelity" by, yes, Nick, the Nickster. Well, I take a bit of a turn with Favorites, I put "Blue like Jazz" and "Traveling Mercies." But it occurs to me that I really identify with the 30-something male characters. More than any of the chick lit I've read. Maybe because they all had swank jobs in publishing and I sort of hated them for that. Maybe because they lived in New York and I sort of hated them for that (because I always wanted to live in New York and work in publishing.) But they were never grungy enough for me. It makes me wonder what my novel will be like, once I get around to writing it. Because grunge, grit, heck, I live in the grunge capital. Seattle may claim it, but it's really too shiny. Pittsburgh just pretends to be shiny.

Okay, I better eat something and take some cold medicine. It is FREEZING sitting at the computer in front of these windows.

I ordered the complete fourth season of SATC. Oh, I am looking forward to watching them all, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda.

Brrr...okay, I'm moving!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

funny, not so ha ha

So my chiropractor says, "have a few days off from the library?" Um, would I be back in Pittsburgh if I did?

I went to Kmart to buy underwear and cold medicine. So how did I also accrue expenses (and loot) on such items as bobby pins, hair elastics, a "scrapbook style" calendar, and a grey long sleeve shirt?

I'm alone in the house for I don't know how many days. I'll enjoy it while I can, doing laundry galore (yes, the new underwear and some towels before work) and leaving all the lights on, and my apartment unlocked. I didn't need Eva to leave (Ms. Second Floor) when she did--it sort of catatstrophied (if that's a word) the Max loss. We weren't "mates" in the significant sense, but sometimes she'd give me leftovers if she made chicken and I bought stuff from her daughter's school fundraisers.

My computer clock STILL is so messed up--right now it thinks it's 7:57 AM, and I can see plainly that it is five til noon. Why I didn't ask Santa for a Home Edition of XP (still available for upgrade, though not if you buy a new computer--that's so you don't send me comments) is beyond me. I guess I'm dressed for the day in what I wore to the chiropractor, jeans that are showing their age, and three shirts layered (pink, green, white).

I'm always hopeful when the phone rings and inevitably it's a telemarketer (the joys of caller ID).
Nick Hornby is still getting me through the heart shock. And I'm getting the idea from a lot of folks that six months is sort of a watershed. It either works or doesn't in that time frame. Besides, did I really think I was going to spend the rest of my tomorrows with a musician who makes less than I do a year (and I make nothing) and who isn't available to go to church even if he wanted to because he's working? I'm on the dark side of thirty (that is, I'm closer to 40 than 30) and he hasn't even hit 30 yet. Oh, but it would have been nice. He could make me laugh. And he didn't take my shit. He knew when I was lying. I never dated anyone before who took the time to see through me like that. I better stop writing this drivel, and go spend some time looking at this "scrapbook calendar" I got.

Oh, and Bhutto got killed. Crap. I always liked her, the little I knew of her.

It's gray here in Pittsburgh. Funny, I like Pittsburgh gray (which is what it's called). It fits my mood. I have 30 minutes before I have to leave for work (if I ate at home. But since there's no food in the larder, I have 15 minutes. I guess I'll drive thru somewhere on the way...)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

gifts always lift one's spirit...

So we got lots of goodies, here at the Louise homestead.

Mamma is going to Mexico in February with Pappa to look at Monarchs (butterflies) so they both got "travel"or "Mexico" themed gifts. My mom got a cool book on butterflies.

Sis got socks. And more socks. And yes, more socks.

Bro got lots of boxers and books (things that begin with b).

I got a wide range: earrings (amber!!), books, Friends Season 6, The Family Stone on DVD, chocolate (of course) and yes, Santa knew what toothpaste I use.

Books that I got: High Fidelity and Long Way Down (to complete my Nick Hornby fiction collection.) Good job bro!

I'm feeling better (the cold medicine has kicked in, plus I'm taking tons of naps) in the physical realm and a little better in the achy breaky heart comes and goes. (What did Delaware? Idaho, Alaska. She wore her New Jersey.) I'm telling you, KEEP SENDING JOKES. (Thanks Kiki.)

We went to see the National Tree and all the state trees. The Pennsylvania tree was decorated by kids at the Children's Museum in Pgh, so it wasn't very "state" oriented but it was fun.

Since I missed bro's birthday and will miss Sis's birthday, those days were celebrated last night (Bro) and tonight (Sis). I was very excited to get Bro the DVD of Ramones It's Alive. I made Sis a folder over Thanksgiving and so that was her birthday gift. I used to make tons of folders and got out of it, but when Max was feeling not so well the first time and just wanted to be alone, I made him a folder. When he was in the hospital for the tonsillectomy, I made him another one. So I was in practice and decided to make Sis one. I think I'll make one for Mamma that has monarachs etc.

Well, we've been talking to cousins all through the day, which is nice too. Just got a chance to talk to my only male cousin, whom I wanted to marry when I was five and he was thirteen. Since then, I've learned about inbreeding, and he met a nice girl in Arkansas and has three girls, so I guess my chance is gone.

Well, gotta go. Maybe I'll just take another nap. I have been sleeping A LOT. This cold isn't so fierce but I'm just trying to sleep it out as much as possible. Oh, and Aunt Flo came to visit this morning. "Merry Christmas!!"

oh by the way

Merry Christmas.

missing him

I need to go watch Friends--you know, where Monica and Tom Selleck break up. I promise I'll do this when I get back to da Burgh.

But if you want a laugh, (you won't get one here), go over to Caro's blog. (Why a dog is better than your Significant Other.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

until I learn how to use

this blog is a placeholder for cool stuff.

(and I just lost this post, but here's a cool link from Jessamyn, about saving $$ on printer ink.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pizza heals all...

Marian (the librarian) and I went to a NoHills pizza joint after work and talked loudly (as the Stillers played in the background). I didn't know I could eat half a medium pepperoni, but I did. She ate the other half. Good friends are worth their weight in gold.

So I'm feeling a little better than I was this morning. Well, actually, a lot better. (Oh, internets, I was a [sob, sob] mess.)

And my therapist cracks me up--she bleeds black and gold like most Pittsburghers and so on game day, (today) (I had an emergency session) she is always wearing team colors, as she was today. Her necklace is black and gold. Not black bead, gold bead but black beads (like 10 in a row) and then gold beads (like 10 in a row.) The only place you could get away with this unusual beading style is in this here town where I live.

Oh, and I got a book in the mail! It's a reader's advance, woo hoo! Oh, and Slam, Nick Hornby's YA novel, is waiting for me at work. (I forgot to check it out, so it's still on my desk.) But I actually want to save it for my mini-holiday down South.

I think it's off to bed. My computer thinks it's 8:38 pm. I know that it is really 5 til eleven. Tomorrow is a full day (I gotta pack!!)

Hugs to yins, SL

(You might have noticed that I didn't mention the C word in this post at all--I am in denial that there is a gift giving, family traveling holiday coming VERA VERA SOON.)

happy birthday bro!

my bro turns a quarter century today. Woo hoo!

"I didn't [sob, sob] call [sob, sob] you!," I say.

One of my favorite lines from Girl's Poker Night. Ruby has had a really bad week and when she went to see her therapist, she sits there the whole time, sobbing on and off or just being silent. So her therapist calls her at home.

"This is Ella Gallagher calling," she says. As opposed to writing? Of course she's calling! You don't need to tell me you're calling!

"Um, yes, hi, Ella," I say.
"You're still upset," she says.
"I'm not still upset..." [which turns into more sobbing.]
"You know I don't like phone sessions," she says.
"I didn't [sob, sob] call [sob, sob] you!," I say.

So tomorrow is another doctor day. Chiro at 8:45, therapy at 11, and dentist at 3:45. I'm getting a crown put on. YAY!


This post was originally written and posted on June 3, 2007. Even if my therapist does have space for me, I don't know if I'd have time, since I'm still sitting here in my bathrobe. (I just did the math...if I got in the shower now and got to work by 10 I could do it. I'd have to relegate errands to tomorrow.)

No, I have not started packing for my Christmas trip home. The scab on my broken heart got pulled off (yes, by me--kicking self, but also giving myself a little grace--so human am I) last night.

But the very cool gift for my brother arrived the other day, so I will rest in that. Because I have to find rest somewhere.

from Daysgoby...

You Are Rudolph

Sweet and shy, you tend to be happiest when you're making someone else happy.

Why You're Naughty: You sometimes stick that nose where it doesn't belong

Why You're Nice: Christmas would be a sad affair without you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Accept the fluster of lost keys...*

I woke up this morning with these words (the title) going through my head. As I think about how to be kind and honest and still be me (transparently me) on this blog, I am at a loss.


Not that I was necessarily being unkind, but I wasn't being exactly kind by writing about someone else currently (sort of) in my life without his permission (and possibly with out his knowledge), writing on the Internet, which is open to all.

I just finished reading a book called "I found it on the Internet," which is about teens and their uses of the Internet, etc. I cannot imagine having a blog with my real name where I wrote about my feelings--I'm waiting to be a grown-up, I guess. A blog with my real name would have to be about being a librarian, or the mechanics of being a writer. But not about ex-boyfriends and about being still single at the Christmas of my 36th year.

"Children's work is play. Teenager's work is socialization." I think about how guilty I feel about checking Facebook at work, how, when I started this blog, I vowed that I wouldn't write in it during work hours. The problem, I think is (at least) dual: I am lonely. I am bored. These things don't go away when I'm at work. So while I am generally always having work to do when I'm in the Technical Services dept, when I'm done with a task, I "treat" myself and check my email, Facebook. In Children's, it is more pervasive (is that the right word?)--when I'm at the desk, I generally don't take "work" with me. This means the Internet is right there, calling my name. "Come play!" Instead of reading blogs that might be pertinent to my job (there are a lot, librarians blog a lot), I use the time to catch up with my friends.

A Zits comic strip really brought it home. The mom comes over to Jeremy and says (something like) "Your father and I are worried that you aren't spending any time with your friends. Is there something wrong?" She talks for all four frames, meanwhile Jeremy is sitting at the computer. Each frame has a little factoid that announces something about Jeremy's online life. Frame 1: (and this is from memory, the book is at work) 187 IM friends. Frame 2: 31 blogs. Frame 3: 325 unread emails. Frame 4: Jeremy says, "Not enough time."

Truer words were never spoken. The online world is always there. In the words of country singer, Alan Jackson, "It's five o'clock somewhere." So someone is ALWAYS "online." And I have friends in Thailand and the Czech Republic, so they're online at different times because they're in a different time zone.

I have had time to send how many emails, post how many blog posts, check my Facebook profile, etc. etc. But I have not MADE time to write a letter to a friend who has written me three letters (on stationery) in the past couple of months. Part of it is that ohmigosh, it is 9:15 and it is soooo easy to lose time on the Internet!

(But I showered first. I do have to eat breakfast, though.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Do not adjust your dials...

Yes, I have done yet another purge--my conscience got to me again. I'm not saying I won't write more posts like I did in the past week (and then pull them) but for now, I feel that I need to be careful, as my blog is not airtight and fully anonymous.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Games people play: an interview with Free Cell player, Sarah Louise

Sarah Louise: Yahoo! Free Cell is one of my favorite games.

Pink Sneakers n'at: Why is that, Sarah Louise?

SL: Well, I'll tell you. I run the game. The computer deals the cards, and I have to go by the rules the computer has determined. The computer won't let me cheat. But other than that, I can replay a game as many times as it takes to win. Sort of like Run Lola Run. Hmmm, there's a movie to put on hold at the library...

PS: Run Lola Run? Isn't that a German film?

SL: It is. I love watching foreign films, especially if I sort of know the language, so that I don't have to completely rely on subtitles. The actress in RLR is the romantic interest in the first Jason Bourne movie. Another movie to put on hold...

PS: Let's talk about games...

SL: Sorry, my mind wandered a bit there. So, yes, why I love Free Cell. I can move the red eight to the black nine and then move it to the other black nine. Since I play for me, for the win, I don't care how many times I move the cards around. Some computer clock keeps time, and maybe counts my moves. But I don't care. I just keep moving the cards around until they make sense. I once watched my brother play Free Cell, and he was paralyzed by making the right next move. When I play Free Cell, there is no right next move, just a next move. If I can't make a next move, I hit replay or new game. Sometimes I will play a game eight times before I win. Sometimes I will play a game three times before I give up.

PS: Have you ever had a problem with stopping?

SL: I think I know what your question is. When I was in grad school, I literally was addicted to Free Cell. It was the first thing I did when I got home, the last thing before I went to bed. I actually deleted the games application from my computer. I had a similar experience with Bookworm, which I downloaded to my computer. But now I see Free Cell as a diversion. It took me a while to figure out that the Yahoo! version was the one I liked most. I've tried others and Yahoo! is the best fit for my online game needs.

PS: do you ever think about crossword puzzles?

SL: You ask questions in the most bizarre fashion, as if you could read my thoughts. Yes. I think about crossword puzzles. I miss doing them. Very much. But I'm not in a place right now where I want to pay for a daily newspaper subscription. And I can't imagine doing crosswords online. I suppose if someone wanted to give me something for Christmas (hmm, my brother in Austin still hasn't gotten a list from me) they could get me a Mondays book.

PS: A Monday's book?

SL: Crossword puzzles are harder as you get later into the week. So Mondays are easiest. Sundays are hardest. A real crossword afficionado can do the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle in pen. I'm still at the pencil on Mondays stage in the Washington Post. Can I go off topic for a minute?

PS: It's your post, baby.

SL: You know what I really want for Christmas? I want to find the purple watch Sally gave me and have the battery fixed. It's a little luxury that I wouldn't do for myself if I had someone else that was around. But how do you put something like that on a list, when my parents want to give me things like chicks for women in Indonesia (which I love getting every year). My mom bought me something pink yesterday. I hope it's new slippers.

You know what else I want for Christmas? There are a few relationships that I would like back, but to get them back, there would be a lot of work. I would like them back, without the work.
Some of them are relationships that fell away without my noticing, really. I have no idea even how to work towards getting them back. Some of them are relationships that ended with horrible emails. I don't want to write emails to repave the road back to relationship. Some of them are relationships that ended with an awkward hug, when all the other hugs had always been wonderful.

PS: Are relationships like games, do you think?

SL: Well, they do have rules, and they are fun, but the winning part is different--a relationship "win" isn't a personal thing, it's communal. Are we done?

PS: Thank you for coming in, Sarah Louise. All the best.

SL: You're welcome. I'm going to sit here and watch Jerry Maguire, one of my favorite movies about games.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Three more...

There is nothing more beautiful than a good sports movie. I laughed, I cried (well, they were laughter tears), it was better than Cats* (but don't tell my sister.)

Tonight I watched The Mighty Ducks, a movie I remember watching on video in college. It was an odd night--a girl I barely knew from the Christian fellowship on campus invited me to hang out with her. We got take-out? and went to the the video store, where she asked me had I seen MD and I said, no, and she said, "oh, you gotta see this!" I don't remember that we became best buds or that we even hung out after that night. But I was in a funk, and the Ducks got me out of it. It was actually my introduction to hockey, a sport I now love. I would put The Mighty Ducks in the category of movies that can cheer me up, no matter what:

The Mighty Ducks
Adventures in Babysitting (Which I can't believe I don't own.)
The Full Monty

So here are three beautiful things for today:

  1. A beer with the Mighty Ducks--quack quack quack
  2. Snow--I'm crazy, and I don't enjoy driving in it anymore than the next guy, but it is beautiful.
  3. My sister is back online!! (She's been down with a nasty flu for the past week.)
Oh, and bonus, I drove past the toe dazzling house on Siebert (yes, on purpose, I probably will drive past it every day I work until Christmas comes.)

[We pause for Sarah Louise to compose herself. We pause for station identification. We pause...and the moment passes...and life goes on.]

*from the Memphis Flyer: "Throughout the 1980s it was common to review any lame-leaning event with the deadpan comment 'I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats.'"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Three things

You know there's a whole movement of blogs (too lazy to find the link but I bet it's easily googled) that just list three beautiful things from the day. You know me, I'm much too verbose to keep it there, but I'm still getting my mojo back, so today, that's my post.

Three beautiful things:

1. Speaking a bit of French and more, listening to it spoken to me at Cafe Chez Amis for lunch.
2. Christmas lights--there is one huge house on Siebert that dazzles me to my toes.
3. Jacob Have I loved on audio--I'm on the very last bit, where she's a nurse midwife in the Appalacian Mountains (oops, spoiler alert!)

More to come, I promise.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

grateful that this month is not napoblomo...

I'm all blogged out. I'm having fun writing status updates on Facebook, tho.

I'll write sompin good for yins soon. I promise. Really. But right now I just need to hibernate...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Well, here are some "badges" for National Crazy Month...

So here are my thoughts: the beach one, b/c in a few months who will really care, so the surf can erase it away. The sidewalk is the exact opposite--for posterity, I DID IT! The others are just fun, and I think my favorite is the pink one. C'mon, tell me you didn't see that coming...Vote if you like, I am interested to hear your thoughts (since this is unofficially read and comment on other people's blogs month). Although the pink one probably will be the one I use, unless I can rotate them... oh, and they are all from

poetry for a Sunday morning...

I have been roaming the Internet instead of walking in Highland Park. I have been blog-walking. Which is often easier, often harder.

I don't know which is which.

It is December, and while I love this month, I love this time of year, it is also a time of busy busy busy. Someone has to work at the stores so that other people can shop at 7 am. Someone has to play the music so that other people can sit and listen. Someone has to catalogue the books so that other people can find them on the shelf.

Okay, so that last one isn't a December lament, but I wanted three. And it makes it personal. Well, the whole bit is personal. Anyways. (Actually, it is a December lament, since it's my lament in the month of...nevermind.)

Poetry is often how my soul gets soothed. So I bring you some poetry.

This one asks a big question that I'm not prepared to answer: Variations on the word love by Margaret Atwood. (I love MA's poetry.)

This one, by Naomi Shehab Nye, brings it home, and makes it bigger than you and me. Which I need it to be. Because two people aren't enough. (WHERE IS MY COPY OF ABOUT A BOY??): Before you know what kindness really is. (linked from bobbie)

It's raining. I think I'll walk to Tazza and get my breakfast sandwich. I meant to take a longer walk, a walk all around the park, but this will have to do.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I will upload some "I did napoblomo 2007" badges that I made at LATER. Now I gotta get ready for work.


Friday, November 30, 2007

We've only just begun...

BUT IT IS THE END!!! Goodbye NaPoBloPo.

If I thought October was bad, November had fangs. I will be glad to start a new month tomorrow and sometime this weekend call an old friend (she's a long time friend who IS older than me) whose birthday is Sunday.

Tonight Marian (the Librarian) and I went to see Max play (oh, and some teenagers sang Christmas carols to his playing) and then to the mall, because it has a food court and our dinner pre-concert had been half a breakfast sandwich each. (It was all we had time for pre-concert.)


I am so so tired. Nay, exhausted.


Oh, the latest on the car--the key doesn't like to come out of the ignition. The lady at the auto parts shop said for a car my age, a new ignition costs $15. Okay, I'll add that to the list I'm making for the dealership. I'm looking for a bouncer type man to go with me when I read them the riot act and say, here, take my car for a while and FIX SOME THINGS!


NH Sally and I decided we're going to start a new greeting card line for cards like:

*You're dealing with this as well as a person without bipolar would
*Congratulations, honey, on your first period.

There should be at least three, but I'm too tired to come up with a third. Hey, that's what the comment box is for! For one last time in November, or if you're reading this on Saturday, for the first time in December, let's be interactive in the comment box!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A good friend knows how you like your coffee. A great friend will add booze. Happy Birthday!!

(This was my favorite card so far.)

My mom called while I was talking to my Dad. Now I really really have to get ready for the day, the quickest shower ever...more later.

I feel weird about posting, hey, it's my birthday!! (Which, if you know me, and how much into birthdays I am, is weird in and of itself.)

Max and I will celebrate tomorrow, as he is booked with work stuff today. And I'm cool with that, b/c he is BUSY and that's good. Also, his voice sounded MUCH better on the phone last night. That man makes me smile. What can I say?

My checks came, so I can pay my rent!! (It took them forever to come. And they cost a fortune. I need to go back to ordering them from the coupons that come in the Sunday paper.)

I have gottten lots of nice cards, and even one that talks!

This morning on facebook I saw the most bizarre ad: paint your grass (so that you have a greener lawn!) I think I would be embarrassed if my neighbors saw me do that, tho. Plus, c'mon! I'd rather spend however much they cost on something else.

Also, BOB-FM and Borders have both wished me a happy birthday. Mad Mex somehow has forgotten me...I'll need to make a phone call on that one (I get a free entree for the week around my birthday--and I know I didn't get the postcard this year...) (Unless the mailman stuck it in with the junk mail and it's in my recycling...) (But I'm not digging.)

So hey, I'm 36. Officially, it's at 4pm--someone in my family will correct me on the minutes...I was born during a Redskins game and the Redskins won. Against the Browns who are now officially the Ravens. Now there are new Browns in Cleveland. The hospital where I was born, Columbia Hospital for Women, no longer exists. It's almost poetic justice for this girl without a hometown.

Happy birthday to me...I can't believe my mother hasn't called yet.

(I am such a whiner!!)

Oh, and in our family, we sing three songs: Happy Birthday (written by the Hill sisters), Para Bens (which is

[pause as my father is the first family member to call.]

this post will be finished later...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Goobley gook...

I just wanted to say, the day got better. And even if tomorrow we have tornados and locusts and all that, it still is my birthday, my special day. Marian (the Librarian) and NH Sally are joining me for lunch at the Sesame Inn.

feeling sorry for myself and other futile activities the day before I turn 36

btw, I'm sick of a coupla things:

my car and its nuisances: the defroster is connected to the heater. (Not to mention the driver's door not opening, etc.)

being the strong one

facing financial facts (loved the conversation with my mom yesterday, as she bluntly asked, how did you get back into debt again? You want the short answer or the long one? The short one: I have a problem with money. I like to spend it. The long one: she didn't want to hear it, and it's a lot of rationalizing, really.)

realizing I'm pretty frivolous

crying my eyes out.

But apparently I'm doing really well at keeping up appearances b/c everyone tells me I'm doing really well. (Well, and I am handling things well. But can I have less things to handle please?)

I think the lady downstairs is GONE. Without even goodbye. We weren't friends per se, but she was THERE. and now she's not. Sort of (but not entirely) reminds me of the first bit in the book About a Boy, which I can't find right now. (The mom breaks up with the current bloke and the boy is like, "but we peed together once, and you'd think you'd sort of stay in touch after that.")

Goodbye Ms. Second Floor, to whom I gave safety pins, rolls of toilet paper, exchanged quarters and stuff when you ran out of change for laundry. I didn't plant the tulip bulbs I bought from your daughter for her school fundraiser, but my mom took them home. I think we could have become buddies if either of us had had more time. Or maybe not. But anyways, I wish you the best. And not that this is the point, at all, but I liked having a black woman neighbor. I live a pretty lily white life, spending most of my time in the North Hills.

I guess the thing I like about the Bible (while we're being random) is that so many of the Psalms are crying my eyes out or really mad at my enemies.* And I know it's not the point that Job got double back what he had before, but there's some bit of comfort in that too.

*(this one is both!)

Gifts that could prove embarrassing in mixed company:

  1. Any season of Sex and the City on DVD
  2. The 2008 SATC calendar (but I want it, I do!)
  3. you see where this is going...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. (Twyla Tharp)

I just added this painting to my art gallery on Facebook.

It is much easier to write a solemn book than a funny book. It's harder to make people laugh than to make them cry...

...People are always on the verge of tears. (Fran Lebowitz)

[Note: I am writing this part, so that makes it not a pre-written post. And the quote is new. Because I had a gazillion bad dreams last night and am very close to tears until I realized, ah! I'm awake and none of those bad things really happened!! Also, I changed the labels.]

I'll come back later and do linky stuff.

from Daysgoby from Major Bedhead

Total number of books owned: Who knows? If a bookcase holds around 40 books then I have maybe around 240.

Last book bought: Mary Poppins she wrote: the life of P.L. Travers.

Last book read: Am re-reading A long way down by Nick Hornby. I lurve this book.

Ten (Five times two) Books that Mean a Lot to You:

  1. Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle
  2. Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  3. Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt
  4. Eat Cake
  5. Good in Bed by Jen Weiner
  6. Girl's Poker Night
  7. A Bargain for Frances
  8. Julian, baby of the world
  9. The Bible
  10. Home girls: a black femenist anthology

(Jess at DGB added this one)

Five Books That You Just Don't Get:
  1. A prayer for Owen Meany: I have tried three times (at different ages of my life) to read this book. It just isn't for me.
  2. The Giving Tree. I have heard all the arguments that the tree is a Christ figure but I still don't like it.
  3. The Lord of the rings books. (I don't like the movies either.)
  4. Catherine called Birdy (UGH, the diary format was horrible!!)
  5. The Brothers Karamazov.
Five books you have read or re-read this year:
  1. A long way down by Nick Hornby
  2. It's called a breakup because it's broken
  3. Dairy Queen
  4. Off Season
  5. Walter the Farting Dog

If you haven't, and want to, I TAG YOU.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What have I done?????

I succumbed to peer pressure and joined Facebook. I'm in there under my real name, so you won't find me unless you know me. Somehow I didn't understand the "we'll be importing your yahoo! address book now" and so I have all kinds of friends that yes, I am "friends" with, but I might not have chosen seek them out. But it's cool.

and addicting.

very very addicting.

But on the one hand, it overwhelms me quick and I'm like oh, gotta get offline. Which forced me to go to Tazza for breakfast this morning--I walked.

Okay, time to get ready for the rest of the day. I may turn the computer OFF completely so that it doesn't call my sweet name. Cuz I'd like to putter around the garret today...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Who can it be now?*

I think it was Wednesday I found out about "phantom vibrations," which is when you feel your phone vibrating but it really isn't. Hmm, that must happen to only hard core folks, I thought.

Well, today, I felt one. My phone wasn't even IN my pocket. Fascinating.

*Men at Work, the only Australian artists to reach the Number 1 position in album and singles charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Being alive...

Someone to hold you too close,
Someone to hurt you too deep,
Someone to sit in your chair,
To ruin your sleep.

Someone to need you too much,
Someone to know you too well,
Someone to pull you up short
And put you through hell.

Someone you have to let in,
Someone whose feelings you spare,
Someone who, like it or not,
Will want you to share
A little, a lot.

Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through,
Who'll always be there,
As frightened as you
Of being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive.

Somebody, hold me too close,
Somebody, hurt me too deep,
Somebody, sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware
Of being alive,
Being alive.

Somebody, need me too much,
Somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive,
Make me alive.

Make me confused,
Mock me with praise,
Let me be used,
Vary my days.
But alone is alone, not alive.

Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I'll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!

(lyrics from the musical Company)

In high school I belonged to the Columbia tape club. You ordered stuff every month from their little booklet? (High school for me was a time of babysitting and lawn-mowing money. I had no car, so my money was disposable income burning a dainty hole in my pocket. I was the queen of earrings, and I belonged to a paperback book club and a music club. I went to the movies almost every weekend. Oh, if I could write a letter to my 16 year old self...)

Anyways. So one of the albums that I listened to ad naseum my senior year of high school was Barbara Streisand's Broadway Album. I haven't seen most of the musicals she sings from, but the songs became my soundtrack. The words, the music, became a part of my memory. This song has always reminded me of what a relationship is:

Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through,
Who'll always be there,
As frightened as you
Of being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive.

Mr. More than Ten Years Ago (different from Mr. Ten Years Ago) and I were very aware of how strangely matched we were. And so I coined a phrase: "Scared is sacred with two of the letter switched." We wouldn't be so scared if this wasn't something sacred.

One week from today marks six months to the day of my first date with Max. I had no idea that in those six months we would go through so much: two car accidents, one surgery, many colds, time together, time apart. The twinkly stage, where women at work said, "I thought so" when I told them I was dating someone. The not-so-twinkly stage(s), when it seemed all I could do was worry about his safety, his health, his well-being. The times in between fights, when I wondered, what is this I'm doing with my life?? And yet, when we said goodbye Wednesday morning, before I went off to work, we just beheld each other with our eyes. And it was good.

Some people figure out in six months that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. In my twenties, I dated two men who by or before the fourth date said I love you and by or before the fourth month we were planning "the rest of our lives." (One of those relationships only lasted three months.)

Those relationships seem like "playing house" to me now. And this one is "real." But the future? I have no idea. Which also seems more real. We don't know. Which is fine. You might think that as a woman who will be 36 on Wednesday that my biological clock would be ticking. Well, if it is, it's being kind to not pressure me. Because I won't be pressured.

Somebody, hold me too close,
Somebody, hurt me too deep,
Somebody, sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware
Of being alive,
Being alive.

I smile at the lyric "ruin my sleep." There have been so many times that Max has come home late and called me and I have feigned that I was awake, that he had NOT woken me up. Because I wanted so much to see him or just hear his voice on the telephone, so I let all the lights blaze in my apartment so that he wouldn't think I'd gone to bed when he pulled up in front of the house. (Because he lives on the FIRST floor.) (And I live on the THIRD floor.)

Yes. I am aware of being alive. The ups and the downs. The ins and the outs. Would I sacrifice the rest of my life for this man? I don't know. For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health? I don't have to think about that today, or tomorrow. I am grateful. In some ways, I think I have lived my life backwards--in my twenties I wanted so much to be married. I guess having lived that screech, that fingers on the blackboard of a relationship so wrong, why did we stay together those last six months, I am in no rush to make promises in this one. I just want to enjoy him sitting in my chair, most days.


And I feel the need to give this an aside: I have learned, in this relationship, that dating is NOT the be all end all. My married friends are quick to tell me that marriage is HARDER than dating. Having my family here (we had a wonderful Thanksgiving) I realize how rich my life is--and that it still would be, were he not in it.


But he IS in it, so I'll gladly greet him when he returns to da Burgh tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving in Krakow...n'at

One year, my parents and brother and sister took a train to Krakow on Thanksgiving. It was raining. They went to a restaurant. It cemented in their mind as a memory.

So much so, that when I was screaming, a little over a week before the holiday, you want me to get a reservation for a restaurant on Thanksgiving, and my mother said, oh, I'm sure it won't be a problem...I remembered that the day previous, my father had waxed eloquently about that day and I said, to my mother, your memory, your imagining of a restaurant Thanksgiving, is in Krakow.

Um, last time I checked, Polish folks don't celebrate the AMERICAN holiday called Thanksgiving.


I am going to bed at 9:45 pm. I am EXHAUSTED. I almost forgot to post!!

Today at work felt like Saturday. You mean tomorrow IS Saturday? And I have to go to work?

Oh, right, I'm the girl that got two summer vacations this year, one to Montana and one to the Poconos. I'll shut up right now.


oh, and go see Enchanted. It is MARVELOUS. But PG--so more a Princess Bride than, say, Aladdin.

Rememberings: a visit down Memory Lane, Thanksgiving 2007

(Official Thanksgiving soundtrack: The Macy*s Parade on NBC)

My life is one of many doors, many floors, and scores of places. I cannot claim that I spent summer at the same camp every summer. Or that I went to the same school six years in a row. Or that I spent Thanksgiving with the same people every year, at the same place, in the same country.

Actually, the only Thanksgivings I remember are the ones I've spent in this country. I'm sure we celebrated Thanksgiving the four years we lived in Honduras, or the two Thanksgivings we were in Germany, but I don't remember them.*

My birthday is near to Thanksgiving, and every once in a while, on Thanksgiving, so I remember driving home from Thanksgiving in 7th grade with crimson red mittens from someone.

In college, my parents were in Poland. I spent Thanksgiving with aunts and uncles. So I never did see high school friends over Christmas or Thanksgiving. What's funny about this is that while I am a big person for reunions and tradition, I generally end up being friends with people who aren't into reunions and such. When I recently met up with a high school friend on a visit to New England, she said, "Oh, I never got together with anyone over the holidays."

My freshman year of college, my cousin Mark died. So my aunt drove to Pittsburgh to pick me up and then we drove to New Jersey. Even though my dad and Mark had been like brothers when they were boys, I alone was the representative for our family. A similar but opposite event was at the end of my sophomore year of college when my cousin Kate got married, my mother's sister's daughter.

My memories of Thanksgiving are of 311 Washington, at my aunt's house. Or of sitting on the floor at my grandparent's, watching the Macy*s parade. Or of going to the movies with my other aunt and uncle. I now have one aunt (my mom's sister) and one uncle (my dad's brother-in-law.) My uncle recently remarried, so I guess I have a step-aunt? But no one lives in the same house anymore. We don't have anyone in Washington, NJ anymore. My uncle still lives in State College, PA, but not in the house that my cousins moved to in the late eighties.

I think (I guess I'll find out over turkey today) that my parents are selling the house I grew up in. Welll, when I say I grew up in that house, I mean it was the house I lived in for the all important preschool and high school years. (Well, include two years of junior high--or was it intermediate school?) They currently live in a lovely house in Northern Virginia, probably not the house they'll stay in once my mother retires. (My sister and I, traditionalists at heart, are in denial on this one.) But my dad LOVES Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania doesn't tax pensions...a girl can hope.

Let's see...other years? Well, for about three or so years my mom's side of the family gathered at a golf club for a buffet. It might have been in New Jersey, but was probably in Pennsylvania, in the Easton/Allentown-ish area. My grandmother would be there, with her health aide, a woman from Ghana. Often we would be joined by the former health aides of my great aunt Margaret, who died in 1995. All these women have become a part of our extended family. I don't think they've been to any family weddings, but they've been present at all the funerals: my aunt Margaret, my grandmother, my Uncle Klaus.

My most treasured part of this trip was the stop we would make at a canal near Easton, PA. We would walk along the canal. One year my mother and I made this trip--I honestly couldn't tell you where the rest of my family was--and on the way home I needed supper (I always need supper, even on Thanksgiving) and we stopped at a truck stop.

The years I lived in Pittsburgh and worked retail, my family would sometimes come to Pittsburgh and we'd have turkey in my tiny garret. (They came to me because I'd have to work on Black Friday.)

This year was a mystery. I had a snafu with my vacation days and this year has been a catch-up with my negative comp time. So I have Thanksgiving off, that's it. I have Christmas off, that's it. (Fortunately because the library is closed for Christmas eve, I can make it into a four day weekend.) I was thrilled when my parents said they'd be coming up.

[Did you notice the change in soundtrack? For the first time this morning, I muted the Macy*s parade--someone is doing a really bad version of "Give my Regards to Broadway" on the M&M float.]

And, yes, as a single person who lives in two small rooms in a third floor walk up, I was thrilled when I successfully made--wait for it--reservations. We are dining at the Sheraton Station Square. I'm hoping we have a river view--Station Square is up against the Monongahela River, or "the Mon" for short. My parents and sister are going to be staying at the Sheraton, which marks a new hotel experience for us all. (The tradition has been to stay at the Ramada which became a Doubletree a few years ago.)

Well, thanks for walking along side me down Mem'ry Ln. Happy Thanksgiving!!

*stay tuned tomorrow for my parent's memory of Thanksgiving in Krakow, Poland.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

another in a series... I got pulled over for speeding in a school zone. I did NOT get a ticket. I was however sobbing from the adrenoline rush by the time I reached NH Sally's house to pick up yesterday's lunch leftovers for my breakfast.

Let's talk about something else, shall we? Something not related to anything automotive...which, I am taking the next coupla days OFF of thinking about anything car related. I am not taking my car to shops for bids, I am not calling the warranty company to find out about getting my door fixed, I am not stewing over the fact that I'm missing some tail lights. All that can wait until MONDAY thankyouverymuch. I may have to work my regular job every day except for Thanksgiving and Sunday, but I see no need to get in a tizzy over the hunk of steel that gets me to and fro. And c'mon, no one will be around anyways.


Max's parents have been around as he has been recuperating. I swear, I feel like a fourteen year old as Max and I hold hands and converse quietly as his dad sits on the other side of the room, reading.


Oh, this is funny. (Which according to Deborah Tannen, is how women start all jokes.)

Five tips for a woman
  1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.
  2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.
  3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.
  4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

and the most important tip of all:

5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.


I think we are going to see Bella over the weekend (we being the Louise family minus my brother. The 'rents and Bird arrive sometime tomorrow before our 1pm buffet lunch at the Sheraton Station Square.)


Can you tell I'm totally not focused on the fact that tomorrow is Thanksgiving?

But I am thankful. For so many things. Let's just leave it at that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sarah Louise's not completely horrible day...

Gritting my teeth, things I am thankful for about today:

  • We had a hymn sing at Women's Bible Study. I love me some old tyme hymns...
  • On the way back to work from picking up my car (no the door is not fixed but this is a THANKFUL list) I went to the grocery store...
  • ....where I bought a box of Luigi's Real Italian Ice. YUM!
  • and I couldn't not buy the red and white Woman's Day, subtitled "Live Well every day" and with JOY written in a Christmas script green. Somehow I believe them when they claim that my life will be cheerier...
  • I seem to have the office to myself this evening. And my in-box is crammed with books--YAY!
  • did I mention the yummy Italian Ice?
  • In less than 48 hrs I get to see my Bird and my parents. (Bird is my sister.)
  • I mentioned the Italian ice? I have like one bite left...and 5 more cups in the freezer!
  • I get to sleep in my own bed tonight (we weren't sure if the car would be ready. Well, we're not talking about that, but I can drive it home.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

heard this on my radio while driving through the McDonald's drive thru

It's raining. And I feel jerked around by all the changes in plans, it seems like each day we have another version of "what's going to happen tomorrow." I don't deal well with that sort of thing...

So here's a Jo Dee Messina song. What she liked about these lyrics is that they could fit any situation. It's not about losing your dog, or your job, or that you have to be crawling into your car from the passenger side door, or that your boyfriend's plans change on a day by day basis depending on how well he feels. There is so much out of my control right now. I have a meltdown at least once a day, whether it be actual tears or a nap from emotional exhaustion.

But in a few days, we celebrate Thanksgiving. What am I thankful for? So many things. But right now, just bring on the rain.

Another day has almost come and gone
Can’t imagine what else could wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war (‘cause)

Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

It’s almost like the hard times circle ‘round
A couple drops and they all start coming down
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing - but I’m not dead

Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

I’m not gonna let it get me down
I’m not gonna cry
And I’m not gonna lose any sleep tonight

Off to get ready for tomorrow...

infomercials confessions...

Has anyone else seen the infomercial for the H20 Mop? I so want one...

but I'm afraid that everyone in my real life (Mom, NH Sally) (it's amazing how two people can occupy "everyone" in one's brain) will LAUGH and LAUGH.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I cannot live without books. (Thomas Jefferson)

Just finished Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr. Wowza. Very similar in edginess, healingness of My life as a girl by Elizabeth Mosier. Books like these make me think, yeah, I could write one of those. And I'd like to correct some reviews: even though Sara Z. grew up in the town that is portrayed in SOAG, she clearly says it is not autobiographical. (I'll link that up later.)

I took a nap this afternoon, which is why I'm up now. I suppose this could count for my Sunday post, and it might just.

For now, it's off to brush the teeth again (I got the munchies and had some pretzels and pistacios). Midnight munchies brought to you by the letter P.

I might go to the movies tomorrow afternoon. Or not. I have videos from the library. Prime was a real Kleenex-by-the sofa movie, I'm hoping Birdcage is as funny as everyone says it is.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday's child has to work for his living...

...but the child that was born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blythe, good and gay. (Anon.)

That Anon. sure has written a lot!

Today marks the first Saturday I've had off in a squillion years! Because even when I went to DC for the Book Festival in September, that was "work related." Yes, listening to Diane Ackerman, author of The zookeeper's wife speak, was work! I love my job!

But today I am going on a day long retreat. And lemme tell you, the woman who has no vacation time is working Mondays for a month (a few hours here, a few hours there, etc.) to have today off. [Venting is an important part of good mental health, and I've had to get that off my chest for a month now.] [Because I know there will be people tomorrow at church who didn't go and they'll say, oh, {insert excuse here.} And now that I've vented to you, dear internets, I will just smile sweetly.]

And if ever there was someone who needed a day of rest and retreat and to be driven in someone else's car, it would be this chick, the chick who

  • Yesterday morning met with the husband of the woman who hit my car's passenger door. He'll pay for it, I just have to go around and get two estimates. My father says, get three, get one from a shop your insurance works with.
  • Spoke with my insurance company twice--I'm really getting to know them well. I loved it when they called me and didn't say, "Can you talk" (which I generally say to folks) as I was at the children's reference desk, and yes, did want to talk, but had to get another librarian when the children's reference desk phone started ringing.
And I can hear you, gee, that's rough, but hey, that's life.

No, no, there's more!!

I left my lights on (this car doesn't have a ding ding reminder like my old car, Melody, may she rest in peace). Yes, and I didn't go out to lunch. (Can you see where this is going?) My car, when I unlocked the passenger side (remember the driver side door is caput?) had no door light. Um, that's odd. I don't even crawl in completely, turn the key, NOTHING.

Yes, my battery was dead. Dead as a doornail. (Where did that expression come from?)

Another librarian was leaving at the same time and bless her she had bumper cables. But it didn't work, either we had no idea what we were doing or my battery was really dead. But AAA came pretty quickly after I called them. It was a miracle when Lucy returned to life. I will have to reset the clock and (huh?) all the radio stations, BUT WHO CARES? I didn't need a tow, and that was golden, esp. since the guy didn't show up in a tow truck.

Then I went over to Auto Advantage, because I'd been smelling an oil smell. The guy there said, geesh, you need a new oil gasket cover. Which is so much better news than he could have given me.

(You got that, right? This all happened on FRIDAY.)

I then went to the Etna Pizza Hut, which has notoriously slow and inefficient service. But since I'd ordered my pizza at 6:15 and it was now almost 7:30, I knew mine was one of the ones in the case, if only I could get someone to help me????

I made conversation with the guy next to me, who hadn't ordered yet. (In situations like this, it helps make me less stressed if I can talk about anything else, even football.)

There was a "GO STEELERS" sign that had Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Kaufmanns as the two advertisers. Um, Kaufmanns is no longer. So you know that's gotta be an old sign. (This is an example of small talk.)

When finally I got my pizza and a bottle of water, I sat right down on one of their benches and ate a piece and took my dinner meds. Ah, much better. I even offered Mr. Who-now-had-ordered a piece. He declined. I was serious, but hey, more for me.

Then I made sure my box was tightly shut (I've had the experience of a not tightly shut box and making a turn and the pizza went all over the car floor.) This day had had enough drama, spilled pizza was NOT going to be a part of it.

Oh, then I realized I needed gas. So I drove home, knowing that my nearest to home Sunoco usually has the highest prices. I gaped when I saw the LOW LOW price of $3.07 per gallon. WHEN DID THREE DOLLARS AND SEVEN CENTS BECOME A LOW PRICE??? But hey, I was EXPECTING $3.11, so it was the first pure good news of that hour. (We were still in the 7 o'clock hour.) I filled my tank, and guess how much?

I'll tell you. My 13+ gallon tank fill-'er-up cost me FORTY BUCKS!! I did NOT print a reciept, thankyouverymuch.

But hey, the gas tank is on the same side as Melody, that is a good thing.

Did I mention that my sweet man of a boyfriend gave me keys to his apartment? So with my pizza in hand, I did NOT climb up to my third floor walk up. I opened his apartment, which was warm, and sat at the cleaned off table (because his mom was just here) and while eating my pizza (which was still warm) I read from a Calvin and Hobbes collection he had lying there.

Then, because we never spend time in his apartment, I looked at his books (mostly textbooks) and music (mostly classical).

I did not, I repeat not, lick his spoons (the link will take you to a vintage Friends episode, "The one where Joey moves out.")

Then I came upstairs, discovered that the one moment my phone was NOT in my hip pocket, my mom called (the phone was on "vibrate" all day) so we shopped online a bit, since she knows if I don't like something I won't wear it. We looked at nightgowns and slippers.

Also, she told me how proud she was of me. Which was nicer than Kelly, who said, you must win the prize for girl with the worst car luck in one week. (Although it is true.) (What do I win?) (Is it chocolate or cash? Cuz I'll take either.)

Off to ready myself for a retreat. Tomorrow I'll take a walk, I wrote it on the calendar.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday I'm in love

...or not.

I was going to post pictures, but there's been some sort of glitch and the software that brings in my photos is somehow not on my computer anymore.

And I'm NOT in the mood to fix it now.

Max is out of town til after Thanksgiving, but he did leave me a key for his apartment. I miss him so. Ah, he is a sweet man. I might go sit in his living room just to channel him or something.

This morning I get to talk to the husband of the woman who hit my car. Yes, the woman who hit my car is still just a voice on the phone, I may never even meet her...he'll meet me at work before work. So I'll go to the chiropractor a little earlier. Yum.


Let's change it up, shall we? I haven't gone for a walk for ages and today is not going to be the first. I'll put it on my calendar for Sunday, okay?

I was going to change it up to a better mood, a more thankful position. Let's try again.


I'm thankful that I can take a shower. Which I'm going to do, right now.

Tonight: Light up Night. I'll probably go, it's my favorite holiday traditon.

Tomorrow: a day of Rest and Renewal with the OD folks--oh how I need this!!


Oksanna Bauil is thirty today--oh wow. I AM getting old.


I'm thankful that librarians don't have to wear ice skates to work. It would be sort of difficult unless the floor became an ice rink...

This being thankful thing isn't going so well. Off to get that shower...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

and if you don't have time to write content, post someone else's list...

[Note: I am playing by the NaMoPoBlo rules. I worked on this last night, so that's why I also posted something written this morning. --ed.]

From: The Oprah Winfrey Show: "What Should I Do with My Life?"

The one big question most of us ask ourselves is "What should I do with my life?" For most people, it's very difficult to answer. Use these simple suggestions from people who have successfully answered this question and are now living the life of their dreams. Be inspired to pursue your dreams and discover the impact you are meant to have on the world!

Ten Steps to Discovering Your Passion

1. Listen to your inner voice. It takes practice to hear your true desires. Your passion will often come as a whisper or serendipitous event that reminds you of what's important and what makes you happy. (My inner voice says I want coffee and a chocolate covered biscotti.)

2. Recognize crisis. Does your job feel like a grind? Are you spending your free time on something you love? Take an opportunity to appraise your happiness. One of the keys to living a purposeful life is seeing that you feel unfulfilled. (Eating chocolate in my free time is fulfulling...)

3. Dwell in possibilities. Your passions could lead you in a lot of different directions to find fulfillment. Explore your life and unearth all of the things that bring you joy. (My consuming passion for chocolate should take me to farflung places like...Hershey, PA.)

4. Tune out the voice of the world. Make the strongest voice in your life your own. Finding your purpose could mean going against the advice of close friends and family. Take a leap of faith and trust in your dreams. (Does that mean I should take a leap of faith and take the next week off work and go to Hershey, PA?)

5. Decide what kind of person you want to be. Rather than concentrating on what you want to do, think in terms of what kind of person you want to be. Let that guide your choices. (I want to be a person who eats dark chocolate and truffle Hershey kisses.)

6. Bring your heart to your work. It takes passion and courage to find a profession that you love. Spending the time to discover that job is time well spent—it could make all the difference in your life! (I like books. I read books to children. I help people find books. I catalog books so people can find them...I think my heart is pretty near to where I work--the only thing missing is DARK CHOCOLATE and truffle Hershey kisses--but my co-workers are pretty good at providing chocolate for special occasions...)

7. Trust transformation. Hard times are a natural part of life. Don't be afraid to change because of your experiences. Instead, let them shape and steer your course. (I am not afraid of transforming into a person who considers chocolate a priority and Hershey my personal Mecca.)

8. Have no regrets. According to the experts, it's easy to regret the time you've spent being unhappy or unfulfilled. Realize that during that time, you developed the skills you need to succeed! (I have no regrets concerning chocolate.)

9. Take the first step. Destiny can't help you until you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. Get prepared to make changes in your life … and start making them! (Changes I need to make in my life--planning a trip to Hershey, PA.)

10. Be patient. Finding your life purpose won't happen overnight. In every life, there's a fast road and a slow road. Most of us take the slow road! Keep your commitment and take small steps to make it happen. (Patience might mean I have to wait, since next week includes a family holiday and I probably should stay in Pittsburgh since my family is planning to visit me here. If I went to Hershey, they'd be pretty confused. Plus, I have no vacation time left over for the year 2007.)


Now, I am not REALLY this chocolate obsessed, but it was fun to pretend. That's what I love about blogging. I can pretend to be someone else, if only for 10 paragraphs...

Wish List (things I'd blog about if I had time...)

...the difference between the kind of self improvement that is visual and the kind that doesn't meet the naked eye (while I am grateful I have never had real weight problems, getting saner isn't something you can measure tangibly. No one ever says, "wow, you lost a lot of emotional baggage, didn't you?") Please don't send hate mail!!

...seasons, folks, seasons. So what if last year I posted more pictures? I don't see blogging as a stand up routine, a performance. I see it as a relationship I keep building with myself and my 2.5 readers. Comparison, even with my own past stuff, is death.

...I'd post more pictures. I did take a picture of Lucy (from her good side) today while on an errand.

...the books I'm reading, have read, want to read. The Camel Bookmobile looked good but hasn't caught me yet. Consumer Reports Used Cars 2003 and 2006 aren't really what I consider thrilling, but very helpful. I've been rereading Unclaimed Treasures by Patty MacLachlan. I remember hearing her say that she'd write everything in italics if she could, because italics make the writing seem more important.

...I have started making collages again. I keep wanting to write about the art piece I did for Lent (um, that was in the Spring) on Simon of Cyrene, the stations of the cross.

Off to eat dinner.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You know...'ve been blogging too long when your computer guesses three letters into the vw for you.'ve been doing Mother Goose too long when you forget half your program including the verse "if you're angry and you know it stomp your feet" to your closing song.


This is a CRAZY week. It just is. Today is the last Mother Goose until February--"the day before Valentine's Day, so bring chocolate!" Last night I fell asleep in my clothes, woke up at 4 am, put on my nightgown, and slept through til 8:14. I called the chiropractor, got on the schedule for 8:30, pulled some clothes on, drove to Etna, and waited through til 8:45 before I was seen. Sitting in the reception area, we had lots of fun, there is another Sarah Louise that two weeks in a row has had her Wednesday appt. same time as me and we were giving the one guy in there a hard time, just talking about "men." He took our bait and it was a regular comedy routine. At 9:05, I called work, drove over to Burger King for drive thru, parked, doctored up my coffee, and drove to work.

Before Mother Goose, I told Sally I was going to observe her "Kangaroo" Storytime tomorrow (I never have watched her and I need to make up hours.) We penciled in a Snowman party for Dec 19, and then I went to "meet my public." We had at least 45 folks (grandmas, grandpas, moms, kids, and two boys who could not stop laughing.)

Daysgoby asked if I'd share my apples and kielbasi recipe. So here ya go.

Sarah Louise's Kielbasi and Apples

6 apples (or whatever you have--I made it this time with three)
3/4 cup brown sugar (or 4 shot glasses if your measuring cup is dirty)
2 kielbasi (they come that way)

Peel and cut the apples into 16ths. Set aside.
Cut the kielbasi in half longways and then into strips. Fry them a little bit until they get a little brown in a fry pan.
Put the kielbasi and the apples in a pan (11 by whatever), spread on the brown sugar, and bake for about 30-45 minutes. (You're trying to cook the apples, b/c the kielbasi is already cooked.)

This can be improvised, which I did this time by nuking the apples the night before and then putting them all together in a bowl in the fridge so they'd be ready for the crock pot to sit during the memorial service until they came back for the luncheon/wake. So they were in the crock pot on Low for 2 hours? I have no idea how they turned out, but I'm guessing good.

(This is based on a Joy of Cooking recipe called "Sausages and Apples".)

Somebody go have a drink for me (Badger?) over my lunch I go to the dealership to see if they can get my driver's side door to work. I'm tired of playing Bo Duke. (Actually I just crawl over the passenger's side.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

another tsunami Tuesday, I wish it was Sunday...*

Well, today is a big day. People (me or someone close to me) are doing these kinds of things:

  • going to a funeral, wondering how week-day parking is going to work at the teeny tiny parking lot at Bellefield. on the way, I'll get quarters at the laundromat so I can park in the nearby Pitt-owned parking lot.
  • (censored)
  • traveling to far off locales such as Holland (oh, Michigan, not the country.)
  • working a regular day (me and my mom and my sister.)
  • being thankful that Thanksgiving dinner has been found, reservations have been made--I knew my chiropractor's receptionist would know a place and she did!!

Friday is one of my favorite Pittsburgh traditions, Light Up Night. I'll have to play it by ear about actually going, though. They have fireworks, and ice skating, and, oh it is just the kind of thing I love. Lots of people trolling the streets...gingerbread house contests...


Oh, and for a wonderful post on Thanksgiving and a heart warming story about a boy, click here. (Dear Reader column, plus a link to pictures of crafts made by the boy.)


I dreamt last night that the friend who used to work at Fox books whose daughter is named Lucy was in Pittsburgh and we got to chat in a parking garage for a bit. It was so real that I forgot it was a dream until now. So hi, T, if you are reading!


Still listening to WOW Hymns. Music is such a healing force. Here's a link to the story behind "It is well with my soul."


The playlist for my birthday fĂȘte:

  • Bob James, Touchdown (the theme to the show Taxi is the first cut)
  • Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Harvest Home
  • Steve Tyrell, A New Standard. (Everyone asked about this one, Tyrell is WONDERFUL. I think this album is how I got into listening to standards.)


I just realized something. I blog the way some people smoke. It helps me relax. So take this as an episode of me nervously chain-blogging as I deal with the stimuli around me.

*paraphrase of Manic Monday, which I had forgotten Prince wrote for the Bangles.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I don't believe in jinxes....

...but if I did, today would prove them:

All excited for breakfast -- nope, that's not going to happen!
Day has improved (see last post) -- my car got sideswiped while parked at NH Sally's. The good news: IT WASN'T MY FAULT!

Finally getting home to Max and getting a hug...priceless.

I'm off to peel apples for a dish I make with apples and kielbasa and brown sugar for a funeral tomorrow.

It's time to cue Jimmy Buffet: "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."

Topsy turvy is back on track...

What a day it has been! No details, sorry, but things are looking up. The best advice I got (well, the only advice, since no one was home except EE Sally) was "why don't you make a collage?" Which I did. A few more phone calls, I'll be off to therapy...

take thou our minds, dear LORD...

oh this day is already upside down and it's not even 11 am. I'll be withholding details, you'll forgive me I know. I am sitting here with WOW Hymns on the boom box sitting next to the computer and trying to figure out what to do first and all I can think of is just sit. And listen to these people sing about how God has it figured out.

About the post title: I don't really know this hymn, but the title always makes me laugh, and I need that right now.

I feel like a lost sheep right now, so the song "Saviour, like a Shepherd lead us" fits the bill.


This is another one, and for some reason not in my hymnal, but the Internet solves that: Great is thy faithfulness...

Because if I wasn't bleeting like a sheep, I would be complaining like a four year old. "It's NOT fair!"



Best: I have a new (to me) car that is really cute and zippy.
Worst: Last night I had to crawl across to the passenger side as the driver's door won't open. I do not have time for this folks!!
Best: I DO have a "bumper to bumper" warranty.

Best: Today is Max's birthday and we're going out for breakfast
Worst: I hope he likes what I got him...

Best: My folks are coming to town for Thanksgiving
Worst: I have to find a restaurant that isn't "booked solid."
Best: My parents are too cute, their image of a "restaurant Thanksgiving" is when they took the train to Krakow (as in POLAND) and had a great meal. Um, the last time I checked, Poles don't celebrate the American holiday Thanksgiving. When was the last time they lived overseas? Um, like ten years or more ago? I'm grateful (which is why it's a best) that this makes me grin.
Worst: I have to find a restaurant that isn't "booked solid."

Best: I had an intimate birthday party. Last year was wonderful, but I didn't really have any conversations, well, except for with Max.
Best: I thanked him for coming to my birthday party last year (i.e. six months before I considered him dateable) and he said, "Well, it's about time." He makes me smile. And laugh.
and that is a best best best best.

Today is SUPER-busy. So I better get on it. I have to wrap gifts before I go off to the chiropractor. Oh, and figure out what to wear, and...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What's in a name?

for this one post, the names HAVE NOT been changed. You'll see why.

Last night, the first two guests to the party of a woman named Susie were Susan and Erica. The second guest was a man named Andrew. So far, so good.

The next guests were Sue and Eric. Already we have three Susan-derived names, now two men, and two Eric-derived names.

The next guests were Ross and Laura. Another man, two new names.

Next was Mayvis. An old fashioned name, and unique to this party.

Then we had Roland and Laura. Another Laura, another R name for the male contingent.

A lull in the doorbells and then we get Sandy and Russ. Another R name for the male contingent, and the Russ/Ross similarity gets some titters from the peanut gallery.

(It also reminds me of an episode of Friends, but what else is new?) (I linked the script. If you want a synopsis, google "Friends the one with Russ" (just linked to Wikipedia article.)

Then Renee came, our first woman with an R name.

Fun was had by all. I'd post pictures but I'm not as tech savvy as blackbird. (Who rocks, in case you were wondering.)

If I was as much a geek as some of the (unnamed heretofore) members of the party, I'd do a bunch of Venn diagrams for you. When I say unnamed heretofore, I mean I hadn't mentioned they were geeks, or pointed out which ones. That would require an entire list again, by level of geek degree.

As it was, we had five men, nine women, three serious piano players, three moms, one grandma, two married couples, six people who had said "I do," (two husbands in absentia), and a partridge in a pear tree. It was wonderful.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How I named my car (pictures forthcoming I promise)

A. "the germ of an idea"
Mary Chapin Carpenter is one of my favorite singer/songwriters.

B. "how we got there, part I"
My new car has a cassette not CD player. (I only just got a CD player in my car last year for Christmas, and it increased the value of the car when I got the insurance settlement...)

C. "how we got there, part II"
So this morning on the way out the door, I fortuitously grabbed one of my favorite tapes, MCC's album, "Come on, come on." The first song is "The Hard Way" which summarizes my life, getting my Master's degree in Hard Knocks.

The last stanza goes like this:

Caught up in our little lives, there's not a lot left over
I see what's missing in your eyes; you're searching for that field of clover
So show a little inspiration, show a little spark
Show the world a little light when you show it your heart
We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make
And the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard (everything we got, we got the hard way)
Everything we got, we got the hard way
(Because the world won't stop) hang on, baby...

Complete lyrics here, at

Well, I thought, this album is what this journey to this car has been. (Another song on the album is "The Bug:"

Because sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug
Sometimes it all falls together baby, sometimes you're a fool in love
Sometimes you're the Louisville Slugger baby, sometimes you're the ball
Sometimes it all comes together baby, sometimes you're gonna lose it all

D. "The name."
And on the flip side, the first track is "Passionate Kisses," which I first heard sung by (also the writer of said song) Lucinda Williams back in 1989. Which is also around the time this car was being put together. "Passionate Kisses" also sums up my current journey:

Is it too much to ask?
I want a comfortable bed that won't hurt my back
Food to fill me up
And warm clothes and all that stuff

Shouldn't I have this,
Shouldn't I have this?
Shouldn't I have all of this, and

Passionate kisses
Passionate kisses, whoa oh oh
Passionate kisses from you

Is it too much to demand...
Pens that won't run out of ink
And cool quiet and time to think

So as I meandered down Rte. 8, listening to MCC, and thinking I didn't want to name my car Mary, I thought, Lucinda is a nice name, and Lucy is a good nickname. Plus, Lucy is a name full of connotations, including the Charles Schultz Peanuts character. And a dear friend from when I worked at Fox Books has a daughter named Lucy.

E. "Google confirmation."
And having chosen the name, I had to Google its meaning. Lucy means light, so that's a good name. Lucinda has something to do with the Roman goddess that brings light to newborns, I'm not touching THAT with a ten foot pole.

Happy Arriving Day, Lucinda dear!