List #158: PIttsburgh Proud

I've lived in Pittsburgh most of my life. But to say that I've always been in love with this city isn't exactly true. I've been a full-fledged librarian since 2009 (though I've been working in libraries since 2007). And to say I always knew I wanted to be a librarian when I grew also isn't true. It was a long and bumpy road to get where I am today. But oh, how happy I am to have made it here. And how thrilled I am to think of what they both still have in store.

So I have to admit I was really geeked out when Kate over at Yinzpiration emailed me a few weeks ago and said I had been nominated for her blog. I've been reading her blog since the near beginning and have always been blown away by the awesome people in Pittsburgh she finds. I was thought to myself "My goodness, I want to be that awesome."

Meeting Kate was a blast. She really is as upbeat, positive, and supportive as she seems through her blog. And she definitely loves Pittsburgh and its people. Which, if you've ever visited our pretty city, you know is at the heart of its charm.

You can check out my interview here. And just as a caution. You may find out a few things you didn't know about me before. But this blog is always and only a reflection of my own thoughts. Not of my employer's, not of any other librarian, and not of any other Pittsburgher.

A huge thank you to @Tad_Overdue and @Yinzrreadin who I found out nominated me for this awesome acknowledgment. It really means a lot to have people recognize the your efforts. <3


List #517: My Least Favorite Holiday

I don't think there are too many children out there that feel relief when they finally hit the age where they become too old to trick-or-treat. But I definitely did. It's not that I have bad memories of Halloween, or that I dislike candy. Neither of those things are true. It's just that as I got older, I didn't understand why I had to dress up to get candy. And as an adult, well I just don't see the appeal. So there is a long list of things I normally don't do for Halloween:

  • Visit haunted houses. Proudly since 1999.
  • Host Halloween parties. 'I'd attend a good friends' if they asked nicely. 
  • Pay for Halloween events. Maybe for charity.
  • Put up Halloween decorations. Well, I don't really have kids either.
  • Eat Candy Corn. It's kind of gross.
  • Watch scary movies. This rule is enforced 12 months of the year actually.
But I'm not all Great Pumpkin-the-Grinch. I plan on wearing orange and black to the library tomorrow. I would pass out candy if I was going to be in town (on Saturday). And it's not like I think the holiday is the devil's holiday. So in evidence that there are some Halloween-related events that I enjoy, I give you the following.

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
Completely beats the Monster Mash in the category of "Best Halloween Song" ever. I'll listen to it in a continuous loop this time of year. It makes me laugh, reminds me of funny family members, and cold days and sweaters walking in a city that was not my own. 
Halloween at the Library
It's a tradition at my library to host a yearly Halloween Storytime. The little kids dress in costume, I read a few stories and sing some songs, and then we all go trick-or-treating throughout the building. The kids ask for days leading up the event what my costume will be. There is no way I could possibly let those little ones down. 
Pumpkin Seeds
There is a pumpkin sitting on my dining room table right now that I'm using for decoration. But the thought of sitting down, cutting into it, gutting the insides of it's sticky goop, and toasting those seeds has crossed my mind. I can't really get into the spirit of carving a jack-o-lantern on my own. Plus, with no trick-or-treaters and no actual porch or yard to put it on display, who is really going to see my creation? This is one Halloween activity that is best experienced with others. So, maybe next year?

I guess because of Frankenstorm children aren't really celebrating Halloween until the weekend. And that's fine. I don't think you need to knock on doors on the 31st of October in order to get the feel of the holiday. But come Saturday, I don't think I'll be celebrating Halloween any differently that I will be tomorrow. Actually yes, I will. At least my outfit will be Halloween-inspired tomorrow. It will be college football-inspired on Saturday. But regardless, I hope however you enjoy the spooky, you do it well.

And next year, maybe I can find someone who wants to go with me to this.


List #156: Things You Do During the Storm of the Century

I really hope lots of people up and down the East Coast are having Sandy Sex. The storm outside is raging, Halloween is being postponed, and New York City is underwater.

In Pittsburgh, we refuse to believe we're closer to the midwest than the coast. And the fact that we suffer the tail end of storms like this just adds evidence to our argument. So we're hunkering down, wondering if we'll lose electricity, and cooking all of the things. I hope lots of people here are having Sandy Sex too, but since I'm not one of them, here is a list of things that I've been doing as the rains pour on and on outside.

  • Iron 3 outfits just incase we do lose power for more than 24 hours.
  • Buy pizza and breadsticks from the local pizza shop.
  • Eat 3 breadsticks and deem myself too full for any pizza.
  • Play with the cat.
  • Accidentally lock the cat in the closet for 10 minutes.
  • Hope to not lose electricity at home.
  • Wouldn't mind if electricity kept me home from work.
  • Boil rice so that I can have it with chili tomorrow.
  • Love the song that's in the Target holiday commercial.
  • Curse Target holiday commercials.
  • Watch a repeat of How I Met Your Mother because the advertised new one was not new.
  • Wish I had company on this rainy night.
  • Have my blog tagline fixed thanks to @DJLunchbox
  • Snuggle under blankets.
  • Heat a piece of pizza and only eat about 4 bites of it.
  • Talk to someone I shouldn't talk to.
  • Put myself out there.
  • Watch The Voice.
  • Pay my cellphone bill.
  • Avoid a phone call from the Obama campaign. They want me to volunteer.
  • Sit on the floor for too long. 
  • Have your back hurt.
We're relatively fine over in Western, PA. Stay safe everyone. No matter where the weather is finding you.


Letter #46: An Open Letter to the Guy that isn't with Me on a Friday Night

Everyone knows that Fridays are the best day of the week. From the beginning of the day it's a journey to the good, just knowing you've got the whole weekend ahead. It's the promise of relaxation, late nights, and lie-ins. And you're really missing a lot by not being here on Friday nights. 

If you were here, we'd be lying in my bed while we re-watch this week's Parks and Recreation. We'd laugh at fart attack and cry when that thing happens that we don't want to spoil for anyone else. Well, okay Maybe I'd cry again and you'd quietly admit you shed a few tears when you watched it yesterday. You'd laugh at me and start tickling the spot that you know will have me thrashing until I have to gasp for air. We pause and start all over again. 

We'd order pizza from the shop around the corner and drink with beers at the dining room table. We''d talk about the crazy weather because that's all anyone is talking about. And we'd laugh at local news stories during the six o'clock hour. You'd suggest that the dishes should be washed, but neither of us would get up, and let them sit until Saturday morning.

Perhaps we'd put in a movie sometime in the evening and you'd make me swear that I was going to pay attention and not fall asleep early. But midway through I'd come over to you in the chair and put my head in your lap. I'd start to drift off, you'd start to play with my hair, and you'd talk to me until the ending. 

Or maybe we would have had dinner plans with mutual friends. We'd lament about the lack of hockey, make plans for the Steelers game on Sunday, and decide that we'd all had a enough beers for a Friday night. We'd head home, public radio on the station, and we'd chat about the election. Our votes ready to be cast.

Or just maybe we'd go to bed early, the sound of the fan humming as the temperature dips outside and we await rain throughout the night. We'd put our heads to the pillows, get under the blankets, with hopes of early morning pancakes and parades. 

You're out there though, Guy who isn't with me on a Friday night. In your own bed, or in someone else's. At the bar, or playing board games with friends. Maybe you're on vacation, or coming home from a business trip. Or you're catching up on weekly television while you eat Chinese food on your couch. I have no idea, and you probably have no idea that I am here.

But I hope one Friday, you somehow make it here.


List #155: A List of Things of Which I Need to Better

When I think of all of the things I've done so far this week I sigh. And then I can't believe that it's really only Wednesday night. I've done the normal things like go to work, chat with friends, respond to emails. But I also managed to squeeze in a 2-day conference, networking, a fun and flattering opportunity I'll be happy to reveal here in a week or so, and now I'm getting buckling down and writing a blog post before I sleep. It's been a whirlwind month for me, stuck inside a whirlwind month, and the neither of them are over yet.

But I swear, even when I'm riding on a personal high of confidence and achievement, I quickly get pushed back down to "overwhelming stress and fear about everything from finances to laundry." I swear, somedays it feels like feeding the cat is an award-winning accomplishment. But I'm realizing, as I grow in my wise old 30s, that I can control more of this than I choose to at times.

So with almost a month into year 31 finished, I'm pledging to work really harder getting better at the little things in my life that can cause huge stress.

So from now I on I will (stive to):

  • Open the mail the day it arrives.
  • Vacum every other day.
  • Unpack within 24 hours of a trip.
  • Buy an organizer for mail, dates, paper.
  • Write non-work related appointments in my calendar.
  • Organize my clothes on a regular basis.
  • Cross things off my to-do list.
  • Go to bed at more consistent hours.
  • Keep no more than 3 pairs of shoes by the door.
I'm gonna do it, folks.

So dear readers, what's one little thing you could do better that would save you so much stress and worry?


List #154: White Weddings

Sure Fire Ways to Cry at Weddings:

  • Seeing your friend walk down the aisle.
  • The father-daughter dance.
  • Having someone tell you about a sick parent.
  • Realizing that one of your closest friends is moving out of state.
  • Saying goodbye to your old roommate who lives clear across the country and just had a baby.
  • Knowing you didn't get to meet your friend's new baby.
  • The feat that lies inside of you and whispers "This will never be you."
  • Reading blog comments in the bathroom.
  • Remembering the fine advice of a loved one.
  • Biting your lip so hard so that you don't actually cry at any of these things.

 I'm not saying anything of this did happen. But you know me pretty well by now.


List #153: Confessions

I went to Catholic school for eight years. I went to church two times a week, once for a school mass during the week, and then with my family on Sunday. And multiple times a year they'd walk us across the school parking lot, up the steps to the church, and into the confession booths. I don't remember how many times we had to go to Confession. Maybe during Advent, during Lent, and probably once more before school was out. But what I do remember is that I haven't gone to Confession since they made us go before being Confirmed in the eight grade. 

My foundation is in Catholicism, but I don't think I can label myself a Catholic today. For a variety of reasons definitely, my lack of belief and practice in Confession probably no where the biggest. Now when I hear the word confession, I immediately think of the Usher song.

Don't remember the Usher song I'm referencing? Oh, you're in luck. It's here. 

But I do have a confession I think it's one that a lot of people in similar shoes as my own go through. 

Here it is: I have a person I can't quit. 

He's witty and intelligent. He's sexy and cute. He makes me feel special and I'm pretty sure I do the same for him. He's got a sliver of my heart that is full of confidence in him. I think about him before I fall asleep. I'm pretty sure he's not dating other people, but he isn't exactly dating me. And I know this is doing nothing but prolonging my loneliness and bringing only short-term happiness. 

Sure, I can weeks without talking to him. But then links start flying, the conversations start flowing, and we're back into a pattern again. So far I've been okay with separating my emotions, but I know it's not for long. Because let's be honest, I'm not really separating them as much as I am burying them down deep. He's probably just a very good man who is not good for me. But it's hard to step away from something that can be achingly wonderful. I want him to say what I've always wanted him to say. But I don't think he's going to say it.

I've got nothing on my horizon. No dates lined up. No more vacation getaways. No secret crushes. No big night out with the girls. Winter is coming. And I'm feeling like I've got a permanent solo branch on the tree. It's not a terrible branch and I'm not lonely for company. But it just looks a whole lot nicer when someone flies by specifically to see me. To share a few nights together. And to make me feel like I've got something special going on. What's the harm, right? Or maybe, what's the point?

Because I can be told that I'm high-five awesome over and over again. I can love so much of my life and smile every day. But I feel like I've exhausted my efforts and connections. Because I see just enough glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel, I wonder why not just suck it up right now. Because I've never been the one to quit something easily. Because sometimes I guess I want something I can't have.

I'm pledging some penance for my confession. And I'm getting better at avoiding everyday. 

So dear readers, have you ever had someone you can't quit? How do you break the habit for good? Or has anyone ever stuck with it and ended up a success story? Or is that stuff just romantic urban legend? 


List #152: Game of Thrones

It will come as no surprise to you that I am on Goodreads. I take the updating of my book list seriously and write reviews for each book finished  Sometimes the reviews are polished, other times off-the-cuff. But I love the feeling I get when I mark a book finished and add another one to my list.

You can usually catch me reading a few books at once. But since I accidentally left Yinzrreadin's book in  a car on a road trip and won't be getting it back until Saturday, I've only got Game of Thrones on a borrowed Kindle.

And this book is driving me nuts. Now, before you go ahead and leave Game of Thrones related comments, I'll let you know that I haven't watched a moment of the HBO series and that I'm not yet finished with the first book. It's just so long and I know so many people love reading on their ebooks (and I do own a Nook myself) I just feel like long books are made even longer reading this way. Every day I hope that I'll reach the end of book one and then nope, not even close.

I'm loving every minute of this book that I never thought I'd enjoy, but here's a list of things that I could be doing instead of hanging out with the Starks and the Lannisters:

  • Dusting my apartment. My vacations and trips have also factored into this disruption in cleaning.
  • Reading any other book. I had a goal of 52 books for 2012 and now I'm accepting my defeat in numbers. 
  • Cooking gourmet meals. Okay, so that never happens and books have nothing to do with it.
  • Blogging. This is true. I keep going back to this never-ending story instead of writing.
  • Laundry. Well, this was true and also hampered by travels. But I tackled it on Monday night.
  • Catching up on magazines. See, I usually read magazines at least one day a week on my lunchbreak. This hasn't happened since I started this book. 
  • Painting my toenails. Also unmotivated since it's boot and tight weather now.
Okay, so maybe Game of Thrones isn't interrupting anything particularly important. I just want to talk about this book all of the time. One thing is certain though, I won't be starting the second book as soon as I finish the first. Too many other books to get my hands on!

So dear readers, have you ever had a book that consumed your life and took forever to read? You should share your recommendations (or warnings) in the comments. 


List #151: Don't Speak

I tried to write a nice little intro to this post. But nothing really seemed genuine or fit what I was exactly trying to communicate.

So the truth? I've been spending a little too much time replaying conversations. Thinking about stuff I want to hear, but have a slim chance of actually hearing. And wanting to wipe away overheard conversations, direct conversations, and wishful conversations.

So, tonight's list is just small things I wish you wouldn't say:

  • Terrible things about my chosen political candidate. That are racist, lies, or any assorted combination.
  • Anything about money. My pockets are lined thin.
  • That every man needs a good woman. While you're in my bed, but I'm not in your heart.
  • People who take vacations are selfish. Because I just returned.
  • You think my eyes are sexy. Never mind, you can say that. But feel free to say more.
  • There is no room in the budget. Every librarian's fear.
  • Something I can't even say here without offending.
  • Community is not returning when we said it would. Taste is lacking.
  • Game of Thrones spoilers. I'm still in book one. It's going to take a long time to finish all 5.
  • Sad news. Disappointing news. Lonely news.
Anyway, starting tomorrow I'm going to banish the few up here that are really floating towards the top. It's October, I'm busy, and I have more important things to worry about other than open mouths.


List #150: A Vacation in Photos

And that wraps up the best vacation I have ever given myself. 


List #149: A Brief List of Places I Want to Go

  • Iceland
  • Denmark
  • Brussels
  • Morocco
  • Vancouver
  • The Bandlands
  • Alaska
  • Venice
  • Paris
  • Austria
  • Prague
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Yellowstone
  • Spain
  • India
  • Boston