Friday, August 31, 2007

Highlights from corporate e-mail signatures

1."Think about the environment before printing this e-mail."
Umm, try thinking about
why you would print a piece of electronic mail at all. Sorry, this is just a pet peeve of mine -- I've worked for so many people who print out all their e-mails and file them.

But even better is this:

2. "My leadership causes power and passion in everyone I touch."
Maybe, but your e-mails cause nausea and disgust in everyone who receives them.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sending down roots

Mr. Wonderful is at school right now, experiencing anew those glorious days known as freshman/transfer orientation week. Part of me pities him the 18-year-old folly he'll have to deal with over the next few days (and years); the other part of me is very proud of him for taking the plunge and going back to finish college.

The house is looking and feeling a bit more like home, as you can see from the dining room photos . . . and although the master bedroom had to get a lot worse before it could get any better (it's currently ripped apart!) we're definitely on our way to transforming our new sleeping quarters into a peaceful, organized haven.

Lewis seems to be struggling with the transition -- he's been displaying all sorts of unpleasant behavior lately -- and I'm not quite sure what to do with him. If you think of it, please pray for him and us; we're just not sure yet how to help him.

We're getting used to riding the bus now -- learning the subtle art of when to pay, where to get on and off, and how to walk steadily and gracefully up and down the aisle while the bus is lurching forward.

We're also trying to figure out precisely what neighborhood we live in; we seem to be just barely on one side or the other of several dividing lines. Does that mean we're in a neighborly no man's land? Or that we have multiple citizenships?

I'm still looking for a job (and not being too successful -- at least, no one except for Trader Joe's has called me for an interview). But I'm holding out hope that something will come through soon. Specifically, I'm hoping and praying for a phone call or e-mail tomorrow, because as much fun as it would be to work at Trader Joe's, I'm pretty sure it won't pay the bills for long. Anyway, I'm committed to working for the good of this city, and I will give just about any job my all -- so it's just a matter of time before someone sees that and decides to try me out.

We visited a new church today -- Eastminster Presbyterian. Sometimes I think the Pittsburgh church situation is a little like the scene in The Blues Brothers when Jake and Elwood enter a bar and ask what kind of music they play there -- "Oh, we've got both kinds: country and western," is the reply. Well, here in Pittsburgh, they've got lots of church diversity: there's Reformed Presbyterian, Presbyterian Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, and even a few Orthodox Presbyterian congregations. WOW! It's a good thing I'm basically O.K. with Calvinism (Mr. Wonderful, however, is not -- he's an Arminian through and through, hence the dozens of late-night arguments we've had over the past seven years regarding predestination, free will, and the sovereignty of God. So this should be a little challenging for him).

Anyway, Eastminster seemed like a friendly church, and I like its tagline -- "Christ-centered and intentionally cross-cultural." However, today was an atypical service, as the pastor was on vacation (August is a terrible time for church-shopping). So we'll probably go back some other Sunday, and see what we think then. I'd still really like to go to Friendship Community Church (also Presbyterian, heh heh) but we promised ourselves we'd look around first, so we will.

It's easy for me to feel down -- and alone -- here in our new place, with no co-workers or small group or good friends nearby, and the house in such a state. But tomorrow will come, as fresh and full of surprises as the farmer's market I go to on Mondays. And thankfully, the God who surprised me last week with the sweetest and most tender beets I've ever tasted -- purchased from a rough-looking crowd of teenagers in a torn-up parking lot -- that God has an imagination vaster than mine will ever be. So if I can find farm-fresh beets in the hood, who knows? Maybe even I will find a place here in Pittsburgh to send down roots of my own.

The dining room: before . . .

. . . and after

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Trying to decide if I like it here.

It occurred to me today, when I was asking my husband for the millionth time if he was O.K., that maybe I'm not sold on living here. Me--the change addict, the person who's been so optimistic about moving to a new city--could it be that I'm having a little trouble adjusting?

Yeah, it's possible. I don't want to admit it, though. So I guess that's why I'm posting it on my blog?

Lewis and Mr. Incredible are doing well so far. The move was rough, but we had so many great friends and family members helping us, and they kept us from completely losing it on multiple occasions.

We're basically moved into our new house now; at least, we're not really camping anymore! Tomorrow, Mr. Incredible goes back to work (from home) and I pound the pavement, looking for a job. I'm looking forward to it; resuming the job search will give me something to focus on other than the fact that our whole house needs to be remodeled. Hopefully this week we'll be able to start work on the master bedroom; we may actually end up blowing in insulation, drywalling over the plaster walls, and redoing all the electrical work before we even get to the fun cosmetic stuff . . . but if we can accomplish it, I'm sure we'll be very happy with the result.

On a more positive note, however, I am absolutely loving our neighborhood and our location here in the city. Our walks with Lewis are the perfect opportunity to take in the incredible architecture that surrounds us on all sides. From the dramatically sloped roofs of English-style cottages to the bricked arches of 1900s-era stately homes, it's hard to be bored when walking the dog. And, as I suspected, one of my big budget downfalls (although perhaps a good thing for my health) is Whole Foods. We never had one within driving distance at home in Central Pa., and now we live closer to Whole Foods than to Giant Eagle, the "normal" grocery store. There's supposedly a farmer's market tomorrow in our neighborhood, so I might just have to check that out, too.

As I write this, Mr. Incredible is excitedly watching the Steelers' first pre-season game. It's been a highly anticipated game ever since their coach of many years (I think more than 12) threw in the towel at the end of the 2006 season. With a new (and very young) coach, everyone is watching and waiting to see what the Steelers are going to look like this year. Mr. Incredible, a devoted fan, is enthusiastic--but only time will tell. That's basically how I feel right now. This move feels like the right thing to do, and while I may have lots of high hopes for our life in Pittsburgh, I just need to wait and see how it all plays out.