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.


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!

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?



“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.

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!


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


We did it.

We are Time Magazine’s People of the Year.

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.

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.”


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.

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


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


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.


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.

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.


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


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.


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.