Friday, December 22, 2006

Jesus, Mary, and that other guy

What a cuddly wuddly Jesus.

Don't you just wanna pinch his chubby little savior cheeks?

He's got a place to rest his sweet head because of Joseph.

Who?

Joseph, dammit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I always feel kinda bad for Joseph.

You've got Jesus: Son of God, Messiah, Savior, all around good guy.

There's Mary. Hail, yeah, Mother of God, blessed fruity womb and whatnot.

And then Joseph.

Just Joseph. Plain old Joseph. No special title or privileges.

The guy best known for managing the mule and manger situation.

Plus, his wife is a virgin who gets knocked up by God.

I don't know about you, but if I'm Joseph, I'm thinking: Damn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Okay, I was wrong. Maybe he's not just plain ol' Joseph.

To the Catholics, he's Joseph, Patron Saint of Aspirin. Or something.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Of course, Joseph also can be very helpful if you want to sell your home.

Have you heard about this?

Buy a statue of St. Joseph. Bury him upside down in your front yard. Pray.

And faster than you can say 30-year fixed at 6.1% APR, your home is SOLD!

Hallelujah!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You think parenting is hard? How would you like to be stepfather to the son of God?

Because you just know Jesus went through that rebellious 12 year old stage where he was all "You're not my REAL father!"

How about we give it up for Joseph this Christmas, eh?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
I am reading: Newsweek
And I am: Cabin feverish

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The best gift ever

"Oooh, look at that one!" I said to myself in Mrs. Langren's fifth grade class at Atwood Elementary.

It was magnificent. Sitting atop the Christmas grab-bag pile was the biggest, best present. Beautifully wrapped. With a gorgeous bow.

It was destined to be mine. Mine, mine, mine.

I tried to imagine what could be in that box. I couldn’t stop staring at it.

So when the teacher started the drawing and called my number first, I leaped up and grabbed that glorious present before anyone else could take it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I love, love, love the traditions around Christmas. The social schedule is intense. Much merriment.

But one of my favorite traditions is mine alone: A random night before the holiday, Jim goes out for beers with his good friend Chris.

I stay home to wrap presents.

But it’s so much more than wrapping. I make hot chocolate. I watch the movie You’ve Got Mail.

Then I spend a couple hours working quietly with the tape and scissors and tags and bows, thinking about all the people I love who are gonna open those gifts and hopefully smile just a little.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Back in Mrs. Langren’s classroom, it was finally time to open the presents.

Honestly, to this day, I don’t know what I expected. Maybe I was wishing for a book or even a set of books like the Little House on the Prairie series that I treasured so much back then.

I tore off the paper and breathlessly ripped open the box.

I was stunned. Could it be?

A hat? An ugly knit hat? An ugly, boring knit HAT?

How could such an awful gift be in such a beautiful package?

I was beyond crestfallen; my little fifth grade heart was devastated.

For all the wrong reasons, I had chosen the wrong gift.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There’s a psychology to giving.

It's not about how much you spend. That's the last thing that makes a great gift and the first thing that most people do because it's so goddamn easy.

The best kind of giving is all about knowing someone really well – maybe even better than they know themselves – and spending more time than money to give them something they needed but didn't necessarily know.

It doesn’t happen very often. To me, that’s the best gift.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given? Ever received?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m sure the disappointment showed on my face. I’m sure the girl who brought that gift could tell the knit hat wasn’t what I’d been expecting.

I wonder if she remembers. I wish I could tell her what that gift has come to mean to me after all these years.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s shameful that I can’t remember more of the presents I received as a kid.

Of course there are more than a few standouts. Mrs. Beasley. I loved her little voice, asking me somewhat conspiratorially “Do you want to know a secret?”

The Barbie townhouse – with a real, working elevator!

The thick World of Pooh storybook ("Hedy S_____ 75 Christmas" written in pencil on the cover page) that introduced me to Christopher Robin and his Silly Old Bear, plus the idiotic but lovable Piglet and irritating, know-it-all Owl.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yet every year around Christmas I think about that ugly knit hat.

It was one of the best gifts ever.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan
I am reading: Christmas in Harmony by Philip Gulley
And I am: Grateful

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A passel of Jesus


Have you heard the Good News?

Just in time for Christmas, someone found Jesus.

And not just one Jesus, but lots of Him!

Last week, some jokester terrorized a south side Chicago neighborhood by stealing baby Jesuses from yard mangers.

Then yesterday, a Christmas miracle: 32 of those plastic rascals appeared on one woman’s lawn, lined up by size and style.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This story had Chicagoland journalists scrambling for their AP style books to figure out what’s plural for Baby Jesus.

Baby Jesi? Oy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Herd? Posse? Passel?

Maybe a bunch of Jesuses is like a gaggle of geese or a murder of crows.

The Chicago Tribune neatly skirted the issue by referring to them as “baby Jesus dolls.”

Them thinky ones over at the Trib are goin' to heaven for sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
More from the Chicago Tribune:

“The plastic pieces, many weathered with age, were found Saturday morning lined up perfectly and sorted by design in the yard of a parishioner of St. Symphorosa Church, who asked church staff not to give out her name. The resident bagged them up, brought them to church and asked church staff to help her find their owners, said Margaret Garbacz, director of religious education at St. Symphorosa.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She bagged up the little baby Jesuses? What the HELL was she thinking?

The thief obviously thought she needed more Christ in her life. He took the trouble to sort them by size and style on her lawn, for the love of . . .well, You Know Who.

And she tosses 'em in a Hefty bag like so much trash?

At least she brought them to a church. Can you imagine THAT conversation?

DINGDONG

"Yes?"

“Um, I’ve got a sack of saviors here,” said the bewildered woman. “Can you help?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
According to this web site, a group of penguins is called a crèche.

Crèche: 1.a small or large modeled representation or tableau of Mary, Joseph, and others around the crib of Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem, as is displayed in homes or erected for exhibition in a community at Christmas season.

Spooky.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This might be controversial, but I’m anti-lawn ornament. Especially when it comes to your Major Religious Figures.

It seems disrespectful. Or something.

Jesus should be kept off the lawn and up on the cross where he belongs.

And these people call themselves Christians.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A horde of hamsters? Who knew?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And how would you transport all those little plastic lords, Mrs. Know-It-All?

Hell if I know. Something involving an ass and three wise men perhaps?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Maybe I’m anti-manger because of our former neighbors.

They put Walmart's Holy Family in their front yard in response to our Las Vegas-style Christmas lights display. It was their smug little way of reminding us what the season is really about: Hollow, tacky effigies of wandering and homeless Jews.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Got it!

A Mess o' Messiahs!

Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: O Holy Night - Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics
I am reading: Chicago Sun-Times
And I am: Wondering what the FUCK penguins are doing in Bethlehem

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's 10:02 a.m.

Blah blah pain. Blah blah herniated disc.

Blah blah, whine, whine whine, Vicodin, blah. Chiropractor blah blah, orthopedic surgeon blah blah blah. Whine whine whine.

Blah blah blah fucking blah.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Myself whine
I am reading: Nothing
I am: Disappointing you

Monday, December 18, 2006

Congratulations

We did it.

We are Time Magazine’s People of the Year.

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wait a minute. Heh?

We are the successors to last year’s winners – Bill and Melinda Gates, and Bono – selfless humanitarians known the world over for their generosity and social activism?

What the hell did we do?

I’ll tell ya.

We sat on our lazy asses in front of our computers and talked about ourselves.

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The editors at Time attempted to make a case for it, citing 2006 as a year of unprecedented on-line “community and collaboration” that changed how we view politics, work, and even ourselves.

They note the power of sites like YouTube and MySpace.

But then you read the following sad hyperbole and the silliness of Time’s selection is exposed to the world like Britney Spears' floppy little piss flaps:

“We're looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation, and it's just getting started, as millions of minds that would otherwise have drowned in obscurity get backhauled into the global intellectual economy.”

Right.

One can only surmise that by “explosion of productivity” the editors at Time are referring to Hand Farting the Star Spangled Banner, currently a featured video on YouTube.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Time also is celebrating MySpace, the networking place for 'tweens and the pedophiles who love them.

omg idk but ily! totally luv ur pics! lol omg!

Like, omg, I'm like, Person of the Year, omg!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But wait, there’s more:

“America loves its solitary geniuses—its Einsteins, its Edisons, its Jobses—but those lonely dreamers may have to learn to play with others.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, to recap:

1) Time picks you and me for People of the Year
2) Time celebrates the fact that the Internet has rescued millions of mediocre minds from their rightful destiny of drowning in obscurity
3) Time labels the precious handful of genuinely great minds that have called this country home “lonely dreamers."

A new low.

But hey, congratulations. To all of us.

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Jem - Amazing Life
I am reading: Anything but Time Magazine
And I am: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cornmeal, gunpowder, ham hocks and guitar strings


So far this holiday season we’ve watched the Peanuts Christmas special, Year Without a Santa Claus (new & old versions), Grinch, and Rudolph.

Here's a question: Why do they make Santa out to be such a dick in these shows?

Of course in Rudolph, Santa finds out about the blinkin' beacon and puts the kibosh on Donner's only son ever participating in the most important night in the life of any reindeer.

DONNER: Now I'm sure it'll stop as soon as he grows up, Santa.

SANTA: Well, let's hope so if he wants to make the sleigh team someday!

Donner's thinking: "Thanks a pantload, ya fat fuck."

Then in Year Without a Santa Claus, he's the flaming asshole who decides to blow off Christmas and plunge the entire world into chaos. As if the holidays aren't stressful enough. They never mention the fact that the suicide rate for December went through the fucking roof that year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speaking of flaming, I do love Heat Miser's little minions. Their tiny flaming heads just crack me up completely. It's the best part of the whole story, really.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a little crazy, but two years ago I bought the Santa's castle from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

The castle came with a bunch of the little figurines including Mean Head Elf, Hot Little Female Elf, Nerd Elf with Glasses, Yukon, multiple nameless reindeer, Charlie in the Box and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus.

I usually set it up on a table in our family room, which also features a Christmas tree decorated in silver & gold ornaments (get it?).

I know. It's fairly twisted. But wait, there's more.

There's a bedroom on the third floor of Santa’s castle.

Every night during the holiday season, I come home from work to find somebody new upstairs violating Hot Little Female Elf.

Of course, Santa was first. He is the boss after all. Gives whole new meaning to “Ready, Santa!”

One night it was Yukon -- getting a taste of elf coochie for the first time in his lonely prospecting life. Next it was misfit Polka Dot Elephant in his jaunty little hat taking her doggie style.

On one particularly disturbing occasion, Charlie in the Box had Head Elf biting the pillow while HLFE watched from the corner.

The worst was when I discovered Comet playing reindeer games with Clarice.

C'mon. It’s bad enough the coach ridiculed Rudolph in front of his friends and nearly kept him off the sleigh team. But playing reindeer games with his girlfriend?

That's just wrong.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Bi-weekly sales meeting
I am reading: Chicago Sun-Times
And I am: Festive

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Breathe

I don’t wear a watch.

They can be lovely, interesting pieces of jewelry but their purpose confounds me.

I never want to know exactly what time it is. I don’t like schedules.

If I’m enjoying myself, it should end when it ends, not because of some decidedly relative measurement.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Screw time.

I want to measure my life other ways.

By the number of times good friends have made me cry just this week by saying really nice things that I don’t deserve.

By the mornings I’ve stayed in bed a little longer to watch the geese fly over the trees in my back yard.

By spontaneous, fun Saturday afternoons with friends.

By early morning phone calls with my Mom.

By the books I’ve read and places I’ve been.

By belly laughs friends have given me.

By belly scratches I’ve given Gromit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By the way, it’s one year today for HedyBlog.

It’s a milestone for sure.

But like my life, it is measured by people – people way more precious than time.

Thank you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Breathe (2AM) – Anna Nalick
I am reading: New York Times
And I am: Breathing

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Chicago holiday tradition

You’re on the road by 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

Due to an early Christmas miracle (the Bears are playing Monday night) traffic is light. It’s just 45 minutes and you’re there.

You park in the lot across from what used to be Marshall Field’s on State.

It’s Macy’s now.

The giant red star in the Macy’s logo seems obnoxious and rude (and – a hint of prejudice here – SO New York) compared to the friendly green of Field’s.

You wait patiently to view the store windows that tell a story you already know. This year it’s Mary Poppins. Suddenly you’re singing along with the crowd all the songs you haven’t heard in years.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go downnnn…the medicine go downnnn…the medicine go down.

“THERE SHE IS!” scream bundled-up kids as Mary Poppins magically floats down in the small wooden doorway of the first window.

You walk under the giant gold trumpets pointing to the sky. For some reason they look a little worn and dirty this year. Maybe it’s just that you never looked closely at them until now.

As is tradition, you discuss how the windows compare to previous years. You agree that the Grinch remains the best ever.

Secretly you think the Harry Potter windows were far superior in every way, but Harry’s story is way too new to be awarded Best Ever.

As usual, you wonder what they do with all the stuff once the windows come down. You imagine a secret warehouse deep in the city where Cinderella dances with Scrooge while Hagrid guards the door.

You leave the last window reluctantly, mumbling supercalifragilisticexpialidocious under your breath.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Inside Macy’s, you take small comfort in finding that it’s all the same.

The rush of warm air. The dolled up “babes” working the perfume counters.

Still at work, your imagination tells you the sales clerks are just a little bit colder this year.

But the lady at the Frango counter downstairs belies that thought with genuine warmth and fun.

She double bags those unmistakably heavy candy boxes (six this year!), placing one austere red-starred shopping bag inside another.

And again, that prejudice creeps up: Cheaper bags. You’d never have to double up with a heavy green Field’s bag. No way.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You wander up to the 8th floor – the best place to view the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room below.

It is sponsored by Wedgewood this year so the tree is festooned with pale blue and white accents. You agree it’s not as pretty as the Lenox tree from years before.

You take the escalators down, down to the 6th floor, past the fine china and linens to the Trim-a-Tree department. It's all about Christmas -- ornaments and garland and fragile knick-knacks.

“How about these?” he asks, picking up a box of Christmas cards.

You shake your head, knowing you’ll agree after much searching and a brief debate that is all part of the tradition.

Another tradition: You pick out a Christopher Radko ornament. This year’s is the famous green Marshall Field’s clock. You note somewhat cynically that there are literally piles of them this year -- when people were waiting in line and buying them on eBay for way more than they're worth last year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Back outside, you walk to Miller’s Pub.

It’s just a few blocks down Wabash past the naked fake hands and necklines in the windows of the "Closed Sundays" diamond shops.

The food at Miller’s Pub is average, but the Christmas decorations are stellar and the folks are friendly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Full and ready to walk, you head over to the German market at Daly Plaza. It’s jammed.

You check out the giant Christmas tree, Menorah, and Muslim crescent. You realize there’s no Kwanzaa symbol and assume you missed it somehow.

You think about the year that someone stole baby Jesus from the life-size manger. You make sure that the little rascal is safe in his cradle before moving on.

You wander the booths looking at ornaments and doilies and ornaments and Polish glass. You buy a hand-knit hat that you will probably wear only once. You drink mulled wine out of a red mug shaped like a boot.

The crowds are too much, so you reluctantly head back to the car.

And you take a nap during the ride home.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Christmas in Hollywood – Hollywood Undead
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Jolly

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Done

Of course I sounded like an idiot.

You don’t get invited on a comedy radio show to talk about your boobs and not come off like a bit of a bubblehead.

But I said what I wanted to say in between the wise cracks.

That chicks like me with really big hoots don’t have to live with it. That the surgery isn’t all that painful. And most important: The really good plastic surgeons don’t advertise.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I regret doing it. And that really bugs me, because I rarely regret anything.

Mostly I regret that my friends who listened in were embarrassed for me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“So you don’t miss men looking at you because of your boobs?” – Jay Thomas
“No. I love it. I’m under the radar now.” - Me
“Oh, c’mon.” - Jay
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That little exchange says way more about Jay than anything about me.

He lives and breathes Hollywood, where it’s perfectly acceptable for Britney Spears to flash her sad, floppy coochie to the world.

Why would he think I’m any different? Why would he think that any woman, anywhere, wouldn’t love the attention that comes with big boobs?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The fact is, I’ve been teased about my tits my whole life. I’ve heard everything.

These two professional comedians said nothing that hadn’t been said a thousand times before.

I guess that’s what was so surprising and more than a little disappointing: They didn’t come up with something new, something genuinely funny.

It was a true softball opportunity and they blew it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But you had to know it was gonna be like that, didn’t you?

Kinda. But I thought it would be funnier.

I’ve been the target of crude jokes time and again – and I’ve laughed my ass off.

This was different. It wasn’t intelligent and funny, it was stupid and mean.

What’s more, my friends were far more spontaneously funny about the whole thing.

And they don’t get paid for it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Gromit sighing
I am reading: Notes on re-vamping the web site
And I am: Done talking about my tits

Monday, December 11, 2006

HedyBlog LIVE!

HedyBlog is goin’ LIVE, baby!

I will be a guest on the Jay Thomas show on Sirius Satellite Radio this afternoon at 4:30 central time.

Here’s how it happened: My talented and handsome friend Rodney Lee Conover co-hosts the Jay Thomas show on Sirius weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. Chicago time.

Rodney Lee asked me if I’d be interested in sharing the recent breast reduction experience with his listeners. I said yes.

There you have it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Are you sure you wanna do this?

I had deep reservations at first.

Here’s why: There’s nothing I hate more than the whole Jerry Springer/Maury Povich expose-every-embarrassing-aspect-of-your-pathetic-little-life train wreck that is afternoon television.

It sickens me when people who didn’t get enough attention as children go on TV to try for 15 minutes of fame. Worse, it appears that viewers think this brand of vacuous trash is entertainment, because somehow these shows endure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Uh, Hedy? You told us about washing your ass with a gym sock in your blog.

Right.

But let me explain how talking about my tits on national radio is different.

The breast reduction was a life-changing event. I am physically and mentally more comfortable than I’ve been in years.

If I’d known how easy it would be to feel this good, I would’ve had the surgery 10 years ago.

And that’s why I’m going to be a guest on the Jay Thomas show today.

I’m convinced there are other women out there like me who could benefit from what I’ve learned.

So talking about your breast reduction will be educational?

Informative and educational, dear friends.

It’s a public service. It’ll be good karma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“It’s a public service,” telling my Mom about it last Friday.

“Your breast reduction was a public service? How? By making more room in public?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Can I swear? Because I can’t control that you know,” asked a concerned me via IM last week.

“Yes. Fuck yes,” replied Rodney.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“You’re going to be killed,” said another friend of mine. “You know that, don’t you? Men everywhere will want to kill you. There’ll be death threats.”

[Cue the Battle Hymn of the Republic]

If it means improving the life of just one poor woman out there like me, who suffered from the pain, anguish and tyranny of freakishly huge boobs, it’s a chance I’m willing to take.

Plus I get to say Very Bad Swears on the radio. Fuck yeah.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to (soon): Rodney Lee Conover on the Jay Thomas Show on Sirius satellite radio (sign up for a free 3-day trial here)
I am reading: Crain's Chicago Business
And I am: Famous for 15 minutes

Friday, December 08, 2006

Scotty and me

“Would you shut the fuck up for a minute?”

That was my good friend Scott at a bar in Naperville last night.

We always get there early for these monthly gatherings so we can bullshit a bit before the rest of our former co-workers arrive and the conversation travels elsewhere.

He tells me to shut the fuck up. I laugh out loud. Then we toast to whatever.

That’s what we have. It’s unbelievably cool.

Do you have a good friend like Scott? I hope you do.

We’re creative, but in different ways. We talk about our families and friends and movies and books and pop culture. We don’t talk about work. Because it’s boring and mostly a distraction from what we’re Meant to Be Doing with Our Lives.

We talk about everything and nothing and it always goes by too quickly.

The best part about spending time with Scott is that I always, always learn something new about myself.

The time we spend is precious. Each minute is a gift.

Do me a favor, would ya please?

Call your Scott. Tell him you love him. Do it today.

Thanks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: KT Tunstall – Universe and U
I am reading: Neil Steinberg in the Sun-Times
And I am: Grateful

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Strange train

On a day like today, the city should (and did) smell like chocolate.

Warms me up.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I was late (a wardrobe malfunction) and caught the 8:02 into the city.

Now I’ve got that bloody Takin’ Care of Business song in my head.

I was singing Sir Elton’s Daniel in the shower, which was way better comparatively.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are some familiar faces on this train.

The lady in the fur coat who reads trashy novels and wears really bad sweaters. Today it’s a gray and teal and yellow and red and purple thing that looks like a drunken clown threw up on her. She seems to like teal. Someone must’ve told her it looks good on her. Not so much.

There’s also the woman with the shiny brown crew cut who looks like a raging bitch but is probably very nice. She’s got a regular posse of people she sits with and they seem to have fun. Looking like that, I wonder what she does for a living. Something in law enforcement maybe. Or government.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
spik·y adj
1. with one or more narrow sharp points
2. easily made angry (informal)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was guessing the Microsoft Word dictionary wouldn’t have spiky, but there it was.

It’s interesting that spiky could also mean angry.

I wonder if she knows that her choice of hairstyle projects that image. Maybe.

The guy I know who is sometimes called Spike couldn’t be more kind and down to earth.

But I think it’s different for dudes.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The wardrobe thing wasn’t so much of a malfunction as a case of indecision. It’s really cold here today – a wind chill of 14 below in Aurora – and with all the walking I do, it’s important to be warm.

On the other hand, I am meeting a group of former co-workers for drinks after work tonight and wanted to look nicer than the usual sloppy corduroys/sweater combo that is my daily winter work uniform.

Thankfully it all worked out.

I’m warm and cute – albeit late – in case you’re wondering.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today the conductor passed out surveys. Where do you come from, how do you get to the train station, how often do you ride, where do you work, etc.

I lied.

Jim dropped me off at the train station because it’s so damn cold. But I put a check in the box next to the “drove alone and parked” line because that’s what I usually do and the parking situation is rather sucky at my station.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They should let us ride free today for helping them with the survey.

It’s what I would do.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Then there’s this, from the lady in the clown vomit sweater:

It’s that chick who usually takes the 7:42. She’s late today too. She’s always so goddamn friendly to that one train conductor. He gives her water all the time. I don’t get free water. It’s no wonder he’s so nice to her, those big boobs and all. Although it seems like she’s lost weight lately or something. Especially around her face. She's always typing furiously on that Mac. She’s wearing brown tights with black boots. What the hell is she thinking? And that hair. It always looks like she just got shtupped or something. How about running a brush through it before leaving the house, honey? I wonder what she does for a living, looking like that. I bet she’s in marketing. Boy this coffee is good today. I make good coffee.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The survey kinda bummed me out because it didn’t include a comments section.

I wanted to tell them that the afternoon trains seem to run late more often than not from Chicago to Aurora. I wanted to tell that they should do more to keep people from talking loudly on mobile phones. I wanted to say how much I appreciate Sir Richard on the 7:42 and how he makes my day, every day.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
No free ride today. The guy came through as usual with his “tickets please” announcement as he stepped in our car.

Maybe Metra figures we’re helping them help us.

But I would’ve passed out chocolate or something to say thank you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Train songs on iTunes
I am reading: Budget spreadsheets for 2007
And I am: Warm and cute

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Word of the Day Wednesday

It’s Wednesday, folks, and ‘ass-wipe’ is our Word of the Day.

Ta-da!

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I heard it this morning and laughed out loud for some reason. I have no idea why.

Ass-wipe.

Say it. Just once. C’mon.

At the very least, you cracked a smile, right?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I started out using asswipe. Minus the hyphen.

But Microsoft Word didn’t like that and promptly issued its standard angry red line indicating that I’d strayed from the Sacred List of Acceptable Words.

I do that pretty often here as you might imagine.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Quick: You’re suddenly famous. Which product do you endorse?

For me, it could be nothing but Charmin Ultra.

It is without question the Ass-Wipe of Kings.

Try it. You'll feel like royalty.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Maybe I laughed at ass-wipe because it is not your garden-variety insult.

Ass-wipe says: You’re close to an asshole, but worse, since you are used and then flushed away.

Of course the argument could be made that assholes are worse than ass-wipes because, like it or not, assholes are permanent.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I know what you’re thinking.

In what context could you have possibly heard the word ass-wipe before 8 a.m. this morning?

It’s a long story. But someone I know called someone else I know an ass-wipe, and got into serious trouble for it.

Which begs the question: Is that person actually an ass-wipe?

Prolly not. She’s not going anywhere any time soon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
About seven years ago, I was responsible for a Major Ass-Wipe Crisis in our home. Have you heard this story? (Yes, you have. I realized I told this same story way back in February. It's good, though and worth re-telling.)

Our septic tank backed up. It was ugly. In the showers and the tub.

Everywhere. Not good.

So we called the Septic Guy, a tenacious and colorful man who promptly dug an ugly brown hole in our backyard to assess the situation.

“Tell yer wife to lay off the shit-paper,” he told Jim. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of shit-paper myself. But she’s gotta cut back.”

There’s nothing quite like being lectured about your bathroom habits by a guy whose boots are covered in liquid shit.

It’s a humbling experience. Valuable, yet humbling.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There you have it, folks. I am a huge fan of ass-wipe and would never use it as an insult because ass-wipe is my friend.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics
I am reading: A client case study
And I am: Joyful

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Love Christ, Hate the Christian

“Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Have you heard this idiotic phrase?

It’s used most often when so-called good Christians try to explain their warped stance on homosexuality.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But, Heather, the Bible says homosexuality is wrong!

Can we please, finally put to the rest the concept that the Bible is a solid basis for any informed, meaningful debate?

Can we do that right now please?

Because the Bible also says that it's okay to sell your daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7) and even own slaves yourself (Lev. 25:44), but it's not okay to eat shellfish (Lev. 11:10) or trim your hair (Lev. 19:27).

So let’s dispense with the idea that the rules of the Bible make any sense at all, and stick with the one rule that Jesus said matters most:

Love others as yourself.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If they’re not hurting us or anyone else, why should we care what people do?

And who the hell are some folks kidding with this Bible stuff, anyway?

They use a few choice passages from the Bible to condemn something that they can’t relate to and don’t want to think about.

It’s so much easier than trying to understand people who appear to be a little different than us.

Jesus never took the easy way out. He wanted to get to know people.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
sin n
1. an act, a thought, or behavior that goes against the law or teachings of a particular religion, especially when the person who commits it is aware of this
2. something that offends a moral or ethical principle
3. in Christian theology, the condition of being denied God’s grace because of a sin or sins committed

sin v
1. to commit a sin, especially by knowingly violating a law or the teachings of a particular religion
2. to commit any serious moral or ethical offense
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I hate that word. Sin.

Why?

Because it separates people. It’s so much easier to label someone a sinner than to really understand why they do the things they do.

It’s not what Jesus believed, that’s for sure.

Jesus hung out on what many would consider the fringes of “normal” society. He wasn’t having dinner and drinks with all of the clean, tidy little believers who follow the letter of God’s law.

No, he liked being around people who were outsiders.

So if Jesus is making his Big Comeback sometime soon, I hate to tell you this, but he’s not hanging out with you or me.

He’s going to find the prostitutes, the homeless drug addicts, and the gang bangers in Chicago. He’s going to visit AIDS patients in Africa. He’s talking with terrorists who are raising their kids to be martyrs for their religion.

He’s not coming to your house. Or mine.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s what I want for Christmas, goddammit: I want all of us to stop seeing only the differences in others.

I want us to focus on what makes us the same.

I want us to work really hard to find that common thread that runs through all of us, as human beings.

I want us to love others as ourselves.

That’s all I want for Christmas. For Christians to start acting a little more like Christ.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: A shovel vs. snow blower debate between two sales reps
I am reading: Work e-mail
And I am: Crabby due to lack of sleep

Monday, December 04, 2006

Train folks

I've told you about Sir Richard, my gallant train conductor.

A few weeks ago, he was the catalyst for meeting my new and wonderful friend Susan.

And this morning Susan introduced me to two more train people: Robin and Jim (?).

These are familiar faces I've seen practically every day for the past three years.

We live in the same communities. We work in the city. We ride the train together.

But we'd never spoken until this morning.

Do you know people like this?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Then, on an ordinary yet miraculous Monday, you talk to them for just a little while.

You learn they have families. They've survived cancer and heart attacks. They play music in a band. They even know some of the same people you know.

It expands your view of the world. Opens you up just a little bit, like an early Christmas gift.

It reminds you that these people you see mostly as strangers -- as just another part of your daily scenery -- are genuine and fun and interesting.

They're just like you, riding the train. But so much more than that.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The fan on my desk
I am reading: A press release for the Minnesota office
And I am: Back to work!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow day

Seen in the Skymall magazine: Inflatable snow castle, $130.

“A real snow castle would take hours to build and require lots of snow. Much more than just a snow fort, our castle encourages children to use their imaginations while having hours of fun.”

Use their imaginations? How? Blowing it up?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Your mom bundled you up in your heaviest winter coat and what we called “leggings” back in the 70’s. For your feet, it was two pairs of socks, plus the embarrassing yet obligatory empty plastic bread bags (to keep your feet dry and make it easier to slip boots on), plus your heavy black snowmobile boots.

To top it off, you were wrapped in a long colorful scarf crocheted with Much Love by your grandma, accompanied by a matching hat and mittens.

I remember hating the wet smell of those thick felt inserts that came with your snowmobile boots.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Of course a snow fort takes hours to build.

The best part about building a snow fort was actually BUILDING it.

You and your brother stayed out in the snow for hours and even though it was really, really cold, you were sweating your asses off.

Your mittens were wet and caked with bits of ice and snow but you stayed out ‘til it was finished, usually after dark.

It was one of those rare, blissful times when you and your sibling weren’t fighting like cats and dogs. You worked as a team, stopping only briefly to consult each other on architecture and construction issues.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I remember always feeling a little sad once we finished the fort.

Because what do you then? Sit in it?

“This is fun. We’re sitting here, in our fort. Weeeeee.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Then, it was the reluctant trek to the house.

Your mom pressing her soft, warm hands against your cold, pink cheeks.

Stripping to your underwear by the back door as she gathered up your wet, heavy winter wear.

That great feeling of fresh dry socks on your feet.

Then giant mugs of hot chocolate – the aroma enough to warm you from the inside out.

That's what building a snow fort is all about. And it's worth way more than $130 for sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Bi-weekly sales status
I am reading: Steinberg in the Sun-Times
And I am: Snowed in.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

F*ck, marry, kill

We can’t talk about Christ and politics all the time. We’ve gotta have some fun.

FMK. Have you heard of this?

Three people. Choose one you’d fuck, one you’d marry and one you’d kill.

It’s mildly amusing. And something fun to do while you’re wasting time pretending to work.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Curly seems like the most fun so he gets boinked.

Moe dies – but only for the irony ("I'll moida ya!")

Which leaves Larry to marry.

Ugh. Could be worse.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now you try:

Paris Hilton
Britney Spears
Lindsay Lohan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My turn:

Brad Pitt
Vince Vaughan
Russell Crowe

I’d kill Brad, shtup Russell and marry Vince.

You wanna spend the rest of your life with Vince Vaughan?

Of course. He’s not stupid (Brad) or angry (Russell) and he’ll make me laugh.

Plus he’s Polish. I have a penchant for Polish boys.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Betty Rubble
Jessica Rabbit
Marge Simpson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Spiderman
Shrek
Santa Claus

Jeez. A tough one.

Screw Shrek. Marry Spiderman. Kill Santa.

Why?

I hate cold weather. And old fat men (however jolly and generous) are a major turn off. Spiderman is smart, brave, and interesting. Shrek is smelly.

There ya go.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Of course, sans Curly, the whole scenario changes.

I'd have to kill Shemp. And it would be a violent, squealing, messy death worthy of the misery he's brought upon hundreds of thousands of Stooge fans the world over. As in:

"Shit, it's a Shemp! Turn it off!"

Fuck Moe. Marry Larry.

Why can't you just marry Moe? He's clearly the leader and the most intelligent of the three.

It's simple: He's not my type.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But what about Joe, Heather?

Joe? Are you kidding?

Everyone knows he’s the gay Stooge.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: WGN News
I am reading: A proposal for an HCM 8.9 upgrade for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
And I am: Silly

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Confession Wednesday

I watch the movie Titanic only up to the point right before they hit the iceberg and then I turn it off.

I can eat an entire package of Pepperidge Farm Double Chocolate Milano cookies in less than 20 minutes.

I’ve been feeling myself up quite a bit since the new boobs arrived.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As this Year of Traveling Lightly winds down, I'm thinking about confessions.

Why is the act of confession so liberating? Why do we feel better after unloading our deep, dark secrets?

It’s liberating, I guess. But it’s more than that.

Whether you’re confessing to your best friend or to an entire anonymous web world, it’s all about the physical act of letting your secret go. Letting off the weight of a mental burden.

Maybe it’s because we feel most human when we are admitting our greatest weaknesses and failures. Putting it out there makes it seem less bad somehow. Makes us less bad somehow.

Makes us seem less alone.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“If you haven’t gone to confession, please raise your hand now,” said the stern little nun visiting the Saturday catechism class at St. Peter’s church in Mount Clemens. “You can’t have First Communion without going to confession. If you haven’t done it yet, you need to come with me now.”

Little Hedy didn’t raise her hand. She shrunk down in her seat. And broke out in a cold sweat.

But she didn’t move. Even though she’d missed the previous Saturday when the entire class had gone to confession for the first time.

So you lied to a nun about going to confession?

Yep.

Six years old and already damned to hell for eternity.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?” asked my friend Bill last year during one of his visits to Chicago.

You’d think after knowing each other for 20 years he’d know, but he didn’t.

So I told him.

“Oh, c’mon,” he said. “There’s gotta be something worse than THAT.”

And you know what? He was right.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of my all-time favorite movies is Almost Famous.

A major scene near the end of the movie involves all the main characters on a plane that appears about to crash. Assuming they’re about to die, each person admits something profound to the group – ranging from love for everyone on the plane and stealing money from the band to sleeping with each other’s girlfriends and hitting a pedestrian and driving away.

The plane doesn’t crash. But those confessions serve as a bit of a catharsis for everyone.

Does confession make things better? For whom? All the time?

If you had to confess the worst thing you’ve ever done to your significant other would it make things better or worse? What about your parents? Would it change things?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So there’s Hellbound Little Hedy who willfully lied to a nun.

Then there’s Precocious Hedy who, at six years old, already knew the whole thing was bullshit and was putting her defiant foot down on a lifelong path to enlightenment.

I think the truth behind the unfortunate confession incident is much simpler and somewhere more towards the middle on that little moral continuum.

I was afraid of nuns. I was afraid of making a spectacle of myself.

Although, you’d think the fear of eternal damnation would’ve made me leap outta my seat, anxious and ready for salvation.

So maybe a part of me did know it was bullshit after all.

Either way, having confessed it, I feel lighter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Charlie Brown Christmas
I am reading: Through the Narrow Gate by Karen Armstrong
And I am: Unfettered

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What would Best Buy do?

Three adult teenagers were caught vandalizing a church in Missoula, Montana on November 12.

Have you heard about this?

According to USA Today, they did serious damage – stealing money and electronic equipment, smashing windows and computer monitors and spraying a fire extinguisher in the gym.

Members of the South Hills Evangelical Church responded to the crime by providing “love baskets” to the three teens, now charged with felony burglary.

"We've collected several hundred dollars' worth of gift cards, X-Boxes and controllers, a DVD, a VCR," Reimer said. "All three young men still live with their parents or grandparents, so we hope the message will be clear."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Loud and clear.

Lesson: If these kids had the proper amount of electronic entertainment available at home they never would’ve ransacked our church. Please keep your offspring off the streets and at home in front of the television where they can’t get into trouble.

Amen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I understand compassion.

But I don’t think Jesus would’ve shopped at Best Buy to solve this particular problem.

Christ knew better than anyone that when you sit down and talk with people – really spend time connecting – you can make a difference.

And maybe even begin to see a little bit of yourself in them.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The well-intentioned parishioners in Missoula missed a wonderful opportunity to show these obviously troubled young men what Christ was all about – and instead they took the easy way out and went shopping.

What better way to introduce them to the compassion of Christ than by inviting them back to the crime scene to work side by side with church members to clean up the mess? And in the process perhaps get to know them a little better? Maybe show them how the items they stole and damaged brought value to the church and its community?

What lessons will they learn by playing X-Box?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Who donated this stuff? What were they thinking?

And are these people parents themselves? Do they show their own kids the kind of love that only credit cards can buy?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Hey! I wanna X-Box!”

You just know there’s some other disadvantaged kid out there living in Missoula who’s thinking about all the bad things he can do to earn himself a “love basket.”

And you just know there are tons of other disadvantaged kids out there who would never think of breaking the law who actually deserve an X-Box.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The judge will give them consequences, but as a congregation we want to reach out and extend love and mercy to them," said Jason Reimer, a pastor at the South Hills Evangelical Church. "A lot of us, whether we're churchgoers or not, have been in their shoes before and have made some bad choices. But God forgives us."

Love and mercy? Forgiveness?

It’s easy to throw those words around but backing it up with genuine time and energy is so much more difficult.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What’s more, these aren’t young teens. According to USA Today, one of the vandals is 18 and the other two are 19 years old.

These guys need free video games?

What they need is mentoring. People who will take the time to help them find jobs so they can learn the value of working hard, earning a wage, and buying their own shit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, that was just one tiny article in USA Today, Heather. Maybe there’s more to this story. And you’re not being particularly Christian yourself, judging these folks from so far away.

Right. So I did a little more investigating and found this story from The Missoulian, a local paper.

Apparently the church is known for its teen outreach efforts, which in the past have included building a local skate park and offering a drug recovery program for adolescents.

But still, there’s this:

“Our biggest concern is the hearts of these guys,” said Pastor Reimer. “That's how we generally feel. We wonder what prompted them to do this in life, and we want to help them get their lives straightened out.”

You wonder? How about if you stop wondering about it and do something, like, I don’t know, actually TALK to them?

And if by helping them get their lives straightened out, you mean helping their brains turn to mush in front of a home entertainment center, mission accomplished.

Well done.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Gromit eat his breakfast
I am reading: Work e-mail
And I am: Disgusted

Monday, November 27, 2006

Fun with words











It’s Monday and we’re having Fun with Words.

Here’s a headline from the front page of Friday’s Beacon News:

You can help shape furute for Fermilab

“Furute? They do some pretty complex stuff at Fermilab. What’s a furute? Is it a new element? And how could us ordinary, non-nuclear physicist types possibly help with it?”

I was intrigued. For about three seconds.

Of course there was no mention of the mysterious furute in the story.

Clearly the Beacon left its crack B team in charge of proofing over Thanksgiving.

But it was funny how my little mind was so willing to temporarily believe in a nonsensical typo because a) It was a front page headline in a newspaper and b) It involved Fermilab, home of the world's highest-energy particle accelerator – and some of the world’s thinkiest brains – located right here in Batavia, Illinois.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Anybody need anything?” I asked as seven of us languished in the distended afterglow of a decidedly delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

“Liposuction,” replied Jim, his standard response that has become as much of a tradition as his Weber grilled turkey. “I’ve always wondered: What’s that thing you see on obese women – it’s a big roll that kinda hangs down below their belly toward their knees? What the hell is that?”

Pooch. I’m thinking pooch. But before I can open my mouth, our 15-year-old nephew Andrew chimes in with this charming little bit of dinner table wisdom:

“I know! I heard it at school. It’s called a GUNT!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yep. Not one, but two of his grandmothers were present for that memorable moment.

I’ve come to expect nothing less from the endearing little brain that also brought us this:

“Andrew, violence is never the answer. You’re a big kid. If someone provokes you, do like Jesus and turn the other cheek,” said me.

“Right. He turned the other cheek and look what they did to him!”

Say what you will, but there’s no arguing with that logic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I feel bad for that second string editor at the Beacon. The furute article was big news here and destined to be read by some of the smartest people in the state.

So what was the article about, actually?

See? It’s sad.

I guarantee more people are talking about the typo than about helping Fermilab gain community support for a potential expansion project.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“We didn’t want to spook the mule,” said our friend Debbie.

It was Thanksgiving Day around noon. We were out on the deck drinking mimosas and bloody marys, enjoying the amazingly warm sunshine and listening to the story of her family’s visit to a park (and a mule) earlier in the day.

“Spook the mule? Spook the mule?”

We could hear the wheels turning in Jim’s infamous head.

“Got it! It’s like burning a mule, but just gas.”

There you have it, my friends. Spooking the mule officially takes the place of the “whistle before the train.”

And another fart euphemism is born.

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speaking of euphemisms, here is Jim’s best ever: Swingin’ string.

It’s a delightful way to describe when, once a month, the relatively sweet and benign chick you claim to love so much becomes a raging and maniacal battle-axe that you'd gleefully bludgeon with the nearest ashtray.

Use it well, dear friends.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And lastly, there’s this, regarding philosophical brevity inspired by The Dilbert Blog:

Friends in a bar were sharing euphemisms for menstruating women. Riding the Cotton Pony, Aunt Flo's in Town, Swingin' String, etc.

One friend arrived late to the conversation so we asked him:

"What phrase do you use to describe a woman on her period?"

His brilliantly brief response?

"Mean."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: WGN News
I am reading: An article from Scientific American called "Darwin at the Zoo"
And I am: Poopy

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday.

Well, of course, Heather. No surprise there. It’s dedicated to one of your favorite pastimes: Eating.

True. Food is a big part of it; it’s an easy joke I’ve used repeatedly over the years.

But my love for Thanksgiving goes beyond Jim’s grilled-to-perfection turkey and my semi-famous sage sausage stuffing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From hardcore fundie Christians to secular humanists, all of us can get our arms around setting aside one day out of the year to be grateful for the good in our lives.

Thanksgiving. Rooted in a religious harvest tradition, it was transformed into a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln via a largely mythical account of Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together for a meal in 1619.

Today it is a somewhat secular, pseudo-patriotic day of thanks hallmarked by parades, football, and in my house, flatulence.

It’s Christmas, without the stressful scramble for gifts and familial bargaining over who visits where and when, and for how long.

It’s that unique and most American of high holidays when it’s okay – and downright common – to include both friends and family in the festivities.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s the story we learned in elementary school: Pilgrims made the arduous journey to America in order to escape religious persecution. They met some Indians and – before all the nasty land grabbing and murderous rampaging began – sat down together for a meal of turkey, corn and pumpkin pie.

It didn’t really happen that way, but it’s a lovely story that encapsulates three of my favorites: religious freedom, acceptance of others who are different from us, and of course, pie.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you read Abraham Lincoln’s original proclamation making Thanksgiving a national holiday, it’s fairly God-heavy stuff.

But putting the religious aspect aside, the most important thing he did – during the Civil War, arguably the most tumultuous time in American history – was to create a day when all of us could celebrate our blessings regardless of our political, religious, or social differences.

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving.”

Brilliant.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Whoa. Wait a minute.

You can’t take God out of Thanksgiving. Whom exactly are we thanking, if not God?

That, to me, is the best part about tomorrow.

Of course you can be grateful to the god of your choice. That’s what the pilgrims were all about.

But you can also look around the table and thank your friends and family for making life so fun and interesting. You can take a moment to be grateful for everyone who makes your life a little bit easier.

And please don’t forget the veterans who sacrificed so much protecting the precious freedom that makes everything else possible here in America, especially the ability to eat pie whilst thanking the god of your choice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The furnace that keeps my house warm
I am reading: About the history of Thanksgiving
And I am: Grateful

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hungry, Indian-style

The headline read: “No more ‘hungry’ Americans: US government says”

Intriguing. Could it be?

Whilst distracting us with the war in Iraq, did our government actually do something genuinely worthwhile?

What a lovely thing. And right before Thanksgiving.

God I love this country.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Um, no. Not exactly.

Have you heard about this?

The government has decided that the 11 million people who went without food last year in the U.S. are no longer hungry.

They’re folks with “very low food security.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Hungry?” says Government Official A, wrinkling up her pert little nose. “That sounds so…I don’t know…needy and un-appealing. Can’t we call them something else?”

“Of course,” agrees Government Official B, dipping a biscotti in his Starbucks Tazo Chai Frappuccino (tall, skim, no whip). “How about sammich-impaired?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My friend Lisa really needs to start a blog. Here’s her response to yesterday’s question about the politically correct evolution of sitting Indian style:

“Actually, it's now criss-cross applesauce. And we wonder why people are dumber now than they used to be.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I guess it’s prolly a little late to be outraged at these most recent examples of Newspeak.

Still, it’s depressing that our government has essentially given up on solving real problems in exchange for assigning benign titles to our most serious societal ills.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What the FUCK does APPLESAUCE have to do with sitting DOWN?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since there’s absolutely no logic to any of this shit, perhaps we should inject applesauce into all of our new phrases.

The hungry henceforth shall be referred to as people with very low applesauce security.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: House sounds
I am reading: Not much of anything, sadly
And I am: Sammich-impaired

Monday, November 20, 2006

Finding Heather again

I wrote the following in the days since the surgery last Wednesday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thursday, November 16:

It’s done.

Out with the old and freakishly huge; in with the new and decidedly perky.

It looks like I swiped a set from a 20-something chick.

Well, for now, more like a 20-something victim of a bloody, breast-related hate crime.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As expected, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. Right now I’m sitting bunched up on the couch trying not to breath too deeply.

I don’t regret it. But I’m not entirely sure about it yet, either.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wait a minute. This is what you wanted. Thirty years of uncomfortable, blah blah, boo-hoo, you said.

I know.

It’s only been a few days. It’s odd, but I’m feeling a little melancholy.

I’ve been known as Heather with the Big Boobs pretty much my whole life.

I ain’t her anymore. I’m still me, for sure.

But I ain’t her.

And that makes me just a little sad.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speaking of odd: Receiving well wishes for a breast reduction.

I feel a little guilty about it.

I got flowers. Beautiful flowers. And lots of love and support from all over the place – this was among the best, from my dear friend Lisa in Florida:

So--tomorrow is the big day--I mean the not-so-big day--I mean the not too big, but not too small day--I mean tomorrow is the "proportionate to your body" Day!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Saturday, November 18:

I saw the movie Finding Neverland for the first time today.

I cried like a baby through most of it. I have no idea why.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sunday, November 19:

The surgery took four hours. Two hours per.

And the surgeon removed nearly 2.5 pounds from each side.

Yep. Five pounds.

Jim came home from the grocery store yesterday morning and said he almost picked up one of those ginormous 5 lb. packages of hamburger just because.

“That sure is a lotta meat,” he said.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Will you have scars? Yes. Remember, this was not so much about how I look, but how I feel.

I have a vertical scar from each nipple and a horizontal scar along the crease under each breast. Here’s a graphic of how the surgeon did it – commonly known as a keyhole breast reduction.

Will you have…feeling? Yes. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

What size were you/are you now? I’m not going to answer that. Again, this is about how I feel more than anything.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s what I like so far:

All my shirts are baggy. I look like less of a mutant; there’s nothing unusual about my appearance any more. Almost immediately, I noticed a difference in how my neck and back felt. I can sit Indian style without any pain at all. My Dad says I look 10 years younger. My Mom says Wow. Our good friends Steve & Judy say I look fantastic. For now, these new boobs appear to be impervious to gravity. It’s strange, but breathing is a lot easier, too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Is Indian style politically incorrect? Should it be Native American style now?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So when we see you, what do we do? What should we say?

It’ll be extremely obvious that something is different. So here’s my take at a little Post-Breast Reduction Etiquette:

DO:
Keep remarks general like “You look good!” – but only if you really mean it
Ask how I’m feeling
Maintain eye contact
Stay positive: “I bet you can’t wait to go shopping!”

DON’T:

Comment directly on them, i.e. “I liked ‘em better when they were bigger.”
Stare at them any more than you did when they were huge and obnoxious
Ask what size I was/am now
Say “Nice little tits ya got there. But now your ass looks HUGE.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Monday, November 20

"Are you going to work out this morning?"
"Yes," replied Jim, still half asleep next to me.
"I wanna go."
"No."
"I'm going," I insisted. "I need to move."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I woke up this morning really feeling the need to get out and get moving.

I promised myself I'd just walk slowly around the track and sit down if I felt tired or weak.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On my second lap, I walked through a sliver of sunshine and caught a glimpse of my shadow.

And then I caught my breath.

It was like looking into the past. At the little kid I used to be. The kid who could run faster than most of the boys in gym class. The kid who loved running more than anything, but stopped when things got too slow because other things got too big and jiggly.

The kid who started looking like a woman before her time. The kid who didn't really want to ever grow up but did way, way before she was ready.

All of a sudden it was overwhelming and like a big dork I was crying. Walking and crying.

It's hard to explain, but I feel like there's so much more healing here than the cuts from my surgery.

I feel like I'm getting back to who I was. The person I was meant to be, but lost long ago.

I’m still me, for sure.

More me than I've been in a very, very long time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Joe Cocker - Feelin' Alright
I am reading: All kinds of new blogs
And I am: So good

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bye bye boobs

My mom wonders if – like soldiers who lose limbs – I’ll have phantom boob syndrome.

Jim says it’ll make me smarter.

And me? I’m a little nervous about losing a bit of my mojo, à la Austin Powers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My chest started sprouting in the fourth grade.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard people commenting on it.

I was walking home from the bus stop through our old neighborhood on Brentwood Drive. Keep in mind that my family moved when I finished fifth grade so I was still in elementary school when this happened.

“Look at her. How old is she?”
“I don’t know, I thought she was in fifth grade.”
“She’s wearing a bra.”
“I don’t even wear a bra yet.”

That was a group of high school kids that I had to walk past to get to my house.

It was an extremely uncomfortable moment. And it marked the beginning of 30 years of physically and mentally uncomfortable moments.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tomorrow is the big day. And I owe all of this to my dear friend Susie.

We were lounging by the pool last summer during her annual weekend trip to Chicago. She comes here from Michigan to get away from being a mom and a wife for a few days. And we both get to act like we’re college roommates again.

We chill, talk, laugh, shop, drink, and laugh some more.

“You don’t have to live like this, you know,” she said, sipping the fruity frothy drink that Jim, our pool boy for the weekend, made for us. “They’re huge. You should really think about surgery.”

Two women that she works with had it done and were very happy, she said.

That was Saturday.

On Monday I called my doctor and made the first appointment.

Thank you, Susie. Thank you so much. You’re a true blessing of a friend.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m on my back, sleeping in the sand at Metro Beach. It’s that magical summer between high school and college.

“Do you think they’re real?”
“I dunno, they sure look real. But they’re too big to be real.”

I open my eyes to see two black guys hovering over me like rain clouds with eyes.

“They’re real. Now go away. You’re blocking my sun.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mojo? What the hell do you mean, mojo?

I dunno. It’s silly.

But when you’ve lived with these things for so long it becomes a part of your identity.

I wonder if I’ll feel different. If I’ll lose part of what makes me, Me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m looking forward to no more rude stares as I walk through the Loop. I’m looking forward to less neck and back pain. Oh, and shopping.

For the first time in my life shopping for clothes will be fun and enjoyable rather than challenging and stressful.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was sitting in a conference room in my surgeon’s office yesterday morning for the pre-operative meeting.

They were running late so I had time to count the 19 plaques on the wall from various boards, societies, associations, and hospitals.

At least they’ll be in good hands.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HedyBlog will be taking a break for the rest of this week.

Me and my new boobs will be making our big comeback Thanksgiving week.

Cheers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Comforty train sounds
I am reading: Crain's Chicago Business
And I am: Counting the hours

Monday, November 13, 2006

Free crazy

Is this bad?

When I walk down the stairs in my house I hear the theme song to Deal or No Deal in my head.

Dun dun DUN da da da DUN dun dun!
Dun dun DUN da da da DUN dun dun!

I march down the steps like I’m a hot, size 4 bimbot toting a briefcase worth a million bucks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m no more nutty than these guys:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Orthodox Jews who want to use a strand of fishing line several miles long to create a symbolic religious enclosure are getting entangled in a dispute with beachfront residents and California environmentalists, who fear the string will snag birds and spoil the ocean view.

The 70 or so families who attend a synagogue on Venice Beach's boardwalk are asking coastal regulators for permission to string the line above one of Southern California's most popular stretches of sand. Within that enclosure, the Orthodox would be free to do things they are forbidden to do outside the home on the Sabbath, such as pushing strollers and carrying bundles.

Orthodox Jews cannot do work or certain physical tasks outside the home on their day of rest and prayer, which begins at sundown Friday and ends at nightfall Saturday.

"It's a major social inconvenience," said Lea Geller, who dreads spending Saturdays indoors with her newborn while her family walks to prayer at the Pacific Jewish Center.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s a major social inconvenience?

It’s your religion, honey.

And putting up some string and calling it a wall is just crazy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
At least one person agrees:

"This is really nuts," Mark Massara, director of the Sierra Club's California Coastal Program, said of the proposal. "To the extent that we're allowing public property to be used for religious purposes is very troublesome."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speaking of crazy, we’ve got this from our friends in Minnesota:

By Oren Dorell, USA TODAY – Scores of Muslim cabdrivers in Minneapolis who say their faith prohibits them from driving passengers with alcohol have sparked a debate over how far a government must go to accommodate Islamic law.

Muslim cabdrivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have been refusing to take passengers who carry wine or spirits from duty-free stores or who are loaded down with bottles after visiting wine country.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You’re a cab driver. You’re Somali Muslim. A fatwa is issued prohibiting you from transporting alcohol. Do you:
  1. Find a new job
  2. Relax about your rules just a bit since you’re not the person who is actually consuming the alcohol
  3. Piss and moan about the fact that you have to wait up to three hours for a fare that’s not carrying alcohol
  4. Expect the local government to make special accommodations for your religious restrictions
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"When I'm American, I have freedom to practice my religion and freedom to work anyplace I want to work," says Abdisalam Hashim, a Muslim from Somalia who manages Bloomington Taxi. "This is the way we address Islam. We have the right to say this is how we do it."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But wait, there’s more:

For two years the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which regulates taxi service at the airport, had been in discussions with drivers about how to accommodate them.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Two years?

I love this country. Really, I do.

Freedom of religion is one of the very best things about living here.

But your freedom of religion ends when it starts costing the rest of us time and money. Practice your religion in privacy.

And if it interferes with you carrying bundles or booze, the practical thing to do is re-think your religion or line of work, rather than expecting the rest of us to accommodate your particular brand of madness.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Look, Ma!

I wrote about religion without picking on "You Christians."

Woo-HOO!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are NOT gonna believe this. In the middle of writing the above section, like a sign from the god of your choice – DING DONG – the doorbell rang.

What are the odds that a member of the Christian fringe would come calling at exactly that moment? Hmmm?

"The end of the world is near!" said Jim, returning from the front door to hand me a copy of the Watch Tower.

Jehovah's Witnesses. Almost enough to make me a believer.

Almost.

If it was Jesus himself, maybe.

Until he arrives, I’m gonna keep walking down those steps, fantasizing about briefcases and Howie’s cute little bald head.

The best part?

My craziness isn’t costing you or anyone else a goddamned thing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Dun dun DUN da da da DUN dun dun!
I am reading: Steinberg in the Sun-Times
And I am: Free crazy

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The other thing that happened this week

Sorry.

I was so wrapped up in minor health dramas that I completely neglected the whole Democratic coup/Republican meltdown earlier this week.

See what I mean about bloggers being egomaniacal blabber-mouths?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So good ol’ George pulled a cut and run on Rumsfeld, eh? And now homeboy Hastert is stepping down, too.

If Cheney has another coronary we could call it a hat trick of sorts.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I watched the president’s press conference on Wednesday.

Remember the men on skis jumping on trampolines from yesterday?

That was less painful. Seriously.

I really want to believe that George W. Bush is relatively intelligent.

But watching him speak is like watching your junior high class president make his inaugural speech.

Only less enlightening.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But Heather, he’s a smart guy. He went to Yale AND Harvard. He’s just not so good at the public speakage.

I’ve heard that before and it’s complete bullshit.

Public speaking is not rocket science. If you’re intelligent and confident you can do it well with just a little practice.

The fact is, George W. was in wayyyy over his skis (so to speak) from the moment he took office and that’s why he looks like such an ass-hat every time he opens his mouth.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I know you’ve seen this – it’s a classic situation found in tons of movies from A Christmas Story to Tombstone:

The bully picks on our seemingly weak but intelligent main character. When the main character finally has enough, rage transforms our mild-mannered hero into a crazed, vengeful maniac. Serious ass-whoopage ensues. The fearsome bully turns out to be nothing but a big baby – crying and/or wetting his pants before begging for mercy culminating in a ‘can’t we all just get along’ moment.

That’s how I see George W. Bush.

Now he wants to cooperate with Democrats. Now he wants to listen to experts on what we should do with Iraq. Now he ditches Rumsfeld.

I guess taking that idiotic self-proclaimed re-election mandate out for a little spin didn’t go the way you planned, eh Georgie?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So in the bully scenario, you’re saying the American people are a bunch of crazed, vengeful maniacs?

Yes. And I love ‘em for it.

What happened on Tuesday has restored my faith in the people and the processes that make this country so great. Yay, us.

But don’t get me wrong.

I have zero faith that the Democrats will make much of a difference over the next few years.

The system is still borked for sure. Just like my arm.

Didya notice how I brought it all back around to me and my minor health issues?

That’s what makes me such a blogger.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Green Day – American Idiot
I am reading: Watching America
And I am: Feeling a little better

The apocalypse of daytime TV

It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’m watching The Ellen DeGeneres show.

There are two guys on skis jumping on trampolines.

Now she’s singing a karaoke version of I Will Survive with Emma Thompson, arguably one of the greatest actresses of our time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Revelations 6.18: And they will jumpeth on skis to the sun, which as I mentioned, is like sackcloth. And Ellen and her infidels will cheer madly and eat the unripe figs and whathaveyou.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Next: Dr. Phil berating a 40-year-old plastic surgeon for dating a chick who just graduated high school.

They met on Sugardaddie.com.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And of course, there are commercials for the upcoming Barbra Streisand concert.

“A life. Changing. Experience.” said one particularly dramatic and verklempt fan.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Why are you torturing yourself with this, Heather?

I’m heavily medicated. I’d read, but I’m incapable of focusing on a page for more than a few seconds.

And it’s making me feel better about myself, oddly enough.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes. There’s a web site where shallow, greedy women can find stupid, wealthy men.

Yet another sign that the world is coming to an end soon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Revelations 6.15: And lo, the kings of the earth, the nobles, the military officers, the rich, the powerful, hid themselves in the caves of the young, nubile women.

And Jesus wept.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I went to my regular doctor yesterday morning for what was supposed to be pre-op blood work and a physical.

She didn’t even bother with that stuff.

“What happened to your arm? And why are you coughing so much?”

Turns out what I thought was an irritating cold is a form of mono (not the high school make out kind, sadly.) And my arm, which I still can’t lift higher than my chest without experiencing Extreme Ow, now appears to be a torn rotator cuff. The MRI is tomorrow.

I’ve been ordered to rest in an attempt to get better for the much anticipated and long-awaited surgery next Wednesday. I’m on antibiotics, painkillers (Darvocet woo-hoo!) and an anti-inflammatory.

If I don’t get better by tomorrow, the surgery is postponed.

And that would be even more depressing than watching Ellen DeGeneres make out with Barbra Streisand in a fig tree.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The doggies rough-housing
I am reading: Nothing, sadly
And I am: Sick, sore and stoned

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pride, goeth

“I have to ask this: Are you afraid of anyone in your house?” said the nurse.

Maybe it was delirium from the pain but I couldn’t help myself and burst out laughing.

“Just the floor,” I said through wincey giggles.

Apparently they have to ask these things when you’re in the Emergency Room with what appears to be a totally borked arm.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That was yesterday morning.

I stepped out on the deck to let the dogs out (Gromit is begrudgingly puppy-sitting a black Lab named Scout this week.) When I came back in the kitchen, the combination of new shoes plus wet from the deck knocked my feet right out from under me.

It happened sofast that I didn’t have time to catch myself and I landed squarely on my right shoulder.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now I’m on the couch watching HGTV with a Diet Pepsi and some chocolate chip cookie dough, which is the Recommended Treatment in cases such as this.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contusion, upper arm.

That’s what the ER doctor says it is. No broken bones but it feels like someone is poking me in the shoulder with a steak knife that desperately needs sharpening.

I am swearing a lot – which is completely normal – so I can’t be too hurt.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Have you noticed the new “Blog Stuff” section to the right?

It’s an effort to gain readership. Of course the Internet is extremely helpful with such things.

As a Marketing Professional (oooh, aaah) you’d think I would’ve been all over promoting HedyBlog for the past year or so.

Nope.

It’s been a hobby up to this point. But we’re just about ready to remove the training wheels.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here are the 10 things I’ve learned about blogging so far:

1) There are a bazillion bloggers out there on the Internets
2) There are maybe 10 good ones
3) We’re all a bunch of egomaniacal blabber-mouths who think our opinions are way more important and interesting than they actually are
4) You can be a veritable Rock Star by posting on a regular basis – many of the blogs I found hadn’t been updated in months
5) I’d much rather write content than fiddle-fuck around with HTML
6) Linking to other bloggers builds readership: The blogosphere is one ginormous circle jerk in which we all get rich by pointing to each other’s inane content
7) It’s unclear where the money is coming from, but I’m sure it has something to do with porn
8) There are bad writers with good thoughts and good thinkers who write badly; getting the goods in one blog is extremely rare
9) Soliciting for donations on blogs is fairly common; I rue the day when readers have to say, “I remember when HedyBlog was FREE!”
10) Using phrases like ‘rue the day’ will not help you build readership.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I actually like hospitals. The clean, comforty energy. The maddening slow efficiency of it all.

And with the two knee injuries in 2004, the chest pain/rib incident late last year, and now this, I’m practically a regular.

“Heather! Welcome back! Your regular gurney?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Someone linked to me! I’m linked to someone!” I shouted from the couch, waking up Jim who was snoozing with the doggies in front of the TV show Heroes Monday night.

As instructed, I ‘claimed my blog’ on the Technorati web site and found out that someone had already linked to me. Yay, me!

The site is called Buzz Customer. Thank you, Buzz Customer!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, Little Miss Karma, what have YOU been up to? Hmm?

Nothing. Really.

I haven’t done anything particularly bad in at least a few months.

Sometimes a fall is just a fall (apologies to Freud.)

And of course, sometimes a blog is just a blog.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: A very quiet house
I am reading: Steinberg
And I am: Humbled

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Big day

Warning: The following entry is about politics and therefore naturally includes several Very Bad Swears. You sensitive, easily offended pussy-ass types would do well to avoid HedyBlog today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Finally. Today’s the big day.

Mid-term elections?

Nah, the last day of all those awful, ass-eating political commercials.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“I gotta remember to vote tomorrow,” said me at lunch yesterday.

“Who are you gonna vote for, the douchebag or the cunt?” said my decidedly eloquent friend and co-worker, Jim the IT guy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From porn to politics: Here at HedyBlog, we’re full service for sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yep. Douchebags and cunts.

That about sums up our options here in Illinois. How are things in your state?

The race for governor here is particularly devoid of substantive choices.

Our governor (the aforementioned douchebag and current Democratic candidate) has 10+ scandals that have rocked his administration since he took office. Plus he has Exceedingly Bad Hair.

The current Republican candidate (and aforementioned C U Next Tuesday) has practically no scandals but was literally thick as thieves with our previous governor who is heading to Federal Pound Me In The Ass (PMITA) prison this January.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I use the Neighbor Test for politicians.

If this candidate was your next-door neighbor, would you socialize with him? Would you have a beer with her? Let him borrow your tools?

Sadly, both gubernatorial candidates in Illinois failed the Neighbor Test. Miserably.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Public service.

I’d like to believe that folks are drawn to politics because they want to serve the public.

That’s what it is supposed to be about, anyway.

And maybe a small percentage of them have good intentions starting out but by the time they find themselves in the throes of campaign season, all that goes out the window.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." - H. L. Mencken
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’ve seen only two positive TV commercials for candidates since they started airing in earnest about three weeks ago.

The rest are ugly and irritating.

I heard somewhere that going negative is viewed as the only way to win an election. I find that hard to believe.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am not a Republican because I believe women should have the right to choose. I also believe in stem cell research. I believe that free speech covers flag waving and flag burning alike. I believe in social programs designed to help the poor and disabled – especially children, old people and veterans. I believe that anyone who wants to join the rest of us in the joyful misery of marriage oughtta have that option. I don’t believe government should be in the business of bailing out businesses. I believe that religion, Christian or otherwise, has no place in public institutions including our schools. And I believe that if people are willing to risk their lives to come to this country to work for a better life, they should be welcomed with open arms and the large companies that benefit from them being here should foot the bill.

I am not a Democrat because I don’t like high taxes. I don’t believe in gun control. I believe that privatization is the best way to solve problems in public schools. I don’t believe that throwing money at social problems is the answer. I believe that English should be the main language spoken and taught in our public schools. And I believe that diplomacy only goes so far when it comes to foreign affairs and that sometimes ya just gotta blow the evil motherfuckers right the fuck up to ensure the safety of your citizenry.

Find a candidate who matches my beliefs and she’ll get my vote for sure.

And maybe even a beer over the fence in my backyard. Maybe.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Nothing
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Sore

Monday, November 06, 2006

Game on

Get ready for the results from:

The First Annual HedyBlog Internet Porn Survey

Ta-da!

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just had to do that again since it was so much fun the first time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
76% of you watch porn on-line.

What does this tell us?

76% of the HedyBlog audience is male.

Seriously. Most chicks don’t dig porn.

If you’ve got a wife or girlfriend who is into it as much as you, then you better give her an extra long shtup tonight because she’s a keeper for sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Your survey didn’t include a question regarding our gender, so how do you know that most of the readers that responded are male?

Good point, I should’ve included that. Next time for sure.

But based on questions that allowed for free form comments, it was obvious that mostly men were responding. (e.g. Why do you like on-line porn? “Tits”)

Either that or I have a huge and decidedly inexplicable lesbian following.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but the results weren’t surprising because men are more visual. Women are more aural.

“Goddamn, I wish my wife was more aural!”

Not that kind of oral, you stooge.

Aural as in:

au·ral adj
relating to the ear, hearing, or to receptiveness and response to speech or other sounds.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hedy, I hate to tell you this, but your numbers are probably skewed because men were more likely to respond to a survey regarding porn. Self-selection and whatnot.

Right. Gotcha.

Again, this is an unscientific poll.

And it was my first time, so cut me some slack here. I promise the Second Annual HedyBlog Internet Porn Survey (Ta-da! Clapclapclapclapclap) will be better.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From pbs.org:

“In his landmark interview studies in the 1940s and '50s, conducted with nearly 17,000 men and women, Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues found that 54 percent of men and only 12 percent of women reported being erotically aroused by seeing photographs, drawings, or paintings of nude people.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~
And what did Jimmy-poo have to say about his wife’s porny little blog on Friday, hmm?

He was completely outraged.

“You NEVER make me dinner. Borrowing Wesson oil, my ASS.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Why do you watch on-line porn?

Mostly because it’s entertaining and fun, you said.

But also, there’s this – which I suspect is the real source of every man’s preoccupation with porn:

Cuz i don’t get enough action from my wife...Take the last 5 nights for example..."I'm too tired, how ‘bout tomorrow, I have a headache...Can we watch Grey's Anatomy first?" Then she falls asleep...I don’t need another girl, cuz i love humpin’ my wife...but the Internet never has an excuse…and it's always willing and available...I don’t see it as cheating, cuz I've touched no one but myself!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
85% of you spend upwards of 10 hours each week viewing porn.

That’s almost 1.5 hours a day on the high/horny side.

Here are some follow up questions to think about: How much time do you spend each week having sex with your significant other? Is it more or less than the time you spend on porn?

What does that tell you about how important sex is to you? To your significant other?
~~~~~~~~~~~~
It was surprising to learn that 73% of you get your porn from free sites.

I thought for sure it was from sharing with friends, but that was a close second.

One porn aficionado was particularly helpful:

www.porkolt.com...it's a peer to peer site

Enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~
What do you like most about on-line porn?

Variety and hot chicks was the big trend among your answers.

Again, not surprising. Men crave strange.

It’s that primal caveman need to spread yourselves around that most women can’t relate to.

But here’s the other thing that us chicks could learn from:

I love watching what those girls will do...I would do anything to get my wife to do just 10% of what porn stars do...I don’t need anyone other than my wife....I just want her to have a heartbeat and get a little crazy.....Fun sex is not "Sick"...it's Fun!

And another comment:

I love the chicks – they are so game on it's unreal – they love sex and will do ANYTHING
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Point taken, boys.

We need to make more of an effort to get creative and make you feel like you’re wanted when it comes to sex.

We’ll explore that topic a little more in a blog titled “A little something for the ladies” later on this week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
At the same time, I really hate to be a cynic when it comes to women and sex, but of course they’re “game on” and willing to do ANYTHING.

They’re porn stars. And they’re getting PAID for it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Are you saying that if I start paying my wife for sex she’ll jingle my balls a little better?

No. I’m saying it’s a job for porn stars. They’re being paid to create a fantasy just for you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
fan·ta·sy n
1. the creative power of the imagination
2. an image or dream created by the imagination
3. the creation of exaggerated mental images in response to an ungratified need
4. an unrealistic and impractical idea
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m not saying most wives aren’t capable of being porn stars in the rack.

You did, in your responses.

And that, my friends, seems to be why porn is so popular.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Finally, a Great Big HedyBlog Salute to the two people (yes, just two) whose significant others know exactly how much time they spend with on-line porn.

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclap.

There’s a twisty little relationship between the “why you like it” question and the “does your spouse know” question, for sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
So what have we learned from this? Porn is the norm.

Here are some final questions: Would you still spend as much time and energy on porn if you were getting laid as often as you’d like?

What are you going to do with this information?

Are you going to apply it to your relationship with your significant other? Or are you going to continue browsing porn, more guilt-free than ever?

Whatever you decide to do, thanks for participating in the first HedyBlog survey.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Trick Daddy - Sugar
I am reading: A presentation on lab-based implementations & upgrades
And I am: Stupid, for leaving my goddamn lunch on the goddamn train again.