Monday, December 31, 2007

About Bhutto

Say what you will about Benazir Bhutto, she was a true patriot.

She believed in bringing democracy to the people of Pakistan. And she was willing to risk her life to do it.

It can be a challenge keeping up on world events, what with blogging about poop and handjobs all the time. So you shouldn’t be surprised to hear I’m a typical American and didn’t know much about Bhutto until her ballyhooed return to Pakistan in October.

But I’ve had nothing but Bhutto on the brain since terrorists finally succeeded in killing her last week.


Not because it was all that surprising – the terrorist whack-nuts said they’d kill her if she returned to Pakistan and they did. Maybe it’s sad to say, but we should never, ever be surprised by terrorists doing what they say they’re gonna do.

Here’s why I’ve got Bhutto on the brain: The world needs more patriots. We need more people willing to die for what’s really important to them.

Look at our current candidates on the cusp of the big caucus. A pathetic paucity of patriotism.

Okay, there’s McCain – the truest of true patriots among them.

But can you honestly see someone like Hillary Clinton dying for democracy? Or any cause, for that matter? Of course there are plenty of people who’d gladly kill her for way less, but that’s not important right now.

Mitt? Edwards? Barack? Giuliani? Thompson?

Nope. Softies, the lot of ‘em.

Maybe Ron Paul. But only because he’s a half-crazy Libertarian already. It wouldn’t take much to tip him over the patriotic edge.

What about Huckabee, Hedy? He's leading the polls in Iowa.

Mike Huckabee was on Meet the Press yesterday and I liked him. A lot. Way more than I expected. While I disagree with him on practically all the big issues, he seemed to have more integrity than the others and he was very honest and logical about his views. Plus, he was a pretty successful governor in Arkansas. Sadly, the only thing Huckabee's gonna die for is cuddly-wuddly Christ, but I respect him for his willingness to die for something in this silly day and age.

So where are all the true patriots? Am I missing someone? Who's a true American patriot that should be running for president right now?

And what would you be willing to die for? Anything?
I am listening to: Dan Fogelberg – Same Old Lang Syne
I am reading: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
And I am: Holding out for a hero

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The ugly three-way

"Heading into the Iowa caucus, it's a three-way race with Hillary Clinton fighting to . . ."

That was one of the talking heads on Channel 7 news a few minutes ago.

I didn't hear the rest of the sentence.

With all the inevitable ugliness in the months ahead, I'd like to propose a new rule: Never, ever use 'three-way' and Hillary Clinton in the same sentence.

Thank you.
I am listening to: Channel 7 weather
I am reading: Wired magazine
And I am: Warm

Friday, December 28, 2007

Magical pajamas

"They looked witchy and I thought of you," says Jim as I unwrap my new Christmas pajamas Tuesday morning.

"Magical. I prefer magical. But I know what you meant."
I am listening to: Traffic on Jackson
I am reading: Neil Steinberg - Sun-Times
And I am: Witchy

Monday, December 24, 2007

Feeling Robert Frosty

"Plane delayed to 1:40"

That was Jim, texting at 10:30 yesterday morning.

He'd taken The Nephew to Midway for his annual/obligatory Christmas in Minnesota with the woman who carried him around for nine months and then dropped him like a brilliant little blue-eyed potato to be raised by his grandmother, great grandmother, and anyone else willing to try. Anyway.

"Taking Grom for walkies," I reply, knowing that there's no way the Indomitable Dog could stand waiting 'til the afternoon for his Sunday constitutional by the river.

I check the temperature outside. 23 degrees. The wind is fierce and we've had a few snow squalls through the morning, but I know it's always better by the river.
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I'm right. It's perfect. Cold. Quiet. Snowy. Blowy. And not a soul in sight.

We park in the park and Grom is off - sniff, pee, sniff, pee, smile, sniff, pee, sniff.

I'm feeling all Robert Frosty and wondering at the small miracle of the snow-covered path when I realize it's snowing. Hard.

It's a blizzard. By the river.

And that's the reason no one else is on the trail.

My face starts to sting. I brush away the flakes from my eyes and look down to see my jeans caked with white.

Suddenly, Gromit does something he's never done in the seven year history of Walkies: He jumps up, puts his paws on my chest and grabs the leash right out of my hand.

Then he turns around and starts walking back to the car as if to say "Screw this, we're going home."

Wishing you a warm and dry Christmas. And a four-legged friend who reminds you when it's time to come in from the cold.

I am listening to: Joni Mitchell - River
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: The brain less traveled

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bright blessings to you this holiday

You walk
out of the office
it’s a little colder
than you thought

You think
about the things
that didn’t get done
and the things
that have to get done

And then

You look up at the stars

And you remember

It’s not about meetings,
faxes or quotas
e-mail, voice mail
or proposals

It’s about your family,
good friends

And finding a moment of peace
under a starlit sky
I am listening to: The Weepies - All That I Want
I am reading: Steinberg - Sun-Times
And I am: Peaceful

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas, Spike

So I’m prepping for some present wrapping last night and flipping through the channels – skating past all the science and sports and sex stuff in search of something Christmasy, when I see this:

Hmmm. Amateurs: Handjobs 19

I get the amateur thing. There’s something about amateurs. You’d like to think they’re working extra hard in hopes of going pro – like with minor league baseball.

But ‘Handjobs 19’?

First thought: Wonder what episodes 1- 18 are like.

Is it a classic miniseries like Roots or Rich Man, Poor Man? I wonder if there’s a boxed set.

Must check Amazon.
Next: Given the, ahem, mechanics of this maneuver, wouldn’t two or three shows (including a pilot) pretty much do it?

It’s not as if it's tricky, people.

Perhaps it’s all about the location that makes each episode better than the next. Each week a different spot. And all the anticipation is about where they'll be next.

Week 20: The Laundromat.

“Be sure to tune in next week for Bridget Brentwood in ‘Loads O’ Glory’.
Maybe it’s a reality show like Survivor, only it’s handjobs.

Each episode, one lovely amateur gets eliminated.

It’s a beat the cock – oops – clock kinda thing.

Although they’re also judged on enthusiasm, technique, and costumes. Like Dancing with the Stars with more Kleenex and less Marie Osmond.
FYI: Bridget Brentwood is my porn name. Have you heard of this?

Take the name of your first pet and combine it with the street you grew up on and voila, you’re a porn star.

Jim’s porn name is Candy Darling. If his software career ever heads south, he’s got what appears to be a brilliant future in transvestite sex flicks.
Question: How many before you get to go pro in the field of handjobs?

50 sounds about right to me.
Confession: You might’ve noticed I’m at a relatively low point in my career right now. It’s no biggie, I’m working on it, really.

But today I feel worlds better knowing there’s somebody out there whose life's work is amateur handjob movies.

Makes me feel like a professional.
I am listening to: Sha-Na-Na – Born to Hand Jive
I am reading: Marketing Plan 2008
And I am: Goin’ pro

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Deathmas

“Speaking of death,” I say to Mom this morning. “Jim knows, but I’m telling you too: I want to be cremated with no viewing.”

“Ditto,” she says.

“Great. When we’re dead we’ll finally agree on something.”
It’s been a few funeral-filled months here for family and close friends.

So the typically benign morbid underbelly to the season seems a little more – I don’t know – painful and poignant this year.

What is it about Christmas that makes us think of death?
The week leading up to Christmas is right about the time I start listening to Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics.

This excellent CD is an irreverent respite from all the Silent Nights and Joy to the Worlds and O Holy Mary Jesus Hoo-Ha Blahs.

My all-time favorite is Merry F*cking Christmas, sung by Mr. Garrison.

You’re in a mad scramble for last minute gifts, sweating your ass off in a store and swearing at the sonofabitch who snatched the last Scooby Doo Chia Pet from the shelf.

Get in your car. Take a deep breath. And sing Merry F*cking Christmas at the top of your lungs.

Trust me. It helps.
Then there’s this pretty, melancholy tune from the South Park CD that’s been playing over and over in my head:

Dead, dead, dead
Someday you’ll be dead
Dead, dead, dead
Someday we’ll all be dead

The minute we’re born we start dying
We die a little more every day
Young or old, rich or poor
There’s nothing we can do to stop it
So look long at that Christmas tree
It may be the last one that you see
Decorate your house in green and red
‘Cause someday you’ll be dead

Dead, dead, dead
Someday you’ll be dead
Dead, dead, dead
Someday we’ll all be dead
The holidays are high pressure. It’s forced festivity and gift giving.

Add to it the crazy concept that this Could Be the Last One for anyone of us and shit, it’s no small wonder the suicide rate is so high this time of year.

I don't know, to me the whole Christmas/death thing is kinda comforty. I appreciate everyone a little more. And it makes all the blessings shine just a little bit brighter.

Of course if this is my last Christmas, I also can look forward finally agreeing with Mom.
I am listening to: Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics
I am reading: Niagaran Pebbles
And I am: Living

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Festive holiday greetings from the W____’s

Warning: If you’re guilty of sending out those trendy and tiresome holiday letters, then you probably shouldn’t read HedyBlog today.

Just once. Just once I’d like a letter from some far-off fuckwit that isn’t overflowing with frothy bits of family fluff.

Here’s a little tip for you few who get the itch to share Nothing But Good News with the rest of us: Nobody cares if you bought a new house or remodeled your old house. Nobody cares that you went on five (five!) vacations this year. And trust me, nobody cares that your big-brained brat of a son/daughter/Schnauzer won [insert award of your choice].

They're bad enough any time, but these “LOOKEE how HAPPY we ARE” letters seem particularly egregious this unbelievably sad year when so many families have lost their homes in the sub-prime suckfest and so many soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq.

If you’re happy and doing well, God bless ya. But think before boasting on your blessings lest we think you’re a bullshitter or braggart. Or both.
Greetings friends, family members, ex-co-workers and your respective children and/or pets, most whom we really don’t know or care too much about:

As I write this festive Christmas missive, it is so good to be sitting on the couch and not, as they say, on the pot. Since last Sunday, I’ve been stricken with a particularly grievous flu/virus thing. Ever stalwart Jim has been extremely supportive during this trying time – keeping me in a steady supply of shit-paper and Alka Seltzer for the duration.

While we’re on pot-related issues: I wouldn’t want to jinx us since 2007 isn’t quite over, but I am pleased to report that we’ve made it through yet another year with neither of us shitting our pants. That’s nary a shart in 2007, which makes three years running. Keep us in your prayers for 2008.

More health news: My back only went out once this year after an ill-fated mattress flipping incident. Unfortunately both of us continue to fight other old-people problems like bad knees, failing eyesight, and disconcerting hair growth in unexpected places.

Speaking of Jim, we’re still married. He’s finally faced the reality that he is stuck with an irresponsible, spendthrift of a wife. Which is great, because now we only fight about what a reckless speed freak driver he is. Thankfully this only happens when we’re going anywhere in the car together.

“It’s a miracle how I make it to work every day without you to guide me, dear wife,” says Jim.

On the topic of reckless driving, I only crashed the lawn mower three times the whole summer – once into a tree and twice into the fence – another record. The bad news: I blew out the latch on the back gate by trying to slam through it with the tractor. Silly me, I thought it was unlocked. Thankfully, Jim was able to fix it right up with a bit of bungee so it doesn’t bang closed in the wind anymore. It’s a veritable aural and visual treat for our neighbors, as you can imagine.

Here’s some good news for all you pet lovers: Gromit is alive and well in spite of our best efforts at killing him with little bits of pizza crust, crackers and the occasional scrambled egg sammich. We’ve tried to stop giving him people food but it’s really the only way to keep him from drooling all over our pants, the couch and sometimes our shoulders if we’re dining (ah, the romance!) in front of the television.

Did I mention Gromit is a genius? During their visit last summer, Mom and Da discovered our indomitable dog knows how to spell Frisbee. He is currently enrolled in the gifted program at the local canine Montessori and spends his down time licking his ass and penning his memoirs.

Speaking of visitors, we were blessed with lots of them last summer. If you are invited back for summer '08, then we thoroughly and sincerely enjoyed having you here. If not, well, I hear Milwaukee can be charming in the summer time.

On the employment front, Jim is still working for ______, a software firm that has been trying to kill his favorite product for two years now. With any amount of luck, they’ll succeed at it in 2008 and he will move on to IBM or Oracle or some other IT behemoth to retire anonymously happy.

Of course I was unceremoniously fired in September. After much thought and more sobbing, I have taken complete responsibility for what happened. Lesson: Be a leader. Don’t worry about stepping on anyone’s toes. Don’t give people what they say they want, give them what you know they need. Oh, and try not to work for a bunch of spineless, lying fuckwads if you can help it.

On the home front, we had the septic tank emptied. Two more bushes died in the front yard. The fence isn't too badly dented. The deck needs to be refinished but now it’s covered in six inches of snow so Gromit the Genius Dog is peeing and pooping all over it. We are so proud.

Best wishes for a 2008 filled with Only Good Things.
I am listening to: The idiot Bears getting spanked again
I am reading: Rather Than Working
And I am: Grateful

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The perfect gift

"We got you that frying pan on your list," I say to Mom this morning.

"Really? The ten inch?"


"Oh, good. I've never had a ten inch. Frying pan. FRYING PAN!"
I am listening to: Nothing
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Going to the doctor finally

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I've had a bad, bad stomach ache since Sunday. Plus a fever. Chills. And everything aches.

"I know it's bad when you're not eating anything," says Jim.

I know it's bad when I'm not writing anything.

Take care and I hope to return soon.
I am listening to: Flu
I am reading: Flu
And I am: Flu

Friday, December 07, 2007

The hierarchy of idiots

“Boys. I shoveled the sidewalk and driveway and they’re covered again.”

That was my friend Jeff on IM late yesterday afternoon. His son had a play date – and the two boisterous boys undid all of his hard work clearing snow.

“Girls. You gotta love ‘em.” I replied.

“Until they’re fourteen. Then it’s all drama.”

“Right. A million dollars and I’d never be 14 again. No way,” I said.

Jeff disagrees: He’d go back if only to do things differently.

“Well, in that case sure I’d go,” I say. “And try to be less of an idiot.”

“I’d try to be more of an idiot. Relax more. Not worry about being embarrassed so much.”
Apparently there are two types of people. All of us recovering idiots. And folks like Jeff who somehow managed to navigate the prime idiot years successfully.

Although I’m okay being in the recovering category.

I would much rather regret a Major Screw Up (or in my case, myriad Major Screw Ups) than be left wishing I had taken more chances.

Plus, the thing about being an idiot early on is, you never get the itch to let it all out later on. You get it outta your system.

So I suppose there's actually a hierarchy of idiots: The recovering idiots, the still-in-denial idiots, the late bloomer idiots, and the idiot wanna-bes.

Although anyone who regrets not being an idiot qualifies as an honorary idiot on some level, eh?
I am listening to: Brandi Carlile – The Story
I am reading: Neil at the Sun-Times
And I am: Taking it one day at a time

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A non-negotiable clarification

“So you think that EVERYTHING should be negotiable in a marriage?” asks Mom this morning.


“You’re nuts.”
Perhaps a clarification is in order.

I’m not talking about fuck-nut husbands with teensy wieners beating up their wives. Or shrew-bitch wives who mentally (and often physically) beat up on their husbands for having teensy wieners or whatever.

I’m talking about healthy marriages between two relatively self-aware people with good communication and just the right amount of honesty.

Here’s the problem: Way too many women and more than a few men think the negotiating ENDS once you get married.

“He’s locked in now, I’m in charge.”
“She’s mine now, I can do what I want.”

That woman from the Monday morning train was one of them. And I suspect the Dilf’s wife is another (if she really is using sex as a bargaining tool, we’ll never know for sure.)

What do you call it when one person holds all the power? When one person spews non-negotiable mandates?

Certainly not a marriage. Dictatorship is more like it.
I can only write what I know.

I know healthy marriages that have made it through some seriously Godawful cock-ups (mine included). And I know hellish, miserable marriages that should’ve ended years ago.

I’ll say it again: For the people who want to STAY in a relatively healthy marriage, everything is negotiable.

When one misguided spouse starts laying down mandates and non-negotiables, the other spouse feels trapped and unhappy, like a second class citizen in her own country.
Ah, fuck it, it’s Christmas. So let’s get Biblical for a bit here.

The Old Testament was all about rules – you must follow these Ten Commandments and you’ll get to heaven. Thou shalt not this and thou shalt not that. It was happy days back then, I tell ya.

Then Jesus came along. He had more faith in people. And he understood that people don’t want to be ruled or oppressed. They want to be loved. Jesus understood this better than anyone. He knew there’s really only one commandment you need and all the other commandments will happen automatically: Love one another.

Love one another.

If you love one another unconditionally there’s no need for non-negotiables. All the other rules are unnecessary and you do what you have to, to make and keep things right -- not because you need to be in charge, not out of fear of losing something, and certainly not because of some mythical reward.

Because it’s simply the right thing to do.

Better? Not nuts now? Lemme know, Mom.
I am listening to: Sara Hickman – Mad World
I am reading: A Guide to NFA Compliance Rule 2-29
And I am: Trying to get it right

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The non-negotiable marriage

It’s near the end of my typical up-top train ride into the city yesterday morning, when suddenly, there’s this from below:

“SOME things in MARRIAGE are just NOT negotiable!”

Looking down, I see a way-too-angry-for-the-morning woman glaring back and forth between what, from my vantage point, I could only assume were two of her shocked into silence cohorts across the aisle.

“NOT NEGOTIABLE I told him,” she says in her outdoor voice. “Taking CARE of my SELF is NOT NEGOTIABLE.”

This was followed by another of her patented I-DARE-YOU-TO-DISAGREE-WITH-ME stares towards her understandably quiet comrades.
“She’ll be divorced in less than five years,” I thought, exiting the train.

Because everything in marriage is negotiable. Everything.

If you want it to last, that is.
Taking care of herself?

Sadly, it’s a total guess what she meant by that.

How do we wives take care of ourselves? Exercise. Manicures. Massages. Quiet time in a bubbly tub with a good book. The occasional weepy movie/pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Right?

And how could any of these things possibly be a Major Issue in a marriage?
“Hedy, that woman was right. Some things are not negotiable in a marriage.”

Oh yeah? Like what?

C’mon, bring it.
Okay, never mind. Lemme guess.

The Number One All-Time Non-Negotiable in Marriage: Screwing Around.

If your spouse is screwing around on a regular basis, he/she has already left.

So what’s to negotiate?
IM Conversation #1:

H: True or false: Some things in marriage are not negotiable.

David (married): True.

H: Really? Like what?

David: Clean up this blood.

H: Let's subtract the idea that I've married a serial killer or other criminal type. I think once you're married EVERYTHING has to be negotiable if you want to stay that way. You don't stay married by being a demanding bitch from hell.

David: True.
But Hedy! What if my spouse screwed around once and felt really really really bad about it and said it would never happen again?

Totally negotiable.
IM Conversation #2:

H: True or false: Some things in marriage are not negotiable.

JimmyC (single): True.

H: Really? Like what?

JimmyC: What if my wife wanted to stick a dildo in my ass?? NEVER!!!

H: Well let’s hope she would know that about you ahead of time and marry you anyway. ☺
WHOA! So you’re saying Jim gets a free pass if he screws around once?

Not really. Karma will certainly handle the majority of his punishment should he choose to stray.

That said, am I gonna throw away 10 years of marriage because Jim got drunk and fooled around with Pamela Anderson and then was even more foolish enough to tell me about it?

Of course not.
IM Conversation #3:

Hedy: True or false: Some things in marriage are not negotiable.

Mr. O. (divorced): True!

Hedy: Really? Like what?

Mr. O.: Violence, spouse abuse.

Hedy: Let's assume you know your spouse as well as you possibly could.

Mr. O.: Shall we also assume that sunbeams shoot out of our asses?

Hedy: I say, in a relatively healthy marriage, all things are negotiable.

Mr. O.: That statement is only true for the person who wants to stay married the most.
So there you have it.

If you want to stay married, you gotta negotiate.

And I say the big heavy non-negotiable stuff needs to be worked out in advance of getting married.

For example, when Jim and I got married, we agreed to discuss any Major Purchases ($400 or more) beforehand. We figured it out in advance so there was no need to make it negotiable or non-negotiable. It’s just one of our rules.

This woman’s husband, bless his sorry soul, probably knew she was high maintenance and that ‘caring for herself’ was a big thing for her, whatever the fuck that means.

He’s giving her a hard time about it – it could only be because she’s spending too much time or money on said care. Right?

If he’s giving her a hard time about spending too much time, it’s because he wants her to spend more time with him. This is not a bad thing in a marriage.

If he’s giving her a hard time about spending too much money, well, this is what husbands do. Unless he’s out of work and then she should be willing to sacrifice a bit of her ‘care’ items until things are back on track financially.

So what’s non-negotiable in your relationship?
I am listening to: The Weepies – All That I Want
I am reading: Neil at the Sun-Times
And I am: Negotiable

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Craving space

"Can I ask you something?" asks my friend Spike via IM last week. "I don't want to offend you, but if you want to be a writer full time, how come sometimes you don't have anything to write about on the blog?"

"It has nothing to do with being a writer," I say. "If I don't get to spend any time alone, I don't get to think. And if I don't get to think, I've got nothing to write."

It's beyond frustrating - I'm on the train, Mac all warm and ready in my lap and . . .nothing.

Nothing to say. Two days in a row.

Good news: Jim's in Pittsburgh tonight so HedyBlog will return tomorrow.
I am listening to: The Weepies - All That I Want
I am reading: West of Kabul, East of New York
And I am: Craving space

Friday, November 30, 2007

Over a barrel

“If I asked you to help me move a barrel out of my bedroom, what would you say?” asks our friend Steve.

“What took you so long?” says Jim with a smirk.

Of course this elicits a smack from Judy, Steve’s fiancé.

We were talking about the Stacey Peterson case over dinner last night. Even though it’s a Chicago story, I’m sure you’ve heard of it: Stacey is missing and Drew, her fucknut cop of a husband, has been all over the national media.

The latest? Drew’s semi-retarded cousin helped him move a ‘warm to the touch’ barrel out of the couple’s bedroom the day Stacey disappeared. This genius supposedly said the barrel weighed about 120 lbs.
“What’s in the barrel, Drew?”

Wouldn’t that be the first question to ask, if you’re not semi-retarded?
Jim’s second answer: “I’ll help move yours if you help move mine.”

That response elicited the requisite smack from me.

But it also got me thinking.

While the divorce rate has dropped to around 38% in the U.S., that's still pretty high.

I’m guessing there are a good number of husbands (the non-murderous fucknut types) who, if their spouse suddenly disappeared, would be sad but also secretly relieved.

“You mean she’s gone? Really? Hot damn, think of the money I’ll save!”
Maybe Drew Peterson didn’t do it.


If you’re a normal person and your spouse has been missing for weeks, you’re distraught and frantic – not only for yourself, but for your two small children who are confused and desperately missing their mom.

If you somehow find the strength to speak with the media, it’s to plead with everyone including God for information about the case.

You’re not sitting calmly next to Matt Lauer telling the world that your wife probably ran off with another man.
I am listening to: Split Enz – I Got You
I am reading: West of Kabul, East of New York by Tamim Ansary
And I am: Staying away from barrels

Thursday, November 29, 2007


So I’m on the 8:06 train, which left at 8:09 because of ‘police activity’ at the Aurora train station. Not that said police activity had an impact on the train schedule – the conductors held up the train in an attempt to see something exciting.

How do I know this?

Because I watched them watching the train station, waiting for cops to emerge with a suspect or perp or skell or whatever the TV crime shows are calling them these days.
Where ya been, Hed?

Pouting, mostly. Although I did have the flu on Monday and Tuesday which only made matters worse.

Pouting? Yes, pouting.

That’s the best way to describe it. Although today is better.

You mean, pouting, as in ‘I’m a lazy spoiled brat’ pouting?

Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton is why I’m pouting.

A good friend recommended his autobiography and I read it over the weekend.

It’s not a great book.

Mostly because Eric Clapton is not a writer. He’s a musician.

An average musician who wrote a below average book about his way below average life.

Seriously, his autobiography reads like the longest liner note in the history of modern music.
Here’s the Mad Libs version of Clapton’s book:

Then I met [famous musician] and we did [drug] and got piss-drunk while playing [cool concert venue] to [huge number] adoring yet eternally disappointed fans and then did [another drug] and then I broke up the band again because [egomaniacal bullshit reason].

Oh, and I stalked and stole George Harrison’s wife and then he died. Oh, and I had a son with a woman I barely knew and then he died.

The end.
I threw the book down after losing count on how many accidents he had driving one of his many Ferraris (and endangering who knows how many lives) and all he had to say on it was: “I keep thinking about how I could’ve seriously hurt myself.”

No word or concern for anyone else, just really glad he didn’t hurt himself.
So I’ve obviously never been much of a Clapton fan.

After reading the book, though, I diligently downloaded the best of his stuff from iTunes: Bell Bottom Blues (Derek & The Dominos), Layla (both versions), After Midnight, Cocaine, Lay Down Sally, oh, and his two weepy forgettable hits (You Look Wonderful in Heaven).

Layla and She’s Waiting are songs from my childhood. I remember liking She’s Waiting a bit but being extremely irritated at Detroit's 98.7 WLLZ for playing Layla over and over and over again. There’s only so much screamin’ Layla you can take. Although the unplugged version is seriously better.

Clapton's biggest problem - and it's evident throughout the book - is that he thought way too highly of himself. He wanted to be a blues musician but he always ended up just a pop star.

And pretty much all of his hits are pop songs – not classics.

Okay, maybe…wait...nope. Not one classically good song.
But Hedy!

Eric is Derek! Slowhand! Clapton is God! He’s done some great things. He’s been sober for 20 years. And that Crossroads clinic in Antigua. What about that?

Let’s just say it’s a good start. Eric Clapton is gonna have to live another 200 years to undo all the seriously bad karma he racked up in his early years.

Maybe if he didn’t congratulate himself for doing all that stuff in his book. Maybe if he had apologized for leaving so many hurt, damaged and dead people in his wake.

Maybe if his book didn’t read like so much ego-stroking crap, then Slowhand would deserve a little slack.
So why all the pouting, Hed?

Because if an average pop star can write a below average book about his way below average life, what the fuck am I, the veritable Queen of Average, waiting for?
I am listening to: Eric Clapton – She’s Waiting
I am reading: West of Kabul, East of New York by Tamim Ansary
And I am: Ya know, waiting

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Everything is done. I'm on the couch. Gromit's next to me -- sprawled in the sun streaming through the patio doors. We're both watching Jim at the grill: Charcoal, a dash of lighter fluid, then WOOSH. Fire for the turkey.

It's cold out. Much colder than last year. There'll be a bonfire for when friends and neighbors drop by in the early afternoon before dashing off to family dinners. Later, they'll return for games, movies and further gastrointestinal discomfort brought on by the requisite "Round 2" of turkey, stuffing, etc.

It was a good year; thanks so much for being here.

Blessings to you and your family on this lovely Thanksgiving day.
I am listening to: Parade sounds from the other room
I am reading: The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
And I am: Blessed

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An honest life

So I’m on the plane to Vegas last Wednesday reading an article in Wired magazine about prioritizing tasks to become more efficient with the ultimate goal of having nothing on your mind.

It’s all very new-age Zen let’s wax each other’s auras stuff and I’m thisclose to bailing when this little tidbit about Ben Franklin catches me: “[He] first identified his governing values, then he made a concerted effort to live his life, day in, day out, according to these values.”

Before you could say ‘nice bifocals it’s a shame about your teeth’ this thought popped into my head: Lead an honest life.

Lead an honest life.

It felt profound. It felt like being re-connected to the Universe.

And it wasn’t the sudden realization that leading an honest life is what I want to do, but that it’s what I’ve been trying to do as far back as I can remember.
C’mon, Hedy. When was the last time you lied? Be honest.

Sunday. Checking out at Mandalay Bay. The woman behind the counter is reviewing the room charges.

“Did you have Pringles?”


“Two cans?”



GODDAMMIT. Why the hell did I just lie about that second can of Pringles? She’s a nice lady, doing her job. What the fuck is the matter with me? It certainly wasn’t the $5 price tag – my willingness to pay any price in snack-related crises is legendary. And what sort of Karmic retribution does the Universe dole out for lying about potato chips?
Terrible. Why did I lie about the second can?

Because I’m feeling really really fat lately and admitting it to a stranger was like shouting “YES, I AM A PATHETIC PIG, RENDERED POWERLESS BY PRE-FORMED POTATO PULP CHIPS!” to the entire lobby.

Odd. Somehow it feels better having told you just now.
I know what you’re thinking.

Jesus, Hedy. If you’re willing to lie about Pringles, what else are you keeping from us?


Tell me you haven’t lied about something equally silly and benign in the past week. If you say you haven't, you're lying.
“Doesn’t it bother her?” asks my good friend Spike via IM a while back.


“Your Mom. When you write things like ‘party hard and f*ck harder’?”

Sure it does. She’s a Mom. She worries.

But for this blog, my one guiding principal is to always tell the truth no matter how ugly or silly or demented it is. To not worry about offending anyone, but to write what I think. And hell, what's the point in writing if you're not 100% honest all the time?

I want my people to know me for what I am, not for what they’d like me to be.

Mom understands that more than anyone.
I know what you’re thinking, part two.


Well, a) they were the small, hotel size half-cans. And b) When you're working a trade show you don't get much opportunity for regular meals. And c) Shaddap.
Here’s a good question: When do you find yourself in situations where you feel you have to be dishonest?

For me (aside from the occasional snack food slip-up) it’s always always always to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

And not in the “Does this dress make my ass look like a gas can?” sense, because friends will always tell you the truth when it comes to clothing choices.

I lie when I'm in those uncomfortable, surreal situations where someone else isn't being honest about themselves or whatever and they've asked you to join them in their version of the world.

It sucks.

I did it to that woman behind the counter at the hotel and she knew it.
So why all the honesty talk here?

Because someone I don't know well has put me in a situation where it would be best to lie.

I don’t want to.

I want to tell this person that her request is not only unreasonable, it is quite ridiculous. But I can’t.

And it bothers me.

So you can lie about potato chips to a stranger to protect yourself from embarrassment, but you can’t lie to a family member to protect her feelings? What’s that all about?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to lie to this person because I am frustrated for being put in this situation by someone with limited social skills. Telling the truth in this case would make her feel worse while making me feel better.

But the karmic fallout from making her feel bad will be greater than if I just suck it up and lie.

This leading an honest life shit sure sucks sometimes. I guess it's a good thing I'm not very good at it.
I am listening to: The man next to me on the train horking snot
I am reading: Trade show lead spreadsheet
And I am: A liar

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Honesty Part I

“Did I meet you yesterday while you were setting up your booth?” asks the man standing next to me at the hotel business center.

“Yes, that was me,” I say.

WOW! You REALLY clean up nice,” he says. “I mean your hair looks GREAT and everything. I don’t mean to offend you but you just look SO MUCH BETTER today.”

Wanted to say: “Hmm, that’s funny. Because you look just the same as yesterday, you fat, follically-challenged little fart-knocker.”

Said: “Thanks.”
Of course I looked better.

I wasn’t a sorry little sack of smelly sweat from lugging booth shit for a trade show all morning.

And I wasn’t offended by what he said so much – because it was true, remember?

I was offended by the fact that the officious little fart-knocker stood smack-dab in the center of our booth space supervising my set-up without once offering to lift a finger for 40 minutes.

There’s honesty. And then there’s being a complete ass-hat.

More re: honesty tomorrow.
I am listening to: Modest Mouse – Missed the Boat
I am reading: Wired magazine
And I am: Trying

Monday, November 19, 2007



It's a parallel universe where Celine Dion and Barry Manilow and that puppet dude from America's Got Talent are Superstars.

Everything is a caricature of real life - bigger and brighter and shinier. And that's just the boobs.

It's a city without a soul. A karmic black hole.

I'm no gambler. The handful of times I've been to a casino, I always left feeling like my soul had shrunk just a little.

The only up side to Vegas is that it makes you appreciate the real world a little more.
I am listening to: Sara Hickman - Mad World
I am reading: AfterMath, Inc. by Gil Reavill
And I am: Grateful to be home

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Bible vs. the mini bar

There’s a Bible in the nightstand next to the big comfy bed.

Like everything else at this hotel, it’s nice and new.

Of course it could be that the Good Book just doesn’t get much use here in the City of Sin.
Who knew? Here’s an interesting fact from

“Annually, The Gideons International is placing and distributing more than 63,000,000 Scriptures worldwide. To God be the glory! This averages one million copies of the Word of God placed every six days, or 120 per minute!”


That's a whole lotta Bible there, guys. I'm guessing the real trick is getting people to read it, eh?
Here's a shocking confession: It's been a while since I've looked at a Bible.

It sure is preachy.

And rather than being inspired or shamed or smote or whathaveyou by Job and Proverbs and Psalms, all I can think is "Goddamn, God needs an editor."
Of course, who edits Him?

"Um, God?"

"Yes, Peter?"

"I think you've got just one too many begats here in Matthew, whaddaya say we cut a few?"


"Right. Leave in the begats. Gotcha."
Here’s the thing.

If I’m in a hotel in Vegas and feeling LONELINESS or SORROW or WEARINESS or TEMPTATION, I sure as shit ain’t lookin’ in the nightstand for help from Gideon’s minions.

I’m heading straight for the mini bar.

Because there’s nothing that a $12 bag of cashews and an $8 shot of Jack can’t cure.
I am listening to: Colbie Caillat - Bubbly
I am reading: The Book of Jack
And I am: Tired but satisfied

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Back to elsewhere

“We have a very full flight folks and the plane cannot pull away from the gate until everyone is seated so blah de blah de blah.”

I’m in 23D. An aisle seat.

Aisle seats offer as much control as you can possibly have on commercial flights. I can get up if I need to. And I’m not relying on some fat gambling gramma to get outta my way should the plane decide to drop outta the sky like Dorothy’s domicile.
Of course it’s all self-delusional doo-doo. Who am I kidding?

Should the plane crash, my triumphant and powerful aisle seat will be filled with shit followed by my sad sinful remains and that’ s about it.
So the flight is full. A steady stream of travelers trek down the aisle, shuffling to their designated spots.

And I wait. Sans seat belt. For the folks in 23E and F to appear.

As a seasoned denizen of the aisle seat, you learn to not lock in too early. You get settled and strap in too soon and someone invariably arrives with a sheepish smile, pointing at the seat next to you.

The huge dude in white socks and Crocs mercifully plops down in 21C. The gray-haired angry-faced grandma with bad breath takes 22D (I know she has bad breath because she stands in front of her seat scowling at me until the last possible moment before we take off.)

The flight attendant comes through after the “cross check doors for take-off” whatever the hell that means and we’re off.

I’m the only person on the flight sitting in an otherwise empty row. I notice other passengers scowling in my direction now.

I move the backpack over to the space under the center seat ahead.

A luxurious stretch. A smile.

Once again I am heading elsewhere. Life is good.
I am listening to: Sheryl Crow - Leaving Las Vegas
I am reading: Wired Magazine
And I am: Sleepy

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Editorial note

I will be at a trade show so posts will be sporadic throughout the week with patches of sunshine and varying degrees of stupidity.

In the mean time, here's a classic Denny Crane quote to ponder today: "It is better to want what you don't have than have what you don't want."

I say it's all a matter of perspective.

Of course he's right, though. He's Denny Crane.
I am listening to: Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason
I am reading: Wired Magazine
And I am: Anxious

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Maybe I'm getting old

I was offended about five minutes ago.

With a choice between the inexplicable Amazing Race 12, loud and boring Sunday Night Football, or the overwrought and weepy Extreme Makeover, I switch to The Simpsons.

I'm not big into TV.

If it ain't Boston Legal or Dexter, it's pretty much a waste of time.

But I know Jim will be home soon and we'll be emptying the DVR of all the shows he missed in Greece, so I leave the TV on as background noise.
Plot summary: Milhouse's parents remarry and go on a cruise. They fall overboard. In what we can only assume was meant to be a parody of a Saving Private Ryan moment, two men dressed in uniforms from the cruise line (to melancholy music) come to the door and inform Milhouse his parents are believed dead.
Not funny.
I'm not easily offended, but c'mon. We're at war, people.

On Veteran's day, nonetheless.

I suppose it isn't enough that our military spouses and parents have endured the lies about WMDs and the shameless war profiteering. And for some - 3,860 families to be exact - the very real and unimaginable day when, without a soundtrack and certainly not a laugh track, they're notified by strangers in uniforms of their loved one's ultimate sacrifice.

Not funny. Not at all.
I am listening to: Dexter
I am reading: Real Simple magazine
And I am: Disgusted

Friday, November 09, 2007


Fabulous. It's my word. I use it for everything. Everything that's fabulous, of course.

My fabulous friend Susie knows this. And even though we talk just 2-3 times a year (excluding her annual summer visit), I think of her often and smile.

So it was fabulous coming home late last night after a long, hard day at work to a card from Susie with this keychain inside.
"Just wanted to let you know it's so good having a friend like you."
What a fabulous friend.
I am listening to: Barry White - Can't Get Enough of Your Love
I am reading: Trade show cheat sheet
I am: You know it

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Pretty Woman mistake

Jim and I are slobs most of the time. We’re sweatshirt/t-shirt/jeans/sweats people. And if we’re not going out for dinner or whathaveyou later in the day, I’m all about the ponytail/baseball hat on the weekends.

And that’s pretty much how we looked for furniture shopping one Saturday several weeks ago.

You should know that after nine years of marriage, I am still trying to rid our house of the what-the-hell-were-they-thinking furniture Jim bought with his lovely starter wife back in the late 80’s.

With another Thanksgiving full house on the horizon, it was time for the swingin’ modern pseudo-oak dining room set to go.
“We want something that’s gonna last 50 years,” I say to the dour-looking woman at Dow Furniture in North Aurora.

It's a pretty snazzy place. We'd shopped there before - in fact, we bought our First Piece of Furniture as a Married Couple there: Our all-time favoritest, comfiest couch that was immediately chewed up by Gromit the Danger Puppy, He Who Shall Not Be Left Alone.

But we've also done our time with the falls-apart-in-two-years furniture – a kitchen table that looked great but has wobbled since the day it was delivered and an entertainment center that chips if you look at it the wrong way.

No more. We worked hard and saved up for something that will really last this time.

But the snooty-falutey woman at Dow Furniture doesn’t know this. All she sees is two ragamuffins in her pristine store wasting her time.

She takes us around to a set that looks like it was sold and then returned after three years of use.

I give Jim the nose crinkle and he tells her no, that’s not quite what we’re after.

The next set is probably a step down from our existing pseudo-oak shit.

She’s not getting it, so I say it again.

“We really want something solid that’s going to last and not be out of style 10 years from now.”

She frowns, looks us up and down and proceeds to the next room.

That’s when we spot it: A table that could be The One.
As with most couples, Jim and I have wildly different taste.

He has Lost in Space taste. If it looks like it coulda been used by the Robinsons and that dastardly Dr. Smith on the Jupiter 2, he wants it. Someday I'll tell ya about the robot situation.

Me, I tend to go the more classic, traditional route, but not too formal/antique-y.

So when we finally find something that we both like it is a veritable Furniture Miracle.
“What about this one?” Jim says, pointing to The One.

“Well, that set is more expensive,” she says, frowning.

It was at that point we both felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

I pictured us walking in there a few weeks later with a dining room set on both arms to ask her if she works on commission.

"Big mistake," we'll say triumphantly, dressed as beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted prostitutes. "BIG. HUGE. We have to go shopping now."
I am listening to: City sounds
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Lost in space

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

There's devastating and then there's Oprah

It was "one of most devastating experiences of my life."

That’s Oprah. Talking about the sex abuse allegations at her school in South Africa.

An amazing woman, isn’t she?

She can turn the utter tragedy of more than a dozen girls being sexually assaulted into her own personal devastation.

I know. It is her personal tragedy. It’s no secret that she was sexually abused as a child.

Which somehow makes it even worse, this evil thing happening in her school.

Here’s a quote from the story: “because of the high rates of rape and sexual abuse in South Africa, she had worked to ensure outsiders would not be able to reach students at the school.”

Given Oprah's personal history, given what she went through when she was a little girl, and knowing what she knew about sex abuse in South Africa, doesn't it seem like she should've done a better job screening her employees?
I probably should cut Oprah a little slack.

She made a huge difference in my life a long, long time ago.

In fact, her show was the catalyst for a real turning point in my life – a story for another time.

But I can’t help feeling that all the good she’s done is somewhat diminished by her overbearing ego – her penchant for injecting Oprah in Great Big Capital Letters into everything she does.

Acts of charity are by their nature supposed to be selfless. Not selfish opportunities to boost your own ego.
More from the story: On Oct. 20, Winfrey said Monday, she flew to South Africa again to meet with parents: "I apologized for the unfortunate circumstance and promised changes."

Unfortunate circumstances?

Hey Oprah, here's what you should've said:

“This is a terrible, heartbreaking tragedy for these girls. I am personally responsible for not taking better care in screening my school’s staff. I will do everything in my power to ensure that the individuals responsible for this abuse are punished and that this never, ever happens again.”

This isn’t about you. It’s about those girls. It’s their tragedy. Their devastation.

Not yours.
I am listening to: Love Actually
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Hed-achey

Monday, November 05, 2007

Troubling news

Yes, Musharraf has imposed emergency rule, suspended the Constitution, and arrested hundreds of Pakistani protesters.

Oil is heading for $100 a barrel.

But let’s take a moment to talk about troubling news from the wondrous world of snack cakes: The death of the Ding Dong.

Yes, folks, the Hostess Ding Dong is dead.

It’s dead to me anyway. Dead, I say.

Ever since Saturday and the discovery that they’re no longer wrapped in foil.
Here’s the deal: When Jim is outta town I’m like a combination of Tom Cruise in Risky Business, that irritating child from Home Alone, and your worst college roommate.

Without the prostitutes.

I basically dance around in my underwear and eat really bad food the whole time he's gone.
Ding Dongs, Hedy? Why Ding Dongs?

I can’t remember why – it was two or three weeks ago – Ding Dongs came up at lunch with a friend.

Since then, I’ve had Ding Dongs on the brain.

Ding Dongs used to be called King Dongs. I remember this.

Then someone with a very dirty mind decided dong sounded too much like dick. So they re-named that delicious flat orb of chocolaty goodness King Don.

I remember thinking Who the Hell is King Don? And where did his Dong go?

So then they switched over to Ding Dong, which is fairly innocuous and only occasionally confused with Ding-a-Ling.

Still, it’s all very confusing because the Ding Dong is shaped like a hockey puck.

Twinkies. Twinkies – those diminutive yellow phallic cakes – shoulda been Ding Dongs.

I open the box. Slowly.

Like Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka (the original, not the creepy Johnny Depp as Michael Jackson pedophile remake), expecting to see a friendly and familiar flash of silver.

I’m met with nothing but travesty. Little white plastic-wrapped travesties.

This makes me sad. Who knows what’s in that puffed out white plastic? It could be anything. And they look just like these.

I am traumatized and seriously consider boycotting the box, leaving it in the cupboard Forever.
"Ding Dongs?! What are you going to do with them?" Jim asks all the way from Greece.

"Not much - they're no longer wrapped in foil," I say, trying not to cry.

"Well I was always a Hostess Cupcake fan myself. You'd pull the frosting off and eat that first..."

Yep. He's on the other side of the world and we're talking snack cakes. This is what love does.
Ding Dongs are wrapped in foil so you can eat two or three of them – enough to create a large ball of foil to flick at your younger brother’s forehead.

That’s the only reason they’re wrapped in foil.

You can’t crinkle up a white plastic wrapper and flick it at your younger brother’s forehead.

First of all, it won’t flick. It will just fall to the floor. Or if the wind is right, it might glance his shoulder without doing any serious damage.
Confession: I consider unwrapping the Ding Dong and re-wrapping it in foil for nostalgia’s sake. Of course Reynolds "Quality Aluminum Foil" Wrap is a completely different grade of foil altogether and simply will not work.
After a few hours of pouting, I succumb to the Ding Dong.

“You always do.”


It was curiosity more than anything – a burning need to know if foil-free Ding Dongs taste different. Like Coke in plastic versus glass bottles.

Since I haven’t had a Ding Dong in Forever (obviously, since I was oblivious to the missing foil situation), I can only go on memory.

I take a semi-reluctant bite. It’s the same chocolaty hard frosted outside I remember from my childhood. The same creamy, cakey inside.

But it just doesn’t taste as good without the foil.

It tasted . . .flat. And un-fun.
Yes, I realize the world is in some serious shit right now and devoting an entire entry to Ding Dongs borders on insanity.

But we can’t depend on much in this ever-changing world. And after all we’ve been through since 9/11 I don’t think it’s too much, goddammit, too much to ask for a fucking foil-wrapped Ding Dong.
I am listening to: King Harvest – Dancing in the Moonlight
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Traumatized

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Libertarian conundrum, bongs, etc.

“Good morning, I’m Joe S_____ and I’m running for State Representative, do you have a minute?”

Happily, I have more than a minute due to being dropped at the train station so I proceed to grill this clean-cut and clipboard carrying candidate.

“You’re a Democrat?” I ask.

“Yes, what are you?” he fires back.

“I’m agnostic,” I say. “Well, Libertarian.”

“I’d be a Libertarian, too, if it would get me elected.”

And that’s the trouble with Libertarians.

Practically every person I know says they’d be Libertarian if they thought it would make a difference.

Hello, people.

If all of us voted Libertarian, then. . .oh Jesus tits.

It's way too early in the morning and way too late in life for a civics lesson from the likes of me.
“Pro-choice?” I ask.

“Yes,” he replies.

“Where are you on taxes?”

He knows where I sit on that so he pulls out the rather tiresome 'fiscal conservative' line.

Joe's pandering is impressive. Then he pops out this zinger:

“You won’t hear me talking about this during the campaign because it would be the kiss of death in my district,” he says, his voice just above a whisper.

Intriguing. I lean in.

“I’m for the legalization of marijuana.”

Yikes. Slow down, it’s not even 7:30 a.m.

Way too early to be pulling out your bong, dude.
“I’m for the legalization of marijuana.”

What I thought: "Do I look like a total stoner? Where the hell is this coming from?"

What I wanted to say: "Dude! You holding? 'Cause I could make the next train if you wanna fire that shit up."

What I said: "Your secret is safe with me."
Libertarians. We're the real silent majority. We're a fairly self sufficient bunch. We work hard. We know how to have fun. We don't expect anyone to pay for our mistakes and we don't expect to pay for yours. We want to be left alone most of the time. And treated like adults all of the time.

Where's our candidate?
I'm sure Joe is sincere. Not well-informed enough on certain issues but a nice person overall. And for that reason I signed his little petition.

But he is the personification of the problem with politics and politicians today - pandering to the last person they meet and saying whatever they assume you wanna hear to win your vote.
I am listening to: Kid Rock – Half Your Age
I am reading: Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
And I am: A card-carrying Libertarian

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Try this muff

Bears noon Sunday :(

That was the text message I sent to Jim after realizing we’d committed to taking his mom to lunch followed by the Sycamore High School Craft & Treasure Bonanza Hoo-Ha during the Bears-Lions game on Sunday.

A craft fair, Hedy?

I know. But it was her birthday. And she loves the crap fairs.
“Nobody’s here,” says the mother-in-law as we pull into a parking spot Right Out Front. “The economy is so bad nobody’s buying anything.”

Sure things are bad.

But I’m guessing people are spending what’s left of their hard-earned paychecks on cool stuff like iPhones or Halo 3000 or Leopard OS X Hoo-Ha and not on crocheted toilet paper covers or homemade potpourri that smells like your grandma’s 82-year old asshole.
“Try this muff.”


“Try this muff,” says Jim, pointing to a small sign sitting amidst a pile of fake fur.

“Don’t mind if I do!”

As if sidling through a gymnasium full of shit during the Bears game weren’t enough, I had to endure the decidedly unpleasant mental image of Jim ‘trying out’ the muff of the round, sour-faced woman sitting behind the table playing Sudoku.

“Worth the price of admission,” says Jim still laughing.

$2? Indeed.
The majority of vendors at craft fairs are people with too much time and too little taste trying to sell stuff that no one, anywhere on the planet will ever want let alone need.

Don’t get me wrong. I love supporting local artists.

During what I consider the Craft Fair Heyday (mid to late 90’s) you could find a few nice things - a piece of handmade pottery or jewelry or folk art.

Unfortunately the really good local artists don’t go to craft fairs any more. They go to juried art fairs.

So all that’s left are the crafters – untalented postmenopausal matrons wearing ‘fun’ appliquéd sweatshirts and driving mini-vans with 'Crafty Lady' bumper stickers.

Remember my definition of hell? We’re adding crap fairs to that mix.
Do tell, Hedy.

What does my grandma’s 82-year old asshole smell like, exactly?

I’m guessing a snazzy combination of lavender, pine and Preparation H.

Unless her husband’s still alive, in which case we’re going with 80-something grandpa sack and PolyGrip.
I am listening to: Black Snake Moan soundtrack
I am reading: Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
And I am: Full of crap

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scary vs. Stupid

“C’mon, watch Halloween with me,” says Jim. “I know you will like it.”

“Can’t we just watch Young Frankenstein?” I say, knowing that I won’t.

My Suspension of Disbelief is sitting in the corner shaking his ragged little head in warning – still pissed off from the last time Jim convinced us to watch one of his ‘classic’ movies.

I love Jim and all his quirkiness. He is one of the most sweetly nostalgic souls I know – always remembering people and places and things way better than they actually were.

This is particularly true when it comes to movies.
“Michael?” the parents say as the cherubic boy removes his mask, a dripping dagger in one tiny fist.

Barely ten minutes into this and I glance over to see my Suspension of Disbelief cussing up a blue streak and banging his bloody little head against the wall.
I can count on one disembodied hand how many times a movie actually scared me.

Nightmare Elm Street. More stupid than scary, yes. But the scene where Freddy’s arms stretch wayyyyy out in an alley and scrape against the walls? That got me. Couldn’t sleep.

Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal's voice haunted my dreams weeks after.

And more recently Ju-on, which is the original (and way better) Japanese version of The Grudge. This movie taught me that there is nothing more frightening than a cold, dead Asian chick under your covers.
Stupid walks into a neighbor’s dark house after being stalked by a creepy masked stranger all day.

Stupid doesn’t turn on any of the lights.

Stupid assumes that the creepy masked stranger - who has already killed three of your stupid horny friends - is dead after poking him in the forehead with a knitting needle.

Stupid leaves children alone to barricade herself in a closet.

Stupid assumes that the creepy masked stranger is dead after poking him in the forehead with a bent wire hanger.

Stupid turns her back on creepy masked stranger, who is on the floor pretending to be not dead. Or something.
I can't remember.

It was after the second or third time Michael is 'dead' when I glance over to see my defeated little Suspension of Disbelief kick the tiny stool out from under his tiny feet, a tiny noose around his tiny snapped neck.

I turn to sweet, nostalgic Jim - oblivious to his complicity in this sad crime - and fight the urge to stab him in the forehead with a knitting needle. Or a wire hanger.
Scary isn’t about a well-timed “BOO!” from behind the couch, oh no.

Scary is smart. Scary is psychological.

Scary gets in your head and whispers your worst fear.

Scary never shows you the Really Scary Thing, only its shadow.

Scary slips its cold dead hand around your ankle as you’re crawling into bed alone in the middle of the night.
The movie ends. Michael is gone.

We’ve been asked to believe that he’s dead from knitting needles and wire hangers, but not dead from falling out of a second story window after taking multiple gunshot wounds to his torso.

Not scary. Stupid.
I am listening to: Office noises
I am reading: Winning by Jack Welch
And I am: Irritated

Monday, October 29, 2007

Overheard on the train this morning

"Of course I'll have to put a poncho on the One-Eyed Ranger," he says.

"You're making your penis sound like a super hero," she says.

"He is - he's MY hero!"
I am listening to: Kid Rock - Half Your Age
I am reading: Winning by Jack Welch
And I am: Exhausted

Friday, October 26, 2007

Here's to you, butt sock surfer

There’s this thingy loaded on the blog that tells the search words people use to get here.

And yes, smartass, thingy is in fact the technical term.

To be more specific, it is Thingy Version 3.1 now with Retsin.

The highly anticipated Tourmaline Bionic functionality will be available when I upgrade to Thingy OS Leopard Vista Hoo-Ha X.
For those depraved souls Googling for butt socks, HedyBlog is the #1 site.


I just wanna know what these people are really looking for when they’re searching on butt sock.

It’s gotta be some hip new anal exploration tactic that I, a middle-aged married type, will only learn about by watching re-runs of HBO’s Real Sex five years from now.

“Oh lookie there, she’s gonna take that sock and whoa jeez louise I’d a gone with a cotton-poly, that argyle’s gotta burn a bit.”
Someone at Enterprise Car Sales in St. Louis did the butt sock search thing yesterday.

So you’re sitting there at work and you think: “Hmmm, butt sock.”

Because that’s what you do when you’re selling used cars in St. Louis.

Of course.
HedyBlog also gets tons of hits from searches for The Rhythm of Your Shoes by O.A.R. – that song I mentioned a while back. These are people from Canada, Ohio and Michigan – all listening to 93.9 The River.

It’s still one of my current favorite songs. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, go here:
Finally, there is the inexplicable “Britney’s piss flaps” search.

We here at HedyBlog are proud to say we’re #4 when it comes to piss flap searches the world over.

From what I can gather piss flaps are big in Britain. Well, not literally. One can only speculate of course.

But most of the piss flap related hits come from the U.K.

So, for those of you keeping score at home, it’s Butt Socks in the States and Piss Flaps across the pond.

I am listening to: Kid Rock – All Summer Long
I am reading: Real Simple magazine
And I am: The Baroness of Butt Socks

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So hott

You don’t like him. That’s okay.

He's all mine.

And Kid Rock’s new CD Rock N Roll Jesus has turned me into his dirty little disciple.
Okay, the first song Rock N Roll Jesus is probably a bit forced but the song grows on you.

Trust me.
It’s hard rock. It’s rap. It’s blues. It’s country.

It makes you wanna party hard and fuck harder and forget about everything for a little while.

It's trashy and truthful.

It’s so Michigan and so 70’s and so every single thing I grew up loving about life.
Sippin’ whiskey out the bottle
Not thinkin’ bout tomorrow
Singin’ Sweet Home Alabama all summer long
It’s an album - yes an album, goddammit - that you’ll listen to all the way through without skipping one song.

And in this sad era of pussy-ass ‘artists’ releasing one or two songs to MySpace or iTunes, Kid Rock is doing it the hard way, the old fashioned way. The right way.
You’re so hot
I wanna get you alone
I wanna get you stoned
I don’t wanna be your friend
I wanna fuck you like I’m never gonna see you again
Half Your Age is one of the finest, funnest country songs I’ve heard in forever – and I’m a Willie/Waylon/Merle girl goin' way back.
I found someone new who treats me better
She don’t bitch about what we ain’t got
When I sing this tune it don’t up set her
She’s half your age; and twice as hot
12 songs.

12 disciples.

Jesus Christ this is good.
I am listening to: Kid Rock – Rock N Roll Jesus
I am reading: Not a goddamn thing
And I am: Hot and thirsty

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The phrase of the day

Someone said 'balls deep' as I was walking down Jackson to my office this morning.

Of course it has to be The Phrase of the Day.

Try working it into your normal conversations today. And let me know how that goes.
I am listening to: Everlast - What It's Like
I am reading: Neil Steinberg
And I am: Quiet

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lose my link

It happens every so often. More lately.

“So and so would like to link to you. Click here to read the message.”

Occasionally it’s someone I actually know/like/respect. Most often it’s folks just looking to make themselves feel better by collecting links.

It’s MySpace for adults.
Last week it was different.

Someone from way back. A guy I hadn’t thought about since those crazy college days in Mt. Pleasant.

Apparently he remembers me way more fondly than I remember him.

“Well of course he does.”

How many links do you have, Hedy?


I feel very good about myself.

It used to be 103 but I purged a buncha fuck-asses from my previous employer.

That felt very good, too.
After a veritable novel of blah blah about traveling the world and having adventures and surviving a particularly nasty divorce, he wrote: “Write back and tell me how the past 20 years have treated you.”

What is it about these situations that make me want to totally fuck with people?

“Life is great since I replaced all my bad habits with one good one. I am married to Christ. Call me Sister Hedy Francis Whatnot.”

“Life is great now that I’m off smack and outta prison. Call me!”

“Life is great now that Hillary is on the road campaigning all the time – gives me and Bill more quality time together, ya know?”

“Life is great now that all my baby daddies are finally caught up on support. It sure was hard tracking down all six of 'em. Except o’ course the one that’s still on smack in prison. Call me!”
The thing is, life is great.

It's great because it's boring and unstressful (except for the occasional fuck-ass) and mostly uneventful.

And as much as I like writing, I'm not about to put 20 years of my blah blah into an e-mail so that someone I barely knew way back when can feel good about himself.
I am listening to: Modest Mouse - Missed the Boat
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Holy

Monday, October 22, 2007

Outing Dumbledore

Oil hit $90 a barrel.

Cheney’s telling everyone that Iran won’t be allowed to have nuculer capabilities.

And now Dumbledore’s gay.

I dunno about you but after the weekend, it sure feels like a good time to break out the ol’ tin foil hat.
Have you heard about this?

Dumbledore, the main Yoda-type wizard in the HP series was outed by author J.K. Rowling over the weekend.

Because it’s so important that we know the sexual proclivities of a fictional - not to mention dead - character from the most popular children’s books of all time.
Do we care that Dumbledore was gay? Of course not.

It’s like saying someone is black or right-handed or Irish. It just doesn’t matter. It doesn't make the story any better.

Worse, the dude never told anyone he was gay. He never mentioned it in any of the books.


And it isn’t important now, except that the buzz around book seven has died and maybe J.K. Rowling is feeling a little lost because her media juggernaut is finally winding down.
I am listening to: Kid Rock – So Hott
I am reading: Wired magazine
And I am: Disappointed

Friday, October 19, 2007

Misery: Exhibit A

Woman A gets on the train and climbs up to the second level.

She greets woman B – someone she obviously knows from work – and then sits down several seats away from her. She opens a book and begins reading.

Woman B begins talking to woman A about woman C who “talked my ear off all day.”

Woman A acknowledges woman B with a smile and a nod, but doesn’t say anything.

Woman A begins reading again.

Woman B gets up and moves to the seat next to woman A and proceeds to talk her ear off all the way home.

Woman A nods and smiles but doesn’t say much, holding her book hopefully in her lap.
I am listening to: Metallica - My Friend of Misery
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Not an empty can

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Heading to the potty, I pass the TV in the traders' lounge in my office. Bush is yapping about Iran's nuculer something-or-other.

I return from the loo and he's still yapping.

Nuculer. Nuculer. Nuculer.

Twenty minutes later, I pick up something off the printer down the hall.

He's still yapping; his tinny voice echoing through the office because of all the TVs (these traders sure love their CNBC.)

Nuculer. Ler. Nucu. Ler. Ler. Ler.

It's 45 minutes of nuculer.

Bush's inability to pronounce nuclear is just timeless funny.

But the fact that this man is talking World War III scares the living shit out of me.

Bush is a born again Christian. A certain silly set of born agains believe that Israel will be at the center of events that bring about the end of the world as we know it and the return of Christ, our Cuddly Wuddly King.

Here's the money quote that ties all of this together:

"We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuculer weapon."

Not funny.
I am listening to: R.E.M. - The End of the World as We Know It
I am reading: Stephen Colbert in the New York Times
And I am: Cuddly wuddly

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The first guy I slept with

So yesterday I was just a little black rain cloud.

Then I arrive in the office.

“This is BRILLIANT,” says the very first e-mail I open.

It was in response to a small bit of e-mail fluff I wrote targeting a specific group of people already in our database.

Brilliant, Hedy?

Um, no. That was a bit of hyperbole on the part of my co-worker. Of course I’m no Al Gore Nobel Prize winner or anything.

But it made me feel good. It said shaddap to the small part of me that suspects I’m a sham.

That’s the bounce.

Us Pooh types can be feeling rather down and all it takes is a p-p-p-Piglet to stop by and say one nice thing to lift us right back up again.
Extra HedyBlog bonus points if you got the ‘little black rain cloud’ reference from yesterday.
Confession: I’ve had a life long love affair with that silly old bear.

Back in the early seventies, there was a large fake tree in the children’s clothing section of the Sears at Lakeside Mall. It ran from the floor all the way up to the tiled ceiling. It had large fake branches with little fake leaves. And it had a tree house that was not fake. Not fake at all. Maybe you remember it.

Sitting on a little platform outside that tree house was a certain bear of very little brain.

I called him “The Big Winnie the Pooh” because that’s exactly what he was – a huge, stuffed Winnie the Pooh. Three feet tall. A bright red vest stretched over his portly, honey-pot shaped belly. Black shiny eyes and that tiny knowing smile.

I wanted him. Oh, how I wanted him.
Extra HedyBlog bonus points if you can tell me Winnie-the-Pooh's real name.
We’d be shopping for Garanimals or Toughskins and that beautiful bear would beckon me from the top of that tree.

“Come, Hedy. Climb up into my tree house. Listen to my stories. Eat my honey.”

Our love affair was meant to be. I knew it.
Pooh taught me how to deal with bossy know-it-alls like Rabbit and Owl.

Pooh taught me that eating a little smackeral of something sweet always makes you feel better.
“What do you want Santa Claus to bring you for Christmas, Hedy?” everyone would ask.

“The Big Winnie the Pooh at Sears.”

I remember being more than a little worried that Santa Claus wasn’t aware of the exact location of The Big Winnie the Pooh. Of course Santa doesn’t need Sears. He has elves. Elves would have no idea how to make a Big Winnie the Pooh. Even if they could, they couldn’t. Of course not.

Because the Big Winnie the Pooh is one of a kind.

And he’s at Sears, goddammit.
So Christmas morning comes, and unbelievably, so does The Big Winnie the Pooh.

I hug him thinking God I can’t wait to get you alone.

Well, not really. I was six.

But I did sleep with him. Yes.

He slept in my bed under the covers. With me.

Our affair was short-lived, sadly.

Several reasons: A) His yellow fur had a mildly unpleasant chemical smell to it which made me itch; B) Pooh under the covers created a tent-like effect making it impossible for me to stay warm; and C) At six, I was still wetting the bed on a regular basis so before too long Pooh smelled like pee.

He's still the first guy I ever slept with though.
I am listening to: Little Black Rain Cloud
I am reading: Press kit materials
And I am: In the mood for food

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eeyore moments

Blognonymous is leaving us. He’s giving it up.

It will be a melancholy moment removing his link from the blog list to your right.

But I understand why he’s doing it.

You write practically every day for a year or two and it wears you down a bit. Especially if you’re Blognonymous, always writing about the Really Important Stuff like the economy or Iraq or [insert your favorite governmental cock-up here].

Of course life isn’t all sunshine and honey pots.

But why is it part of the human condition to focus on the negative? Why is it easier to write about everything that’s wrong with our world?

And why, even when things are going exceptionally well, do we seem to anticipate losing it all in some fiery explosion of underpants and embarrassment?
Confession #1: A very small part of me was actually relieved at being let go last month.


Yep. Picture my tiniest toe yelping “Whew! So GLAD that FINALLY happened!”

Because – and this is twisted – I was overdue for something bad to happen.
Most of the time I try to be like Pooh: Wandering through life, eating a little more than I should, visiting friends and having adventures. Pooh-like people tend to be happier although we are more than occasionally clueless when it comes to serious matters such as warding off heffalumps or getting caught in rabbit holes.

Eeyore people always anticipate the worst. They actually believe that nothing good will ever ever happen again. Ever. And on that rare occasion went something actually goes their way, Eeyore types invariably find the One Thing Wrong With It and focus on that until every last bit of joy is sucked out of the occasion.
Confession #2: In spite of the fact that things seem to be going exceptionally well at my new job, I am anxious. There are small, weak moments when my tiny toe feels like a big fat fraud and is screaming WHY THE HELL DO YOU PEOPLE TRUST ME WITH ALL THIS REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF?
The thing is, I do believe the world treats you how you expect to be treated. If you’re always anticipating the worst, it colors your view of everything – including the good stuff.
So we’re Poohs with occasional Eeyore moments. Or we’re Eeyores through and through.

Which one are you?
I am listening to: Sia – Breathe Me
I am reading: Nothing
And I’m: Just a little black rain cloud

Monday, October 15, 2007

Getting the best of me

First, big thanks to Dave from Rather Than Working for giving me yet another reason to publish this, my all time favorite picture of Our Cuddly Wuddly Savior.

Here's the idea: I read through my previous posts and pick three that I like best. Then I publish them at the bottom of the list of what other bloggers picked as their best. And then I tell two friends. And so on. And so on.

Except I've never been good at passing this stuff along. So here are some posts that Dave published that I liked, with my favorite three at the very bottom:

Cosmic Cat - Just An Ordinary Thursday Night..., Not Gone With The Wind. Just Gone., The "Weekly Thoughtful Reminder" And Other Hazards Of Working

Field Lines - Even MIT Girls Get the Blues, Bye Bye, Friend, Bad Hair Day

Rather Than Working: Tryptophan and Thanksgiving Walls and History The More Things Change

A Passel of Jesus - December 20, 2006
I love this country - January 24, 2007
Conversation 101 - August 31, 2006
If someone asked Jesus to describe his best work, what do you think it would be?

That bit with the fishes and loaves? Walking on water?


I'm guessing if that rascal ever makes his Big Comeback, that's when we're gonna see the real serious shit.
Not to overburden anyone, part 1: If Pos, Mrs. Pos and Crusty wanna play along, by all means please share your best. And don't feel guilty if you don't have time to do this.

Not to overburden anyone, part 2: You might not agree with the favorites I've chosen for myself. If you'd like to share what topics or entries you liked best, we here at HedyBlog would sure appreciate it.
I am listening to: Foo Fighters - Best of You
I am reading: Nothing yet
And I am: Sleepy

Friday, October 12, 2007

Broken people

“Her husband just died, she doesn’t need to be dealing with this shit.”

That was Mom this morning.

They were married for more than 30 years. They tried and tried but couldn’t have kids. They worked their asses off. Her, caring for elderly and severely disabled people. Him, crunching numbers for big steel. He was retiring soon and they wanted to travel a bit and enjoy life.

I don’t think anyone ever heard either of them say an unkind word about anyone. Ever.

They loved each other way more than most married couples do, which is saying a lot these days.

Now he’s dead.

It’s unbelievably heartbreaking.
They had a memorial service for him in Nevada, but he was to be buried next to their infant son in a Michigan cemetery.

Except the Catholic Church only allows one funeral mass per person and when she tried scheduling a second memorial for the family in Michigan, the church said no.

So she went to another Catholic church – didn’t tell them about the Nevada service – and of course they agreed to do it.

Did I mention this woman is a former nun? She’s a good Catholic through and through.

But she had to lie to her own church so her husband could have a second service.
He’s in the hospital dying and a relative asks her for his car.

She’s losing her husband and losing her mind in grief and losing everything that’s been her life for 30 years.

And they’re offering her the fine deal of ‘making payments to her’ for his car.
She wanted two people to speak at the mass: her husband’s college buddy and my father.

Again, the church said no. Only priests are allowed to speak at Catholic funerals within the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Fortunately, all of the regular priests were at a retreat the day of his mass and she got a surprisingly compassionate guest priest who told her “hey, this isn’t my church, of course you need the people who really knew him to say a few words.”
Another relative criticized her decision to ‘take on the Catholic Church’ by having a second mass.

This is the same woman who paid to have her marriage annulled after nearly 40 years and five kids.
Her husband is dead. She’s just been through the worst thing that can happen.

And Broken People somehow manage to make it even worse.

Broken people can’t see beyond their own shit to be compassionate.

Broken people would rather make trouble for someone at the worst time in their life than make a difference.

Broken people can’t say anything nice – they’re constantly picking and criticizing and causing trouble because they feel so terrible about themselves, they can’t possibly feel anything good for anyone else. Even when they need it most.

Someone has died suddenly and unexpectedly. It is a tragedy.

Isn’t that when most people realize that life is short? Isn’t that the best time to be exceptionally kind to each other because you Just Never Know? Isn’t that when you forgive and forget every Bad Thing that’s ever ever happened to you and hug each other like you’re never gonna have to let go?

Broken, small-minded people.

I know these people. They are part of my family. And they disgust me.

[Editorial note: If you’re family and you’re offended by anything here, be sure to read that last part about Broken People over and over and over again until your head finally POPS out of your ASS. Thanks so much.]
I am listening to: U2 - One
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Disgusted