Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Giving it up - Part Deux

Things I could give up:

Being critical of others
Driving too fast
Buying stuff I don’t need
Give up swearing? Fuck that.

Driving fast? No chance, I love it too much.

But that ‘being critical of others” thing is huge for me.

I have this running commentary in my head.

“Shut up!”

I believe that you get what you put out there and I am quite certain all this negativity has an impact.

In analyzing these mean thoughts, I realized they are directed mostly at strangers whose behavior I don’t agree with.

Somebody driving too slowly. Somebody talking too much.

Somebody crinkling wrappers in the movie theater. That’s a big one.

Why am I so critical of people I don’t know?

Because these people are infringing on my world and getting in the way of what I want to do.

The reality is they’re just living in their world, doing what they want to do.

I’ve heard that people tend to be critical of the faults in others they are most guilty of themselves.

The fact is, we all have moments of utter stupidity and thoughtlessness.

Perhaps I will be less thoughtless and stupid if I become more tolerant of others.

So Heather’s Lenten Theme is to be nicer to people who are getting in the way of my good day. Instead of reacting with anger and frustration, I will attempt to understand their idiocy and go with the flow.

And yes, for today I am still being critical. Lent hasn’t started yet.
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute. You said you’re not a Christian. You don’t believe in stuff like Lent.”

True and true.

It might be a bit hypocritical, but I’m not above leveraging some artificial religious construct for my own personal gain.

And goddamn, I do love a good Friday fish fry.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Giving it up

So in case you haven’t noticed, Lent is coming.

To me, Mardi Gras embodies the uniquely Christian concept of doing whatever the fuck you want one day and slapping on the mantel of self-righteousness and piety the next.

C’mon, as if God wasn’t looking when you flashed your tits for those beads. As if stuffing your face with punchkies on Fat Tuesday is exempt from that little rule about gluttony.

It’s nuts.

All these Christians, running around like squirrels in October trying to store up food and alcohol and God Knows What to help them make it through the rest of winter.

But hell, laissez les bon temps roulez.
I went to New Orleans once.

I need to go wash my hands right now, just sitting here thinking of it.

I know, I know. Cajun cuisine, French Quarter fun, beignets, blah blah.

Not for me.

It was a filthy place. With a seemingly requisite pile of puke on every street corner.
So what are you giving up?

Drinking? Eating? Smoking? All of the above?

How about something new? Ya up for it?

(She thinks: this could go either way. Hedy the Hedonist would tell everyone to give up giving up shit because life is supposed to be lived, goddammit. However, Hedy the Helpful says stick with The Original Plan.)


Think for a minute, why do we do the things we do?

We don’t over-eat because we’re really hungry. I don’t know about you, but it’s usually a social/comfort thing for me.

Why do people smoke? Again, comfort. And some people do it to avoid over-eating, ironically enough. Although how someone could be comforted by sucking on a flaming smelly death stick is beyond me. But hey, it’s your thing and I digress.

Drink too much? Again, hopefully social. But true alcoholics or drug addicts are prolly masking some deep pain or hurt in their lives.

So I think we can agree that most of the things we do to excess are merely symptoms of something else, right?

Still with me?

Here’s my idea for Lent: Go deep. Give up the thing that makes you do the things you do. Think of one behavior that you do that you know might be hurting you. Then think of why you do it, why you really do it.

Wait a minute, Heather. Easy to say, not so easy to do.


That’s why I’m doing it, too.

Remember? This is the year of traveling lightly.

More on that in the next entry.
There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. – Morpheus, The Matrix
I am reading: work e-mail
I am listening to: Roxy Music – More Than this
And I am: Enthusiastic

Thursday, February 23, 2006

No time to write today

But there's this:

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." - Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Thank God for Bikers


Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Democrats: Blowing It Again

To all you Democrats who are appalled because Cheney didn’t divulge his little hunting accident right away, let’s draw a comparison to another event involving executive leadership and matters of privacy and disclosure: The Monica Lewinsky scandal.

At the time, the Democrats claimed the impeachment hearing was a travesty and that what President Clinton did on his own time was None of Our Goddamned Business.

However, these same Democrats have a Huge Problem with Vice President Cheney’s failure to report the hunting incident within 24 hours.

By these new Democratic standards, Clinton should’ve called a press conference within 10 minutes of shooting Monica Lewinksy in the face.
Peggy Noonan was on “This Week” this morning.

If she’s the best the Democratic talking heads have to offer, then that party – in a word – is fucked.

She claims that Cheney should be relieved of his Vice Presidential duties because of this incident.

Forget about the Haliburton thing. Or the secret oil meetings. Or Cheney’s influence on behalf of Enron in the California energy crisis. It’s likely these events have hurt thousands if not millions of American citizens.

But let’s kick him out for injuring one rich old white guy. Sure makes sense to me.
Everyone keeps saying what a rough week it’s been for Cheney. The poor guy.

“He’s a very private individual and this has caused him a lot of stress.”

Question: If you’re a very private individual, what the fuck are you doing in politics?
Confession: Jim helped me with that Lewinsky thing. It was my concept, but I was in over my head and tending toward detailed grossness when I asked for his advice.

“Heather, humor is all about subtlety. You don’t need to spell it out. ‘After she performed fellatio and he ejaculated on her forehead’ is just not as funny.”
Democrats: Please, please get your shit together.

I didn’t much like voting Libertarian in that last election. It felt good, but wasteful – like not eating the last bite of a really big cookie.

You guys have had plenty of time to figure it out and yet you fall back into the same old tired shit.

Be refreshing. Say something intelligent. Point out the obvious.

“This Cheney thing is silly. Who cares what he does on his own time? What I’m concerned about and what you should be concerned about is what he’s done on your dime.” - Insert Democratic Rising Star Here
I am reading: nothing
I am listening to: nothing
And I am: kinda blah

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cookies 'n Crap

Quick: You’re famous. Which product do you endorse?

For me, it's Charmin Ultra.

It’s noticeably softer than regular Charmin.

Kinda like the difference between original Oreos and those evil imposters, the fat-free ones.

Yes, I just compared toilet paper with cookies.

It’s gonna be a great day. Anything can happen, I’m tellin’ ya.
Speaking of cookies, it is cookie day at work.

Get a toaster oven. Bring in those simply wonderful Nestle frozen cookies. Bake.

It’s a small thing, but I think it makes people happier with where they work.

I’m in line at Jewel this morning picking up said cookies, and the lady in front of me is chatting it up with the check out person. At first I was slightly irritated because it seemed like it was taking longer than it should, but then I heard:

“We had all these big retirement plans and then we only had 18 months. The last four were awful,” said the cashier.

“I can only imagine,” replied the woman ahead of me.

Two things: first, after saying that very nice thing, the customer went on to totally fucking blow it by talking about a distant acquaintance that she knew who died of melanoma, the worst kind of skin cancer.

C’mon, lady. This sad, sad person obviously wanted to share what happened with her husband – she’s talking about it in the checkout line at the grocery store for Pete’s sake – and you, the selfish moron, turned it into something about you.

I hate that.

Secondly, “I can only imagine” is very nice. But nicer still is “I can’t imagine.”

Because to be honest, you really can’t. And it is very likely you won’t.
Speaking of toilet paper, I am a Connoisseur of Toilet Paper.

Yes. I just did it again, mixing food with shit. Isn’t it just fabulous?

I like the Good Stuff. And a lot of it, if you please.

Don’t give me any of this thin papery crap paper, it’s nothing but thick and soft, bordering on fluffy for my ass.


A while back in our old house, we had a Major Backup Crisis.

I originally wrote “Major Backup Problem” but problem didn’t quite do justice to the whole shit-water-in-the-showers situation.

We called The Septic Guy and he arrived tout de suite. This man was tenacious. In what seemed like 10 minutes he had dug the hole and was sprawled on the ground with his head thisclose to the vile brown goo, I’m assuming to get a poop’s eye view of the predicament.

“Ya gotta tell yer ol’ lady to cut back on the shit paper,” said the movingly eloquent Septic Expert.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan o’ shit paper myself, but she’s really gotta cut back,” he continued.

Since then, I have taken the man’s sage advice and become more judicious in my shit paper usage. There's nothing more humbling than being lectured on your bathroom habits by a man who quite literally Knows His Shit.

Still, Charmin Ultra. It’s the way to go. Seriously.
And certainly not least: two of our dearest friends were over last night to christen the new bar.

Judy revealed that this little blog has become part of her morning ritual. She checks her e-mail, reads this, and then checks a daily devotional web site on her computer.

That is a serious and supreme compliment. Because I am quite certain that reading about cookies and crap will not get you into Heaven.

However, I am also quite certain that Judy doesn’t need anybody’s help in the
Getting Into Heaven Department.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Driving to the train station this morning every light was yellow.

Every light.

How many yellow lights do you see in an average trip across town?

Today I saw eight.

The “everything is a message” side of my brain determined that at least for today, I should slow down.

The “you’re full of crap” side of my brain decided that no matter what I do, today is going to be a Royal Pain in the Ass.

The fact is, both are probably true. Some days just don’t flow and this is one of them.

The best you can do is hang on and try not to do too much damage.
Tip: Before you floss, squeeze a small glob of toothpaste onto your index finger. Draw the floss through the toothpaste between your finger and thumb, coating the entire string. Floss. The toothpaste gets down in between your teeth and makes your mouth feel fresh, fresh, fresh.
Just in case you’re wondering who the hell my Valentine’s Day entry was for: it was for me.

You’re no good to others if you don’t take care of yourself.
Program Note: Don’t be looking here for any more useful tips like the Floss Trick.

I ain’t Heloise. And I’m fresh outta hints.
Yellow also means cowardly.

So the Universe could’ve been saying “Go For It, You Fucking Coward!”

Which is the complete opposite of slow down.

See how silly it is to think every little thing is a message all the time?
And just in case you’re thinking “Wow, Heather flosses every day. Who knew?”

No. And Hell, No.

I’m due for a cleaning in early March and I start flossing right around now to avoid a daily case of Shit Breath.

I suppose if I flossed every day, I wouldn’t have to do the Pre-Cleaning Shit Breath Avoidance Maneuver, but I’m far too irresponsible for that kind thing.
To summarize today: Floss, kiddies, floss. And avoid the yellows.
I am listening to: The Faders – No Sleep Tonight
I am reading: work e-mail
I am: better than expected

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Helen Keller

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Remember who you are.

Remember that you don’t need flowers or chocolate to know that you are loved.

Remember that today is like any other day and that nobody loves you more or less than they did yesterday.

Remember that you’re never really alone.

Remember there is a time and a place for everything and that everything happens for a reason.

Remember we’re one.

Not just today, but every day.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sunday Random

There is an Olympic ski jumper named Roar.
Prediction: In 2007, there will be another major terrorist attack on the U.S. Around that same time, Rudy Giuliani will announce he's running for president. All of us will recall how well he handled the 9/11 attacks and he will be elected in a Reagan-esque landslide.
Chooch: derived from the Italian ciuccio; means dummy, idiot, or moron.
The barbecue meatloaf at Red Star Tavern in Geneva Commons is fabulous comfort food on a cold winter night. Get it without the crispy onions, they're kinda gross and overwhelming.
Ever heard the song "Horse with No Name" by America?

I used to think it was "Horse with No Mane."

I thought maybe because he was going through the desert the rider shaved off the mane so the horse would be cooler.

Yes. Whatever you're thinking, yes.
I love Life is Good stuff. Everything is so soft and comfy.
If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.
- Noam Chomsky
I defy you to listen to "No Sleep Tonight" by The Faders and not jump around the room a little. It's my current favorite song.

Although "Stupid Girls" by Pink is fun also.
I am listening to: New Order - Regret
I am reading: Howard Kurtz's Media Notes column in the Washington Post
And I am: pleasantly bouncy

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Today's Muslim Miracles

At the health club this morning watching CNN but listening to Hed’s Workout Mix I saw the most amazing thing.

Muslims. Thousands of them.

Not screaming. Not burning shit. And not waving guns.

They were standing, quietly. Some of them holding signs. Hell, some of them were even smiling.

It was a miracle.

A true miracle happened in Trafalgar Square in London this morning.

Finally, the Quiet Believers of the Muslim faith decided to stand up and counteract all the nut-jobs that have highjacked their religion.

It was fascinating. And so cool.

The second miracle, even more unbelievable, was that CNN actually broadcast the peaceful protest.

I couldn’t find a thing about it on FoxNews.
I am listening to: The Faders - No Sleep Tonight
I am reading: New York Times on-line
I am: relaxed

Friday, February 10, 2006

From Today

Heather, you make 'fucker' sound like a compliment. - TJ the Intern

Thursday, February 09, 2006

It's time

Time for all of us to take a moment and Shut the Fuck Up.

People talk way too much. It’s a problem that’s become much worse with the ubiquity of mobile phones.

Right now I am on the train.

The guy sitting diagonally from me just gave his credit card number to someone over the phone within earshot of no less than 20 strangers. Seriously. The last four numbers were 0718 and his expiration is September of 2010.

The guy behind me has made three calls in less than 20 minutes. I now know his name, his mobile and home numbers, plus the address of the house he wants to buy in Batavia (which might have mold issues; the inspector is out in the field right now and will call him back later.)

Do you see what I mean?

So for today, we’re going to try a little experiment. It’s called 500 Words.

This is just one of the many ideas resulting from countless hours of fantasizing about what the world would be like if I was elected Queen of the Universe.

It could happen. If dogs could vote (and when I'm in charge they could), I know I'd have at least two votes. Seriously.

So back to 500 Words. Here’s how it works: You are limited to speaking just 500 words for the day.

Don’t worry about counting them. Just think about the word limit every time you’re about to say something and you won’t go over, trust me.

Think of all the benefits. The world would be a much nicer (and quieter!) place if people would just think a little before speaking.

About to say something nasty? Maybe you don’t want to waste your precious words on that person. Or maybe you’ve been meaning to tell someone exactly how you feel and you use up ALL your words on just one person. What a compliment that would be.

Plus, here’s another benefit, two examples:

Heather is Not Queen of the Universe: Under the 500 Word doctrine, the goal always would be to say things using as few words as possible, resulting in efficient and clear communication at all times.

Heather is Queen of the Universe: Keep it simple, stupid.

See? Efficiency and brevity rule.

So, give it a try if you feel like it. Let me know how it goes.
Something Mildly Interesting:

Recently, two people whom I love dearly have called me Cupcake. And neither of them knows the other is doing it. Neato. Like Mom says, "Who doesn't love a cupcake?"
Name the Movie:

How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
I don't know...But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking...don't they?
I am listening to: Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
I am reading: Business Intelligence Assessment documents
I am: kinda tired

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The butt sock incident

Rushing to get in the shower this morning, I picked up what appeared to be a washcloth out of the basket of clean laundry that’s been sitting there on the bedroom floor, waiting to be folded for almost a week. There were no washcloths in the cupboard under the sink where they’re usually kept, thus the frantic pre-shower search.

I hopped in the shower, only to discover I was about to wash my face with one of Jim’s gym socks. Before we move on: I’m not completely insane. An inside-out sock, at a glance, could be a washcloth. It could be. C’mon, work with me.

Rather than jumping out soaking wet to find something more appropriate with which to scrub, I decided to forge ahead with the sock.

It was clean – I’m big on bleach for socks and underwear – so I wasn’t concerned about where it had been.

And being the innovative type that I am, I slipped it over my hand for maximum scrubbage. Of course, I eventually had to switch hands to do my left under arm and that was when it hit me: “Next time, two socks! One for each hand! I’m Brilliant!”

Half way through my shower, Jim walked in.

“Guess what?”
“We need more washcloths.”
“Oh yeah? I thought we had a ton of them.”
“Me, too. But right now I’m using one of your socks and I’d rather not ever run out of washcloths again.”

And that’s when he said it:
“You’re washing your butt with my sock?”

This is my life. Every day, at least one good belly laugh because of Jim.
But wait, there’s more:
“Do I look okay?” - H.
“Yes. You’ll be the prettiest girl at the funeral.” - J.


"What do you want for your memorial service?" - H.
"A keg and strippers." - J.
"For my memorial service, I want. . ." - H.
"Cake and ice cream." - J.
"Exactly!" - H.


look really mean but are actually quite tasty.

Friday, February 03, 2006

My Mom

called this morning.

She called me. I got to hear her voice. And she said that she loves me.

Her voice sounded happy and full of the love she’s so famous for giving to everyone.

I missed her call, so it was just a voicemail.

But it was all I needed. It made my day.

And, it made me cry.

Because last night I spent a little time with someone whose mom died earlier in the day. Her grief was palpable and it filled the room. She couldn’t stop crying.

I know there is a long list of things that she’ll miss about her mom.

But right now all I can think about is that phone call. That simple little phone call.