Monday, June 30, 2008

When things go sour...

Well, I'm apt to think of the old "make lemonade" adage, but I know it grates at some. Thinking back to a summer love (since I don't have one this year, yet?) from ages, EONS ago. Wow, I'm old.

We had issues he and I. Oh, we had issues. But we had the best actual breakup on my books.

I'm getting ahead of myself. He was the first 28 year old I dated. I was 23. I have since dated 28 year olds while I was 24 and 35. And I've noticed something, something that I noticed in Tai, not too long into our knowing each other. Something turns sour at 28 for men. Maybe it's the next round (or not) of testosterone, or the knowledge that in two more years they'll be 20. But when men turn 28, they get grumpy. And reminisce on "when I was 23."

Me? I was born on Nov. 28. My mom was born on Feb. 28. She was 28 when she had me. So I thought 28 was going to be this magical year. Instead, it was completely forgettable except for the fact that it was at the beginning stretch of my recovery from/into this bipolar disorder. You know what, I think I went to a hockey game. Yeah, my dad and brother picked me up from work, and we went to a Pens vs. Capitols hockey game. It was the least exciting game of my life, though my dad meant well. I was in a bad place, I guess. I was turning 28.

In SATC-TM, Carrie says to Louise, your twenties are for having fun, your thirties are for angst, and your forties are for paying for the drinks. Louise sparkles her smile and says, "In that case, I'll have another one."

I have a feeling I'm going to like the next decade better than this one. God give me the grace to enjoy each of the four years left (every minute of every day) until I get there.

It's Monday, after all. Anything can happen.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I hate untitled things. But I have been cleaning and writing and talking to my dad. I think my dad and I may have talked for over an hour, and now it's 2:30 and neither of us have had lunch.

Go hug someone. Not to be morbid, but when we lose such greats as Russert, Carlin and Tudor in one short span of time, online time seems less important than being present to people off-line.

I do have many things to share with you, but they'll wait til a time when I've eaten.

Oh, but do me a favor. Go listen to Ann Patchett's commencement speech. Then go to your nearest book depository and get thee a copy of "What now?"



Saturday, June 28, 2008

this post has been brought to you by...

oh, forget it. There's a funny story coming up, but I am dealing with major female pain issues. Sorry about the TMI.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Even the place itself becomes part of you, I don't really know how to explain it

Paula, over at Mixed with Sugar, has been spending the month writing about home. And she, like me, has traveled/lived many places, so home is an interesting concept, home REALLY becomes "where the heart is."

Her husband was in the military, so they lived on a lot of military bases. She just learned that a former home (base) has been disestablished, which sounds like military speak for gone. I love that Paula blogs about this, because I know what she means, even though she's writing more eloquently than I. Berlin returned to being Germany's capital in 1999, after the Wall came down in 1989. Which is wonderful. But it means that the place that I spent first and second grades, Bonn, Germany, is no longer the capital, and I'm sure that almost ALL of the military bases that we shopped at have been disestablished.

This was my comment to her post:

"Even the place itself becomes part of you, I don't really know how to explain it..."

For instance, I have a vocabulary of random foreign phrases that I utter. And if I had a plane ticket to anywhere, it would be to Warsaw, probably one of the least romantic cities in the world to anyone else but me.

It's so nice to read someone's words and know exactly what they mean because you feel the same way.

Thanks, Paula. It was a post that made me think in my heart, me too! Me too.

Linking this up, looking up the dates, finding the Wikipedia page for Bonn, and looking at pictures of the Rhine, I am tearing up. I don't remember all of these places directly, but I have memories linked to scrapbook pictures. Here is a link to Bad Godesburg. The "Bad" is German for "spa."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If you can't say something nice, come sit by me...

(Alice Roosevelt Longworth)

It's been bugging me, as the reviews for SATC-TM come rolling in. And finally, after ranting to dear Katy by IM, I realized what it is. Writers, columnists, are paid to think. So these people, who otherwise would ignore a topic they don't want to write about, HAVE to write something, because, you know, with all the hype around the Foursome from NYC/HBO it's like ignoring the fact that Tim Russert died last week, so since they can't think of anything nice to say and they have to think/write something, bile ensues.

I mean, you would think it was the coming of the anti-Christ, to read some of these reviews. You won't have to Google very far to find them.

Which I find disappointing. I would much rather a column say, "You know what, I think my neighbor/sister-in-law/best friend is CRAZY for loving that show, the movie, but it's not my cup of tea." But that, my friends, is not what sells newspapers. And it makes me kind of sad, because I have seen a petty side of some columnists that I didn't realize was there. A "let me stomp on the party" quality that I didn't notice before. A nit-picky, mean spirited side.


A while ago, I let go of a friend who let go of me. We had drama that was both of our faults--I pushed some buttons that I didn't know were there, she pushed some too. We have not been friends for almost a year. I miss her. But not enough to pick up the phone.

What I don't miss: her disapproval of my choices of reading: she didn't think Christians should read Harry Potter or the Narnia books. I never would have admitted to her that I even watched SATC on TBS, much less the unedited DVDs or the movie. If someone said something to her, she wrote them a letter. If someone did something she disapproved of, she wrote them a letter. When I stepped on the wrong toe, she wrote me a letter.

We had fun together, and her nieces and nephews were kids that we could play house with, take to parks...we were single together, and we loved to laugh. We prayed together--and a friend you can pray with is worth a lot. But I learned something from that friendship. It is so easy to judge. I'm trying to measure my words out, so that it doesn't sound like I'm judging her--she is a smart, beautiful woman. She is. But she is wounded, and in her wounded places, she pounces.

I do that too. This post is my pounce. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte, they are my girls. Mistakes, they have made. But they are beautiful inside. Their friendship for each other is worth more than any peek at all the shoes, couture, cute men. One of the things I loved about SATC-TM was how Samantha became maternal. She watched out for Miranda when Steve admitted to cheating. She was the one who said to Carrie, "you have to eat something," when Carrie hadn't eaten in a whole day, had just slept for almost two days in the dark room at the Mexican not-her-honeymoon locale. When Carrie said, "I'm tired," Samantha said, "eat something, and then you can go back to sleep." Samantha spoon fed Carrie what looked like vanilla yogurt. It was so tender. So gentle. It was practical love, the kind that rolls up its sleeves and says, I'm helping you, just open your mouth. And laughter--these women know when to laugh. When something is really funny. If this movie had been about four women in Pittsburgh who ate at the Quiet Storm, who wear threads from Goodwill and go to the Open Door, it would have been good. I would have gone to see it. But it would not have been the same movie.

I know this will shock many people, but I walked out of the first Lord of the Rings movie TWICE. It didn't touch or inspire me.
I do think my friends/sister/co-workers are a little nuts to love those movies. But I still love them (my friends, not the movies) dearly. And they love me, even if they never understand why I love SATC. Thankfully, I am not a critic, so I didn't have to analyze why LOTR didn't touch or inspire me, I was able to go on with my life and think about other things. Which is what I will do now. Hmm, I think I'll brush my teeth. And tomorrow I might start the third Chicks with Sticks book. Life is good.

My tags in Wordle

Make your

Monday, June 23, 2008

before n' after n'at

Before, in my bathroom.
This is me in Babs' kitchen. (Note all the crafts by children. Clearly not the kitchen of a non-mom/non-aunt.)
Side view.
Back view. (Doesn't she have a great cookie cutter collection?)
Posted by Picasa

Carlin, Tudor, Russert--that's three

I shelved Carlin's books when I worked at Fox Books (humor was one of my departments.) But he is one of the cultural pieces I'm totally missing. Found this quote in an obit, which made me smile:

"Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?"

I have a colleague who knew Tasha Tudor and was actually named after her. What an independent woman she was, and so talented. I have at least one book she illustrated, a collection of Christmas stories called Take Joy!


Meanwhile, I'm feeling guilty about thinking East. Talking to BJ on Thurs was great, but I didn't realize the OD is losing 5 families this summer and then somewhere in the conversation BJ said, and with you maybe leaving (knife to my heart.) Then last night in Steph's sermon, which was about discernment and the Holy Spirit, she said, one of the things to think about when you're making a decision is "is it good for the community." Ouch.

Which of course wants me to yelp, "I have been here from almost the very beginning of this community, I've done my course!" "I'm NOT a Johnny-come-lately that came to Pgh for school and left. I came back THREE times." But I think about the Out of the Gray song "We never went to Venice" (or some such) which talks about building a life right here, which I have ALWAYS advocated. And I do have a wonderful group of friends here, who would miss me, and a great support system. I don't know. I know that these doubts are part of the process--that having these doubts are not wrong, they mean that I care enough to look at it from all points.

I don't know. Something has to give. And it will. I have to trust the process, trust myself, and trust my Lord. I've started re-reading Max Lucado's book, When God whispers your name, and there's a part where he talks about his daughter and a player piano, that reminded me yesterday afternoon (and this morning) that I can't screw up God's plan:

I could see why she was so happy. She sat down to attempt "Chopsticks" but instead played "The Sound of Music." What's more, she couldn't fail. One greater than she was dictating the sound. Andrea was free to play as much as she wanted, knowing the music would never suffer.

Oh. Okay. Alright, I'll go live my life.

When I was in college and seriously considering transferring from Carlow (where I attended my first two years) to Washington College (where I did attend my last two years, and graduate) I was in serious every day, well, I don't know, what should I do? My mother, wise woman that she is, said, write it on the calendar. Every day, when you wake up, what is in your heart? In the end, I did decide to leave this city I love, and it WAS the best decision. I had two wonderful years at WAC, years that are earmarked as the two of the best years of my life. Which was such a joy, as I had had two pretty miserable ones at Carlow. (Which is not to say I didn't love Carlow, it's just that the overarching memories of Carlow were ones of growth, painful growth. The overarching memories of WAC were enjoyment.)

Of course, those memories are at least 15 years old, and thus colored by memory, which never tells the whole story.


In other news, when I went for tea and a bagel at Tazza, there was a table of women knitting! And then I went to see Babs, who was on her way to the grocery store. She picked up yogurt and cranberry juice for me! (And my heart says, see, you'd miss these things...) (And my heart replies, I know.)

To be continued...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Insomnia, thy name

(Also, I would probably generally post a post like this over in SL gets better, but let's face it, I'm even too tired to do that.)

So, even though Thurs. and Fri. I easily went to bed at 8pm (unwillingly, I might add), Saturday, I didn't nod off until, um, close to 3 AM!! I did finish two more Traveling Pants books during my awake time (and have put #4 on hold.)

I woke up feeling like death warmed over. But it's too bright (hello Summer!), so I'm faced with finding that eye-covery thing (not sure where it is, may know) and ATTEMPTING to sleep some more, (which, let's face it, probably won't happen) or getting up now, drinking some coffee, and bracing myself for a day which should prove to be a good one.

Why is that, SL? I'm getting my hair cut!! (Don't you dare ask "which one?") (Yes, I will post pictures.) (I promise!)

I know part of the insomnia is the intense afternoon spent with my boss and one other co-worker yesterday afternoon, (staying in the same chair pretty much from 1pm to 5pm, with a few bathroom breaks) on the futures of cataloging and Web 2.0.

Another part is that yes, I probably still have a sinus infection. I knew that. I probably still also have an (or both) ear(s) infection, as they were hurting last night to the extent that I took some Tylenol. I'll get a Dr. appointment as early as possible on Monday. Fun. Also, I'm treating myself for a yeast infection (you know, because I've already had two rounds of antibiotics.) Yes, I am buying some cranberry juice today, and a lot of plain yogurt. I know, I know.

But this is how the past coupla weeks have gone: do something, be exhausted, get some food, get some rest, preferably sleep.

This is how it played out yesterday: when I left my boss's house around 5:15, I had to go pee and have dinner. Which I did, at Panera. And sit (and read, finishing Unpredictable) for a long time, before I knew I was rested enough to go across the road to get gas (I realize saving about 18 cents isn't a lot, but there's something a tiny bit giddy about paying 3.97 for 9 gallons instead of 3.99.) So it was 7:15 before I got back on the road again, homeward bound, for a drive of a little over a half hour. Before going home, I walked around the reservoir for 15 minutes, because I hadn't walked since Wednesday and I wanted SOMETHING to show Treadmill lady when I see her on Tuesday.

How did it get to be 9:30 a.m.?

Okay, and since I've been honest with you this entire post, here's what I need help with: dishes. They are ALL dirty, well, except that I did three utensils and three dishes last night when I came home from walking, but um, that doesn't even scratch the surface. So say a prayer if you're the praying type that either:
  • a fairy godmother(s)
  • or all my energy
  • or bits of energy could come to me.
And now I'll go forage for breakfast. Although I could totally lie down for a while. Hmmm.

Friday, June 20, 2008

She shops around for the best yarns...

So as I stumble back into having a daily quiet time, I've been going back to Proverbs 31. I know a lot of women shudder, but I have always liked her, she seems like someone I'd like. Today I changed translations and had to laugh that The Message translation of verse 13 is "She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing" in light of yesterday's post.

I did some sewing in high school, with my mom's help, I made a skirt. I wonder if I have a picture somewhere...I'll search. The pockets were the coolest--they were tied at the top...I'll get a picture.

Yesterday I cleaned in the morning and did two loads of laundry, DUSTED, and miracle of miracles, found a library book that had been lost for over a year. This week I was finally going to come clean and say to the library whose it was, what do I owe you? Instead, I found it!! Woo hoo! The cover price is $20 and processing would be about $5 or $6, so I saved myself twenty five bucks!

Today is my dear old dad's birthday. He sent me this You Tube, but we both also enjoyed this one (my dad is tall, his name is Paul): Tall Paul sung by Annette Funicello.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

(Hits head, RIGHT!) Inwhich Sarah Louise tries to fix the whole of her life in one blog post

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. (David to his son Solomon) (1 Chronicles 28:20)

My mother loves trees. Especially Sassafras trees. These are pictures of the tree in our upper parking lot at work. First, the spoon leaf.
Then the fork leaf.
Finally, the mitten. Oh, we'll get to mittens later in this post. Maybe the spoon and fork is to remind me to do dishes...

(See, I did post pictures!!)

"Remember that God does not set us up to fail. He sets us up to flourish."
--Margaret D. Mitchell, in "A Women's Walk" devotional.

So I have not been reading anything but emails when I wake up since I finished reading Anne Lamott's Plan B. I have been relying on email and Twitter to give me direction for the day.

Lemme tell you, it's like the blind leading the blind.

Even on the Bible website, I clicked link upon link, trying to find things to amuse me. Oooh, shiny stationery. Ooooh, a conference in...Georgia. Finally, I decided to follow something that my email devo recommended:

Start with just a small amount of time. Even if it is just 5 minutes at first, give this 5 minutes solely to the Lord without any other distractions. Over the next weeks and months, your desire for more time with Him will increase. (Lysa TerKeurst)

So, since I was finding references to my favorite chapter everywhere, I looked it up: Proverbs 31. Phrases like "she works with eager hands" and "she is clothed in dignity" pounced on me. I work eagerly at work...sometimes. But when was the last time I was eager to get rid of dust at home?

I live alone. So if stuff piles up, guess who reminds me? Me or noone else.

So the fact that God is setting me up to flourish is HUGE. He wants me to succeed. Ohhhh...

So today my prayer is that I notice more than the sumac tree outside my window, that I use these two days to rest and rejuvenate, and to bulldoze through the mess my apartment has become. I hope to get together with friends...although sending out an email didn't work--I'm still learning this electronic, or even this non-electronic life. I meet with BJ this afternoon to talk about starting a small group at the OD. I am glad just to be meeting with him--because I sure need a hug.


In other news, I have discovered a wonderful book, one that might even make me (yes, me) into a knitter. Yesterday, in looking for books to read on this, my two days off, I picked this book of the shelf: Chicks with Sticks (It's a Purl Thing) by Elizabeth Lenhard. First off, it totally reminds me of Katy, who lives in Chicago, where this book is set, who used to live in Andersonville, where the knitting shop is, and who knits. (Ohmigosh, as I found the author's website, I discovered, oh joy, it's a trilogy!)

Girls, this book is pure wonderfulness. If you haven't read it, run, do not walk, to your local book depository/purveyor/library and pick up a copy.


Well, here's where two of the four girls exchange hello's:

"And what do you see, in the one class we have together a day?" Amanda challenged.
"I see someone who's figured out that being pretty gets you more popular points than a good math grade," Tay said with a lazy shrug. "Someone who spends a lot of mental energy on, y'know, lip gloss."
"Oh, thanks for the sum-up," Amanda snapped. "I feel so deep now." (p. 58)

The four friends don't start out as cozy, and everyone has their, you know, issues. But knitting seems to transform each girl, as she discovers frogging (tearing apart a project), what all the initials mean: WIP means work in process, and how to be a friend by stepping forward and stepping back.

This is a book you want to read for three hours at lunch. Or finish at ten pm after you started it over dinner. And... (Sarah Louise flips through the book, trying to figure out how to explain its essence.)

This is the passage that GOT me. The one that hooked me in. (Is that a knitting term? I have no clue.)

The scene: Scottie is trying to sleep. The trains outside her window do not help.

She wished her REM state would get over itself and go back to business. Or she wished there was somebody she could call--movie characters always had some die-hard friend who didn't mind when you woke her up in the middle of the night for a little split-screen hand wringing. She wished... (p. 6)

How I learned the hard way that you DON'T call real live friends at 3 in the morning when you can't sleep (the subject for another post, another day.)

And all the chapters are things (I think) you do in knitting: Cast on, check tension, bind off and break yarn.

Anyways, I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. I promise.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oprima 7 para Español...

Okay, so I went through telephone tree hell with my student loan company this morning. First, my phone's battery died as I was dialing. So I had to use my cell phone. (I do have another phone that I could have used for landline, but with a 5 person family plan that is mainly used by my sister and me, there are a ton of minutes to use.)

Then I had to figure out how to get through TO A PERSON. Thank God that I know Spanish, because the only way to get through to a person was to hit 7 which promised someone who would speak Spanish. SOMEONE. That's what I needed. So I thought, I can tell them in my limited (now, formerly fluent) Spanish that I want someone in English, por favor. Luckily, I got someone in English. To tell me that an online payment takes 2-3 days to go through. But they'll note on my account that I paid today. GAH!

My bank, USAA, has spoiled me. Most things I do online show up right away. Ugh.


In other news, it took me a day to fall back in love with the new frames I picked out last Monday. Thanks to C, who was the only one who noticed and gave me a huge compliment. C and I are kindred spirits.

Me: "Do you really like them? Because..."
C: "Oh yes! I've been waiting to get new glasses because I didn't want boxy frames, but if those are what's out now..."

It was just what I needed. (And she was THE ONLY PERSON that noticed.)

That was in the afternoon. In the evening, before she left, as I was starting back after lunch,* she said it again. Bless her. Pictures forthcoming, I promise.


Oh, and [squeal] I forgot, I have the next two days OFF! I took them off so I could go down South for my dad's b-day. When I decided not to go, I decided to keep the vacation days, but since I wasn't going anywhere, I promptly forgot about them. So I've sent an email out to all my gals (and Pete) that I'm available for lunch, walks, etc. Hopefully I'll get at least one answer--my IRL friends are a busy bunch and generally need a little more notice than a day to come up with some time.

I'll upload pictures, that will be my vacation gift to you. (And me, I've been meaning to do it foreva!)

But first, I have a promise to keep to myself--walk for 15 minutes.
*a meal break at work is always lunch, whether it is at 10:30 am because you started at 6:30 am, or 5:00 pm because you started at 1 pm. (Or 1:04--I have GOT to be there on time all summer.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 was such an easy game to play...

It was like a dream: a book that I'm on the wait list for (with at least 300 other people) was there, on the shelf, at the Squirrel Hill library in their Bestsellers. I squealed, and went off to lunch at Gullifties. (Yes, I'm eating out less, but Monday lunch is a non-negotiable.)

Emily Giffin hit the scene a few years ago with Something Borrowed and Something Blue. LOVE those books. Couldn't read Baby Proof, I draw the line at reading too many books about people wanting babies. (Since I'm clearly so ambivalent...not.) Anyways, I was excited about her latest, Love the one you're with. I spent the afternoon and evening reading it. Ah, to be caught up in a book.

Even if it wasn't the best book (I still maintain that her first two are her best, and I own them in paperback), it was a great way to spend hours. Ellen is a girl who discovers photography, loves NYC, and marries into old Southern aristocracy. It's about meeting the guy who was not so great for her a year after she married her husband. For all of us who dated (at least) one of those intense types, it's a good read.

I probably would have been less hard on her as a writer if she hadn't chosen Pittsburgh as the hometown for her heroine. Her references to da Burgh seemed stiff, like she'd only read a wikipedia article or something. (Her facts were right, soul.) Go back to your roots, Em!

Geez, I'm 15 minutes late for a date with myself for a walk...oh, and I didn't do the TCK call either, I napped yesterday afternoon. Yep, I'm into the beginning of SUMMER, my least favorite season. I'll try to be positive here, but no guarantees. I still have clean underwear though.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dear Internets, it's Monday again

At some point, I just started writing.

It doesn't scare away bad dreams: not sure which is scarier, that I spent $40 unknowingly for entree at lunch, so lunch total was $90?? Or that I was registered Libertarian the night before the Primary (closed Primaries in PA--not to dis my Libertarian readers) Or that a dead body came out of a grave and shook me. That woke me up and then I fell back asleep for another hour.

Again, there are no clean forks, spoons, dishes. Food is eaten out of baking pans, forks or spoons are cleaned as the meal does a twirl in the microwave.

But I do have clean underwear.

I wore dresses all last week and not the pedometer, so I have to fudge all my "steps." Probably around 3-4K each day.

There's a phone-in call for TCKs (Third Culture Kids) today at 4pm. Should be interesting. I'm sure some of my angst is related to the 7 TCK issues that will be discussed therein. The handout is a .pdf, my printer isn't working, so maybe I'll share notes later. I haven't done a phone-in call since the year I thought I could get rich quick doing a home business. So glad THAT'S over.

Oh here's something: have you noticed that EVERYONE is giving away free gas cards? Even the local gambling resort is giving away cards every hour. And the home business guys have a new angle: work at home, save gas! No more radio adverts about get a mortgage, hmm. And Exxon has these "intellectual" ads that play during Meet the Press, about how they are doing research for hybrids.

It's 62 (F), so I just turned off the AC and opened a window. But it will be up to 80 (F).

They're talking to Jason Castro from American Idol. This should be good.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

community in the crying room

Our church meets in an old church that is now a community center. Pottery studio downstairs, a café up front, and we meet in "The Great Hall." The café is air conditioned and has a boy and girl separate bathrooms and comfy chairs. And there are speakers, so you can hear the sermon if you're in there. The café is closed Sundays, so it's a great place to nurse, or let your child ask "What's her middle name?" of all the women sitting around, away from the heat and the congregation.

I don't have a child, but I often am my very own reason to be in the crying room--if the sermon is too sensitive, or I'm too sensitive, or I just need to be alone. When I went to a Baptist church in NoVa, when I lived on Nut St. with the 'rents, I went to the church's library and read Today's Christian Woman magazine back issues. But the sermon wasn't piped in. Which probably was good, since I often left because the sermon was too much for my at that time depressed brain. I'm not depressed right now (yet) (Hallelujah!) but I feel oppressed, tired, and whiny. I thought I was better, and I am better than I was, but still not healed. Yuk. Also, summer is not my favorite season--all the mamas have their children home and they go off on family vacations and oh, it was truly wonderful to talk to Sally on my cell phone this evening, as she waited for a delayed plane in an airport somewhere. I missed her so much this week. Watching her cat, sleeping in her house, helped. Reading her copy of Plan B was comforting, like having Sally in another room, but not really.

Last summer was the summer of weddings: I think I went to five. This summer seems to be the summer of boyfriends and babies: all of my friends have either new babies or new boyfriends (at least 3). I don't think I'm close with any of the pregnant women (pre-babies), but I know at least three. Unless I'm counting Charlotte York as my third pregnant woman--no, I was at a party last night and there was one house-sized mama and one with a cute bump. (Guess which one is having her second?) So that brings the tally to at least four.

And not that I don't like babies or boyfriends, but as a woman with family out of state mostly and the family that is in-state is five hours away (Kiki...) I feel my support systems are getting distracted. Which then makes me even more weepy, because, shouldn't I be happy for these women, not counting and keeping track of the moments they will not have for me?

So: to those of you that are in my life reading this: I love you. I rejoice with you for the new men and children in your life. Because they bring you to life, and I can see the joy in your eyes. Just don't lose me--I am going to hold on like h-e-double hockey sticks.

There are new people coming into my life, if I let them in, and that's good too. Holding on by the skin of my teeth, I am. What a fun play that was.*

Hogs and quiches,


It played at the Bonn Community Theatre when I was in first or second grade. My parents tell me I went twice. I guess my desire for repetition in theatre (live or filmed) came early. I then remember catching it on PBS and thinking, this looks familiar, why? It was the part about the toilet being American Standard. I heart Thorton Wilder. Our Town is a good play too, but SOOT is just wild. I read the play at the Lake one year, it was a volume that had all three of his famous plays.

Oh, and this heartbreaking news just in (early last week) : we won't be at the cabin this August. Sigh. The owners have need of it. Bird and I have that week off for work, so we'll do something else. It better involve swimming, that's all I can say.

Over and out, off to bed.

"i want a girl just like the girl that married dear old dad..."

(not on the radio right now, but all the other titles I came up with sounded so cheesy.)

This was my first "tweet" of the day: Called dad at 7:50. Had a great and varied chat. He always reminds me that it was I that made it possible for him to be a dad. (Grin.)

Reminder to self: maybe wait 'til a little later so you haven't done the main thing of the day so early.

Because lemme tell you, the "Tribute to Tim Russert" on Meet the Press was not a pick-me-up.

So around 12:45ish, I
tried to get out of my sofa coma, pulled myself back over to the computer, and hit on the perfect thing to do for the rest of the afternoon: See SATC-TM for the second time.

Sigh. It was lovely. And while now that I've read some reviews, I see how the critics might have issues, I still don't. For me, it was a goofy movie with not always the best writing, but with great wardrobe and its heart in the right place. What more could a girl ask for?

Since I had popcorn and a smuggled yogurt for lunch, I am making Pad Thai with Tofu (don't fall over--it's from the healthy foods frozen section.)

In one of my favorite books, On Fortune's Wheel, the heroine meets the hero's grandmother and says, you never told me you had a grandmother. And in time, she understood why--the grandmother was so close to his heart that he didn't have to talk about her. (Note to self: I hope I am someday that way about future husband. Single women, you hear me, right?) And all the cards are so goopy or goofy or just insulting to my intelligence or his. You know I love him, I write about him all the time. He's still here, so there's no need for a tribute.

I am grateful for every day that I have the living love of my dad.

And for all you golf widows, I hope you did something fun like go to a movie or have a gab-fest with your girls. Yep, it's still on.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cat sitting...or being sat upon

So I'm back from lunch. It's raining ovah heah. Drizzling now. I went over to Sally's for lunch just b/c I spent the morning reading and watching the Tim Russert tributes on the Today show so I left for work at 8:55, with my lunch still in the freezer.

This morning, while reading, the cat (no, I don't know her name) just wanted to be near me. On me. Next to me. Same dealy-o last night.

I did take pictures, but she's camera shy. I'll post them when I get home. (You'll see, this is not a cat that likes to be in pictures.)

Have been reading Plan B--how I adore Anne Lamott.

If I hadn't come into work and just been bombarded by boredom for the first hour or so, I might be able to tell you why I love AL. But you'll just have to find out by yourself.

Go hug someone--especially Dad, but anyone will do.

Oh, and am still reading Luanne Rice book (The Edge of Winter), it's kind of a predictable "family story," the kind of book shelved in "women's fiction" but my brain couldn't take AL at lunch--it's true that you need to be in the right mood to read certain books. And not to diz Luanne, cuz, her Home Fires was a favorite of mine about ten years ago. I get her confused with Lois Battle. We read Bed and Breakfast about seven years ago when I "ran" a book club at Fox Books in Virginia.

I'm sure there's some series I have to check or something...

Friday, June 13, 2008

If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press...

(Tim Russert, RIP June 13, 2008)

I am pretty new to the Sunday news shows, but my church meets at night, so I occasionally tune in, and this being an election year, I've become a little more interested. So the fact that I just watched Tim on Sunday and never will see him live again, well, it's not as devastating as the tornados or the floods or the earthquake survivors...but it's not a small loss.

He seemed so cool, calm, and collected. And 58 is very young. I've put his books, Big Russ and Me, and Wisdom of our fathers on hold.

Link from The Caucus, a NYT blog. Oh, and I see that his wife and son were in Italy and have been flown back.

Go hug your dad.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

...but I don't think time is going to heal this broken heart...

(song on the radio right now, Anne Murray)

The First Chapter: Last night
Well, I went to the OD's "Impromptu Girl's Night Out" and it was just three of us, but I'm glad I showed, it was at the same location as the "party" (I was the only guest for that one too) for Game 4, when the Pens lost badly. M's husband is out of town, so we had grilled bratwurst, lots of salad, and Asiago Peppercorn, my new favorite salad dressing. PLUS, ICE CREAM SAMWICHES. Then we watched Margot at the Wedding, which is 90 minutes we'll never get back. But like living through the Depression or WWII, watching a bad movie brings you together. I mean, anyone can say they've had ice cream samwiches with A and M. But only the three of us can say we watched every last grinding minute of Nicole Kidman being mean.

Oh, now they're playing Take Five, much more upbeat. (And now they're doing the news, which on the Nostalgia station is all the blood and gore, have now changed radio back to my FM country radio station.)

I'm showered and ready to drive up to Sally's to spend the morning making a few cards before lunch and work. (Lunch is two work birthdays, and you know, Father's Day doesn't fall next to dear old Dad's birthday this year, so my card might be late.)

Chapter 2: Calling the ex, getting the machine
I had to call Max the other day b/c I thought I was spending the week at Sally's, to ask him to pull my mail. Well, okay, I didn't have to call him, but Marian encouraged me to think of him as just a neighbor I trust. Hardest message I've had to leave on a machine this year. He put my Ladies Home Journal in the shoe box, where I think I'll leave it for now.

Chapter 3: My virtual life, I write badly about cancer.
Am getting back into reading other people's blogs. And commenting, even! Through Erin, I found The Comfy Place, where Jenni is telling her cancer story. I don't know how to comment, so I just say, "virtual hugs!" She also has started a blog with other moms that have or have had cancer, I haven't visited it, but hold the phone, here's the link. My friend that I call Boston (even though she doesn't really live near Boston, she's right on the NH border) survived ovarian cancer about 5 years ago. I don't remember much except that chemo is horrible. My boss is going through radiation right now, we are all so grateful that she doesn't have to do chemo. My dad walks the Race for the Cure every year. He's known a bunch of women with breast cancer in his life and only one that has died. I'm so not good at writing about this. But go visit Jenni and her blogs.

Chapter 4: There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. (Anaïs Nin)
Yesterday was a key turning point. (Short: I'm getting over the infections!) I had to sit and wait in the waiting room at the chiropractor's, but Dee, the receptionist asked me, Sary, why is your immune system suppressed? Are you stressing about something? And my chiropractor, when I said, "I feel like my back is up against the wall, this is our busiest season" he said, "you know stressing out won't help you get better." And he promised to do research on nutritional supplements. Maybe the most therapeutic moment I spent there, though, was when the woman waiting in the chair next to me said, I hate country music but I love this song, as the opening bars of "Before he cheats" came on the piped-in radio. And I said, "you don't want to like it, it's so violent, but you can't help it." She nodded. And it occurred to me that I still have residual anger towards Tony, my first boyfriend, who was such a sleaze bag. So while I was getting therapy (electric stim and heat), I cried silently. For all the women that have been cheated on and for my poor seventeen year old self who didn't know any better. I couldn't find the post I was looking for, but this one, with the Anaïs Nin quote, will do. (No, looking at comments, I see this is the post I was looking for.)

The Final Chapter: wrapping up the ends, sort of...
The thing about blogging is that I really wanted to be out the door to the NH 20 minutes ago and I have to go pick up my NEW frames (pictures forthcoming, I'll get Marian to take one) and I'm sitting here with my wet hair not yet sure what I'll wear to work. So I have gotten all these emotions up and now I have to move on to the next thing.

And now I've read over the words a couple of times, tweaking here and there, deciding if I should use quotes or italics, linking the CT review to M at the W. (Which is exactly what A, M, and I would have told you about the movie if we were movie critics.) (There is a thrill in reading that someone else felt the same way.)

It's 9:30. If I'm going to get to Sally's, make some cards, do a load of laundry, etc. I better get going. Have a good day, you, dear reader.

Epilogue: LAUGH!
Cripes. This is why you re-read and re-tool. I forgot to tell you what was the key that got me through yesterday morning: I smiled, smiled, smiled. I've never had laughing gas, but my chatter to Marian as we went off to Wendy's for lunch was full of laughter and glee. Oh, and wearing my brown shift which accentuates that I'm a thin tall drink of water...and that matches my hair. So go look pretty. And smile, smile, smile. Laugh a little. Or a lot. Because it's sometimes the only thing that gets us back to where we live.

Sigh. It's 10 to 10. Watch SL run out the door. But it felt good to add a little extra spunk to this post. NOW, COMMENT. (I mean, I hope you somehow identified with one of the many SL's that showed up in this mini novel.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

coming out...

It may sound small to y'all, but I have officially added THIS blog to my Twitter profile, and I'm now xxxx/Sarah Louise if people want to find me (pghgurl30). It's futile to try to stay anonymous. Too many people IRL know me as SL, so what ya gonna do? The main thing is I don't want someone to Google me and find THIS first. Just checked, and it's still true.

Also, I know it's silly, but I got two comments from top shelf bloggers this morning, hello Schmutzie and Poppy!

Poppy recommended more pictures, which of course, I knew that one. Now I just have to kidnap some cute kids...

Well, it might be cute shoes. I have many of those. And you know, this blog IS called pink sneakers n'at.

Okay, so the Y kids aren't coming today. (C'mon, one round, Y M C A, you can do the arm motions for me...) Off I go to check DDC numbas. I think I'll need music--the key today is to keep smiling, to boost the endorphins and the immune system.

Marian has a white cat. I'm wearing a brown dress. But Wynter is too cute for me to be upset. Met him today at lunch at Marian's. Wynter is 8, so I recommended the Mr. Putter and Tabby series. Mr Putter and Tabby row the boat is the one I'd recommend for today, even though today actually isn't as hot hot hot as Monday was.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cause we all want to be big rock stars, live in hill top mansions with fifteen cars...

(Nickelback song)

Yeah. Well, I don't think I want to be a rock star, per se. All that traveling. But as I read people's tweets and delete the spammy tweeting folks that are following 25,547 people and are trying to measure their worth by how many folks follow them, I think, yeah, we all wanna be big rock stars.

BlogHer is coming up. I have never considered going, because, um, I'm a Z-list blogger, broke, and you know, I'd have to travel. Oh, and this is the busiest time of year for a children's librarian. But it's interesting reading about folks going and getting ready, (two links from Schmutzie) getting business cards made, (first link is "too much information about my doctor's appt," but it's the only way to see Schmutzie's AMAZING business cards. She's amazing)(two links from Angela) raffling off shawls... (the second link shows the picture of Angela's shawl.)


In the past two days, I have seen way too many doctors. You tell me how you'd feel after at least three people asked you two days in a row if you're doing recreational drugs, if you have floating anxiety, if you've seen things other people don't see. (Btw, my answers were: No, no, and no.) Yesterday I had a clinician ask me if I was on disability. WHAT? Surely that wasn't on your script, and NO. I work full time. I may be sleeping more than normal due to the infections (slept two hours this afternoon, couldn't get myself motivated to do much else) but well, it bothered me. Due to all this and you know, the lack of seeing people because I've been SLEEPING, I had a slight meltdown whilst washing my hair. (You know, after telling folks you're doing great, sometimes you stop believing your own press after they ask you all those questions.)

I need some more IRL hugs and people and community. Funny, I found a piece of paper which essentially had that written on it that I'd printed from like two years ago. So that means I've been in stupid holding pattern on not thinking this is the life I want and wanting more community for two years, AT LEAST.

So here are some new things, because the Psalmist didn't write, "Sing to the Lord an old song":
  • Getting new frames. The Rx is the same, but the coating is worn off so the glasses are all cloudy.
  • Getting a new hair cut (after I get the frames, for best benefit.) Babs has described the cut to me, I have to either find a picture or draw it before I forget. She saw it on someone at Tazza D'Oro.
  • Picked out paint chips for what color pink I might paint the back room in September.
  • In the mail my dad sent me pink shoelaces (no, he sent my blog new shoelaces, yes the envelope was addressed to Pink Sneakers n'at, c/o Sarah Louise) and I'll use those in the new running shoes I'll be getting soon.
In the meantime, I'd like a new immune system. If you know where I can get one, lemme know.

And I'm really missing Sally, who is in the British Virgin Islands all week with her fam. But I fed her cat and will most likely be spending tomorrow night at Chez Sally to save on gas n'at. (Her house is 5 min from my library.) I have a chiro appt tomorrow (THREE DAYS OF DOCTORS IN A ROW) and the chiro office is closer to my house so it only made sense to spend the night here, in Pittsburgh's historic East End. Or something like that.

Well, I think I could probably curl up and sleep SOME MORE (yawn) so I'll bid yins adieu.

If you're the praying type, say one for me. Thanks, luv.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sarah Louise tries...

Ach. As I woke up, I thought, geez, I just told my readers I'm publishing trash and I'm okay with that.

That's not what I meant. Or how I meant it. What I meant was, my goal with this blog is to write every day, and to publish every day. Some days I'm ON, and some days I'm not. What I'm trying to learn is how to still publish on the days that I'm not writing so well. And is it okay to publish drivel? Train wreck paragraphs?

Only connect. (Said E.M. Forster in Howard's End, a book I still haven't read.) But who am I connecting to? And can I connect what I want to write about to what you want to read about? And what will make you comment, with "Me too!" or "I disagree, what about this?"


I just watched the last half hour of "Meet the Press." One of the interesting things they did was show all the blue states and all the pale blue states. Then all the red states and the pink states (well, they called them pale red, but hello, I know what color pale red is.) Then all the "yellow" states, which are the ones up for grabs. It made me think I need to bring back the site meter if I want this blog to be anything but me just writing for me. Because you are out there reading. And while every writer truthfully says, "I wrote the book for me, because it wasn't out there for me to read," every writer also truthfully says, "Thank you for reading my book. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone."

Okay. That big pause of about...a good half hour was me trying to figure out what it is that I love about Badger, taking a trip over to Blackbird (because Badger sent me) and then watching Tom Cruise talk to Matt Lauer about Ritalin on Ask Hairshirt. Gah! Help! Get me out of here! And I'm not going back to link up. And I'm hitting publish and going to go do something else very different right now. Because I'm sorry, Tom Cruise as a person freaks me out. (As an actor, well, I mean, I adore the movie Jerry Maguire.)

Moving. away. from. the. screen.

Author's note: items in bold are items I would have linked to if I weren't about to throw myself off a cliff after watching Tom Cruise say "Matt, you're glib." Okay, not really throw myself off a cliff. But, yes, I'm going to go eat something and take some mind-altering drugs that have been prescribed to me by someone who does understand Ritalin. GAH!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Sarah Louise tries to stay solvent...

My dad has this saying: If your outflow exceeds your inflow, then your upkeep will be your downfall.

I've been living the downfall part since I graduated with my B.A. in English, 1993. I had three great years. They were the years I lived with my parents as I figured out my bipolar diagnosis. So I know it's possible. But not easy. And when gas is $3.95 and more a gallon...

So I've been trying a few things. is one. Except that they really stick it to you--right now, there it is, on the screen: I'm not in the black. I'm solidly in the red.

Another thing I'm trying: to eat in more.

So tonight, after I called my friend and she was already making her dinner, I thought, oh, I should go out to Gullifties or something and then I thought NO! I want to make this solvency thing work. (I do want to write a post about being a single woman eating alone at a restaurant. That's another post.)

So I ate my leftovers from Mad Mex (Wednesday) and watched Love Actually, which is such a wonderful movie. Rough around the edges in the sense that the people are really real, which, you know, is sort of shocking.


And I WAS on the radio this morning! (After making several illegal U-turns because part of 579 is shut down and there are no marked detours.) There were 9 of us librarians. It was a lot of fun. We had brunch at Panera afterwards and it broke into talking about how crazy different people's bosses are.

There's a Pittsburgh job--Kiki on the phone yesterday, "But I didn't think you were looking in Pittsburgh." Um, well, I wasn't. I'll spare the details just because, you know, it's the Internet, and you never know who's reading, but it's a kind of cool job. You should have seen Marian's face when I told her I was going to apply. Look up "grin" in the dictionary and you'd see Marian's smile.

Of course, if I were to stay in da Burgh, no one could visit me in NYC, I'd still be at my church with all its imperfections, and I'd still be living in the third floor walk up with Max on the first floor.

So...I don't know. It's all fantasy until I send the resumé, and even then, you know, the interview...

If I did stay, I'd ask my landlord for new floors, and I'd get a paint job. Maybe have this room pink. Not bubblegum pink, something soft-ish.


My dad took my mom to a MLB game, the Senators The Senators won. (I think.) Anyways, it was an exciting game, in the way that Game 5 was exciting for me. So it was fun to talk to my dad about it, even though I don't get baseball and he doesn't get hockey, we could share the excitement we experienced.


So, SATC-TM (Sex and the City, the Movie) of course has caused a hubbub. No doubt. And being that I have always grappled with being a red blooded Christian woman and my love for Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, I thought I'd pass on a few links of some folks and what they're saying. And let me say how much I respect Christianity Today for
a) giving Camerin Courtney, a single woman, the job to review the movie
b) coming clean with the fact that a lot of people couldn't believe they reviewed it at all. "You reviewed WHAT?"

Camerin did not love the movie. I did. For me, it was a perfect mix of escapism and the reality of what happens when relationships break and how you try to repair them.

But here's a quote I liked from from Camerin's review (and really, if you're not sure if you want to see it, read Camerin's review, she lets you know what you'll see, just so you're not shocked when you get to the theater.)

Most of the few Christian voices speaking to the growing single segment of the population offer ten easy steps to find our soulmate. As if it's that wondrously simple. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda, however, show how challenging it really can be for intelligent, accomplished, and admittedly neurotic women to find lasting love. They, unlike many Christians, don't insult my intelligence. Instead they speak to the complexities of relationships in a postmodern age—addressing baby lust, the mommy wars, sexual temptation, dating outside your "class," commitment-phobia, the reluctant desire to be rescued by a man, and the simultaneous fear that you'll lose your own hard-won identity in the process. Yes, materialism and hedonism abound. But so does a messy wrestling with complex new realities of life that I wish I saw more of in Christian circles.

That one line: They...don't insult my intelligence. Yes. Yes. YES. Because love on either side of the wedding is not easy. And American Christian culture doesn't do a good job of communicating that. Or, if they do, they speak only to those that are on the wedding band side. If there was a book called: So, you're single? Finding your Christian soul mate in 36 excruciating steps that may not work for your personality or situation, I'd buy it. Because at least it would be honest.

Because, honestly, I have no idea if I want to get married. Kids? I'm sorry, having something inside me for 9 mos and getting bigger does not appeal to me in the least. Plus, I'd have to change my psych meds. It's not that I don't like kids (hello, I'm a children's librarian) or that I don't think there are any great men out there (but they're all too young or married...) Okay, this is one of those train wreck paragraphs.

And possibly one of those train wreck posts. Here's another reason I blog anonymously: there isn't pressure for every sentence to be poetic, or funny. And inevitably, the posts that I think are lame are the ones that get comments, and the ones that I think are brilliant get none. I allow myself, in the words of Natalie Goldberg, to just write trash. I can't find my copy of Writing Down the Bones at the moment to find the quote. And in blogging, I allow myself to publish drivel. Because I just want to connect. Yes, I should be using my writing energy to write a novel, or work on my 15 year old novella, but I'm not ready yet. And just like trying to stay in and not eat out (as much) and doing things like trying to keep track of where my money goes are small steps, so is blogging.

Okay, I think I'll go make a cup of hot tea. Or gargle. Or something to be healthy.

Summer colds are the worst

Okay, raise your hand if this has happened to you? You're stuffed up, you have a sinus headache, and all you want to do is get cold because it's 90 degrees in your third floor walk up?

Drink hot tea? Eat soup? What are you, daft? But if I don't do some of that soon, I fear I'll be using Kleenex until August, and not just because Big jilted Carrie. (Y'all do know it ends well, though? I didn't, I went into the theater thinking oh, how sad it will be...)

Anyways, clearly I find it more interesting to talk about things besides my health (thank God, right?) because lemme tell you, summer colds are THE WORST.

So pray for me, if you're the praying type. Today I might be on the radio (I'm not clear on this, I'm at least going to watch other librarians be on the Saturday Light Brigade.)

Be outside and wear sunscreen. But not Banana Boat, Badger got a sunburn. Or be inside and stay cool.

Okay, off to the Children's Museum I go. Hopefully I don't get lost.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Next year!

Okay, I'll talk about the game in a minute, maybe. But first, get a load of this one. Citizens Bank (link from Post-Gazette) (which used to be Mellon Bank in this part of the world) is not going to finance some community college loans. Ouch. I have a handful of friends (and some of the toughest cookies I've known) that have gotten their B.A. by attending a CC somewhere. A quote from the article in today's Post-Gazette:

Likewise, Mr. Means (of Westmoreland Community College) could not say how many among his school's 6,200 students are affected, but he predicted confusion and frustration will result from the bank's move.

"The way I look at it is they're losing business," he said. "I think it's a mistake."

Oh yes, it's a mistake. Not that I've ever had an account with Citizen's since I closed my Mellon account when I left da 'Burgh in 1991, but now you better be sure I'm not going to support them, and I bet folks that get shafted will talk with their checkbooks more than my measly blog post.

Okay, I'll let some other people talk about the game:

"They lost to a better team, folks," is the DJ on da X. They are rightfully scolding folks that are calling and asking about the goal that Fleury scored on himself.

Oh, hey, I just got a Tweet from Chris Lucas (Hockeyskates) about the empty net at the end. "I saw your tweet about the empty net - yes, it is so the offense can have an extra man at the end of the game to help tie it up."

"It's the hardest trophy to win in sports," someone else.

"Those guys did a hell of a job."

"They lost to a better team."

Right now they're talking to Sergei Gonchar, defense man. Heartbreaking.

"There's a lot of venting that needs to be done, there's a lot of consoling that needs to be done, and that's why we're here" -- the morning DJs on da X. (I finally added "da" to my computer's dictionary.)

Ron Cook's column: tough being the forgotten bridesmaid.

Video from P-G: Penguin Fans Disappointed but proud.

Last Rink Rat report with Mike Lange, sponsored by Gullifties. Good times.

Mitch Albom's column:

The Wings may have won this thing in six games, but let's be honest: The Penguins are a sleeping young giant, who could be awakened at any time. And for a while, it looked like this series might actually tilt their way. They are a formidable young group, these Penguins, with star power of Crosby and Fleury and Evgeni Malkin -- who finally awoke Wednesday night, scoring the Pens' first goal -- and with 17 players under the age of 30, it would surprise no one to see these two teams in the finals again.

"The hockey gods were not on our side tonight," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "They deserved to win the Stanley Cup."

Okay, gotta go. Time to get ready for work.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Elvis has left the building!

(Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

(Mike Lange, as Petr Sykora scores the winning goal in Game 5, this morning.)

Well, I was awake through the first two overtimes. (No, Kiki, it wasn't because I was sleeping and dreaming of a Pens victory, though I did sleep with my Pens shirt on and yes, I was dreaming of a Pens victory.)

Mike Lange had a great one when we tied the game with 35 seconds to go, "Get in the fast lane Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll! We got a brand new hockey game!"

And, hockey neophyte that I am, I've never watched a game into double overtime. WOW! And being the only person in my living room, I just couldn't stay up 'til the end. I was exhausted, and I took my bedtime meds as regulation time was running out. Blame chemistry.

So. very. exciting.

I woke up with the radio blasting "The X" (105.9, the station that plays Mike Lange's commentary).

So I've been hearing all about the last minutes, oh, so thrilling. Cannot wait to buy a paper today.
The best was when on TV they showed the guy who watches the Stanley Cup take it out and polish it off. This was when it was close to the end of regulation time. Apparently they had champagne ready too.

More quotes:

"One for the history books."

"Yeah, I did have a little pizza...Domino's" (Petr being funny.)

Not so fast. (Post Gazette coverage)

Not so fast. (Detroit Press--Mitch Albom, as in Tuesdays with Morrie)

And this I love on the Post-Gazette's "Latest Local News":

5:41: Stanley Cup Game 6 tickets on sale at 10 a.m. today

5:49: Sykora's goal in third OT gives Penguins 4-3 victory

Um, which comes first?

Hey, you know, I'm over-compensating for sleeping through the winning goal by sitting in front to the computer and soaking it all in.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Live blogging the Stanley Cup finals, Game 5

Here's the thing. Hockey is the only sport I can stand to watch or listen to. I don't understand it, but I understand it more than baseball or football. And we don't have a basketball team in Pgh, so I never got into it. (Although, I do like basketball, and do understand it.)

So the fact that my team, my home team, is the game I get to cheer for in the Stanley Cup is the icing on the cake. It's acceptable to be a hockey fan. Everyone's talking about it. Even Sally!

I'm a girl. I don't know anyone that plays hockey except Bab's boys and I don't see them much. Plus, they know more about the game than I do, and they're not even 10 years old. I remember one time sitting in Bab's living room and Seggie and Primo arguing about who was the greatest, whose jersey they'd want to wear when they're in the NHL, predicting which numbers will be retired, arguing with Babs about whether Gretzky or Lemieux is the Greatest. It was so great. It was one of the overheard conversations I will remember a long time.

And I am not superstitious. Well, I haven't thrown any Stanley cups at anyone on SuperPoke, but that's respect. The cup isn't anyone's to throw until one of the teams has won.

I'm a girl that doesn't drink much. Or go to bars. Or hang out with folks who do, well, unless you count the beer snobs at my church. They go to the SE because of the beer menu (which is over ten pages long), not because the Pens game is on.

I'm not competitive by nature. I like a good game. I think one thing I want in a man I marry is someone who doesn't bitterly say to the TV, "well, they don't deserve to win if they couldn't win that game." (I shut up my treadmill lady today, she wanted to trash talk the Pens and I shut her down right away. Don't be talking down my team.) It's a game! It's our team! Believe! Was good hockey played? That's the important part! And that is what Mike Lange has taught me. That you look at the sport that was played. Team loyalty, yes. But the other team, win or lose, deserves our respect.

At the end of the night, win or lose, I want to have had a good time.

Someday, I'll meet a man who loves hockey. And Jesus. And I'll marry him and we'll have our own little hockey team...

A girl can dream, even this girl.

End of first period: Pens 2, Wings 0. I cheered and clapped in my dark living room, Mike Lange's voice filling the room, the TV giving the dark room a slight glow.

Getting ready for the second period. Well, I'll get back to watching. Maybe I'll wait to publish this...nah. I'm a "write it now, publish it now" kind of girl.

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day...

From now on, you'll have to expect tiny spoilers from the SATC movie. I will try to not give it all away, but them's my girls, and I feel like writing about them is as normal as writing about having coffee with Babs at Tazzo. [-ed.]

So I'm I guess in a burst of writing, since I've posted at least once a day in the past four.

I'm still just reading Philip in the morning--we go through these seasons. When I say just, it's because I'd rather be in a place where I'm finishing up the Beth Moore homework that I didn't do for the entire study, just about. Or reading the Psalms at least, and marking up my Bible. But Philip lets me know what I know--there are seasons. God bless him.

And last night BJ's sermon was on the spiritual gifts. And he said, I'm not going to give you something you a pat answer, now you'll know your gifts. This is a life long journey. He said that a couple times throughout, just to make sure we got the point. Thank God! I don't have to be perfect today, or even tomorrow. Good, cause this sinus infection is cramping my style. Yes, after one round of antibiotics, I'm still not feeling great. I went to bed last night at 9:30 and woke up at 7:30 a.m. Yo, that's not because I'm depressed. It's cause I'm exhausted.

(drat, I didn't get a handout!) (BJ had handouts about spiritual gifts...I'll have to email him.) (Well, I was going to email him anyways, I'm hoping to get a small group started this summer.)

At the end of the service, we prayed for two families, one who is going through what they hope is adoption (they're foster parenting the child right now, the court hearing is Wednesday) and one family who is pregnant but just found out there might be complications. It felt good to stand there, laying hands on the families, praying for them. The OD is growing up, yo! Not that we haven't prayed for folks up front before, but BJ went around, asked the families if they wanted that, asked the church leaders what they thought, and well, you know, it was Presbyterian. But nothing frozen about it. (I only learned in my adulthood that Presbyterians are often called God's frozen chosen.) I don't think I've met a frozen Presbyterian in Pittsburgh yet.

I had put a bookmark (well, truth be told, my bookmarks are often napkin holders from restaurants, you know, the paper that holds the napkin closed with the silverware inside) in what I read yesterday morning. I read some more today, but went back to see what it was that I had bookmarked (I had a bookmark for where I'd stopped yesterday, but another one to remind me of what I'd read yesterday--two bookmarks.)

Anyways. Is anyone still reading this gobbledygook? Yesterday I put a marker on this paragraph.

"'Tempting God means trying to get more assurance than God has given,' said the wise Bishop Lesslie Newbigen. I have to face the honest fact that Christians live in poverty, get sick, lose their hair and teeth, and wear eyeglasses at approximately the same rate as everyone else." (oh, will someone tell that to the advertisers of the local Christian radio station?!!) Phil goes on, and here's the kicker: "Christians die at exactly the same rate: 100 percent." [emphasis mine -ed.]

It's not health and wealth, youth at any cost. Yes, women can be fabulous and single at 50 (Thank you Samantha!) It's okay to ask for prayer for a summer sinus infection. (Afterwards, I had one guy come up and say, I'm fighting one too.)

I was late to church yesterday. I came in during the second song. (We generally sing three songs at the beginning.) The chairs are fixed funny so there's less "back row" seating. I'm sure that's on purpose, but for those of us that like back row seating, it's a little unnerving. And Alyssa's on vacation, so I couldn't sit with her on the rug with the kids. So I stood in the back. Finally, I got myself a folding chair, and since there was no logical place to add it on to the funny way the chairs were situated, I sat against the wall. Yes, I was my very own church wallflower. When he wasn't singing, my friend S. was sitting back there too, so that was a comfort. And I was right by the fan, so BJ gave me a job--bless him, I was the one to turn the fan on and off.

It's a life long journey, yins. We go through times of belonging so hard we can't imagine a time we didn't belong. We go through times of feeling like we can't see through the dirty glass no matter how many times we wash it (bird poo has that effect.) And every once and awhile, we get a hug. Or just good eye contact. A couple of smiles and a conversation.

Have a great Monday. I have to get ready for walking the treadmill, talking to my therapist, and ack! I have to go to Trader Joes today! But at least if I have to go to the grocery store, it's one where they try to make things fun. Be forewarned, I may take pictures.

Oh, look at the time!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

They're critics, honey, they hate themselves" * (spoilers)

*Patrick Dempsey's character to Reese Witherspoon's character in "Sweet Home Alabama"

Just finished watching Michael Clayton. [ed: this is not the review I read that got me to give in to putting this on my list.] Good flick. However...

Folks, I read reviews. I think I put this movie on my library queue (sorry, I don't do NetFlix) as a result of something I read in Christianity Today Movies. Sorry, can't find the link.

It was a good movie. But as a bipolar woman (better living through chemistry, I take my meds, thankyouverymuch) I would have liked to have known ahead of time that one of the main characters is a manic depressive lawyer who gets manic in the movie. (Who is later killed and they play it off as a suicide.)

Last night on the drive home I was listening to my local Christian station, because they play music on the weekends. At 5:18 or so, just as I'm somewhere on Rte. 8 every Saturday, they give us the Focus on the Family "Plugged in" review. Now, I'm not stupid. I know that an organization like FOF is going to pan the SATC movie. So why bother calling it "disgusting" when you're basically pandering to the audience that is just the choir, nodding along with you, wanting to hear you say what they already were thinking?

I don't know why "Hollywood" didn't choose to release any family friendly movies this weekend. I'm sure it's because they wanted to piss off the Christian Right. Maybe, you know, they wanted to highlight SATC. Maybe it's not a huge holiday weekend and when did Hollywood get a reputation for "family friendliness" anyways?

People who get pissed off at stuff were going to get pissed off anyways. They were already "disappointed," you just itched them where they were already scratching.


Repeat after me: The world is good. The world is fallen. The world can be redeemed. (Phillip Yancey, in Reaching for the Invisible God.)

By the way, as soon as I listen to the commentary for Michael Clayton, I'm going to find a theater that's playing SATC. And not because I'm being rebellious. I like the show. I'm old enough.

And about that fourteen year old who started smoking because Carrie smoked? (Yes, this "sound clip" was quoted as a reason to not go see the movie. Did you read the entire article???)

She's now MORMON, a mom, and says this:

"Now that I'm older, looking back, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, these women are in their 30s. What was I thinking?'" she said. "I'm not sure I'd want my little sister seeing the movie -- she's 14 -- but I think it's a fun show for people my age now, as long as you don't take it too seriously."

End of rant.

(Part of me says, don't hit publish, don't do someone better comment.)