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
Santa Claus

Jeez. A tough one.

Screw Shrek. Marry Spiderman. Kill Santa.


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?


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.

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.

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?

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


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.”

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:

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!”


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."
"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.

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."

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.


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


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
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.


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


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.

“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:'s a peer to peer site

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"'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.


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.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Speaking of porn

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please?

We here at HedyBlog are pleased to introduce:

The First Annual HedyBlog Internet Porn Survey


For you nervous horny types: This is a completely anonymous survey. There’s no way for me to track who responds.

If you don’t believe me, you can register with the site (it’s free) and create your own survey to see exactly how it works.

Isn’t this fun?
Speaking of fun, that’s what porn is all about: Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.


If it wasn’t fun, why would so many people spend so much time, money, and energy on it?

From what I can gather (from the Internet) Internet porn generated nearly $3 billion in 2005.

First of all, let me say that I’m all for porn.

But Hedy! Porn is icky!

Maybe to some, but 99.9% of the men you know are into it, prolly way more than you know, and certainly way more than they’ll ever admit.

I’m okay with that.

Because remember the HedyBlog policy: As long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else (especially children, old people or animals) I don’t care what you do on your own time.

And quite frankly it’s none of my goddamn business.
Here’s a question I left off of the survey: When was the last time you viewed porn on your computer?

My answer: Three weeks ago. I won’t explain how or why, but I will say that it was only mildly amusing and not at all titillating.
Titillating. Isn’t that a great word for something that makes you horny?

I mean, it’s got “tit” in it, for the love of Dick.

How cool is that?
Porn Myth #1: "Porn is for PERVERTS! It makes men want to do bad things to women!"

Um, no. Just like violent video games or movies, porn is relatively harmless.

There are millions of people who own guns that don’t go around killing people. Owning a gun doesn’t make you a killer and watching porn won’t make you a pervert. People with proclivities towards violence (sexual or otherwise) are gonna do what they’re gonna do regardless of what they watch.
Porn Myth #2: “I wasn’t looking for it”


I’ve been using Internet search tools for almost 10 years and I’ve never “accidentally” found porn.

It simply doesn’t happen. So shaddap on that and have the courage to admit you look for it.

A lot.
Porn Myth #3: “My friends send me the stuff and I don’t know why.”

You know why they send it. They send it because you’ve sent them some. Or you’ve commented on what they’ve sent.

Men bond over shared porn. It’s what you do.

It's like women sharing recipes or sewing patterns. Only more explicit.
Admit it, there's at least one of you out there who thought: Hmmm. Women sharing recipes.

"Debbie, can I borrow some Wesson oil? We're all out and I'm in the middle of making dinner for Jim."

"Sure, Heather! But cooking is hard work. How about a backrub?"

Cue up that funky porn soundtrack...
...And we're back. Relaxed?

So what’s the deal with the survey? Do we get to see the answers?

Of course.

Since it’s anonymous, I’ll share the responses and any particularly interesting comments it generates.

Keep in mind this is an entirely unscientific poll (I flunked chemistry repeatedly.)

Besides, if the survey were scientific, it wouldn’t be fun. And that’s what we’re all about here at HedyBlog.

Fun fun fun fun fun.
I am listening to: 2Pac - How Do You Want It?
I am reading: Today’s Steinberg
And I am: Porn-o-riffic!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

God and newspapers

Two studies came out this week: One stated that fewer people than ever are reading newspapers. The other study found that fewer people believe in God.

Is there a link between the two? Of course not.

Let’s just chalk it up to interesting timing.
Four or five years ago I wrote a weekly community column for the Daily Herald, the third largest newspaper in Illinois behind the Tribune and the Sun-Times.

It was a part-time gig (more like a hobby because I kept my real job) that paid next to nothing but I loved it – telling stories about people and events in my town.

The motto at the Daily Herald is “To fear God, tell the truth, and make money.”

The saying is a throwback of course, to the late 1800’s when the newspaper was launched.

But I wonder why they haven’t ditched the god slogan to join the rest of the “godless” media here in modern times.
If anything, you’d think there would be an inverse relationship between the two studies.

The more you read about how bad things are in the world today, the less likely you’ll believe in the quaint little concept that there’s a God out there somewhere managing things for us.

And the more you believe in God, the less likely you’ll want to read what gets spewed out by the so-called “liberal media” every day.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe in studies.

People have a tendency to give the answers that they think others want to hear. They say what they think is the politically/socially correct answer.

And I suspect that even most of us heathens have trouble saying out loud that we’re not sure there’s a God.
The fact is, fewer people are reading printed newspapers because we’re getting our news for free via the Internet. Well, mostly free. I pay a subscription for the New York Times on-line.

To me it’s not so much about the cost aspect of it as convenience. Plus, my hands don’t get dirty from the ink of printed newspapers.

And you know what they say about cleanliness. Well, maybe not so much in my case.
That’s IT!

I figured it out. There is a connection between the two studies.

We’re becoming a godless, non-newspaper reading country because everyone is surfing porn.

Now that would be an interesting study.
I am listening to: Some babbling bitch on the train
I am reading: The Chicago Sun-Times, baby
I am: A godless heathen who reads newspapers on-line

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My (not quite) city

I was walking back from lunch at Blackie’s in the Loop the week before last and saw this:

That’s the Madison Street Bridge temporarily devoid of homeless types.

It’s unclear whether the authorities walk through and hustle the homeless off the bridge in advance or they just let ‘em slide down on their asses – bags, crates, crap and all.
It’s what I like most about working in the city. Around every corner there are cool surprising things you just don’t see in the suburbs.
I was too late to see why the bridge was up like that; probably some die-hard sailor dude finally putting his boat to rest for the season.
I love:

Walking through Union Station in the morning past the “Nuts on Clark” stand with whiffs of pop pop popcorn wafting over everything.

The traders standing in front of the Merc in their colorful vests and numbered badges, smoking cigarettes and watching chicks walk along Wacker.

The little old homeless lady selling Streetwise on Madison who has chronic torticollis.

The city workers draping the trees along Riverside Plaza with white twinkle lights for the holidays.

The mornings when the air is thick and sweet and it seems like Blommer’s candy factory has dipped the Loop in a layer of dark chocolate.

Mary the waitress who still works at Uno’s and waited on Jim and his friends when they were in high school almost 30 years ago.

The sweet smiling old couple, holding hands and walking under the portico of the Opera house one afternoon.

Lower Wacker – the secret, speedy underground way to get across the city.

The way the El rattles under your feet every few minutes if you happen to be sitting at a table on the porch at Gibson’s steakhouse.

The big beefy bartender at Gibson’s who looks like Brian Dennehy and pours a perfect Jack and Coke.

Armando the security guard at the Opera House whose quiet smiles signal the start of my day.

Billy Goat on Washington, where Phyllis the bartender tells you who’s the better columnist – Steinberg or Kass – and why neither one of them compares to Royko.

The tourists stopped in the middle of the sidewalk snapping pictures of the Sears Tower oblivious to the crowds rushing around them.

O’Neil’s pub on Ontario with its year-round heated beer garden, eclectic jukebox, and jalapeno cheeseburgers.
Did you know that the very first Ferris wheel was built in Chicago?

Did you know that the modern skyscraper was invented by Chicago architects?

Did you know that the Chicago River is died green every year for St. Patrick’s Day?
I would like to say Chicago is my city.

But I don’t quite own it. Yet.
I am listening to: KT Tunstall – The Other Side of the World
I am reading: The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
And I am: Like an iceberg