Friday, August 31, 2007

Still not dead

So I've been reading.

On vacation, I read:

Never have your dog stuffed by Alan Alda. It's supposed to be a funny memoir, but it's really sort of sad. A good read though, and I think it would have meant more to me if I was a true blue die-hard M*A*S*H fan.

Broken on the Back Row by Sandi Patty: all about the changes in her life when her marriage broke up due to her affair. She is now after much soul searching happily re-married and living with a blended family of his kids, her kids. No sordid details here, but a great story of redemption. Also, an explanation of why her name is now spelled Patty not Patti. (Patti was a typo that looked cute and when her life came crashing down in 1996-7, she decided enough is enough, SPELL IT RIGHT.)

Dairy Queen and its sequel, The Off Season by Catherine Murdock. These books feature a football loving high school girl who falls in love with a player on the rival team. That part never happened to me, but some of the other stuff did, and I was crying when the second book ended. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Thanks to kids lit blogger Tasha for the recommend. (Of course I can't find the link to her posts, but at least I can give her credit--THANKS TASHA!)

Piano Lessons by Noah Adams, where at 52, Noah decides he wants to learn the piano and does everything BUT get a teacher. He does finally go to piano camp and for Christmas learns a piece for his wife, Schumann's Traumerei. I read Adam's book when it came out (over ten years ago, when I worked at Fox Books) and it made me think that I wanted to pick up piano playing again. On vacation I could play badly one handed "Lightly Row." I no longer harbor resentment that in fourth to fifth grade I had three piano teachers: one moved, another stopped teaching, and the third got pregnant (my mom.) Thus ended my childhood piano career. Recently I've been told with my finger span I could play ninths, which is unusual for a girl. I do want to learn some more songs, though. I think it will work out eventually.

Right now I'm rereading (piecemeal) Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler, Dicey's Song, Blue Like Jazz, and dipping into the Bible as I do my Beth Moore Breaking Free homework. I got a little off track this week--life took over, as it tends to do.


The audio to HP #7 awaits my pickup. (I read the book, but this will give me the humor, etc, that I miss when I skim read fat books.) I heart Jim Dale.

You have been so good about waiting for pictures...I promise they are coming.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another short post you don't think I've stopped blogging.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. Stephen Wright.

Back from vackay. Highlights include:

Day 1: Rain
Day 2: Rain
Day 3: No rain, but the temps were around 54! (Fahrenheit) (and we got lost in the woods) (lost lost, lost!)
Day 4: Hot, just in time to get ready to go back home
Day 5: repeat #4.

More later, AND PIX. I promise.

Happy Year #38 to my parents, who are still the cutest couple I know.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

God grant me the serenity....

I have the Serenity Prayer (the whole thing, not just the part you find on magnets at Whole Foods*) taped to one of my doorframes and this morning, while moving between the bathroom and the bedroom, I read it outloud to the air and to myself.

Living moment by moment? That's HARD! as it is, not as I would have it;

What? I have to accept things, this world??? As it is!! You gotta be kidding!

But here's the payout:

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. (
Reinhold Niebuhr)

Oh, because this is my current home! And I should be happy here!

Aside: the word serenity often reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where one of the dads (George's?) is going to this guru who tells him when things go bad to yell "Serenity now!" Which is so opposite of the Serenity makes me giggle. I watch Seinfeld so much less now, and TV in general since they moved Friends to My Pittsburgh TV, a channel I do not get. I used to come home on days I worked until 5 and it would be Friends, Frasier, Friends, Seinfeld. Now it's Frasier, Simpsons, Simpsons, Seinfeld. I like the Simpsons, yes, but not that much.

I did the Stuffed Animal Sleepover Friday evening and yesterday. Then I hung out at NH Sally's and watched this week's Beth Moore video, which was all about rest, which I thought very fitting, since I'm going on vacation!! Then Marian (the Librarian) and I went to the Original Pancake House for lunch and then off to see Stardust. While we waited for our table at OPH, we talked about stuff, including the movie we were about to see. Marian said she had the book and I swear I heard her say it was by Neil Diamond. So I didn't say anything right away but then later in the conversation it came up, because she said something else about Neil Gaiman I guess, and I said, oh, I thought you said Neil Diamond and I guess I wouldn't rush to read a scifi book written by him either. We had a giggle about that.

One of the great things about our friendship is that we read entirely different books for the most part. Our one common thread is Meg Cabot's chicklit. So I can tell Marian about a book and say, "You're not going to read this, are you?" and give her the end, and she can do the same with me.

We also giggle about silly things like this one branch that has been caught in the telephone wires for MONTHS, on Rte. 19. I mean, c'mon. The floods came, the winds came, entire trees fell on people's trucks and houses, and the branch IS STILL THERE! Whenever we go out to lunch, we drive by it, and it's still there! It's sort of like that song, "The cat came back..." (Which, OMG, has its own Wikipedia page that is VERY thorough...)

Now here's the reason why I am glad I work on Saturdays: I have no idea what to do on a Saturday afternoon! And it occurred to me that it's because I've been working almost every Saturday since 1995. So yesterday, when I came home from the movies, I lay down (because I am becoming my father's daughter and fell asleep for 5 minutes in the movie). But I wasn't THAT tired, so I got up and had a snack. Then I tried to watch TV. But it was either baseball, golf, or baseball, and I couldn't find the remote (so I can put the TV on channel 3) so that I could watch a video. So I lay down and took a nap. Then I got up, called my Mom, called NH Sally, went to KFC for some dinner (finger lickin good!) and came home, ate dinner, and lay back down again. I set my alarm for 10:15 to take my meds and I didn't get up, so when Max called around 11, I took my meds. He said he thought he was on the edge of it being too late to call and I said, it's okay, cause I've been sleeping all evening! And now I just took my meds!

Next week we'll both be in the land of unreliable cell coverage. I tell you, (as I told Marian) it is SO weird having a boyfriend. I mean, someone that calls me at home while they're on vacation? Someone that I say stuff like, "It's nice to hear your voice" to? I tell you, it's pretty bizarre. But I like it. (Grin.)

I think I'm going to Bellefield this morning. In part because hey, it puts off packing, but in part because it gives structure to this day and so I know that when I get home, I HAVE TO PACK! Plus, I haven't been there in ages, and I like checking in with folks. PLUS, if I see Kelly, I can give her the Beth Moore video, which saves me a trip to Greenfield today.

I read Everything and a kite by Ray Romano yesterday. He cracks me up. (I have to read two humor books for the library's summer reading program.)

Oh, and I said I might go to the work picnic...but I'm not packed...I do really want to see Janice and her baby...You know what, we're crossing that one off the list. Because that will take at least two hours out of this day and I DO really have to get my oil changed. And I'd rather drive up on an off day and see Janice and her baby and be able to visit, really visit. Whereas the picnic will be like going to a wedding and pretending that you'll be able to talk to the bride. And really, who wants to go to a WORK picnic the day before vacation? Not me.

Okay, so now that I have THAT worked out, I think I'll go for my walk.

You know the scene in Walk the Line where Reese Witherspoon is going through her bag to get to this book she wants to lend to Johnny Cash?

Here's the line: (Johnny Cash): You got a library in there, June. (You can thank the fine folks at fer that.)

That's gonna be my carryon bag. Another thing I have to do today. Figure out which books to take...

Oh, and Stardust was good. If you like scifi movies, you'll love it. It didn't have enough conversation for me, which is probably why I fell asleep. Marian loved it, so I know it is a good movie.

So here's the docket for today:

  1. go for walk
  2. eat something, probably toast
  3. go to Bellefield
  4. get lunch
  5. get oil changed (possibly BEFORE Bellefield, to put off the crowds)
  6. pack: meds, books, and some clothes. My bathing suit is already in.
  7. Pay bills that will be due while I'm gone
  8. Make a box for my mail. (Thank you, Ms. Second Floor!)
  9. Catch up on a few emails
  10. researching if it's too late to buy Windows XP (a conversation with Marian got me worried) (I don't want Vista!)
  11. going to the OD
Plus, spending the night at NH Sally's on Friday was like a dry run for going away. I remembered my toothbrush!

The day awaits. It is time to embrace it. (If I must....)
*But I do have one of those magnets too.

Friday, August 17, 2007

oh and I'm living in Egypt...

right by the river, De Nile, about packing and the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Actually, the sleepover, I'm not so worried about, it's the breakfast, but each day has trouble of its own...

Is it September yet? Did the kids go back to school?

(And they're not even MY kids--but I want all my mommy friends to be able to do lunch again and I want my Women's Bible Study posse back, and yes, I even want to do Mother Goose storytime.)

morning is here...

And we have chickens!! I now get them via email. I think these chickens save my life a little bit every day. This was today's (the first link was an old one, also about music)

The other night, let's see, it was Wednesday, I skipped Bible Study to stay home because my stomach was acting funny. I guess it's a little ironic that I skipped Bible Study to stay home and ended up watching Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte.

Since my Season One DVD is still lost in the abyss and my VCR/DVD combo has decided it only wants to let me watch VHS for the moment (I need a vacation!!), I watched my VHS of Sex and the City Season 4, Volume 4. It's the one where Miranda gets pregnant because Steve didn't think anyone would ever sleep with him again after his testicular cancer surgery. (He has one less testicle.)

And Charlotte is dying to get pregnant and Miranda wants an abortion. Yeah. So Carrie can't concentrate, can't even pick shoes to go out to dinner with Aidan, and finally decides to tell him.

It's a hot potato situation.

Someone hands you something and it's so big, so whatever, and you can't keep it to yourself. So you pass it on, hot potato. Do you remember playing that game as a child? You had a ball, it was just a ball, but you pretended it was a hot potato, and as soon as you got it, you threw it to someone else.

"I had him swear on Chanel" is Carrie's response when she has to tell Miranda that she told Aidan. Miranda replies, "Oh, since he took the fabric oath..." (Aidan and Steve are pals--if you haven't seen the show it's sort of hard to explain all this...)

I was really glad that Miranda decided to have the baby. Just like I was glad when Rachel decided to have Ross's baby on Friends. So it's not the best situation, the whole unwed mother thing, but hey, it's a baby. There's the scene in the doctor's office, where Miranda is sitting with Carrie and Carrie is filling out the medical forms for Miranda. And Miranda says, "Is this my baby?" And then goes into, "what if I wake up when I'm 42 and I can't have a baby?" Carrie gives her a look, and Miranda says "42 is my scary age." Carrie says, "Mine is 45."

As a single thirty five year old woman, I understand. I really think you should be at least 32 before you can watch SATC. (Sorry Sis!) But truly, the issues are not funny, they are cut me at the bone honest. But then they are funny, because they are so true.

So here is where I live, in the balance of scary and funny and true to the bone honest. Why have I decided to go to the work picnic on the day before my vacation? Because Janice is coming, and bringing her baby.

It's Friday. In a few hours, I have my last appointment with the ladies at Women's Behavioral Health. Phew! I won't have to chart my every mood (although I think I'm going to come up with some sort of my own chart, I've been finding it helpful to keep track) and I won't have to measure when I ovulate (although that's been helpful too, since ovulation signifies that you've moved into week three.) But that's what the Internet is for. Truly. What an awesome tool. (Yes, I realize I then have to ignore all the "baby hopes" stuff, but it's a TOOL. Because whether or not I'm making babies, I still have the hormones. Oh, anyways.

Songs on the radio this morning:

Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store (Sixteen Tons, Tennesee Ernie Ford)

Oh, I know,
That the music's fine like sparkling wine go and have your fun
Laugh and sing, but while we're apart don't give your heart to anyone
But don't forget who's taking you home, and in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin', save the last dance for me. (Save the last dance, The Drifters)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I hate anything untitled. It's like, you made something, but you couldn't come up with a name? Or when people send emails with no subject line. I generally write "subject lines are their own art" just to put something up there. But I'm a writer. Writers do crazy stuff like that. Artists get upset about titles and crap. (Or they get super crazy happy--like, can you believe I came up with a title High Fidelity, which is about music, duh, but you know, also about fidelity, in the relationship sense?) I wonder if Nick Hornby has a blog...

I've gotten all introverted on yins, and I'm actually journalling. Yes, I am pouring out my deepest secrets to me, instead of the Internet at large. It's a bizarre turn of events, I know, but it feels good.

But I do miss you, and so here I am.

So I've been on this Nick Hornby binge and I'm 3/4 (or more) through his first, High Fidelity and I just had to share this brilliant line with you.

"So now what? It feels as though I've come to the end of the line. I don't mean that in the American rock'n'roll suicide sense; I mean it in the English Thomas and the Tank Engine sense. I've run out of puff, and come to a gentle halt in the middle of nowhere." (225)

In some universe, I would love to be friends with Nick. I'd call him that, too, just like I call Jen Weiner Jen, even though her books are clearly by JENNIFER.

Funny thing about having friends with people named Susan. Being one, and having gone by Susie most of my life, I generally only was friends with Susans. (I currently am friends with two and work with one.) (So then you have to use last names.) But after 35 years of life, I've now managed to grab a few Sues into my life as well. And so then you have the awkward experience of calling one of the Susans Sue or one of the Sues Susan. This doesn't happen if you name your children something like James. I mean, it's Jimmy, or James. Well, I guess it's also Jamie, so there you go. Robert can be Rob or Bobby or Bob. (Rob is the main character in High Fidelity.)

It's unbelievably eleven in the morning and I have gotten so into Nick Hornby that I almost said eleven in the f**ing morning, cause that's how his characters talk, just as if they walked off the set of Good Will Hunting. I'm sitting here in my nightshirt, still unshowered. I did eat something about an hour ago. Yes, I'm back in that place where I'm scared to eat for wondering if it will stay in me long enough to properly digest. And I haven't dusted in eons and so my allergies were doing a beautiful showing of it this morning.

And I really should be off getting my oil changed, since if I wait til Saturday, that's when EVERYONE is getting their oil changed. But I think that's what I'm doing. I never have Saturdays off, so I never end up doing anything, because no one expects me to be off. I'll have to do something...because most of the day I should be packing, but I have all of Sunday to do that, too, even though my Puritan sense of Sunday says "Packing? on a Sunday? For shame!" Actually, I think NH Sally is free--and I was supposed to stop by to see her last night after work, but yesterday was a day I hardly got through without Gatorade at my side most of the time, so after work I just packed it in and went home.

Well, I think I could finish High Fidelity before it's time to go to work, so that's my goal for the day. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it really is.

Tomorrow is the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Wish me luck.

All of a sudden I want to know what kind of tree it is that is outside my window.

I have been wanting to find this poem for some time: The River Merchant's Wife, translated by Ezra Pound:

If you are coming down through the narrows of the river,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you, As far as Cho-fu-Sa.
From the Chinese of Li Po.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You are not surprised... (updated)

Well, I'm going on vackay next week and guess which visitor has come to tempt me off the path of efficient preparations of packing my meds, doing laundry, sorting through which books to take, etc...

You guessed it, PROCRASTINATION! Well, and I didn't have a day off yesterday, and I was so grumpy last night as a result.

I MAY have found a sofa on Craig's List (a new experience to me) which would then require organizing burly men with trucks and me offering lots of pizza. It's been twelve years, yo, since I've had to coordinate something as big as a sofa out of my third floor walk up and a sofa back up. But I have Saturday, since I have set that aside for vackay after the Stuffed Animal Breakfast.

I wonder if it's my monkey mind, though, looking for something to do that doesn't involve the gruel of packing. I mean, once I get down to it, packing doesn't take very long, because I do a million procrastinatory (is that a word) things first and then I have to hustle--wouldn't it be more efficient for me to PACK first and then I'd have time to do other stuff?

And I'm not leaving until Monday morning...but if I did it now, I wouldn't have it hanging over my head...

And if you saw all the books I've amassed in my car and requested through the library'd think I was going away for weeks and weeks instead of five days.

And because of schedule changes, I am eating dinner at 4. Or maybe at 4 I'll have a snack and then I'll have dinner at 9:30.

I have 45 min before I have to be at work. I'm not really hungry, but if I eat lunch now, I'll get that out of the way...and then I can at least bring my bag out and do a rough draft of packing... (besides, if I'm going to be hungry for ANYTHING at 4, eating something now behooves me...)

The pills are the worst. I mean, I take meds 4 times a day and I usually set pills out 4 days in advance...I guess if I was able to do it for Yellowstone n'at I can do it again--that was for 7 days.

Okay, the writing helps. Thanks for reading about the minutia of my life. I promise, once summer is over, I will start posting pictures again. Also, I need to figure out how to transfer my Picasa account and make it an online account...but NOT THIS WEEK.

FOCUS, thy name is packing for vackay. Which this time, I am very excited about. It's the Lake, and the woods! (Now, admitedly, I am a sea and shore girl, but this has been our family tradition for over 20 years...)

Oh, and soon enough I'll write about Nick Hornby's latest novel, Long Way Down, which is AMAZING!!!

Okay, so lunch will make me want to work...and if you believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona...


Well okay, so while my lunch was microwaving I pulled out my bag and put a few things in it. And now, I'm reading About a Boy again (reading and eating lunch go together and High Fidelity must be in the car...oh, no, there it I'm on a Nick Hornby binge I guess...)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Have a little faith in me...

So this week in the Breaking Free study homework, we're learning about obedience. Or rather, we're learning about rebellion. I have a hard time with this, I suppose because I know that we learn best through positive reinforcement, NOT SHAME. And this morning dear Beth wanted us to copy out what a rebellious child of God does TWICE, at the beginning of the lesson and again at the end, like Bart Simpson writing lines on the blackboard, I will not tell lies. So I rebelled and wrote out what an obedient child of God looks like.

One thing I did grab well and good from the lesson though was this new word (well, it is a very OLD word, but new to me): bitchah*. Now before you slam me for using the B word, it's not what you think and probably not pronounced the same way, since it's Hebrew. It is a word for trust and it is only used once in the Old Testament (How often is it used in the NT, she wonders?).

It is the word that means "there is nothing more one can do." So you HAVE to trust. Have faith, and rest in that trust. This is where phoning and writing letters and begging that friend to come back is the opposite of what you should do. Perhaps there are things you did that you need to say sorry for. (There usually are.) But trusting God, trusting, truly trusting, is that word, bitchah. It reminds me of the John Hiatt song, "Have a little faith in me." Because they always play it on movie soundtracks right when the one character has lost faith and might be leaving the other character. (It's used on the soundtrack for Phenomenon and Look who's talking now--huh, I just realized Travolta is in both of those movies, wonder if that's a coincidence?) Whenever I hear that song, I think of someone driving down a snowy road in LWTN, and the melody cries out, have a little faith in me, trust me on this one!!

So many songs have lyrics where it's like, I'm the one for you, trust me, where really, that trust is really only meant for God. When Sarah Brightman sang, "Deliver me...all of my life I've been in hiding, wishing there was someone just like you, now that I've found you, I know that you're the one to pull me through," well of course that's a God song. Because NO PERSON can pull us out completely. So it is fitting that David Crowder took that song and added "Jesus Jesus how I trust thee, how I've proved you o'er and o'er, Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, Come and pull me through."

And the song "How do I live?" sung by Leanne Rimes, the songwriter was writing about how she felt about music. That her life would be not real, hard to survive, if she didn't have music. Because of course we can live when that person leaves us, dies, whatever. (Which ties into A long way down, the Nick Hornby book I'm reading/listening to, where JJ can't imagine his life without music.)

Can you tell this is something I've been holding in for a long time? I never liked those lyrics that said, "My life was transformed when you came into it," because I've always felt that was something that God did. God may have put that person INTO my life, but it was God that did the transforming, not merely that person's prescence.

I recently read something where it talked about how God gives us people in our lives as a way for us to love more. That friendships are another way of God loving us, and of us expressing God's love. That we NEED that community to thrive.

But I can't find where it was. I thought maybe in Blue Like Jazz (which I finished re-reading last night) or The friendships of women (which I'm working through again.) But I can't find the passage.

But this passage, from The friendships of women, sort of explains it (but it's NOT the passage I was looking for!):

It's important to love our friends, to cherish them, and to be committed to them. Girls and women are good at that--and it's a beautiful side to our friendships. But we need to learn to be dependent, leaning on God, because He's the only one who will never betray us or die or move away. (Dee Brestin)

So anyways, that's my soapbox for the morning. Go and have healthy relationships with people and with God. Happy Sunday morning.

(Oh, and all of what I write is me saying this to me--I do not have this figured out yet, btw!)

*It's used in Isaiah 30:15: in quietness and trust is your strength... Okay, from Strong's Hebrew Bible Dictionary, I love this, it's the FEMININE version of another word on trust, betach. Of COURSE it's the FEMININE version. Hee...So I guess it's only used in the feminine version once in the OT...still no news on if it's used in the NT...

Why didn't my last post post and I heart reading about other people's vackays

(Never mind, it did post.)

Poppy is somewhere in New England. I WANT the Botticelli dresser and Poppy bag. I love her matter of fact style in this post.

Don't judge a book by its cover...

I heart Jen Weiner. Yes, we're so close that I call her Jen.

Go read her post about how covers change from hardcovers to paperbacks, and then look at all the foreign covers of her own books. Trés interesant!

It's too hot to sleep--I think I'll turn the ac back on.

(I took my dinner meds at lunch, made it through the afternoon pretty well, actually, then went to J.Clarks for their fab Chicken Gyro samwich. Then I went for my manicure, drove home, and crashed on the couch. It took a half hour for me to wake up to my phone reminding me to take my bedtime meds. And now I'm UP. So I've been journalling and blogging and yes, commenting.)

Today I started on "books I want to take on vackay" or just read right now. They're all in the front seat of my car, I'll list them later.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"I just want to be alone" (Greta Garbo) (with one more quote)

So I have one week until vackay with the family. I hope to do a lot of things BY MYSELF, as in ALONE.

Nothing personal, I just had a week of jampacked-ness. It was a lovely week. I spent it with my friends, and they are all lovely people. But I did more in the past seven days than I did some months this past spring...

Sunday I had coffee at Tazza with a friend. Then I rested for a bit, went into work, and then came home and slept. Monday, I went for a walk at 7:30 with a friend. Then I went to therapy. Then I came home, showered, and went to Sandcastle, with a friend.

Tuesday, I worked. Max called me at work to say he'd gotten home (he went away for the weekend) and when I got home from work (it's so strange that "home" is the same address for us, BUT SEPARATE APARTMENTS) we went for a walk, and then hung out for a bit.

Wednesday, I had lunch with Marian the Librarian, ran some errands after work, and went to Bible Study at Kelly's. Thursday, I ran some errands, had lunch with Babelbabe and Katy (Babs and I had never met Katy before: she is very nice.) Then I went to work. Marian and I had dinner together. Then I came home, Max and I had Italian Ices, and hung out for a bit, because today he went dahn Sauth to visit family and then take a road trip through Canada and back to da Burgh. So he'll be gone for two weeks, so we'll be getting back to da Burgh about the same time.

I think I'll get a manicure after work tomorrow. I haven't had one for a long time.

For some reason, the line from the movie Home Alone just came to me "When I grow up and get married, I'm going to live alone!"

And of course, the line from Jerry Maguire, where Renee Zellweger says, "And I can see this is a time when you need to be alone, to think about stuff. Alone, alone, alone." And Tom Cruise says, "Would you like to go out to dinner?" And RZ says "I know of a great place!"

Tonight it was just lovely to drive to Taco Bell (I have got to start cooking again), listening to A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (which I am still loving), and then coming home to finish watching Metropolitan. How I love that movie, let me count the ways...cha cha cha.

So I read some of your blogs tonight, but commenting just seems too sociable. So if you're looking for me, I'll be in a cave, reading or something.

I guess I need to figure out which books I'm taking on vackay...

Oh, and Friday is the Second Annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover!! It feels great to not be stressed about it.


one more quote, for good measure:

"Jeff's life in the tenth grade year became suddenly crowded, with people he liked, with things he wanted to do. Sometimes he caught himself protesting to himself: life is too rich...Life is so rich, Jeff said to himself, gratefully." (from A Solitary Blue, by Cynthia Voigt)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sarah Louise goes to Sandcastle (updated)

Sandcastle: a water park just outside the Pittsburgh city limits.

Woo hoo! Steubenville Kelly and I are going to pray that the 20% chance of thunderstorms stays away.

I feel a post about "Jerry Maguire" coming up--I love that movie! Why I don't have the soundtrack is a mystery to me.

And I can't find my soundtrack to "Almost Famous." Yesterday at Tazza they were playing one of the songs off it.

Am reading Nick Hornby's Long Way Down. It is wonderful.

Okay, gotta go!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

friends n'at

(S)he drew a
circle that
shut me out--
Heretic, rebel,
a thing to

But Love and I
had the wit to
We drew a
circle that
took her in!

("Outwitted" by Edwin Markham)

Well, I still haven't figured out a circle to draw Lilly back in, and perhaps we won't be as close as we were...I don't know. I'm not ready to fight that battle right now. My fighting gloves are off.

Watched the end of "My life as a teenage drama queen" last night on ABC.

I love the lyrics to the last song:

That girl was a one time teenage drama queen
A hot, tough everyday wannabe...but she'll have changed her destiny.. now she's a somebody.
That girl was a wild child dreamer but she found herself.
Cuz she believes in nothin else and you'll look back
and you wont believe that girl was me.

Geez, maybe I should rename this blog Pink Sneakers and Lyrics I love. Well, but music is a thing with me. Good thing I'm dating a piano player...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

More songs (Pandora rocks!)

So it's just me in the office, a dangerous combo with my monkey mind. I have Pandora on a station that pretty much plays a steady stream of CCM (Christian Contemporary Music.) I am falling in love with Sarah Groves.

When it was over and they could talk about it
She said there's just one thing I have got to know
What in that moment when you were running so hard and fast
Made you stop and turn for home
He said I always knew you loved me even though I'd broken your heart
I always knew there'd be a place for me to make a brand new start

Oh love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Make us whole

Then this one (Darrel Evans, Trading my sorrows)

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

All morning I tried UNSUCCESSFULLY to import a Nancy Drew CD-ROM catalog record. I'll try something else. And I (lucky me) get to come in tomorrow as I lost 5 hrs this week between being sick and having my car inspected.

I love my job, I really do. It's just that I get into these destructive mental circles...luckily I have good friends and good music.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Songs in my head...

I often wake up with a song in my head. (I don't wake up to an alarm--I generally wake up around 6 or 7, and that's good enough for this time in my life.)

Yesterday I don't know if I woke up with it in my head, but the song I couldn't get rid of was, "Tears on my guitar." Well, and Mr. Eighteen Years Ago did break my heart. Broke it so well that I have been searching for pieces of it in every nook and cranny. And filling up the holes with not so healthy substitutes.

But Mr. EYA (eya, I like that!) wouldn't have been able to break my heart if I didn't have a longing to be loved. Which goes back to other stuff--no offense, Sis, but it was hard to be a teenager in a house of toddlers. I do not blame my parents, who did the best they could, but I longed to get out, to get to college, where I could have conversations at dinner. (The rule was we could only discuss what everyone could discuss.) (When I was fifteen, Sis was five. Bro was four. You do the conversational math.) (So all those people that think, "Oh, SL, your dad was with the govt, I bet you had heated political debates...No. Every night, I said, "This is a good meal," and that was the end of me talking aloud. Inside I was planning my escape.) (Sorry for all the parenthesis...)

These were the words I woke up with in my head this morning: "To know and follow hard after you." Thank you God for the Internet, I was able to dredge the rest of the lyrics:

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You (lyrics here)

Lyrics later in the song (I feel like a detective, piecing this all together) are these:

This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you

I keep having to relearn this one. I know it, but I often don't act it out. Lead me on is one of my favorite Amy Grant songs, but I won't go off on that tangent right now.

So what is my morning routine? (I knew you were going to ask!) (Well, I'm telling you anyways!)

I get these emails from Suzanne that are portions of books. You choose which kind of book you want, and they send you the equivalent of five emails of that book. Knowing me, c'mon, you aren't surprised that I chose "Christian non-fiction."

So Thomas Nelson sends me portions, and Suzanne tops it with her little column every day. She had a doozy of a day yesterday. The mosquito repellant she used attracted mosquitos by the droves and to calm the welts on her legs her husband gave her toothpaste instead of hydrocortizone cream. "So--I'm still itching, but at least I smell minty-fresh and my legs are tartar-free." She ends each column with her tagline: "Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends."

So this week the book I've been getting portions of is God at your wits' end by Marilyn Meberg. It's the story of her child with spina bifida and how people kept saying "It's your sin (as parents) that has caused this disability in your child." I love how she says "NO WAY JOSé!" (Figuratively. I don't think she said it literally.) In yesterday's portion she said if that was the case, EVERYONE'S child would be in crutches. And today she really brought it home. She started with Abraham, went through to Moses, and then finished off with Jeremiah, Ezekial, and the letters of Paul. This woman knows her stuff! I'll give you a little synopsis.

(Tell me you didn't see this coming--I mean, I woke up with "to know and follow hard after You.")

Okay, so Abraham gets the promise. "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an ever-lasting covenant"
(Genesis 17:7 NASB).

Then Moses gets the law. God said, "Now if you will obey me and keep mycovenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me" (Exodus19:5).

The people think this is great. We know the rules, we're gonna follow them. But they discover that while they can decide to not steal their neighbor's wife, they can't stop thinking about her.

Marilyn puts it this way:

But all the people found it impossible to keep from breaking the rules having to do with their minds, perhaps thinking thoughts such as, "I can stay out of my neighbor's bed, but I can't keep her out of my head. I can keep myself from stealing my neighbor's kinnor, but I can't help coveting it." (Sorry. I had to throw that in when I found out a kinnor had ten strings that were tuned pentatonically without semitones. Mercy! If I can't have semitones in order to tune pentatonically, I don't even want a kinnor!)

I'm sorry, but that gave me a giggle.

So here's the thing. God saw they couldn't keep his commandments, so he gave them a new covenant:

The new covenant promised divine enablement. It promised the Spirit of God would literally be poured into the hearts of His people, giving them power to obey.

This comes in Jeremiah 31:33: "I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

and Ezekiel (Lilly's favorite book.) "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your
filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command."

She goes on to quote Paul:

This second covenant points to the future role of Jesus, not only for salvation, but for victory. It is clearly stated in Romans 8:1-4:

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ
Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through
Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of
Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put
into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a
human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed
sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully
accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but
instead follow the Spirit.

How's that for great news? You and I can't keep God's laws. Not keeping God's laws is sin. The wages of sin is death. Jesus died for that sin. We are not condemned for what we can't do. Mr. Davidson liked to say, "God will punish them for their sins." Jesus says, "Not over My dead and risen body!"

I like that. Jesus saying "Not over My dead and risen body!" It did, it gave me a giggle. The good news is so good.

Rules aren't going to un-break my heart. But the love of God, the love of Jehovah Rophe (the healer, rophe means to mend, stitch by stitch) can work at it. And stitch by stitch takes longer than SHAZAM! but I'm pretty stubborn, so I guess it's good that God doesn't just zap me. He takes a long time because I take a long time.

Oh, look at the time. If I'm gonna walk, I have 10 minutes!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A little bit better...

Woo hoo! Yesterday's breakfast, lunch, and dinner stayed with me!

No matter that I have a wicked stomach ache right now, I think I have crossed the blackout point!

There is comfort in having that conversation with a friend, the conversation you hate to have, but you know you must, or you will never keep down another meal, and that friend says, Bingo! (In agreement.)

Bingo is my new favorite word.


My parents, non-readers most of the time, have been reading Blue Like Jazz. Which makes me want to re-read it, even as I am so enjoying Dinner with Dad, Piano Girl, and...

I pull Blue Like Jazz off the milk carton shelf it sits in, one of the last vestiges of my college furniture. The cover is embossed--I don't think I noticed that before.

I flip it open to the Author's Note.

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that, I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."

I put the book on my pillow, with the intent to take it with me, perhaps as I sit in Tazza before meeting John this morning. I will be walking home from Midas (my car is going in for its yearly inspection.)

Max is reading About a boy, and enjoying it. It does something to have recommended and lent a book to someone and they tell you they're enjoying it.

The first of three (I think) Open Door babies was born on the 31st! Welcome Ian! So yes, it is raining babies. But they are so very cute... It feels nice not to want one right now, though. I can enjoy being Auntie Sarah Louise.


Last night at our Breaking Free Bible Study, it was just Kelly and I. It's a video study, and years ago, I had watched the video for last night's lesson with Kelly. I had forgotten most of it, except for this: Beth Moore was telling the story of when she was signing copies of her first book. All they could find for her to sign copies was a huge garbage can lid. And she felt it was a reminder that she had been in the trash for so many years. She had been in the trash can, but she never was trash. But that God was the one that took her out of the trash can.

Kelly and I sat for at least an hour after the video, her sharing about her time away, me sharing about my time here. How precious it is to have such a friend. We both have so far to travel...but we are traveling, side by side.

Oy! look at the time! I must go off to Midas.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


So I'm here, with my Fruit Punch Gatorade, and a bowl of plain yogurt laced with cinnamon.

I wonder why they don't sell that in the stores? You see lemon yogurt, but never cinnamon.

My stomach has been giving me troubles. Last Monday after lunch, this Monday after lunch, Tuesday after dinner, and this morning when I woke up.

I even left work early (me the girl who has been trying to work extra to get rid of the negative comp time!!). I hated to leave Dee (who is the female equivalent of Mr. Rogers, she is such a sweetie) at the helm in the children's dept. by herself, but I was exhausted.

I slept from 8-10 (got up to take my bedtime meds) and went back to sleep.

I'm NOT getting my car inspected today, that will wait til tomorrow.

Generally, every summer, I have a blackout moment. Not that I blackout, per se, but that life becomes completely overwhelming and I have to step back. Last year it was two weeks off in August. This year, I am doing my darndest to hold on for dear life until Monday when I go with Kelly S. to Sandcastle. To August 20, when I go on vackay with the folks and the sibs to the Lake.

Saturday is the last official day of Summer Reading. I still have the Stuffed Animal Sleepover to plan and do. I'm not so worried about that.

But I wasn't planning on Janice having her baby early.

And I wasn't planning on Emily still not getting back to me.

And when I concieved MY plan of this summer, it wasn't of dating the guy on the first floor. After ten years of not dating. (I went on dates, but this is a RELATIONSHIP.)

NH Sally goes on vackay tomorrow, for a week. Thankfully Kelly (not Kelly S.) is back! And I'll see her tonight!

This morning, tearful, I dialed the house at Nut Street and Dad answered. He is a sweet sweet man, and he just listened to me. He told me about his trip home from Hartford, CT. He took like four commuter trains (Hartford to New Haven, New Haven to NYC, NYC to Philly, and then took an Amtrak to DC.) (But he could have taken a commuter from Philly to Newark, DE, then one to Baltimore, then another one to the DC Metro system.) It's his Dutch upbringing. My father, who owns a home in Falls Church, VA, who has entertained foreign dignitaries and lived and traveled in style all over the world, paid $4 here, and $9 there to criss cross the East Coast. I told him that sounds like something Max would do. It's definately something my brother would do.

I'll get through this. My car will get inspected at my neighborhood Midas tomorrow. If Lilly never talks to me again (yes, we're in a stonewall at the moment, too) and if Emily doesn't come back, and even if...the sky falls, I'll be okay.

When I was in the depths of the depression nine years ago (NINE YEARS!!) a friend sent me a card that I did not appreciate. But I can say it makes me laugh now. "Sorry that life is sucky. Hopefully soon it will be ducky." (And the graphic was of a rubber ducky.)

Off to clean off the grime of another hot hot summer day...