Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm having trouble understanding

Yay, the elections are over. No more ads bashing this one and bad mouthing that one. No more phone calls every 20 minutes telling us why we should vote for a certain candidate. So relieved.

Here's what I'm having trouble understanding. So many people are SO ANGRY over the outcome of the election. People are worried about the future for their children. I read a blog post by someone who is refusing to associate with Democrats or anyone that seems to lean liberal. Can someone please explain to me why so many people are upset? What is this culture of mean-ness that seems to permiate our culture now? I saw so many posts on FB about people unfriending people 'cos of their political leanings.

Yes, I voted. I'm a registered Independent. I pretty much split the ballot 50/50 between the Democrat and Republican candidates. Mitt Romney on his own was ok but did too much flip flopping on issues. Paul Ryan is way too conservative for my taste. While I wasn't thrilled with the Obama/Biden presidency, I don't think they're as bad as some have made them out to be.

My basic question is this: what makes Obama so "evil" or "horrible" or just all around a bad president? Can someone honestly answer that, please?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oh where to begin

House still hasn't sold. Fourteen months on the market and nothin'. I had a stager come in and for $200 and 75 minutes she told me the house needs to be totally repainted, emptied of 95% of the furniture, and if we're lucky we'll get what we paid for it 9 years ago.


Still love my job. Need a new library assistant and/or student intern, tho. Both my library assistant and student intern left last Friday. Library assistant had back surgery and student graduated. It's been three days without them and I am starting to realize how much help I need.

Had lunch with a former co-worker the other day. I'm doing some searches for her off the clock and we got together to discuss what she's looking for. Apparently I'm very much missed at my old hospital. That's a nice thing to hear. Better than "Glad that bitch is gone!" Heh.

A week from Saturday is two big events in my life. It's my 11th wedding anniversary (yay! we made it 11 years!) and it's my 20th HS reunion. Wholey crap, there's no way I graduated 20 years ago is there? I'm not going to the reunion. I hated HS, really really hated it. Could NOT wait to get out of there. FB has been interesting for me. I've reconnected with people from HS that I didn't think liked me back then. It's weird in a lot of ways.

The main reason I'm not going to the reunion is I don't feel I have anything to talk to people about. I don't have kids, talking about my cats is really just pathetic, and when I say I'm a medical librarian people aren't sure how to react to that usually. I'm just not interesting enough to interact in public with people that I haven't seen in 20 years.

Whine whine whine, I know.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Joys of Homeownership

By Yinzlandia standards, our house is middle aged (it was built in 1950). There are lots of older houses and lots of newer houses. And with any house, old or new, there's always something going on. Last week, I did something to an outlet in the kitchen when I tried to plug something in and hit the "Test" button accidentally. Hubby said, no big deal, just hit the reset button. Ok, easy right? Ha ha ha! If it were that easy, you wouldn't be reading this.

Yesterday I went to the basement to do laundry and the washer wouldn't turn on. Panic. (Mainly 'cos I only had one more pair of underwear left. The horror! The horror!) Being a somewhat resourseful person, I unplugged the washer and plugged it into another close by outlet. Well I'll be darned! Now it works. I don't touch the circut breakers (fear of getting shocked is a big thing for me) so I trudge upstairs and tell Hubby. Long story short, he spends about an hour turning circut breakers off and on and thinks he found the one that needs replaced. Yay! But to be sure, he wants to swap out a workin one with the one he thinks is non-working. And . . . there's nothing wrong with that circut, apparently. He tells me the bad news: we need to call an electrician. Ugh. But wait! There's more!

One of the circut breakers tripped the house alarm (we've never activated it) in the basement. When he went to the closet to cut a wire to shut it up, he noticed ANOTHER CIRCUT PANEL. This might be the solution to our problem. Except. . . in this closet is where we've been putting all the boxes that should be in the PODS storage thing. That has been in my driveway for almost a month now. Empty. Today's project is emptying that room to get to the circut panel.

Then he goes to work on the kitchen sink 'cos it's clogged. The snake he has won't work (not exactly sure why) when he goes through the top (get your minds out of the gutter!) so he goes under the sink and takes it appart. He still can't find the clog. So now he's peeved and my kitchen is a mess.

Project number two for today is going and getting a different snake for the kitchen and finding a good and affordable plumber. Just in case.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So, what's new?

Let's see, still like my new job (there are parts that make me crabby, but that's not new), the house hasn't sold, the Momster has shingles in her eye (OWIE), there is an empty PODS storage unit in my driveway (Hubby insists there is a particular way to load it, but he hasn't been home two out of the last three weeks), and the cats are still insane.

It's been hotter than Hades here the last few days. Call me spoiled but I will pay the high electric bill for central air. Hubby rejected more than one house for not having a/c. He does have a point - he's the one who's home all day and he should be comfortable. We have our eye on one house in particular but the seller needs to sell fast and seeing as our house has been on the market over a year now, I don't see it happening.

I'm very excited to let my dork flag fly on Friday. Hubby and I are going to see Stephen Pastis (creator and artist of the comic strip "Pearls Before Swine") at the the Toonseum. If you're unfamilliar with the Toonseum, it's a museum dedicated to the art of cartoons. It's small, but always has some cool displays. Two years ago, they had Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street) come and do a talk. One of my best best memories of the 'aughts was meeting and having my picture taken with Oscar. And now I get to meet Stephen Pastis! Squee!

Yinzlandia has so many museums and I don't think people know about all of them. Oh sure, we've got the art and natural history museum and the science center but there's so many more. I should talk to some of my public librarian friends and see if they have a list of all the museums in town and then make it my mission to check them all out. Hmm. . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The hardest part about living in Yinzlandia is football season. Y'see, in Yinzlandia they have a really really good football team. They've won an insane number of Superbowls. Everyone is a die-hard fan. Or so it seems. Then there's me. I love football. Just . . . not the home town team. My favorite team USED to be the Yinzlandia team's biggest rival. But, like the Yinzlandia baseball team, my team has been bad, nay, AWFUL for the last 15 years or so. But I'm not a fair weather fan. I will wear my colors proudly and just not go out of the house on Sundays in the fall for fear of outing myself. Very few people know my football obsession, and my true friends will tease me good naturedly, but too many here are not so nice abou it.

So what's a sports fan to do? Well, if you're me, you fall in love with hockey. I originally started watching hockey as an undergraduate. Hockey wasn't very popular where I grew up, so it's been a learning curve for me. One of our first Christmases together, Hubby got me "Hockey for Dummies." (I think he was tired of answering all my questions.) When we moved to Yinzlandia, we started going to hockey games. Now, this is just my opinion but there is NOTHING like live, in person hockey. To really experience it, go to a live game. If you must watch it on tv, be sure to listen to Mike Lange and Phil Borque instead of the tv announcers.

But I digress.

Our first season here was 2003-2004. That was the start of a rough period in Yinzlandia hockey. While the Pens acquired Marc-Andre Fleury (aka Flower), Le Magnifique was out most of the season with a hip injury. Bankruptcy, a 23 game won season and all kinds of ugliness follow. And yet, we still go. And I learn to love hockey. The Pens threaten to leave for Nashville if a new arena isn't built. We hold our breath, and we still go. The team starts to gel and win. And win. And finally I'm a fan of a winning team. It's very strange to cheer a winning team after being a lifelong fan of a losing team (even if it is a different sport).

In 2009 the Pen win the Stanley Cup, which is the most amazing thing I've ever witnessed, sports wise. It's the first round of the playoffs and the Pens are down 3-0 to the cross-state rivals. A best of seven series means it's win or go home time. And the Pens have pulled it off, winning 10-3. The most goals scored by the team since 1991.

There was a point, I swear. I just kept getting distracted by the hockey game. . .

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Always look on the bright side of life

I was apparently delusional when I thought I'd be better at keeping up this blog than I have in the past. Oh well.

Some changes around my home in Yinzlandia. No, unfortunately the house hasn't sold yet. I did, however, get a new job. This was my first week and it was thankfully kind of quiet. I only had one very small dust up. A doc left a patient chart in the library out in the open where anyone could see it. The library wasn't busy at all (it was Friday, Good Friday to be more precise) but since hospitals are always on alert for unannounced JCAHO visits one can never be too careful.

I do miss my old coworkers. I'm in the very start of a learning curve at the new place, and it's hard not having anyone to ask questions. But I have a feeling once things get rolling I'll be fine.

Still nothing on the house selling side. I found two houses I really like, both are still for sale. I've become a little pickier when it comes to where I'm looking for a house. I want a place where either I can walk or take the bus to the new job. The biggest downside to the new job is parking is awful. And expensive. So if I can cut back or cut out that expense I'll be very happy.

Spring has started here in Yinzlandia. My mini-lilac bush has tiny lilacs on it. My regular lilac bush has buds, but no flowers yet. And my rosebush that won't die is green and leafy. I need to make friends with someone with a truck so I can go and get more mulch for my front yard. And flowers. And grass seed. Oh the joys of home ownership.

Happy Easter and a blessed Passover to those who celebrate. Happy Sunny Sunday to everyone else. ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I love looking at buildings. The carvings, the window shapes, leaded or stained glass windows. I work in a very old part of town in Yinzlandia and I love taking walks during my lunch time and looking at the buildings. Unfortunately, the sidewalks aren't that even in some areas, so I've tripped more often than I care to admit. I digress. . .

I also love reading the plaques on buildings. So many houses and buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places in this one small part of town. Fascinating! I've discovered many interesting bits of trivia from walking around too. For instance, I had no idea Gertrude Stein lived only a few blocks from where I work when she was growing up. And the inventor of the Ferris wheel lived in the same area.

The bricks that have designs carved in them. Archways and columns. Brick sidewalks. I would love to look inside of some of these buildings and see if the attention to detail has survived. We're looking to buy a new to us house and I've been having a blast finally getting to see inside some interesting houses.

Growing up, I lived in what a friend from college once called "Beaver Cleaver, Flatlands." Every other house looked alike. There is no history or interesting things to look at. The city part of town was (and still is for the most part) run down and not very well taken care of. To see how Yinzlandia is taking care of it's old buildings makes me even more sad when I go back to the Flatlands. But that's another story for another day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

About books and libraries

I love to read. I am a regular at the main branch of the Yinzlandia public library. Many of my friends from library school work at Yinzlandia Public Library (YLP) and I've become friends with others both through the people I already knew and by spending so much time there.

I grew up within walking distance of a library and spent many an hour there. Punishment was not letting me go to the library that week. Seriously. When I went to college I worked in the library for two years (edited the college paper the other two). Then something happened. I'm not sure what it was, but all of a sudden I stopped going to the library. I lived in a state with a great public library system, yet I never went. I still read a lot, but mostly I bought books. It was the dawn of and we lived quite near a Borders Books Outlet so that was part of it. After I got married, we moved to Yinzlandia and I once again got a library card.

Jackpot. The book nerd in me could not be happier.

In the 9 years I've lived here, I've checked out thousands of books. I've run into friends there. I've attended programs there. I just now put nine books on my request list. When I think of the money I just saved, I can't believe how lucky I am to live in a place with such an awesome library system.

Just this past fall, a "library tax" was on the ballot to keep the branches of YPL open. Coming from a state where library levies are the norm, I couldn't get over the idea that people weren't willing to fund libraries. Yinzlanders came together and the tax passed, but it was kind of scary for a moment. I can't imagine a world without libraries. Take away my TV, my cable, my DVDs, but you'll pry books out of my cold dead hands.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


One thing I've learned about Yinzlanders is they are incredibly nice people. And it rubs off! I think I've become a friendlier person since moving here.  I've always been nice, it's one of my flaws. But I can come off as standoff-ish and that has changed. I've been known to talk to strangers for no reason. Shocking!

Anyway, back to networking. My boss has allowed me to spend some money to make changes to our Patient & Family Education Center in my smaller hospital library. We talked to some of the caseworkers and nurses and asked what they think would be good in there and the overwhelming theme was stuff for kids. Smaller hospital is changing its focus to Women and Infants Health and there's really no place for new big brothers or big sisters to go for a "break." I have no kids and have not had much experience with kids, so I asked a friend who is a children's librarian for video suggestions. She in turn talked to one of her friends who is going to provide a list that her child's teacher put together. Woo hoo!

Several job openings have also come my way via networking. A friend from undergrad told me about an opening at her hospital's library (she's in a different department but thought of me when she heard of the opening), and a former professor (and current friend) from graduate school told me about an opening at yet another hospital. I've been pretty fortunate in that I love my job, but the system I work for is very shakey financially. It's been very fortuante that I've had people looking out for me, so to speak. Makes me pround to live in Yinzlandia.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Slow news day

So here are some cat pictures. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

'Hoods I have known

My jobs here have been in city neighborhoods and I've loved walking around them and exploring. First was Oakland, home of students, hospitals, and more students. The places to look were never ending. There were people from all over the world, food trucks, every type of restaurant imaginable. Very crowded all the time. And I'm not fond of crowds, so it was (and is still) an adjustment every time I go there.

From there, I went south. Well, to the South Side to be more specific. Known for it's night life more than anything else, I love the quirky shops that dot the landscape. I found a place to learn to knit there and ended up making a very good friend in the process. A trip to Groovy, with it's retro toys and games, takes me back to my childhood. "Oh man! I had those! And my brother had all of those and then some!" South Bank Galleries is two stores in one - the bottom level is packed to the brim with stuff. You name it, it's probably there. Church pews, old telephones, furniture, bar ware, neon signs, records, jewelry (both real and costume). Upstairs is the art gallery where you can look at an buy works from Picasso to Roy Lichtenstein to local artists. They have lay away and I keep saying one of these days I'm going to put something on lay away. Ahh, dreams. . .

Next 'hood was Bloomfield/Friendship. I. LOVE. THIS. PLACE. Beautiful houses, awesome food, great people. The best burgers are there (Tessaro's), the best Italian food is there (Alexander's), and my favorite Thai place is there (the one in the yellow building, not the one further up). I've been trying to get Hubby to move there for four years now. Unfortunately, we've apparently missed our window of opportunity to buy there as now all of the houses for sale are either a) tiny small, b) condos with one bedroom, or 3) OMG expensive.

Now I'm in the Central North Side for work. It's absolutely gorgeous here. The houses are amazing, even if the area is still a little rough around the edges. And by rough around the edges, I mean I don't walk with anything of value on me except my phone and even that I try to keep out of sight. From my job, I can walk to the National Aviary and see the birds, I can walk through a park and check out the lake and watch the ducks swim and the people hang out. Lots of old industrial buildings are being re-purposed into housing. A 20 minute walk from work takes you to this big brick building that was once a warehouse of some sort but is now home to some of the most gorgeous (IMHO, YMMV) condos I've seen in a long time. If I had a spare $400,000 I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

We're looking for a new house and 'hood to move to and while my focus has mainly been in the East End, I'm open to other suggestions! Currently there are two houses on my watch list that are in the running should our house ever sell - one in Squirrel Hill, the other in Morningside. But that's another post for another day. . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to Yinzlandia!

I'm your host, KittenG.

I'm sure you're wondering "What the heck is Yinzlandia?" Well, it's my little slice of Pittsburgh. I'm not a native, but I've been here long enough to almost feel like a Pittsburgher. March 1st is my 9th anniversary of living here and I still am fascinated by all things Pittsburgh. The food, the scenery, the people. It's still a mystery to me.

By day, I'm simply a medical librarian in a hospital. (Yes, hospitals have libraries and librarians. No, I don't sit around and read all day.) The rest of the time, I wander around trying to figure out the city I call home.

Why "Yinzlandia" tho? Well, Portland is the setting for "Portlandia" and apparently Brooklyn, NY has "Brokelandia" so I thought it would be fun to start referring Pittsburgh to Yinzlandia.

When do I start saying I'm from here?

In about six weeks, I'll have lived in Yinzlandia for nine years. That's a long time. But I still say I live in Yinzlandia, but I'm from Beaver Cleaver, Ohio. I don't know why I feel the need to "clarify."

Don't get me wrong, I love living in Yinzlandia. There's so much to see and do. I love the city neighborhoods, I love the architecture of the buildings, I love the hills (just don't ask me to go up and then look down). I go for walks at lunch (when it's nice enough to go outside) and have discovered things like Gertrude Stein's childhood home, the home of George Ferris, Jr, the inventor of the Ferris wheel. All within blocks of my job. So cool!

Maybe after 10 years I'll start saying I'm from here? 20 years?

Any other transplants out there? When did you start saying you were from "here"?