Thursday, November 27, 2008

Twitter is super slow, so I'll say hi here.

Was just over at Twitter trying to catch up n'at and it was dreadfully slow. I would type a sentence and then watch my misspelled words appear on the screen.

Am in the very cold attic office at Kiki's, and the good smelling food is making me hungry. I'm going to have to snitch something very soon.

I'm thankful.

Being here is great for a million and one reasons, top of the list that Kiki is my favorite cousin. We're sort of sister-y, especially when we fight over what year World Cafe went off the air. You can sort of see the darts coming from our eyes and Kiki goes over to get her CD as proof that it was on the air in x year. Grin.

Kiki's house is 113 years old, and be-gorgeous. I hope to take pictures later. (My rechargeable batteries are charging as we speak.)

On the way over, before I got lost three times (or was it four?) I listened to the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack, to get the image/sound of a non-musical production I saw last weekend out of my head. How I adore those songs. And they should be SUNG, not recited. GAH!

Yes, I got lost three times. First, I was in Denver (not Colorado) then I was in Allentown (not Billy Joel's version) at the Barnes & Noble, then I was on River Road, with no river in sight. Finally I got there, and if the Hallelujah chorus wasn't being played somewhere in heaven, it should have been. I promptly had my own glass of white wine and SUSHI, Kiki and HP's new pre-Thanksgiving dinner tradition. I like.

Being at Kiki's means there are pictures of her neice and nephew (my cousins once removed?) and pictures of my aunt (her mom) and uncle (her dad.) Plus, pictures of our Granny and Pop Pop, and things from Granny's apartment. I'll definately take a picture of the lamp.

While eating breakfast and drinking coffee, Kiki and I reminisced, which was nice. We have a shared history, but see it from different views. She said, I always try to figure out who is the nicest lady in the world, your mom or mine. We finally decided it was each other's aunts, because we bickered with our mothers.

Audio book to catch: Ruth Bell Graham's Pilgrim Journey. I don't generally like multiple voices on audio books but this was well done, and mostly narrated by Walter Cronkite. Babelbabe gave me the book ages ago, and I didn't realize they were linked until I started listening to the audio right as I got onto the Turnpike. Interviews with Patricia Cornwell were especially fun. (Patsy wrote the first biography of RBG.)

Hearing the story of Ruth and Billy and their courtship and then marriage of course made me think of who he might be, my match, later underscored as I sang along with "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find..." This morning I journaled about "Great men in my life" (dating-wise) and discovered that I have mostly forgiven Tony, my first beau, when I was 17. What a disaster we were. He was such a player, I had no idea--we were the blind leading the blinded. But he was the first boy to pay attention to me, and I do have some good memories. I wish I had my copy of "Story of a Girl" by Sara Zarr here, oh wait, I quoted the lines in my email to her. Hold the phone.

This is what I wrote to her:
"Love love love the line on p. 181, "I thought about it. He'd apologized, and I believe he meant it. I could look at him and not hate him." No wait, it starts on 166, when Deanna says "I don't hate you anymore...Something about you still pisses me off, but I don't hate you." It was weird, like a part of me was gone.

I'm still working on my crap, but I don't hate "my Tommy" anymore. I haven't seen him since I was 17, and in a few days, I'll be 37. I know I wouldn't like to run into him, but I know I'd be able to pull it off if I had to, and mean it, that I didn't hate him."

So even now, less than a week later, I'm able to smile when I think of him. What fools we were. What love does is cover a multitude of sins, and I'm talking about the love that exists in my life today, allowing me to cover the losses of the past.

I would love to go more into that, craft this post, but I am freezing and hungry. So I'll hit publish after I give this a quick look over and link it up.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

LOL and LMHO n'at

(LOL=laughing out loud. LMHO=laughing my head off, created by me because I don't think of my ass when I laugh--LMAO doesn't make sense to me.)

I've started laughing again. Last night, I laughed while watching some Season 1 SATC. This morning, I laughed when I got snow down my coat as I swept snow off my car with the broom I'd used to sweep the path and the stoop. (What do you call the sidewalk up to your house? Sidewalk seems like a wrong word for it, so I've adopted path, even though that makes it sound like I live in the country.)

I love to laugh. Life is good. I'm about to watch Beth Moore Session 8, and then around 9:30 I'll go to Bellefield to watch Beth Moore Session 9. Ah. Yes. The game of catch up. But Beth Moore is funny, so I wager I'll be laughing some more.

Later, gators!

(Oh, and thank you, all of you, for the lovely pre-birthday wishes--even the ones who thought they were late were early, since my birthday is the day after Thanksgiving, a day I hope to be near no computers.)

In a while, crocodile!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Early Happy Birthday to me: a photo montage

Welcome to my party. I have brought some photos together. They aren't necessarily in any order.
This is me, at 19, riding a bike. I taught myself (again) how to ride in a nearby parking lot. This is on a field trip outside Vienna, Austria. This is one of my favorite pictures because it is me triumphing over something that dogged me for some time. I'm riding a bike!!

These are the fountains outside the Cheesecake Factory at the Southside Works, a shopping area that used to be a steel works. These two pictures are from May of 2006. For a while, I had a standing date: church, in the morning, then lunch at Cheesecake Factory, then a movie and a walk around.
This sign was speaking my language.

This rock was outside a store in Ft. Ligonier, one of my favorite small shopping towns.

This rose was on the table at what I thought was my sister's graduation party. Turned out, it was a graduation party for all three of us, my brother who had graduated in December, my graduation from Library School the previous year. (I don't have the years straight, for when my brother graduated.) I got $50 from the neighbors! It was a very fun party, with all my parent's friends who are by default mine.

My good friend Babelbabe took this picture. I no longer own the skirt or the shirt, but the attitude, the purse, they are still mine. I love this picture. It's from June of 2006.

This is also from 2006. Apparently it was a banner year. This picture was my Facebook profile for a long time. This was a day when I helped out at the Union Project and got a tulip painted on my face. Red tulips are my favorite.

These shoes are from this August, that is 2008. And that's a good place to end. Thanks for sharing these moments in time with me.

I can't wait to see what poems or quotes or book recommendations you have for me.

Calling one, calling all...

You are invited!

Tomorrow, a "virtual" birthday party, with a photo montage. You bring a book recommendation, or a quote. And if you're late, no worries!

See you!

"Once upon a time there was a girl who didn't grow up to be queen but grew up to be a princess."


So I'm still reading Connally's book. And loving it.

And an interesting thing has happened. While at the beginning of the week I was all fretty and "no one's going to come to my party" now I have TWO parties to hostess, one here (tomorrow, picture montage, you bring a quote or a book rec.) and one at a nearby bistro. I love that word, bistro. I'm swimming in RSVPs, for both parties tomorrow!!

Last night after work, I went over to share the spoils of a catered lunch with a friend who in my mind should be named Danielle (not her name, but it will fit for here). So I have Mexican food for lunch someday soon, probably tomorrow. (Today I'm throwing caution to the wind--I have soup in my locker if Marian the Librarian is busy.) So Danielle offered me a beer and I was actually hanging out with a friend on a weeknight, and it wasn't something planned in advance!

Tonight I'm getting my hair trimmed. By a guy. My hair place has never had a guy, but he happened to be the available person at 6:10 tonight, so there you go.

In other news, we increased the meds this morning. Oh to have energy to do more than plan a party! There's always a risk, (that I'll flip in to hypo-manic, which means "on my way to manic") but we'll be watching carefully. I think (I know) I am very fortunate to have a psychiatrist team that believes in email.

And my alarm (my cell phone) which I've been "snoozing" since 7:15, is about to tell me "GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, GO TO WORK."

One more thing, though. Yesterday I only had my lady psychiatrist. (My team is Iz and Dr. F, and Dr. F. was off on an emergency.) And I told her how I don't get up to walk because I get up to check my email in the morning because I'm single, and I need a connection in the morning. And she said, well, it seems like you enjoy that, that's good, is there another time you can walk? And it was like a Carrie moment. Stay with me. One of the rules of SATC is that if you say "I'm the best"or "I'm set for life" you are headed for a "cream pie" or a disaster. Another rule is that if you say "I need something" often you find that you need it a little less. I'm not saying I went for a walk today, but I thought, oh, if Iz thinks it's okay that I go online in the morning, then maybe I don't need it as much. (There's the alarm.)

A few morning thoughts...from a princess. Now I gotta throw on some clothes (don't look at me like that, I'm wearing my white robe right now) and off to work.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Once upon a time there was a girl who did not grow up to be queen."

(Connally Gilliam, in Revelations of a Single Woman)

Last night I hung out with some really fun ladies. We had dinner and conversation. One woman is married, two are students, and then there's me. Spending some girl-time laughing was more healing to my soul than, I don't know, something. Whatever it is I haven't found in all my searching. While we were eating dinner, I reached down for my pills while I still had some water. And discovered I had missed my lunch meds. Great. Not the first time, so I knew to take the lunch meds then, and that it would be an early night, I would have to dig up the email from my psychiatrist from the time I took my dinner meds instead of my lunch meds. Good times.

I talked to my mom before going to bed, my mom who is a little off because my dad is out of town (my dad is in hog-heaven in Michigan, palling around with cousins and friends, going to 6:30 a.m. Bible studies, scholarship lunches). (My mom had her fun a few weeks ago at a Monarch Teachers thing-y, and my dad was as sad a puppy then as I've ever heard him on the phone, which isn't really sad, but you could tell he was missing her.) My parents, so different, so night and day, but they've been able to make it work for almost forty years. Perhaps a morbid thought, but I am confident that they will make it work past fifty years as long as they both are able to stay alive.

It is perhaps because I have seen them weather the storms, support each other, support me, my siblings, in all sorts of ways, that I long for a king to make me "queen." In many ways, as I enter my late thirties still single, my dad has become the man in my life, my protector. He's helped me buy every good car I've had. (He had nothing to do with the dear departed Lucy, may she rest in peace, except for selling her to CarMax, giving her, as he said he would, "a Christian burial.") My dad and I are very intellectual, spending hours talking about Tom Friedman articles we've read in the New York Times. I remember one time, eons ago, in my former life, my dad was in town and I had a dinner party. A proper sit down dinner party, where I invited my two favorite couples. I felt confident in having the party, because my dad was "my date." I love dinner parties. I love parties, period, if I am the hostess.

Hostess, i.e. "queen." I have watched my mother run countless Thanksgivings, Christmases, graduation 36 going on 37, I have no idea how to stuff or prepare a turkey because my mother prefers to be in the kitchen alone.

Where was I going with all this history? I guess trying to get to the sweet spot where I could tell you that after I hung up with my mom, I reached around my bedside to see if there was something to read. And there was. Stuck underneath the doll rocking chair which holds my bedside lamp, I found Connally's book, Revelations of a Single Woman, and though I knew I must have read it before, I couldn't remember it at all. I love the subtitle, in all lower case, like e.e. cummings: loving the life i didn't expect. The pink shoes on the cover sold me. So I dipped in, and as is my fashion when I'm tired, I skim read my way through many chapters before I was ready to nod off. This morning, I woke up to rain and a full bladder. Still fogged from my med mis-dosing of the previous day, I allowed myself to curl back in bed for a bit. When I finally had some lucidity, I reached again for Connally's book and read it with a little less speed, a little more thought. And I started underlining. One thing that always makes me smile (there are some good memories) is that Max said he never saw anyone annotate books as much as I. It's true. I have an index in the front, with page numbers and key words scrawled next to them for parts that particularly spoke to me. When I lent him my copy of About a Boy, he actually got a copy out from the library because he didn't want to be distracted by the passages I'd underlined.

For me, the woman who has been watching a little too much Sex and the City (SATC) lately, I am tickled by the fact that each of Connally's chapters has a photo of a pair of shoes, or boots, or clogs. A woman's right to shoes, indeed.

In a little bit, I'll be getting ready for work. I'm going in early today so that I can take a mid-day break to visit my psychiatric team and most likely increase my Zoloft dosage. While I had two pretty good days (Sunday and Monday) Tuesday morning I crashed, cried, and crumpled. I went in to work an hour late, and all day, I could feel the dried tears on my face. Thankfully, Tuesday evening, I had a slew of books to class via Dewey Decimal, and I got through them and the books my boss had set aside while she was at a conference, so I left work feeling productive.

Saturday I'm meeting some friends after work to celebrate my birthday (which comes at the end of the month, when people are traveling for Thanksgiving.) I would like to invite you, my readers and virtual friends, to join me Saturday at a "virtual party" here on da blog. Here is what I will provide: a festive photo gallery. Bring a fun quote, or a book recommendation, and your good time in your pocket. The great part of a virtual party is there's no awkward early birds waiting for the party to start, no such thing as belated. (I'm still getting comments on a post I wrote in 2006 for the Public Library Association.)

See you Saturday!


Monday, November 10, 2008

ohmigosh how did it get to be ten o'clock?

GAH! Well, I fell asleep on the twin in the back room after watching three episodes of SATC (I don't think it's necessarily a good thing that while I'm standing at church I'm thinking I'd rather be at home with my girls.)

Then I tossed and turned for about an hour at 2 a.m. when I went to the bed in the front room. Then I woke up at about eight a.m., wrote an email to a college roommate via Facebook, accepted a friend request from the pastor of the church down the street that I sometimes attend Sunday mornings, wrote about the bizarre dreams I had on my "health/women's stuff" blog, formatted the long paragraph from the email I wrote to my friend about the third blog I've started...and that brings us to now, and it is 10:05. I better eat something. I have to be at work at noon, Marian and I are doing a "Monthly Forum" on "Things that make libraries look stupid" (i.e. do you know how one goes about becoming a board member, etc.)

(off to eat something.)

I'm back. I bought a slew of vanilla yogurt yesterday when I was at Giant Eagle, so I'm eating and writing. I'm not sure that's entirely healthy either.

So why a new blog, SL?

Well, I am very aware of what I write about and how this blog is really about me being a girl/woman, my daily life, my love for SATC, etc. It can be at once very surface and very deep. But I have a sense (and it's not based on recent comments, hint hint) (since I haven't been getting many, hint hint) (but thanks for the ones I have been getting!) that the readership of this blog transcends politics. The health blog is where I let it rip about being a woman and sometimes being a woman with a mental oh, I hate those words--disorder? illness? The third blog, which I've entitled "Stuff n'at" is where I want to let it rip about politics and how I see my development in that arena in the past coupla years.

I keep coming back to a line from the season five finale (of SATC, is there any other show?) where in the commentary, director and writer Michael Patrick King says, "Carrie should never be pregnant." It wasn't so much that she didn't have the capability, but that Carrie was the odd one, (square peg makes me giggle) the one that didn't fit the societal expectations of women: getting married, having children, joining the PTA. So in the way that MPK wants to protect Carrie (by making sure that Sarah Jessica Parker's baby bump is hidden, at all cost) I want to protect this blog. This is not a blog about mental health, women's health, or politics. But I am a woman, I am a person politic, and I do have issues with mental health. From time to time, the lines will blur--I don't want to be completely compartmentalized, but I do want this blog to be the fun one. And yet, I want a separate place where I can write about politics and know that if the readers of this blog choose to hop over, they will, but if not, they can skip it and stay right here.

I also see it as if they were separate books. If I were writing a book about me, and myself as a girl/woman, I might not talk about politics. But if I were writing about politics, I might not write about me and my girl/woman life.

About the other stuff. I'm tired of surface relationships in my off-line life. This summer I had a glimmer of what real relationships with people at my church could look like. And pfft, it's fall, everyone is back to school, back to life, meetings, PTA, homework. So here I am, no PTA meetings, no homework, and surface relationships again. It's so frustrating!! I know it's not necessarily "the world's" fault; I have retreated, hibernated, and yes, there have been some shifts. But I see the world coupling up and I get scared. Mother to son, husband to wife, girlfriend to boyfriend. And all these pregnant women. Where do I fit in? So maybe there's a reason that I cling to my "girls." Because I don't know anyone in my life, people that I talk to, that are talking about these things. When I talk to my friends, we don't talk about how everyone's pregnant all of a sudden. We talk about other things. But I need to. I need to talk about how everyone's pregnant. I need to talk about how it feels like I'm getting left behind. (And of course, there is the flip side--the women that have kids, have husbands, feel that they are losing their friendships.)

I'm a fan right now of a bunch of Christian fiction books, the Sisterchicks. Mostly, the books are about women who are midlife and have a chance to fulfill a childhood dream of traveling to Paris, or Finland. The thing I love about these books is that the women who are in them, if they are married, they stay married. If they are single, they stay single. The books are about women, but they are not about romance, and any romance that is in them is with the geography, or their amazing Creator, or trying to figure out how they are still stuck on the memory of a summer love in Paris from twenty years ago. Also, the women may be married, three car garage, but for the time being, the book is about them in Venice, with their girlfriend. A book that is not in that series but in my mind that genre, which I call, um, let's see, Christian travel fiction, is Daring Chloe, which was a freebie from my dear friend Suzanne Beecher at I belong to the Zondervan Breakfast Club and so every week I get excerpts from new books from Zondervan, be they "Chick Lit," non-fiction, biography...her tag line is "It's so good to read with friends" and that is what I feel about you, dear readers of this blog. The thing that I love about Daring Chloe is that not all her friends are Christian, her roommate doesn't understand why one would go to church, and while there is a guy who could be a love interest, he is not the focus, and does not become a love interest by the end of this book. So Chloe who starts the book by being jilted at the alter, remains single throughout the book.

Is it painfully clear that this is me just writing, not really going for a thread that make sense, not saving a single solitary thought for another post?

Twenty years is a theme for me--it keeps coming up as I watch SATC. "I've been dating for fifteen years" Charlotte moans in the early seasons. But in the later seasons, Miranda says, "I've been dating for twenty years." As I think about the fact that in a few weeks I'll be 37, well, it will be 20 years of dating, as my first mis-guided relationship was when I was a girl of 17.

We each have our journeys. And we each have our time tables. And they are not all the same journeys, or the same timetables. But they intersect, every once in a while, and that is worth all the traveling in between.

Thank you, my darlings, for reading.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stolen moments

(I think that must be a name of a sappy song they play on "nostalgia radio")

So I'm sitting here with wet hair, no socks, and no, I'm not taking a walk around the block today. TOMORROW I will take a walk.

But I wanted to have something else up, in case you were tired of politics. (I'm not, I might start a third blog with all the cool YouTubes n'at, now that he won.)

So...if you haven't been here for a while, scroll down, I finally posted some pictures. They are pretty. (And some are pretty in pink.)

And now I'm having a bit of blogger's block. Yes, right in the middle of my stolen moments post.

Well, okay, I'll give you sumpin. Someone I know is turning 37 at the end of this month. (YES, it's me!!) And I'm having a teeny tiny get together. And I invited a boy. And for once, I don't care on pins and needles if he comes. He is not the crown jewel around which the party has been planned. He was almost an afterthought, if I were that cool. (I'm not.) But if he does, he'll be the icing on an already great cake, and I will do my best to play not so easy to get. Oh, but I sure hope he's my lobster. (It's only fitting that I give you a Phoebe clip, since the entire paragraph has been a Phoebe-ism.)

Okay, gotta find socks. Buh bye!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes, yes we can.

More to come. But for now, the thought that has come that yesterday, working as a poll worker in the city of Pittsburgh, yesterday I was both the obstetrician and the nervous pacing father and the screaming mother as I helped my fellow citizens give birth to the vote of the 44th president, Barack Hussein Obama.

But for now, I need to get dressed (oh, and eat breakfast) and sing songs to some 80 children and parents.

I'm taking the afternoon off (hopefully taking both Sally and Marian the Librarian to lunch first) and to work on (gah!) the latest resume/cover letter.

"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. --Harry Truman." (Tim Russert's wife on the Today show right now.)

Gee, do I have to turn the TV off? Thank you, Lord, for NPR. I am so glad that I can now listen to the radio with hope and no more political ads, woo hoo!

I promise a real post this afternoon, including a link to the speech Obama referenced (Lincoln's first inagural.) I have no time to link now.

Mwah! And I mean that, to my readers on both sides of the aisle. Let's be the dream, not a red, or a blue, but a United States of America.

...and I'm outta here! (image of Dennis Miller, SNL Weekend Update style.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sarah Louise walks down Ellesworth part deux

So this is a coat from Kaufmann's, a store that no longer exists. It was swallowed up into Macy's. So this coat is a piece of Pittsburgh History. Hey Betty. I asked the guy who was working there if I could take this picture, saying I'm such a Pittsburgh sentimentalist. In high school, a friend of mine's mom was a seamstress for Raleigh's, a department store in the D.C. area. There just aren't department stores like that anymore, where items are made with the store label.

In front of an orthodontist. (Across the street from the Vet hospital.)

So this is one of the shots I took of the Veterinary Hospital. The other shot has a window that says "meow." Too cute for words.
I liked this window. Eons.

After lying comatose in front of the TV all morning, I finally got myself out and went to the Elbow Room for lunch. Then I remembered that Katy suggested I take a walk, and so I did. These pictures and the ones in the next (or previous, depending on your outlook) are the result. It felt really good to be out and about, just window shopping.
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Sarah Louise walks down Ellesworth n'at

Okay, um, the first thing I notice is that there are only 4 photos here. You are getting the play by play as I learn to do this, and yes, I know Flickr is amazing, I'll try that NEXT weekend. For now, we're playing around with Picasa.

So this is a cataloger's joke, sort of. At my library, we do what is called "descriptive cataloging" which means we describe what is on the title page. I think there are other types, but since I never thought I'd be a cataloger, I am only aware of what we do. So Paul O. Zelinsky, who did the pop-up book of "The Wheels on the Bus" has done a pop-up book of "This old man," called Knick Knack Paddywhack. (It's from 2002.) And this is the title page (minus the title) and the t.p. verso. I never have seen a pop-up book actually make the t.p. verso information interesting.

This is my calendar. Monday says: GO TO BED! Tuesday says GET UP 5 AM. Wednesday says Whatever. He rules. (Which is my reminder that whatever the outcome, I am a citizen first of God's kingdom, not the United States of America. (Corny, yes, but that's me. I'm corny.) I've never voted for someone who lost before, and I have no idea if I will have this time, but this time I care more than other times, having first switched viewpoints, then candidates before the primary, and now having supported one guy up 'til now. I voted absentee on Tuesday past, since we expect high voter turnout. I usually can slip away to the poll that I vote at (.5 miles away from where I work the polls) but would rather not have to worry about that this time.

This is the first Ellesworth picture, of the stairs of a residence. I just love the leaves. You can barely see that the sidewalk is brick at this point and there is a flier on the third step up for a pizza place.

I adore letters. Real postal mail, from someone I love, makes me dance the Snoopy Dance. So this letter slot, on the door of an antique store on Ellesworth, was surely one to take a picture of. I took two and was not able to center either one, but I'm not trying to be Ansel Adams here.

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Trying this from the other way...

So the last post was from Picasa, to my blog. This one I'm starting from Blogger. We'll see how this goes. Um, okay, we're going back to Picasa. See you in a bit.

testing 123

So this is a test. I'm trying out the "Blog This!" feature on Picasa. A woman I work with who I think could truly exist in the wilderness as a pioneer woman (is there nothing she can't do?) made this bumper sticker. I'm a weinie when it comes to bumper stickers--I guess I'm more like my mom than I think I am (the woman who won't tell you who she votes for, even if it's so obvious.) My dad doesn't believe in bumper stickers, which I think is why my brother put tons on the car he drove in college. I'm in the middle. I had a bunch on Melody (the Geo Prizm I had before Lucy) but none on Lucy. I felt like Lucy wasn't long for this world, like she was a car that had my liscence plates, not "my car." And since I've had Elliot (the blue grey Chevy Cobalt) I haven't run up against any bumper stickers. (Except for the political ones, and well, like I said, I'm not that kind of gal.)

Okay, I'm gonna try to bring in the rest of the pictures I took today.
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