Saturday, March 31, 2007

My Kreative Kousin Kiki

...made this for me! And unlike my recent gift to her (GS cookies) my gift has no calories.

I'd mentioned I was in awe of her photo skills and so she made me this. Isn't it lovely???

Pink Sneakers N@!!

Although tonight I did wear orange shoes and orange nailpolish to Eileen's Jamaica party. It was fun.


Mount Washmore might be my Waterloo...

[Written Friday, posted Saturday.] The title is half stolen from Poppy.

So earlier this week I talked about all the laundry and Kiki urged me to just say "Fluff and Fold" and send it out already. Which is all fine and dandy, but I'm still working on it.

What can I say? The thought of having to drag that much laundry at one time down the three flights of walk up in the house, then to the car...then into the "Fluff and Fold"... let's just say, it's not happening THIS week. So, instead (yeah, this is always the best solution) I'll be putting said "Mount" into one of my two closets for the parental visit. Somebody stop the madness!!

The problem is that I have too many clothes. I need to get rid of some of the clothes. But I can't won't take them to Goodwill dirty, and it makes more sense to sort them once they're clean.

A clothing swap might be fun...but I've already said yes to a Jewelery party at the end of April, and then there's the question of Easter...and hello, SWAP would mean you know, getting something. Which I don't need any more clothes!!!

It's time for...lunch, or a meal that happens the time of day that I post this (I want the meme to be top dog for awhile, so I'll put this in drafts for a bit.) But I wrote this Friday before lunch, in case you really needed to know all the little details of my day.

For lunch: leftover Pizza!! YAY!!


Friday, March 30, 2007

The LORD is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope.

Psalm 34:18, GNT

A Meme! You know you want to try it, too!

Okay, so apparently Kilowatt-Hour did this, then Blackbird, (who embellished it with links) then Eileen. Now me. (oh, and Babs, at about 7:56 this morning)

Favorite Color: pink (you had to ask??)
Favorite Food: Mediterranean Nachos at the Sharp Edge (although lately they aren't as good...)
Favorite Month: November (my birthday month)
Favorite Song: Walk like an Egyptian or Walking on Sunshine (I like to walk--you gotta problem?)
Favorite Movie: Persuasion (though Twister, Three Musketeers, and A Knights Tale are almosts)
Favorite Sport: Hockey!! (Soooo glad the Pens will be here for another 30 years, woo hoo!)
Favorite Season: Winter (yes, I know only 4% agree with me. Get over it.)
Favorite Day of the week: Wednesday. (It has been for a long time--started in h.s. when it was the day the lit mag, Silver Quill, met.)
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby (2nd, Baskin Robbin's Winter White Chocolate)
Favorite Time of Day: The In Betweens (sunrise/sunset) [verbatim from Eileen]

Current Mood: Procrastinating
Current Taste: Just woke up, ugh.
Current Clothes: Nightgown
Current Desktop: My dad and me when I was six.
Current Toenail Color: blank, but I'm painting them orange to match the shoes I'm wearing to a party Saturday night.
Current Time: 8:41 am
Current Surroundings: The twitterings of birds outside my window (I'm in ze garret.)
Current Thoughts: Ugh, don't want to get ready for work.

First Best Friend: Juliana (kindergarten. We were going to go be ballerinas in NYC and wear only pink.)
First Kiss: 12th grade--AJ
First Screen Name: pghgurl30
First Pet: Vacuum Cleaner and Guitar, the goldfish.
First Piercing: both ears...for my thirteenth birthday at Tyson's Corner. Didn't hurt.
First Crush: Troy Z.
First CD: Chieftain's Christmas. I didn't even have a CD player for years. I had my sister make a tape of it I think.

Last Cigarette: never had a first
Last Drink: Last Saturday. Rum and flat Coke.
Last Car Ride: Driving home from work last night
Last Kiss: I have no idea.
Last Movie Seen: Premonition (in the theatre, Sunday)
Last Phone Call: With Dad last night. "Your mom is doing report cards."
Last CD Played: WOW Hymns, in my car. Love it!!

Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends: No.
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Uhh… Yes [verbatim from Eileen]
Have You Ever Been Arrested: Nope (but I have gotten tickets...drat, I haven't paid that latest parking one!)
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: Nope.
Have You Ever Been on TV: Yes. When Bush Sr. came to Warsaw, we were all on CNN for like three seconds.
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn’t Know: I think I would have remembered that.

Thing You’re Wearing: My amber and silver ring.
Thing You’ve Done Today: Gotten up.
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: Birds twittering.
Thing You Can’t Live Without: Books.
Thing You Do When You’re Bored: Read (or check my email.)

1. Bed
2. Computer chair
3. To Oz, to visit Nutmeg's blog.
4. To wherever Katrina is, to read her blog.

1. Sis
2. Sally (East End Sally)
3. I'm working on it...

1. Manicure or Pedicure: Manicure.
2. The book or the movie? BOTH--I like to see how they are different. Even if one is horrible (and it's not always the movie.)

1. Go back to Warsaw. I dreamed of Warsaw last night...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sarah Louise starts a new blog!! About getting healthy!!

subtitle: Do you want some whine and cheese with that??? (Because I'm not doing labels until I get a chance to clean up the ones I have...)

Okay, enough is enough.

I'm getting healthy if it kills me (wait--there's something wrong with that statement, anyways...)

So I've started a new blog (yes, more writing!!) about getting healthy.

It will feature all sorts of things but mostly stuff on getting healthy.

Do you sense a theme? Something about health, maybe??

I don't somehow think this is what my therapist meant when she said try journaling. But I might try that too.

And I'm sure getting healthy has a lot to do with doing things like dancing to the Ellen show, so excuse me while I watch my favorite show...

(I think I lost all my male readers awhile ago. So here's the scoop. I had a 24 day cycle--usually it's like 30 or is officially Day One or Day Two and all that extra bloggy energy earlier this week was my body saying PAY ATTENTION which I didn't, so I now have a cold.)

I'm going in to work definately from 5 to 8:30. (I usually work 1-9 on Thursday, we'll see where we are at noon.)

Oh yes, and no progress has been made on Station #5. Well, a little bit. Oh, and I have no Easter plans beyond church, because stupidly I decided I wanted to be in the Burgh for what I consider the most imortant holy I'm trying to get something together, because, hello, I'm staying in da Burgh to hang with my church and if I have to host the thing and cook the ham, we're celebrating!!

So go visit my new blog...

Yes, self-publishing has gone to new lengths...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Here's a tip on "understanding Sarah Louise": she blogs when she's stressed!!

So I'm supposed to be putting together a CD-ROM order this afternoon and all I want to do is take a nap!! I am exhausted!! And I have to be here until 9 pm!!

It might be time to get some coffee...

Forwarned is forarmed...

So, being the bloggy friend that I like to think I am, here's a link to my post about the gas station disaster, as Katrina just blogged about petroleum on gabardine. In it, there is a link to an article about what happens if you put something with gas on it in your dryer....

North Hills Sally just called...she has been awake since 4 a.m. and has been folding laundry and sorting magazines. GAH! I haven't been there for a long time, but I know what that's like. I told her, I woke up at 4 a.m., but I went back to bed. She said, I couldn't. Wow, it's so weird to be the sane one...I remember the year I had insomnia once a month. I never tracked it to PMS, but I bet there was a correlation. It was the year before my bipolar diagnosis.

She'd like me to run a load of laundry before she gets here. (Yes, I'm going to let this laundry folding, magazine sorting lady into my apartment...)

I remember in the old days, when I would read organizing books (I've given up on them--I prefer Jen Weiner) and they'd say, "Find a friend to help you." I always thought, I'll never find someone...but she found me. So off I go, dutifully, to sort a load. She even asked if I needed quarters. I hope she doesn't buy coffee on the way over...

But to her credit, she is great. She understands which things she can pitch and which things she needs to wait for me to approve (even if it is an empty envelope from my dad, which I save primarily for the great stamps.)

How did she find me? This is going to sound corny to some, so just bear with me. I have a group of about eight folks that I send updates of me to: I'm still alive, etc. Mostly it's prayer requests. So one day, I wrote something to the effect of, "It would be so nice to have someone come and wash my dishes." Sally came over the next day, we were supposed to work on my finances, and the rest is history. So my finances are still a mess, but my apartment is gradually losing twelve years of clutter.

God works in mysterious ways...

Oh, and I'm not labeling for a while. I have a gazillion.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sleep--I should be sleeping now...

But instead, I'm reading y'alls blogsz. Took a walk over to HAWAII to SneakyPeek, who wrote about locking her husband (by mistake) out of the house at 1 a.m.

Which totally reminded me of a time when I was in second grade and the babysitter fell asleep, sleptwalked, and so was locked out of the apartment. In my mind's eye I can still see my parents knocking on my window to wake me up to let everyone in. (Not sure why they didn't have keys...)

Okay, I think I'll take defeat and try to wind down. I finally finished In Her Shoes, third time! And I don't really have something else lined up...ack! Maybe I'll re-read Little Earthquakes.

Read Jen Weiner much?


It's me, again...

My goodness, have I got a ton of labels or WHAT?? (Not that now is the time to be cleaning them's just that when I have so much to do my monkey mind goes into gear and I start to focus on the things that are more detailed, the things I usually don't pay attention to, and then I get bogged down and forget to do what I NEED to do.

Okay, back to work!!

Everybody's got one! (Jeff Foxworthy, on familes)

Blogging is just one more form of procrastination, so I'll admit it up front: I am bored! I actually usually go to dinner at 4:30 (right now) so I'll just take a shorter break.

All afternoon I've been yawning--and I'm not sure why, since I woke up without my alarm, I took a quick walk, and I had a decent lunch. I even ate outside!!

But I feel the need to blog, the itch, the yearn, to write, to publish!

And I don't really have anything pressing to say, but I just read three blog entries in succession that actually tie into each other pretty nicely, and as I am expecting my parents in a few days, family seems like a good thing to write about.

  • Amy is looking into getting another child into her house--go Amy!
  • Newlywifed is worrying that her worrying will affect the person growing in her stomach--Amy and the rest think not.
  • Amalah is visiting her family, and writing about why she doesn't write about family.

It all reminds me of what the redneck philosopher Jeff Foxworthy says at the end of his countdown show: "You're not alone, everybody's family is crazy. Now go kiss your kids and call your mama!"

I used to think our family was immune. We were such a nice family. But my friend Ellie once said to me, "Your thirties is when you realize your idealism of your twenties was misguided." (Not her exact words, but I was in my twenties when she told me that, so you'll forgive my not remembering the exact cynicism of the moment...)

Now I see that our family is a great family, yes. But we have it all, too. Heartache, heartbreak, of all shades and shapes and colors. But I guess the best thing about family is when they love you. My childhood was such that the people that have known me the longest aren't the kids I went to kindergarten with, or high school, even. My parents and my siblings and my cousins, they are the ones that hold my memories. I have a couple of friends that I consider family. But the breaking in process takes time!!

Meanwhile, Kiki remembers my mother reading Uncle Remus. I remember when she came and stayed with us at the lake. Weddings and funerals and holidays...And she might even remember my fourth birthday party where I squirrelled my peas in my cheeks so that I could move on to cake...that would be blowing out the candles...yes, peas. And the Easter that it was so hot we were hunting for chocolate goop. Of course, all captured on family films...

My sister, who can be reclusive, is one of my favorite people. I remember being mad that she liked The Slipper and the Rose, because that was MY movie to like. (I wonder if that's just a big sister thing--it's mine, I don't want to share it!) Her favorite show was Alias, which I've only ever seen 15 minutes of once in the middle of the night when I fell asleep with the TV on.

I'm rambling. I'm tired. North Hills Sally is going to come over tomorrow morning and we're going to whip my apartment into shape for the coming of my parents. So I'll finish up Station #5 on Thursday morning.

Okay, I'm hungry now. Off to dinner...

In which Sarah Louise agonizes over Station #5...

You can be radiantly certain of this: Difficult circumstances are opportunities for you to intentionally focus your faith in God and to see what he will do to give you hope and healing. --Jon Walker, from today's Purpose Driven Devotional.

This morning I awoke to the sound of thunder. The sunrise was orange on the East sky, but it was unmistakably thunder. So I came over to the computer and putzed and read some blogs and email. (Thank you, Nutmeg!!) Then it rained, a gentle rain. Then it stopped, I became angry with my computer (see previous post) and went for a short walk. By short, I walked down the block and up again. But exercise is cumulative, and I have so much to do that I daren't not walk, or indulge in a longer one. I'm learning to not be an all-or-nothing kind of gal! I said, I'm learning. BJ's sermon Sunday was about Paul's letter to the Phillipians, where he says, "not that I have it all together, but I press forward..."

It's gently raining again.

I've successfully done two stations before. (Can't find a link to our past year's--memo to me to talk to John about that...) Last year's station (#6, Jesus talks to the women of Jerusalem) was very well received, and so I think I'm thinking I have to wow them, live up to the reputation of last year's. Um. The station is supposed to be a part of worship, reflection, not my desire to be know as a craftsperson. (Hits hand upon forehead!!)

This is from my email to Kiki last night:

So far for the station for Lent for my church: Station#5: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross for Jesus. My thoughts, based on my research: It was a "hey you, there, carry this for him" b/c Jesus was so exhausted and not moving fast enough but they didn't want him to die on the road to the cross...

Cyrene (located in present day Lybia but was at the time of Christ in the Roman empire.) Before that, when it was Greek, it was known as the birthplace of Hedonism back in the 3-4th centuries BCE. Opposite of pleasure: being forced to carry someone elses cross...
Cyrene had a large Jewish population, so Simon was most likely Jewish and there (Jerusalem) for the Passover. I had a chair that I made into half a cross (by taking one of the legs off) and on the nails, I put red paper to signify blood. I have soap bubbles (that you would blow?) to signify pleasure??

See, this is where I think, it's time to wrap it up for the night. Make some popcorn, finish reading In Her Shoes (interesting conversation with my chiropractor this morning--he said I saw, no, I had to see the movie that book was based on. I didn't think it was that good. Which, compared to the book, it wasn't. But if you look at both, the movie and the book educate each other. The movie is harsher. (The best friend is mean, the grandmother is mean). In the book, the best friend and the grandmother are both much nicer.
Anyways, I think there is black pepper in this tuna. I must go make some popcorn with sugar, salt, and extra virgin olive oil.

Hugs, SL

Oh, and I have to have this thing finished by Friday morning before I go off to work. Too bad I have to work, too, and clean the apt in prep for the 'rents...ACK!

Plus, I had tons of compliments on last year's so I feel like I have to top myself which is NOT the point, the point is to give folks a thought about a moment on Christ's walk to the cross. It's NOT ABOUT MY ARTISTIC SENSE or Not.


Some other thoughts: you know that Footprints poem? The one where the man dreams there is only one set of footprints and God says, "It was then that I carried you"? Well, here's a link. (Click on poem--and if your speakers are on, you'll get the sound of waves on the beach.)

Anyways, the whole thing about Jesus being fully human--um, this was the one time that someone was doing the carrying for him--there were two sets of footprints on the way to the cross, not one. (Well, except in John's Gospel, but he was a rebel...)

I'll post the pics of what I have so far, and then off to WBS...pray for me!! Last week I did okay...but I am so intimidated by some of those women!! (How did they get to be so successful at such a young age??)

In which Sarah Louise shouts, "I hate my computer!!" and goes for a short walk

I'll be back.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday, Tuesday, Happy Days...Wednesday, Thursday, Happy Days...

Well, it's Monday at least. On the docket today:

  • Mail my "swap" to Artsy-Mama
  • go to the Chiropractor, make sure I change my appt next week to Wednesday, as the parents are coming for a visit.
  • go to the Therapist, change my appt to another day (I don't know what other days she works) as my parents are coming for a visit.
  • clean my apartment like a crazy woman (see above.) Thankfully they can't stay with me, my garret is too small. (Maybe that's why I haven't bought a house yet!!)
  • Other things, I'm pay the bills...wash the dishes...
  • I'm contemplating taking all my laundry to a laundromat, since to do it all in ze basement well, there's only ONE washer and ONE dryer. I'm thinking I could maximize my time if I had even just THREE of each. (reason: see above)
Yes, your blogger is a 35 y.o. woman who doesn't do much when her dad comes to town, but when mama shows up, watch out.

And very important,

  • Do some bloggy PR for my cuz Kiki, who has been blogging for a coupla weeks. She is funny!! She lives on the other side of PA, like five hours away, so I never ever see her except at weddings and funerals, but I luff her. And she's a fab blogger. So the rest of this post is an infomercial on "Why you should visit my Kuz Kiki's Blog."

  • She's my cuz. Nuff said.
  • She is really funny. In her last post, she transcribed some conversations she had with "Hubby-Poo" and I was giggling.
  • She cooks, y'all. She'd be willing to put up recipes (she might have already, says the woman who uses her stove top as a countertop).
  • She gardens. She's planting mint for mojitos as we speak (well, it's early in the morning, but she will be.)
  • She's a conscientious commenter. Truly. She understands the nuances of the blogversation and often comes backs and comments on comments (I love that about her!)
  • She's my cuz. So go...cuz I said so!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday morning...

Okay, so I had a few mojitos at the tapas party and so when I came home I was in no shape to continue cleaning up the mess. I fell asleep to "My Music" on PBS which meant that I dreamed that Wayne Dyer was talking to me after my trip to Ireland (sorry, couldn't find a link for the show, but it felt like it was a long time that I was in Ireland.)

(When will I learn to put the SLEEP function on anytime I lie down on the couch, just-in-case??)

I think I'll go for a walk. I may go see Premonition again this afternoon...I finally found someone else online who liked it. Okay, my IE just went wacko--soon we'll be switching over to XP...I heart Foxfire--no wait, those are the books...well whatever this browser is that I use for blogging. I use IE for email b/c Yahoo and my work email work better on it. (My work email HATES Fox-whatever.)

Off to walk...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Screaming Mimis....

Have you ever had one of those days when everyone was stepping exactly on your last nerve?

Have you ever had one of those, while your responsibility was to watch a very busy Children's Department on a Saturday, when everyone wanted a computer and so you constantly had to police the hoards and let them know when their hour was up?

It is sheer H-E-double hockey sticks!!!

And there is now a child who has a hat that is driving me bonkers. Nothing wrong with the hat, I just am visually bothered by it.

No, there are not anymore headphones. But look, she found some on her own. SO WHY ASK ME??? Yes, darlings, this is why your blogger is anonymous...

And all these adults doing homework for their children...

Now the grandmother is trying to console/lecture to the child who lost his toy. He looks bereft. They are now up, looking once more for the toy. I feel bad, but there's nothing I can do.

I need a drink!!! (and I don't mean water...)

What is my mission once I get off work? To go to Target to use my 10% discount coupon which expires TODAY. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute...I'm also invited to a tapas party but you know what, since Sally (North Hills Sally) and I took down my one desk and put up a shelving unit in its place, I am minus some storage space and so you can barely walk in my apartment (yes, more so than usual.)

What I really need: A bookcase that measures 22 wide by 20 high. Yes, because the ceiling slopes...when I went to Target at lunch, they had nothing that size. UGH!!! So I might have to go to Walmart...or drive out to IKEA.

Oh, and my lovely boss (the one who talks three miles per minute) decided to call me on my cell while I'm working in Children's. Stupidly, I picked up the first time she called.


Now three boys just walked in and oh good, there is a computer open but I have to tell them that they have to sign up.

I am so not in the mood--I want to lie down in a dark room and listen to new age music...

....but not at my own house, because it's such a flipping mess!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." (Cicero) [UPDATED]

Katya>Babelbabe>Another Nutter>Sarah Louise (and many stops before and in between...)

updates in RED...

It was inevitable that I would do this meme...I've been reading voraciously since I learned in second grade. I worked for Barnes & Noble for 7 years, I've been a librarian for four. My first "job job" out of college was for a small press. Do I like books? Have you met me???

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
It depends on the book. If I love the book and want to treasure it forever, I will hunt down the hardcover. Otherwise, I prefer Trade Paper to Mass Market, but I'm not overly picky.

Amazon or brick and mortar? Wherever there are books, I'll buy them.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Both, see above, even though my former B&N co-workers think I'm a traitor for going to Borders. I like going to Borders b/c there's one on the way home from work and b/c as a former B&N employee, I get so darn homesick when I go to B&N stores. I also have this annoying habit of merchandizing & straightening books whenever I visit a B&N.

Bookmark or dog-ear? Bookmark, but that's stretching it. More like napkin, knife, whatever's available. I dog-eared as a child, when most of my books were paperbacks from the Scholastic catalog.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? Random. Although I try to keep types of books together (all my biographies, all my children's books...)

Keep, throw away, or sell? Generally keep or take to Goodwill. Although if I am disgusted by a book, I will throw it in the paper recycling.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? Keep it.

Read with dust jacket or remove it? It depends.

Short story or novel? Novels. Although Cynthia Rylant's A Couple of Kooks is a s. s. collection and it's in my top ten of favorite children's books.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Harry Potter. I never had a desire to read Lemony Snicket. Actually, I never had a desire to read HP either, but as a new children's librarian, I was feeling guilty for not having read even one, so I took the first one out as an audio book and well, the rest is history.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? It depends on how tired I am.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? Both. A Wrinkle in Time starts with "it was a..." and Homecoming (Tillerman bk. 1) ends with it. Dicey's Song (Tillerman bk. 2 starts with "and they lived happily ever after."

Buy or Borrow? Both. I have about 62 items on my library card at the moment. It's an occupational hazard.

New or used? Both.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? All of the above. I get recommends from fellow bloggers, from online browsing has died down quite a bit, but it still is a great way to find books. I tend to browse our library's "New Nonfiction" with lots of success.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? If it's a cliffhanger, I must have the sequel nearby. (the Caroline B. Cooney "Janie" books fit into this category. And I don't need a tidy "a-la-Jane Austen or Nancy Drew" ending...the modern novel is much more leave it to your imagination what exactly happens after you close the book.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Anytime is reading time!

Stand-alone or series? Both. I've gotten quite attached to Meg Cabot's newest series with Heather something, former pop-star turned amateur sleuth. I also like series where the same story is told by different people (The Tillerman books by Cynthia Voigt.)

Favorite series? Trixie Belden.

Favorite children's book? Favorite YA book? That's like asking me which of my children I love the most!! Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. Jacob have I loved by Katherine Paterson.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? Touched by Scott Campbell. I got it at Goodwill years ago.

Favorite books read last year? finishing up the Jennifer Weiner oevre. AND GILEAD by Marilynne Robinson. How could I have forgotten that???

Favorite books of all time? Thursday's Child and Skating Shoes by Noel Streatfield, Little Women, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Walking on Water, A Small Rain, and Two Part Invention by Madeleine L'Engle, the Tillerman series by Cynthia Voigt, Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, A Kindness by Cynthia Rylant, Julius Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes, Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray, A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit, Good to Great by Jim Collins, About a Boy by Nick Hornby, Persuasion by Jane Austen, The Bible (my two favorite translations are the Jerusalem and The Message)...we could be here for years. I'm sure I've forgotten many. (Such as Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson...)

Least favorite book you finished last year? I don't finish books I don't like. Most recently, I threw IN THE TRASH Missing Joseph by Elizabeth George.

What are you reading right now? In Her Shoes (third time), listening to Good to Great on audio.

What are you reading next? As the whim catches me, but potentially 1628 Country Shortcuts (it's like Hints from Heloise).

[And for Newlywifed, because she asked:] Favorite Mother Goose collections: The Original Mother Goose and Animal Crackers illustrated by Jane Dyer. As a librarian, I love the Annotated Mother Goose and hope someday to get one of the Opie's collections.

Books I have started and have not picked up for at least a week:
Vanity Fair by W.M. Thackeray (I loved the movie, but my sister's copy has footnotes and notes from the "original manuscript" and the English is from like the 1800s, yo!); Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

(Wo)Man makes plans. God laughs...

Firstly, thanks to all who stopped by to visit my branch of the Artsy Mama Spring Fling Tea Part-ay!! We did have fun, didn't we?

Secondly, I was planning to post this evening, it's percolating in my brain, about why I re-read and why I'm on my third in a row of In Her Shoes. But this is how today went: I put together (with North Hills Sally) a shelf unit, took apart the desk that lived where the unit now lives, took it downstairs, got rid of another shelf she'd been badgering me to dump, and that was BEFORE my 7 hour day, in which the first two hours were in a meeting on long range planning. GAH!!

So I've read your blogs, and commented and now, I must curl up on the sofa and sleep. Because the bed...well, is indisposed. (It holds everything that was on the desk we got rid of.) (Because we didn't have time to put stuff onto the unit we built.)

More later...I think my shoulders hurting might have to do with taking parts of the desk down to the foyer.

It's not April yet, but it rained today, and it is Spring, officially, in the Northern Hemisphere (sorry Oz, but you had summer while we were shoveling snow, so I have little sympath...) so it's time for my favorite joke from first grade:

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Wait for it.....


I know, cheeseball, but it still makes me giggle even so many years later. And you can still be my friend if you don't think it's funny. (Just don't tell me.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

(Henry James, Portrait of a Lady)

Artsy-Mama has invited us all to a tea party. So...

My one tea cup and saucer--the rest of my tea drinking vessels are mugs. This was one of the items I inherited from my grandmother.

In this shot, you can see the detail inside the cup itself.

My meal and tea companion at the moment--yes, I am re-reading In Her Shoes for the third time. I would love to have tea with Jennifer Weiner someday. I'm not sure I'm ready for tea with Marilynne Robinson (the author of Gilead), but while we're wishing...someday.

I just finished The View From Saturday, where four friends name themselves "The Souls," have tea on Saturdays and eventually become the first sixth grade team to win the Academic Bowl for their state. Finished isn't accurate, actually, as VFS is a book I have been reading since 1996 when it came out, and will likely continue reading for a long time. I just recently re-read it, as it was the Mother-Daughter-Book-Club book for March. In one chapter, Ethan, who is usually quiet, but is able to come out of his shell with his three friends, asks each of the other three what day they would most like to re-live. When it comes around to Ethan, he says, "Last week, when we first had tea. And now I get to re-live it every week." (This is not an exact quote, but my copy of the book is in the car, three flights down, and baby, it may be Spring, but it's still cold outside.)

So, enjoy, happy Spring! I know the sun has started to melt the winter that has been frozen in my heart. I hope where you are the sun is shining or at least the rain is feeding the soil, ready to bring tulips, daffodills, and green green grass.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wherein Sarah Louise continues surfing and blogging....

Just came back from the latest Sandra Bullock flick--Premonition. WOW. It was phenomenal. First off--she does the housewife thing pretty well--rejecting the sweater that's not dirty, dusting the mantle. Secondly, well, if you've seen it, email me and we'll discuss. It would be way too easy to emit spoilers. And, who knows, maybe the critics saw a different movie or my standards are just very different.

So I talked to the 'rents for a requisite five minutes. Mama is grading papers and Papa is reading scholarship essays. Sis is watching 24. (So I didn't get to talk to her at all.)

I answered an email from Paula, who did a very creative post about the installation of her furnace her trip to New York City this Spring. Then I came over here, and saw that Blackbird had posted something new--a button movie!! You gotta see this--it is amazing. And if you like buttons (we do) it's da bomb.

What else? Oh, a lovely post from Juniper, a woman I discovered via bobbie, concerning blondes and hair issues. I could not stop laughing. She also has up the YouTube about the medieval help desk--you won't want to miss this...

I've been adding/editing my blogroll, so things are named differently, or in different order...hey, it's like moving your furniture around. You gotta do it every once in a while.

Oh, and you might be wondering if I found a therapist--I think I did. The office is tucked in a little nook where Pine Creek comes through, so you park right by the creek, and then go inside. When you get to the office, the ambient music is very New Age and calming. And I liked the therapist. I'll see her again next week.

Well, it's 10:15. I'm not going to do the homework for WBS--it was about bitterness, this chapter, and it hit hard and home. (Bitter? Me? Never!) But I do want to go to bed so that I can wake up and maybe even get to Bible study on time, for once in a blue moon.

"Just once, in a very blue moon, and I feel one coming on soon." (Nanci Griffith)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

We admitted we were powerless...

Friday at the seminary, there was a seminar on the 12 Steps. BJ and Cameron went to the seminar and spoke a little about it during the message. (Oh, and I took a nap this afternoon, and woke up at 6:23, so I missed the first half of church...)

As I drove home, I thought, if life is going to be humiliating (and have you met life? IT IS!) these are two humble men I want on my bus. Sorry, a little Jim Collins there--I'm listening to Good to Great again and one of Jim's concepts is "First Who?" when you figure out who you want working with you. You get the right people ON the bus, the wrong people OFF the bus, and that way, if the bus ends up going to Etna instead of Millvale, you're like, who cares where we go, because, hey, I'm on the bus because of who else is on the bus.

So then I went to Whole Foods and Walgreens and spent too much money...

And came home to watch an episode of Desperate Housewives, which I haven't watched in years. It was an episode where the housewives realized that they only could be responsible for their own responses to life. There's more, of course, but I'm tired, and it's a whole desperate story...

Then I went blog hopping, as I am attempting to get my bloglist on to my blogroll--because Blogrolling has this amazing function where you can see if a blog has updated. Since Bloglines and other RSS reading schemes are crack to me (I'll read forever and never get anything done--more so than usual) this will allow me to see who has updated just by looking at my own blog, with less clicking. (Of course, I'll still go click on my regulars to see where the blogversations are going in the comments.)


In other news, tomorrow I meet with a potential therapist in the morning (cross your fingers) and in the afternoon attend a meeting about a new group therapy concept. I'm not crazy about group therapy (as Lilly said to me when I told her about it, "my experience with group therapy is that half the folks there were crazier than me"). But my psychiatrist recommended it, and I adore the man, so I'll go get INFORMATION. Then I have to cancel the appointment I have with a potential (but not really potential for me) therapist on Thursday. Our phone conversation made it pretty clear that I don't think we'd be a match: I wasn't able to clearly say to him after he gave me one time to pick that that time is when I'm working. (Tip to any therapists reading this: you give someone at least two choices.) And more importantly I have a work meeting that afternoon. So, I'm thinking, if I just want to get the guy off the phone (which I think is why I said yes) it's probably not a therapeutic match. Ugh. Please, I just want a therapist. NOW! (But a good one!!)

Wherein we admitted we were powerless over our need to blog...Goodnight!! And in case a little bird didn't tell you, it's BJ's birthday today (March 18). So wish him a very happy (just don't say you saw it here...)


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's not easy being green (or orange) y'know, as the philosopher Kermit O'Frog would say.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside...AND

SNOWING! Yes, we had 75 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday and right now as I look out our picture window from the Children's Dept, cars are going a little faster than they were an hour ago (when they were inching.)

My car was covered in a thin layer of ice this morning, but the roads weren't so bad until I got to our own library parking lot.

My social calendar is just brimming over: I had two events, no, one more was just emailed to me FOR THIS EVENING. I decided that I'll go briefly [update: she stayed two hours. Briefly, my eye!] to the one where I know some folks.

Tomorrow I have TWO EVENTS too. I'm only going to one, the Women's Gathering for the OD.

I think I will make it to 7 hrs today!! [update: I DID, woo hoo!] I was late (but it was the weather's fault--it took 15 min to clean off the car) (I know, I could have planned ahead...) Well, and it took me an extra 10 minutes to get to work...but I took a short lunch...

Lunch was a feast. Is there an Irish word for that? Because the employee lounge was decked in green, the two Irish librarians (Irish descendants) were fighting in "Who can wear more green?" which they've done the past three years or so, and though there was no soda bread, the foodstuffs were great and there was even green (non-alcoholic) beer.

Okay, the real reason I was late today: I'm reading The thrill of the chaste by Dawn Eden. (She's also a blogger, hence all the links.) It's pretty captivating. Eden is a Jewish convert to Christianity and her book talks about how she realized she had to change her attitudes and actions about sexuality when she changed her beliefs. She deeply criticizes the world-view put forth by Sex and the City. (I've written on this before--it's a theme here at PS n'at, but the jury's out on whether I reject the show as far as she does*). The book is reminiscent of Lauren Winner's books Girl Meets God and Real Sex: the naked truth about chastity. Lauren has a review in Christianity Today, which speaks to some of my issues with the book, but overall, Eden's tome is a page-turner.

I guess my main beef with Eden's book is that she assumes there is one person for one person. Um, if free will is in play, then I guess I'm toast if he decided to marry someone else. And she's convinced that just because she wants to get married, she will be someday.

But other than that, she writes really well on the issue of women, sex, singleness, and Christianity and how the four come together.

I love the chapter titles, which play with words in a similar way to the (sometimes annoying) way Carrie plays with words in SATC. My copy is inaccessible at the moment, maybe I'll come back to this later. [Sex and the witty, "Meet" market, The Iniquity of My Heels: A Sole in Danger, Clothes Encounters...] One point that she made that had NEVER occured to me: if she sins in having pre-marital sex, she can ask forgiveness of God, but what of the man, if he is not a Christian. She has lured him into sin. (One of her former lovers died of cancer, unrepentant of pretty much everything.) We're so personal about sin--it's my sin, but sexual/relationship sins can bring another person down with you. Hmmm.

It's interesting reading these "I'm single and in my 30's, Christian and haven't found Mr. Right yet" books. I've read about three or four by now.

Maybe I'll write a post about how they all compare to each other. And why aren't men writing about these issues? (Have you noticed that it's not very often a single guy is moaning, "Well, I sure hope I meet Ms. Right...")

Okay, gotta go clean off my car. This post was written on Friday night and edited/added to Saturday morning, and the sky decided to dump more snow on my car overnight...

*Yes, my cell phone now rings to the "SATC" theme.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gone shopping...

Because, dear internets, I haven't been to places that sell toilet paper and plastic cups almost every day, looking for things like Afrin, or Robitussin.

Yesterday: Walgreens.

Day before: Giant Eagle.

Day before that: Whole Foods (well, they might not sell plastic cups...)

All the days before that: rinse, repeat.

So how is it that I am out of toilet paper????

It's raining here today. Actually, it started last night. Whoosh, right before I was going to take a steam shower to try to clear my sinuses, lightening, thunder!! Yes, I took a shower in the middle of an electrical storm. Don't tell my mama.

And it has not stopped. I had dreams about work (never a good sign) that the ceiling was leaking. Never mind that we're on the first floor, so in order for the ceiling leak to be rain related, the second floor would have to be flooded completely...and I had a strong discussion with a teen who was trying to clean off the highly fingerprinted screen of one of the computers. No! We use special cloths to clean the screens!! It has to do with static electricity!!

Talking to my father last night, I said, it was rainy today. (Oh, so I guess it was rainy yesterday. Whoops! Okay, so the rain started early on Wednesday, but late on Wednesday, it got violent and stormish.) He said, well, maybe it will rain tomorrow here. Yes, internets, my father and I discuss the movement of weather from west to east. They don't need Al Roker or the Smuckers guy, just dear old Sarah Louise. What's the Burghian weather? Well, maybe that's what we'll get tomorrow.

Okay, I must go shopping. For two very important items. And I think the fact that I slept from 11:30 pm to 9 am and have now emailed/blogged for an hour means that I'll just go into work at 1 pm, like normal. Which means I'll probably miss BJ & Kat's talk on "We went to England!" Drat. Of course, I haven't worked a seven hour day in almost a month (or so it seems), so why start now??

Badger, I hope there was at least a little something in there that made you smile. I'm sure it WASN'T the fact that I'm getting more sleep than you. Honest, I would mail you some of my sleep if that was possible.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Truth or dare?


I dare you to walk up the two flights to my garret, through my door, up one more half flight, climb over the pink duffle bag that is still on the landing from my trip to Virginia. I dare you to wade through and over piles of junk mail, abandoned shoes, and empty plastic bags from Eckerd, Walgreens, or Giant Eagle. Precariously tiptoe to where I'm sitting, on the sofa after I've finished In Her Shoes for the second time this week, wondering if I'll ever be well enough to work a seven hour day again.

(As I reread this, my mind whispers, Drama Queen! But I have only made it to six hours since I got sick three weeks ago, and that was last week. Somehow the weekend made me more tired--blast those Congressmen!! Yesterday it was three hours, because I had a midafternoon cry-fest, and today it was four because I was very late and then I left an hour early.)


My dinner is in the microwave, ready. It's an Amy's, an Indian dish. I just heard the audible click that let me know it's time to wait my one minute before opening the plastic the rest of the way before I eat the rice and green stuff.

I was late today. I have been late to everything this week. I'm often late because I couldn't pull myself away from email or your blogs. (Not that I blame you!) This week I can blame Congress for changing the time, and for my stupid sinuses, and the relentless depression...

All the mommies and nanas and the one daddy were sitting crosslegged on the floor, with their little ones. As I opened the door, and came in, they all sighed with relief. "The lady's here." As if, now, the show goes on. I shut the door, even though I knew there was one more mommy coming; I'd let her walk across in front of my car in the parking lot. I wondered if she saw that I was the driver, if she recognized me. Her son's name is straight off the cover of a Charles Dickens novel...old-fashioned names always surprise me. There were two Tylers, a Joshua, and a lovely Lilian.

Even feeling as I am, sort of out of my body, the songs come, the rhymes come, and we're all on the floor, singing the "Itsy-Bitsy Spider," or "Row Row Row Your Boat." I love how the mamas hold their little ones as they sing sparkley-eyed to "You are my sunshine. " There's a flannel sunshine that I put up on the flannelboard, and I always say we have to sing about the sun because we don't see it enough in Pittsburgh, but really, I sing it because they are. They are my sunshines, my only sunshines. Wednesday is the day that I get to hug my stuffed pig, Olivia and sing "You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away."

I went to the Sesame Inn for lunch. It's a step up from my "local Chinese" and a little further away. I didn't want to go where the waiters see me come in, day after day, by myself, with a book.

At 4:14, I finally gave up pretending I was going to get something done at my own desk (I'd manned the children's reference desk since after lunch--the dreaded 2-4 shift when all the teens from the lower high school take court in our two departments.*) I walked back to the reference desk where my boss was working on a report for the library board that she's probably giving as I write these words. "Do you need me anymore?" We chatted a bit and finally she said, "Go home. Get healthy!"

I barely stayed awake on the drive home. But when I got home, I was too tired to sleep. I finally put in the standard sleeping video these days, A Knight's Tale, and tried to focus on the story. I drifted off...

I should go eat my dinner. I should drive to Walgreens and get the plug in Vics thing that my boss's daughter swears by. I should come back and take five steaming hot showers and pray that finally my sinuses will start to drain.

You know, I love how on the last page of Where the wild things are, Max comes back to his life, his house, his room, and his dinner was still hot. Guess I'll go see if mine is.

*Unlike many libraries, who have split the YA and Children's departments, placed them even on different floors of their buildings, ours are side by side. A glass wall separates the smaller department from the larger one.

A few words from our sponsors...

Our main writer, Sarah Louise, is off in the realms of Library Land, singing to children and catalouging DVDs.

So here's something she got in an email this week:

Gates vs. GM

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........ twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

It makes me think of Henry Ford: "You can paint it any color, so long as it's black."

Monday, March 12, 2007

We interrupt this blog to impart this important piece of wonderful information:

My brother got into grad school at U-Texas Austin in the school for Public Policy. WOO HOO!! He said, (and I quote) when I become a benevolant communist leader I'll find a position for you. Buying children's books? Cuz they only let me buy CD-ROMs at my library...He laughed.

Congratulations, Bro!

Oh, another cool thing: they've decided he moved there early enough to get in state tuition!!

Life is good, internets, life is good.

Go, knowing right to the marrow of your bones, that you are loved and are cherished...

(a speaker at Blackbird's church)

YES! This is what we need to be telling each other.

That, and "Forgive me for only loving you a little bit." And "I forgive you for only loving me a little bit."

Tim Keel (see yesterday) was big into this concept. We are Beloved, and if we have this identity, we are not needing each other to be God for each other, because, well, God is God. So people are just people, and well, have you met us? We are crass, loud, quiet, into our own stuff, inconsistent, broken, lonely, and downright mean. We don't necessarily want to be, but we are. See 2 Cor 4:7: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Am re-reading In her Shoes, and you might know that I read fast and miss things? I missed entire chapters!! (or so it would seem.) More thoughts on this later. (The book, not my reading speed.) This book is actually informing me in terms of this whole Beloved thing. I love it when life does this. I'll be watching the movie again soon.

Well, c'mon, you got to expect I'd be all over something that's about shoes, I mean, the blog IS Pink Sneakers N'at.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Trying something else...

So, if you've been here before, you know that I use movies to inform my life. Not to tell me what to do or how to live my life, but to inform me. Apparently, it's a very right brained way of looking at life.

Yesterday's talk from Tim Keel of Jacob's Well was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I can't do it justice so soon afterwards, so I'll try something else.

Jerry Maguire. Yes. Jerry Maguire. I saw this movie on a first movie date* (which I do not recommend--it's too deep for a first movie date, but the guy I was dating was big into "the gift giving holidays" so he was always giving me stuff. Ergo, I have Twister, one of the best movies ever, and Jerry Maguire. I wonder if he still has any of the stuff I gave him...the only other thing I think I've kept from that relationship is a beautifully illustrated book of Psalms. But that's another story, for another day.

I love this movie, because he's on top of the world, he crashes his own world, his world crashes, and then slowly, his life rebuilds.

Act 1: Jerry Maguire, top sports agent
Act 2: Writes a mission statement. Thinks everyone loves it.
Act 3: Everyone hates it, he gets fired and loses all his clients except two.
Act 4: He loses his other client--now he has one, and that one has an attitude problem
Act 5: He gets married to his business partner Dorothy because he likes her kid.
Act 6: The marriage fails.
Act 7: Jerry starts spending all his time with his one client, the one with the attitude problem.
(Hmm--the mission statement talks about this: more time with clients...)
The 4 am miracle: His client has a concussion, realizes that he is Beloved (at least by his fans) and he is transformed into this guy that loves everyone.
Act 8: Jerry realizes that he wants to share all this with Dorothy, who is in the room with all the divorced women.
Act 9: Jerry runs through the airport
Act 10: Jerry professes love to his wife and she accepts his love and...CURTAIN.

So, yesterday's talk needs a reading list. First stop: Henri Nouwen's article on Solitude to Ministry in 3 easy steps. (Um, that's a little's not easy at all.)

This article is essential. Here's a quote:

"So often in ministry, I have wanted to do it by myself. If it didn't work, I went to others and said, 'Please!' searching for a community to help me. If that didn't work, maybe I'd start praying."

I did not go to Sunday School. I got halfway down Euclid and realized I couldn't find the spoon I'd washed and thrown in my bag so that I could eat the yogurt on the way...does this sound familiar? I sat at a stop sign long enough to think, I need to rethink this. I found two more dirty spoons on the floor of the passenger side of my car. So I drove home. Because I needed to find that Henri Nouwen article.

Here's where Jerry Maguire comes in: There's the point in the movie where Dorothy says to Jerry, "Read what you wrote." Here's how Henri Nouwen puts it:

"Once in a while [my friends] say 'I have good advice: Why don't you read some of your own books?'"

And you know what, I'm not ready to read the last part of the article. I skimmed it. Because I'm not ready. I read the Solitude part and the Community part. I'm not ready to read the Ministry part. And I think Henri (and Tim) would be down with that. Because the concept of the article (though you really should read it) is that until you realize who you are in solitude (Beloved) you can't be in community. You will just be grabbing at people and saying, I'm lonely, you're lonely, let's get together and...well, what is that phrase, "Misery loves company?"

It's true: in my lonliness, I have become "violent and demanding and manipulative" (Henri's words).

So I'm willing to experiment for a while. I'm willing to see what God is doing in my life. And then maybe I can see what he's doing in the lives of people at the Open Door. And then maybe, someday, I can reach out to my world. Stumbling, every single step, but dancing, because I am Beloved.

Community is the place where you say, "I forgive you for only loving me a little bit. Can you forgive me for only loving you a little bit?"

This is something I have found true in my life but I've never seen it in print before this: "In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you haven't planned or counted on."

Oh, and here's the other article Tim referenced: "Revenge of the Right Brain"

Thinking ahead: a post called, "If you build it they will come: Attractional or Attractive? What baseball movies have to say about building community."

Where you'll find me: on the sofa re-watching Jerry Maguire, and later at the movies, re-watching Amazing Grace (another movie about a failure that suceeded.)

*first movie date=not the first date, but the first movie you see as a couple.

Does anyone know what time it is?? (Chicago)

Okay, so if your computer is old, like mine, you may be out of the schema of updates and so your computer still says 8:57 at 9:57.

I haven't tried this yet, but here's a patch for Win 98/Me I got going from link to link after reading Circuits in Thursday's NYT. It's from IntelliAdmin.

Because I was at a talk yesterday where the focus was on community and n'at, I'm not going to blog right now, I'm gonna get ready for the women's Sunday School class at Bellefield, since that is one of my communities.

More on the talk later. It was very mind-bending. But in a good way. A bunch of us got together for Coke and pizza later and that was a step on the road to our own Open Door community...yay!

Okay, so right now it is 10:02. 10:03.


Friday, March 09, 2007

The sales figures show...

Okay, so I did an informal, unscientific tally of what topics bring the most comments. Butter dishes, apparently. (24!!)

Other high comment posts included topics such as: books, show and tell and/or any post with pictures of shoes, Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston (none of you seem to like her), the Psalms, dating, women, friendships, grocery shopping, movies, Sex and the City, bipolar and/or therapists, food (white vs. yellow popcorn), and my mother.

So in the hopes of bringing more readers over yon, and keeping the ones I already have, I think I'll be talking more about books, Sex and the City, and food. (Sprinkled in with some of the other stuff.)

I had thought of blogging through the Psalms, but there are 150...I suppose it could be "an occasional series" like BB's boxes.

So here goes.

Food: I have two boxes of Samoas (Girl Scout cookies) on my desk. I have just opened one box. I wonder how long it will take me to finish it? Serving size is 2 cookies--150 calories!! I've been drinking water like it's going out of style, but the Mucinex is still not...well, doing it's job. We'll leave it at that. I have the plain, 12 hrs, just Guaf. (Having a cold is not nice for the budget, btw!!)

Books: I am reading In Her Shoes. While it is not the best Jen Weiner book, it's pretty darn good. I understand why most of us have seen the movie, not read the book, but as mind candy goes, it's pretty good stuff. Oh Lordy. Good stuff? Darn good? Okay. I like this book because it deals with relationships. There are the two sisters, total opposites, the grandmother, who is trying to break out of her fears (and dating a cute senior gentleman), and then there is the cute lawyer who is crazy about Rose. Plus, there's a cameo from Cannie, the heroine from Good in Bed. I'm a little over halfway through. I bought it for 60 cents at the library bookstore yesterday when I NEEDED something to get me through the afternoon. I also bought a bag of Raisinets and a WWII Holocaust novel called Too Many Men. I'll let you know if it's any good. (The Raisinets were great!!)

Sex and the City: Last summer I learned that watching Sex and the City can be helpful if you're trying to do laundry. Because an episode of SATC lasts about the same length as a load, so you can watch an episode, hike down the four flights to the basement, flip the laundry, hike back up, and watch another one. I intend to use this method to do some housework this weekend, as I have a seminar tomorrow (at 9 am on Saturday!) (If I'm not going to work, can't it start at 10??). So tonight I'll finish my General Tso's chicken, watch some SATC, do some laundry, do some housework...and then tomorrow I think I'll finally go to Home Depot and get a check your water kit. The water from my kitchen sink has been bugging me for months, so I don't use that for drinking--it comes out strange colors, or with suds. The water in the bathroom seems fine, compared visually side by side. Then after I test the water (partially so I can report to my landlord what's in the water) I'll get a PUR faucet filter. Why PUR? Because they are supporting clean water for kids in Africa. Okay, I couldn't find the exact link, but here's an article that talks about it, sort of.

Off to refill my water glass...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Weather report brings laughter--"it'll warm up today, expect 33 degrees F": Sarah Louise catches you up on everything and much much more!

And the Post Gazette front page that is in my car's backseat says, "What happened to winter?" (It's an old front page.) (My back seat is where things go to die, and books go to become overdue.)

Sitting at the Take Care Nurse-in-a-Box two weeks ago (right before I was diagnosed with the double ear infection) I read an editor's letter in a magazine that said, "Readers reading this will be saying this was the winter that wasn't." (not an actual quote, but from memory.) You'll forgive me for tossing that magazine aside.

Yesterday we had 1-3 inches of snow in the morning. We got winter, it just was a little late.

I got more antibiotics, this time for a sinus infection. Things I learned:

  • Throw out your toothbrush! (I sort of knew that.)
  • Warm vaporizors are great at harboring bacteria. The cold vapor ones are the way to go. That cost me $50 yesterday. This is counter to a magazine article I read, but as seen above, magazines LIE! Nurses, however, are smart!
  • This one surprised me: guaf and decongestants might actually be detrimental if you're not drinking enough liquids, because they dry you up.
I came home, had the lovely leftovers of General T's chicken*, lay down for a nap around 7 pm, and woke up at 11 to take my bedtime meds. I was going to do a load of laundry, but nixed that idea and went back to bed, sleeping until 7 this morning. The news tells me it's around thirteen Fahrenheit. Yahoo tells me it's about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Duquesne Light (call for the time and temperature: 412-391-9500) says it's 16 degrees. One of these days I'll figure out how to make the degrees symbol show up (tell me if you know, in the comments?).

I have no committment to be at work until 1 pm, but since I was all petered out at 3:45 yesterday, the plan is to go in today 9ish or 10ish (I'm not rushing!!). I was actually at work for six hours yesterday--a veritable record!! (I worked four hours on Tuesday.)

The Pens might go to Vegas? What would they be, the Las Vegas Pens? I mean, blech!!! I had planned to go see them at the Igloo (yes, the Mellon Arena) this season but it hasn't happened yet...

Oh, and Happy International Women's Day!!

And since my last post, folks have been clamoring for other bipolar symptoms.

So here's a "Could it be Bipolar?" test sponsored by Seroquel, a drug used for bipolar disorder. The last bipolar book I took out of the library (I don't even remember the name, it was that bad) was written by a doctor who was convinced that most of the population of NYC has bipolar to some degree. That Bill Clinton exhibited bipolar leanings. And a number of other people. Forgive me for not remembering--the book was trash!! The book sort of glorified the manic portion of what used to be called manic depression. As long as it was hypo-manic (the energetic feeling you get before it's really dangerous), use it. Well, if you have bipolar, you sort of know that, and that is when you clean the house, but seriously, if it goes to manic, then you get the "what goes up must go down"--depression!! The higher the high, the downer the down.

That pause was a call from my work-a-holic mom. Yes, she has a two hour delay, but she was calling me from the school parking lot. "It's like a gift of two hours!" I am grateful for Mary, over at My Vast Veranda**, for showing me that teachers do and can have actual lives. Over the weekend, my mother crowed, I work and then it gives me more energy to do more (extra stuff) (work). She claims it's because there's no one to do stuff with (that she puts so much into her work.) I cannot fix my mama. It's really good that I'm NOT living down there right now. I told her, I'll come down to VA and make you play Scrabble with Daddy!! No one in that house communicates with each other. I go home and stir the pot. Yeah, I think I'll stay up here in Pittsburgh for a while. My need to FIX THINGS could really get out of hand if I moved down there right now.

For the first time in YEARS, I don't have a crush. It's sort of a bizarre feeling, but I feel good. (Although, the first coupla weeks were HELL, as folks that I email to can attest.) I had hoped something might happen with the guy I met at the Jubilee dinner (from Annapolis) but there was nothing on his end, no "What's your phone number," or "Gosh, I hope to see you when you come down to see your Mom in a few weeks." Which I didn't. Sunday, I went to the fellowship where I had initially met him and he was nowhere. Oh well. And at breakfast, Friday, with one of my truth-teller friends, Sasha, when I told her about playing "Dutch Bingo" with the guy when I saw him at Jubilee, she said, no, that just means God is telling you there are guys out there. Oh. So I don't think I'm heading for lifelong singlehood, if God is telling me there are guys out there, but WHERE IS HE***???




So, it's International Women's Day? What will YOU do to celebrate? bobbie, of Emerging Sideways, one year celebrated by giving her and her daughter red plates (a celebratory tradition in their house.) I think I'll celebrate by GOING TO WORK for seven hours!! I think I could actually do it! Be home to watch the Office? Hey, it sounds kind of fun...

*My local Chinese restaurant is great: for about $6, I get tea, soup or egg roll, water, and an entree. AND, the portions mean I get two meals. Chinese for lunch, Chinese for dinner. YUM.

**Okay, a bad choice for a post to show that teachers have lives. But she has time to blog. And she has pets. And if you read this, you'll see she has time to read, and watch TV, two things my mother doesn't do. (Gee, do I have issues with my mother loving her job?) My mother works 24/7. I-am-not-kidding. (It actually reminds me of my father, when he was fixing the economy in Poland, in the early nineties. Hmm, do you think work-a-holism can be contagious?)

***(Charlotte, from SATC. The actual full quote is: "
My hair hurts. I've been dating since I was fifteen. I'm exhausted. Where is he?")

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"I'm fine, but I'm bipolar..." (Carrie Fisher)

Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life. (Carrie Fisher)

By now you know I get a devotional every day from the Purpose Driven Life. This was in today's:

"Eugene Debs, who ran for president of the United States as a third party candidate in 1912, had this to say while campaigning:

As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.
As long as there is a criminal element, I'm of it.
As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
(John Fischer)

It made me think about the former vice presidential candidate that just died. Good old whats-his-name, the one who had to resign his candicacy when he revealed he'd been admitted to a mental hospital for depression.

Thank God I live in a time where even Newsweek magazine thinks depression in men is important enough that they have a cover story on it. (Not that I've read it, but I think I will now, and I hope that guy is mentioned in it, for historical reasons.)

Yesterday on the bus, I worked on a few surveys for a study I was in a while back. When I finish them, I'll get $45. That will pay for the bus ride yesterday, thankyouverymuch. I am forever frustrated at the literature on bipolar that comes across my desk to review DDC numbers. Which is probably why I'm not out there looking for information, since what I see is so pedantic, so not helpful to ME. BJ keeps telling me I should write a book, and I will, eventually...

Anyways. I've been diagnosed with bipolar for over seven years now and was very surprised to see these as options on the survey, and thought, wow, are these bipolar qualities? Because they sure are things I suffer from, and had I known that was a bipolar quality...well, if you don't know why you do what you do...

Here are the statements:

It is important that people admire me.

When I get new ideas, I must tell people at once and at length so that they admire me.

If I notice something new, I must make every effort to think about how it connects with everything else.

There might be more, I still have at least three more packets left to work on. But wow! It is important in my tiny mind that I am admired. I do go on about new ideas. I do make every effort to connect things in my life to each other. All these things are crazymakers in my life.

I'm still on the therapist hunt. There's a possibility with the place downstairs from where I see my psychiatrist. It would combine group therapy and individual therapy, depending on how well you were doing. (If you're doing better, group. If you're not so good, individual.) I have never really liked group therapy, since I've never met anyone with bipolar that I liked. Isn't that horrible? It makes me feel like I must be this prima-donna that thinks she's better than everyone, which I suppose is sometimes true, but I hate that it could be...

They say that if you don't like a person, it could be because you see yourself in them.

This post is losing its steam. But I had to at least, you know, get these thoughts out, since I have to see how new ideas connect, etc. etc.

Go, and have good mental health!

And ugh, I've come back to an apartment that is so cluttered it's shutting me down, and I'm still taking decongestants every four hours.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I heart Dolly Parton (and Lorrie Morgan)

On the bus ride home, a song was spinning on the jukebox in my mind,
"Except for Monday, which was never good anyways,
Tuesday, I get a little sideways,
Wednesday, I feel better, just for spite,
Thursday and Friday take too long,
Before I know it, Saturday's gone,
But it's Sunday now
And you can bet that I'm alright."

Okay, so it sounded like Dolly Parton to me! It's Lorrie Morgan.

On the drive home tonight from child watchin' for Sally (East End Sally, not North Hills Sally) I was thinking how Day Two is code that almost all women understand. (Thank you, Badger!!) As I got up from the sofa where I'd been watching shows on CBS (my house don't get CBS), she said, sofa feel good? And I said, "It's Day Two. I took a bath before I left Virginia, and I took another one before I came over here to watch your kids." Even my mother (who never got a cramp in her life!) understood when I said, "It's Day Two." But I got me the heating pad and since I can't take Ibuprofin or its cousins, and I am home for the night, I have me a Corona, and no one's the wiser.

So I took a lot of pictures this weekend...on the Greyhound. No, we didn't even see the eclipse, it was too cloudy. No, no pictures of the bunny, or my sister, or my mom's new birdfeeders. Me, playing with the digi camera, on the bus. Yes, this is what I look like, bored on the bus. Pictures are from Thursday's trip down and today (Monday's) trip back up.

Along with the Corona (Light) and bite me! It's a half decent import, and cheap!I'm eating the entire box of Samoas. A girl has got to have her chocolate on Day Two.
My day old manicure clutching my newest book form of crack: Sisterchicks books by Robin Gunn Something.
My new manicure examining the stitches on my Liz Claiborne purse.
The seats on the bus. Look, they have little blue dogs on them!
My bracelet. My nerves (Day Two) were too shot for me to wear the bracelet, so it lived in my pocket, except for this beauty shot...
The open road, with snow. Can you say GRAY???

Can you spot the Spanish in this picture? The USA Today? The pink sweater? The cross of the purse straps?
Yes, I've seen the movie. I am now reading the book (though not ON the bus) and listening to the movie's soundtrack. Which is quite lovely. (Which I did listen to on the bus, three times!)
My wallet...
So, do you like my funky tights?? I have them in black too.


Had a dream where...well, you know dreams. You think you might be able to explain them...

I was eating too much pizza and folks were coming over and hanging out at my apartment, which was open air (the bathroom had walls) and located at Washington Blvd, right before it intersects with Frankstown. idea!

I actually didn't take any pictures this time. My bath is drawing itself and I'm listening to W--don't know the call letters, but it's a commercial free Christian radio station. So far I really like the song called "I don't want to box You in.''

Bath is ready...catch ya later!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Have they lost their minds?

Trying something--to see if Blogger will let the title be underlined so folks know it's a clickable link...

I wonder if I have. I was yelling at Kleenex boxes, railing over the radio wasteland, and making so much noise that my darling sister came to find out what was wrong. She diagnosed it correctly: PMS.

"Do you want a hug?" I did.

Yesterday was a full day. Hard work, too. Sis and I went to our favorite used CD store (which now sells used DVDs) and we each spent an hour picking and then sorting to get to what we would actually buy. I never go shopping extensively at home (in da Burgh) because, well, it's more fun to GO with someone. We spent most of our money at the CD Cellar, and so our next stop was a nice sized thrift shop, the Clocktower. I got a great coat (well, my mother calls it a jacket, because of its length) for $4 (it was 50% off).

Then we went to the drug store, b/c I didn't plan ahead for this trip in terms of cold remedies. And since what I had is a Walgreens label item, I couldn't find its twin at Eckerd. I wanted Guaf+Pheno-whatever and I could only find this with Dexo (a cough suppressant) (which, I guess I did need, but I was trying to get less drugs, not more!) So I finally got a Tylenol product that had all of the above and some Tylenol, which I needed, as my head was pounding (probably from my congested sinuses).

Then we got home, and I had to admit to my mother that I didn't have any dressy clothes (our plan was a French restaurant for dinner and then the new movie, Amazing Grace.) She lent me a jumper, a turtleneck, a half slip, and nylons. Oh, and a lovely necklace.

My dad was late coming home from the funeral of a former co-worker's wife, and the tension was palpable. I took a nap (or tried to) anyways.

Dinner was nice, the movie was WONDERFUL, and by the time we were done, I was more than exhausted. I mean, shopping, dinner, a movie, that's a weekend for me, MAYBE. Not ONE DAY!! Little Miss Introvert needed some down time, and unfortunately, while sleep does accomplish that to some degree, it does not fully.


The title link is to an article from Christianity Today, about how folks criticize their reviews. It prompted me to write this post, in which I defend what some might think are poor viewing choices. Most of the movie links are CT reviews, except for the SATC, which is from Christian Century.

But I really want to talk about movies. Not Amazing Grace, which was wonderful. I want to talk about Hollywood--the Hollywood I love. And if I love it, I cannot turn a blind eye to its flaws, but admit that we live in Rome. Rome was full of people living reckless, decadent lives. I probably should read more about Rome before I use it as a comparison point, but this is today's post...

What I'm trying to say (badly, I admit) is that there are a lot of movies out there that I love. That I cringe to say that I love, to a degree, because I don't agree with the all the morals portrayed within.

The Holiday: Cameron Diaz's character gets drunk and propositions a man she has just met (who turns up at her doorstep because he's drunk and her doorstep is actually his sister's, as Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz's characters have swapped homes for two weeks.) But what follows is an honest look at relationships and what role fear plays in staying or leaving. So I can't throw out this movie just because its characters make decisions I might not make.

Sex and the City (yes, it's come to this): I do not condone Samantha's, Charlotte's, Miranda's, and Carrie's promiscuity. But they are honest about life, (even if their wardrobes lie) and the plight of unmarried women. And their ultimate choices are good ones. This is not a show that you can watch one episode and make a snap judgement on. More to come on this.

The Sweetest Thing: I am embarrased to say I loved this movie. I bought it for 77 cents at the library bookstore and have watched it at least five times. It is lewd, it is horrible. But it is FUNNY. Again, it is honest about the life of the single woman.

Because I said so: EVERYONE panned this. The Christian critics and the non-Christian ones: Stay home, was their mantra. I loved this movie. I laughed more than I have at a movie in a long time, and the best part (yes, a SPOILER) was the cake falling on the guy's head at the end of the movie. Mandy Moore slept around (with two men) and her mom at long last found love. But Moore's character was the most self-assured single woman I have seen on the silver screen for a long time. A single woman who taught classes at the senior center on how to cook gourmet for one? I need to take that class (says the woman who eats frozen food most nights of the week.)

Other movies that fall into this category (movies about unmarried women):
  • West Side Waltz (a real think piece...very good!)
  • Wedding Bell Blues
  • Picture Perfect
  • While you were sleeping

    My point: (did I have one?) if I only went to movies like Amazing Grace, I would go to the movies once a year.

    I am 35, so many years beyond the rating system (PG-13, R, etc.). I do not have young children. I am old enough to know what my decision is regarding the sexual morés of the day: post-marital sex. But that is a decision I made after a lot of broken hearts and a lot of soul searching. It is not a decision I made based on the movies. I don't make decisions based on the movies. The movies are entertainment. I may learn something, but that is not the reason I go to the movies. I know the difference between real life and Hollywood.

    Thankfully, I can say, "I choose to watch this." Or not. I finally have given up on Crossing Jordan, which, now that NBC has quietly laid to rest Studio 60, (or not, see link) there's really nothing for me to watch on TV. I like mysteries, and I enjoy the whodunit qualities of CJ, but the shock value is going too far for me, and I don't like that Australian journalist that keeps showing up as a love interest for Jordan.

    So that's today's soap box.

    All that to also say this: we each need to know our weaknesses. My mom hates any movie that has extra-marital affairs. She did not allow me to watch soap operas in high school. So I watched at friend's houses. (I don't think that's what she meant, and I knew it...)

    A lot of people I know (why do we live our lives based on the opinions of others, or write entire posts defending our taste?) will not watch Desperate Housewives or Sex and the City because of the immoral lifestyles portrayed therein. I have only seen like three episodes of DH, so I can't comment there. I don't turn a blind eye, but rather say, there are pieces of this that are wonderful. I do not want to be Carrie. I have been in her shoes in some ways, in my twenties. I would never want to relive that heartache that comes from misunderstandings about sexual relationships. But I also can see sex as a metaphor. In so many movies (which are a standard two hours to signify two years or two decades) a kiss is a metaphor for "we have gotten to know each other."

    I can't read bodice ripper romance novels. Which is why I love chick lit--there's still the romance, but less sex. I love Hiassan, but I can't read his mysteries for adults. Which is why I hope he continues to write more like Hoot, which I loved. (I'm looking forward to reading Flush)

    It's my blog. I get to ramble about what I want to, and it doesn't have to be in good taste or grammar or well written.

    Oh, and I watched Vanity Fair (Reese Witherspoon)--it was a visual candy store!! Am now reading my sister's copy of the book. Has anyone seen Monsoon Wedding (the same director)?

So I skipped church. I'm going tonight (which is what I'd do if I was in Pgh) and the 'rents will be home momentarily from Sunday School. Sis and I have both had nutritious (albeit frozen) lunches.